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Old 05-21-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
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Air Bag Replacment

My 1999 American Eagle / Spartan had original air springs, Pic shows cracks in area where bags roll on base.
They were not blown/leaking.......yet, but it was soon to be issue.

I called Spartan for parts but shipping to Florida broke that deal, they did supply part #'s & I was able to source them from local heavy truck dealer.
Firestone air spring part numbers:

Front - W01-358-8760
Rear - W01-358-9966

Rear were easy to change, using the coach lift jacks, and jack stands for safety once up, took about hour and half for both rears.
Front was a little tougher, took about hour and half each side

I read other threads here and Spartan rep told me air springs WITH nylon base had to have a support plate between spring and air bag to evenly distribute weight on air bag base. Spartan supplied a part number, but I fab'ed up 2 with cutting torch out of 1/8" flat steel, 10" round with a 1/2" hole in middle.
You can see plate under bag in bottom pic

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Old 05-21-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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Left Side


This is bottom base of a new "nylon" base that requires the extra support on rear.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackwrench View Post
...
I read other threads here and Spartan rep told me air springs WITH nylon base had to have a support plate between spring and air bag to evenly distribute weight on air bag base. Spartan supplied a part number, but I fab'ed up 2 with cutting torch out of 1/8" flat steel, 10" round with a 1/2" hole in middle.
You can see plate under bag in bottom pic...
Be glad that you learned about the support plate. In June of 2014 I had my rear air bags replaced with the new bags at the Spartan factory. For some reason, according to Spartan, they didn't know at the time these bags needed the support plate. The following November while backing the coach into a drive for some service the right rear bag blew apart taking out the leveling valve, rod and spring support plate! Spartan picked up the tab for all the repairs but still didn't know about the missing plates until the following February when I contacted them to schedule my annual service. I asked them if they ever figured out the problem and then they told me about the plates. Not a shining moment for them but...all is in proper order now.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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The metal base air springs don't require any additional support plate. Somewhere a few years ago, Firestone changed the base material to Nylon (plastic). The new base has to have 360 degree support.

Glad to hear the Spartan picked up the tab for your repairs 4 months later. Most would have only warrantied the failed part.....It had to be communication breakdown from Firestone to rear suspension vendor to Spartan......
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:01 AM   #5
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Thank you MackWrench for the post! Did you make the new required plate or purchase it? If made it, how thick and type of material? Also, what commentary would you offer regarding how to overcome the challenges of changing the front air springs? Thank you from a '97 Eagle owner...
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:37 PM   #6
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Thank you MackWrench for the post! Did you make the new required plate or purchase it? If made it, how thick and type of material? Also, what commentary would you offer regarding how to overcome the challenges of changing the front air springs? Thank you from a '97 Eagle owner...
I made the plate. I used flat steel I had left from another project. It's 1/8" thick, 10" in diameter with one 1/2" hole drilled in center.

If you don't have a cutting torch or plasma cutter you should be able to get any local welding shop to whip 2 of them up for ya.

The front air bags were overall just a pain in the butt. The top retaining nuts are difficult to access with any air tools and were monster tight. I was able to bust them loose with a long pull handle. It would have been an easier job if tire was removed, but I did it with tires on and only changed one side at the time. You'd also be better to spray wd-40 or something on upper mounting nuts a few days in advance.....

Before starting, I started engine, built up air psi and with coach sitting on full air bags I measured ride height. I just measure the distance from the frame rail to the ground under the front axle. That's only for reference and not the correct procedure for setting ride height, only to give me something to compare it to when I get done.

Feel free to use as many adjectives you may need to complete job.

1. Using coach Jack I raised coach until front tires were off ground about 2"
2. Put a 10 ton Jack stand under the bracket that the tie rods pivot from, but for safety only, I left coach weight on Jack.
3. Turn steering wheel sharp to allow me to slide behind tire into area of air spring
4. Remove air supply line to top of bag with 5/8" wrench, use same wrench to remove 45 degree fitting air line was attached to.
5. Using a deep 15/16" socket and long pull handle loosen nut that threads down air inlet ( where you just removed air line)
6. Using 3/4" socket remove other top retaining nut located just behind the one just removed.
7. Remove 3 lower bolts that attach air bag to lower control arm using 3/4" socket
8. Using a long pry bar (I have a 36") pry air bag between upper mount until studs are no longer in upper mount, air bag will then slide out rear of suspension.

When installing new bag, be sure to start both upper nuts and lower bolts loosely before tighting anything. It'll be necessary to pry air big base around a bit to get all 3 lower bolts started.

Check ride height after all bags have been replaced with measurement taken before. If same, rock on, if needed do search here for ride height procedure.

Take some pics! I didn't take time to get any pics of front bag replacement.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:12 PM   #7
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mackwrench do you have the Reyco 1200 front and Reyco 102ar rear suspension?My bags have never been changed and I wondered if the part numbers were the same.I wish Mack made a motor home.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:50 PM   #8
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mackwrench do you have the Reyco 1200 front and Reyco 102ar rear suspension?My bags have never been changed and I wondered if the part numbers were the same.I wish Mack made a motor home.
Doyle and Peggy
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Doyle, I'm not sure which Reyco suspension I have, I called Spartan and with my VIN# the guy gave me the Firestone part numbers. They also provided a reyco number for the plate.

Mines also a 1999 and you see in the pics how they looked. This is just maintenance to me. All four springs were $700-800 and one Saturday to install. That's way less than just the tow bill if one blows.

I've had to work on everybody else's POS most my life, when I'm off in my coach I don't want to work on it ever! Last thing I need to be able to enjoy my coach is swapping a air spring out in some parking lot somewhere, lol
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comeback.I have the country coach number but cannot convert it.We just closed our truck shop here in Snyder,tx.We have about 20 bags in stock.Some of them may fit.I may have to just pull them off and check.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the comeback.I have the country coach number but cannot convert it.We just closed our truck shop here in Snyder,tx.We have about 20 bags in stock.Some of them may fit.I may have to just pull them off and check.
Doyle and Peggy
99 CC 10610
Is the country coach on a spartan chassis?

More than likely you'll have the rears in your stock as I've seen the same bag on many trailers.....the fronts are a little unique in my world

If you put the Firestone number in this search, here the specs for the front: http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index....oducts_id=8399

It'll give you the dimensions/specs of the bag that maybe you can match up with what you have on hand....
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:31 PM   #11
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Mine is on a Dynomax chassis,which I had never heard of until I bought this one.My bags still look but at 17 years it is time.
You said you didn't want to change one in a parking lot.I did that in 2001 coming from Canada.I had a 1953 GMC bus conversion blow a bag.Would you believe I was carrying 2 new ones.I always carry enough parts and tools to do an overhaul.I am always overloaded.Ok i'll quit.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:04 PM   #12
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Me too......This is my "road box"

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Old 04-19-2018, 02:09 PM   #13
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Me too......This is my "road box"

Hi mackwrench,

I use the same bags as yours on a 1998 American Tradition. Do the front bags with nylon base require the support plate as well?

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:54 PM   #14
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off topic, that rear tire doesn't seem to be totally on the wood ramp, isn't that an issue for a long period parked?

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Me too......This is my "road box"

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