airbag suspension fiat probs

tambo

Free Member
Jun 21, 2014
875
641
Dunfermline fife scotland
Funster No
32,052
MH
a class
Exp
MH Since 2008, ex tugger and vw campers since 1992
My mh is based on the fiat ducato maxi chassis and has the rear airbags fitted which I think is original spec on this van and not aftermarket .....Unfortunately mine seems to leak on both sides but more so on the drivers side.

I had a leaky rear shock which I spotted a month or so ago and as I was going to France for a fortnight stuck a new set of 1800 kg original spec shocks on it , I'd hoped this would solve the airbag leak but doesn't seem to have been having to inflate them 3 or 4 times a day :(

I've felt all round the connections at the games and valves etc under passenger seat and around the bags themselves but can't feel any leaks ....just wondered if anyone had had any similar probs ....im hoping it's just a case of leaky hoses or something as the bags themselves look to be quite pricy

Just got home this evening so hoping to have a look at it in depth over the weekend
 
Aug 30, 2012
4,220
6,775
Home of the war horse
Funster No
22,676
MH
burstnar T640
Exp
2010
Option 1
Get a tin of air leak detector from local truck parts suppliers and spray around bags pipes and fittings you will soon find the leak
Option 2 (cheaper)
Mix up some washing up liquid with water and use a small water sprayer it works fine our fitters at work use it all time
 
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tambo

Free Member
Jun 21, 2014
875
641
Dunfermline fife scotland
Funster No
32,052
MH
a class
Exp
MH Since 2008, ex tugger and vw campers since 1992
Option 1
Get a tin of air leak detector from local truck parts suppliers and spray around bags pipes and fittings you will soon find the leak
Option 2 (cheaper)
Mix up some washing up liquid with water and use a small water sprayer it works fine our fitters at work use it all time
Ok well i inflated the bags today to 6 bar and sprayed all round the bags etc ....no obvious signs of leaks and there's no joins in the hoses between bags and the junction valves under the passenger seat.

I'm unsure what these valves do .....They have a red screw knob on the top with a + and - on them doesn't seem to make much difference where they're positioned as to how much air goes in etc so anyone any idea what they're for?

I tried phoning dave newell but he's closed till 5th August

I'm stumped at the minute as to what's wrong with them im wondering if taking it to a petrol station and over inflating them with a tyre inflator may work better than my cigarette lighter compressor as it won't go past 6 bar .....i read somewhere online that sometimes over inflating them can cure leaks .....there's obviously a leak somewhere as one looses all pressure in an hour and the other about 2 hours when vehicle is just sat still

Any ideas guys ?
 
Aug 25, 2007
3,412
1,718
Ecclefechan
Funster No
168
MH
Autocruise Starseeker
Exp
Caravaning since 1974 - Motorhoming since 2003
It is recommended to raise the pressure to around 80 psi and leave for a week. The thinking behind this is as the pipes are plastic they may bed in under higher pressure. This recommendation came with mine from Dunlop in their instruction sheet.

I think like tyres they will go down a little over time as they have the same valves.
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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See that's the thing I've been putting 6 bar in them which is equivalent to 87 psi and yet they're flat within a couple of hours the drivers side loses pressure completely within the hour and the passenger side about 2 hours yet there's no obvious leaks :(

Google search doesn't find anyone close to me neither that deals with air suspension
 
Aug 30, 2012
4,220
6,775
Home of the war horse
Funster No
22,676
MH
burstnar T640
Exp
2010
I know it's not in your area but try
Armitages trailers at knotingley West Yorkshire he may be able to help
He fitted mine and seems like a nice chap

It's got to be a leak somewhere
Don't put more than 100psi or you will blow something when mine where fitted the fitter put in 100psi left it 10 minutes then let it down to 80 psi and told me never go over 80 psi
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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Yeah I've come to that conclusion too as it keeps going down so has to be leaking but im buggered if I can find it lol.

I'm going to try inflating them at the petrol station tommorrow I might try 100 psi just to see if that may seal it .....a friend has also suggested nitrogen as it's supposed to not leak the same way air does ...local Kwik fit does it

That failing im going to have to remove bags try inflating then dropping in a bucket of water I think .....though I'm inclined to think it's the gauges or valves under the seat that's leaking rather than the bags .....its one of those annoying things
 
Aug 6, 2013
7,825
6,584
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
Ok well i inflated the bags today to 6 bar and sprayed all round the bags etc ....no obvious signs of leaks and there's no joins in the hoses between bags and the junction valves under the passenger seat.

I'm unsure what these valves do .....They have a red screw knob on the top with a + and - on them doesn't seem to make much difference where they're positioned as to how much air goes in etc so anyone any idea what they're for?

I tried phoning dave newell but he's closed till 5th August

I'm stumped at the minute as to what's wrong with them im wondering if taking it to a petrol station and over inflating them with a tyre inflator may work better than my cigarette lighter compressor as it won't go past 6 bar .....i read somewhere online that sometimes over inflating them can cure leaks .....there's obviously a leak somewhere as one looses all pressure in an hour and the other about 2 hours when vehicle is just sat still

Any ideas guys ?
The two valves are to close off the lines to the airbags. If they are left open you are relying entirely on the inflation valve and gauge to retain air. More importantly if they are open you will have no idea whether it's one side or both that lose(s) air.

So open both valves by turning anti-clockwise when using the airline. Once you have your chosen pressure close both valves fully by turning clockwise until they're firmly closed. Doing this will prevent any leak from the inflation valve and from the gauge. Then see which, if any, side loses air by waiting a few hours then opening the valves one at a time, first one side: read pressure; close valve. Then do the same for the other side. If there's a leak between the valve and the airbag you will see a pressure drop on that side.
 
Sep 8, 2010
659
863
Kent the white cliffs end
Funster No
13,615
MH
LeVoyageur A Class
Exp
Not long enough
i have AL-KO Air Top on mine wich is an additional air suspension it dose not replace the springs and in the hand book is says 3 bar. there are two gauges with tyre valves on
 
Last edited:
Dec 4, 2009
246
134
Scotland
Funster No
9,563
MH
A Class
Exp
7
I have got factory fitted air suspension on a Ducato tag axle and have got an air leak in the rear left, in fact they totally deflated twice when in Spain a few weeks ago but that was down to broken linkage - but the air leak may have contributed to it. I have had it looked at by a heavy haulage garage who does air suspension,now I am back home and they found no leaks but as mine are automatic and the air compressor sometimes runs and runs they think it might be a solenoid that's not working properly. They are AL-KO
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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The two valves are to close off the lines to the airbags. If they are left open you are relying entirely on the inflation valve and gauge to retain air. More importantly if they are open you will have no idea whether it's one side or both that lose(s) air.

So open both valves by turning anti-clockwise when using the airline. Once you have your chosen pressure close both valves fully by turning clockwise until they're firmly closed. Doing this will prevent any leak from the inflation valve and from the gauge. Then see which, if any, side loses air by waiting a few hours then opening the valves one at a time, first one side: read pressure; close valve. Then do the same for the other side. If there's a leak between the valve and the airbag you will see a pressure drop on that side.
Il give this a go tommorrow , up till now I've had both knows turned fully clockwise at all times even when inflating , air seems to have got through to the bags as they've always inflated but then both gauges lose pressure within a few hours

But il try your suggestion tommorrow and see if the bags stay inflated
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
875
641
Dunfermline fife scotland
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MH
a class
Exp
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i have AL-KO Air Top on mine wich is an additional air suspension it dose not replace the springs and in the hand book is says 3 bar. there are two gauges with tyre valves on
Although mine isn't an alko chassis my bags don't replace the springs either only the Bumpstop s it still has leaf springs and gas shocks
 

Ed Excel

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Nov 27, 2012
870
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Ribble Valley
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Coach built
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Started 2007
Not a permanent fix, but I'd be carrying some tyre sealant, for emergencies, if I had bags
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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641
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MH
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Exp
MH Since 2008, ex tugger and vw campers since 1992
Not a permanent fix, but I'd be carrying some tyre sealant, for emergencies, if I had bags
A mate had suggested putting that gel you get for motorbikes to prevent punctures in the system but im reluctant as not sure if that would do long term damage , he also suggested nitrogen as apparently that's the latest thing from Kwik fit supposedly guarantee your tyres don't lose pressure like they do with air
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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if you inject the puncture gel into the airbags it will probably work, but will cause issues in the airlines and valves
 

TheBig1

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marcle leisure stock all the parts at sensible prices and can supply compatible airbags and fittings if necessary and you can do the fitting yourself
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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I would also definitely recommend Dave Newell. He has just fitted air suspension to my Fiat Ducato chassis van and has done a great job.

(y)(y)
I tried phoning date this morning message on answer machine says closed till 5th August :)
 

Ed Excel

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Nov 27, 2012
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Ribble Valley
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Started 2007
if you inject the puncture gel into the airbags it will probably work, but will cause issues in the airlines and valves
The sealant doesn't set inside a pressurised system, eg tyres or maybe air bags, and tyres have valves. I have Punctureseal in my Motorhome tyres. Air can be added or released from the tyres, even with the sealant in them. Think I'd risk adding it in an emergency.
 
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tambo

Free Member
Jun 21, 2014
875
641
Dunfermline fife scotland
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MH
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MH Since 2008, ex tugger and vw campers since 1992
The two valves are to close off the lines to the airbags. If they are left open you are relying entirely on the inflation valve and gauge to retain air. More importantly if they are open you will have no idea whether it's one side or both that lose(s) air.

So open both valves by turning anti-clockwise when using the airline. Once you have your chosen pressure close both valves fully by turning clockwise until they're firmly closed. Doing this will prevent any leak from the inflation valve and from the gauge. Then see which, if any, side loses air by waiting a few hours then opening the valves one at a time, first one side: read pressure; close valve. Then do the same for the other side. If there's a leak between the valve and the airbag you will see a pressure drop on that side.
Okay so i tried this this morning ...if I turn the valves under seat completely anti clockwise then no air goes In at all if I tighten them right up clockwise then the airbags inflate but still deflate within a couple of hours .....and don't seem to be able to use tyre inflator at the petrol station it doesn't open the valves so can only use portable compressor .....my head hurts with this lol
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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many many years! since I was a kid
Okay so i tried this this morning ...if I turn the valves under seat completely anti clockwise then no air goes In at all if I tighten them right up clockwise then the airbags inflate but still deflate within a couple of hours .....and don't seem to be able to use tyre inflator at the petrol station it doesn't open the valves so can only use portable compressor .....my head hurts with this lol
so fill the bags as usual then turn the valves anti clockwise to seal the lines

really sounds like an aftermarket air assisted kit to me from your description. as i have said, ring marcle leisure and they will do all they can to help and know what parts will fit etc
http://www.marcleleisure.co.uk/store/-c-58.html
 
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tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
875
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Dunfermline fife scotland
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MH Since 2008, ex tugger and vw campers since 1992
Turn them anti clockwise they go down

It most definately is not an after market kit the van is based on the fiat maxi chassis cab and unlike a lot of vans that have the alko chassis from the cab back this hasn't it's the original fiat chassis , aftermarket kits replace the Bumpstop s this vehicle has never had Bumpstop s it's had the airbags from new , at the minute there's no point speaking to markle leisure for parts as currently I've no idea where the system is leaking from so no idea which part is faulty if any
 
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