Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-24-2015, 07:00 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Western CO
Posts: 96
Airbag Questions

I'm in the process of buying a 2000 e150 conversion van with the intent to put a ccv pop top on it and do a minimal interior build. Going to keep it 2wd, but could see adding a lift and locking diff. (But not anytime soon.)

It has rear airbags. I know very little about these, other than what I've read here on the forum over the last couple of months.
One bag has a slow leak. His mechanic estimated plus or minus $500 to repair.
He says he thinks it's been leaking for a while, and he just airs it up before a trip.
He also said he thinks it's only important if towing, but on the other hand, he said it rode pretty rough when it's too low.

So I'm wondering if, on a 2wd, is it only important when towing?
Are the airbags taking the place of leaf springs, or would it have both?
Does $500 sound reasonable to repair/replace a leaky bag?
Could I potentially ditch the airbags? What would that entail?

Thanks for any and all advice or knowledge.
Oh, and the van is in Golden, CO, and I'm on the western slope, if that makes any difference.
__________________

MorieSugg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2015, 09:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
BajaSportsmobile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rancho Nuevo (Cabo/Todos Santos) B.C.S. and San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,952
Re: Airbag Questions

Just remove them!
__________________

__________________
Four time Baja 1000 winner, four time Baja 500 winner. Solo'ed the Baja 1000 to LaPaz/Cabo twice.
4-Wheeling since 1972, Desert Racing since 1989.

AgileOffRoad.com
BajaSportsmobile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2015, 09:25 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Western CO
Posts: 96
Re: Airbag Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
Just remove them!

No consequences?


Could I just leave them and keep them soft? Air them up if I need to tow a load?
MorieSugg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2015, 09:33 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,113
Re: Airbag Questions

Depending on the brand, they are supposed to have a minimum of 10-15 psi in them I believe (that's what my Firestone's take).

$500 is silly to repair them. Way cheaper to buy a new set and they aren't that hard to install if you have a modicum of mechanical ability.

They aren't really necessary unless you are towing or have a heavy load inside the van. I put mine on to mitigate a bit of a saggy rear end, but probably would have been better served by adding an additional leaf to the rear springs. If your van's rear isn't where it should be, take the $500 and get the springs fixed IMO.

Sometimes the leak can be as simple as an air hose that worked its way loose. You could air them up to maximum PSI and see if you can locate where the leak is, either by ear or by using soapy water at the fittings. If it's a slow leak I doubt the bag itself is ripped. Mine had a very slow leak where the air fill hose inserted into the top of the bag. I took it off, made a nice sharp new cut in it and reinstalled it and it was fine.
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2015, 11:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,600
Re: Airbag Questions

Minimum pressure is to keep them from folding and getting damaged.

The real question is, where is the leak? If it's not a pinhole in the bag itself (doubtful) then it should be super easy to repair. Basically mix up some dish soap and water, put it in a spray bottle and then with the bags inflated go around and spray the heck out of the system from valve to bag, starting with all the fittings (if you don't find anything you can do the tube proper then the bag itself). When you see bubbles (probably at a junction, like the fill valve-to-tube) you've found your problem. Depending on where it is will dictate how you fix, or likely tighten the whatever-is-leaking.

$500 is install an entire new system ridiculous. They are just bolt on easy to install, and with them already installed doing something like replacing the entire bag should be like a half-hour, and that's worst case scenario.

If you're not going to run them, I'd unbolt and sell them here for a few bucks. It's likely the system is fine, but it won't hurt to get rid of them if you really don't need them for extra weight (towing, having a heavy-ass SMB build).
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 12:50 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,327
Re: Airbag Questions

They are good for compensating for the occasional heavy load. If your springs need help all the time, it's better to rebuild them with more leafs.

No consequence to removing them, as long as you replace the bump stop if the currently mount where the bump stops should be.
__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Western CO
Posts: 96
Re: Airbag Questions

Thanks for the advice. Didn't want to get into an expensive/essential repair if I could avoid it.
Sounds like it's neither.
MorieSugg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 10:31 PM   #8
rnj
Member
 
rnj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 76
Re: Airbag Questions

If Air Lift - bags have lifetime warranty. You need to pay for new bag first, if original style van airbag without internal bump stop Part No. 50284 it was $50 for bag $10 shipping 2yrs ago. Send the old one back in box new one came in, they check bag, if it's bad they refund $50. They also sent new fitting. But as others said need to check all fittings. I swapped my hoses from one side to other & same side leaked so I know it was the bag.

I think I have a leaking fitting now, I called about 6 months ago & was still same price.

Airlift Phone Number 1-800-248-0892 8a-8p M-F
__________________

__________________
1995 E250 2x SMB White Contempo Top Custom SMB Interior 5.8L (351) 69K miles
Added Propane Tank & Propex HS2800/20 Gal Fresh inside/20 gal gray underneath behind axle
2.8K Onan/Porti Potti Shower Area/110V Digital Oil filled Electric Radiator Heater/Dynaglo for backup
Hankook Dynapro ATs 225/75-16 LRE
New to me 10/2008 - 2nd owner
rnj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×