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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2003, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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air bag suspension swap?

Anybody ever pondered swapping their truck over to airbags to replace their springs? I've seen those retarded SuperDuty trucks in Cali with 30" lifted semi truck airbags and brushed it off as ridiculous, but then I saw an article in Petersen's about a kit for Jeeps and it got the wheels a turnin. Ride height changes on demand for easy entry/exit, low for offcamber side hills, high for ledge climbs, lower profile on the highway when articulation isnt need, etc etc. Plus, wouldnt air ride better than metal since it can react to changes faster? If used with the TTB, it could be used to fine tune camber, though no adjustability could really be taken advantage of. But on a solid axle up front to replace the coils and a custom link rear, wouldnt airbags work well for a crawler that's also a daily driver? Whatcha think?

Here's the setup from the article:
http://www.offroadonly.com/products/suspension/airock/
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2003, 09:51 PM
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

then u would have air lines and the bag itself to worry about on rocks, and getting mud inside the bags? there nice for looks i think
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 04:44 AM
 
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

A couple of weeks ago my front bags helped out on the trail. They are the kind you put inside the existing coils. They run off a driver adjustible regulator tapped into the oba. We were getting high centered on a rock wall and pinned against a tree all at the same time. Trail turned out to be an atv trail running a granite spine through the woods. No turn-arounds until after the rock wall. I was able to dial in some extra clearence with the regulator. That extra little traction saved me from having to pull out the highlift. I set mine up to help the dead coils maintain better camber on the road. They do that job pretty well. No more scary sh!t on 40 mph back roads. I've been thinking about continuing the half ass el cheapo air setup in the back. The idea would be to add some air shocks at very steep angles on the rear axle. Shocks would mount near the center of the truck on a cross member and near the wheels on the axle. They would be plumbed together to a regulator. It should let me level the truck and it should increase articulation. If you valved it right you could select what bag/shock got pressure for those nasty side hills.

Or I could do the normal thing and replace my 18 year old oem springs with new ones.

The jeep system was slick. The electronic control stuff wouldn't be hard to do, but the electronic/pnematic components get real pricey real fast. Isn't Rancho developing a system? One setting forces articulation for off road, and the other reduces it for stability. I think it falls between my silly system and that nice jeep setup. Not that the jeep was nice...
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 11:17 AM
 
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

It's interesting. I think it could work. Looks like these replace the coils on a jeep. So on ours, it would replace the coils in front, and you're saying we could do a link system to locate the rear, make perches and get rid of the leaves? Would probably save a bit of weight in the suspension system, less 2 coils and 2 leaf packs, unless those bags are heavy. Wonder just how sturdy they are....

$2.5k!
and it says "generation 2", what happended to Gen 1, just a lot of hot air? [img]images/graemlins/thud.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 11:27 AM
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

Mark my words, this is the future of suspension.

It's got a ton of advantages, mainly driver selectable clearance, pitch, angle, you name it. The ORO kit is rainbow IMO, I don't need a controller like that with sensors, blah blah. Give me a regulator, same air valves and some time to come up with a simple, reliable, mechanical system.

Yes, it will require more effort to operate, but so do manual hubs. !!

The biggest drawback I see (besides potential cost) is reliability. Do you carry a spare air bag? Maybe.

I'd like to do this on the rear with a link suspension and a Mog axle for more clearance (portal) and rear steer capability.
post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 02:58 PM
 
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

All I know is that those air bags can hold a helluva lot of weight. Just about every Tractor rig trailer you see has them. If it can hold that kind of load then I don't think it will have a problem holding up a pickup, fullsize or no. My .02
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 03:03 PM
 
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

im figure i am goign to do airbags on my zuk this winter/spring when it goes under the knife with a new rear axle.
height, flex, and durabiitly is awsome. no friction, ive seen it work great on the trails. its pretty simple and efective.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

Shilo, I think you're right in two ways... one being that it's the future for crawlers, and two being that with the computer controls it could really enhance the way a vehicle (car or truck) handles on the street! Juice, I didnt mean to imply that we should all drop $2500 on a kit for Jeeps and adapt it to our broncos, the bags are available from Firestone in all kinds of sizes and the plumbing really isnt complicated. I'm not sure how much air flow you'd need to make it work well, a York with a big tank under the bed might be enough. I like the sound of "forced articulation" [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] A spare airbag? Sure, why not. Wanna run some 35" radials on the street then swap to 40" Swampers for the weekend? Sure, why not. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

sounds pretty nice to me [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

well i've been doing some digging on POR and they have some good threads on this subject. here's a couple ideas that got me going... the only negative things i heard about them were from a zooker that probably didnt have enough weight on them (scary unloading on steep hills) and a couple guys with failures due to bad mounts or not having a limiting strap to keep the spring planted on its base. SO, here's some pics and videos that got me thinking:

<--- Video 1

<--- Video 2

<img src=http://tellico.off-road.com/wwwthreads_uploads/1120850-mat1.jpg>

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File Type: jpg 1120850-mat1.jpg (40.6 KB, 54 views)
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: air bag suspension swap?

more:
<img src=http://tellico.off-road.com/wwwthreads_uploads/1120852-mat9.jpg>

It seems you almost have to mount them on your suspenion links because they dont have enough travel to mount them right on top of the axle like the ones on that AiRock setup. I suppose you could stack a couple of them but that's twice as much money for the bags. This is ok but you just have to have stronger links, especially if the bags are up closer to the pivot point. I'm really getting excited about the possibilities and I just ordered (free) firestone's catalog so that should help figure out exactly which bags I'd need. The main worry I have is a catastrophic bag failure while taking a corner on the street, but by using a heavier duty bag the only likely problem would be a slow leak in the lines... no big deal.
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File Type: jpg 1120852-mat9.jpg (56.7 KB, 39 views)
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