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Old 07-18-2016, 09:13 AM   #1
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Need Suspension Air Bag Expert Help

Thanks for the read... new to the community and new to Class A leaving my toy hauler days behind. 2006 Monaco Diplomat on Roadmaster 8 bag chassis is the challenge at hand.

Few weeks into ownership and noticed a definite lean to right when sitting in shop on level floor. Figured out the ride height adjustment process and have two session into fixing. Have it basically straight now but here is the problem....

This chassis only has a left/right adjustment on rear axle. Front axle only has one adjustment for ride height only. First attempt got the front straight, but then the rear was leaning way to left. Attempt two seems to have it a little better but now the ride height measurement in the right side which is supposed to be 8-13/16 is more like 9-3/4 or so. Can't seem to keep the rear bags within the specified range and make it sit straight. Seems odd you can't adjust the front left/right also but with only one valve it isn't possible. Now when I have it sitting straight with bags full, when you step in coach it will bleed some air out of the back to do the disparity between the left/right bags. Almost seems like the right front bags aren't getting as much air as the left. Before making any adjustments, gap between frame members in the front was different by 1.25". Still a little variance now.

Any suggestions/ideas to troubleshoot/fix this issue?
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:29 AM   #2
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The left/right adjustment is connected to front and rear axle air bags, that's why you only have two adjustments on one axle. Do the L/R adjustment first, making sure that axle is correct height on both sides. Then do the single axle height adjustment valve. With two air bags at each 'corner,' Tap each bag with a hammer to see that they are equally inflated.

These instructions are for a Freightliner chassis, the measurement points and heights are different for your chassis, but the procedure is spot on in how to do it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #3
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Thanks, looks to be the same valve set up. I think part of the problem is my valves have a plastic alignment pin that stays on the valve and slides back and forth. Perhaps one of them is "in" preventing the adjustment from working correctly. So if I try this a third time, and get both rear left/right the same height and coach still leaning to right...then what?
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:28 AM   #4
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If you disconnect the rod on the lever, can you manually inflate the bags to make RV level? The plastic or wood pins would break, I'd think, the first time the chassis movement caused the valve lever to move.

You might have the RV weighed at a truck scale that can provide not just axle weights but also 4 corner weights. (It requires either two passes on the scale, once with both sides per axle then second pass with only one side per axle.) Some places use pads that you drive onto that give each tire weight individually. This information is also useful to set tire pressure. After you have the numbers, you look on tire manufacturer website for inflation tables.

As you know, ride height is important for the life of drive shaft U joints and transmission tail bearing. The drive shaft is so short, it must be in proper alignment.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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yes on moving the valve; if I remember correctly one of the pins was missing which means it might have been left in and broke. I will try again for a 3rd time but it has reached a point of irritation. The gap measurement only gives you distance between top/bottom mounting bracket for bags rather than a frame measurement like yours. It is not easy to measure in first place and the diagram is atrocious. Can't tell if it is supposed to be measurement from between the plates or from top of top plate to bottom of bottom plate. My only concern is, when I started this there was about a 1" variance in front from left side and right side and it doesn't make sense that the rear bags were that far off. I suspect there is another issue but need to get them set the same correctly in back before next step.
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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Roadmaster chassis are typically adjusted to the distance between the upper plate and lower plate of the air bag. Make sure you measure as the bags are inflating and stop at the proper measurement. Do the left and rear valves first, then the single valve on the front axle.
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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Thanks... did a bit of searching and it has not be an easy answer. Some say between plates and some say outside plates. Whomever wrote manual/diagram didn't do their job very well! :-)
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:38 PM   #8
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Spent some time on it tonight and wanted to say thank you for the help and the instructions you sent. Even though not same coach, made process more clear than the Monaco manual and lead to some discoveries. I manufactured some measuring gauges to solve that issue and got clarified ( as you said ) that it is between the plates measurements on the roadmaster. Have it within 1/16" on both sides at this point. Shop floor slopes 1/2" left to right so still a bit of a lean but will check again on totally level ground. Biggest discovery was what I found on the alignment pins. A previous owner or shop apparently had adjusted before and left plastic (fortunately not metal) pins in the alignment holes. The pins broke over time but I'm sure were still rubbing on each other which would restrict the dead center movement. Got those out, adjusted multiple times to get it on point and think it is good now. All 3 adjustment points within 1/16" of spec. Final test will be what she sits at on total left/right level ground. Also interested to see if the on the road handling is better. Previous owner (2nd owner) added every suspension add on in the book (cross sway bars, etc.) and I've been in contact with him. He had no idea those pins were still in leveling valves. Potentially the cause of not handling correctly if they weren't auto adjusting correctly going down the road. Learning, learning, learning.... only a couple busted knuckles so far. Also another reason I prefer to do it myself. My guess is original owner had this done at shop as I found invoice in file for ride height adjustment. Hard to find a quality mechanic.....
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:00 PM   #9
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"red georgia".....Glad you got it figured out. The ride height is crucial for a couple of reasons. If it's incorrect, it can tear up a driveshaft and will also make the coach handle funny because the weight transfer is wrong. I owned a 2005 Diplomat for 10 years that I bought new. The ride height was 2" off in the rear from the factory.

Find yourself a caliper like this..... it makes it easy to check the ride height, because it reaches "around" the airbag. As you can see, I marked the front and rear ride height on mine, so I always had it with me. You are correct in your final measurement. The measurement is taken from the two plates where the airbag actually attaches, which means the bottom of the top plate and top of the bottom plate.



You didn't mention it, but when adjusting the airbags, you're suppose to make the adjustment, air down, air up, and then move the coach a couple of feet and then check again.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:34 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=
You didn't mention it, but when adjusting the airbags, you're suppose to make the adjustment, air down, air up, and then move the coach a couple of feet and then check again.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Don, yes adjusted on the way up and then dumped air and refilled twice to double check. I made a gauge our of some pipe hanger I had, made two shaped in a "U" with short legs. Reaches around the bags and can touch the plates.

After all said and done, still had a bit of a lean and finally figured out my shop floor wasn't as level width wise as I thought it was. Probably off by 1/2" across the 8' width of coach. Will check it again tonight when I find the perfect level spot.
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Old 07-19-2016, 07:12 AM   #11
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It sounds like most in this thread know what they're doing but for anybody else reading this and planning to work on their coach please remember: Block/support the frame when messing with airbags or make sure you can fit under the coach when the bags are deflated. One wrong pull on the wrong lever or a bump on a corroded fitting and you may flatten yourself. Be safe.
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