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Old 05-30-2009, 10:30 PM   #1
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Alpine Owners Club
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Ride Height Wouldn't Adjust.

I have had problems with the front drivers side air bag losing air after parking and the coach would sit low on the left side. Just the other day, on a road test after some work, I noticed that every time I came to a stop, the LF would bleed air for a bit.

I checked for leaks and found none. Then I started trying to adjust the ride height. After much consternation, I found that the RF ride height adjuster control arm was always too high. This position causes the valve to think that the coach is low, so that the air bag would always receive full air pressure. The only time that air would be released is when the air was dumped. I don't know if the linkage rod was too long or the connection was too high. I drilled the bracket lower and moved the linkage down to where I could adjust the valve with the arm, as it should be.

As I have mentioned before, the main reason that I went to the better shocks was to smooth the ride over rough roads and the shocks did help. On the trip up to Yakima, I drove over many bad stretches of road that I was familiar with and found the ride to be even better yet.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:10 PM   #2
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Dale,
Was that better ride you mentioned in the last paragraph after you moved the linkage rod? Was the rod too high as a result of the shock installation?
Matt
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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Matt,

Yes, fixing the ride height adjuster did help the ride. No, the problem was from WRV's installation. I will try to look at a few other Alpines while here and see if I can determine what was wrong with mine.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:08 AM   #4
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My DS front air bag also releases air over a 2/3 day period. If I don't start the coach and pump it back up it bleeds all the way down. I don't know if the fix as stated above would help me. I also tightened the incoming air lines into the bag, with no change. It concerns me to be under there even though I had the front wheels up on big 4X12 blocks of wood. I could never see the top of the bag to determine if there was anything loose which might be the cause of the problem. If the bag failed while under the coach, I still had enough room not to be crushed while up on the boards. However, if it collapses at the wrong time, and you have a hand in the wrong place you will lose it. The only other way to prevent that would be to jack up the frame. I am not sure where the jack points would be so I did not want to try that. As mentioned above it still bleeds down on its own. Yet when I try to dump air the front bags never lose the air. This makes it very difficult to level up when the rear end is lower than the front end.

We are going down to the FMCA Albany, OR rally for the Saturday session, in the hopes I will run across a vendor who displays the air bag so I can see how it’s assembled.

Additionally I want to discuss with HWH for the air bag issue, and Hydro Hot/Aqua Hot, the reason I don’t have hot water, realizing that the mixing valve is most likely blocked or has failed, so I want to see the back of the unit to understand how it can be changed. Seeing all those pieces in real life would be much better than a picture out of a manual.

This would also be our second attempt at a Rally, but we won’t have the coach, as we don’t have any vacation time, so it’s a one day shot for us.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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One thing that I should have mentioned. When the coach is sitting at normal ride height (RH), the arm on the RH valve will be about level. The arm on the valve that was the problem on mine was up at aprox a 30 degree angle.

Monty,
If the RH adjustment is causing the air leak, the air will be coming out of the RH valve. Have you checked for leaks with soap?

I was thinking that I would put the jacks down almost to the ground, to use as backup while adjusting. I still have some fine tuning to do.

Have you checked to see if the air dump valve is getting power when you are trying to dump? There is a separate dump valve for each wheel. Air should be coming into the RH valve, going to the dump valve and then to the air bag.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:49 AM   #6
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After I did my first adjustment to cure this problem, I had it adjusted improperly and my handling suffered a lot. After my second adjustment, done with the coach parked in a paved parking lot (instead of my rock parking spot by the house.) it is much better. I still plan on one last final fine tune. It is very hard to get to the adjusters while the coach is at normal ride height and requires a lot of fiddling. Every time you adjust one, it changes all of the others. It is also hard to tell if you have equal load (from the height adjustment) side to side.
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