Springs and Air bags

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 13:38
ThreadID: 57112 Views:1857 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hello suspension experts/engineers....

I'm wondering if I can do away with rear leaf springs in 2006 troopy in favour of airbags. I know this is often possible for vehicles with coil suspension - and seemingly they get good ride, articulation and extra ground clearance when needed.

As I understand it, with rear leaf springs, airbags simply supplement the leaf springs although the airbags actually can perform the full support function.

Unfortunately the airbags seem not to be able to provide the essential function of anchoring the running gear against forward-aft movement.

Question
Is it feasible/advisable to install airbags as the sole means of support - using only the top leaf of the leaf spring to continue its anchoring role??

Hope not too silly a question - just wondering if I can get rid of 100Kg of leaves and stop the troopy sag

Cheers

Chris
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Reply By: howesy - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 18:22

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 18:22
Short answer yes, sorta. removing all bar the supporting leaf puts full load on to the air bag. You would be running higher pressure and the ride wouldn't be as good as just removing a couple of leafs and unning low pressure. This would give a split load between the spring and bag and also a soft ride. Should you need to carry a load you beef up the air bag pressure. Talk to a suspension expert. I did and this is the advice he gave me for my HJ75 if I got bags.
Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 301175

Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:23

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:23
Thanks Howsey

I'm on the brink of air bagging and just having that uneducated think of alternatives/possibilities

Cheers
Chris
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FollowupID: 567269

Reply By: Tony - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 18:39

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 18:39
I shudder to think what would happen in the event of the airbags failing, and having only the main leaf for support.

Why not go to the expense and convert to coil suspension and trailing arms from a 80 series.
AnswerID: 301182

Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:32

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:32
Hi Tony,

Appreciate the need to not open up new vulnerabilities - esp as I travel solo.

I was sold on the idea that they were at least as reliable as any other suspension system - having been proven on just about all heavy vehicles.

With your comments, are you suggesting to modify AND use airbags?

I find I need extra support in rear to stop troopy dragging its rear in gullies etc

(Mate with 100 series uses airbags exclusively on rear and uses them to raise ground clearance when needed.)

Cheers
Chris



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FollowupID: 567272

Follow Up By: Tony - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:49

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:49
It has been done, using the diff housing from an 80 Series, complete with the coils and airbags as well.

I would think that it would be stronger in the long run.

I had a 47 Series Troopy with heavy duty leaf springs. It was fine loaded but a bit firm MT.

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FollowupID: 567276

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 21:00

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 21:00
Sounds dicey to me. I would go the coil conversion....silverback
AnswerID: 301210

Reply By: madfisher - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 22:03

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 22:03
What if the one main leaf broke, not nice. Mate had this happen on his boat trailer spat the axle out the back. Luckily it happened in the Mcdonalds carpark.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 301223

Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:14

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:14
Don't see how there'd be any more or less chance of the main leaf breaking in this scenario. It would be carrying no more weight (air bag is doing that) and the lateral forces would be the same as usual.

You'd be in the same trouble with a normal full spring pack configuration if the main leaf broke...
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FollowupID: 567334

Follow Up By: Member - Chris R (NSW) - Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 08:06

Thursday, May 01, 2008 at 08:06
Hi Pete

Thanks for that - John has expressed my thinking on this. As I said - it's just an idea at this stage. But seems it has some support.

Will have to find out what the workshop has to say about feasibility in the nexy few weeks.

Cheers
Chris
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FollowupID: 567501

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