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Old 04-07-2013, 04:50 PM   #43
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Chawkins-
Your off center bag isn't right. Airlift in their install instructions specifically warns against bag alignment that pinches to one side like yours. A full alignment check on that axle would be in order.

Photo3 of post11- see the wear pattern on bag from the lower plate; that's bad design, the bag should not wear against any parts for obvious reasons. IIWMI'd get a new bag part# that fits the application better. That'll take a bit of searching but surprisingly little once you find the right shop that has the Firestone catalog (bags are spec'd by travel height, width, tonnage capacity, internal bumper or none; I have an old Firestone catalog I got off eBay for fun). Also on that photo there appears to be a tear above the lower plate, inboard side between the lower bag lip & the rub mark from lower mounting plate. Could be that this is a bag w/out internal bumper & you could order one with to eliminate the lower plate wear. As a min., I'ld ease the edges of the lower plate where it rubs.

Bag replacement, other than the grunt work of getting to them, is pretty simple stuff; use jack stands (duh!!!).
Bag part#'s are stamped on the upper bag plate for most mfgr's, as its flat and lower plates frequently are not. You'll notice the bolts are not large, nor are there a lot of them. Bags don't generally have much force on the bolts; just compression between the plates, & bolts just tack the bag in its place if all suspension is going correctly down the road. One thing that can introduce sideways loading of the bolts is misalignment of the bag causing prying on the bolts; I'm gunna guess that's happening here.

Monaco ran Roadmaster in your day (zero QC by Navistar, who owned 50% of the chassis shop, made it to the production floor), and proxuced such garbage as the 4 bag chassis trailing arm, and then went on to "warranty" the obviously unsafe trailing arms that broke w/the exact same part so it could break again later (this was their "fix" applied when it became a recall). So if I found a defect in the design of this bag application (or a couple of defects), I wouldn't be surprised. Not that big a deal to spec a different bag, or to make an adjustment in the bag alignment w/some cutting/welding.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:08 AM   #44
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Well, I contacted Monaco (Navistar) with my VIN to confirm the correct ride height.

My manual says 9.5" front, 11.5" rear. At max adjustment on the front, it was at 9" and ride was appalling. Reduced back down to 8" and much better.

Checked rears and they were also 2" below manual spec. (9.5").

According to Monaco, they SHOULD be 6.5" front, 8.5" rear

So, all along, they have been riding too high. Could that be the cause of the distortion?

I will try adjusting them down again this coming weekend.

I suspect at 6.5" with the new shocks, it will ride like a limo Well, I can dream anyway.

It does make me wonder how much I can trust the rest of my manual
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
So, all along, they have been riding too high. Could that be the cause of the distortion?
I was kind of figuring that. I've had an experience with that style bag before in a small truck application. As soon as that bag would get extended (a little too much) it would distort and bulge inconsistant.
Might even be able to discuss this issue directly with Firestone and see if can change to a different style bag.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:00 PM   #46
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Are those measurements from Monaco bag mounting plate heights or distance between suspension trailing arms and frame? Makes a big big difference. You have to know
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #47
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Are those measurements from Monaco bag mounting plate heights or distance between suspension trailing arms and frame? Makes a big big difference. You have to know
Excellent question. My manual said measure between the airbag mounting plates but we've already established how trustworthy that publication is. I will get back with them on that subject.

However, to further confuse things, I asked them what airbag it uses. They responded with W01-358-6948. When I checked the specs on that airbag, it has a "design height" of 9-11" which is more inline with the owner manual ride height figure.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #48
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Ride height is more important to the driveshaft to pinion angle through the ujoints than ride comfort. That driveshaft angle has to be correct
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #49
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I may have posted this chart already. Check the ride height with this chart to compare with your info. Cross the Monaco versus HR. I don't remember which but looking at the chart the numbers you had seem correct and would made the bag look better didn't they? The ride will indeed get harder but the whale will stop waddling along. I had to actually disconnect my rear rods and move them on the adjusting plate that has multiple holes because the adjustments ran out of travel.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1991 - 2008 Ride Height Chart.pdf (320.6 KB, 24 views)
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #50
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This really is crazy. How do I find out the 'correct' values.

My coach is equivalent (as far as I can tell) to the HR Endeavor. Same layout, same specs (from sales blurb).

So far, I have the following different values:

From the owners manual:
Front: 9 1/2", rear: 11 1/2"

From YC1's table above:
Front: 8 5/16" Rear: 8 13/16" (2003 Endeavor)
However, my chassis was manufactured in 2002:
Front: 8 1/4" Rear: 9 1/2"

From Reg Darley's Monaco parts list over on Monacoers group (credit to those folks):
Front: 9 1/4" Rear: 10 1/2"

From Monaco Tech Support (based on my VIN):
Front: 6 1/2" Rear 8 1/2"
However, after I questioned this because the front airbag they told me had a "design height" of 9" - 11", they responded: "The only other ride height we use is 9.5 front and rear"

So, I have 6 (SIX) different answers to this question.

When I adjusted the front up to 9", the bags looked over-inflated and the ride was rock-hard. Back to the ride before I changed the shocks. I can't believe that is correct. At the other extreme, the 6.5" Monaco say just seems too low considering the design specs of the airbag.

Maybe it's right exactly where it is now (Front: 8", Rear 9.5").
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #51
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Back to the original problem of the distended airbag, I think I will remove an airbag this weekend to find out the actual part number.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:37 PM   #52
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Quote:
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Are those measurements from Monaco bag mounting plate heights or distance between suspension trailing arms and frame? Makes a big big difference. You have to know
Mike, they did confirm it was measured between the airbag mounting plates but like I said, I really don't know what to believe any more.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:36 PM   #53
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Chris,

This thread definitely got my attention. I just came back from a pretty long trip and am a little tired out from the wandering coach. As mentioned, all 4 of my front double conveluted air bags are distorted like the picture you had. I also have numerous conflicting sources of the ride height. My manual says the same as yours, Monaco tech support gave me a different number. They told me 9-1/4 front and 10.5 rear. The ride height per the manual and Monaco tech support looked awful high. I had the Roadmaster sway bars installed, and I purchased them through Source Engineering. They gave me a different ride height of 8.75 front, and 9 rear. I've tried them all and none of them helped much. I've actually adjusted them so much, I don't even know which one is best. I also talked to Firestone heavy duty division last Wednesday about the distortion of the airbags. they said as long as they air up, that is normal. The double conveluted bags can be installed at an angle for them to still function. I saw the post on YC1's chart. I will try those ride heights. It's very close to what I have but not exact. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:32 PM   #54
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"Maybe it's right exactly where it is now (Front: 8", Rear 9.5")."

Well that is very close to the chart I provided. Only off by 1/4 inch on the front. Is that the height where the bag looks distorted??
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:47 AM   #55
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Craig. I am beginning to think I'm worrying over nothing. I did 6,000 miles last year before I discovered this 'problem' and it may have been the same since day one. It currently has about 54,000 miles on it.
I do believe that the figures Monaco gave me are too low. That would only give me about 3" of downward travel.
All 4 front bags are distorted although not as much as the one pictured.

YC1. If you look at post #1 in the thread, that was at 7.5". 8" doesn't look any different.

I would like to get a spare in case it goes while on the road which is why I asked Monaco for the part number but again, not sure I can trust their info.
I am going to check with the Camping World we purchased from. They told us they had replaced an airbag before we bought it. Want to find out which one they replaced and what part number they used. If they have that info.

Thanks for all the feedback. You guys are awesome.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:53 AM   #56
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If you don't think Monach tech is correct then call them back and talk to them about the difference and see what they say. I highly recommend that you do as Monaco recommends since they have the design data on the suspension.
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