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Old 05-20-2016, 09:01 PM   #71
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Suggest you consider replacing those springs with ones that won't need that airbag. Better handling, and it doesn't look like the front is is drooping all the time. Cheap mod if you can do the work yourself.

Heavy Duty Coil Truck and Van Springs | Tuftruck Super Duty Coils
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:06 PM   #72
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ahicks,
The P30 chassis all have the front air bags in them, it does help the ride quite a bit.

Erik,
I like the way that you are thinking, yes you are correct that the best would be new rotors and rebuilt calipers. Flush all the old brake fluid out before you install the new pieces.
Frank
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:05 AM   #73
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the airbags still holding air?
Yes they do. I replaced them when I bought the Elandan.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:38 AM   #74
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Ok. It's moved to its new location and tucked up tight against the wall so that I can get my trailer past it.

The motor refused to turn over today, so after a few frustrating tries I said forget that and got the backhoe. That backhoe is going to get a workout on this project!

First I lifted the rear into place


Then the front


With all of the interior, gas tank, holding tanks, water tank, etc. removed from behind the rear axle, the front weighed in at the max that the backhoe could lift.


Then I lifted the rear into place again to get it tight up against the wall.

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Old 05-21-2016, 06:33 AM   #75
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ahicks,
The P30 chassis all have the front air bags in them, it does help the ride quite a bit.
Frank
I'm aware of that, and the fact they were a cheap (but largely ineffective) way for GM to get out of an engineering problem. Also aware of what some stiffer springs will do in their place. Not wanting to continue off topic, just presenting a flag that might warrant further investigation by those with an open mind on the topic. -Al
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:04 AM   #76
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I'm aware of that, and the fact they were a cheap (but largely ineffective) way for GM to get out of an engineering problem. Also aware of what some stiffer springs will do in their place. Not wanting to continue off topic, just presenting a flag that might warrant further investigation by those with an open mind on the topic. -Al
Al, I appreciate all input. Keep the ideas coming

One of the problems that the airbags solve, even though I also think it's a bad engineering solution, is that they let you compensate for weight changes on the front axle, effectively giving you the ability to vary the spring rate according to load. The Elandan has the water tank, the holding tanks, and the fuel tanks all behind the rear axles (adding on to the bad engineering problem...), which makes for quite the varying load on the front axle. I used to vary the pressure in the bags between 30 and 70 psi depending on how it was loaded. It works, but as you say not the most effective solution.

Once I have the frame free of the cab, it'll be a lot easier to see if a better suspension solution could be had. Things I am considering is ditching the current air bag setup for an air-type shock, or replacing the spring with an air spring all together. I haven't studied the front geometry yet, so I haven't looked into any solution in-depth yet. We'll all have to see what comes of it when I get that far - and that's also one of the great things with doing a custom - you have the ability to change things.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:56 AM   #77
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Erik, I went into into the one I played with the same logic. After replacing the airbags (just like you have) I wanted to see exactly what effect they had on ride height, which should give me an idea of what they are capable of. So I would challenge those who believe they are an effective tool, to measure front end ride height with bags at minimum inflation, and again at maximum rating. The one I played with (a '93 34' HR) had no or absolute minimal difference empty bags vs. full. New springs (at virtually the same price as what I had just paid for the air bags) raised the ride height 1.5", leveling the coach. Your call. -Al
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:31 AM   #78
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It's great with real life experience information rather than conjecture. I had almost the same experience - very little difference in ride height. What I did find was that I had less of a nose dive while driving with the bags inflated. They did improve the handling of the motorhome some.

As to the cost, I was able to get the airbags brought over by somebody from the States visiting us. I suspect that would have been a lot more difficult with a set of springs, and I got them when I needed them. It's very hard to get parts for an American motor home here, especially aftermarket stuff.

A quick check on shipping for a set of coil springs is about $100, plus the import duties. So I try to fill my luggage allowance with parts whenever I have business travel to the States.

For big parts, there are companies that will collect and ship in bulk, but there is the shipping cost in the U.S. and then the shipping across the Atlantic, customs, and finally shipping within Europe. Just to give you guys an idea what I'm dealing with on this renovation - I have to plan my shipments of parts well. Going down to the corner auto parts store is not an option.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:18 AM   #79
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It's great with real life experience information rather than conjecture. I had almost the same experience - very little difference in ride height. What I did find was that I had less of a nose dive while driving with the bags inflated. They did improve the handling of the motorhome some.
Ok, so this discussion forced me to do some research. I went out and checked the ride height and pressure in the front. There was 60 psi in the front bags. I bounced the front end to let it settle. When I released the air in the bags to 0 psi, the front dropped 24mm, roughly 1 inch. When I filled them to 90 psi, the front did not rise. When I bounced the front end up and down, it settled 32mm, roughly 1 1/4 inch, up from the empty position. This tells me that the bags do to some degree impact the front suspension. Each motorhome design and weight distribution will have it's own impact of the bags.

Engineers caveat: These numbers are only applicable to a 1989 37ft Elandan with the entire interior, all tanks, front end, rear end, etc. ripped out, as measured on a sunny spring day in SkŚne (Southern Sweden.) I just did it as an interesting exercise and to have as a basis for thought for future modifications.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:42 AM   #80
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Eric, my bet is you already know/suspect the empty vs. full difference will be considerably less, if anything at all, if that same test is performed fully loaded.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:54 PM   #81
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Eric, my bet is you already know/suspect the empty vs. full difference will be considerably less, if anything at all, if that same test is performed fully loaded.
Yes Al, I do. And since I never measured before I took it apart, I suspect that we'll never know for sure.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:07 PM   #82
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Two days of work and not much to show for it. Sometimes it's just really slow going.

I started lifting the body at one end, and then the other, putting more and more spacers between the body and the frame. I was afraid to lift it too much for fear that the body would warp. It's supported at both ends and in the middle.




I Finally got it high enough in the front that I could insert a support beam that held the body off the frame.



The front of the body now sits on a pillar of cement bricks on one side and the wall on the other side.




The supports are temporary while I pull the frame out from underneath After that I'll put more secure supports in place while I take the body apart.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:04 PM   #83
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Looking good Erik! You're doing a good systematic demo job, just be very careful. I would shore up that body beyond what is necessary before getting under it for any reason. You're probably saying "yeah duh", but I'm a "can't be too careful" kind of guy.

I think you may be a bit like me. I've had experience building a lot of things, but I can damn sure tear something apart!

Best regards,
W.D.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:27 PM   #84
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