Alko air top supension aid

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Alko air top supension aid

Post by Barnman on Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:32 pm

Hi,

Does anyone know what this actually does? It seems to be fitted to the new vans.

Specifically can it be used to lift or lower the rear of the van on uneven ground? This doesn't seem clear from the literature. Our dealer said it could.

If so How?, is there a pump?

Or is it just a suspension aid when driving?

Thanks
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by geoff brooke on Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:08 pm

as usual dealers dont know what they are selling !!. raises or lowers van height SIDE TO SIDE   not front to back so ok for levelling perfectly with ramps.
just use a cheap 12v compressor to increase pressure...car type valve.
works well  on our warwick duo and gives a good ride regardless of on board load.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:08 pm

Be careful not to leave either side at a low level of inflation as the mounting bolts then rub on the bellow and cut through it.

Peter

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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Barnman on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:41 am

Thanks for replies. Not got mine yet so will have  a play when it comes! Clearly not a substitute for ramps (as the dealer implied!)
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Wallis3 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:17 am

Hi Barnman  Just enjoy your new van. The air tops are just an addition to improve the overall rear suspension performances.If you have any quires I am sure AS service department will be pleased to help. As Peter has pointed out don't let the pressure get to low as the fixing bolts can rub a hole in the bellows.   
Regards Wallis3 allthumbz
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Barnman on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:54 pm

Thanks! Van arrives early April, looking forward to it!
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by postman on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Too late! I have let the pressure drop too low on my al-ko air top suspension  and mounting bolt is chafing through the 'bellows' (2014 Warwick Duo) on one side. I can't find prices for spares anywhere on the net. Anybody else had to buy one? OBVIOUSLY I AM REALLY CHEESED OFF WITH MYSELF!
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by postman on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:21 pm

P.S. The pressure gauge still says the unit has adequate air pressure, but clearly it hasn't as the unit has been rubbing.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Wallis3 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:29 pm

Hi Postman. 
The same happen to our Symbol last year a call to Autoseeper Service and all was sorted 2 new air suspension units and the bolts refitted
in the correct way up. Very good service from the Service center.
Regards Wallis3 up!
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by postman on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:46 pm

Thanks for your advice Wallis3. Just been up the M5 for first habitation service at A/S in Jan. Guess we'll just have to go again and make a holiday of it!
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Wallis3 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:00 pm

Hi Postman. 
Yes a long way for you, looks like a few days at the CC site at Broadway when the weather improves.

Regards Wallis3
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Spospe on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:06 pm

This has been a problem in the past, due to AS fitting the units incorrectly with the securing bolts being fitted the wrong way round. Take a look at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonysmith1974/6633816753/in/photostream/

and:

http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t7923-al-ko-airtop-bolts-fitted-upside-down?highlight=airtop

and you will see that you are not alone.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Gram on Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:32 am

My experience is the same as Wallace3's.

Good service from the A/S Service Centre.

As pointed out by Spospe, make sure the upper securing bolts have the nuts at the top.

Strange that the pressure dial show adequate pressure when the suspension units are holed - exactly as happened to me.

G
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by postman on Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Hello Gram,
Just to clarify, the unit hasn't actually burst (YET?).The pressure has been just above the red line and the rear bolt, near side has scuffed the rubber to a depth of maybe 1mm or less.No problem if the rubber is 5mm thick, but trouble if it is 1.01mm thick! By the way,A/S have fitted  the bolts  the right way up. If I was Mr AlKo, I might consider specifying dome headed hex drive bolts to avoid any problems.
Tim
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Gram on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:21 pm

My bolts were upsidedown and the units were actually holed.  The vehicle was running on the bump stops inside the Al-Ko air springs.  The dials continued to show a good pressure.

Still, fixed now.

G
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Air Tops holed

Post by Wigley Woggled on Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:32 pm

If AS had told people to check their Air Top units for incorrectly fitted bolts then we would have been saved a lot of trouble.

My Warwick Duo is registered 2011 which we bough second hand from the AS dealer in Derby in 2013.
I've only just realised that the set screw and lock nut have been fitted the wrong way round contrary to the Al-Ko fitting instruction booklet.
Clearly if fitted by AS then it is their fault I now have one holed and useless and the other significantly damaged.

Presumably the vehicle is out of warranty and as we've had it four years beyond any second hand warranty the AS dealer would have given us.

Does anyone know what the AS policy is on providing new units damaged due to their fitting error as it seems a new pair will cost over £580 which I'm naturally most displeased about and loath to pay out. This is not a matter of reasonable wear and tear as the vehicle has only covered just over 18,000 miles.

I'd be grateful for any information on getting these replaced.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by ymfb1 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:06 pm

what is the minimum pressure ?
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Justus2 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:54 pm

The gauges on ours have a green section between 1 and 3 bar, no idea what that is in psi, I just keep it in the middle at 2 bar... I have a compressor, but I have also used an ordinary bicycle pump, for bikes with a car type valve, and that works fine on the alko system.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Greyhound on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:03 pm

From the autosleeper website:
http://www.auto-sleepers.com/al-ko-air-top-suspension/

The new models don't have the problem with the exposed bolts so seems to be only the early years of fitting these.

Set mine to around 2 bar also and all seems good.  Haven't tried leveling with it yet, it pumps up extremely quickly though with little additional air needed, so may keep a little bike pump in the van and have a go next time I'm on even ground.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by ymfb1 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:08 pm

FYI 1 bar = 14.5038 psi

If that helps anyone :-)
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Wigley Woggled on Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:25 pm

Instructions state:
Working pressure minimum 1.5 bar
Working pressure maximum 3.0 bar
Optimal approximate value 1.8 to 2.5 bar.

As for levelling due to load variation, well I just pump them up to be equal when loaded and check now and then as journey continues and load varies.
Make sure you check pressure with vehicle on a level surface. A change in surface level will effect the reading.
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Toffee on Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:47 pm

My van came with instructions in the form of an installation certificate stating the suspension should be used at 1.8 bar, as the type approval of the units is performed at that pressure. Anything else may adversely effect the stability or higher pressures may damage the chassis.

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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Wigley Woggled on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:13 pm

The above pressure data I gave is straight from the Al-Ko installation booklet.
Looking at the AS booklet with my Warwick Duo its states the same, optimum working pressure between 1.8 and 2.5 bar, however, it also states that they can be adjusted to suit the loading but the difference between each side must not be more than 0.7 bar. This means one side could be 1.8 bar and the other side 2.5 bar.

I find this pressure differential strange not least because who are we to say how much more pressure one side must be given than the other and if it is to do with loading then how much more pressure should one allow according to the weight difference. Really are we going to be so fussy as to start calculating the weight of items stored on each side? scratch head I doubt it, which is why I tend to make sure each side is the same pressure.

AS give no guidance on pressure differential compared to loading on each side only to state "in order to obtain the ride characteristics you require".  shrugg

In any event it suggests not going above 3 bar and to test there are no leaks in the air system to inflate to 5 bar and leave to see if the pressure drops. if all seems OK then reduce to the working pressure.  up!


All this still hasn't answered my question which is am I going to have to foot the bill of over £580 (two units) as a result of AS fitting the bolts the wrong way round?  think_smiley_46
Has anyone else had to cough up the 'readies' to put right something that shouldn't have needed putting right?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/AL-KO-Airtop-Fiat-Ducato-X250/dp/B00XYDPTZ6
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Re: Alko air top supension aid

Post by Biker51 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:51 pm

Just, yesterday, had to replace the original Al-ko units as one of the bolt heads had rubbed through the bellows causing a leak, as the van is 5 years old and the units were installed with the bolts the correct way round had no redress against AS or Marquis.

However new units have been redesigned so bolt heads cannot rub the rubber bellows.

I had them supplied and fitted at Autosleepers Service centre cost was £454 fitted including VAT, took about 1.5 hrs so was able to wait whilst it was done.

Had been quoted £600+ by Marquis.

All the best with it.
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