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Old 04-01-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

I recently inquired about air conversion at a local truck parts & repair place. The guy said rear air ride is nice, but he wouldn't recommend it on the front because it makes it hard to "feel" the road in the steering. I accepted his advice.. though the more I think about it, the more doubtful I am. All those city transit "kneeling" buses are using air for the kneel feature, no?

Given that we passengers (and driver) ride in the front, I'd actually move on improving the front suspension before I would the rear.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Thanks for the interest in this topic. Also thanks for the input, and challenges.

I see a lot of speculation here with no experience to back it up.

How would having adjustable air pillows ride worse than a old, stiff, not adjustable leaf spring?

Why would 99% of big rigs use air ride if it rides worse?

Have any of you that are speaking driven two trucks that are identical in every way except the springs vs air ride?

The spring changes stiffness as it moves through the motion of suspension, getting stiffer as it is load increases. This results in a rough ride that sags under full load. Air bags compensate for all this, and make for a far safer ride due to the entire drive line still being in the optimal position.

I have no choice but to do air ride. With the Haul All's design, my bus will go from 7000 pounds unloaded to 28,000 pounds loaded. Without air ride, my rear springs would bounce me clean off the road when I'm unloaded. Air bags are the only way to remedy this.

Chances are the school bus mechanic's don't like air ride due to a few extra parts they had to work on.
I would dismiss anything the mechanic's told you about air ride, and anything else they say. They are clearly clueless about mechanical anything.

Nat
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon
I recently inquired about air conversion at a local truck parts & repair place. The guy said rear air ride is nice, but he wouldn't recommend it on the front because it makes it hard to "feel" the road in the steering. I accepted his advice.. though the more I think about it, the more doubtful I am. All those city transit "kneeling" buses are using air for the kneel feature, no?

Given that we passengers (and driver) ride in the front, I'd actually move on improving the front suspension before I would the rear.
Good to see you back family wagon. Hope your bus did well on your travels.

Full Air ride front I have no experience. Due to the additional side to side forces, there may be some truth to this.

My air ride front will be nothing more than a air bag helper. I will remove all but two front leafs, and add a bag on each side so I can compensate for changing load. I have done this on a few one ton trucks with great results.

Nat
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:16 PM   #14
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Have you ever ridden in a big truck, with air bags, unloaded? Very harsh. Same with a bus, the only exception might be a rear engine bus. A front engine bus with air ride would be just like a big truck unloaded....no weight in the back.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:23 PM   #15
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opus
Have you ever ridden in a big truck, with air bags, unloaded? Very harsh. Same with a bus, the only exception might be a rear engine bus. A front engine bus with air ride would be just like a big truck unloaded....no weight in the back.
Yes, everyday for 2 years driving 3 and 5 ton roll off tow trucks. Going from loaded to unloaded continuously.

Adjust the air pressure in the bags. Adjustability is the whole reason for using air bags The system your referring to, obviously was malfunctioning, or never was set up properly.

Most common part to fail is the ride height valve. A stuck height valve could give bone jarring ride if not dumping the extra air pressure.

Nat
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:53 PM   #16
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Just to add to the topic, I also drove a lincoln car for a taxi company that had air ride rear. All there high end cars had it.

The Chevy Envoy also has air ride rear, and rides like a caddy. Any time someone jumps in the back seat, you hear the electric compressor engage to increase the air pressure in the bags to keep the suspension at the proper ride height. This is why you never see a Chevy Envoy with sagging rear suspension, no matter how many people are in the back seat.

Nat
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:15 PM   #17
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

One of our fellow members bus with factory air ride front and back.

Front. You can see the ride height control valve.





Rear. You can see the ride height control valve.




Nat
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #18
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

Hi - When I bought the Coachman I put air bags on the back as the springs were sagging. This is not the first motor home I put air bags on. The ride is a lot smoother and less sway in the wind. My bus has Torsion Bars on the front and very stiff springs in back. I plan on using the bags from the Coachman if they can be fitted. They are adjustable from the dash. I will have to remove at least 3 leafs to soften the ride. Air ride is so much better for the truck and driver. the old man Richard
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:51 AM   #19
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

I replaced the rear suspension with a single axle 07' international semi setup , 1 I have air ride ,2 I have 4:11 ratio , 3 I have a full air locker. I spent 1500 for the whole rear cut off at a local semi shop.
Its in a 1993 TC2000 Blue bird And I rides great and hauls a lot ! I primarily haul a pulling truck on it with lots of weights , around 10,000 Lbs. on the deck . Aside from the 350.00 Custom rear drive shaft it was fairly inexpensive . as I had all the components. Good Luck , Brian
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:34 PM   #20
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Re: Air Ride anyone?

I am going to remove some leaves from my 51 IHC l160/Wayne and add airbags and shocks and a big anti sway bar. My rear gears are 6.16 and with the 7.50x20 dual wheels, rpms are too high at 50 mph, the ride was very rough. 80 psi in the tires. My old bus is really just an old farmer truck with a bus body that could haul 36 fat boys around. The bus weighs 8400lbs empty. 16500 gvw. I don't need to carry 8100lbs so things can soften up a bit and my gearing need not be so low. What I've recently done is mount 9x20 singles on the rear. Besides being nearly new, full tread traction tires that can handle the load running 55 psi,[much better ride and handling] they are wider and nearly 4.5" taller than 7.50s. The same effect as changing to a 5.70 gear. It still starts from a dead stop and pulls thru the gears [4 sp] just fine and my odometer is dead on correct over a known 20 mile stretch. My gas mileage has gone from 9.6 to 11.14 mpg. A 1951 IHC L160 was never meant to cruise the highway at 60 mph. Especially with a bus body. But that is my goal and I have room for 10x20 singles on the rear. I am going to remove all but 2 leaves [ that will level it out some as well] and use common medium duty truck air bags with balanced air lines I can adjust like air shocks. New truck shocks fore and aft [an L160 has no shocks] and anti sway bars as well. That should get me close enough. Right now with the 9x20s it's better, but it's kind of hairy to drive over 45 mph on semi rough roads. Not exactly a Greyhound Americruiser. But I love my old binder and it's fun and simple to work on.
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