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Old 10-28-2014, 06:27 PM   #1
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Air Suspension Hiccup

A few nights ago after driving all day across Tennessee, we stopped at a rest area for the night. As the lot sloped some, I put the levelers down. It got very cold that night and there was frost on the ground when we woke up.
Upon leaving to head down the road, I retracted the levelers, let the engine warm up a little and started out of the rest area only to find that the coach was bouncing on the frame and dragging the rear flap on the asphalt.
After pulling over, I of course noticed that the suspension had not pumped up subsequent to raising the levelers. I waited for at least 10 minutes waiting for the suspension to come up, but it would not.
I thought it maybe had something to do with the levelers, so I put the levelers back down and retracted again to see if it would pump up. No joy.
After sitting on the roadside for some time, I finally decided I needed roadside assistance, but everyone I called either didn't work on the suspension or wouldn't because it was Saturday. So there I sat wondering what my next step was going to be. Finally, after a while, the suspension came up and I was able to get on my way.
No more problems on the rest of my trip home to Texas.
The only thing I can surmise is that maybe since it was so cold that there was moisture in the line or valve that had frozen not allowing the suspension to come up and it finally thawed?
Is this possibly what could have happened? I don't know exactly how the system works, but I assume there's some kind of lever that measures the angle and works an air valve?
Any knowledgeble comments from you guys?
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:01 AM   #2
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When was the last time your air dryer filter was changed? I doubt frozen........I believe you have the IFS on the front, so a leveling valve for each front side, and one air leveler for the rear axle. After starting the engine can you hear the air dryer blow off purging air out of the system? Does it purge often or not at all?
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Check the air purge valve for leaks. In my situation, lately I could hear the purge valve leaking (hissiing) after shutdown and the coach seemed to take longer to air up. Turns out the purge valve in the bottom of the air dryer canister holder was defective. $450 and a purge valve kit later, all's well (except for my wallet!). A leaking purge valve makes the air compressor work hareder to air up, but the tanks will not lose pressure after being pumped up because of the valving in the system. So, if your purge valve got stuck because of ice in the system (change the dryer ASAP), the tank(s) would not pressurize and you'd see exactly the symptoms you described.
HTH.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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The drier filter was changed in 10/2012 I believe. The purge valve was releasing as normal and I have found no leaks or loss of air subsequent. The only thing I can think of is that there was some ice somewhere. I'll take a look at the filter tomorrow and get the number so I can replace it.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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Manually raising rather than pressing "store" can cause your symptom
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIX View Post
Manually raising rather than pressing "store" can cause your symptom
I always " Manually let my jacks down" as I can control the drop of the Coach as to just hitting the store button and having it drop I found, a more controled and smooth way to get the Coach down, then once the weight is off the jacks, I start the engine, then start the HWH panel up and hit the store button, the jacks are going up while the suspension is airing up and I am headed out for the walk-a-round. This method has never affected my suspension leveling arms as far as airing up when the engine is started. Can you explain what you mean?
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:13 AM   #7
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HicksRA,

Glad you were able to get the suspension up for traveling.
What palehorse89 said about changing the Desiccant filter is a definite, must do.
Spartan recommends changing that periodically, and it will collect water.
Also, the Air Tanks that store and maintain system air pressure for the coach, periodically should be purged. There are purge valves on each of those tanks. They are located just behind the front wheels in the middle of the coach. There should be 3 of them. Many people have lanyards that allow purging without going under the coach, and some don't. Also, many coaches have automatic purge valves on these tanks, but even with the automatic purge valves, you still should manually purge the tanks, even if only to check for water (and oil). Sounds to me like you should do this as well. Last thing. On my coach, the leveling system has a connection to the master air system dump/fill valve. the leveling system sends an electrical signal to the valve for a period of time that holds the master valve in position. If the air pressure in the system is not sufficient the system may not be up to the required 90 psi to fill the air suspension during the leveling system timer. To insure the pressure is sufficient, you may want to make sure that the system has at least 90 psi before hitting the store or retract button.

Hope this helps and Travel Safe,

Drew
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
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Drew, thanks for the information. Ashamedly, I admit that I've never manually purged the tanks because I had no idea it is necessary and did know where the purge lines are.
I have a new dessicant filter on the way and will find the purge valves so I can add this to my "to do" list.
Also, my normal routine has been to start the engine and then hit the store button. I'll let the air pressure come up in the future before hitting the store button.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
I always " Manually let my jacks down" as I can control the drop of the Coach as to just hitting the store button and having it drop I found, a more controled and smooth way to get the Coach down, then once the weight is off the jacks, I start the engine, then start the HWH panel up and hit the store button, the jacks are going up while the suspension is airing up and I am headed out for the walk-a-round. This method has never affected my suspension leveling arms as far as airing up when the engine is started. Can you explain what you mean?
I have HWH automatic levelers. If I only press the buttons (4) to store the jacks the air suspension will not inflate. If I press "STORE" and allow it to retract and store jacks the suspension will inflate. I have no idea if this is how yours works but it's the way mine has worked since new.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:53 AM   #10
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Drew, thanks for the information. Ashamedly, I admit that I've never manually purged the tanks because I had no idea it is necessary and did know where the purge lines are.
I have a new dessicant filter on the way and will find the purge valves so I can add this to my "to do" list.
Also, my normal routine has been to start the engine and then hit the store button. I'll let the air pressure come up in the future before hitting the store button.
More than likely from the year of your Coach, like my tear even.........it more than likely has auto purge valves on the tanks already? I have looked and checked mine, no need to manually purge them. Check out your tanks or it might just tell you in you chassis manual about this. As far as the methods for storing the jacks. I have tried every way........If I start it before getting my Coach's chassis back on its frame snubber and allow it to start airing up, it tends to roll the Coach forward as the rear axle airs up skidding the jacks on the ground, making all sorts of bad sounds let alone the stress and forward pressure this places on them. Once your HWH pad is powered down, on any Coach I would think, the air dump solenoid valves return to their shelf state of being closed allowing the suspension to air up. Check your air tanks out, the temps that morning might just of had something iced up in the air dryer not allowing the air to build I am gussing.........
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIX View Post
I have HWH automatic levelers. If I only press the buttons (4) to store the jacks the air suspension will not inflate. If I press "STORE" and allow it to retract and store jacks the suspension will inflate. I have no idea if this is how yours works but it's the way mine has worked since new.
One would think, with your system working like that that there would be a small power drain on your batteries due to the air dump solonoids are being powered up and held open by 12 VDC power the whole time you are setup on jacks.......When my HWH (625 system) get done setting up, it shuts down(powers down and shuts off) thus taking the power away from the solonoids letting them return to their shelf state of "closed" . Now unless I hit the "dump" button on the control panel, no matter what I do with the jacks, they remain closed........wainting for air. Like you said, systems are different........but the OP's Coach is close to mine I bet......
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HicksRA View Post
Upon leaving to head down the road, I retracted the levelers, let the engine warm up a little and started out of the rest area only to find that the coach was bouncing on the frame and dragging the rear flap on the asphalt.
After pulling over, I of course noticed that the suspension had not pumped up subsequent to raising the levelers. I waited for at least 10 minutes waiting for the suspension to come up, but it would not.
What did your air gauges say? Before moving the coach, you should always allow the engine to warm up and the air pressure to build to an acceptable level for the brakes to work. During this time, you should notice the coach rising up. I had several problems with my air system earlier this year...the first being that the front dropped rapidly in a parking lot, say within 30 minutes. It was diagnosed to be a leaking ride height adjusting valve. Then I noticed the gauge for the air suspension system was reading lower than actual. If you can hear the compressor periodically relieving pressure, you know the gauge is wrong. Turned out to be a faulty pressure sender for the SW gauge. Changed them both. Then I decided to change the dessicant filter. It was rusty inside. Now the system works fine. As far as purging the air tanks, mine does not have lanyards and I am not about to crawl underneath the coach every time I shut down. Besides, they have automatic moisture ejectors.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:51 PM   #13
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What did your air gauges say?
I always watch the air gauges before moving. They had both came up to pressure and the valve had spit before I took off.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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I too think replacing the air filter/dryer cartridge will correct that problem. Speaking from a "been there-done that" perspective; buy the complete dryer filter kit instead of filter only. It includes a cartridge and repair parts for the spitter valve and 2 other valves in the air filter/dryer unit. I think the filter dryer cartridge was $38 and the complete kit $86 at a local HDT repair shop.
I bought only the filter dryer, now I get to buy the kit__after already replacing the filter dryer. My spitter valve is gummed up and sticks open occasionally.
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