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Old 10-29-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
RobertFini
 
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Default Air Spring Filler Valve Location

Hi, all.

I can't locate the filler valves for the Firestone air helper springs on our 2005 Plateau TS and would appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction. I climbed as far underneath as my largeness would fit and it looks like I have the Sport-Rite setup by the appearance of the bags, which seem to be completely empty.

Best Regards,
Rob

Last edited by RobertFini; 10-30-2019 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Corrected model year.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:20 AM   #2
Larry M
 
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

Rob: Look behind the rear axle. We had one that was attached to the trailer hitch itself via a sheet metal tab facing toward the rear on the left side of the hitch. The other was attached by the exhaust pipe facing out with another metal tab. I think it was up to the installer of the day. Check for leaks. Spray cleaner 409 will work. We’ve had to replace both of our valves. 2005 Plateau TS

Larry
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

Thanks for the pointers, Larry - I found them both, each affixed to either end of the trailer hitch on very sturdy metal tabs with very sturdy metal caps on them. Both are reading zero, although there was some residual pressure that I could hear escaping when I hit them with the gauge, so I suspect they're not actually leaking, but we'll see.

Please let me know what pressure you're running in yours, so I can have a starting point for fine-tuning the setup.

Best Regards,
Rob

PS - I edited my original posting, as ours is also a 2005 model year.

Last edited by RobertFini; 10-30-2019 at 09:26 PM. Reason: Added some detail.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:15 PM   #4
Jaiden
 
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

I hear 50 is a good start. They're small so they fill quickly
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:35 PM   #5
Cheyenne
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

Rob,

Here are the Firestone fitting instructions for the system...

Air Sus Driverite.PDF

They recommend:
"WARNING
Do not inflate this assembly when it is unrestricted. When installed, a minimum of 10 psi should be maintained in the air bellows at all times to avoid damage.
Do not inflate beyond 100 psi."

I have a very similar Dunlop system and find 40 psi is a good compromise of handling and lift so I aim to keep around that.

Keith.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:42 PM   #6
Larry M
 
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Locations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaiden View Post
I hear 50 is a good start. They're small so they fill quickly
In addition to replacing the valves, I replaced the bags first (~$200 for the pair on Amazon). When we bought the van, the system wouldn’t hold air for more than 15 minutes. I inflated the bags to ~50 psi, sprayed the bags with 409 and you easily see air bubbles around the base of the bags. The bags failed due to old age or running them empty. After the bags were replaced I had a small air leak at one of the valves and just replaced them both. Good luck!

Edit: It took about 30 minutes per side to change out the bags. You will need to pull the wheels to change them.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

I own a 2004 Plateau and had to change one bag from damage from running empty, after replacement they both leaked very fast..... after replacement of all connection points they still leaked to fast...I removed the air zerk and added "Tire Slime" from Pep-boys and replaced air zerk filled bags and drove around town then monitored ......perfect.... 1 Lb. loss per month ..I can live with that... Also firestone recommends to fill them the same pressure as your back tires ....

Happy trails
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Air Spring Filler Valve Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
Thanks for the pointers, Larry - I found them both, each affixed to either end of the trailer hitch on very sturdy metal tabs with very sturdy metal caps on them. Both are reading zero, although there was some residual pressure that I could hear escaping when I hit them with the gauge, so I suspect they're not actually leaking, but we'll see.

Please let me know what pressure you're running in yours, so I can have a starting point for fine-tuning the setup.

Best Regards,
Rob

PS - I edited my original posting, as ours is also a 2005 model year.
Hi Bob,

I have a 2006 Plateau with the original air bags still. I run them anywhere from 50-60 while driving. If I'm parked for an extended time, I may run them up to 80 to just sit there, but that's too high to be driving on and will give a very rough ride back there. It's already rough enough without adding to it. If you travel fairly light, 50-55psi may be enough for you.
According to the instruction manual that came with mine, you need to keep them between 10-100 psi, but both extremes are not real good. At one point over the years, I saw reference to them recommending no less than 20psi. I suppose for a little bit more margin.
You can inflate them with a bicycle pump so if you find you need to adjust them and don't have the optional on-board gauges and compressor, you can carry one of those in your outside compartment or under the couch at the back. Much easier than looking for an air pump and having to pay for air or carrying/getting out an actual compressor just for a quick adjustment.
Hope that helps, although by now you've likely figured it out.
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