Need opinions for air ride suspension replacement

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
(08 Envoy Denali) So it would appear that my one air shock is shot. When I come out in the morning to start it up the passengers side in on the bump stop. I really like the way it rides with this setup but I understand its flaws.
My question is do I just replace the air bags and ride the compressor as long as I can or replace both. Also, do I replace the shocks while I'm at it? I ask because all mentioned parts have 103K on them as original parts.
I'm reading that a spring conversion set up costs about the same as me replacing my air ride. I thoughts would be that if I can get another 80-100K out of my replacement air ride then I'll be happy. I'd probably go with Arnott compressor and springs since they seem to have good reviews. If I converted to springs what parts/setup would you guys suggest? Thanks
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
I have swapped a few to springs and always just use free take offs, but they are dirt cheap and far less to buy even new than replacing the air stuff. $75 shipped I am sure they would be even cheaper at a salvage yard. I may even have a set.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
If I end up doing the conversion what all exactly would I need?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Springs... That is it. All I use. Pull bags out and slap in springs.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
No spring mounts or anything? Excuse my ignorance.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
No. It's all there
 

Sparky

Moderator
There are different part numbers for shocks depending on whether you have air springs or coil springs, not sure how much of a difference there is on them. But at the miles, it may be worth replacing the shocks, and they're stupid easy to do anyway.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Done both ways depending. The ones that kept shocks never mentioned any issues with using the existing shocks from the air ride.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
So if I decide to just stick with the air bags and replace just them do you think doing the compressor at that point is a must or ride that out until it goes? Not sure if at that mileage if it's on borrowed time?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
I would just do bags. Seen some high mileage compressors still function fine. Seems the bags dry out and crack then leak.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
Also if I do the springs and replace the shocks do I look at it as if I was ordering shocks for a factory spring Envoy?
 

Sparky

Moderator

Tiggerr

Well-Known Member
There is also a rubber isolater for the coils... I just used a regular set of TB spring when I ditched mine
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
I dont use the isolator most of the time cause I never save them. I know mine have been gone for years.

I agreed with just stock springs and not dumping money uselessly. The HD shocks are valved stiffer, so if you like stock ride you might grab some Monroe or KYB or something else more attune to stock valving.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the links to the correct parts Sparky. I'm going to go with the springs and be done with the bags. Now it's just a matter of either the HD shocks or softer? Again, many thanks for all the help guys.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
Lastly, am I going to have to deal with any angry lights with removing the compressor? Can I still keep it just for the inside attachment to fill sports balls and stuff?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
No lights. You can cap lines and still use it inside if you want. May need to turn sensors if you leave it connected so it does not try to level the truck randomly.
 
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ChriSS K

ChriSS K

Well-Known Member
Wanted to put a close to this post. I ordered the factory AC Delco springs and HD bilstein shocks. Install was very straight forward and at the cost of a new air ride setup this replacement was the way to go. The ride is perfect now. Nice and firm without breaking your jaw. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

16vcabman

Well-Known Member
Pull the ecas #1 fuse in the front fuse box. I bought arnott bags on Rock Auto for $87 a peice if you do it right away the pump will last
 

gmc4flash

Well-Known Member
so after replacing the bags on my sons 02 envoy... 3 mon later the sensor arm broke off and it stayed down... took him a week to tell me so by now I am looking at sensors for $75 each and then the possibity that the pump will die as soon as I get it all working again... soooo... going to metal springs! I have a couple of ?? do the isolators mentioned go on the bottom or top? I see pn's for a top isolator on amazon. Can I just pull the ecas fuse and not worry about the sensors? will the compressor still work to pump up tires w/o it? If I not then what it needed to make the sensors think all is well? Last is there any market for the old bags? they are only 3 old and worked great as long as the sensors told the compressor to jack them up!
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Pulling that fuse totally kills the compressor. If you leave the fuse, it will try to pump up the non-existent bags. I'd just kill it and use an aftermarket compressor.

IIRC, there is only the isolator on the top.
 

16vcabman

Well-Known Member
I would like to add a bit of wisdom better known as my two cents worth. First if you go to springs, you need to use emry cloth on the driveshaft so the seal doesn't get destroyed on the back driveshaft at the front where it slides in and out. If you don't, the driveshaft will go in further than when on airbags. The shocks don't have to be changed. They sure don't ride as nice. Another problem I ran into was the driveshaft would stick when stopping, it felt like I was getting bumbed in the butt Everytime I took off from a light. You can get arnott air bags on Rock Auto for $87 each. The numb nuts that owned mine cut the air lines. I bought both for $25 on eBay. I found a dorman pump for $279 on another site. So roughly $500 I had brand new air ride, no more stick in the driveshaft, and no more seal problem. It was worth it to me to fix it correctly. Springs are just not as nice.
.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
That driveshaft thump you can eliminate with some grease in the splines that go into the tranny. That's for all of them, not just bagged systems.
 

gmc4flash

Well-Known Member
New ?? any chance anyone knows the amount of a resistor to use to fool the system ? I have to assume that the sensors put out a resistance depending on where the suspension is riding... if so it should be possible to connect a resister across the pins to make the system think the truck is always at the correct ride height?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
You could do that with the sensors by setting them at the right height and tying them somehow to prevent them from moving.
 

gmc4flash

Well-Known Member
that is a thought but since I could not get them to even try to air up the truck by moving them... did not know if that would work. Thanks for the reply.
 

gmc4flash

Well-Known Member
that is a thought but since I could not get them to even try to air up the truck by moving them... did not know if that would work. Thanks for the reply.
So... 2 metal springs later and the truck rides better than with the air springs... so is there a market for 2 month old air springs?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Nice video. Personally, I'd avoid using a box cutter or knife to cut the lines. Side cutters are much safer. :smile:
 

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