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Old 04-03-2013, 07:01 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Lee View Post
Like that, the shocks look as if they are fully extended or close to it - so I'm wondering whether you are measuring the ride height between the correct two points.
As per the manual, I am measuring between the bottom of the top plate and the top of the bottom plate.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:23 AM   #30
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Palehorse... Thanks for the suggestion. I have been unable to find a shop prepared (or able) to look at it. The local RV dealerships "don't do chassis work" and have been unable to recommend anyone.
Chassis is a Roadmaster RR8R. Manufacture date is 2002. Model year 2003.
I live 30 miles south of Birmingham, AL.

Nightrider... There are a couple pictures of the other side early in this thread. Those are also distorted but not near as much.

94-Newmar... I may try loosening it. I don't have any suitable jackstands. I adjusted the ride height using the hydraulic levelling jacks to prevent it dropping down. I understand they are not ideal but needs must...

As far as I can tell, the plates are parallel but would need to remove the airbag to check properly.

Has anyone changed an airbag? my main concern is the air connection. Is it just a bayonet push-fit or does it require specialist tools to disconnect/reconnect.

Thanks all for your advice.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #31
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Hi Chris you might want to take a good look at your axle mounts, check all bushings maybe you have a bad bushing and the axle is not in alignment? Just a thought.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:45 AM   #32
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I too am worried about the measurement method. They changed the measuring points on my RV after a certain year. I think I would change that bag out in case it has been damaged due to uinderinflation and at least you will know if the distortion clears. My rear bags were so low I had to adjust the rods up or down a notch because there was not enough play in the adjustment.

Looking at the picture again is the top plate bent upwards? Taking the bag off you will be able to see if the brackets are parallel.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:43 PM   #33
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I dunno.. the more I look at the pictures I think there is a rotational twist from top to bottom making the bellows favor one direction. Yes, I've changed a few of them.. there are various mounts but look from the top.. there will be the inlet hose which is probably also one of the mounting points. I'd almost bet that one of the bottom two mounting points has perhaps been broken off when whomever changed it before and it's allowed the lower half of the bellows to rotate one direction or the other enough to cause a bulge.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #34
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Very good to have this file on hand for referrence.

http://www.firestoneip.com/site-reso...df/BUS_014.pdf
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post
I dunno.. the more I look at the pictures I think there is a rotational twist from top to bottom making the bellows favor one direction. Yes, I've changed a few of them.. there are various mounts but look from the top.. there will be the inlet hose which is probably also one of the mounting points. I'd almost bet that one of the bottom two mounting points has perhaps been broken off when whomever changed it before and it's allowed the lower half of the bellows to rotate one direction or the other enough to cause a bulge.
The top plate has 2 mounting bolts and a separate air connection. The bottom plate has 2 bolts also. As far as I can see, they are aligned and no bolts missing or broken. It does not appear to be twisted. Also, the mounting brackets don't seem twisted or out-of parallel.
Without knowing for sure a part number, I'm hesitant to order a replacement.
I'm fairly sure it is W01-358-6905, Firestone Double Convoluted Air Spring, Firestone Airide Air Bag 6905 - TruckSpring.com but not certain.
I may pull it out this weekend and see if there is a number on the top plate. I may even swap it with the opposite side and see how they compare.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #36
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If I am correct, your rr8r chassis is an 8 bag air chassis, it has an H frame with 4 air bags in the corners.

You will have 2 drag links and one or two "pan hard bar" these keep the H frame located correctly below the frame. Each of these drag links and pan hard bar has bushing in the ends.

You should check these bushings to make sure they have not deteriorated.

If any of these bushings has broken down it will allow the H Frame to fall out of alignment.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #37
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If I am correct, your rr8r chassis is an 8 bag air chassis, it has an H frame with 4 air bags in the corners.

You will have 2 drag links and one or two "pan hard bar" these keep the H frame located correctly below the frame. Each of these drag links and pan hard bar has bushing in the ends.

You should check these bushings to make sure they have not deteriorated.

If any of these bushings has broken down it will allow the H Frame to fall out of alignment.
That makes sense. This is the cross-member I believe you mean. There are also 2 running front to back. How do I check the bushings. They don't seem accessible and as this is holding the frame in place, I'm not about to disconnect it... I could be in BIIIG trouble if I did that!!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #38
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I think you guys are on to something that frame has done something shifted, worn bushing is the unit doglegging while going down the road have someone ride behind you while driving down the road.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #39
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get a big bar and pry under the bushing for movement and a plastic dead blow hammer to know it down...
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #40
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OP I have a 2003 chassis that is nearly identical as yours. All 4 of my front airbags are distorted similar to yours, and I've seen pictures of other monacos with similar airbag distortion. I can't tell you if that is normal or not. I wouldn't think so if I had to guess. As for the H frame, your model year bushings are likely in fine shape. I went through the extend of checking mine and went far as replacing my panhard bar bushing just to see if there was any improvement in my handling. It didn't help at all and I should have known as my old bushings were in perfect shape. The older prior to 2000 Monaco bushings are known to fail. You will need a pretty hefty air impact wrench to remove the bolts for the h frame. I personally wouldnt waste my time on that as I'm pretty sure your bushings will be fine.

As for your airbag please post back an update. I experience wandering in my coach and have gone through numerous efforts of repair with no success.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #41
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OP I have a 2003 chassis that is nearly identical as yours. All 4 of my front airbags are distorted similar to yours, and I've seen pictures of other monacos with similar airbag distortion. I can't tell you if that is normal or not. I wouldn't think so if I had to guess. As for the H frame, your model year bushings are likely in fine shape. I went through the extend of checking mine and went far as replacing my panhard bar bushing just to see if there was any improvement in my handling. It didn't help at all and I should have known as my old bushings were in perfect shape. The older prior to 2000 Monaco bushings are known to fail. You will need a pretty hefty air impact wrench to remove the bolts for the h frame. I personally wouldnt waste my time on that as I'm pretty sure your bushings will be fine.

As for your airbag please post back an update. I experience wandering in my coach and have gone through numerous efforts of repair with no success.
Thanks Craig. Very useful information. I tried the pry-bar test on the bushings and no significant movement. The wife got itchy feet and wanted to go away for the weekend so didn't get chance to chase it further this weekend.
I dropped the ride height back down an inch before we left which improved the ride again. It's now at 8 inches. Book says 9 1/2" but when adjusted as high as it would go became very harsh again.

On the wandering. Yes, mine wanders but that is primarily due to excessive play in the steering. I have about 2" play at the steering wheel. I have verified this to be the steering box. Some rigs have a TRW steering gear which is adjustable. Mine is a Sheppard gear which is not.
I have been told I need to get it replaced or rebuilt. I have heard that some have replaced theirs and not seen a big improvement. There is a company in Oregon that rebuilds steering gears but that would involve paying someone to remove, ship it off, rebuild and have it re-installed. Would likely cost $2-3,000. I can't justify that expense.

I installed a TruCenter hoping to improve the handling. It has improved it but not by a huge amount. I chose TruCenter because I wanted the on-the-road adjustment ability.

I only noticed the airbag when changing the shocks. I have had this unit for about 9 months and put 6,000 miles on it so far. As far as I know, it was like this when we got it and maybe much longer than that.

I'm still of the opinion that I just get a replacement airbag in case it fails while on the road. I don't think it would be that much of a bear to change.


So far on this coach I have:
  • Replaced all 6 tires ($3,000)
  • Replaced stock Monroe front Shocks with Bilsteins ($350). Plan to do the rears next year.
  • Installed Blue Ox TruCenter ($800)
  • Installed TST TPMS ($300)
  • Replaced old jackknife sofa with dual reclining loveseat ($700)
  • Removed old TV above cab and replaced with a 32" flat panel on an articulating arm attached to the slide. Didn't like the position of the old one nor the multiple contusions. I took about 10" off the bottom of the cabinet.
  • installed Trik-l-start
Overall, the biggest bang-for-the-buck has been the shocks. Huge improvement...
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #42
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Do a search on a topic called wandering, sway bars, alignment under my username. You will learn a lot from that thread. I'm not sure if it will help you at all though. The picture of the bar that you has going across the chassis at the front tire is a panhard rod. It is there to prevent the house front moving differently than the chassis. It's function is the same as a track bar on a gas leaf spring chassis. Your 2 inches of play is a little excessive. It should be 1/2 inch or less. I have a little under half inch and I used to have 2 inch o play. It did help a lot after adjustment but I still have the wandering. I'm wondering if you caught onto something with the distortion of the airbag. That has never been mentioned in previous wandering threads.
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