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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007, 09:49 AM
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Could you use airbags to replace SLS?

Just dreaming of a project I may do "someday" and thought it would make for a cool subject.
I know where I can get a low mileage 240D motor (think its Euro engine) with like 85K miles, and also a 4 speed manual tranny. All I would need it a clean wagon that needs a drivetrain. What I'm wondering is... could the SLS be removed and sold and then replace that with a small airbag system for the rear?
Dave

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  #2  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowsquall View Post
Just dreaming of a project I may do "someday" and thought it would make for a cool subject.
I know where I can get a low mileage 240D motor (think its Euro engine) with like 85K miles, and also a 4 speed manual tranny. All I would need it a clean wagon that needs a drivetrain. What I'm wondering is... could the SLS be removed and sold and then replace that with a small airbag system for the rear?
Dave
I don't see any reason you couldn't use a system like Air Ride Technologies (ridetech.com). Like yourself, I've got all kinds of ideas floating around for a "someday" project. A Super Turbo TD with air suspension on all 4 corners. ART has systems that give heavy American muscle cars cornering and handling ability so I would think it would be a great option. Unlike the low-rider bag systems which just have lowering in mind, some ART systems have the ability to be performance tuned on an as-needed basis in driving situations with the Ride Pro option. Obviously modifications would be involved but I don't know why one couldn't be used.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:21 AM
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I just wonder if there is room for the bags....
Little air compressor, little tank. I know it wouldn't be the same as SLS but it may be a simpler system.
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1985 300TD engine/auto tranny, crossbars for sale!
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:47 AM
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Check out Lance's conversion thread. It did not reach a successful conclusion.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
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1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:58 AM
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this one 300TD SLS pump removal and suspension conversion
??
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Selling 1985 300TD parts again to generate $$ for Suburban conversion. Picture of parts here http://asnowsquall.smugmug.com/gallery/4411815_v9DER#P-1-20
1985 300TD engine/auto tranny, crossbars for sale!
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2007, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asnowsquall View Post
Yes, that's it.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2007, 11:40 AM
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Just took a look under my 82 and they put the shock in through the spring so I don't see any place for the air bag to go.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2007, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry edwards View Post
Check out Lance's conversion thread. It did not reach a successful conclusion.
True, but Forced was just replacing the SLS acutators with air shocks. The weak link with that conversion was the air shocks pushing up through the body. Many of the DIY conversions have consisted of larger springs, coil overs and/or air shocks to compensate for the actuators that were either not stiff enough, not progressive enough or the mounts weren't strong enough.

But airbags would take replace the spring, using mounts that were already designed to take those stresses and take the actuators/struts out of the picture all together. I've got no proof that bags would work, just pure conjecture However there may be some suspension geometry issues that I don't know enough about.
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'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2007, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by asnowsquall View Post
Just took a look under my 82 and they put the shock in through the spring so I don't see any place for the air bag to go.
Definitely wouldn't be a bolt-in application. Don't give up hope yet, squall, these are "someday" projects for us. Someday I'll have the time and money to figure it out
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2007, 12:20 PM
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Aren't all aftermarket Air Shocks built for leaf-spring type suspenssions?
The spring geometry in the W123 and T123 calls for an extremely long spring and the lateral space around that spring is very tight. There is no space for the AirShock to expand laterally and the axial space available would require a very creative mounting.

Now on the front the problem would be ever worse with all the steering hardware criss-crossing.

However this is reallly an upgrade I would like to see somebody achieve.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2007, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rashakor View Post
Aren't all aftermarket Air Shocks built for leaf-spring type suspenssions?
The spring geometry in the W123 and T123 calls for an extremely long spring and the lateral space around that spring is very tight. There is no space for the AirShock to expand laterally and the axial space available would require a very creative mounting.

Now on the front the problem would be ever worse with all the steering hardware criss-crossing.

However this is reallly an upgrade I would like to see somebody achieve.
For air shocks, yes. But air bags can replace leaf, coil and coil-over type suspensions. Air shocks are designed to bolster existing spring systems while bags replace the springs entirely.
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashakor View Post
Aren't all aftermarket Air Shocks built for leaf-spring type suspenssions?
No. I've installed them on a RWD Cutlass w/ coils.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashakor View Post
The spring geometry in the W123 and T123 calls for an extremely long spring and the lateral space around that spring is very tight. There is no space for the AirShock to expand laterally and the axial space available would require a very creative mounting.
Neither air shocks nor airbags expand laterally any amount that would matter -- the vast majority of expansion is vertical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
Air shocks are designed to bolster existing spring systems while bags replace the springs entirely.
Not necessarily so. The Firestone Ride-Rite air bags I put on my Class C motorhome were there for supplementary (and variable) support; to replace the leaf springs would have required fabricating locating links and other suspension pieces.
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2007, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn D. View Post

Not necessarily so. The Firestone Ride-Rite air bags I put on my Class C motorhome were there for supplementary (and variable) support; to replace the leaf springs would have required fabricating locating links and other suspension pieces.
True, I've got Firestone supplemental bags on my Jeep's front axle, that install inside the coil springs, for when I have my plow on it. On a Class C that would be quite an undertaking! I just used that as a simple example since there seemed to be some confusion between air shocks and airbag suspension.

Full airbag suspensions are common in hotrod and muscle car applications so I don't see why one couldn't be modified to replace an SLS rear (or all four corners for that matter).
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1980 300TD-China Blue/Blue MBTex-2nd Owner, 107K (Alt Blau) OBK #15
'06 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (for the wife & 4 kids, current mule) '03 Honda Odyssey (son #1's ride, reluctantly) '99 GMC Suburban (255K+ miles, semi-retired mule) 21' SeaRay Seville (summer escape pod)
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2007, 12:12 AM
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Tony @ Prestige Auto in Houston installed air bags on an 82 wagon with good results. He sold the car and don't believe the buyers had any issues with it. He replaced a bad sls.
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2007, 12:30 AM
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you can get shockwaves.. a strut and airbag combo.. but air bags suck.. the ride will be soo floaty since the suspension geometry is always changing

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