This 1973 coach is getting its mechanical “proppers” attended to, the air ride system was in/op when it came in. Problem is there’s little maintenance on a spring suspension but there IS on our air ride set up……….so if holding the butt of the coach up is the goal, plugging the bags and filling each with an air line is SOP. Hey, I understand that. With so many other things to nail back on if you can just keep the coach up off the road Its as much love as you can proportion out……..I get it, it’s sort of the way I’ve found I have to do with the hours I still CAN devote to the shop.
I will tell you however if your adjustable air ride system were to work man……. it makes piloting one of these spacecraft’s so much more enjoyable!
So, to that end, let me show you a quick, easy and pretty darn reliable air plumbing circuit for the early manual valve “Power Level” air ride system used in 1973-4-5-6 coaches.
If you have one of these systems, the FIRST thing you do is order up the “Power Level II” air ride control panel/valve upgradeThis little ditty is a must for all of you out there with 2 big black knob on this panel in the middle of your dash. Too many old parts, seals and gaskets to stay in service.
JR Slaten I would call a steely eyed missleman coming up with this upgrade. 1 Viton seal ball valve and though I take out the “presslock” fittings he supplies (totally industry standard) I swap them out for nylon Ferrell Parker brand “68P” series fittings but when JR’s valve system is installed I would calculate 50% of your air ride system has just been renewed! Yes, to me its THAT important.
I have not seen plastic air line degradation unless an area was pinched, worn or scraped. Now the fittings are another story. Except for the original black plastic fitting on those original height control valves (unique fittings) change every fitting as you update this system. Leaks are usually at the fittings.
Next is where I got the title for today’s fodder…… First upgrading the compressor to one of the new Viar models
That cute ole V twin just pulls too much current and can cause so many issues…….brother invest $200+/- for a new compressor.
Next, I would suggest replacing these height control valves in each rear wheelYou can try to run the system with the original ones but just know if they do work they are far past their envelope of life……..I’m just sayin…….
Moving on May be a new idea for some. We are removing the reserve air tank, this is the air control manifold that does everything.Ttankless……the dirty red air line to the right connects to the new dash controls and the rest of the Power Level system. The left side goes to the Viair compressor with its in line check valve. You can see the fixed (110 on/145psi off) regulator, a set pop off safety valve both on the made up manifold. The black relay to the right is controlled thru the air regulator or the dash mounted switch.
This is called an “on dam and” system…..you wanna go up, the compressor turns on and does that. With the manual valves controlling down, when the system is in raise or the suspension low and the dash controls set to “Travel”……the compressor will switch on and do its thing. When you have your height set simply switch off the system turning it back on when you want to change something
This system not only cuts the need for a tank but greatly reduced possible sir leaks due to leaking fitting.
Putting the coach to ride height yesterday, the coach was still up this morningso with all hand on deck, we pushed the coach up onto the lift for its single fuel tanks and finishing the plumbing on the FiTech fuel injection we’re addingSyay tuned, this bird is getting close to flying……
We have the LED headlights with “Angel sus” daytime running lights…..kinda cool.
and our usual 3 battery switch primary power switching1 for the engine battery, a 2 battery switch for the 2 living area and an 3rd on/off switch to tie the 2 battery circuits together. This is a safety and convienance feature that may save your butt one day. Soon this 12 passenger wine tour bus for upper New York will be going home soondestressed wood wine racks front to back, openings to hold chillersin blood red padded vinyl with tufted black limo seatingStay tuned…….
And its 8am and I have a test drive to do…….see ya tomorrow..