Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Pretty much everything on the bottom side of the coach: Steering, wheels, tires, brakes, suspension
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markus53
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2022 8:06 pm

Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by markus53 »

Hi all. It's me again.

The front end of my coach seems low. I'm hoping the new Konis will help a little bit with that, but I know my air bag/helper springs are shot. Would those help to raise the front end?

Henderson's Line Up advocates replacement coil springs that, they say, eliminate the need for air bags. Does anyone have an opinion on that?

Thanks, in advance, your any thoughts or counsel you can share.
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Novice with 2005 Simba 30ft.
Workhorse 8.1L GM engine 35K miles
Milwaukie, OR
wolfe10
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:12 pm

Re: Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by wolfe10 »

Yes, on the Workhorse P chassis, the air bags inside the front springs are a CRITICAL part of your suspension.

Without them (or stronger springs, like from Henderson), you will bottom out the suspension, rapidly wear out the front tires, etc.

Do not drive except to a shop before fixing this.

Many have replaced their own air bags and there are plenty of discussions on sites dealing with the P Chevy/Workhorse chassis.

BTW, shocks have nothing to do with ride height. The control motion, but do not support weight.
Brett and Dianne Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'. Ex 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex 1993 Foretravel U240
Moderator, FMCA Forums 2009-2020
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee 2011- 2020
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/ (FMCA chapter) 2002-
markus53
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2022 8:06 pm

Re: Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by markus53 »

Brett -
Thank you 1,000,000 for your response. It explains the problem we had with the suspension bottoming out when google maps routed us over a bad road (hwy 53 from the coast back to hwy 26 to Portland).
Any opinion on whether stiffer springs are "better" than replacement airbags? I'm kind of blown away at the pricing on the supersteer springs. $400!
Markus
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Novice with 2005 Simba 30ft.
Workhorse 8.1L GM engine 35K miles
Milwaukie, OR
wolfe10
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:12 pm

Re: Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by wolfe10 »

Super steer springs are specific for your actual front axle weight, so you would need to weigh it when loaded as you travel.

The air bags allow you to change PSI if you have a significant change in axle weight. There are specs for RIDE HEIGHT (measure between A arms) that is critical for ride and suspension life and is achieved by air in the bags. Certainly less $$ and many have done bag replacement themselves.
Brett and Dianne Wolfe
Ex: 2003 Alpine 38'. Ex 1997 Safari Sahara. Ex 1993 Foretravel U240
Moderator, FMCA Forums 2009-2020
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee 2011- 2020
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/ (FMCA chapter) 2002-
markus53
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2022 8:06 pm

Re: Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by markus53 »

Thank you.
I've watched a couple of videos on youtube where guys replace the airbags themselves. For me it looks like an exercise in awkward body mechanics that would be doable for a younger, more flexible person. I'm 69 and not as nimble as I used to be. But it seems that many here are around my age and are still active maintaining their equipment. The videos show clearly what is required to do the job and it looks doable. Now that we've got a storage space that is level it might be more feasible. My driveway is not level, so that's been a factor in how I've been thinking about this.
Markus
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Novice with 2005 Simba 30ft.
Workhorse 8.1L GM engine 35K miles
Milwaukie, OR
markus53
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2022 8:06 pm

Re: Front end seems low - will air bags help? or should I get heavier springs?

Post by markus53 »

Here's an update, for those interested.

I've weighed my front end with an eye towards getting new springs. But after having watched a "how to" video on Youtube about how to install the springs I've decided to put in airbags.

Here's why:
1. Cost. New springs are about $400. New airbags are about $200.
2. Complexity of the installation - I should be able to do the airbags myself in an hour or so. Having watched the youtube on installing the springs I think the labor cost would be prohibitive. There are so many steps. Holy smokes. If you haven't watched the video, you should spend some time checking it out. The guy has a pretty well developed sense of what he's doing and it clearly is a LOT of work.
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Novice with 2005 Simba 30ft.
Workhorse 8.1L GM engine 35K miles
Milwaukie, OR
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