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Old 06-04-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Replacing the front air bags on a P32- tips

Hi All, I just replaced the two from air bags (inside the coil springs) on my '02, P32. I guess it just went bad from age, it was only the DS but I figured I'd do them both. I went with the Airlift 1000, pn/81560.
The claim is a 1 hour install with regular hand tools.
If you are going to try this- first thing I can recommend is driving the rig (at least the front) up on at least 4 1/2" of blocks...and the higher the better.
Removing the old (original) is as they say, drill out the old Schrader fill valve with a hole saw. After that, it would be good to remember that the old air bags have been in a while so I used a heat gun up the hole I just made with the hole saw. This softens up the old bag and I believe helps. Next you need to reach in with a large pair of vise grips and grab as much of a piece as you can- and start twisting. It's like twisting a towel from both ends and about the time you wonder if it will work it starts to come out of the 2" access hole......Kinda like arthroscopic surgery.
I think the original was put in with the spring so the big spring pads are attached and will have to be pried off- it's kinda ugly. Once you have a bag out, look things over and clean out the bottom lip as best you can. If you have some real tacky grease (peanut butter consistency) you can use it to stick the upper pad to the top of the spring using a dowel or piece of PVC pipe to push it into place.
The recommendation is to "fold" the new bag up like a hot-dog roll and tie with string so it can be shoved back through the 2" hole in the bottom of the A-Frame and that is easier said then done. I finally use my Mi-T- Vac to pull about a 10" vacuum, fold it and use tie-wraps to hold the shape.
The rest is kinda up to you as there is really no spare room to shove it up the hole. I'd check the position of the upper pad, use tire lube around the hole, use a brake spoon and motorcycle tire irons to gently wiggle it up in. There will probably be a bit of a hang-up at the center seam and you will have to help it by.
The last piece is the lower pad, which there is really no room for at this point. More lube and wiggling, tire iron work and brake spoon work should get you through.
I'd slowly air 'em up and deflate a few times to settle 'em in. A final inflate to about 85psi and a 24 hour check later- good to go.
Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Good info., thanks.

Tire lube: water, Murphy's oil soap and some antifreeze mixture is very effective.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:46 PM   #3
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When I replaced the old ones on my P30 I read up on all the tips and tricks. I opted to do it old school and dropped the A-arms and removed the springs to install them. Took 2 hours per side with tire removal. What ever works,right. What a difference having new bags up front.
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