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Old 03-26-2021, 11:42 PM   #1261
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Thanks guys.

I appreciate the comments. I could have purchased one but I wanted something a little more "custom" and wanted to be different.

I appreciate you guys following along.
I'm curious why you didn't drill 3 holes in your dash instead of adding that mount? It looks like you have the room on your dash?
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:17 PM   #1262
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Missing Pictures

Mike, thanks for all of your amazing work. I am also here in Utah! I have a 2001 Diplomat and like you do my own work. Most of the early pictures you post are "no longer available". Any way to get them? I am about to remove my rear bedroom slide to repair the floor of the slide and the floor in that area.
PS Love your shop!
Tom
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:22 AM   #1263
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I'm curious why you didn't drill 3 holes in your dash instead of adding that mount? It looks like you have the room on your dash?
Not enough room in the dash with all of the indicator lights and more importantly, I didn't want them in the dash.
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:23 AM   #1264
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Mike, thanks for all of your amazing work. I am also here in Utah! I have a 2001 Diplomat and like you do my own work. Most of the early pictures you post are "no longer available". Any way to get them? I am about to remove my rear bedroom slide to repair the floor of the slide and the floor in that area.
PS Love your shop!
Tom
Thank you.

Sorry, I lost all of those pictures when tinypic decided to go away.
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Old 03-29-2021, 07:57 AM   #1265
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So Iím going to try this here as I think/hope most on this forum are a more likeminded and a bit more mechanically inclined and aware of the tasks to keep our coaches in pristine condition. Maybe I wonít get verbally abused like I did on Facebook over the weekend.

I belong to the Monaco ownerís group on Facebook and there seems to have been a lot of people with air spring issues lately so I thought I would post up how ďIĒ chose to perform the repair and maybe it would help others. I donít think Iíll make that mistake again as Iíve discovered lately that there are a lot of idiots on the Monaco Facebook page, or maybe itís just Facebook period, which is why I donít usually participate very often on that platform.

I used to say thereís no such thing as a stupid question but Iíve since changed my mind because there are a LOT of them on that particular groupís page. It seems like years ago people would do at least some research on their own and even open the owners manual before opening their mouths for help but anymore people seem to speak first before thinking. Then thereís the keyboard geniusí that know everything and post erroneous information when someone does ask a question which is worse than the person asking the question.

I realize that itís the internet but for hell's sake I donít know where some of these people come up with their idiotic answers and all it does is lead people more astray and cause them more confusion, frustration and stress. If these people donít know the answers they should keep quiet and let others pass along legitimate information.

Iím tired of trying to help others with their Monaco related issues in that group. I donít know if itís because the prices have come down on these coaches and the pandemic of the past year has gotten every idiot out looking for a good quality RV or what it is but my hell the high volume of idiocy in that group is staggering.

I posted up pictures and an explanation of how I went about my suspensionís air spring replacement and even after explaining in detail how I supported the weight of our coach I still had people calling me an idiot or nuts or crazy because I was using automotive jackstands and floor jack to raise and support our coach. Too stupid to read the comments AND decipher the pictures but they know it all.

Let me try again......

The air spring replacement is not a difficult task and thereís no need to cut holes in the sides of the coach like Iíve seen some do.

Most are using blocks or ďcribbingĒ placed between the coachís frame rails and the suspensionís H-frame then lifting and supporting the axle as normal. Once the air springs (air bags) are unbolted you then must fight to compress the air bags enough to get the upper and lower studs out of the holes in the upper and lower mounting brackets. This works perfectly other than the efforts needed to compress the old then the new air bags for removal and installation.

I chose to go a different route. I used my tall 22-ton jackstands with the weight of the coach sitting straight down on them. Before beginning I raised the coach as high as I could with the coachís air system and placed the jackstands just above the steer axle with positive engagement with the chassis.

Now this allowed me to only need a smaller 3-ton floor jack to raise and lower the front suspension. I raised one side slightly and removed a steer tire/wheel. Now I can sit up under the coach and have access to the air bags. I removed the mudflap and hulla skirt material that protects each air bag for better accesss but that only requires removal fo a few tech screws on each.

Now I could reach around the H-frame and air bag to each of the fasteners and the 90-degree air fitting. I removed the air line, then the air fitting, then the 3/4Ē NPT to 1/4Ē NPT adapter and lastly grabbed my 1/2Ē drive fine tooth ratchet and 3/4Ē socket to break the two upper nuts loose (I hit them with some Aerokroil just before starting). Once the nuts were broken loose j could use my Snap-on FAR72 high torque 3/8Ē air ratchet to zip the nuts off the top of the air bags. I was able to do this on all but two upper buts where I had to use a ratcheting wrench due to gussets being in the way. The lower bolts were easily accessed with a 1/2Ē impact gun and 3/4Ē socket in which were easily zipped off in no time.

Once the fittings and upper & lower nuts were removed came the easy part. I simply and slowly lowered the 3-ton floor jack and the suspension pulled away from the chassis allowing the air bag to sit there with plenty of space to reach in and lift the old one out and set the new one in place. Then raised the floor jack and made sure the studs properly engaged with the holes and reassemble the nuts and air fittings then move on to the next. Easy peezy.

Now for the pictures depicting the process.

Mudflap and hulla skirt (brush) removed for better access to the old air bag.


Using 1/2Ē fine tooth ratchet.


Here you can see a slight gap at the top of the air bag as it fell away during fastener removal.


Lowered the suspension down and the air bag is completely free from the upper bracket.


Now simply lift the air bag out.


They were due for replacement. Iíve been keeping an eye on them for the last couple of year. They started as just weather cracking two years ago then last year I noticed some advance deterioration on the lower roll and by the end of last yearís travel season there were small pieces of rubber flaking off. None had developed leaks yet and Iím sure they could have gone a bit longer as Iíve seen worse still in service but Iím a big proponent of replacing things prior to failure. I figured this would be much more problematic of a repair out on the road and ruin a vacation so I opted to replace them prior to this yearís travel season.


New one ready to install the reducer and apply anti-seize to the studs prior to installation.


New air bag easily slid into place.


Raised the suspension up using my small 3-ton automotive floor jack.


Air bag fully engaged in the upper and lower mounting brackets and ready to install the nuts and tighten in place.


That air bag replaced and shock reinstalled. Ready to reinstall the hulla skirt and mudflap then move on the next air bag.


Next air bag showing the hulla skirt before removal.


Driverís side front of steer tire didnít require shock removal. The easiest air bag to replace.


Old air bag removed.


Moved around to the passengerís side. This one on passengerís side in front of the steer tire was the most difficult due to several large wire looms/bundles complicating access but just took a few minutes longer.


Passengerís side just behind steer tire replaced.


Ready to reinstall passengerís side mudflap and hulla skirt then tire& wheel and the front is complete.


Forty percent of the air bags completed.


Rear still to go.


Thanks for looking.
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Old 03-29-2021, 09:34 AM   #1266
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As always, thanks for sharing Mike. Havenít seen you over at Bill Dís Monacoers site but that is another good one with some VERY knowledgeable Monaco folks there and it is not anything like the Facebook group.
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Old 03-29-2021, 09:53 AM   #1267
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Mike, Having done one airspring myself, and "hired-out" the rest, I realize how tough it is to do that sort of job. I envy your tools and garage :-)

Sometimes the people who post on FB's 'Monaco RV Owners' group are less knowledgeable than those here. Sadly, some tend to go there just to criticize or annoy others.

There's another group on FB, 'Monacoers', where members tend to be more knowledgeable and polite about things.
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Old 03-29-2021, 10:30 AM   #1268
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As always, thanks for sharing Mike. Havenít seen you over at Bill Dís Monacoers site but that is another good one with some VERY knowledgeable Monaco folks there and it is not anything like the Facebook group.
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Mike, Having done one airspring myself, and "hired-out" the rest, I realize how tough it is to do that sort of job. I envy your tools and garage :-)

Sometimes the people who post on FB's 'Monaco RV Owners' group are less knowledgeable than those here. Sadly, some tend to go there just to criticize or annoy others.

There's another group on FB, 'Monacoers', where members tend to be more knowledgeable and polite about things.
Thanks guys, but I think I'm done sharing information on Facebook. I don't need that BS in my life while trying to help others. I was so happy to share what I thought was an easier way to replace these air springs and all it did was ruin my weekend reading what those idiots were posting. They can fend for themselves or pay outrageous prices to keep their **** running.

I gave up on even thinking about posting a video I was so pissed off.
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Old 03-29-2021, 10:47 AM   #1269
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The site I mentioned is not a Facebook group. See Monacoers.org. A lot of info there including schematics etc.
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Old 03-29-2021, 01:40 PM   #1270
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I actually kind of get a kick out of folks criticizing some of the ways I do DIY repairs. I alone am the only one responsible for my safety when I am working in my shop and at 54 have spent most of my life building and fixing everything under the sun. I have developed a pretty good sense of what I can get away with in MY shop. Accidents happen in life but with good mechanical common sense, much can be accomplished in a home shop that would make an OSHA inspector cringe. lol

That is a great idea on how to get the bags out easy. I will definitely keep in mind for when I find myself needing to change bags.
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Old 03-29-2021, 01:50 PM   #1271
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As always, FB blows!

I will be looking my bags over this spring when I get home to the shop, last year they looked fine but they are probably due as mine dynasty is on 04.
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Old 03-29-2021, 01:53 PM   #1272
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I actually kind of get a kick out of folks criticizing some of the ways I do DIY repairs. I alone am the only one responsible for my safety when I am working in my shop and at 54 have spent most of my life building and fixing everything under the sun. I have developed a pretty good sense of what I can get away with in MY shop. Accidents happen in life but with good mechanical common sense, much can be accomplished in a home shop that would make an OSHA inspector cringe. lol

That is a great idea on how to get the bags out easy. I will definitely keep in mind for when I find myself needing to change bags.
Obviously I take things too personally then as I don't get a kick out of it. At 52 years old and have been wrenching professionally since I started my career @ 19 years old I have taken my profession very seriously, maybe too serious as it has become a part of who I am, not just what I do.

I agree accidents can and do happen but I have made a big part of my career being risk aware. Much of my life in fact has been focused on accident avoidance.
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Old 03-29-2021, 01:54 PM   #1273
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As always, FB blows!

I will be looking my bags over this spring when I get home to the shop, last year they looked fine but they are probably due as mine dynasty is on 04.
Yeah, just keep an eye on them. I think mine could have easily gone longer but my stress level will benefit from having new ones under the coach.
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Old 03-29-2021, 02:39 PM   #1274
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Obviously I take things too personally then as I don't get a kick out it.
I have gotten fired up too in the past on car forums when arguing about how I fixed something that some others argued should have been replaced with new... At some point however I end up just chuckling to myself realizing how much money I saved with my ingenuity vs the other guy who only knows how to fix things with a checkbook. It would often start out with me posting a detailed post on how to fix say a bad bearing on a Porsche alternator using a matching part number bearing from a bearing supplier.... Maybe a $25 part then someone would claim that they would only trust a new Porsche alternator as a proper fix. I would argue at first and tell them I am a mechanical engineer and that I have scratch built airplanes, rebuilt engines, machined my own race car heads etc etc. Eventually I got tired of arguing and basically just would post that those guys should do what they want and I will be laughing all the way to the bank. I enjoy a good debate and value other's opinions when discussing different ways to skin a cat, but as I get older I find I no longer suffer fools gladly.
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