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Tractor Transporting Discussion Forum

air bag suspension

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12-23-2011 06:49:11

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The post below made me think... There have been air bags on semis for years now... how come none of the auto makers put them on 3/4 or 1 ton trucks?? Seems to me like it would solve a lot of issues, great ride all the time, self leveling etc. Strange how in 2011 (nearly 2012) we still use a suspension designed hundreds of years ago...

Does anyone think they (auto makers) will change?

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01-24-2012 06:27:31

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
My dad's 2002 3/4 ton suburban with all the options has what GM markets as "Autoride" suspension. Basically, it has a little electric air compressor and ride height sensors that adjust what basically appear to be air-shocks on the rear suspension. Sure rides nice for a 3/4 tin empty; better than my identical pickup version without the cushy creature comforts. Sure makes the passengers in the third row comfortable while still having the ability to bumper pull 10k lbs.

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farmer boy

01-23-2012 16:55:10

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
I think that some GMC Envoys had some sort of air bag set up. Not sure exactly how it worked though.

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12-27-2011 12:35:24

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
i would say mainly the cost of them, a very large amount of new trucks are owned by people who use them to go to the office during the week, and to the box store on saturday, in other words they dont need the hauling capacity, they need the truck to sit in the driveway and look, 'manly', those of us who buy a truck because we need a truck have to customize them to make use of their power and suspensions, so we add air bags, chips, fresh air intake systems, and a few go swipe the old stack tops bubba took off his semi down the road last month, then put them in the bed of a new pickup that no way needs 2 6inch exhaust stacks to breath

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BDT in Minnesota

12-24-2011 12:25:29

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
Cadillac had automatic level control which used an electric air compressor and air ride shocks to aid the spring suspension years ago. It works well, and is a durable system from a Cadillac Dealer Tec's point of view... Air ride is a Godsend to the trucking industry... Air ride semi trailers float down the road. A typical semi tractor-trailer will carry around fifteen to seventy pounds of air pressure in the air bags.. Air pressure is automatically increased only when needed to maintain a level ride... I see an electric air pump and air bag helpers as a logical choice for allot of spring ride vehicles. Can we talk the big three into offering a full air ride option on the light duty trucks? very good question..but public demand would be needed for the product.

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12-24-2011 05:39:58

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
Kelderman's has a pretty good complete kit from what I understand. But the guys who run them on trucks like mine (first-gen Cummins) hate them, and say the stock springs rode better.

Cost is probably the main reason that they aren't used in most cars. That and the auto companies have no respect for people who actually look their vehicles over and do maintanance themselves. The diesel truck resource forums had some Dodge truck engineers on and all they could say to the questions about locking hubs and servicable front bearings, versus the central disconnect and unit bearings currently in place, was "why, when what we have works, would you want something like that?".

Toyota uses air suspension on their big SUV. I think the grand Cherokee might, too, as you can vary its ride height. I think GM used some sort of magnetic set-up in some Buick and Oldes models.

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12-24-2011 09:58:58

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to scotc, 12-24-2011 05:39:58  

I agree with what you have said about Dodge trucks... have a 98 24 valve diesel.. front disconect is a heap of... welded to colars to gether in mine so it's always connected!

Interstingly Landrover uses air suppension for it's Range Rover models and has since late 1994... So obviously some compaies think it's worth it...

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12-25-2011 00:27:36

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-24-2011 09:58:58  
It's the higher-end cars that get it.

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caterpineryhotillar guy

12-23-2011 17:29:55

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
Cost and no other use for an air compressor on a pickup.

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12-23-2011 15:26:49

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to oj, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
my 99 450 drw has an air bag system added on. makes a world of difference in towing vs my 99 f350 drw..


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12-23-2011 07:35:07

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to IHMANKY, 12-23-2011 06:49:11  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

There are kits available, and "Kelderman's" in Oskaloosa, Iowa will sell you the kit and even do the installation. They have a website.

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Chuck Heck

12-23-2011 08:24:03

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 Re: air bag suspension in reply to rustyfarmall, 12-23-2011 07:35:07  
I have used Timbren "overloads" on my 2001 F350 for years and I really like them. They work great.

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