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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I have a 1994 Classic SWB and have been told that sometimes one needs to replace the rubber air bag 'Springs' complete with NEW aluminium ends (top & bottom) because those ends allegedly wear. As that doesn't sound right to me (Rubber 'wearing out' aluminium?) I would appreciate any comments.

Thank you
 

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I'm not the person to advise specifically about these from a service point of view, you'll be reliant on another contributor for that.

But regarding material's wear characteristics, it's normal that if a softer material can get grit or similar embedded within its surface, then that will very effectively "cut" a much harder adjacent material resulting in that component wearing.

Think more like sandpaper for wood, just sand particals glued to paper.

Or Emery cloth, carborundum grains glued to denim material to cut most hardened metals.
 

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If the aluminum ends are in good shape then no, you don't need to replace them. It's kind of a pain in the butt to get the rubber to "roll" over itself but once you figure out a technique that works for you, it's extremely easy. Go ahead and replace the o-rings and you have a new spring.

As far as replacing the rubber, this is what I did:
1) using a tire iron, pop the bead of the old bag off the ends. I put tape on the end so I didn't scratch the end cap
2) using some soap, work the caps onto the new bag.
3) Put a couple psi of air into the spring (like 5-10 tops) using a schrader valve on a piece of air line. (This thread tells you how to make one: https://www.rangerovers.net/threads/emergency-air-suspension-rescue-device-manual-air-valves.37528/)
4) putting weight on the spring, slowly let out the air in the spring as you try and roll the bag over itself and the bottom cap. I personally sat on the spring as I deflated and just worked the spring until it rolled. Figuring out the technique to get the roll started is the hardest part, just takes a bit to imagine it. Its not hard though.
5) install your rebuilt spring. If you have a manual fill setup, give the springs a head start. When I took the springs out I had the frame on jackstands and let the EAS lift itself off of them. I wouldn't let the car try to fill the bags from 0psi and support weight at the same time.


If you need more help, let me know. An air spring is just a tire laying on its side with the ends not connected to each other. It's a rather elegant solution if you think about it, and very simple to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the above replies each of which have put my mind at ease re wear (if any) upon the aluminium end caps and the actual fitting of new air bags.
 

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You will need to replace the rubber air bladders now and then, but I would expect the aluminum pistons to be fine. I did this job in 2015 on my 1995 LWB (it still had its original air bladders) and the pistons only needed light cleaning up.
281735


281736


281737


During the air bladder replacement I also installed a "Manual Air-suspension Recover System, or MARS (I didn't coin the phrase). I strongly recommend this, and here is how I did mine.

281738
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. This additional information is as encouraging as it is appreciated with the helpful photographs being of further assistance.
 
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