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  #1  
Old January 26th, 2018, 10:57
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Air over leaf - anyone using it?

I'm wondering if anyone has used an airbag over leaf spring setup either as a supplement to the springs (enabling a plush ride daily, and a good load support when trailering or hauling) or as the primary spring after removing all but the main leaf?

I'm looking to do this for my S truck owing to the spring rate being super soft (and I don't want to fool around with custom springs), and as an adjunct I am thinking it would be quite suitable in my XJ for expo use.
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-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #2  
Old January 26th, 2018, 13:08
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Boostwerks.com Boostwerks.com is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

You just need a good set of leafs and shocks to get a plush ride and still have enough support to haul. Removing leafs will only lead to horrible axle wrap if you don't have a anti-wrap/traction bar.

Having said this, someone(can't remember who) makes a long travel air bag kit that allows the the axle or the chassis to separate from the air bag. Most air bags attach to both the axle and the frame, which isn't exactly what you want.

EDIT: It's daystar that makes a poly bag cradle...



Either way, you don't want the air bags to be supporting the majority of vehicle's weight. They should only be adding to the spring to help support loads and level the chassis.
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  #3  
Old January 26th, 2018, 14:19
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Why do you say this? There are plenty of vehicles out there with air-only suspension.

I'm not arguing, just curious.

EDIT to add: thanks for the additional info about the cradles- you answered a question I was beginning to ponder. This makes selection of the bags for my truck MUCH easier.
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-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s

Last edited by burntkat; January 26th, 2018 at 14:22.
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  #4  
Old January 26th, 2018, 15:09
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
Why do you say this? There are plenty of vehicles out there with air-only suspension.

I'm not arguing, just curious.

EDIT to add: thanks for the additional info about the cradles- you answered a question I was beginning to ponder. This makes selection of the bags for my truck MUCH easier.
Yes but not with leafs. They would typical be a a arm type set up and IFS vs solid axle.

To go back to your main question, my dad runs them on his trucks for heavy loads and loves them.
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  #5  
Old January 26th, 2018, 16:23
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Anak Anak is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

I have them on my work truck (service body--heavily loaded) and they are a great solution for that situation.

CoachBruce runs them on his XJ and is happy with them. I have toyed with the idea. I will have to look into that Daystar cradle.

With my work truck I have appreciated the ability to adjust the ride in order to cope with heavy loads, and even a couple of times have taken advantage of the ability to lower to bed for the sake of loading/unloading heavy or otherwise awkward loads.

I do think the ability to adjust the pressure with the flick of a switch is worth it. I would not want to have to use an air chuck every time I needed to add air. And it will be necessary to add air several times a year just to keep things at a normal pressure.
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  #6  
Old January 26th, 2018, 18:04
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
Why do you say this? There are plenty of vehicles out there with air-only suspension.

I'm not arguing, just curious.

EDIT to add: thanks for the additional info about the cradles- you answered a question I was beginning to ponder. This makes selection of the bags for my truck MUCH easier.
I think gojeep had a write up a long time ago about air bags.i like the cradle idea for an off road Jeep too.

But yea one main leaf would leave your axle flopping all over the place, plus that bag really isn't builtfor being the sole spring component, but I'm sure you could find some out there. I used to see bag conversions on f450-550s. They all had 4 links. I think the biggest thing you would need to run a bag only on an xj is frame reinforcement. I do not believe the factory rail could take that kind of load concentrated to a small area like that. And keep in mind an air bag that could fit there has a very small amount of travel, which is why most factory airbag suspensions have the bag mounted to the side to increase the height of the bag and also fold into itself.
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  #7  
Old January 26th, 2018, 19:59
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trippled View Post
I think gojeep had a write up a long time ago about air bags.i like the cradle idea for an off road Jeep too.

But yea one main leaf would leave your axle flopping all over the place, plus that bag really isn't builtfor being the sole spring component, but I'm sure you could find some out there. I used to see bag conversions on f450-550s. They all had 4 links. I think the biggest thing you would need to run a bag only on an xj is frame reinforcement. I do not believe the factory rail could take that kind of load concentrated to a small area like that. And keep in mind an air bag that could fit there has a very small amount of travel, which is why most factory airbag suspensions have the bag mounted to the side to increase the height of the bag and also fold into itself.
Running a leaf spring, the load is in 2 small areas...where the front bolts to the frame and where the shackle bolts to the frame....I don't see a difference really in those 2 relatively small points vs 1 much larger point for an air bag.

I do agree most air bags are designed to supplement the suspension...not become it.
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  #8  
Old January 26th, 2018, 21:10
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Yes, but it was directed to running an airbag only, like if there was no spring and the airbag was the only source of "spring" to hold the rear up. I agree if the air bag was used as a supplement it would be ok. That's what I meant by running a. Bag only. Or maybe that's what you meant?

My other argument would be where the loads are concentrated. The mounts of the leafs are spread over a large area, distance wise. And the the rear shackle mount is close to the hitch. If you only had a bag and were towing, there's a lot more leverage for the frame to deform because of the distance in the bag mounting compared to the hitch location. Or am I crazy?

My frame started deforming after the whacking the bump stops a few times tho so maybe I just don't trust them to be exactly strong.
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  #9  
Old January 26th, 2018, 22:08
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trippled View Post
Yes, but it was directed to running an airbag only, like if there was no spring and the airbag was the only source of "spring" to hold the rear up. I agree if the air bag was used as a supplement it would be ok. That's what I meant by running a. Bag only. Or maybe that's what you meant?

My other argument would be where the loads are concentrated. The mounts of the leafs are spread over a large area, distance wise. And the the rear shackle mount is close to the hitch. If you only had a bag and were towing, there's a lot more leverage for the frame to deform because of the distance in the bag mounting compared to the hitch location. Or am I crazy?

My frame started deforming after the whacking the bump stops a few times tho so maybe I just don't trust them to be exactly strong.
agreed..on most points.

yes the leaf spring mounts are spread over a large area to give strength in so far as keeping the suspension under the jeep, but as to punching thru the frame or deforming it, but they act as point loads

and I did mean the air bag alone may have roughly the same area as both the front & rear mounts combined...depending on the diameter of the bag & its mount.

yes, the bag would have much more leverage to bend these weak @?? frames with.....

mine cracked & deformed from a cargo carrier hanging off the back...granted, it had a deer on it a few times, and I was not driving slow or being easy on the bumps.


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  #10  
Old January 27th, 2018, 05:33
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Are there more information on those air bags? i.e. the compressed and extended length? IMO, they could be a great alternative to the present rubber bump stop.

To supplement the load carrying capability of the existing leafs, some frame re-enforcement is necessary. For airbags to be the sole load bearing equipment on the XJ in it's current design, one would have to at least triangulate/four link the axle to keep it under the vehicle.
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1996 XJ; 4.0L; AW4; NP231; SYE; D30 and D44; ECTED; 4.10 gears; 30X9.5 -15 BFG/AT/KO; 3" lift; Rusty's LCA; JKS ADJ UCA; Kevins ADJ Track bar; Drawtite Front Receiver; Dual Electric Fans; Dual Battaries.
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  #11  
Old January 27th, 2018, 16:42
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

No, one would not have to 4link the vehicle. There are plenty of vehicles running air over leafs.
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-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
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  #12  
Old January 27th, 2018, 17:35
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
No, one would not have to 4link the vehicle. There are plenty of vehicles running air over leafs.
To use air bags ONLY, you would.......
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  #13  
Old January 27th, 2018, 20:09
burntkat burntkat is offline
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by techno1154 View Post
Are there more information on those air bags? i.e. the compressed and extended length? IMO, they could be a great alternative to the present rubber bump stop.
Size depends on the unit. I found some 2500 series on Amazon that are 2.8 collapsed, 10 inflated, 6 inch diameter. These are $80 shipped for a pair. Good enough for a proof. Of concept and rather cheap as well. I'm going to put them front and rear on my S10 as it's got a very soft suspension, and I want the flexibility of air over leafs. If that goes well, I will be doing a pair out back on my XJ, after a frame reinforcement.

What got me started down this road was the need to bumpstop several of my builds. I considered sumosprings, and given that they are a retrofit for airbags, a light went off.
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-89 S-10: SAS, D44s front/rear. 5.7L V8. 700R4 with 4L60E upgrades. Built in my driveway.
-90 XJ 4.0, AW4, 231J: Clayton's longarms, RE 5.5" coils, hybrid 6" leaf pack, 33/12.50/15" MTs, Rancho 99012s and 99624s, Tera HD SYE, custom sliders, BW flares. Rehabbing with D44s, RE spring packs, RE 4.5" coils, and ACOS.
-94 ZJ: Budget boost, 31s. The wife's DD.
-97 XJ: Son's DD. 4" lift, ACOS, 4" spring pack, Upcountry coils, 31s
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  #14  
Old January 28th, 2018, 14:30
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
No, one would not have to 4link the vehicle. There are plenty of vehicles running air over leafs.
Yea, correct,.... if a full compliment of leaf springs are retained. The leafs are what will keep the axle in place and properly located under the XJ or other vehicle. Vehicles and / or trailers that run air bags only to support the load have some metallic mechanical device that keep their axles whether they are the drive axles (see the 18 wheeler tow truck) or the trailers they pull, they all have a locating device to keep the axle under them while at the same time allows the axles to move up and down as necessary.

Those tow rigs I have looked at have what look like half springs attached to each side of the chassis and end at the connection point of the axle. These keep the axle in place forward to backward. They also have a massive panhard rod attached to the chassis similar to our XJ front axle and to the axle which keep the axle properly located axle left to right.
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1996 XJ; 4.0L; AW4; NP231; SYE; D30 and D44; ECTED; 4.10 gears; 30X9.5 -15 BFG/AT/KO; 3" lift; Rusty's LCA; JKS ADJ UCA; Kevins ADJ Track bar; Drawtite Front Receiver; Dual Electric Fans; Dual Battaries.

Last edited by techno1154; January 28th, 2018 at 14:38.
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Old January 28th, 2018, 15:06
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Re: Air over leaf - anyone using it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by burntkat View Post
Size depends on the unit. I found some 2500 series on Amazon that are 2.8 collapsed, 10 inflated, 6 inch diameter. These are $80 shipped for a pair. Good enough for a proof. Of concept and rather cheap as well. I'm going to put them front and rear on my S10 as it's got a very soft suspension, and I want the flexibility of air over leafs. If that goes well, I will be doing a pair out back on my XJ, after a frame reinforcement.

What got me started down this road was the need to bumpstop several of my builds. I considered sumosprings, and given that they are a retrofit for airbags, a light went off.
10" sound a bit long but I do not know the S10 except when I see the badge on the fender that indicates it is an S10.

My thoughts are on the XJ rear in which case my thoughts would be more like 4" to 6" to act as a bump stop or help with a heavy load. Even then I am not seeing the complete picture.
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1996 XJ; 4.0L; AW4; NP231; SYE; D30 and D44; ECTED; 4.10 gears; 30X9.5 -15 BFG/AT/KO; 3" lift; Rusty's LCA; JKS ADJ UCA; Kevins ADJ Track bar; Drawtite Front Receiver; Dual Electric Fans; Dual Battaries.
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