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Old 04-11-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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Default air side conversion??

I have done 2 trips in my home built creation, and was wondering if a rear air ride would make it ride much better.
I have found a 92 or so Freightliner OTR tractor that i can get the rear axle and suspension from.

opinions??

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Old 04-11-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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I don't know. But, I can tell you I've got a air ride rear axle and it is firm. My axle is rated at 22,700 lbs. My rear axle scales at about 18k lbs with full water. I've ridden back in the back bedroom and it's a firm ride. Not smooth and cushy. The plus side is the thing does not sway and rock around. It is solid. I wonder if the bigger benefit to the air ride is the auto leveling capability. And, is it lighter than steel springs?
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'03 Freightliner FL112, 295" wheel base, with '03 United Specialties 26' living quarters, single screw, Cat C12 430 h/p 1650 torque, Eaton 10speed , 3.42 rear axle ratio
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
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Bob is correct about the firm ride. I suspect that the air ride axle will be better though. Spring suspension has to loaded to near its capacity for it to ride nice. It will probably be relatively simple to swap axles.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
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Thats why we pulled a couple leafs out of our rear springs. Made a big difference. It doesn't ride like a Silver Eagle, but the springs can actually move now.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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Well I found this axle and bought the suspension and all. For $125!!

some new air bags and shocks and it should ride much better.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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Doc has a good solution by removing some spring leafs. Mekanic, that should work. Make sure that the gear ratio and drive shaft connections match your truck before you get to deep into the project. Be sure to get the ride height valve and suspension stops off of the donor truck.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:03 PM   #7
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get ALL the brackets, mounts, everything but the frame rails. Nothing is going to interchange with the leaf spring mounts, and it would suck to try to track down a mounting bracket or fitting later, so get it all.

What about a compressor, tank, dump valve, anything else you can scam from the donor truck? Also air line fittings can run up a big bill in a hurry so get what you can. Air line is cheap, just buy a fresh roll for that.

Shame you did not find that before you put the box on, it would have actually been easier to cut the frame off and weld on the whole rear section from the truck with air ride, and you could have lengthened it some while you were at it to cut some of that overhang.

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:51 AM   #8
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Well I have my air ride axle installed and it rides like...a....DREAM!! (compared to the old springs)
I can't believe the difference it has made in the reduction in harshness. It is now quite honestly about the same as most HD pickup trucks.
I put a gauge in the air line just to be curious and it has only 28 PSI in the bags to support the weight which last time I checked was about 8200 lbs. I can jump up and down on the rear bumper and get it moving up and down about 3/4 of an inch NO JOKE!!

this was such a good thing to do. Before I'd stop driving for the day because I was tired and beat. Now I stop because I'm sleepy and my eyes say to stop.
I'll post up details in the next few weeks when I'm back home.
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