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2005 buick rainier
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Newbie here reviving the thread...

My folks have an 05 Rainier that has started having air ride issues, so I am looking for some direction/advice.

Their symptoms seem to be very erratic and don't necessarily point to a specific problem.

Sometimes, it can sit for a full day with very little/no sag and sometimes the tires will be hitting the 1/4 panels after sitting for as little as 15 minutes. The sagging is always the whole rear end, so I doubt its an individual bag with a leak. I followed the air lines and couldn't hear, feel, or see an leaks either. The problem also seems to be temperature independent.

The compressor runs like a top once the key is on; it fills the bags quickly and isn't making any abnormal sounds. One time, the compressor wouldn't come on at all, but flicking the manual compressor switch on and off in the trunk made the compressor come back to life. After that, it filled the bags as normal and hasn't been an issue since (likely a fluke?).

I'm kind of stumped on what may be wrong and don't want to tear apart their car without any idea on what the problem might be.

My dad wants to just replace the airbags with coils and found "conversion kits" online for $250-300. I'm guessing that GM made the bags so that they bolt up to the coil spring buckets on the frame and axle housing so they didn't have to manufacture different brackets for air-ride and coil spring vehicles. If this is the case, I should be able to just buy some Trailblazer springs for $80 from Rock Auto and save them $200, correct?

Thanks
 

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Thanks for the response. Any idea where I can start looking to try to fix the bags before I junk 'em though? I've done some searching on this forum and others, but it seems like most people aren't getting the menagerie of symptoms I am.

I guess the check valve would be a good place to start looking. Where is it located and what's its exact function? Keeping air from the bags from bleeding back into the compressor head? I guess the pressure switch could be bad too, seems to match up with the reoccurring problems better.
 

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I'd get under there with a spray bottle of soapy water and spray the bags, usually at the bottom where they sorta fold up into themselves.. they seem to develop dry rot cracks there, you can see them better when you jack up the rear and they extend further. I found the cracks will seal themselves from air leak when they are folded up under because of pressure, but when they extend, they are straighten out and allow air to leak.

The air lines where they connect on top you prob can't see, but you can reach up there and feel for air..

spray the lines where they connect to the compressor.

The switches that activate them, if the same as my envoy, are mounted on the frame near each rear wheel... you'll see them connected to the rear axle with a rod. since the rear drops evenly, I'd doubt its those, since there is one on each side to allow air to just one bag at a time if needed.. but anything is possible.

The switch in the rear hatch only turns on the compressor and then allows air to go to the air line for accessories, not to the bags. The compressor directs the air flow using 3 solenoids inside of the compressor itself, depending on which wheel sensor is telling it needs air, or the rear hatch switch like you did...

Those can get gunked up and need cleaning, but you may not feel up to taking the compressor apart..

The air bag system works great when its working... I chose to keep bags by getting new ones as many did here because it works so well.

The compressors are crap tho... very prone to failure.

The check valve is in the compressor.. you will have to take the compressor off... and then on the outside there is a small access cover on the side, two screws holding it on. From there you can take the check valve out and clean it.. they get gunked up pretty bad too I've found..

Just guessing, but I'm thinking your bags are leaking.. with the top connection to the lines a close 2nd, and your compressor failing a close 3rd.

* If you dad decides to go w/ springs, I was about to post a want ad to buy a compressor.. so if you could keep me in mind and send me an email I would appreciate it.

Steve
Thanks Steve, I wish I was in town for longer than a few days for the holidays because I'm sure I could find the problem, and its probably a pretty simple fix. I did notice some dry rotting on the bottom of the bags while I was crawling around under the car yesterday, but it didn't seem terrible and I couldn't feel any air coming out after jacking it up. I'll have to try soapy water, might not be able to feel a pin-hole like with my hand.

Maybe I'll just need to visit them for a weekend, and tear the back half of the thing apart, replace the bags, and drop the tank to figure out why the fuel gauge has stopped working too :bonk:

I'll tell my dad you might be interested in the compressor if he decides to just go to springs instead of replace the bags (if I do figure out that's the problem).
 
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