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Author Topic: Easy way to install bead ring on air bellows???  (Read 1216 times)
Larry B
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« on: March 08, 2013, 05:54:09 PM »

Looking for more advise. I have an MCI-5B. Two of my front air bags (9" double convoluting) are old and starting to age crack. Descided to replace and carry old as spares. Sounds simple until it comes time to get the bead rings over the air bag.  After about an hour of trying to pry the ring over with screwdrivers, I abandoned that plan before I made a hole in new bag or hand. Then tryed connecting about 6 small gear clamps together to compress the bellows part enough to allow putting the bead ring over end at an angle. Like putting a tire on a rim. This is still a major wrestling match, but it is possible.  Is there a better or easier way??? or are these just that tough to do??? on a small bag. I used lots of dish soap to make things slippy, including your hands and grip.  Thanks for all advise 
            Larry B
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1977 MCI-5B---
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bevans6
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 03:47:11 AM »

I gotta confess that when I did mine I had no trouble at all, I just pushed them on over like putting a tire on a wheel.  You have to kind of bend the bellows lip oval just a tad.  It was a couple of years ago but I recall no angst...

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
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1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
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chessie4905
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 05:10:01 AM »

Keeping the old cracked air bag as a replacement in an emergency? After all it takes to change it out?? Pitch it. If you really want a spare, buy an extra bag, install a new ring, coat it liberally with ru-glyde and enclose it in a plastic bag and use it for a spare or store it at home in a cool dry place. If your old ring is rusty, it will make it harder to work over the bag. Try a LITTLE liquid soap, just like you are mounting a tire.
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GMC h8h 649#028
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rgrauto
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 06:48:47 AM »

I used a little dish washing soap to help the rings slid a a little better.  Also with the new bags you don't need the round ring around the center of the old bags as  with the new bags  it is built in . HTH, Glen
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Lin
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 07:02:26 AM »

As I have mentioned before, bicycle tire changing tools work well. 
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 07:57:00 AM »

Can't remember for sure as it has been a while, but i think that i did the same as Lin.  Don't remember it as being hard to do.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Larry B
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:58:00 PM »

    I got the other rings installed today (still a bit of a wrestling match) and put the bags on the bus and pressured up with air. All is well with change. Now I have question about the geometrey of the front axle. I changed front two of the four bags.The tires are still off and the axle is blocked up' so when air is added to system the bus weight goes to axle. When I measured the distance where bags sit, the difference is 1"(front to rear).  I am talking about the flanges the bag bolts to. The front (new)air bag is the shortest distance. The suspension cross support on top of the axle is not running parallel with bus body.   Could this be causing some of the wandering when driving.?  This would likely have a bad effect on castor angle.  The only way I can see fixing that is to loosen all the rubber bushings on radius rods, roll the axle level- set to correct ride height and retighten rubber bushings. Is it possible having a mix of new and used bags (and different manufactures) is causing my 1" difference? Surely if you blow one bag you don't change all four. Looking forward to input on this one. I will likely start loosening bushings tomorrow. Thanks for your guidance. Will take camera to shop for picture in morning.   
            Larry B 
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1977 MCI-5B---
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Lin
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 09:03:23 AM »

Larry, my front end is slightly higher on the right side when inflated.  I have noticed that the left front airbag is a different manufacturer/design from the others and have speculated, as you have, that different bags inflate differently at the same psi.  I don't know for sure though.
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bevans6
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 10:09:50 AM »

Castor is not adjustable on that bus, it is set by the radius rods.  The bushings are not adjustable.  The only way to adjust it, aside from bending the axle, is to install wedges where the axle bolts on.  If I am reading what you are saying correctly, the axle air bag mounts are not parallel to the bus air beam air bag mounts.  I had not noticed such a difference on mine, but then I didn't measure for it.  That will be how the suspension induces the castor effect, the difference should be about 1" over the distance between the air bag mounts to get about 2 degrees of castor, front being less than rear so the top of the king pin tips backwards.  The side to side ride height of the front axle is set by the rear axle (stock system, air beams intact) so looking for differences there is moot.  All the front suspension does is set the over-all ride height of the front at the center of the axle where the ride height control is hooked on.

If there is a difference in the location of the air beam mounting rings for the air bags, there won't be a difference in the spring operation.  Since all four air bags are connected together by the air beams and cross piping, they will all have the same air pressure.  The spring rate of the air bag is a function of it's diameter and the air pressure inside it, so all four airbags will have the same spring rate and will carry the same load.  It's a bit counter-intuitive, but geometrically the front suspension only has one spring, centered in the middle of the front axle.

Brian
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 10:16:00 AM by bevans6 » Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Larry B
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 07:08:54 PM »

Thanks for the replys. I had changed all the radius arm rubber bushing about 5000 miles ago, so loosening the bolts putting the rubbers in compression wasn't too hard. My thought was if I set the beams on the axle parallel to the beam above, move the axle up or down to correct ride height, then tighten rubber bushings back up and put in  compression again. Hoping the rubber compression would hold the axle beams parallel to bus body at ride height. Got the axle rolled nearly parallel today, might get to tighten tomorrow. It might just go back to where it was when tightening happens. If it rolls back after air is put in bags, then I will likely change last two bags.(They are not that weathered as the two I changed). You are right Brian uneven bags are not going to affect the ride. I was hoping I might have found the reason for wandering while driving.( castor angle wrong) Took some pictures today but honestly the difference doesn't show well. Thanks for replys.
      Larry B
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1977 MCI-5B---
8V71- 4speed man
Larry B
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 07:13:58 PM »

Couple more pictures and the bags I removed to get me out of a bind on the road.
           Larry B
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1977 MCI-5B---
8V71- 4speed man
TomC
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 09:46:31 PM »

In the 21 years I drove truck, I always had a Kenworth with the Airglide-100 8 air bag suspension. I carried an extra new air bag with me and in 1.3 million miles of driving, never used it. Carrying a bunch of spare parts is just lugging a bunch of extra weight around. Don't keep the old bags-you know you won't install the old ones again. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
bevans6
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 01:32:29 PM »

When I was diagnosing/fixing wandering problem, I found that it was the steering box not properly centered.  My bus has the upgraded steering box, though, might have been done wrong when it was installed, or when a new drag link was installed when it was imported to Canada.  Anyway, the problem was the un-centered steering box and the fix was to adjust the drag link length, for what that's worth.  Adding castor would help but make the steering stiffer, adding a little bit of toe would usually help.  I really think that difference in angle on the axle carrier is supposed to be there to add the castor.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Larry B
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 06:43:20 PM »

  You were right Brian, loosening the rubber bushings didn't do much for allowing the axle to turn. The gain was about 3/8" of the 1" total. I also descided to change the last two bags , then as a couple others have suggested I will not need to pack around used bags. Ordered today from MCI, should be here next week. Now the only time I should need to get under front is for greasing and brake adjustment. I made an attempt to adjust the steering gear box tightener last summer before holidays hopeing to eliminate some of the wandering. It did help but  now the adjusting screw and jam nut are leaking like crazy after I disturbed them. Will work on that until new bags arrive. I think I will likely have to take the  side cover off the gear box to repair the leak. The threads are all messed up from others being at the adjusting nut with center punch or chisel.  Thanks again for all the helpful advise everyone. If I take the cover off I will post a picture or two for others to see the inside.
      Larry B
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1977 MCI-5B---
8V71- 4speed man
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