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Author Topic: MCI Airbag replacement.....  (Read 4408 times)
Fredward
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MC-5A #5401 8" roof raise 8V71 with MT647




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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2007, 06:54:01 PM »

Bob,
I changed the rear right rear air bag on my -5 this fall. Including jacking, blocking and wheel removal/replacement it took about five hours. Its scary but easy.

I aired up the system, then jacked up the body and blocked it. Then I jacked up the axle and removed the wheels; then blocked the axle. Then I unhooked the leveling valve arm where it attaches to the axle and moved the arm so it released the air from the air bags. My bus is not very rusty so some of the bolts came off with the air wrench. I used the torch for the others being careful not to ignite the grease on the leakey rear axle. Kept a fire extinquisher handy. The bolts have recessed heads so they will spin real easy; have the needle nose vice grip handy. You'll find it a little challenging getting around behind the air bag to reach the bolts back by the differential, but its not too bad it your're jacked up high enough to get under the axle. You almost have to get in there with the differential to reach those bolts. So be sure you're jacked and blocked high enough to comfortably and safely get underneath.

After all that, removing the air bag is easy. Then inspect the mating surfaces where the new air bag will contact the steel. Mine looked like they had been painted with shiny black paint so I just roughed them up and hit them with a coat of rust oleum which I left to dry for 24 hours (thanks gumpy). The thing that really makes the instllation easy is having two long bolts because the standard bolts are not long enough to make that initial contact. The guys at C&J bus here in town gave me two bolts in addition to the standard bolts. You only need two and they are probably 2" long instead of 1-1/2" but that makes a huge difference. Definitely get the bag, the rings (two) and all the bolts plus two slightly longer ones to get it all started.

The farmers in my neighborhood came over while I was working on it and they were pretty impressed with how solidly everything is built and how big the running gear is. They said I get the neighborhood prize for September. (Then one of them replaced the transmission in his combine so I lost my standing)

Call me if you want 612-801-4826
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Fred Thomson
gomer
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2007, 07:53:36 PM »

hey cliff why dont you take a vacation and do it and then you will have something to do on your time off hahaha  However if you need help I will be here in Ocala just up the road from you
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Gomer
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2007, 08:15:32 PM »

Well Fred, you just can't win 'em all. But thanks for the advice...I'll heed it well. I didn't plan on crawling under the bus, even with proper blocking, after all Jack Conrad is thinner that I am for starters! Cheesy

I believe I'll wait until after Arcadia and put my life and future in the hands of the best man I can think of, Jack, after all...at my age it sure doesn't hurt to have a seasoned Paramedic around for those rough spots! ;

Bob
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2007, 08:24:47 PM »

Go for it Bob - I hired a shop in town to change all my airbags last week.  Dallas told me to just go ahead and do it myself but I was afraid to tackle it.  In hindsight I should have done it myself.  I ended up changing two of the airbags and two shocks myself because the shop I hired didn't want to take on those two shocks.  So, if I could do the 2 that they didn't want to do, I guess I could have done the other 8 as well.  One thing I'd want that I don't have if I was going to do all the airbags is an air operated hydraulic jack.  Its a lot of pumping on the jack handle with a manual jack.  I don't know about your MCI but on mine once the wheels were off the bags were pretty well out in the open.  Getting the shocks out was a lot bigger challenge than the airbags.

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Stan
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2007, 05:21:44 AM »

Fred: You bring up a good point about not much room to work on the inside and the risk  of fire with a torch. Now that you have done the easy one, have a go at the driver's side. There is a lot less room and that leaky drop box is only inches away from the air bags.

I was never lucky enough to work on a MC-5 that didn't have a leaky drop box or a leaky DD. Apparently some people have pristine coaches and don't have to worry about an oil fire under the wooden floor (but they do save time). I will never apologize for telling people to work safely.
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2007, 05:56:57 AM »

Well Fred, you just can't win 'em all. But thanks for the advice...I'll heed it well. I didn't plan on crawling under the bus, even with proper blocking, after all Jack Conrad is thinner that I am for starters! Cheesy

Bob

We know that you were planning walking under there;) Cheesy

anyway,  you can run your bus up on blocks first, then block the body.  Will give yourself a little more room.
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Hartley
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2007, 07:02:41 AM »

Harbor Freight was running a sale on air/hydraulic jacks 12t & 20t about a month ago.

They are well worth the money even if you only get a couple of years of abuse out of them. The only repetative injury that you get from air/hydraulics is the reaching for the wallet.. The heck with that manual handle nonsense....

Dave....
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jjrbus
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2007, 07:15:12 AM »

Amen to that Dave!!! I've lent mine to two people and they both said that was going to be thier next purchase. After looking around I bought the 12 ton, I will only be picking up one corner of the bus at a time, all of which wieght under 24,000 pounds. The 12 ton is shorter and wieghts less, so is much eaiser to handle under bus.
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2007, 07:43:51 PM »

Cliff,

Where are you?


Bill
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Auburndale, Florida
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67 MCI 5A Challenger 8V71 allison MT644




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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2007, 10:02:43 PM »

I have a 67   5A and I replaced my bags and installed block off plates while I was at it because the front already had block off plates installed....It is a dirty job but not hard at all.....The only thing I would say is GET NEW BOLTS.....cut off the old and replace with new.........4" thin wheel cut off FLY's through the old bolts...
Don't slip and hit the air bags.....Good luck and most of all  BE SAFE......... Grin Grin Grin
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