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Old 10-07-2016, 05:26 PM   #1
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Air Bags and shocks

Hi All, well we just returned from a long trip down south in Cali and AZ. About 1900 total miles in all. Our new cooling system, which consisted of a new radiator, fan clutch, all hoses and belts, new cap and lastly a new water pump helped our 92 Pace Arrow run so cool that we were able to tackal long upgrades with out ever going over 210 degrees, and that was in late summer heat with the AC blasting. It was worth every penny of the 2 grand that we spent to bring it up to spec's.

But, that is not why I'm posting here, we discovered some other problems on that long trip, and that was with the front end suspension. We hit some roads that caused our MH to bounce in the front end like we were in a boat on a raging sea. I immediatly figured shocks were bad, on a side note, I've come to the conclusion that the PO did little to zero maint. However I also noticed that inside the coil springs there are these orange bags. I searched the net and found out that there there to help with the front end bounce, is that right? I also noted there was no air in these bags. There is no brand name on the bags so I dont have a clue as to who made them and how much air to put in them, and was hoping someone here might know a min and max pressur.
I also saw another shock that was attached to the chassie frame and the steering linkage, Is that there to smooth out left and right wander, as I was constantly correcting for drifting in my lane. Not so bad on a smooth road, but horrible on a rough piece of asphalt.

So thank you mates for any and all advice, have a terrific Fall

Tony & Kay
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like you do need nice new heavy duty shocks and steering damper. then check or have checked steering linkage wear and steering box for play. once everything needed is fixed. plan an alignment.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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Air Bags

The air bags inside your springs do not stop the bouncing, they increase your load capacity. The steering dampener has nothing to do with the ride either, that will help from the steering wheel wobbling back and forth. The previous poster said to get new shocks, I agree. The airbags could have been Firestone, now they are blue and around 100.00. A good alignment shop will check your front end for worn parts before they would attempt to align it
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:00 AM   #4
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Hi there,
Over the last few months I changed the air bags, shocks and steering stabiliser on our 94 Southwind. The shocks and damper are pretty straight forward to do, the air bags are a little more involved.
I used Monroe 557003 for the shocks, Monroe 555944 stabiliser and Firestone 4100 air bags.
All readily available and pretty cheap your side of the pond.
Any problems on the install when you get round to it just hollar.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:35 AM   #5
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Deano56 has it right. I am the owner of a '93 pace arrow, currently for sale. That era of PA had weak front springs. Most of us put airbags in to reduce front end sag when the springs got older and weaker. I always ran them with 60-70PSI and they helped a lot. The real fix is to replace the front springs with progressive and higher rated steel, which I never did. I also put air bags on the back, and together I achieved the ride I was looking for. Be careful to get the alignment AFTER you decide what air pressure to run. If you change air pressure, you just changed your alignment too. I would guess the bags used to be red (firestone) and now they look orange. No harm in airing them up in your driveway to see if they still hold air, but if you drove them deflated they might have "pinched" by the springs and now serve no purpose. Have your front end checked, especially ball joints, fix your shock issue then bags if you still need them....and you will. BTW, bags don't increase your weight ratings, they just help manage the load, reduce body roll, and prevent bottoming out the suspension.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:15 AM   #6
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weight ratings

I disagree that air bags do not increase the weight ratings,if you are talking a gas coach, that's exactly what they do, my bags will lift the coach up 1" when needed, that is weight related. When they build these they add them to increase the capacity since the correct springs were not added to the original P30 chassis. They do help handling also
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:19 AM   #7
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P30 front airbags were standard factory fitted on the A Class MH Chassis, not added at the owners discretion or by some because they thought they needed them.
To the OP, your front end needs the bags, if they're leaking get new ones fitted.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:15 AM   #8
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In '07, we bought a new to us, 34ft '99 Georgie Boy. I had the same feelings, as you, about the drive. I found the airbags were shot. Truckspring.com was where I found the parts I needed. I went with Air Lift 1000 kit for the coil springs, and Bilstein for the steering damper and front + rear shocks. Cost now is about $600 and it was a DIY project.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyrodgers View Post
P30 front airbags were standard factory fitted on the A Class MH Chassis, not added at the owners discretion or by some because they thought they needed them.
To the OP, your front end needs the bags, if they're leaking get new ones fitted.
This is not entirely accurate-my 91 lists the front airbags on the original invoice as an extra-cost line item. It's quite possible, however, that on the larger coaches they were standard.
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Old 10-13-2016, 02:14 AM   #10
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Hi Bill,
I'll happily stand corrected on that one, I should have said that above a certain axle weight rating they were a standard fitment.
If the OP is talking about the coach in his profile, a 36 footer, then it would have come with the bags.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:28 AM   #11
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Morning ,
just what I have done to my 1982 Pace Arrow, on a Chev P-30 Chassis.
I had the air bags added to mine front and rear to help with sag and tighten up the front springs. I run 70lbs air in the rears 90 when I have the toad behind and 70 in the fronts. I replaced all 4 shocks with Bilstiens.(sp) Konis were my first choice but didn't have the $$$$ to get them. Best replacement was the rubber I replaced the mismatched tires with Hankooks HUGE difference. First though I would Check out the suppliers that advertise on this site. And watch a few video's.
I really need too have the Bell Cranks replaced on mine. (Drifting).
The SuperSteer P3032 bell crank for Workhorse and Chevy P30, P32 and P37 chassis eliminate play in the steering by featuring a new casting with roller bearings instead of bushings
Price:
$299.00
Best-O-Luck and lets us know what you have done.
Tim
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyrodgers View Post
P30 front airbags were standard factory fitted on the A Class MH Chassis, not added at the owners discretion or by some because they thought they needed them.
To the OP, your front end needs the bags, if they're leaking get new ones fitted.
or new springs
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Deano56 View Post
I disagree that air bags do not increase the weight ratings,if you are talking a gas coach, that's exactly what they do, my bags will lift the coach up 1" when needed, that is weight related. When they build these they add them to increase the capacity since the correct springs were not added to the original P30 chassis. They do help handling also
Well Deano56, I guess we will just have to disagree. If I have a GVW of X, and I add air bags, it does not change X. It might lift my suspension 1", it might allow me to better manage the load, but it in no way allows me to exceed my GVW or GCVW. I guess if it came from the factory with bags, then it might be a part of the equation. In my case, at 34', my P-30 absolutely did not come from the factory with air bags. Older Pace Arrows did not allow for much in way of payload and I would caution anyone, supplemental airbags or not, to weigh the coach and stay within limits. I regularly drive over mountain passes in Colorado so maybe I have more concern over the matter than most would.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:47 PM   #14
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Having helped manage a large city fleet i can state that the P30 and C/R 30 trucks mostly camewith air bags in the front springs. My '88 Itasca has thr original manual for the chassis and they are included in it. I did replace the entire front suspension and all but a couple of items in the steering. I used the Moog motorhome coils which lifted the coach but even though Moog said the bags were not needed I did reinstall them when in Mich on vacation. Not an easy task with the thicker coils. Also check the P30 manual on this site for proper caster settings for a motorhome, which are different than the delivery van. My original manual also states to get maximum lift from the bags is to raise the coach with a jack , letting the tires hang down then deflate and reinflate them. This works.
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