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Old 04-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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Air Ride Suspension on Skoolie

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone out there as installed an air ride suspension system to their schoo bus??

Also,what about the Mor ryde company and their rubber springs??
If anyone has any thoughts on this or other ways to make the ride smoother,I would appreciate it.
~ Pixie
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:49 PM   #2
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we test drove busses with leaf and with bags. Leafs will never fail bags may and are expensive. We went with bags becuase the ride was worth the risk. It was a night and day difference on the smoothness of the ride in the bagged bus.
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:42 PM   #3
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Do you have any pictures of the install, where did you buy the equipment from?

Are you running off the air brakes compressor or did you install one for the suspension.
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Old 04-22-2005, 06:10 PM   #4
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Hi,
Thanks for the info.Do you know what type of air bag system it was ?Two bag,eight bag,front,rear??

When you say you tested leaf springs,did they have just the regular springs or did they have the nifty rubber springs,made by this company

http://www.morryde.com/

It is obvious that air bags would be way better than plain ole school bus leaf springs.

The question is are they better than the rubber springs? The "mor ryde "company will for 1.200 bucks install there rubber springs on a school bus,which they say will greatly improve the ride.

The kelderman company will install a two bag rear system in a bus that they say will also improve the ride.They will do this for 2000.

I am just trying to decide which would be the better ride for the buck.Obviously,I hope for the lesser expensive one.~Pixie
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:38 PM   #5
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I've found that my bus rides A LOT smoother with 400 gallons of water inside.

$2,000 for air bags is a little too rich for my blood
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:25 PM   #6
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Yeah well,.........it is for my blood too really.However,this is our home,we dont have anything else,and we want it to be safe and comfortable........

BTW ~ I am oposed to logging intact forests and old growth, let em cut tree farms....and I do not use plastic toilet paper....


~ Pixie
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Old 04-23-2005, 09:31 AM   #7
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Has anyone tried removing a spring to improve the ride? I know this is sugested on box vans to reduce MGVW to get under D.O.T. radar.
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Old 04-23-2005, 12:05 PM   #8
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Morryde suspension

My bus came with the Mor/ryde rubber springs. To date, I've only driven it around empty, so it may not be a fair comparison -- but it feels like there is no suspension at all. There were head-shaped dents in some of the ceiling panels, which I attribute to unluckly solo riders and small potholes (large potholes would have punched kid-sized holes...).
I've been daydreaming of upgrading to an air-ride system.

-A. Moose
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:23 PM   #9
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Air ride possibilities

I'm looking for an air ride solution on my '89 blubird (empty weight 15,500 -71 pass.) also. The springs are sagging somewhat now in both front and rear. My background is that of a truck mechanic, turned driver when my 'ol back wore out. In any case, it may be possible to adapt an air bag setup from an 18 wheeler to the rear axle of the skoolie. Some fabrication would be in order no doubt. I will post what I learn from checking various tractors/ trailers that I come into contact with, as to what I believe would work. On the other hand, I have seen springs sent to a shop to be re-arched and have a leaf or two removed to improve the ride on some straight trucks. This is a cost effective way to go. Quad air shocks in the front (2 per side) is something else I was considering. They add about 3000 lbs. carrying capacity total, and would definately help a sagging front end. I haven't priced new leaf srings for several years but know they are pricey. If anyone else has an idea, please post it.
thanks, Mike.
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Old 04-24-2005, 11:09 PM   #10
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Hi,
Have you checked out the Kelderman company ??

http://www.keldermanmfg.com/


I contacted them and they said they have a two bag rear system they will install for 2,000, parts included.They said they have instaled one on a school bus they use for tailgating parties and that it improved the ride considerably.

Do you think a two bag rear sytem will make much difference?? ~ Pixie
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:39 PM   #11
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Air ride

Hi Pixie, I checked out the Kelterman website and they have a nice 2 bag system there for motorhomes that looks like the real deal. Yes I believe it would make a big difference. 2000 is a little rich for me too, though so I guess I'll keep looking. The trucks and trailers that I've been checking out have systems that can be adapted to a skoolie, but you would need to fabricate a mounting system at the very least. Some welding would be involved. So it isn't for a novice. One other thing that you may consider is multiple shocks. I have seen alot of 4 wheeel drive pick-ups set up with 4 and even 6 shocks per axle. Again though shock mounts would have to be made. Good Luck! Keep us posted.
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Old 04-29-2005, 03:59 PM   #12
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Here's my $0.02

I'm not sure if adding lots of shockes would really improve the ride of most skoolies.

Standard shocks do not add any lift or stiffness to a vehicle. They are not spring loaded. Pretty much all a shock does is keep the springs from bouncing uncontrollably.

You can take a shock and compress it with your bare hands as there are no great forces keeping the shock fully extended.

Struts and air shocks are a different story...

The suspension problems on a skoolie appears to be that the springs are too stiff, and not able to flex enough due to a lack of weight in the vehicle.

For air bags to make the ride better they would have to overcome the problem the current suspension setup has: The new system would need to allow the frame to easily move up and down relative to the axle. It seems there are only two obvious solutions. Either: the air bags would need to slightly increase the height of the vehicle (overextending the springs a bit). Or, the springs would need at least one leaf removed.
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Old 04-29-2005, 04:54 PM   #13
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I think removing a load spring is the cheapest way to go to soften the ride any spring shop can do this for a fraction of the money air ride would cost. Then I could see a higher quality shocks or extra shocks doing some good.
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Old 04-29-2005, 05:42 PM   #14
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Hey "u turn",
Sorry you did not post a name.

Do you think a just a 2 bag rear system in a bus would make a difference, or would it not be enough bags really to notice anything ?? ~Pix
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U-Turn
Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
The Kelderman 2 bag system takes a different approach. The leaf springs are removed and the air bags become the spring part of the suspension.
I agree that the air bag system without leaf springs would be the best solution. I guess i neglected to think of that!

The air bag only setup would accomplish the goal of fixing the current suspension issue since it would allow the frame to easily move up and down relative to the axle.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:36 PM   #16
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Softer ride.

Try oiling or greasing the leaf springs. They have to slide back and forth on each other when you hit a bump. Oil will make them slide much easier. I didn't believe that it would make that much differents untill I tried it.
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:16 AM   #17
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re: Leaf Springs

I too look at a softer ride.

Anyways I just thought I would add that leaf springs in skoolies do fail. I am at the end of a 5500 km trip and broke the front retaining leaf (the one that holds all the others together). This bus is only an 85 so it was not rusty or anything. Although the big suprise was that it was a front leaf. Oh well. Just thought I would throw this info out there. -Richard
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:31 AM   #18
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Air Ride

I am new to these boards as I only purchased my bus last week, its a 1985 International S1700 and we have already started disassembling it to add the airride FRONT and REAR, yes you read that right we are lowering a School Bus and adding air ride at all 4 corners.....we are using a similar setup to that of a 18 Wheeler in the rear and adding a 4 link suspension to the front....
I will keep you guys updated on out progress as soon as I can take some pics.
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:32 PM   #19
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has anyone checked out these guys system?

I found this site on the web and it looked cool but I've no idea how expensive it is: http://www.hendrickson-intl.com/pdfs/Tr ... 45_124.pdf
Looks kinda pricy to me
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:11 AM   #20
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I replaced my rear springs with lighter weight packs and added helper air bags. My goal was to fix a leaning bus and also to improve the ride quality. I failed at fixing the lean and I think the ride is a little better but haven't really driven it much empty to determine if I've realized my second goal. You can see pictures here:

http://trx.punknet.org/Gallery/Skoolie2006

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