al-ko Air Top tech help needed

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by jnahughes, May 30, 2014.

  1. jnahughes

    jnahughes Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    March
    Hello all, first post, tried a search but nothing came up on Google, so here goes..

    My 56 plate Swift Suntor 630L has Al-Ko air top suspension added, but one of the units is leaking (deflates overnight). I have removed it and know where the leak is - not the bellows but at the interface between the plastic and lower metal mount bracket.

    I wanted to simply dismantle, clean the presumably rusty surface of the bracket which is causing the leak, and reassemble with some gasket compound. But, the bolts are seized absolutely solid. Broke a CRV Torx bit trying to shift them. So dismantling is a no go I think - cannot use heat as it's plastic, already tried impact drivers etc.

    So have a couple of options. New unit, or I was wondering whether I could use a high capillary action thread sealant round the unit to seep in and seal the leak (e.g http://www.bearingboys.co.uk/Truloc_355_10ml__Loctite_Equivalent__290_-10349-p). Then perhaps epoxy resin over that. I was going to weld round the outside until I realised the bellow mount is plastic which is not renowned for it's welding to metal capabilities!

    So, has anyone ever tried something like this? And secondly, where can I buy just the unit if repair plan fails - all the local places have denied any knowledge (even the Al-ko dealers!). I really really don't want to buy the complete kit - it's £500ish.

    Thanks for any help!

    James

    EDIT: Just thought of another option - tyre sealant - the stuff you put in a tyre when it has a slow leak to bung it up - anyone any success with something like that?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  2. SandJ

    SandJ Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    518
    Location:
    North Yorks
  3. jnahughes

    jnahughes Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    March
    Yes, they haven't yet got back. I'm more interested of any experience anyone has of repairing the units - simply for cost reasons (Just had 4 new tyres...)

    They SHOULD be repairable, but I just cannot get the damn things apart...

    James
     
  4. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,594
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Don’t have any experience of air suspension but I think the tyre sealant might migrate along the pipework if you ever adjust the pressures ?
     
  5. rrusty

    rrusty Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi I also have got a leak in my factory fitted Al-KO and the rear bags on the tag axle have deflated twice, once was on the motorway and the trying to get onto a steep pitch and I have also tried a lot of Al-KO service centres on there web site.

    I also tried contacting a firm I'm Cheshire but they are on holiday for a month.

    I sent AL-KO an Email 3 weeks ago but they never replied.

    I am currently in Spain and it is quite worrying incase it happens again and does not re-inflate.
     
  6. jnahughes

    jnahughes Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    March
    That was my concern although the air input is right at the top of the unit, and the leak is at the bottom, so one would expect it to be fairly distant from the line itself. Although getting it in in the first place might be a pain!
     
  7. jnahughes

    jnahughes Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    March
    That's odd. I'm not sure why they would suddenly deflate, but then be OK otherwise. Are your's the manual pump version, or does the van have a compressor to maintain the pressure?

    I did speak to Al-ko on the phone and the woman I spoke to asked me to send a photo so she could determine exactly what was and wasn't possible with regard to repair. Only a couple of days ago though, and I expect they need to talk to Italy for any tech questions.

    Just for interest, here are the photos I sent.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,594
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    Location:
    Cumbria
    A picture is worth a thousand words :Smile: They look like the Firestone air bags we have fitted to presses at work. I think your only option would be to strip them down, but that will mean drilling the bolts out which may be problematic in itself :Sad:
     
  9. jnahughes

    jnahughes Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    March
    Certainly considering that. What is odd is that the bolts are locked solid in to the plastic bits (the not rusty red disks at each end of the bellow) so I am assuming some sort of evil thread lock, which might be a real problem if I try to drill out given its plastic.

    Still, if I have to get a new one, I can experiment...
     
  10. rrusty

    rrusty Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scotland
    I have a rocker switch on the dash which lights green when pressed up and green for down and middle no lights for normal a couple of weeks ago both up and down started to flash all the time, tried to find out what it ment but could not find any info at the time but have now found out it may be a leak as sometimes I can here the compressor starting itself and it raises it up sometimes.

    On the way to the ferry we had the bags loose pressure and we got the breakdown guy out and don't know if it was connected to the leak but very thin piece of metal that connects a rod to the bags had broke so he made new pieces for both sides and it worked great for our trip to Spain apart for the flashing lights and then we lost pressure to the same side again trying to get onto a terraced pitch that was very uneven, but it did the-inflate again but I have not tried to get of the pitch yet.
    Oh I don't have any dials or other switches it is all auto.
     
  11. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,594
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Think you’ll find the red plastic disc is maybe just a spacer, the bolts will go through that and into a metal clamping ring which sits over a bead inside the rubber airbag. Because the bolts are countersunk, if you drill the heads slowly with a decent drill bit, the same size as the bolt (might have to guess that ) you will get the heads to shear off the rest of the bolts. This should free off the metal plate and plastic spacer leaving the bead locking ring with the bolt stubs in. You should be able to get them out with mole grips or similar. Countersunk bolts are a bitch to undo as the head has a large contact area with whatever it’s screwed into.
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,224
    Likes Received:
    9,612
    Location:
    Dorset
    getting the alko version of the bag might be difficult, but marcle leisure can supply replacement bags and brackets that will fit as good as original equipment

    they are the only people i know of that will supply either parts or full kits without any problem. give them a ring as they are really helpful
    http://www.marcleleisure.co.uk/store/-c-58.html
     
  13. rrusty

    rrusty Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scotland
    Well we got of the pitch ok, but a few miles further on the back right bags deflated but decided to carry on a further 50 miles to our next campsite,only going at 40mph and taking corners very slowly, so have phoned breakdown services and they are comming tommorow so that in itself will be difficult with the language barrier.
     
  14. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,224
    Likes Received:
    9,612
    Location:
    Dorset
    never drive with no air in the bags, it will damage them irreparably
     
  15. rrusty

    rrusty Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scotland
    I have got them inflated again, so see what happens tomorrow.
     
Loading...

Share This Page