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Old 03-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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Shoutout to Ujoint

My van goes from basically empty to totally loaded... lumber and tools up to the windows... and back, quite often.

Back when I first started freshening, I asked Chris at Ujoint Offroad to send me a rear spring pack at OEM spec + 500#. All that works just fine through camping-loading and a bit more, but at maximum work-loading, I get a rear sag.

I called Chris and ordered the Ujoint Airbag setup. It is cutting edge, in that the bag is not attached to the lower mount, so axle-travel doesn't tear the bag. Brilliant!

Well, my van doesn't have enough lift (Quigley 4") to accommodate that setup, and in the attempt-to-install phase, the bags got a bit "shopworn"... little stuff, like welding tacks, etc.

I called cryin' to Chris that my new toy didn't fit, he conversed with Ray (the installer) in that way that only geniuses can, and told us to return 'em for a full refund... a full refund.
That, fellas, is an example of professionalism! Shoutout to Chris!

epilogue: Ray built a custom mount for some Firestone airbags, and they work just great... and my airbag-tearing risk is low
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:17 AM   #2
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

Thanks! Sorry they didn't work. We'll get ya next time!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

Tell me about this tearing. I'm buying REF's old bags when he gets back...
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

Kim ain't gonna let you drive the young'uns anywhere that you might risk an airbag tear

The answer to your question is... if you drop a rear wheel fully into free space, you risk tearing the airbag, as it is attached at top and bottom. Ray sez I should caution any shops I use to lift the van on a drive-on vs. frame lift, or make provisions to prevent full extension. Ujoint makes a bag that does not attach at the bottom, but lands back into a receiver plate on return. I'm sure he can tell you much more about it.

The good news is, you still have shocks and springs if you tear a bag. Unless.....
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

On some vehicles the shocks limit travel enough to prevent stretching the air bags, others get limit straps, others get torn airbags.

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Old 04-01-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

When I read this, I jumpped over to U-joints site. I wonder if he'll just sell the landing plates? What did you build Marc?
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

Hmmm. My airbags haven't torn from overextension, but I'm not sure if the shocks limit travel or the airbags do. I have the Firestone sportrites which are tapered, so they have about 12" of total travel which is I think is pretty close to what the shocks have. The van has been on lifts no problem, and it's been jumped several times. Come to think of it, I did have one tear jumping the van, but it was because the baseplate bolts snapped and allowed the baseplate to shift out of alignment, and it basically caused a pinch-flat a few miles down the road. This has happened twice, but only once from a jump. Firestone sent me a whole new setup, including an improved base-plate which I have not installed yet because I will need to modify them slightly. So far I'm using the original style (also sent by Firestone).

Chris - Any concerns with the airbags sliding off your landing plate? Seem like during a hard landing with some throttle, the axle is going to twist rearward pretty good. Gould that make the airbag slide off and get pinched? Do yours have in internal bumpstop? I had some under-frame Airlift bags previously, and even with 100 PSI I could still bottom them out sometimes. This was part of the reason I switched to the outboard mounted firestones.... They allowed me to re-inall my bumpstops.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
When I read this, I jumpped over to U-joints site. I wonder if he'll just sell the landing plates? What did you build Marc?
Ujoint set up was too big for my rig by the thickness of the landing plate only. I have a Quigley lift and 4wd, but the lift block itself is 3", so I don't know if I have a nominal "... on Quigley 4" lift..." or an actual 3" lift.

Ray cut off the bumpstops, (which looked absolutely unbumped to both of us) and built up a mount to make a really perfected fit to my rig. I haven't run 'em loaded yet, but he put in 50#'s as a start, and it picked up the rear 1 1/2". Really tightened up the ride, but again, haven't run loaded.

I'll try to get a camera out and make a film about Round 3 of the remodel which will include the bags and particularly the Ray Mount, but I gotta dig out from all these bills first.

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Old 04-01-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

I'm just trying to figure out what keeps the bottom on target when they come down. The U-Joint kits bottom plate doesn't look much different than mine.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: Shoutout to Ujoint

I ran this setup on Vanaconda for a few years, honestly it was out out lazyness! When I first installed my bags years ago I ran a limit strap to keep them from over extending. When I went wheeling to shoot a video I unbolted the bottom mount for more articulation. Never hooked them back up and they worked fine for 2 years and many many miles.

The axle doesn't move enough front/rear to have the bag come off the pad. I tried to find a good long travel bag and there are a few out there, but nothing that I liked. My kit has to have a lift spring to clear everything.
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