Dear All
I have a Nissan Navara D40 and am looking at up grading the suspension to give some lift to the car. One of the options that I have is to fit Firestone air bag suspension at the rear as opposed to fitting medium load springs. The airbags sound good as I can use them to level the car when I am towing my camper trailer.
Does anyone have any thoughts on air bags suspension
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 19:20

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 19:20

From my experience, I had airbags on the top of my leaf springs. They were fine for a tray load but as soon as I started to tow the off road Kimberley Karavan they were a problem.
The problem was that with the air in the airbags they acted as a fulcrum and wanted to distort the chassis. On advice from an engineer who specialises in chassis work, the airbags are gone.
To replace the airbags, I have installed Aussie Super Springs, The result has been so much better than I ever envisaged. The springs carry the full load of the Kimberley Karavan and the tray load. The vehicle handles much better.
My personal advice is do not go to airbags for towing.
AnswerID: 407437

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin B1 (WA) - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 11:59

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 11:59
DW, can you give me a few more details as to why the engineer advised against the Air Bags? I fail to see how they can act as a fulcrum unless they are over inflated maybe. The weight is still equally distributed onto the springs with the air bags acting as a cushion between the chassis and the springs. I have been using them for some time now in both towing and off road use and am very impressed with them.
FollowupID: 677429

Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 12:54

Saturday, Mar 06, 2010 at 12:54

The reason against the airbags is that the weight is taken by the airbag and not the whole of the springs. This then only allows the rear part of the spring to function with the airbag supporting the part in front of the axle. Obviously a coil spring vehicle would not have that problem as they are designed to take the load over the axle. The engineer has told me I am not the first to have this problem.

I can assure you that the first time the airbag may have been over inflated and then the second time I ensured that the air pressure was 1/3 of the previous time. The result was that both times I had some distortion of the rearward part of the chassis. I do have a heavy ball weight with the Kimberley Karavan even with the extended pull.

If I was only ever carrying a tray load I would not hesitate to use them but I think the Aussie Super Springs are also doing a better job.

FollowupID: 677434

Reply By: Injected - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 20:55

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 20:55
I have a D40 and went through the same issue as you. Went for an OME package with medium springs in the rear. Lifted the front about 40mm and 60mm in rear. Have a steel canopy on rear and AGM deep cycle batt in back. Camper trailer down weight is approx. 80 Kgs and loaded up on a trip to the Cape (york) only bottomed out a couple of times from hitting the gullies at high speed on the PDR. Very happy with them around town and transforms the vehicle into something nice to drive.
Cheers Injected.
AnswerID: 407452

Follow Up By: Member - baffle (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 18, 2010 at 23:40

Thursday, Mar 18, 2010 at 23:40
I am also looking at upgrading my D40 suspension. Am carrying alloy bullbar, 150 litre LRfuel tank, fibreglass canopy and 30 litre LPG tank for diesel/gas convertor - a fair bit of extra weight before any other load. Will be towing 13' van as well on a trip across the top of Oz later in the year. Do you think the OME package you had fitted would suit mine? Did you check out any other packages? About what cost am I looking at?
FollowupID: 679387

Reply By: ajd - Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 21:22

Friday, Mar 05, 2010 at 21:22
Only use koni or bilstein shocks

No good deed goes unpunished!

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AnswerID: 407456

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