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Old 10-13-2020, 02:50 PM   #1
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Air bag trouble on the road

I have firestone airbags on the rear suspension of my 07 E350 4x4. The right side must have sprung a leak the other day as it will only hold air for a day or so. Iím in the middle of 4 week trip and not sure when Iíll be able to fix this issue. Right now I have the left bag deflated to about 15 psi and the van is riding fine, but thereís nothing in the right bag. Am I risking something awful if I continue on like this? Iím not towing anything and I have a pretty minimalist build out inside (ie. not very heavy, no added water tank, just a small platform bed with storage underneath and gear for one person). At the same time I expect to be on more dirt roads in CO and Utah and will be continuing on to southern CA before returning to WI. I have a long way to go! Any guidance would be much much appreciated! Hereís a pic of my dead right bag. Not crushed because the left is still holding.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:58 PM   #2
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If the bag “sucks” itself in, from the suspension extending while there’s no air in them, it’ll create a pinch flat. If this happens, you’ll need a new bag. Firestone has warranted this for me in the past, but you’ll save yourself some hassle if you can avoid the pinch flat.

Did you damage an air line? If yes, can you just shorten it to get air in it again? If you think the bag itself is leaking, than it’s toast anyways. I had one air line blow out on me where it was touching the rear heater pipe. But usually it’s a fitting. Napa has replacement air line fittings on the shelf.

If won’t really hurt anything by driving how how you are, other than the pinch flat.
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Old 10-13-2020, 03:21 PM   #3
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I had a slow leak develop couple years ago - same as yours, would lose about 30psi overnight...as carringb mentioned, it turned out to be a fitting.
I dont know how your bags are set up, but I have an Extreme Outback air compressor & holding tank mounted under my frame, and its hooked up so I can inflate and deflate my bags from the front dash...If you have the same, just keep an eye on the gauge and inflate when needed. If you have to manually inflate, you may consider purchasing a small 12V air compressor that would be up to the task, and just pump some air in whenever you have a chance.
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
If the bag “sucks” itself in, from the suspension extending while there’s no air in them, it’ll create a pinch flat. If this happens, you’ll need a new bag. Firestone has warranted this for me in the past, but you’ll save yourself some hassle if you can avoid the pinch flat.

Did you damage an air line? If yes, can you just shorten it to get air in it again? If you think the bag itself is leaking, than it’s toast anyways. I had one air line blow out on me where it was touching the rear heater pipe. But usually it’s a fitting. Napa has replacement air line fittings on the shelf.

If won’t really hurt anything by driving how how you are, other than the pinch flat.
Thank you carringb. I’ll see if I can locate the leak and maybe it’s a semi quick fix. Appreciate the quick response!
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Old 10-13-2020, 07:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
I had a slow leak develop couple years ago - same as yours, would lose about 30psi overnight...as carringb mentioned, it turned out to be a fitting.
I dont know how your bags are set up, but I have an Extreme Outback air compressor & holding tank mounted under my frame, and its hooked up so I can inflate and deflate my bags from the front dash...If you have the same, just keep an eye on the gauge and inflate when needed. If you have to manually inflate, you may consider purchasing a small 12V air compressor that would be up to the task, and just pump some air in whenever you have a chance.
Thanks Twoxentrix. Mine is a manual inflate. Appreciate the suggestion! The only thing with doing a repeated inflate is that when it leaks out and the sides are two far imbalanced it triggers the RSC service code when I hit the first bump. Drives me nuts!
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:08 PM   #6
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Air bags = how do you like them?

I don't want to hi-jack your post, but I was wondering how people like airbags.
I have a 2007 EB50 Sportsmobile 4x2 with Bilstein shocks and I feel like the ride is less than desirable.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:46 PM   #7
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I use my air bags to accomplish a number of things:
*On occasion they serve to help "level" my van when parked,
*Pump them up when I'm on windy roads to help stabilize,
*Adjust accordingly for the weight difference between unloaded & loaded.
*I'm sure they've also buffered what could/should have been rear axle from bottoming out
*While traveling they help absorb some of the road shock
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