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GHMBC #3
nissan patrol gq lwb,3"lift.
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ii have the bags inside the coils but these would be better,done a trip in a suburban and it was so smooth.the articulation kit would be perfect. definitely worth a crack,wonder if they could be fitted to the frt as well?
 

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untill a stick goes through it and your stuck up the cape with a car that cant be driven
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Outback, I have thought of that, hence why im asking peoples opinions.
 

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Glasshouse Bogan #1
nissan patrol gu
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You could always chuck a spare coil in as back up on remote trips only takes 15 minutes to fit in case of air bag failure.
Youd be unlucky for a stick to puncture it I rekon.
 

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Oops I typed a decent reply but my internet connection shat before it was posted. So here is the brief version.

I would not go for the bellows style (Boss) unless it is for a caravan or something with limited need for full suspension travel.
I have used Firestone rolling sleve type bags (they are for trucks and busses in the USA). Good articulation, good ride when it is at the right height for the load and road conditions but can be crap ride if you have it too high or too low.

As far as reliability, the bags are made much the same as a tyre and you still drive on them in remote areas.
I have done a lot of outback touring on airbags without a problem from sticks. Yes they can rub on other things if not well set up.


A spare bag is a lot lot lot smaller and lighter than a spare spring.
If the brackets are well set up then it is easy to take a bag out and replace. But most of the kits are not all that well set up for quick change, I have taken a while to get mine almost the way I want.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for your replies, geordie4x4 interesting you have air suspension and glad of any comments from your experience. My main concern is wallowing as my wife is not a good traveler. When you say almost right, what are some of the problems you have had setting things up?

cheers DD.
 

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thanks for your replies, geordie4x4 interesting you have air suspension and glad of any comments from your experience. My main concern is wallowing as my wife is not a good traveler. When you say almost right, what are some of the problems you have had setting things up?

cheers DD.
The rear is relatively easy because the travel of the diff is reasonably straight up and down. The airbag mounts need to be angled slightly to sit at the right caster angle for your lift and diff pinion angle.

The front is more of a pain, because the caster correction for a bigger lift tends to tilt the diff back and when it comes up on full compression there is more misalignment of the airbag as it hits the top of its own internal bumpstop. So there is more chance of pinching a front bag if it not well set up. The Airbag Man kit I bought has the front set up for a standard height and no caster correction. So it has the base of the front bag tilted back assuming there is no caster correction. When you add caster correction, the top of the bag dosn't line up when the bottom comes up on full compression. I had to adjust the base to correct this.

For Australian compliance you must have airbags with an inbuilt bump stop. So those Boss bags are not legal for th efront anyway because you are removing the factory Nissan bump stop in the spring.

Wallowing can be an issue if you have it at the wrong ride height and if you do not have adequate shocks and decent swaybars.

The good thing about the rolling sleve type airbags, is that there is a sweet spot for ride and comfort where you can adjust pressure depending on the load but be at about the same ride height regardless of load. I have about 1.5 to 2 inches where I can adjust up and down and it rides well. If I go too low it is a little wallowy as the bags are softer when down. If I go too high like 4 to 5" lift height, it is firm and sits nice at speed on flat roads but becomes bouncy if I hit a dip or uneven road.

I use a rooftop tent so I want the airbags all round to have full four corner adjustability to get it level on any surface. Also I drop it to the bumpstops to get in my driveway at home. But if I were doing this again, I would probably just start with rear airbags as that is a lot easier to set up and less prone to issues.


GQshayne is also setting his ute up with rear Firestone airbags at the moment, so I posted a few photos in this thread which might give you an idea of what it loks like.
http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/suspension-57/qld-airbag-regulations-215986/
 

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Dirt Devil, I also meant to add that one of the things that convinced me that the bags were reliable for remote area travel. David Olsen who used to be a regular forum member (have not heard from him for a while) he runs a GU with full Firestone airbags for his 4x4 training and tag-a-long tour company, travelling regularly to the Cape, Simpson Canning stock rt. etc. Not sure what vehicle he uses now but I know that he did get a lot of remote area miles out of the Airbag GU.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again for your reply geordie4x4, after reading what you posted there seems to be alot of things to consider. I am going to have to do some more research I think.

cheers DD.
 

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Thanks again for your reply geordie4x4, after reading what you posted there seems to be alot of things to consider. I am going to have to do some more research I think.

cheers DD.
Yes it depends on what you want to achieve by doing it, and what you want to spend versus how handy you are at doing it yourself. You can buy a pair of bags from Trucksprings USA for around $400 bucks delivered.

The most basic kit is from Airbag Man at about $1100 with bags and all mountings, for the rear only to be at 2 to 3" lift and uses tyre (shrader) valves for adjustment when you add load, you pump it up to level it.

I sort of wanted a bit more out of it so have a fully adjustable system with auto levelling functions, onboard air system, much more height adjustment, longer airbags and longer shocks. (but I can never tell the wife how much it actually cost).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am after a better ride from the rear as I tow all the time and do carry a good tonne in the wagon sometimes but because of this the rear setup is quite harsh when there is nothing in or on wagon or trailer.
I have no problem fabricating mounts etc. as I was or am a F&Turner but have not worked in that trade for 20 years since I left the army.

The bags you used seem to be a better setup than the triple bags I posted, I did look at truck springs and doing the setup myself but when I seen the price with the five year warranty I thought it would just be easier to buy the kit.
One concern I had was I have alot of bracing on the spring towers because of the weight I carry and this could get in the way, Its been there for ten years with no affect on the towers as far as cracking goes.

I have the on board air setup and the poly bags are adjustable from inside the cab so would want to keep this setup if I go ahead with the bags.
How does the self leveling work, is it a kit or level censer of some sort?
As I said before my main concern is if not pumped up to high I will get the wallowing.

cheers DD.
 

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GQ Dual Cab. TD42Ti with fruit.
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Hmmm........

Experience counts for a lot - just like everything. I have little in regards to air suspension, but will add what I have learned thus far.

The bags most of us are using have a self damping action, as opposed to a bellows type bag. I have been told by another member that has been through this before, and this is what he learned. He reckons his old Tough Dog shocks provided enough damping for them. Good damping should control any wallowing in my opinion.

The fronts are the big problem on the Patrol, due to the geometry. The rears provide the most benefit (especially for carrying varying loads) and are much easier to set up.

I just bought a set of bags from the US. The bags, some air line, air valves and fittings, including freight, was about $500 AUD.

Mounts do have to be made though. I am hopefully going to get some measurements from my mate, which will make the job a bit easier than starting from scratch.

I have a compressor and air tank, so I bought this controller to adjust the bags.

Pressure Gauge 220 AIR Ride Suspension Twin AIR BAG Control Unit Firestone | eBay

These bags have internal bump stops, but Geordie tells me they are very harsh. His solution is to fit a more progressive bump stop that is a bit longer then standard. It seems that 80 series mounts are a good option, but to make sure you have enough clearance to the bag, a new mount might have to be fabricated.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for that GQShayne, I have that controller on my poly bags along with endless air and a tank.
When you get some measurements do you think you could pass them on to me?
I take it the bags are #5422, what size tube have you used?

regards DD.
 

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Yep, will do. Not sure when that will happen. I may end up having to work it out myself, so not sure when.

Yes the bags are the #5422. As for tube, do you mean air line??? It is quarter inch.
 

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Ga'day,

Well I have been dabbling in these for the last 8 years, and found that yes the rolling sleeve is the far better option over the bellows style, as the rolling sleeve will dampen itself, where the bellow will act like a pogo stick.
As Geordie well knows there a limitless combinations you can go with these.
Ive always kept it simple, bags, 1/4 air line, Schrader valves. But you soon learn that that wont be enough, as you have the car at the height you wont, but then you fill your tank up and the extra weight can be the difference of an inch in height.
I currently run a sort of simple setup rolling sleeve airbags, 1/4 air line, with inline Schrader valves t'd into 4 electric valves connected to my compressor, and I use a wireless key fob to control it. It was a pretty cheap setup considering.
You need to choose what style of piston, narrow soft ride for light car or wide piston or hour glass piston. I chose the hour glass piston for my current setup as its heavy and tows a lot, and works a treat. the 5422 is a pretty good all-round bag good for up to 3"lift.
When you get on truck springs have a look at the information pdf and it will tell you there recommended design height, but remember when choosing your bags to factor in your mount height.
Mounts are simple, I have made mine to be able to pull out like a coil if needed, the air bag man kit I believe requires you to weld the mounts into place which can stuff you up if ever needed to throw some coils in.
There recommended lifespan is approx. 7 years, which by 7 years a coil would have sagged.
I have only ever blown 2 bags, one was trying to look like a tool and lowering it down too low and went around a corner too fast and had a bottom out and pinched the bag between the mounts, the second was down in Tassie doing the clymes track towing a 2.5ton van and the mount was loose and spun changing the offset and on full compression rubbed on the top trailing arm mount, which was probably my fault for not tightening it up.
All of my travelling is remote,highway, through padocks and so on, so don't let people use that excuse on you for not going that way, some mates of mine used to run them in winch challenge trucks doing OBC & Cliffhanger and never popped one.

I hope this helps some its the best I could do with a yelling missus and a screaming kid
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for that chicken, All info helps good or bad as I only want to do it once.

cheers DD.
 

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The AirbagMan mounts are all bolt in, as I was lead to belive they were initially designed to be completely removable for mining companies that want to run airbags on work utes then remove them to put them back to standars coils when they trade them in.

There is a photo of the kit in the second post of this thread:
http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/suspension-57/qld-airbag-regulations-215986/

But as Chicken said, to re-design and have them easily removable is an advantage. I have changed the bolts in the top rear of my airbags and cut holes in the rear floor directly above so I can remove a rubber plug in the floor and stick an Allen key down to quickly undo the top bolts. I have never needed to touch the rear bags but I did pinch a front bag when dropped to the bumpstops and had to bump over a speed hump to get under a stupid low clearance bar thing in the outside (high clearance) Melbourne Airport carpark (with a camper on the roof).

Good shocks are essential to avoid a bouncy ride over dippy road. They eat up corrugations but can be a bit rolly in fast corners and on fast but undulating roads. Really depends on what it is set up to handle.
 

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GQ Dual Cab. TD42Ti with fruit.
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On the subject of bump stops, it seems to be agreed that the Cruiser 80 stops are the best option, but you need to make mounting plates.

These have received good reviews by forum members that have used them. They do the mounts separately, and just a kit for the rear too, without front stops.

Bump Stop Super Deal! - www.roadrunneroffroad.com.au

I think I might change all 4.
 
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