Author Topic: Suspension Air Bag Leak  (Read 1468 times)

Don White

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Suspension Air Bag Leak
« on: October 26, 2019, 08:58:10 PM »
Hi there,

I noticed today that one of the air bags on the rear axel suspension has developed a leak. I have no experience with these and have a couple questions.  First I assume they are replaced rather than repaired.  Is that correct?  Also wondering what the cost for type of repair is and what I should look for regarding a place to get the work done would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Don White
2006 Marquis Jade IV C13
2019 Jeep Wrangler
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2006 HD Fat Boy
1997 Safari Serengetti

Gary Donges

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 04:35:17 AM »
Don,
To my knowledge replacement is the only option for a leaky air bag. My experience is it can be an exhaustive and expensive process, the wife really put up a struggle!

I had a leaker replaced about a year ago and my recollection is the cost was around $300 which may have included labor. I had the work done in Oregon by beaver coach sales but I believe you can get it taken care of at a heavy truck shop or an RV repair shop that is equipped to handle class A’s.
Gary Donges
Beaver Patriot Thunder Lexington IV 2006 40ft. (2017-    )
C13 Cat
Lake Almanor, CA

Keith Moffett

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 07:28:51 AM »
My understanding is airbags have a life span and around 10 years is it.  All 10 of ours have degrading rubber outer skin about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.  There is some thread on the forum about doing the work.  I hope to do a couple at a time.
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DW is Carol
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2019, 03:42:38 PM »
My air bags are 13 years now and still in good shape. I think the deterioration depends more on the climate that the coach operates in (and is stored) than just age, and they are out of the direct sun so UV is not as much a factor as it is with tires. I've seen the prices for the air bags range from $150 to $200 each. Then expect about two hours labor for each to install.

How did you determine the air bag was bad? Are you spraying soapy water on the bag and seeing bubbles - or are just going by appearance (cracking)?

- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL
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Fred Brooks

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2019, 04:32:34 PM »
   Don, The factory air bags are almost bullet proof and a lot of repair shops prey upon unsuspecting coach owners especially if they know you are in transit. 98% of air leaks in the syspension are related to air lines, fittings, solenoids and height control valves. Seek a reputable heavy duty truck repair or RV repair facility that has excellent reviews or maybe someone in forum land can advise. Fred
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2019, 04:38:33 PM »
Don - are you sure the airbag has a leak?  If one or more airbags are deflating, then it could well be a leak away from or near the airbag.  After reading here in the Forum for several years, I have seen little regarding airbags with leaks.  On the other hand, I have seen much about leaking air lines, valves, and connections.
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Mandy Canales

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2019, 06:08:48 PM »
Hi guys...For what little I know about air bags I could put in a thimble, but some where I recall to check for a leaky air bag would be to spray some soapy water on the bag and see if it shows any bubbles.  If air comes out of any bag, line, connector, or any other orifice it show up.  Just my one cent worth.  Good luck.
Mandy Canales
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Gerald Farris

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2019, 05:12:29 AM »
Keith,
Most air bags last a lot longer than 10 years. When I sold my 2000 Marquis, the air bags were 18 years old and still in good shape. In fact I have seen 25 year old air bags that were still very serviceable. If you are going to replace your air bags just because they are 10 years old, you are wasting your time and money.

Gerald
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Keith Moffett

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2019, 11:23:03 AM »
Thanks Gerald for the info. 
Our bags are flaking the outer surface off about 1/3 up and I was told that showed a  need to replace.
Perhaps the shop was being over cautious.  None seem to be leaking noticably.
2007 Patriot Thunder
45' C-13
2006 Explorer Ltd.
DW is Carol
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Lee Welbanks

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 05:10:34 AM »
Here is a sure way that you will never have a air bag go out on you. Buy one replacement air bag and carry it with you at all times, if you carry a spare the original will never fail. I believe this is one of Murphy's golden laws.
Lee & Judy
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Marty and Suzie Schenck

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 08:56:08 PM »
I agree with Lee. On my coach I have 2 different bags, front and rear are not the same. I carry one of each. I got the numbers directly off the top of the bags and purchased them from Stengel Brothers Inc. at a very reasonable price. Marty
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Don White

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2020, 02:17:24 PM »
Hi,

Just an update.  First, thanks to everyone who responded back.

Regarding if it was the airbag leaking or a air line it was definitely the air bag.  I could see the hole in the airbag and feel the air leaking out when I put the suspension in the raised position.  In looking at the other bags all the ones on the drive axel were in bad shape.  The rubber was flaking off exposing the netting underneath.  The shop I took it to said it was "dry rot." 

Had the four bags on the drive axel replaced.  Each bag cost $200.  I was charged 3 hours labor for all 4 bags. 

Regards,

Don
Don White
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2019 Jeep Wrangler
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Suspension Air Bag Leak
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2020, 02:40:11 PM »
That labor time is really good. Sounds like you found a competent shop.

On another subject, I see you have a Hydralift on your coach (as do I). Just curious about the installation. What kind of framing/plating was used to the mount the lift to the Coach chassis? Does it extend back a few feet (is it bolted or welded to frame)? What did you do about the mud flap (notch it or remove it)?
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL