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I didn’t notice the bags being negatively affected by road salt or cold temps. They appeared none the worse for wear.
4176s I think: helps some with saggy butt but still need longer stiffer springs if loading up, I think.

This cargo box on rear hitch was basically empty- some firewood, etc 70 lbs on max 250 tongue weight limit, on 2" Ecohitch, cheapo PepBoys cargo carrier.




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I too want to install them, when you have a full load does your tail sink or stays even.
Where did you purchase them
I contacted eTrailer but not in stock until september.
Got em at Amazon $29 or something like that.

Still saggy.

Airbags dont add height, just reduces droop some. Its basically a taller inflatable bump stop.

For towing or hauling lots of weight inside/hitch cargo carrier, it does help at max inflation 30 psi.

see pics;

But they are known to rip, lines kink, valves break so for long distance confidence (thinking TransCanada to AK trip)

Ima need stiffer longer springs than stock to try in rear, then Atlas shocks, next I reckon. Testing one step at s time.

.



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how are you guys routing the filling hose? any pictures or diagrams? any concern with the hose going into the subframe and movement with compression?
Ran mine with valve inflation end of bag up, thru hole at top of the spring cup,

Wiggled line out thru an opening on top inside of frame, then along muffler hirld (cold side) to rear bumper black inset valance, one each side and above hitch.

I'm wary of the spring extending enough to pull air line out the top.
Under notmal dpring load the bag fills the space inside spring, but I wonder where it ends up as that opens up- hanging by the airline or dropping down(?)

I've had a couple problems filling/letting air out not sure if a kink or bag out line leak...or a bad valve(s) so still experimenting...more in a couple weeks.

On a long trip part- bags deflated, 10, 20...taking notes on the ride. More in 30 days.

-Foo


...



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does the firestone kits come with spacers for the end? the Airlift 80753 kit that i picked up has a 1/2" spacer for the valve side and another spacer fr the opposite end.

https://www.amazon.com/Air-Lift-80753-Front-Spring/dp/B0047DTDH2

I'll be tacking the install with intention of dropping control arms and getting creative with routing.
Mine did not but thats a great idea- my worry is valve pulling loose or jamming up if it misses the hole on full extension, then crimping as it reseats.

If I'd had a better idea of how to install and route valve down I'd have gone that way.

Seems most common in jeep and truck bag installs- valve down.

Let us now how it works out.


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Okay I gotta have more info/pics if the deflate squeeze route with the air lift bags.

Did you use a mighty vac to suck the bags flat?

I was able to collapse them enough to make them into a hot dog bun with zip ties and was able to get the first end in (non valve) but couldn't bend them enough to slide any more in.

I may leave the bags in my car during the day so they bake in 130f heat to soften them up and it may help.

Or I may just drop the arms.
Thats what we ended up doing.
Too hard to jam them in and easier to see where to route airlines.
-Foo


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I just purchased a set of Firestone bags today. Ive read mixed reviews for both Firestone and Airlift, probably a couple more for Firestone but not enough to deter me from the cost difference between the two. 150$ off amazon with prime (Stupid CAD exchange rate :banghead:)

Anyway! I'll be installing these next week some time, I do a fair bit of camping or just lugging stuff around. Next year we are looking at getting a small boat also and guess which car gets the hitch....



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Well they are in, took about 3 hours (about 40 min of that was explaining to the wife why we needed these and no it’s not stupid). Dropped the control arms, holly eff those springs are long. Last springs I changed out was on my 2010 mk5 jetta, I has to swing the Alltracks control arm so it was almost touching the ground to work the spring free. Took about 10 min each spring to work the bag into it, used the zip tie squish method shown by Moonwalker, but it took another 45 min to get the springs back in stalled. I did run into an issue with my H&R RSB and the moog end links, the threaded portion of the moogs seem to be a good ¼ 3/8 way to long and the threads were hitting the springs on both sides but passengers side was the worse, I couldn’t swing the bar out of the way as it was hitting the drivers side axle (first one that was completed after some wiggling). I tried compressing the driver’s side spring but didn’t get enough room so I eventually removed both end links to be reinstalled later today. Once that was done it didn’t take much to get the swing arm into place did take about 5-7” of compression before the shock bolt holes lined up, shock first then the knuckle, a little bit of persuading with a screw driver to line up the holes. I eventually torqued knuckle and shock bolts to 100 ft lb, and I did reuse hardware.

I did route the air lines down and then back up and through the rear rails past my westfailia hitch and by the bumper cover, right now I have the slack of the lines zip tied to the hitch and about 10lbs in the bags. Not sure if I’ll use the T or if I’ll have two fill ports.

I’ll mount the valve and reinstall the end links after work, so far with 10lbs there’s about 3” between top of the tire and the plastic cladding, def a little higher. I hope I sat the bottom of the springs properly in the control arm, it was very awkward to seat it then rotate it to the proper position then not have it pop back out as you wiggle the top into the chassis perch.
Similar experience. Tricky getting the springs seated even by experienced mech. Did you use spring compression tool or just jack up control arms to compress spring?




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Do you have a pic of how you routed them down? After looking at routing them up and the small hole they feed through, Im leaning more towards valve down.

Just curious to see how others went about it
+1pics pls. My Next step is try flipping them from inflation valve up to down- the more common install on jeeps and trucks, which my friend/mech and I agreed made more risk to damage from rocks etc to lines routed under the control arm- (and I do use the AT in some rough areas, and would like to do more, loaded)



Reason why- still having trouble now inflating/deflating reliably so I suspect some pinching somewhere in the tight area inside frame, or too tight turn in routing, or possibly the bag inflation fitting is impacted somehow at top of spring seat.

A spacer between bag and seat top or bottom would help- the Firestone bag kit does not include spaces but the AirLift brand used by DieselDog does, correct?

I like the airbag solution to cure/mitigate saggy butt when loaded/towing as its so inexpensive and elegant a solution- adjustable with air.

And its well proven in other tow vehicles, and some AT reviewrs have apparently got it right- see user reviews in the link to Amazon that DieselDogg provided.

I Just gotta eliminate my possible install errors before ruling out bags as permanent solution and
Then going to a much more expensive way: taller springs and Atlas shocks, which leaves me nose down when not heavy loaded.

What say the cognoscenti?

-Foo
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Used the good old HF low profile floor jack all the way lowed, in hind sight i should have raised the rear on the jack stands another click or two. While it's 3t capacity is nice to have, moving the 80lbs thing around to get under the control arm takes some muscle and then to line things up takes more fineness. I do have a small cheap Napa brand trolley jack that may have been better, but I've never used it.
did same here. A bit more time and effort requiring care and patience but safe enough on rears anyway, imho.


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Huh... that one little loop would be my one concern however i feel as though a solution could be found to alleviate that potential risk.... tape or zipties seems a bit flimsy... maybe a bent piece of 16 gauge that cupped over the bottom on the control arm? i dunno... something to play with.

Great link though! and the video he linked to as well. Really shows the difference they make. I would be curious to see what were to happen if he re inflated the bags with the weight on? would it rise again or just hold that height but stiffer?

I.E. Pre inflate the bags before putting weight in or doesn't matter?



Here is the Video he linked too for reference

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RJ8kgqbNUg
Thx for link! Great pics and vid I wish I'd had before install first time.
See also some recent AT user reviews on Amazon for those Airlift bags DD linked too.

Like your thinking on protecting the vulnerable airline below control arm.

Anyone know if there is such a thing as flex metal air lines, or a something common off the shelf you could use as a sleeve, bent to fit to run Firestone or Airlift plastic hoses thru? They seem so flimsy but apparently work- just would feel more comfortable protecting before going 100's of miles on gravel to AK.
(Bucket Trip)

-Foo


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Well I finally installed the red bags by Air Lift. They were an easy install and comes with 4 spacers. I decided to remove the rear springs, add the spacers and position the air lines thru the sub frame. The ideal location for the air valve was positioned near under the gas filler door, the safest and will always stay clean.
Every weekend I'm off to the flea markets fully loaded. With the Thule box and rear end pushed down with at least 700 lbs. Before I load up I added 35 lbs of air pressure which raised the tail a couple of inches above normal height. Once all in I noticed it lowered those two inches and was held level all weekend. I travelled 300 kms with ease and with the JB1 I had no tail swaying or loose end and no trouble scooting about on the hiways. It was a real pleasure to drive with confidence.
I highly recommend installing the Air Lift 1000 set. Next to the JB this ranks as a great addition to my ride.
Thanks guys for sharing details.
If I cant get the blue Firestone bags more reliable for me I'll replace them with the sturdier AirLift reds/spacers for bags inside the springs that protect the air hose. Bags that work Seems most elegant and functional fix to droopy butt, without spending $$$ on taller springs.

TLDR: Bags and Atlas shocks and call it a day, and

for now wait and see to hear more from Forge Kit installs and their real world road experience in rough roads.

Nothing against the MallTrack look but I drive mine hard and get dirty, so reliable is preferred over "maybe pull off a CV joint" 500 miles out in the bumfvck someplace. Its not a Jeep or a Taco nor is Haldex a low diff unit.

Theres not enough low in the gear ratio even if turbo boosted to play hard in the real ORV world, so I'll stay out of the sketchy dirt/sand ruts and avoid snowplowing the deeper snow.

Kudos to those braver than I who do push it!


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Hi fellow Canuck, I installed mine the only way by T route. Why make the instal complicated, simple is always best. Read my past post.
I also purchased the GOOLOO Portable Tire Inflator 300 PSI Air Compressor so I don't have to be reliant on outside pumps. Small enough to fit under the floor.
This past Sunday I carried twelve bags of peat moss. Inflated the airbags to 40 psi, limit is 50 with no saggy bottom.
Total peace of mind option.
I did my Firestones with two valves, one each side of hitch. More work to inflate, but figured that way one less failure point on the flimsy airlines at t-joint.

Someone else pointed out how the t-joint might allow lean? (Seems improbable but what do I know)

At least if one bag deflates on mine theres a bit of help to limp along on the other.

Firestone 4175 blue bags manual says "35 psi max" so the AirLift red must be sturdier walls/lines at 50 psi right?

Good to know, if so.
Might be doing a swap...if I cant debug my inflation issues.

Alltrack needs another "little blue pill"!

-Foo




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Got the bags installed on Friday. Used the stubborn hard way and got it done in about an hour total. However I did have a lift and a friend helped me... two sets of hands made this so much easier... if it wasnt for that it would have been much easier to take it all apart. Taco method didnt work overly well so it was just pancake and stubbornness.

Tee'd the lines together and made a little bracket mounted on the bumper.

The bags fill the entire interior space of the coils, vertically that is, with the spacers in place. With 5 psi and nothing in the car, it does lift the rear just slightly. I drove home with 10 psi, and the rear was quote bouncy. After bumps, the rear would bounce up first then the front. 5 psi is significantly better however the rear is slightly stiffer, just barely noticeable.

Happy to have it done and excited to lug something now!


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Nice! Did you route the airlines out the bottom?


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Ok found this from Facebook VW Altrack Owners group, digging down thru posts and links: Bearded Detailers development on his (NLA) lift kit - snd his test on blue Firestone 4176 airbags:




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Here is a link to Air Lift, which competes with Firestone on bags that fit many cars and trucks- use the "universal kit" option by measuring inside springs by width and height

Sometime in the spring one of my bags got a tear. Went to air up for a trip to the Home Depot but only heard air escaping. According to Airlift's FAQ, a horizontal tear is a result of insufficient air pressure which I think is what happened as I wasn't really keeping any pressure in them. Lesson learned. So with 1 bag still in working order i decided to order another kit instead of a replacement bag since the cost was about the same.

Cutting out the old bag was slow and tedious but installation this time around was a breeze. Instead of working from underneath the car, I took the wheel off and worked them in from the side. When I deflated the bag I shaped it in a specific way and used a zip tie hold its shape. Sprayed some soapy water and had the bag in about 5 minutes.

Still fussing with a leak/kink on my installed Firestone 4176s, but found this that might help others to consider the AirLift bags. Note you HAVE to get the size of the bag right.
https://www.airliftcompany.com/workshop/air-lift-1000-universal-air-spring-kit/

I like that the Air Lifts come with a spacer that helps protect the air line coming out of the end of the bag-
The Firestone does NOT include a spacer, and I wish I had known about that, just because what I found when installing it-

I installed mine with the air line UP, vs traditional Jeep-SUV-truck DOWN,
because I wanted to avoid the loop of line catching on things, where it comes out of the bottom of the "lower control line"- see diagram- for anyone a N00b like me that has trouble remembering the correct terminology...
https://parts.vw.com/a/Volkswagen_2017_Alltrack/54538530__7176843/REAR-SUSPENSION/9272767.html

However, that hole at the top inside of the spring going into the frame rail is tight, as is the little u-shaped gap in the frame rail on the inside that I routed out thru... no way to know if it kinked inside there, and I dont WANT to drill in frame rails if I dont have to...so back to the use of a spacer at top- might be the key to avoiding pinching at the top of the bag... just saying.

The kinks and pinches you have to watch out for in the surprisingly light air lines are the weak spot of these kits, IMHO-
but apparently once you get it right they can last a long time, per user reviews in a variety of places, including e-trailer.
https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Firestone/F4176.html

I list the above link noting that E-trailer does NOT yet endorse the fit on the Alltrack,
but just like on the various hitch kits and wiring harnesses that GolfMk7 users (including me- ecohitch 2" and Curt Wiring Harness) there HAVE used and confirmed worked, as early adopters, I find E-trailer to be a good resource for what other users say works, along with people sharing at VWVO, and elsewhere.

Airbags done right can solve the saggy butt issue, when loaded, towing, etc. There are tons of youtubes out there but here is a useful generic one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmcKIJo1D8g
 

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Mine are still in good shape it seems... maybe a line came loose or a wear hole in a line or something?

Fingers crossed

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I'm testing my second set of bags:
AirLines sized to fit taller and narrower than the only Firestone 4176 option that IMHO is too short and too fat- results in bag getting tugged up and down by spring. See my earlier post about using the universal springs option on AirLines site.

Let you know how it goes: routed lines out bottom this time, armored with springline:





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Are you being snarky, or are you saying that Firestone products are a failure, and need to be recalled for this application? I know a guy in a shady law office :laugh::laugh:
Heh! ISWYDT...

No, I'm noting the Firestone bags are working for some but not others...

Seriously the info out there is scarce for cars, and scarcer for ATs
And the Amazon listings on bags, just like other products, dont always match up by different models.

So you might order one extracmodel of AirLift bag expecting to get a bag spacer and find out it is in the next bigger model...(like I did...)

Same for some other retailers, like e-trailer where people have put Firestones on Beetles, but are NOT listed as fitting ATs but yet a couple reviews infer they have been put in wagons, so you hope they might work fine under light use towing (like Christof the Bearded Detailer),

Or, Dieseldog, apparently, for awhile then not.

I think Firestones work better for awhile if you route lines down, as the bag is gonna want to fall down when deflated by gravity, and generally be at rest at bottom, only dragged up with lots of extra articulation and too tight fit while inflated, like on a rough road vs level towing.

In my case, the Firestones failed shortly after ruff road use -And here is why, I think:

the blue Firestones fit very tight width wise, and are shorter than the space inside the coil in height. So, they are gonna migrate some under lots of articulation. The question is, how much.

And thats why they tugged out the air valve on one of my bags and pinched the line just above the valve on the other, after a short while.

Because of that too tight fit and blue bag going up and down.

And because

On first try I routed the line up thru center hole above spring then thru a tight spot in frame, to protect against rocks and debris that I feared

If routing down out bottom of spring coil and control arm.

I hoped that top airline would slip a bit to give with the bag but

obviously didnt, per pics:



So, second try: taller skinnier bag and run the airline down this time. Like Christof does but unarmored using a 90 degree elbow. That gives a bit more flex but looks scary to me, waiting to be snagged by a tree root or desert sidewinder. Or the damn ground squirrels that chewed some wires...(another topic but check out Home Depots mice outta car product...)
Sorry, I digress.

Note: ya gotta go to the AirLift website to read their instructions on how to order right sized bags with universal fit:

measure the spring inside dimensions on your vehicle.




Then find closest to fit AirLift red bag, by that spring dimension, vs go by model number as used by others, like Firestone blue 4176.

If you do, you will see the AirLift instruction "in case of doubt to order one step smaller bag"
(they dont specify smaller by height or width- but your options are a 3" dia bag, or a 3.5" dia bag, similar to the Firestone blue 4176.)

So I chose the skinnier 3" bag this time.



Vs the old Firestone bag first time



Now, I'm a gonna test the AirLines on the same road same load, and
See how the AirLines hold up.

(plus new steelies/nokkias and plus my secret cheater EMD rake rear pad for an extra 13/32 in case the Airlines fail too)



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:laugh::laugh:

Gotta have a little sense of humor, glad you got it :thumbup::thumbup:

Yeah, tricky sometimes, but you have to take the chance. Glad you are sharing the info though!
Yer welcome.

Now, just for fun...
I'll toss the hand grenade in the room...

How many of you replace the stretch bolts and nuts every time that you remove them...

Whats the torque, Kenneth?

Bueller?

Have a nice weekend!
(Evilll chuckle, runs away...)




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My Air Lift bags have been going strong for over 3 years and 53k miles.
No leaks, no issues.
Inflation valve pointed down, air lines tucked up with zip ties, so they still hang down ~1/2-3/4" below the LCA. No snagging issues yet, and we do dirt roads on occasion.

I remember reading a few more bag failures with the Firestone vs the Air Lift when I was researching. Both have warranties and should send you a new bag if asked. Seeing as the labor is 99% of the PITA for these, that doesn't help much, though!

An idea of our camping gear for summer trips: full car camping setup, rock climbing gear, and two inflatable SUP boards. Inflate the bags to 35 psi - no sag. Great bang for the buck!
Awesome! and inspiring for other AdventureTraks.
Thanks!
-Foo


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