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Old 11-10-2005, 06:56 AM   #1
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I need to come up with a way of adjusting my ride height (up) to get into different places as my new conversion is very low in the rear , and I can not just raise the ride heights since that causes vibration (drive line) and then I would be over over 13' 6" tall ! any ideas???
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
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Couple of month ago there was a thread here (I think it mainly was about Kingsley) where the guys discussed that issue. Just raising the rear to get over curbs and dips and stuff like that.

Maybe your lucky and one of the same guys chips in here or you can find that old thread.

Walter
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by fastlap:
I need to come up with a way of adjusting my ride height (up) to get into different places as my new conversion is very low in the rear , and I can not just raise the ride heights since that causes vibration (drive line) and then I would be over over 13' 6" tall ! any ideas???
fastlap
i will build a Pete 387 conversion for a friend soon; im also thinking about a adjuster so he can rise the rear for clearing his driveway and for reaching "off road" camping spots in the dunes/desert.
my idea (im still working on it so it is not final) is to replace the solid autolevel air valve framemount with a swinging "bellcrank" with a spring to hold it secure in "low" position. i was thinking to move the valve in the "high" position by a small electric linear trunk actuator (like you see in hotrods)
install a el switch and warning indicator in the dash and bingo; higher (self leveled) ride by the flick of a switch.
could also be a little air actuator with a air switch in the dash....
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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spooner , I just ordered a pnuematic air cyl (tiny) with a 4.5 inch stroke spring return (internal) and I will use this in place of the connecting rod and actuate it with my old air ride fifth wheel line which is still attached to the frame and connected to the dash switch and that should do what I am looking for ! thanks for the input T
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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You could also do what I have done. I plumbed my existing Air Slide 5th wheel line into the air bag supply line with a check valve. When I want more height I just flip the switch and wait for the extra air to raise the bags. Now the ride height valve is still deflating the bags but the input is greater so for a short time period I am letting in more than is escaping thus giving me more height and when I am done I flip the switch the other way and the ride height valve does the rest.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:42 AM   #6
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Silly question, how much extra height are we talking about?

2,5,10 inches? I guess fastlap mentioned 4.5

Walter
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:18 PM   #7
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The back end dragging is one of the arguments that I had with the folks at Showhauler. They told me that NOBODY complains about it. No matter how careful a driver you are, there are situations in everyday driving where you drive down a steep driveway followed by a high crowned street. I do my best to avoid these situations, but sometimes you're there and there isn't anyway around it. Why does Showhauler as well as just about everyone else make their rigs in this fashion? I'm currently reworking the back end of my garagecoach. I had WMF (Showhauler's basement door manufacturer) build two tapered doors for me. They only charged me about $20-$50 above the cost of a standard door. I thought that was more than reasonable considering the fact that there was drafting work and change orders involved. My new doors start at the same height as the standard doors, but taper upwards 6 inches. I'm almost done with the job and it looks great! I had to weld new supports for the boxes. I also had to cut the old boxes apart, remove about 6 inches of sheetmetal from them and reweld them back together again. This would have been so simple when the rig was being manufactured, but of course, Showhauler knows best. God forbid that they make a change! I'll send some pics to Lonnie and if I'm in the area might stop by and show off my work, but I don't forsee them making any changes. It's frustrating and like talking to the wall sometimes. Good luck on everyone elses ideas for resolving this particular problem that should be taken care of at the factory during the design stage. But of course, they say that NOBODY complains about dragging the ass end and thus causing damage.
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:58 AM   #8
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Its hard to believe that know one complains about this issue ! I was told the very same thing , but I believe I complained enough for everyone !
Its stupid , & almost all of the low end camper people caught on 10 years ago when they started to raise the tails of their rigs quite a bit and started to pay attention to ground clearance
Now I can flip a switch and get 20" at the tail which is 7'5" from the rear axel !
Its still not enough in the real world and I have to be carefull in some areas , but it is a lot better than the 12" that I have normaly !
WHen I picked up my rig in Indiana the very first trip of 8 miles I wiped out my electric steps pulling out of a local pizza hut !
the problem that I explained to the company is Indiana roads and entrances are flat when compared to Rural new york mountains ! I guess it is not going to change till the masses start to bitch !
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Old 07-27-2006, 04:38 PM   #9
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It's probably more like:
"If you get us to fix your bumper-scraping problem, then EVERYBODY'S gonna want us to fix theirs too! And we just CAN'T have THAT!"
Or something like that....
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:14 PM   #10
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Fastlop,
I have been considering the same solution on my project that you mentioned in this post.


Quote:
spooner , I just ordered a pnuematic air cyl (tiny) with a 4.5 inch stroke spring return (internal) and I will use this in place of the connecting rod and actuate it with my old air ride fifth wheel line which is still attached to the frame and connected to the dash switch and that should do what I am looking for ! thanks for the input T
Can you tell me where you got the cylinder with part numbers and the like? I would like to learn more about how you solved this issues...

Diagrams or pictures would be great

Thanks

Jim
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:58 PM   #11
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...you guys are really on to some thing here!!!!......I'd suggest talking with a supplier......20" rise is something to really appreciate!......my trailer has a 4" roller the total width of the trailer to lessen the damage of the curb to road hight or crown in the road....it is really scarred up from the butt drag!....sometimes late on arrival I have a free spark show crossing lanes into a truck stop from the road crown....geofkaye
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Radman:

Can you tell me where you got the cylinder with part numbers and the like? I would like to learn more about how you solved this issues...

Diagrams or pictures would be great
I pieced together a setup using parts from McMaster Carr.

These are the parts I used:
1 6464K16 PNEUMATIC CONTROL VALVE, FLIP TOGGLE, 3-WAY, 2-POS, MANUAL RETURN, 1/8" NPT

2 2639T7 PTFE SLEEVE BEARING, FOR 1/4" SHAFT DIA, 3/8" OD, 1/2" LENGTH

3 2639T15 PTFE SLEEVE BEARING, FOR 3/8" SHAFT DIA, 5/8" OD, 3/4" LENGTH

4 51915K11 BRASS D.O.T. INSTANT TUBE FITTING, MALE STRAIGHT ADAPTER FOR 1/4" TUBE OD, 1/8" NPTF

5 51915K31 BRASS D.O.T. INSTANT TUBE FITTING, 90 DEG SWVL ELBOW,TUBE X MALE,1/4"TUBE OD,1/8"NPTF quan:2

6 5097T689 D.O.T. CHOOSE-A-COLOR NYLON TUBING FOR AIR, NONREINFORCED,.170"ID,1/4"OD,.040"WALL,SILVER,25'L

7 6498K526 STAINLESS STEEL AIR CYLINDER, SPRING-RETURN, PIVOT-MOUNT, 3/4" BORE, 4" STROKE

8 1064K771 LIGHTWEIGHT NYLON BALL JOINT ROD END, 5/8"-18 RH FEMALE SHANK, 382 POUND LOAD CAPACITY

9 1064K721 LIGHTWEIGHT NYLON BALL JOINT ROD END, 1/4"-28 RH FEMALE SHANK, 90 POUND LOAD CAPACITY

10 91264A240 ALLOY STEEL SELF-LOCKING STANDARD SHLDR SCREW, 1/4" SHLDR DIA, 3/8"L SHLDR, 10-24 THRD, W/PELLET T

11 91264A245 ALLOY STEEL SELF-LOCKING STANDARD SHLDR SCREW, 1/4" SHLDR DIA, 3/4"L SHLDR, 10-24 THRD, W/PELLET T


Parts totaled about $100. The Bill of Materials noted above will have to be modified based on the diameter of the fixed stud on your axle and the air valve on the frame.

I mounted the switch under the dash and get about 3" of additional clearance when the system is activated.

I'll post a picture if I can get a decent angle the next time I'm crawling around under the rig.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #13
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....brilliant!....geofkaye
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:44 PM   #14
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Brilliant indeed, I am on Mc Master Carr right now checking out the parts and matching them up with my application. I also had a great conversation with FastLap tonight. I think I have the solution I was looking for. I will let you all know how it works out.

One note: I believe I will use an electrical switch at the insturment panel rather than air.

Thanks

Rad
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:10 PM   #15
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.Radman:...much further than I ever got!....I was thinking a small 12 vt reversing motor and a leed screw...and that is as far as I got!.....I had to take an emergency nap that day-the strain of laying under the tractor on a creeper and thinking out a plan made me sleepy.....and as usual- I forgot about the plan-some time during that nap till now[2+years ago].....geofkaye
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by geofkaye:
.Radman:...much further than I ever got!....I was thinking a small 12 vt reversing motor and a leed screw...and that is as far as I got!.....I had to take an emergency nap that day-the strain of laying under the tractor on a creeper and thinking out a plan made me sleepy.....and as usual- I forgot about the plan-some time during that nap till now[2+years ago].....geofkaye
Until 2+ years later? Have we awakened the sleeping genus?

I think this will work out pretty well. I am considering a simple 1-way solenoid and a controled bleed hole to bleed off the air in the extension cylinder and return to the normal position.

Simple and elegant solution to the retraction of the cylinder or silly idea: what do you guys think?

Radman
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:52 PM   #17
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Today I ordered the cylinder that I will use for the lift adjust on the back of my T2000.

I think the T is different from the Volvos that I have been reading about in that the actuator rod I am replacing is only 9" long. The combination detailed by Dr Fun is too long for my truck, (but I still apreciated the post).
Based on conversations with others, the retrun force was an issue and one poster recomended more extension power than what I thought we would need. I was thinking that 5 to 10 lbs would work but based on the minimal cost differnce for MORE POWER I opted for the bigger cylinder.

I ordered this from John Henery Foster Company here in St Louis MO

Manufacturer - Bimba #SR-044-H a 3/4" top mount cylinder with a 4" stroke
2 options were added to the standard cylinder
∑ Stainless steel shaft (corrosion resistance)
∑ Heavy duty return spring (more return force)
The cylinder will have:
10 lbs return force (standard 6 lbs)
40 lbs extension at 100 lbs/ air pressure

The cylinder will be under 10" long with a rod end added to the shaft and we can make it work.
A simple bracket will be fabricated with 1/8" band iron and a tab to axel mount it.
Total cost less than 30 bucks

I will use a simple 2 way valve with a "T" inserted between the valve and the cylinder. I will cap the open end of the "T" an drill a small hole in the cap. The hole will allow the presure bleed off after the valve is closed and the level control will return to normal mode/ride hight.

If anyone is interesteed I can send a JPG of the drawings prepaired for mounting, just let me know. I couldnt figure out how to post the JJPG in the message.

I hope this helps someone out.

Rad
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:51 AM   #18
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I have a quick update to the ride height / air cylinder that we installed last month. It works great in the shop and raised the back of the truck about 4.5" higher at the rear corners where it is most likley to get hung-up.

We upgraded the solenoid to a 3-way that bleads off the air when it is in the non energized state. This was in lue of drilling a bleed hole as mentioned in my previous post. As noted in that post previous post we were going to use a valve that we had in stock, but when we went to the parts bin the bin was empty. So we went ahead bought the right part for the job and it was only a few bucks more.

Here are the specifics:
o Manufacturer Ė Humphrey 310 series - Part number 310-12VDC
o Description 1/8" ports, 3-way, two position, spring return with 24" leads
o Price is $23.00, plus $2.79 for the bracket, plus freight

We wont know how it works on-the-road until August or so...and that is if we are lucky.

Jim
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:49 PM   #19
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One more update to this post...

Last week we installed and tested the ride height option discussed above. Everything worked as planned with one exception. The ride height control switch didn't respond as we had thought. A bit of frustration and some experimentation led Jason to dismantle the OEM limit switch and noticed that it is full of "JELL". That's right a gooey jell that dampens the movement of the lever relative to the internal valves that control the air. This is how the OEM supplied switch keeps from cycling based on rapidly changing situations. The valve has to be in position for a moment or two before it responds to the change.

I remember having a conversation with someone on the list about their "ride height" not coming back down. He was adding additional return force to make sure the cylinder was retracting with a bungee. I think the real issue may have been the jell in the switch that takes several moments for the internals to respond and bleed the air out. This may be really slow in cold weather.

In any event we removed about 50% of the jell and it seems to respond better but will hopefully have enough dampening left so it doesn't cycle too much.

We also added some rollers to the end corners of the coach to help with the roll vs drag issues when we do touch down.

I hope this helps intrested parties understand the whole system.

Good luck if you should decide to go for it.

Jim
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:48 PM   #20
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......huummm....got to think this one through again......not sure that an over ride switch might work.....geofkaye
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