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FC (Forward Control Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your FC model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.......List your FC Parts here too.

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  #1  
Old 07-14-2016
JHinMD JHinMD is offline
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Default fc35 air bag replacement

I've seen lots of threads on WOG regarding airbags, but not a step by step replacement post.
After three days or so, my suspension dump light is on and the bus is down on all fours. While that isn't the end of the world, I'd rather not imagine a slow leak that is preparing to become a fast one, so I figure I'll put new bags in place. I am going to start with the fronts.
Based on some pieced together info, I imagine I will jack up the front, put 10 ton stands on each side, let the suspension hang down and simply remove the airlines, fitting and bags. I'll also go through the valves and actuators, although from what I've seen, they seem to be working properly.
Is it as simple as i'm making it sound?
Our Bird is an FC35RB.
Thanks!
Jack
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Jack Higginbotham
Centreville, Maryland
1983 FC35
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Old 07-14-2016
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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If you are looking for a leak, I found this when I helped Jeff Copans move his BB across the country and we blew a bag in Tulsa. If you have a hole in a bag, the line feeding the bag is so small that it is hard to find using soapy water since the air goes in the bag so slowly. Hope this helps.

Rick in Ohio
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Rick Gunther
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2016
Bearmtnmartin Bearmtnmartin is offline
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I just did a front bag, exactly as you describe. Was very easy. I did not remove a wheel. I knelt on the new one and used havey duty zip ties to keep it compressed when i put it back in.
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Martin Sparkes
Agassiz, B.C.
1981 Bluebird Wanderlodge FC
Side Bath
3208NA (for now....)
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2016
JHinMD JHinMD is offline
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That is great to know , Martin. Thank you for the zip tie trick too!
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Centreville, Maryland
1983 FC35
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2016
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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You can also do it with a vacuum pump. If you don't have one, take a vacuum plug off the intake on a gas powered auto engine(not a diesel)and connect a hose to the bag from the intake and it will compress down flat.

Rick in Ohio
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I am in Toledo, Ohio
Rick Gunther
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2016
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday1 View Post
You can also do it with a vacuum pump. If you don't have one, take a vacuum plug off the intake on a gas powered auto engine(not a diesel)and connect a hose to the bag from the intake and it will compress down flat.

Rick in Ohio
I like this idea, learned something today, "who would'a thunk it"
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1988 FC, Silver Edition
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHinMD View Post
I've seen lots of threads on WOG regarding airbags, but not a step by step replacement post.
After three days or so, my suspension dump light is on and the bus is down on all fours. While that isn't the end of the world, I'd rather not imagine a slow leak that is preparing to become a fast one, so I figure I'll put new bags in place. I am going to start with the fronts.
Based on some pieced together info, I imagine I will jack up the front, put 10 ton stands on each side, let the suspension hang down and simply remove the airlines, fitting and bags. I'll also go through the valves and actuators, although from what I've seen, they seem to be working properly.
Is it as simple as i'm making it sound?
Our Bird is an FC35RB.
Thanks!
Jack
Three days! I used t be happy with three hours in my old FC There are so many places for leaks in the suspension system, it would be very hard to isolate such a small leak. I wonder what the norm is among the WOG members. My brake tanks hold for many days, but the wet tank drains more quickly on my PT.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2016
JHinMD JHinMD is offline
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Thanks Gardner, that's actually comforting to hear! I did not notice the dump light on until recently, so I assume something sped up my leak down....I've read here that some people retain ride height for many days, even weeks I believe. My ride height drops within half a day and the dump light comes on in a few days, which I've learned means less than 5 psi. Not knowing the age of the bags, and not seeing a receipt or record of replacement, I figure it's good peace of mind to replace them.
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1983 FC35
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHinMD View Post
Thanks Gardner, that's actually comforting to hear! I did not notice the dump light on until recently, so I assume something sped up my leak down....I've read here that some people retain ride height for many days, even weeks I believe. My ride height drops within half a day and the dump light comes on in a few days, which I've learned means less than 5 psi. Not knowing the age of the bags, and not seeing a receipt or record of replacement, I figure it's good peace of mind to replace them.
I did the front ones on my previous FC just because they were old. I had the advantage of a service pit, but the left front one was tough. We had to drop the tie rod so I could reach up there. The old ones looked bad, but that was mostly superficial. Cutting one open revealed lots of good looking material below the surface.

Pics show I used a 'stubby' hydraulic jack to support the suspension while changing the bags. No place to put a jack on the frame when over the pit. But, if the jack failed I had 6 feet of pit so still safe without jack stands. With no pit you Must support the coach safely before getting under it.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
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78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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Last edited by gcyeaw; 07-16-2016 at 05:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2016
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paflyboy55 paflyboy55 is offline
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While in Maryland a few tears ago we blew the left front bag. It was caused by an engine rear main seal leak. The bags don't like any petroleum products on them.
This happened on a Saturday and we drove around all weekend on no bags which in Maryland isn't too bad as the roads are very smooth, unlike where I live in Northeastern PA. I had the bag replaced at the freightliner shop in Salisbury, MD.
I had the rear main seal repaired when the transmission was rebuilt, but the same airbag sprung a leak two years later. Don't know if the freightliner shop messed up, but I replaced that one myself at home and it's been fine.
Gardner, I have been considering making a pit myself. Do you still have one? Would it be possible to send me a picture of yours? I would like to make it so I can access most things underneath but still put down the jacks.
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