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Old 07-06-2020, 06:35 PM   #1
GilaElkHunter
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Air Bags leak

I recently installed Airlift 5000 airbags (no onboard compressor) on my truck and the first time using them I measured the truck, set the 5er on it, and then aired up the bags back to original measurement (70lbs), this was on a thurs. morning. Went out for long weekend and on sun. getting ready to come home checked air in bags, left side had 30lbs and right was empty. So this afternoon set out to see if I can find any leaks, I have sprayed windex on every fitting on them and no bubbles. My question to those that have bags.. do you have to continually add air or do I have leaking bags. I know the onboard compressor would keep them aired up but they shouldn't leak should they?
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
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Did you also check the valve(s), and every connection.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:02 PM   #3
GilaElkHunter
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Did you also check the valve(s), and every connection.
Yes sir, valve stems and every fitting/connection. I upgraded with the stainless braided hoses instead of the black poly tubing. I have read that the push in connections on the poly aren't the best.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GilaElkHunter View Post
do you have to continually add air or do I have leaking bags.
Yes and yes. The valves will always leak air. Nature of the beast...

I've found that Windex won't show squat and picked up a new sprayer and squirted everything with a mix of equal parts water, Dawn dish soap, and Karo syrup. With this mix, I can see the tiny bubbles- mostly at the fittings where the tube meets the elbow at the top of the bag and tighten the connection(s) while putting a little bit of Vaseline in the fittings.

These are metal to metal flare fittings with little/no copper involved to smush out and seal. My wife's aluminum pressure cooker clued me in on using a little bit of Vaseline on the mating surfaces

Edit to add- now that I see you're running the same braided lines I am, I had this exact same issue. Vaseline at the bag fitting fixed it for me
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:20 PM   #5
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I ran Airlift bags with no issue for 4 years on my 2500. I did however coat every connection with vaseline and didn't run over 40psi;
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:21 PM   #6
GilaElkHunter
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Yes and yes. The valves will always leak air. Nature of the beast...

I've found that Windex won't show squat and picked up a new sprayer and squirted everything with a mix of equal parts water, Dawn dish soap, and Karo syrup. With this mix, I can see the tiny bubbles- mostly at the fittings where the tube meets the elbow at the top of the bag and tighten the connection(s) while putting a little bit of Vaseline in the fittings.

These are metal to metal flare fittings with little/no copper involved to smush out and seal. My wife's aluminum pressure cooker clued me in on using a little bit of Vaseline on the mating surfaces

Edit to add- now that I see you're running the same braided lines I am, I had this exact same issue. Vaseline at the bag fitting fixed it for me
I will try Vaseline tomorrow. Its worth a try. Thanks
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
I ran Airlift bags with no issue for 4 years on my 2500. I did however coat every connection with vaseline and didn't run over 40psi;
Am I doing it right by my measurements to level the rig out? I measured the truck at bumper, set 5er on it, it squatted 2.5", I aired the bags up back to original measurement. It took 70 psi to do this. Bags are rated for 100 psi.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:45 PM   #8
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70 psi wouldn't surprise me. I know that on our old bumper pull Springdale 2560RL it took 50 psi on a coil springed Ram 2500 with a tongue heavy 60 gallon fresh tank under the bed. On our brand spanking new Winnebago (I know, I jumped ship) 2701RBS the weight has shifted dramatically and I'm still working it out
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GilaElkHunter View Post
Am I doing it right by my measurements to level the rig out? I measured the truck at bumper, set 5er on it, it squatted 2.5", I aired the bags up back to original measurement. It took 70 psi to do this. Bags are rated for 100 psi.

Gila...my comment may have been misleading. I pulled a 10k bumper pull which is entirely different; my apologies.

As an observation though; towing a 14,200lb. 5th wheel behind a 250 would probably lead you to your problem. Ford is very evasive about posting specific payloads for vehicles....they very much want to focus on max tow capability which presents some problems at times. Look at the door specs for your payload and other weight specs. Payload is in the 2000, maybe 2100 category? Look at the gvw of the trailer; 14,200 lbs. Figure 20% of that weight as your pin load coming right off that payload figure...2840. 2840 pin less a 2100 payload would equal an overload of 740 lbs......just for the trailer pin....
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:53 PM   #10
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I have the Airlift 5000 with onboard compressor on my 2007 Duramax. In over 13 years of use Iíve never had to add air once I set the pressure where I want

I run 25 psi empty and 65 to 75 loaded....

Youíve got a fitting leaking. Bottle of water mixed with some dish soap makes a good leak detector Solution. Apply at each fitting, T fitting, and compressor feed line to find the leak
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:31 AM   #11
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I have the Airlift 5000 with onboard compressor on my 2007 Duramax. In over 13 years of use Iíve never had to add air once I set the pressure where I want

I run 25 psi empty and 65 to 75 loaded....

Youíve got a fitting leaking. Bottle of water mixed with some dish soap makes a good leak detector Solution. Apply at each fitting, T fitting, and compressor feed line to find the leak
Heavy on the soap. Windex wonít show a leak
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:33 AM   #12
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When i installed mine I made it so I filled both bags at the same time. It's not often you carry a load that is heavier on one side. That way I got rid of any extra fittings. Others have told you how to find the leak. I would just take some of those fittings out of the system because that will lessen the leaks. Mine do leak a little but I have the onboard compressor so it's no problem to just hit the switch. There is a gauge so I know how much air I have without getting out of the truck. I went your route when I first got mine. Then I went on a trip and was airing up and down every 3 days. When I got home I bought the compressor and been very happy I did.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
Gila...my comment may have been misleading. I pulled a 10k bumper pull which is entirely different; my apologies.

As an observation though; towing a 14,200lb. 5th wheel behind a 250 would probably lead you to your problem. Ford is very evasive about posting specific payloads for vehicles....they very much want to focus on max tow capability which presents some problems at times. Look at the door specs for your payload and other weight specs. Payload is in the 2000, maybe 2100 category? Look at the gvw of the trailer; 14,200 lbs. Figure 20% of that weight as your pin load coming right off that payload figure...2840. 2840 pin less a 2100 payload would equal an overload of 740 lbs......just for the trailer pin....
Okay I understand everyone needs to be safe, but why do all questions have to revert back to weights and payloads? I know I am probably over weight, but that was not in my question!!!! 2840 pin weight is not even close to the 5000 lbs rating for the air bags so it should not make them leak. It doesn't lead me to my problem.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GilaElkHunter View Post
Okay I understand everyone needs to be safe, but why do all questions have to revert back to weights and payloads? I know I am probably over weight, but that was not in my question!!!! 2840 pin weight is not even close to the 5000 lbs rating for the air bags so it should not make them leak. It doesn't lead me to my problem.
The "simple answer" to your question: Momma used to ask, "If everybody else is jumping off the bridge into the river and drowning, do you think it's OK for you to jump too?"

Being safe is being safe, mentioning an overweight condition that "the OP might have not even realized" is doing them a favor more than "belittling them"... You'd be AMAZED at the people who simply take the salesman's word that "You can tow anything on the lot with that truck" and head down the road, truck overweight, trailer overweight (because he also told them, "There's enough storage space that you can take your full set of tools and everything else that you want to fit in there.")...

If it's unsafe, it's unsafe. On this forum, we're not afraid to talk about "the uncomfortable elephant in the room"....

What we won't allow is someone posting that the owner of an overweight RV rig is "stupid or dumb" for towing in that fashion.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:35 AM   #15
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Agree with what John has stated. I think we all become complacent with the things we use regularly. Somewhere I heard that "Electricity can kill you" but I use it all the time without issue. All big box stores sell light switches and receptacles so it must be safe for me to replace it. Never mind that I've never held a screwdriver, have no idea what those "switches" in the box labeled "electrical distribution panel" are for.

Somewhere I heard that mixing ammonia and bleach together may be a problem but hay, if one cleans well then why not mix it and use both to clean better right? You'll be making chloramine gas that can destroy your lungs and even be deadly.

Trucks I believe fall into this category. We use them every day and are just amazed at what they haul compared to that car or crossover you had before. Just look how big that thing is! Someone buys a 1/2 ton truck and pulls a pop up and they "feel" like they are king of the road and can pull a mountain in their "great bis truck". They get or want a larger trailer and move up to a 3/4 ton and "vroom" vroom" joining the "big boy's" and get a diesel. NOW your in the major leagues and the salesman tells you "you can pull anything on the lot" and the misunderstanding/lack of information is perpetuated.

You believe the salesman after all he's the "expert" right? You WANT to believe him because you want the big shiney new camper right? Asking an RV salesman what you can tow is like walking into Best Buy and asking a salesman what the best tv is. He's going to tell you the one you want is the 80" whatever that they have the most of in the backroom that the sales manger said "we have to move these out the door by Friday" during the pre open meeting. Never mind you'll be setting 5 feet away go blind trying to watch it.

So why do we end up at the weight discussion? Because we care. That's right, we've been in the situation, we know the pitfalls, and we have absolutely no motivation other than that. It's asked in a respectful way because we don't know if you know or not. You stated "probably overweight" so obviously you suspect but you don'r KNOW.

It's the type of people most of us here are. We like to help, relay our learnings and experience. I'll try and explain it this way. If I walk outside and my neighbor is working on his car and asks me if I know how to replace the front struts. I look and see that he has the car jacked up on the little scissors jack that he found in the trunk. I also note that he doesn't have the wheels chocked in any manner. On the ground he's got a screwdriver and a pair of slip joint pliers and a hammer. Do I tell him, yes, remove the top and bottom bolts and walk away thinking to myself "he's going to kill himself" because I don't want to challenge his sensibilities? Sorry, I'm not that kind of person.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:35 AM   #16
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+Ruff Rider I guess its my turn to get it, but just think if they are bashing me they are leaving you alone.
Ask a simple question around here....
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:39 AM   #17
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+Ruff Rider I guess its my turn to get it, but just think if they are bashing me they are leaving you alone.
Ask a simple question around here....
Oh no they are ripping me in another thread. It's like having a conversation with a brick wall. I am not the wall LOL
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:46 AM   #18
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Oh no they are ripping me in another thread. It's like having a conversation with a brick wall. I am not the wall LOL
I know about the other thread that's why I said it. And its for the same reason.
Thought maybe if they had jumped on me they were leaving you alone.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:59 AM   #19
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Agree with what John has stated. I think we all become complacent with the things we use regularly. Somewhere I heard that "Electricity can kill you" but I use it all the time without issue. All big box stores sell light switches and receptacles so it must be safe for me to replace it. Never mind that I've never held a screwdriver, have no idea what those "switches" in the box labeled "electrical distribution panel" are for.

Somewhere I heard that mixing ammonia and bleach together may be a problem but hay, if one cleans well then why not mix it and use both to clean better right? You'll be making chloramine gas that can destroy your lungs and even be deadly.

Trucks I believe fall into this category. We use them every day and are just amazed at what they haul compared to that car or crossover you had before. Just look how big that thing is! Someone buys a 1/2 ton truck and pulls a pop up and they "feel" like they are king of the road and can pull a mountain in their "great bis truck". They get or want a larger trailer and move up to a 3/4 ton and "vroom" vroom" joining the "big boy's" and get a diesel. NOW your in the major leagues and the salesman tells you "you can pull anything on the lot" and the misunderstanding/lack of information is perpetuated.

You believe the salesman after all he's the "expert" right? You WANT to believe him because you want the big shiney new camper right? Asking an RV salesman what you can tow is like walking into Best Buy and asking a salesman what the best tv is. He's going to tell you the one you want is the 80" whatever that they have the most of in the backroom that the sales manger said "we have to move these out the door by Friday" during the pre open meeting. Never mind you'll be setting 5 feet away go blind trying to watch it.

So why do we end up at the weight discussion? Because we care. That's right, we've been in the situation, we know the pitfalls, and we have absolutely no motivation other than that. It's asked in a respectful way because we don't know if you know or not. You stated "probably overweight" so obviously you suspect but you don'r KNOW.

It's the type of people most of us here are. We like to help, relay our learnings and experience. I'll try and explain it this way. If I walk outside and my neighbor is working on his car and asks me if I know how to replace the front struts. I look and see that he has the car jacked up on the little scissors jack that he found in the trunk. I also note that he doesn't have the wheels chocked in any manner. On the ground he's got a screwdriver and a pair of slip joint pliers and a hammer. Do I tell him, yes, remove the top and bottom bolts and walk away thinking to myself "he's going to kill himself" because I don't want to challenge his sensibilities? Sorry, I'm not that kind of person.

To take the highlighted above and another example;

Back in the 50s we lived in a small plant camp. My dad had a friend that liked to work on his car - a Buick if I recall (parents had a Olds Rocket 88). One day the neighbor was working on his car and dad and I went over to see what was going on. He had the car jacked up with an old bumper jack, a wheel pulled off and he was under the car. Dad questioned the jack and if he didn't need to put something else under there and he said it was fine. I decided to go outside the garage and play. In a few minutes I heard a crash and dad yelled "Arch, Arch"!! I went inside and dad was trying to move that car and he told me to get out. The car had fallen off the jack and crushed Arch's head. In later years I wondered if dad had just been a little more insistent on shoring that thing up if Arch would have been spared, but dad wasn't that kind of guy.

Basically when the topic of weights is brought up it's to prevent something like the above; the person saying everything is "OK", "just fine" then that fluke moment happens and the thing we already saw/knew comes back to haunt the "OK", "just fine" person. Instead of just saying "OK" like my dad I prefer to make sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that an individual in fact understands the potential consequences of their actions.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:07 AM   #20
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Oh no they are ripping me in another thread. It's like having a conversation with a brick wall. I am not the wall LOL
I don't see it as "jumping on " anyone. If you insist on posting erroneous information that it will be noted and disputed. The wonderful thing about opinions and everyone has one. I'd venture to say there are many here of the opinion that you are demonstrating the "brick wall" facade far more.

Now that we have opinions out of the way let's speak to facts. If someone says the sky is green when it's blue then that doesn't make it green. We all stop at red lights because that's the law and that's what's safe. If you run a red light and get a ticket try telling the judge that you don't think red lights are real and you see only green lights.

If you choose to ignore the truth than that's your choice and you mustn't complain about the consequences. If not compromising on attempting to educate someone on the sisks of towing beyond a truck's certified capability is considered being a brick wall then I guess I'm a brick wall and proud of it.

I'd rather have someone upset with me for daring to make them think about what they are towing and the weight limits of their tow vehicle as apposed to upsetting their sensitivity. If I read one, just one viable, rational argument for towing overweight than maybe I'd reconsider.
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