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Old 06-27-2020, 05:21 PM   #1
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1998 American Dream Suspension Rough Ride

Hi everyone. I have my 98 American Dream 40' now for about 2 years. It seemed to be riding rough lately. Since the air bags looked original, I decided to replace them with aftermarket. Now, it literally feels like there is NO suspension, Its a Spartan. I think the bags get full and don't leave an room for a cushion.

If anyone has run into this, or has similar problems, please let me know.
It cost me about $1800 for bags and install. Hate to keep putting all this money into it because I plan on upgrading in the next year or two.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Take care,
Chris
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:42 PM   #2
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Are your air valves set to the proper ride height? Sounds like they are too high, or two low. If to low you are riding on the rubber bumpers inside the bags. If to high it will be to stiff because of to much air.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:55 PM   #3
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Really need more details on what you mean by replaced by aftermarket?

Different manufacturer? If the diameter of the replacement bag was smaller than the original bag, then it will take more pressure in the smaller diameter air bag to raise the coach to ride height.

More pressure in the bag increases the spring rate of the bag, making it much stiffer.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:46 PM   #4
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Hi guys.

I have a local truck shop where I get my work done. They do good work but are really not that savvy when it comes to RV's. Certainly the ride height can play a big part of the ride, especially if they are to inflated too high.

I am going to try and find a local RV shop so they can take a look at it. I know some buses have a air bag dump option but I do not. Since the reputation of the Spartan Chassis is the best ride in the industry, I'd like to get it back to that drive ability.

Thanks guys for the fast reply's and I will keep you updated.

Take care,
Chris
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:48 PM   #5
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Ride height is pretty important for air ride to work correctly.

To check ride height on your vintage Spartan, Measure the distance between the upper and lower front shock mounting bolts, on the IFS Reyco you have, should be 16 inches.

The ride height is adjusted at the leveling valve on each side.

Make sure the coach is on flat ground for checking.

The rear has only one leveling valve, you measure the distance between the top of rear axle housing and lower frame rail flange, my memory says 8"... But I don't have access to my manual right now.


You also could have a bad shock absorber...
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:05 AM   #6
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If you have noticed a difference in the ride and it got worse after you got all the bags replaced it sounds like a setup issue when the work was done. Probably a fairly basic fix unless they really screwed up on the bag replacement size. Hard to believe a upgrade would make life any better then what you have but to each his own. Let me know before you dump it as a trade in as aAE without slides is top of the line on vintage coach’s and I love vintage. In any case Mackwrench will steer you in the correct direction. Good Luck
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:40 PM   #7
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Agree with the others. Check the ride height & related control arms and the pressure in the suspension system (system pressure should be 125, give or take a couple. The bag air volume has to come out correct if all those are set right.


You need a chassis shop, not an RV dealer. Only the largest dealers have chassis specialists on staff, whereas any truck-chassis shop will know air suspensions.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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Follow up

Hi again guys. I've made a bit of progress. I had my air pressure governor set at 130 psi. I readjusted to 120.
It seems like its riding very high. Have to take to local parking lot to check on level ground.
Also, it seems my air compressor is slow to fill tanks.
It also loses almost all air overnight. Don't know where that's coming from.

Thanks
Chris
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:45 PM   #9
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Tank air pressure will not affect air bag pressure, as long as you have 90 or more psi.

With the coach at ride height, the air pressure in the air bags can be anywhere from 30 to 90 psi, depending on load.

If your thinking it riding high, the leveling valve(s) needs adjustment, or replacement.


The overnight air leak could be many things. A spray bottle of soapy water can help you find leaks... yours should be fairly easy to find....start at the suspension leveling valves, lol
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