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Old 09-01-2019, 08:11 AM   #29
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I did this, it keeps the bump stops from hitting, Seemed to help a lot with 19 lbs in them . I also did the CHF but not at the same time.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jyrocharlie View Post
I did this, it keeps the bump stops from hitting, Seemed to help a lot with 19 lbs in them . I also did the CHF but not at the same time.
I noticed that you installed airbags on your front axle. Are these AirLift air bags? I am thinking of installing the AirLift air bags on my 2018 Fleetwood Bounder .35K. DIo those air bags significantly help to eleminate the severe banging encountered in road pavement uneven pavement transition like in bridge uneven transitions? Also, with these air bags I think you would have to be careful when using the leveling system on your motorhome in cases of very unlevel sites...ie... If you have a really unlevel site you could possibly tear the air bag by attempting extreme leveling where the MH spring drops a large distance away from the frame...
2018 Fleetwood Bounder 35K....installed..CHF, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Ultratrac Trac Bar, Roadmaster Heavy Duty rear swaybar.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:57 AM   #31
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That picture is with the tires off the ground, On mine, the shocks limit the front end drop. And yes, no more banging over changes over the road.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #32
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This will be the zillionth and 1 short post on the CHF. There's a zillion good reasons for all the posts. The CHF has done more to improve the ride and handling of all the varied F-53 chassis from 1999 to the present than any other single MOD. And it's FREE!! Enough digressing.

Last week we met folks driving a brand new, 40' Tiffin RV. Very expensive DP and they said their ride was awful.

I've added air bags all around and yes it helped significantly. It's still not an air ride but it is smoother. I did the ABs hoping for some (5%) improvement. I'm OK with what we got.

After 2,000 miles I'm carrying 25 lbs front and 35 lbs. If you carry high pressures in the air bags that makes them stiffer/firmer. How can that help to soften the impact of bumps?

If you perform the CHF on the front the front wheels will come off the ground 3" sooner when leveling. That will increase the airbag (AB) pressures and you will blow an air line or AB. Trust me I know. If you remove all of the AB pressure it is less likely to cause a failure. Ask me how I know that??

To prevent AB failure just extend the front links 3" and the tires will usually stay on the ground. Yes the shocks will limit how low the axle will drop. Will your shocks stop the axle drop enough to not blow and AB? You'll find out one way or the other.

To improve the ride everyone needs to set the correct tire pressure. The inside sticker provided by the manufacturer is the best place to start. NEVER, NEVER start by using the pressure on the tire sidewall. That will work if you can and do remove your upper and lower teeth.

If your shocks are old or worn out and not doing the job yest replacing them will help. Most like the Koni shocks but they are expensive. Beyond that it seems to be owner preference. Any new shocks are better than a worn out set.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:31 PM   #33
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If you perform the CHF on the front the front wheels will come off the ground 3" sooner when leveling. That will increase the airbag (AB) pressures and you will blow an air line or AB. Trust me I know. If you remove all of the AB pressure it is less likely to cause a failure. Ask me how I know that??

To prevent AB failure just extend the front links 3" and the tires will usually stay on the ground. Yes the shocks will limit how low the axle will drop. Will your shocks stop the axle drop enough to not blow and AB? You'll find out one way or the other.
I measured the difference, the CHF causes the tires to come off the ground only 1/2" sooner not 3" at least on my chassis. Easy to measure, jack the front tires off the ground measure, disconnect sway bar and measure again, takes about 15 minutes to do if your curious.

Beyond that not sure how getting the tires off the ground sooner is bad for air bags, it should be better as the axle drop is being limited and therefore stretching the bags less. The more the axle drops the more the bags are stretched. How does keeping the bags from stretching more increase the pressure and blow a bag?

Still think its funny how people add airbags for a better ride that have metal brackets as tall as the bump stops, guess what open air between the leafs is softer than compressed air in the bag and bump stops are softer than metal brackets.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:38 PM   #34
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jharrell,

"Beyond that not sure how getting the tires off the ground sooner is bad for air bags, it should be better as the axle drop is being limited and therefore stretching the bags less. The more the axle drops the more the bags are stretched. How does keeping the bags from stretching more increase the pressure and blow a bag?"

That's very simple. As the bag stretches the axle does not stop dropping. The bag stretches and the air in the bag has no where to go so the pressure rises significantly.

It can and will blow the air bag or in my case as I leveled the RV in my drive it ripped one bag off and blew a hole in the opposite side air line. The air line had a working burst pressure of over 1,000 lbs. I'll add that my wheels were not completely off the ground.

You can't tell me air bags stop the axle drop and it can't or won't effect the AB pressures.

On our 1999 Dutch Star I added 4 AB's. Didn't think about what could or might happen to the ABs and I got lucky. I never had even an air leak in the AB's over at least 5 or 6 years.

The Air Lift company did mention in their manual about being careful when leveling but their instructions were not real clear or forceful as to how it might affect the bags. When I called them about my mine they were much informative and forceful concerning not lifting the wheels unless the pressure was released. Releasing the AB pressure will/might then not cause AB or air line damage.

As far as the recommended extension length I know 2" doesn't do it but 3" worked much better. With a 3" extension and the SB at about the same stock level position most of the F-53 chassis from 1999 until the present will keep the SB (stabilizer bar) close to level. There may be slight differences from year to year and chassis to chassis.

All that means is the front wheels will come off the ground at about the same axle height as they would if the owner had not done the CHF.

You can post what you want about how the ABs can't/don't help the ride but in fact I and several others on these forums have agreed they do help. And please don't go the Cool-Aid route again.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:08 PM   #35
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That's very simple. As the bag stretches the axle does not stop dropping. The bag stretch and the air in the bag has no where to go so the pressure rises significantly.
AND the CHF cause the air bags to stretch LESS because the axle cannot drop AS FAR.

You seem to be implying the CHF without extensions causes the airbags to stretch MORE, which is impossible:

"If you perform the CHF on the front the front wheels will come off the ground 3" sooner when leveling. That will increase the airbag (AB) pressures and you will blow an air line or AB."

NO wheels coming off sooner means LESS airbag stretch, axle dropping further and staying on ground longer means the airbags are stretching MORE.

The link extensions allow the axle to drop further until shocks stop it. Normally you would use limit straps if you wanted to prevent damage to airbags and the shocks allowed too much droop.

But again the CHF only limits axle drop 1/2" over the shocks on my front axle. If your doing the CHF measure axle drop before and after if your worried about the change, its not much, and if you have airbags it could actually act as a limit strap would causing bags to stretch less than without CHF.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:45 AM   #36
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The air bags that were damaged were on the rear. I may not have mentioned that fact before. I have rear adjustable plates but they provide no additional extension nor does the rear CHF affect the axle drop due to the geometry of the rear link set up.

I already extended my links (front 2") and with the adjustable plates that added at least another inch so they were already extended 3" before the airbags were installed.

With the CHF but before any other MODS to the sway system our front wheels usually came off the ground when leveling. Add the 2" extension to the links, adjustable plates and with all 4 wheels on the ground the RV SB is level and very close to its stock position. Now when leveling the front wheels don't come off the ground except in extreme un-level situations. We solve that issue by driving up onto wooden ramps as needed.

I do understand the shocks will limit the axle drop but how much may depend on the shock. Evidently the Koni shocks allowed enough dropped to damage the airbags and air lines. Call the company's who make the airbags. If you don't remove the air pressure they can/may/will stretch enough to do damage.

I'm not implying they drop more but they will lift off the ground sooner. That means you'd have to lift the wheels off the ground to level in extreme situations. If you add no extensions when the link is moved into the inner hole (front only) it effectively shortens the distance the front axle can drop which causes the wheels to lift off the ground 3" sooner than they normally would.

In other words the FRAME can be raised as much as 3" inches more when leveling. If you have airbags and the shocks don't stop the axle drop the air bags will stretch increasing the pressures and causing damage. Adding a 3" extension returns the usual drop to stock. Even at the stock position it may be enough to stretch the airbags to do damage.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:22 AM   #37
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In other words the FRAME can be raised as much as 3" inches more when leveling. If you have airbags and the shocks don't stop the axle drop the air bags will stretch increasing the pressures and causing damage. Adding a 3" extension returns the usual drop to stock. Even at the stock position it may be enough to stretch the airbags to do damage.
In other words the CHF has nothing to do with air bag damage, extending the links may have though. No extended links and the axle comes off the ground sooner protecting the airbags from over extension. Extend the links and your back to the stock where shocks are limiting movement to prevent air bag over stretch.

You changed shocks to Konis which seem to be longer(first time I have heard of this) allowing too much axle drop , if you had not extended your links the CHF would have act like a limit strap most likely preventing over extension.

Just because your links are 3" longer does not mean your axle will drop 3" more, my factory Bilsteins only allow 1/2" more drop over the non extended CHF. Not even sure if its all shocks, the leafs may simply be holding up the axle at 10 3/4" from the frame, would need to disconnect shocks to verify. You should really measure before assuming, but that would require disconnecting sway bar and air bags to do so at this point.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:49 AM   #38
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Yes we know things like shocks and leaf springs will/can limit the axle drop. No I'm not going to remove everything just to measure the axle drop. I've got it figured out now and no other damage will be caused by not knowing what drops where, when and how much. I made one mistake and lifted the rear axle just a bit to much but that issue is fixed and all is well.

We were watching a camper (TT) adding pieces of wood under their wheels to level. I glued two pieces of 2" X 14" pine side to side. Then band sawed diagonally to make two 3" tall ramps about 30" long. I can drive up the ramps until my bubbles inside show level. Then we use the jacks to give it a final tweak as needed. So simple to do. With two bubble in the cockpit I can see side to side and front to back level and where or if we need the ramps. The DW lays them under the wheels.

I've installed a small air compressor under the hood. It's 12-V can very easily adjust airbag pressures as needed. I've been removing the AP when leveling. Most of the time it isn't necessary but why chance it when it's so easy to remove and fill the air?
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:52 AM   #39
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Yes we know things like shocks and leaf springs will/can limit the axle drop. No I'm not going to remove everything just to measure the axle drop.
Just making sure since you keep bringing up the CHF and air bag damage like they are related somehow.

Also just don't want people getting bad information like the CHF limits axle drop by 3" that you keep saying, I actually measured and its nowhere near that. I recommend everyone measure axle drop before and after CHF so they know for themselves.

Air bag overstretching is something that has to be accounted for when adding them along with lost travel from the bags and bag brackets, which should be taken into account when wanting to add them. They aren't a cure all and have their own set of issues like most suspension mods.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:58 AM   #40
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"Just making sure since you keep bringing up the CHF and air bag damage like they are related somehow."

If I pull into a spot and the front is way down I'll have to drastically raise the front end of the frame to reach level. If I've done the front CHF with no extensions that effectively shortens the front links and the wheels/axle will come off the ground much sooner than they would if I had not done the CHF. Yes the CHF and airbag damage are or can be related depending on yes or no on extensions. If the shocks or leaf springs don't stop the axles from dropping.

I can't tell you how many have extended their front links just because they did not like the front wheels coming off the ground after they did the front CHF. Why did front wheels coming off the ground all of a sudden become an issue when prior to the owners doing the CHF they didn't notice that happening?? Maybe it's because the CHF and wheels coming off the ground are related??

As to how that affects airbags has already been discussed.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:12 AM   #41
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Yes, I "get it"...about being careful to not over extend the front/rear axles when leveling the MH. I am very careful when leveling the MH and make sure that I do not over extend. If I am really on an unlevel site, I will use blocks under a tire/tires to drive up on , or I will request a better site from the rv park.
I am going to install the Airlift bags. I like that you can adjust them where you cannot adjust the Sumo Springs.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:19 AM   #42
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If I pull into a spot and the front is way down I'll have to drastically raise the front end of the frame to reach level. If I've done the front CHF with no extensions that effectively shortens the front links and the wheels/axle will come off the ground much sooner than they would if I had not done the CHF. Yes the CHF and airbag damage are or can be related depending on yes or no on extensions. If the shocks or leaf springs don't stop the axles from dropping.
The CHF can only effect it by preventing damage, it cannot cause it. The airbags may stretch more WITHOUT the CHF, the CHF will NEVER make them stretch more. If you add extensions to the CHF you just WENT BACK to the way it was without the CHF, that is the axle is limited by shocks, not the CHF. So bringing up the CHF has no bearing unless you want to praise the CHF for potentially preventing airbag damage.

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I can't tell you how many have extended their front links just because they did not like the front wheels coming off the ground after they did the front CHF. Why did front wheels coming off the ground all of a sudden become an issue when prior to the owners doing the CHF they didn't notice that happening?? Maybe it's because the CHF and wheels coming off the ground are related?? .
Yes by a whole 1/2" not 6 times that like you keep saying. But that 1/2" is 1/2" LESS the airbags would have to stretch. IF they limited the axle drop by a whopping 3" the air bags would stretch 3" LESS and surely prevent any damage since the whole axle only moves 3 1/2 to 4" total!!! Your wheels would come off the ground after raising the front after only a 1/2" of leveling!!!
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