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Old 07-10-2018, 10:10 AM   #1
Mains52
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Knoxville, Illinois
Posts: 196
Air bag guys I need your input!!!

Ok guys I'm getting to the point to where I am close to putting my front end together. I am looking for pictures of air bag set ups with support shocks and opinions on which shocks to use with air bags. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:09 AM   #2
Jesse Z
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

This is what I use to find the best shocks for bag applications:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...vEW_wfxeF8WrWu
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:39 AM   #3
Mains52
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
This is what I use to find the best shocks for bag applications:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...vEW_wfxeF8WrWu
Thanks Jesse,
Although I don't really have a clue what to look for LOL. I am sure it will come in handy.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:21 AM   #4
dsraven
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: calgary alberta
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

remove suspension snubbers

air it out so the suspension is at absolute rock bottom metal on metal

get a measurement from the center point of each shock mount and record it. do all 4 because things could be a little different since a jig was probably not used during assembly and the distances could be out a little from side to side

air it up so it is at absolute max height of the suspension

get another measurement from the same points as last time and record them.

these two tests are a great time to turn the wheels lock to lock to check for suspension and tire clearances to such things as oil pan and engine mounts, exhaust, inner fender clearances, tire to fender and frame clearance when full turn, tie rods to frame clearance under full drop, etc


lower it to ride height and assemble all the parts removed previously

assemble the measurements taken and these will give you the full extension and full retraction specs of the shocks needed at each corner. take the shortest and longest specs and then go to the chart and see if you can find shocks to fit the bill. a longer full extension and a shorter full retraction is recommended rather than the other way around, just to cover any discrepancies. you also need to know the mounting style for each end. try to pick something readily available and not on the verge of possibly becoming obsolete.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:44 AM   #5
Mains52
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

Wow Thanks DSRAVEN
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:37 AM   #6
gigamanx
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Hershey, PA
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mains52 View Post
Ok guys I'm getting to the point to where I am close to putting my front end together. I am looking for pictures of air bag set ups with support shocks and opinions on which shocks to use with air bags. Thanks in advance.
I just came for the pictures haha. I have my bag setup ready to install. S10 chassis -- just haven't pulled the trigger on figuring out the e-level setup, tank placement, etc.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
joedoh
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Re: Air bag guys I need your input!!!

I have had a lot of airbag suspensions, s10s and otherwise.

1. for setting up the bag mounts, there is not a "bolt in" mount that covers all installs, you must do some work. most double convoluted bags have a collapsed height of 3 inches so what that means is, with the tire diameters you plan to run, and the truck at the height you want it to be when aired out (some people dont like it flat on the ground but rather up a scootch), you should have 3 inches between the upper and lower bag mount. if you have less, the truck wont droop (yes droop, not drop) that far. if you have more, the total lift of the truck will be less than the total lift spec of the bag, and you will run higher pressures because more pressure will be used filling the extra volume of the uncompressed bag. 3 inches is the key. high pressures in the front lead to high spring rates (stiff ride) and lots of recovery time, the two biggest complaints of bag systems. if you have cup style bags you may need to trim (or likely add to) them to get that 3" goal. (yes some bags are 2.8" tall collapsed, which is why I used the qualifier "most". you would be amazed how many times I say 3" and someone will reply "my bag is only 2.8"!" good. good for you haha)

2. when people buy airbags they sometimes buy little ones for the front and big ones for the rear. airbags are not tires, they are meant to be sized to the load, not set up like big and little tires. a small bag in the front has the weight of the engine and cab (most trucks are something like 67/33 weight distribution) and the bed has the weight of the bed. so reverse your thinking, put the bigger bags up front where the extra volume will give a lower spring rate. in the rear, use smaller bags that will have a decent pressure to keep the spring rate from being too low. I cant count how many times I have seen the "one size larger" theory on the rear, ride height with too large a bag is usually achieved at 12 psi and even gas charged shocks cant keep it from oscillating (bouncing). even if you use an advantage system (bag on bar). even if you tow. the smaller bag will handle it, a 5" firestone is rated at something like 1800 lbs. each. in the front use as large as bag as you can fit, a small bag here with the weight of the engine and cab will ride stiffly at high pressures. My favorite bag to use on the rear is a sleeve bag, it has the best ride compared to a double convoluted bag at any pressure, and gets like 7 inches of lift too. most people dont like sleeves though because you need a way to limit the lift or they will tear themselves apart, and limit the drop because they dont have internal bumpstops.

3. set your alignment at ride height. not at show height, not at full lift. ride height is usually best at half of the bag max height. which means, without some kind of advantage (bag on bar, cantilever) system on the rear, the best ride will be with the front slightly higher than the rear. the front is advantage system on a-arm suspensions, so a bag with 5" of stroke (max lift from compressed to extended) will get like 7-7.5" total lift on a front suspension. a MII has really short spindles, so the camber change is pretty wild over the travel, and setting the ride height on a MII is very important or you will ruin set after set of tires.

4. figure out your goal. I have had a lot of different systems, electric compressors, multiple electric compressors, belt compressors. electric valves with switches, electric valves with PWM controller, paddle manual valves, butterfly manual valves, toggle manual valves. big lines, small lines. big tanks, small tanks. for me it is belt driven compressors, small (~5 gal) tanks, and toggle manuals. I like that the compressor can fill the tank in 30 seconds even if it leaked down overnight, and that the manual valves dont freeze. if you daily a bagged truck, you learn quickly that electric valves dont stick shut in freezing weather, they stick OPEN after you use them the first time. so you are panicked and try to get to the valves to get them unstuck as the truck goes higher and higher. some people like the PWM controllers that have preprogrammed ride heights. its all in what you like.
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