Please Tips on replacing rear air bags for more suitable rear suspension for tow vehicle

Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#1
Please Tips on replacing rear air bags for more suitable rear suspension for tow vehicle

I have recently obtained a 07 Saab 9-7x w/ 5.3LH 325CI same as Trailblazer, as a new tow vehicle for my 3K LB boat.

I think the Saab has leaking air bags because when the car is turned off the vehical
Lowers way down haven’t observed how quick it lowers/when turned on the car raises to normal height, I’ve only driven it on the long driveway (car not yet registered) I don’t know much about this car other than it has a desirable Engine.

Please recommend a decent rear suspension upgrade for a mostly tow vehicle maybe inflatable air shocks? Or are replacement none leaking airbags be good enough to tow a 3K LB rig (3K weight includes trailer).

Additionally what is currently attached to the hitch receiver a shin protector?

Thanks for advice
 

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littleblazer

Gold Supporter
#2
I mean the stock springs for a non air bag truck should be more than adequate for towing a 3k boat. My boat and trailer is around 3.5k loaded. You could do regular springs with manual air bags added. I don't know if the tongue weight on the trailer is right either. You could take a little off moving where the boat sits on the trailer. (Adjusting winch stand, moving the axle etc.) The stock setup should be capable though. I wouldn't do air shocks only because the shock mounts aren't huge. I'd rather have the extra load taken up on the axle.

Oh and nice car by the way.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#3
thanks
here's my brand new choice RA $154. + $15 ship total $169. hopefully monroe isn't a Chinese made parts for American co.

Not sure if it's normal for the 97x is susposed to lower itself after tuning off engine?
 

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#4
If the rear sags downward when the vehicle is off then your air bags are leaking for sure. Those coils will fix that no problem.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#5
even if its a slow leak probablley not safe to tow

maybe this is why the 97x appears so much smaller than trailblazers because its lower? or is the 97x actualley smaller. they appear equal size inside cabin.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#7
Here’s my plan convert air bags to conventional spring and shock absorber

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=5425176&cc=1433749&jsn=378



add 300LBs to rear to simulate tongue weight if rear sags then insert load levelers inside the springs. This link is to fit a dodge not sure if these type air bag inside spring will fit the monroes?

http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/air-lift-60818-air-spring-kit-dodge-ram-1500-09-18?



Maybe these for a 1500 will fit?

http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index...MI98m5z5Oy2QIVDBeBCh1jDAyDEAYYAiABEgJuOPD_BwE





I would like to reuse the airbag sys. Air compressor to inflate the LL.



BTW the white van is my primary tow vehical which actually sags quite a bit I believe the shear weight 7100LBs is limiting how well she tows.



I’m hopping the 97x will tow/stop good and be better TV than the van.



Due to the 97x being so much lighter and a tad more powerfull taking off will be easier.



It’s the stopping I’m concerned w/. realley don’t want to add trailer brakes but mite have to.





Thanks for advice
 

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#8
These trucks have very good brakes IMHO. Just use quality parts and they'll stop. I've had better luck with ACDelco. Others seem to warp the rotors. Stay away from drilled or slotted crap.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#9
yes I thought the corvette sized 13" front/rear rotors would be adaquit it's the lightness of the 97x that concerns me.

years ago I swapped rotors on my 99 pontica TA w/ undrilled power slots no warpage .

really don't want brakes on trailer just one more piece for saltwater to rust.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#10
can I use junk yard trail blazer springs and shocks? or maybe just springs then buy new shocks?
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#12
Will the 97x appear retarted elevated?

just how many inches will regular TB shocks raise the 97x
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#15
I haven't looked underthere yet. so I dont know but think it's just air bag w/out springs.

just how many inches will regular TB shocks raise the 97x I'd preferr not to cut springs for desirable ride height.

please suggest a shock absorber match for TB springs, I read on net some Z7 trucks springs can be used?
 
#16
Just a heads up
I am in Toronto Canada and a local Envoy XUV owner took his air equipped truck to a local spring shop and had the bag system replaced with leaf springs for around $300.00 cdn.
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#17
I thought the trailblazer/saab didnt have leaf springs

I'm willing to swap springs/shocks not leaf springs


just how many inches will regular TB shocks raise the 97x I'd preferr not to cut springs for desirable ride height.
 

djthumper

Administrator
#18
GMT 360 do not have leaf springs, his comment may have been in error for the swap. You do not need Z71 springs or shocks. If you are going to swap out to springs and shock in the rear just put in TB springs and standard shocks. The change in height should be minimal.
 
#19
GMT 360 do not have leaf springs, his comment may have been in error for the swap. You do not need Z71 springs or shocks. If you are going to swap out to springs and shock in the rear just put in TB springs and standard shocks. The change in height should be minimal.
Sorry - new coil spring conversion and it worked well
 

Bow_Tied

Well-Known Member
#21
I have the GMC version of your truck, 5.3 short wheel base. My rear air bags were doing the same thing; overnight the rear say very low, especially in cold weather. I purchased the Arnott aftermarket air springs. They were affordable and reasonably easy to install myself. I tow an RV trailer that is almost 5000 lbs loaded without issue. I even did so when the original airbag leak was small (the compressor operated more often though). I do use a proper weight distribution hitch assembly.
EnvoyTrailer.JPG
 

djthumper

Administrator
#24
which springs junk yard or monroe
If you go with Monroe then you get new shocks with it. If you go Junk yard you have no clue what condition the shocks are in.
 
#26
Those are helper air springs. You do NOT want these to replace your current bags. I suggest just getting the rear springs from a junk short wheelbase TB or Envoy which should give the proper ride height. If your shocks are still good, keep them. If you don't like the ride, get new shocks afterwards. Easy swap. Be sure to get the rubber isolators with the springs.

I don't know if your compressor will work after the air bags are removed.
 

Bow_Tied

Well-Known Member
#28
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#29
what does the TB trailblazer shock absorbers ends look like? like are there rings for attachment bolts on both ends?

The shocks I ordered from Amazon only have one ring an a stud.

I believe the bag can hold 35psi maxium thanks for preventing an explosion

shock only one ring on shocks.jpg bottom
 
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Sprung Monkey

Well-Known Member
#31
I'm screwed the pouch on el cheapo spring ordered the monroe hope ride hieght it's not to high
 
#32
Just a little FYI for those future-referencing this post ..

while the bags *may* go bad, a lot of times it is the relief valve - which is part of the pump assy - that is actually what goes bad. Unfortunately, it is not serviceable on its own and requires a new pump assy..

.. this can be tested by pinching off the lines to the bags after pump-up and observe overnight if the height decreases
 

BrianF

Well-Known Member
#33
Just saw this thread and will toss in my experience on helper bags. I had a 2011 ram 1500 and towed heavy with it. I got Firestone Riderite airbags to supplement the rear coils. They insert inside the factory coils and did a decent job. You require minimum 5psi to ensure the bag does not fold in on itself or rub a hole on the coil (neither happened in 6 years of use). When you anticipate hauling you pump them up to your desired pressure (max is like 35psi only). When aired down you never knew they were there but they made a massive difference when loaded.

Only issues I ran into with bags was the plumbing. It looks like Firestone and Airlift have similar cheapo fittings and I had great difficulty maintaining a leak free system. In the summer you may need to add some air every few weeks, in the winter it could be daily. One bag would lose air as fast as you could add it around -20 C . -30 C or colder? Forget using them. I solved the problem by using RTV sealant in the valve fittings, which were leaking past the O-rings. But this was one of the reasons we moved up to a one ton, no air bags needed.
 

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