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2004 buick rainier
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Have been reading through the posts on the air suspension but haven't seen one yet that has the same problem mine does. Have only had the vehicle for about a month (2004 Rainier) and the air suspension seems to work the way it should. I never hear it run when inside the truck but occasionally when outside..It sits in the garage for up to a week, everything is fine. Yesterday I get home from work and at first couldn't figure out why the Rainier looked odd. Then I noticed the rear end was sitting on the bottom, appearing to have lost all the air. I turned on the key, and it raised the truck back up to normal height (I think the rear end sits too high, looks like a jackrabbit) and I measured from the garage floor to the top of the fender well and it was right at 34". Checked a couple times more, and again this morning and it has not dropped a bit..Any idea what could have made it lose air (in two days) that quickly and now seems to be okay? Some valve not seating? My buddy said he saw it like that right after I got it but I didn't notice apparently so I guess in a month it has done it twice. The truck has just at 100K and I have no idea if the parts are original.

What should I be looking for? Is it normal the system only operates with the key on? My mom's towncar levels itself whenever it wants to and I have seen other posts about the system running the battery down but mine obviously only runs key on.

Thanks,
John
 

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2004 gmc
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It is indeed designed to not drain the battery trying to pump up a leaky system. There are fill and purge valves for each air bag, and a tiny bit of grit could have caused an intermittent leak that went away with subsequent airflow.

They are very expensive to find parts for if it fails totally later. Some folks have found parts on ebay. If it's not that important to you to have automatic leveling, you can buy coil springs to replace the airbags, and add airlift 1000 helper bags inside the coils if you need adjustability for towing or whatever.
 

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2004 buick rainier
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is indeed designed to not drain the battery trying to pump up a leaky system. There are fill and purge valves for each air bag, and a tiny bit of grit could have caused an intermittent leak that went away with subsequent airflow.

They are very expensive to find parts for if it fails totally later. Some folks have found parts on ebay. If it's not that important to you to have automatic leveling, you can buy coil springs to replace the airbags, and add airlift 1000 helper bags inside the coils if you need adjustability for towing or whatever.
I did find a place online that sells the pump brand new for about 300.00 but seems nobody sells the air springs..I like the way it rides, I understand the air suspension gives a nicer ride so hoping to keep it as is as long as possible. Hopefully this "intermittent" problem doesn't become chronic. It's still sitting at the exact level, two days later so it's not currently leaking down.
Are the valves you mentioned part of the pump? Seems like the pump is the heart of the system with the computer and such built into it?

Thanks for the info,
John
 

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2004 gmc
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The air bags are GM specific, but various on-line discount suppliers have them. And you can sometimes find them on ebay. Yes, the valves and computer are part of the pump assy. It doesn't talk on the normal serial data bus to a scan tool can't extract failure codes from it, but it WILL flash the LED near the tire inflator hose connector inside the car if it sees internal problems like leaks and sensor faults. We can interpret those codes.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
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If it's not that important to you to have automatic leveling, you can buy coil springs to replace the airbags, and add airlift 1000 helper bags inside the coils if you need adjustability for towing or whatever.
Can you suggest a parts supplier, (national chain) I can find the coils at? I know I can buy them online but I can't wait, going on a 2000 mile road trip on Friday.

Another member tells me I should replace the shocks too, different length used in non air vs air models? He also mentions a bumper for the non air that is not present in the air set up?
 

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2004 gmc
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The springs are a GM part. You will have to pay top $$ to get them at a dealer, and they may have to get them from a warehouse.

I know there's a shock difference, but I don't think anybody knows the exact details. Probably not a big deal to ignore for now.

And I never looked it up before, but the bump stop we all have with coil springs is indeed deleted for the air bag version. Odd. It's GM #15159697
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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349 Posts
And I never looked it up before, but the bump stop we all have with coil springs is indeed deleted for the air bag version. Odd. It's GM #15159697
For what it's worth, the jounce bumper is still there for the air suspension, it's just a different (shorter) part - p/n 10386222. I swapped mine out (for p/n 15159697) when I replaced air leveling with springs on my 2002 Envoy.

Also, anybody replacing their air bags with springs will need the upper rubber insulators (p/n 15765071). Should be able to find them for ~$6 each, plus shipping, online.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
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For what it's worth, the jounce bumper is still there for the air suspension, it's just a different (shorter) part - p/n 10386222. I swapped mine out (for p/n 15159697) when I replaced air leveling with springs on my 2002 Envoy.
I'm glad you two chimed in on this. I just ordered the springs and insulators but not the jounce bumpers. The parts person at the dealer neglected to mention that but then I'm sure she's not familiar with conversion. I'd better get those ordered too!

Can I get by with the original shocks or need to replace them, if so what size?
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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Can I get by with the original shocks or need to replace them, if so what size?
The shocks supplied with the air leveling suspension on your 2003 XL have the same compressed length, but ~13mm shorter extended length and higher nominal damping force than the shocks (Bilsteins, GM p/n 15193273) that were supplied with coils.

That said, I'm running with the original shocks on my converted Envoy, and haven't had any issues.
 

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I just did a search for that part number (10386222) on GM Parts Direct where the springs were just delivered from and it shows up as "No parts were found matching your search."

Would you mind double checking that number please? Thanks.
 

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I just did a search for that part number (10386222) on GM Parts Direct where the springs were just delivered from and it shows up as "No parts were found matching your search."

Would you mind double checking that number please? Thanks.
When I enter that part number (10386222) on their site, it shows up. That part number is the jounce bumper for the air suspension, however. If you're installing conventional springs, order p/n 15159697.

GM PART # 10386222
CATEGORY: Rear Spring
PACK QTY: 1
 

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2004 buick
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Yeah me too.....

Hello all,
Have been reading through the posts on the air suspension but haven't seen one yet that has the same problem mine does. Have only had the vehicle for about a month (2004 Rainier) and the air suspension seems to work the way it should. I never hear it run when inside the truck but occasionally when outside..It sits in the garage for up to a week, everything is fine. Yesterday I get home from work and at first couldn't figure out why the Rainier looked odd. Then I noticed the rear end was sitting on the bottom, appearing to have lost all the air. I turned on the key, and it raised the truck back up to normal height (I think the rear end sits too high, looks like a jackrabbit) and I measured from the garage floor to the top of the fender well and it was right at 34". Checked a couple times more, and again this morning and it has not dropped a bit..Any idea what could have made it lose air (in two days) that quickly and now seems to be okay? Some valve not seating? My buddy said he saw it like that right after I got it but I didn't notice apparently so I guess in a month it has done it twice. The truck has just at 100K and I have no idea if the parts are original.

What should I be looking for? Is it normal the system only operates with the key on? My mom's towncar levels itself whenever it wants to and I have seen other posts about the system running the battery down but mine obviously only runs key on.

Thanks,
John
My 04 Rainier been doing this for almost two years. It usually only do it durning fall when it get cold overnite. Once I start it up its back to normal for two, three days. it don't do it during spring and summer. I just deal with it in the morning whenever its low. Sometimes it drain my battery too but leave just enough power to start the truck. Crazy I know but I'm planning to trade this in after last few payments which is why I have not done anything about it. Overall this been a pretty nice truck. Just a few plms here and there but not bad for 125500 miles.
 

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2005 buick rainier
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My 2005 Rainier's problem is the back is completely down but when checking underneath the air bags are both full of air. Any thoughts?
 
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