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Old 4 Jan 2008
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ghana
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Air Bag suspension report

Mainly because it was requested by Noel, but it was going to come anyway...
Just literally finished unpacking the troopy after a short trip to Mali for Christmas and New Year. It was really about showing my parents Dogon country and the trip was amazing. The vehicle was seriously loaded. There was no attempt to skimp on festive cheer or comforts, we intended to Bush camp almost every night, and we didn't intend to suffer!

The airbag suspension (firestone ride rite kit) performed really well. I was able to put it on a harsh setting to reduce body sway on the asphalt and then drop down the pressures alongwith tyre pressures to deal with corrugated pistes (and sometimes no pistes) and stony tracks. About 5 days in I got under for a good check of everything and found the r/h bag was chafing on a brakeline connection. Now this I should have sorted/realised before, and the bag was worn about half through the rubber! I repositioned the brakeline and the bag didn't leak or fail at all - despite some massive impacts and the weight steadily increasing due to handicraft purchases by my partner and my mum!!! - good wine in Ouagadougou didn't help either. I will probably change the bag sometime just to be safe, but no rush as if it was going to pop then it would have done by now. All in all I am well impressed. Other kit that performed really well was:

National Luna 40L Fridge - bloody marvellous!
Dutch Oven - used every night for meals and after for baking the next days bread.
Chinese camping chairs and table - with hot coals under the seats on the 31st 'cause it was so cold!
Clipper Battery status meter - worked really well, telling me amp hour used, state of charge etc.
Lightforce driving lights - very good!

Only thing that failed was the ridiculously cheap and nasty switch for my longranger sub-tank...
Happy New Year to everyone,
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Old 4 Jan 2008
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Location: south Cumbria
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Good report Gill, very envious - 2 foot of rain here
"Never have a stupid argument with an idiot - he gets a lot more practice than you"
there I go again
not too hard really
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Old 13 Jan 2008
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good report

Hi Gil,

Got a face with the name now! Sound like an excelent trip. Actually from the entire trip through Africa, i liked north west best, i.e. Mauri, Mali, Niger. In general the Sahel area! So authentic and so much freedom!

So the air bellows were good. I would have to go back to standard springs before I could put on the air bellow though! No point in putting bellows on springs which are already very heavy duty. But I will considder it even more serious now. What type Firestone Ride Rite did you fit ? What model number? I was looking at the Double convoluted 224C (min 2.8"/max 8.75"/ride 6.00"-7.00"/Dia max 8")

About the battery monitoring.. Where did you get the Clipper from and howmuch dit it cost? I found it here at marine shops but very expensive, more than Euro 200,- !!


Last edited by noel di pietro; 13 Jan 2008 at 22:01.
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Hi Noel,
sorry for delayed response! Yeah the airbags I would recommend - airbag part number 6957 (the bag itself) I think... I sourced mine in South Africa, so if you want to go this route let me know as I reckon 300 euros or so it cost - compared to new springs quite a bargain!

The clipper I got here:
Okay it is not super cheap, but it is really good to know (especially if like me you are running fridge/accessories of a standard cranking battery) what is going on with the battery. Also lets you measure what the various gadgets draw... very interesting.
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