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Old 01-11-2021, 11:20 PM   #1
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Houston, we have a problem!!!

Gang,
Just got home from fueling up the coach and after I'd backed it into it's cave, I shut the thing down and closed the cave door. As I've heard a time or two before, I heard some *hissing* from under it. Even with my worn out, 68 year old ears, I could hear some hissing. That in itself is quite astounding! Anyway, I decided to at least put some effort into locating this hissing. This coach has had an air leak for quite a few years. I'd done a soap and water spray down of many of the fittings etc. a few years ago but, that attempt at a find, was futile.

And, I also realized that, over time of owning this coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT 330HP, that the air leak, was more prominent when left on the suspension and not the jacks. And of course, it sit's considerably lower on the suspension than it would if I had it on the jacks. Hence, this is why I never really put much effort into a search as, I have a hard time squeezing this fat old body under it when it's that low.

But, hearing this leak this evening, I thought what the heck, let's give it the old college try. I got out my trusty soap and water sprayer and, I carry a flashlight on me since I'm both BLIND and deaf, I worked my way under the front end since that's where the hissing was coming from. Well, even with my old, siren and air horn destroyed ears, I could inch my way towards the noise. I sprayed fittings on everything that was near me. Nothing. More squirting of air lines and more fittings, nothing.

Then, I thought, what the heck, let's spray the air bag. WOW, now THAT'S AN AIR LEAK FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!! As you can see in the video, yep, Houston, we have a problem! So, now, the search begins to find one. I know that their fairly common but, I think I'll cruise on over to DTNA and plug in my coach and see what the exact part number was from the factory. I'm going in folks, cover me!
Scott
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:34 PM   #2
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Wow. That is one heck of an air leak. Glad you found it. Think you may want to tackle that yourself? Let me know if you need a hand, I can be there in minutes. Hahaha
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:40 PM   #3
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So how far you going in? Just 1 bag or all 4 for a "new" ride?
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Old 01-12-2021, 04:20 AM   #4
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I wonder if an external tire tube patch could at least temporarily hold the air?


Looks like it might be splitting at a seam of flex point.


I suppose a patch, if it held, would be temporary as the bags may have reached their useful life expectancy.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:59 AM   #5
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If you can cross the factory numbers to Firestone or Goodyear numbers you'll probably be able to get a better price.
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Old 01-12-2021, 09:56 AM   #6
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Chances are that the air bag is weather checked and there is no way a patch would stick to it. Here is a picture of a cross section of a weather checked air bag. The air bag was 17 years old.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:11 AM   #7
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Hey Tom,
Yep, like just about every single item that's needed repair, modification, alteration, rebuild, replace, and more on this coach, Yep, I'm the slave that has to do it. I've tackled some rediculasly pain in the a$$ repairs on this coach and this one looks, I SAY LOOKS to be not too bad. But, I really won't know 'till I dive in. We'll see. I most certainly appreciate the help offer. The work space in and around that air bag, ain't even big enough for my fat body, much less trying to squeeze you in there helping. But, again, thanks so much for the offer.

As for the rest who've replied, at present, I think I'm gonna just do the one. Yes, at 17 years old and 97K miles, it might be wise to replace them all. And, that might just happen, if and when I get done and do a thorough inspection of the other three. We'll see. As for a "Patch", well, naw, ain't gonna happen. First off, it's that old with that many miles. Second, trying to patch an old, weathered air bag that hold what, maybe 80, maybe 90 (I really don't know) psi, ON THE OUTSIDE, I doubt seriously it would hold any psi at all, even way before it began to hold one quarter of the weight of the coach (one corner).

Yes, it almost appears that it could be a form of a seam of some sort. But, it could be and most likely is, just a flex point that get's more stressed than the middle sections of the bag, just a guess.
Scott
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:18 AM   #8
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My buddy just replaced all 4 on his rig - said it wasn't too bad but definitely a learning experience. His chassis is a Spartan, if that matters.
I sent him a link to this thread https://www.irv2.com/forums/f25/air-...ml#post3078952
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:24 AM   #9
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Dive In

Good thing you dove in and found that. It looks like that seam is about to burst.
Hope this is an easy fix for you.
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:24 AM   #10
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I replaced all 4 on our coach a few years ago. Was not too bad.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f103/spr...ml#post3531988
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:14 AM   #11
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That was a great write up.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:27 AM   #12
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Great post.

At 17 years that would be its use by date I would think.

Suggest that you change all four as the others must be close. Or at least carry a spare.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:00 PM   #13
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Slap some Flex Seal on it...seals everything.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:05 PM   #14
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When you get on DTNA Connect , start writing down P/Ns or taking screen shots of the pages of numbers and supplier info .
Freightliner support of older chassis AND access to DTNA Connect is drying up , my access was terminated in March .
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