Air bag spring helper

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Cromoth, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    2013 Toyota RAV4EV (rare, 2600 made over 3yrs). Manual says no towing (since EV). Ok; motorcycle hitch carrier for WR250R planned.
    Here's a picture of hauling wood & original springs could use help leveling. Basket did scrape on a couple of low spots.
    Got Firestone Air Bags #4174 & I can't fit thru coils
    Local mechanic looked (at Mitchell's?) & said 4.5hr job with dealer recalibrate brakes. Dealer doesn't do suspension mods, liability. Can someone verify what R&R of rear springs job requires? This job would replace original springs but with air bags inside.
    Going to Russian motorcycle manufacturer and car shop Tuesday. See if they can #1 install bags as instructions say or #2 by removing springs.
    Once on lift, extra weight on tire might open spring enough. Is there a tool that spreads coils wider while installed (spring not removed) & is there a risk of damaging spring? 20190802_093640.jpg
    #1
  2. tvpierce

    tvpierce Been here awhile

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    You're taking the "no towing" warning too literally. I'm sure what they meant was "no towing or hanging heavy loads off the rear of the vehicle." You're stressing the vehicle more with that hitch hauler than if you were pulling the same amount of weight in a small utility trailer.

    I don't know the suspension of your particular vehicle, but going by the video it's clearly a seperate spring/shock setup as apposed to a coilover stut. And I presume it's AWD? Have you tried removing the lower shock nut/bolt from the control arm? That would allow the control arm to drop further, which would allow the spring to decompress further.
    #2
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  3. Bounder

    Bounder Typing...

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    ^^There is no way I would consider hanging a WR250 and carrier off the back of that car.
    You are looking to break something by doing that, the static weight is one thing but dynamic loads as you bounce will be multiples of that load.
    Hanging all that weight off a long lever with a couple of bolts attached to a thin piece of chassis will result in failure mode pretty quickly.
    You would be far better off having a lightweight trailer that at least carries the load rather than the cars suspension and chassis bearing that load.
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  4. vector6

    vector6 slipstream

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    video was excellent in showing what needed to be done, but without a lift it would be tough. it can still be done at home but you'd be better off and safer buying a used bike trailer to haul the dirtybike.
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  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I agree with the above but will add that i tried air bags in my rear coils on a 1/2T pickup some years back and they were a PITA as the tiny airlings get snagged in the woods and the bags leak somewhere too much to ever consider them again. Of course there are heavier bag setups for heavy duty trucks that are another story.
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  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    Yeah what others said. Buy a trailer, it's not rated for that either but you'd be less overstressed than with 350 lb hanging a foot and a half off the back. No way in hell that's a good idea. You could get it down to maybe 50 lb of tongue weight 6 inches off the back.
    Or go legit and get the right tool (vehicle) for the job.
    #6
  7. Whodatschrome

    Whodatschrome Long timer

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    Those air bags can be VERY, VERY difficult to slip inside the coils springs. I've installed them in my 2006 Scion xB. The first thing I did was to jack my "Box" up in the air so that there was no load on the suspension, and removed the rear shocks so that I could pull the suspension down an extra couple inches. It created more room between each coil wrap. Then I depressed the shrader valve in order to deflate the air bags completely. Since it was cool outside, I used a heat gun to soften up the bags some (but don't get them too hot!). I then sprayed soap on the bags and wrestled them in through the coils. It was a pain for sure, but I've done it on two different xB's. The Firestone bags that I used were xB specific, but it was still VERY challenging!
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  8. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    I have a RAV4 and a set of airbags I have been meaning to install. Wife's car so it will never haul my bike, but the rear springs are super soft. Even with the heavier 3rd row springs my camber goes pretty negative when fully loaded. I have firestone airbags in my truck and really like the way they perform.

    From what I have read, you should remove the sway bar links and the shocks. This will allow the lower control arms to drop completely and give you more space between the coils to jam those bags in.

    Let me know where you end up mounting the fill nipples. Yes I want a picture of your nipples.

    There is a DR350 rider on here that does just that.
    [​IMG]
    Here are a bunch of Gen 3' that have moto's on the back. Your EV is a bit heavier to start though.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Even got this fat pig on there
    [​IMG]
    And this is the bike you want to haul right? Can't tell if this is the 2 or 450.
    [​IMG]
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  9. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    One more thing to note. The Toyota factory hitch has more attachment points than a generic trailer hitch. The general consensus on RAV4 world with that if you are planning to max out the tongue load, do so on a OE Toyota hitch.
    #9
  10. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Thanks for the pix & intel. Exactly what I was looking for!
    I owe you a picture of nipples. Here's a pic of my bag.
    Apparently the extra weight of the battery means stronger springs than used in hybrid or gas rav4. Pro mechanic couldn't get bag installed thru coils. Boosted my ego. Dropped arms & removed springs to fit bag. 20190910_111451.jpg
    #10
  11. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    NICE!!!

    Those coils look thicker than the ones on our RAV. I really do not like how the fill hose comes out the bottom of the bag. Very exposed. I can see us ripping it out while off roading (though we never take the RAV in really hard terrain) where we might need the extra height/clearance.
    RAVDunes.jpg
    titus.jpg
    #11
  12. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Haven't forgotten. Getting heater replaced so it's at the dealer for a few more days & I'm thanking the warranty.
    Meanwhile at the hardware store, pic attached. 20190912_175038.jpg
    #12
  13. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Test ride passed: moto hitch carrier with bags didn't scrape where wood load without bags did.
    Heat gun for 90deg bend. Place your bets as to when air will start leaking from there. Heat gun also used for S bend on protective tubing.
    Picture of navigator, nipples (1 is black, another silver, you'll have to search for them) & my Big Bone. Nips located so I can adjust/check air when moto is loaded.
    Used 28psi. When empty, can hear slight squeaking from bags at parking lot speeds. Just turn up radio.
    Very happy! Ready to take the EV with Toy far & away. 20190917_142749.jpg 20190917_110028.jpg 20190917_105857.jpg
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  14. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Nice. Which hitch is that.
    What is with the lamp nipples. You just wanted to break forum rules and post pics of nipples.
    Are your nips mounted on the rear bumper cover?
    I was thinking about mounting mine inside somewhere.
    #14
  15. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    No, read thread. Guy who posted helpful pix wanted to see where I put mine.
    Yes.
    Inside is good if you want compressor. I use Bicycle pump.
    #15
  16. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    I am the guy that posted those pix.

    That is a HF bike hauler; you like?

    I was asking about the hitch itself. Is it a Toyota hitch, I have heard they are much better than the typical aftermarket ones from curt or hidden hitch. THe toyota ones have more attachment points. Shopping for a hitch for our RAV and want to know.
    #16
  17. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

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    Yes you are! Thanks again.
    HF version 2, I do like - especially when straps are properly tight.
    Curt hitch, I think. 400lb tongue spec for sure. 4 bolts in & saw threaded holes for 2 more. Get 6 bolt if you can for peace of mind.
    Does 'shopping' include used parts, junk yard or just new with warranty?
    Got air bags yet?
    #17