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Old 06-02-2014, 09:10 AM   #1
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How to tell if I have air bag suspension?

Hello all,

We have a relatively new to us 2011 2301 Forester, and was wondering how we would check to see if we had air bags on the rear suspension?

Reading through some posts, people have mentioned looking for a valve in one of the cargo compartments immediately in front/back of the rear axle, but I can't tell if I'm looking in the right place or not.

If anyone could let me know how to check and what to look for, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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I'm no mechanic but I would look underneath the vehicle, if there are air bags mounted over the axles my guess would be you have them...Also if there is an on board compressor there should be some kind of switches in the cockpit to control it with and possibly a gauge to monitor the pressure in the system. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out if you have them or not.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:05 PM   #3
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We don't use an on board compressor.

You would see the air bag over the leaf spring. I don't think we started doing them until 2012.

Attached pdf is the flyer if you want to see what they look like.
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File Type: pdf 2010 Ride Rite Flyer.pdf (476.6 KB, 68 views)
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Thanks, I guess I'll just have to crawl underneath and take a look and see. I was curious because google searches for 2011 Foresters return listings for units equipped with air bags...

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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
We don't use an on board compressor.

You would see the air bag over the leaf spring. I don't think we started doing them until 2012.

Attached pdf is the flyer if you want to see what they look like.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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We bought a used 2011 3170ds that did not have airbags and I bought the ride rite kit and that is the best mod I have done so far. Ad in an alignment using the custom specs found on this site and a steering stabilizer and i can take a nap while the dw drives.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's help- crawled under the RV and didn't see airbags so I guess we'll have to see if we can budget for some.

We've already done the alignment per the specs posted on the site- we're interested in the airbags because we're thinking about putting a scooter on a hitch carrier and have read that airbags will help keep the suspension from bottoming out and the RV from handling improperly.

Anyone have any advice on how difficult it is to install airbags themselves? Is it something that a dealer/shop should do?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:42 AM   #7
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I installed the air bags myself they were all bolt on no drilling. as far as how difficult that is going to depend on your mechanical ability and what you have for tools and equipment. they are a tight fit and I would say that at the factory they must be installed before the camper shell is built. I have worked as a mechanic on trucks and heavy equipment for 30 years and did not think it was a hard job just some tight spaces to work in having to do it all from the underside.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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I installed the air bags myself they were all bolt on no drilling. as far as how difficult that is going to depend on your mechanical ability and what you have for tools and equipment. they are a tight fit and I would say that at the factory they must be installed before the camper shell is built. I have worked as a mechanic on trucks and heavy equipment for 30 years and did not think it was a hard job just some tight spaces to work in having to do it all from the underside.
I'm also considering adding them to my 3171DS, i assume you got the 2458 kit? Sounds like they make a big difference, I'll be towing a boat soon and think this would help quite a bit.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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yes that is the kit
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrunning View Post
I installed the air bags myself they were all bolt on no drilling. as far as how difficult that is going to depend on your mechanical ability and what you have for tools and equipment. they are a tight fit and I would say that at the factory they must be installed before the camper shell is built. I have worked as a mechanic on trucks and heavy equipment for 30 years and did not think it was a hard job just some tight spaces to work in having to do it all from the underside.
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yes that is the kit
Thank You!
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