Overview on Installing Suspension Bellows
Suspension systems deteriorate overtime. Air suspensions and bellows are no exception. When these dampers start to fail, a car or truck's ride may seem too low and uneven. At times, the drive becomes very bumpy and too uncomfortable. With a bad suspension, the vehicle may have difficulty carrying heavy loads. Driving on rough and uneven roads is also out of the question. To ensure a car's stability and ride quality with air suspensions, install new sets of suspension bellows before it's too late. Here's an overview of the process.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
Preparing vehicle and removing old parts
Park the car on a flat and level surface. Raise it with a floor jack up to the maximum height possible. Safely secure the car on jack stands. Work on one side at a time. Remove the wheel to get a better access to the suspension system. Locate the old bellow. Remove the screws and bolts securing the assembly. Different cars have various attachment setups. Deflate the bellow. Once deflated, compress and push both of its ends away from the bead seats/plates. Be careful not to damage the seats. Clean these before moving on.
Installing new suspension bellow
Place the new bellow on the seats. Start by setting the upper seat first. Pinch the sides of the bellow towards the center and compress everything-similar to how it was compressed during removal. With the bellow folded, it can now be placed on the lower seat. Apply some lubricant to make things easier. Secure the assembly with all other brackets, screws, and bolts necessary. Refer to the manual of both car and bellow for specific instructions.
Inflating suspension bellow
Make sure the bellow is properly secure prior to inflation. Inflating a loosely fitted part can cause sudden failure and accidents. Put enough air to tighten the parts together. To fine-tune the pressure, assembly may be calibrated depending on the brand of the bellow, how soft or stiff the driver prefers the suspension, and the vehicle's load.
Finishing the installation
Return the wheels after securing the bellow. Work on other wheels of the car and repeat the process. After working on all wheels, lower the car and take it for a test drive to check how the new parts feel.