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Need advice on air bags...

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by lonepeak, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Mar 15, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    #1
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    I’ll apologize in advance if this topic has been covered at length…I just couldn’t find an appropriate answer during my search. For the second time in 9 months I’ve blown out the Air-Lift bags on my 2010 Toyota Tacoma. The first time was “user error” but this second time makes me wonder if they are the right choice. I also emailed Air-Lift with my concern. Both times occurred in Utah’s back-country about 80 miles from pavement. I didn’t have any load in the bed either time but had some air in the bags. My question to the group is whether there is a tried and true manufacturer of air bags that handle severe off highway driving? Should I look at adding air shocks in addition to the Air-Lift system? My Jeep did well with air shocks alone but it really didn’t have a big load capacity. I have to have load leveling for the times we outfit and carry a lot of water and gear. Thanks, Barry
     
  2. Mar 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM
    #2
    virgilus11

    virgilus11 Well-Known Member

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    I had a set of RR and like you, I developed a leak within few months. I installed a set of Firestone and a year latter still good. I had Firestone in my 05 and I sold the truck with the air bags in perfect shape. The only difference is that I, rarely do serious off road. I installed the bags mainly to help with towing.
    If you go off road and flexing pretty good then I would try to keep the pressure at no more then 5 psi or,,,, get a set of Dakars springs. Sorry but there is no --do it all- solution.
     
  3. Mar 17, 2011 at 4:46 PM
    #3
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    if your looking to use them specifically for offroad use i doubt there is a brand specifically designed to do so, although they are great for helping with load carrying and towing capacity.youd be better off to upgrade your rear suspension by way of different leaf pack(Alcan,Deaver,Allpro,Dakar,etc) or an AAL.
     
  4. Apr 25, 2011 at 7:38 AM
    #4
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    Okay...after the latest trip I've managed to blow out my third set a Air-Lift bags. We just spent 9 days in Canyonlands NP and I was only 40 miles from pavement when I lost them on a typical Utah dirt road. I would not recommend them on any vehicle that goes off-highway. I was loaded with gear and they blew even after the installation of a compressor system (so I could monitor pressure) and following the recommendation from Air-Lift support. Thanks for the recommendations of the rear suspension upgrade. That will be my next step and hopefully I can solve the load carrying problem for back-country excursions.
     
  5. Apr 25, 2011 at 7:45 AM
    #5
    pudge151

    pudge151 Well-Known Member

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    i hear air lift kinda sucks. firestones get better reviews. either way you arent using them for their intended purpose and that might be the problem
     
  6. Apr 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM
    #6
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    AAL and air shocks. Air bags are not off-road-worthy.
     
  7. Apr 27, 2011 at 10:40 AM
    #7
    Pakow

    Pakow Well-Known Member

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    What is the specific issue with air bags off road?

    Is it compression or expansion that damages them with articulation or are they just prone to physical damage from rocks, branches, etc?

    Lonepeak, what happened to your air lifts, where did they fail?

    Sorry, lots of questions. I just love my firestones and don't want to have to give them up as i build more of a trail truck!
     
  8. Apr 27, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    #8
    YotaDan

    YotaDan Dan Vendor

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    The problem is using the air bags off road. They are meant for supporting loads on highway vehicles. Because they attach to the axle and to the frame, if your supesion is able to flex farther than the length of the bag, you will develop leaks. For off-road vehicles that need extra support we really recommend the TIMBRENs.
     
  9. Apr 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM
    #9
    Pakow

    Pakow Well-Known Member

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    So its really the expansion that hurts them. The axle pulls the bag further than it can extend and it tears the rubber or the endcaps come off?
     
  10. Apr 28, 2011 at 6:40 AM
    #10
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    I didn't realize it was the expansion that was causing the problem. Mine seem to have had the problem when bottoming out on a rough road. What would happen is I would loose one and then the other within 20 miles. I followed all recommendations from Air-Lift support for the roads I was driving, even installing a compressor to monitor my pressure. Still had the failure. I don't have any experience with the Firestone system so i can't speak about it. I have researched this group again this week and found a TSB regarding the rear leaf springs on my 4d TRD Off-Road. It seems that Toyota will replace my 3 leaf with a 4 leaf because of the harsh ride when loaded. I will head for the dealer Monday. I only have 17K on the truck and this is covered. Here is the link to the TSB.

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/7107-tsb-list-2005-toyota-tacoma.html
     
  11. Apr 28, 2011 at 7:34 AM
    #11
    pudge151

    pudge151 Well-Known Member

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    even if you follow all the on road directions for the air bags, they are not meant for offroading where your suspension flexes a lot
     
  12. Apr 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM
    #12
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    "skytower wrote; AAL and air shocks. Air bags are not off-road-worthy". I'm not sure what AAL means and I haven't been able to locate any air shocks. Anybody using air shocks - I could really use some direction. Thanks
     
  13. Apr 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM
    #13
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    I sent a detailed email to Firestone today requesting information on their air bag springs. I received an email back from them stating that "kit 2407 would carry the load". I specifically stated that this was in an off-highway application. Use your best judgment.
     
  14. May 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM
    #14
    lonepeak

    lonepeak [OP] Member

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    Okay, here's the latest. The rear leaf springs were replaced by Toyota under warranty. The TSB is T-SB-0359-10. Now I'll contact Air-Lift for replacements but sell them and wait for after-market air shocks to be manufactured for a 2010.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2011 at 5:50 PM
    #15
    packfan88

    packfan88 Very Nice !

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    any update on your rear suspenion? did you give up on the rear air bags all together or did you find a method that works?
     
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