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Author Topic: Blew an Air Bag..  (Read 4524 times)
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« on: September 06, 2009, 09:03:22 AM »

Hi Guy's,

Took a quick trip in the bus this morning and all was good when I left. I stopped at a traffic light and noticed I was leaning

to the passenger side. I returned home and figured out that my passenger side drive axel was hissing air real bad. Sure enough,

the forward bag on the drive axel was cracked. Well, I never tackeled an air bag job before! Do I want to? Should I replace all

of them? I think Luke replaced the bag on the drivers side when I first purchaced the bus back in 04'

I may not have the proper equipment to tackle lifting/jacking/supporting the the weight of the bus at my shop. ??

Can anyone give me input as to what's involved to do it myself?

Thanks
Nick-
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2009, 09:20:11 AM »

Nick,

replacing a bag is easy. Getting to it is the hard part: jack the axle up, take the dual wheels off. There is only 2 nuts on the top and 2 on the bottom. If they give you any aggravation, cut them off with an angle grinder, sawsall or torch. Install the new one and reconnect the air line. I would not replace them all, unless they look old and cracked.

Good luck,

JC
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2009, 11:44:35 AM »

Nick, i replaced all of my bags on my 5A a couple of years ago while healing up from a dislocated shoulder. Mine have a bunch of bolts, (something like 14-16 i think ) on both the top and bottom.  I had to be careful of how i moved around so i didn't hurt myself some more, but even with that the job wasn't bad.
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2009, 12:10:26 PM »

Rare, but it happens. Air springs are built from steel cords like a tire. More often they are somehow cut, so make sure the axle is not walking around or a foriegn object hasn't sliced it. I don't remember a wall failure ever, usually they rust out at the bottom and don't hold air any longer.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2009, 01:40:19 PM »

Thanks for the reply's..

I'm trying to make sence of the MCI part #'s from my manual.  Figures, there are too many...

Air Spring # 12G-1-60 or 12K-1-45  is for TMC # 6322 and MCI # 41812
Air Spring # 12K-3-11  is for TMC # 5803 and MCI # 41193 and up
Air Spring # 12J-3-53 or 12K-3-11   is for TMC # 5633 and MCI # 41078 thru 41193

OK, I have a "12/89'" TMC/MCI 102C3 with vin# 1TUGCH8A5KR007462

How do I determing which bag part #'s I need?

Help!
Nick-
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2009, 01:53:37 PM »

Nick,

The best I can figure out, would be that you would need the first (12G-1-60 or 12K-1-45  is for TMC # 6322 and MCI # 41812). I am no pro, but here is my thinking. The last five of your vin (that MCI uses), is 07462. I would think that would mean that it is a TMC number, since the MCI would probably have a 4 in stead of the 0. Then that part number that was listed, was the highest set of vin #'s that was closest to yours.

So that would lead me to believe that it was the (12G-1-60 or 12K-1-45  is for TMC # 6322 and MCI # 41812). I would be more confidant if it was a standard 4XXXX. However, since it is a 0XXXX, that would lead me to believe that it would be the TMC (which I don't even know that that stands for).

FWIW

God bless,

John
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 06:06:47 PM »

Nick

This is an easy enough job just like everyone says.

In my experience the angle grinder was a pain in the butt.

There were some bolts that were hard to see so to remove them ( they were rusty and did not think that I should be messing with them ) I used a mirror to locate them and then I used a dremel tool with the reinforced wheel to go right down the center of the bolt.

Once the cut gets started it is easy enough to finish up and each half of the nut falls off.

Good luck

Melbo
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2009, 04:17:51 AM »

Nick,

Call MCI about the serial number. I was just at the MCI facility in Orlando and the parts guy looked up my 1988, 102a3 serial number in their data base and there it was.

When MCI puts all those different part numbers, I now know which fits my specific bus.

Hope this helps,

Paul
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 05:12:16 AM »

Call Luke or Bill at US Coach, they will know the correct parts and will supply additional nuts, bolts, rings,etc, anything extra that you will need so you do the job right the first time.

John
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2009, 05:19:19 AM »

Before you order your bags…is your air box is sounded for few more years before leaking due to the rusting or corroding being in process?

I suggest to spend your hard earn money on something that will ride better as well not to worry about the air box leaking anytime in the future or it may already has the plates installed, which mean it is already leaking. Plate in-between double billow air bag will cause harsh ride.
Rolling lobe is the better replacement for soft ride like all newer MCI’s and most trucks. It fewer bolts and easier to replace for the next time plus no more slow leaks from the seals as it gets older.

Mohawk has the kits.

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

BTW...your tags already has the rolling lobe to see how it made.
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2009, 05:33:26 AM »

Nick,

Call MCI about the serial number. I was just at the MCI facility in Orlando and the parts guy looked up my 1988, 102a3 serial number in their data base and there it was.

When MCI puts all those different part numbers, I now know which fits my specific bus.

Hope this helps,

Paul

I believe your MCI 102a3 already OEM with the rolling lobes.
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2009, 05:42:49 AM »

Nick,

I would replace anyone that is even slightly questionable if you are doing the work.

The hardest part of the job is getting to them.

I know we both travel with a "group" with us, so better at the shop then on the road.  Wink

I know on mine it took longer to get the wheels off and out of the way then the actual replacement.

I took the opportunity to replace some air brake lines while I was in there.

Best of Luck

Cliff
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2009, 06:17:28 AM »

Hi Guy's,

I'm going to tackle this myself. Shocked

Since it's at my shop allready, I give it a shot. I don't think I can make it to Luke's "35 miles" with my tire rubbing the well..

Thanks for all the advive
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2009, 07:28:24 AM »

I was assuming Nick's "C" model coach has the rolling lobe bags that mount top and bottom with 2 studs that are part of the bag assembly. Because the "D" bus of the hockey team's is that way. No air beams or rings, or having to plate, like the older models. So maybe I was wrong (happens to me lots), and I am sorry for not checking the facts. Changing old style bags is still not rocket surgery, it take a little longer.

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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2009, 09:08:42 AM »

I don't even have a shop......did mine on a gravel lot. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2009, 02:52:54 PM »

I was assuming Nick's "C" model coach has the rolling lobe bags that mount top and bottom with 2 studs that are part of the bag assembly. Because the "D" bus of the hockey team's is that way. No air beams or rings, or having to plate, like the older models. So maybe I was wrong (happens to me lots), and I am sorry for not checking the facts. Changing old style bags is still not rocket surgery, it take a little longer.

JC

You are RIGHT!

I am sorry...I should have look at his profile first. Then it all the easier to change.

Thank you JC for correcting it.

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

BTW Nick...if you will, could you get a photo of where the leak is while still on the bus?
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2009, 06:24:29 PM »


You can handle Nick,     Piece of cake compared to some things you do. Wink
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2009, 06:56:12 AM »


 Just did both sides on mine in july...........

   Liberal usage of wd40 helped alot.
   used the Mohawk kits............had to replumb the air lines Smiley
   
   It's a dirty job but not overly hard

   FWIW
    Skip
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2009, 07:10:58 AM »

That would be one thing i would suggest......spray all nuts and bolts with wd 40 or pb blaster or whatever type of penetrating oil you prefer, a couple of times a day ,for a day or 2 before you start taking it apart.....makes life a little easier.   Grin
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2009, 09:38:31 AM »

How's it going??

I'm a little late to jump in here, sorry. When I did mine I ordered all of my parts from MCI, they were quite reasonable. However if these bags are the type with the ring on on top and bottom with 16 bolts per ring, make sure you order the right bolts for the top. They are a little longer than the bottom ones. The bottome bolts will not work in the top, I tried, as they sent me the same bolts for top and bottom. Other than that it was a good experience.

Grant
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 04:16:01 PM »

Hi Guy's,

Phone calls are made, the bus is in position, gathered all my heavy duty tools, and cut down some 6"X 6" timbers to get ready to tomorrow.

Thanks for everyones advice!

I'll keep ya all tuned in.....

Nick-
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« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 04:31:42 PM »

I didn't like the rust stuff on the bolts.

I just cut them down the middle like I said.

The ones I sprayed did not come apart and then smoked like crazy when I cut them.

Nick just go right from the top down the center of the bolts right through the nuts and each half falls off.

I wish I had started that way --- would have saved me a bunch of time.

Let us know how it goes for you

Melbo
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« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 07:50:01 PM »


Nick,

If you can patch the hole enough to raise the bus on its air you can block it up with that,  then you'll only have to jack your axle to get a wheel off,  alot easier than trying to lift the whole bus.
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« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2009, 01:47:14 AM »

Nick,
If I can assist in any manner, please call. I also can ferry your parts home as I travel by Luke's everyday.
I also have a stack of 6x6 & 8x8 etc for blocking in Woodbine.
I would be glad to stop and lend a hand, Heck, I'll even drink the beer whilst you work.....
Let me know.

Gary
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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2009, 03:10:40 AM »

Nick,
If I can assist in any manner, please call. I also can ferry your parts home as I travel by Luke's everyday.
I also have a stack of 6x6 & 8x8 etc for blocking in Woodbine.
I would be glad to stop and lend a hand, Heck, I'll even drink the beer whilst you work.....
Let me know.

Gary


Hi Gary,

Thanks! I'll let you if I need something else at Luke's. Oh, can you fit 4- 315/80R/22.5's in your benz? Lol
Stop by at the shop this week, I will be removing greese from my bus everyday...
Nick-
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« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2009, 06:58:17 AM »


 Nick,

   You probably already know but just incase Smiley

  For those of use who have had to deal with rusted stove bolt type setups for years there are some minor tricks.
  The bolts on the air bags to me fall into the same catagory.

  1. Clean (air nozzle wd40 twice)
  2. If the bolt starts spinning as you remove the nut leave it til the end.
  3. Usually there are only one or two that were stubborn so you need pressure against the bolt.
  4. stick a chisel or flat pry bar under the rubber and ring and pry up/down so there is pressure against the bolt.
  5. screw in a half a turn then out a full turn (like you would tap threads in a hole)
  6. If it is particularly bad take a break and libation then try it again.

  YRMV R=results

 Good luck
  Skip
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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2009, 09:34:04 PM »

Poppi

I hate to disagree with someone wise enough to put an L10 and ZF into an 8

Skip the cleaning and lubing -- if they come apart fine

I found that cutting them was the easiest --- especially the ones you can't see or easily reach

Nick let us know what you did and how it went

Poppi I look forward to meeting you some day and comparing buses.

Melbo
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« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2009, 11:01:58 PM »

Nick
  Melbo is correct with his method ,the only thing that worked a little better for me was a  air die grinder with a cut off blade(lowes has a kit with arbor and cut off wheels  for around $15.00) also spare wheels 1 package of 5 should be enough. Gloves,face shield an safety glasses are a must!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  On a side note the dirt and grime will wear off from in about two weeks Cheesy
  Good luck
 Dwayne
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2009, 07:08:42 AM »


 Melbo,

    "I hate to disagree with someone wise enough to put an L10 and ZF into an 8
"
    Sorry but I bought it that way..............It was a long look to find a non-DD
    I have nothing against DD's just wanted a 4 stroke. Cat was at the top of my list but
    settled for a Cummins.

     Though I did have a real belly laugh on the wise part ....Thank you

   My experience comes from 20+ years of changing plow sweeps 500 bolts per year (same vein as the airbag bolts)
   and yes at times they had to be cut off that is why my caveat was YRMV

  Your bus is and will probably always be nicer than mine (it's a life style thing I'm sure) as I finish mine it is geared
  more towards handling mud, dirt and lots of people for meals. (I can't go with the rolling cook shack concept but close)
  When we were at Nationals (horsey thing) we had 11 people in the bus having a meal.


  Later
 Skip

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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2009, 06:23:44 AM »

Jacking Day!


Nick-
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« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2009, 06:43:12 AM »


 Nick,

   Hope things go easy........... That wouldn't be HomeDepot 2X8 pine would it?
   
   Remember Safety First

  Skip
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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2009, 06:59:29 AM »

Hi Skip,

As a matter of fact.... Ummmm, yea

We have a costal storm putting a hamper on progress yesterday and today. I knew I should have put the bus in the shop..... Huh

Nick-
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« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2009, 05:06:19 PM »

Hi Nick,

I've been off the board a few days, but I just changed out the four drive axle bags and shocks on my '89 102A3.  Unless the other bags look great, I strongly recommend doing all four.  I also recommend pulling the shocks.  It's not mandatory but they come out easily and it opens up the work area.  It also makes easy access to all the bag and brake air lines, valves, and connectors.  In case you want to leak check and/or modify as I did.  I found a DD3 leak I didn't know I had.

On the front drive axle bags you will need either a crowfoot wrench or a heated and bent wrench to remove the 1-1/8" nut on the air line port.  As you've probably observed, you only have 4" of work space and the nut is mostly hidden by the upper bag support.  I found a standard open end crow foot would not fit, but a split box end 1-1/8" crowfoot did the trick.  The removal of the rest of the hardware is a piece of cake.

One of my copper lines/fittings had been abused previously in the bus's life and didn't want to reseal, so I converted the air bag system to DOT nylon.  I used local supplier but I was told NAPA had a supply of DOT fittings.  I like this place and their prices are equivalent to the local shop here that takes forever to order something (we don't have a NAPA store close by).  

http://www.valleyhydraulic.com/store/shopdisplaycategories.asp?id=353&cat=Push+to+Connect+Fittings

By the way, MCI wanted about $162. per bag and they were out of stock.  I got four bags at Mohawk for $103. each.  Similar savings on shocks from Mohawk.

Good luck,  Chuck



  
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« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2009, 06:23:44 PM »

Hi Chuck,

I just got past the front drive bag's yesterday and I didn't have the crows foot box as you did but, I think I

made out just as well with my sawzall...Ha Ha.. Once I removed the rear "larger" nut, I pryed the bag mount down

and exposed the under part of the bag bolt then hacked it right off. By the time I moved on to the second bag,

It was 1/2 hour to do the same thing.

I'm installing all 6 aft rear bags and all 6 shocks new as well as 4 new drive tires. I took the bags from a friend, "ill replace" and

the shocks I purchaced from Luke at US Coach. He had a good price on them.

Thanks
Nick-
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« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2009, 09:02:33 PM »

The Sawzall was my friend when I changed shocks.  Make sure to put lots of never seize on the shock bolts when you put them back in. They were a worse ordeal than the air bags.
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« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2009, 06:03:56 PM »

Hi Guy's,

I just completed the whole job....

I wasn't easy! My hat goes off to all you guy's that do this yourselves.

Jacking and removing the old bags was the hardest part without a doubt but, not impossible.

The cooper tires look great too. And Wayne, your correct. They are made in China.

The only thing left to do tomorrow, is adjust the levelers a bit.

Here are some pics
Nick-
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Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2009, 06:07:14 PM »

Just completed a test drive and all is well...

Tomorrow I will adjust the levelers in the sun light.

Here's a pic of the new Cooper Tires

Nick-
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Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
Master Mason- Cannon Lodge #104
https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcustomcoach
www.atlanticcustomcoach.com
John316
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2009, 06:16:31 PM »

Nick,

That looks great! Good work. Your airbags are in a great position! Ours were way harder to access then yours are. Good job!\

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
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