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Old 07-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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How to replace front shock air bags?

My 2004 P30 Workhorse chassis has air bags in the front coil springs. Well, one has developed a leak. Anyone have advice or guidance on how to remove and install new bags?
For general info, the valves to the bags extend downward thru a opening in the bottom (I can't think of what to call it) part that the coil spring rests upon. The opening is maybe 1" square or somewhat larger. Could the bag be removed and installed thru that opening?
Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #2
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The best way to get it out is cut it up and pull it out in pieces. It's now 5-6 years old and probably isn't going to be real interested in coming out the bottom hole.

Use a good knife, or hacksaw, and wear gloves because you will probably smack your knuckles before you're done.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Hello, I have done what you need to do. There should be a round hole in the lower control arm where the valve stem comes through. I used a hole saw to cut through the old air bag (through that hole) applied WD40 to the old bag and using vice grips, screw drivers and with substantial effort removed the air bag through the hole in the control arm. The new air bag purchased from Air Ride was installed through the same hole. I did this about 8 years ago and only had to replace one air bag. The entire job took me about an hour.
I purchased the new air bags from Air Ride as a pair, because that is the way they were sold at the time. I still have the other one around here somewhere. We traded in the motorhome this year, so I will never need the other air bag. I will see if I can find it. If you need a replacment air bag let me know, assuming I can find it we can work something out.
Once one of these bags gets low on air they do not live long. Usually they last a very long time when they are kept properly inflated.
Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millsrv View Post
Hello, I have done what you need to do. There should be a round hole in the lower control arm where the valve stem comes through. I used a hole saw to cut through the old air bag (through that hole) applied WD40 to the old bag and using vice grips, screw drivers and with substantial effort removed the air bag through the hole in the control arm. The new air bag purchased from Air Ride was installed through the same hole. I did this about 8 years ago and only had to replace one air bag. The entire job took me about an hour.
I purchased the new air bags from Air Ride as a pair, because that is the way they were sold at the time. I still have the other one around here somewhere. We traded in the motorhome this year, so I will never need the other air bag. I will see if I can find it. If you need a replacment air bag let me know, assuming I can find it we can work something out.
Once one of these bags gets low on air they do not live long. Usually they last a very long time when they are kept properly inflated.
Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
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I haven't done it myself but there have been a bunch of posts over the years on the subject.
Some people have reported that they put the new bags in hot water, then roll them up and secure them with cable ties, put some liquid soap on them and then push them through the hole in the bottom. The ties are then cut so the bag can expand.
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #6
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Exclamation Front Suspension Air Helpers!

Art D.

If you go to the "Firestone Air Ride" web site, they will show you how to change the air bags.

I recently changed mine, it's a rather simple proceedure but you will have to elevate the front of your Motor Home and place jack stands under the frame. You have to exercise caution here because you will be underneath the front end with 6 + tons of weight above you.

If you don't feel comfotable with this, bring your rig to a shop and get it done.

It took me appr. 4 hours to change both bags and install the air lines where I can easily reach them to change the pressure.

Henry.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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Thanks all.
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