|Our basic gauge assemblies can be supplied
in three formats to suit most vehicles. For vehicles like the Talbot
Express and Mercedes Sprinters, it best to use a gauge assembly with
vertical connections as shown below as it can be mounted in lockers or
on the side of the seat box/frame.
In vehicles like Fiat Ducatos, the
ideal place for the gauge assembly is in the drivers footwell as shown
below. For this position there are two versions available with
horizontal connections to suit right hand and left hand drive
The colour coding of the hoses and valves
is your choice, however we use red on the left as all the markers on
the left of the road are also red, so that leaves blue on the right. Where ever
the hoses pass through any holes or possibly likely to be rubbed, its
highly recommended to use some sort of sleeving (larger sized hose in
this case) to help protect the inner hose.
The hose connections are real simple to use,
providing you have cut the hose reasonably square with a craft knife and
not electricians side cutters, you simply push the
hose in to the fitting until it stops. To release, you have to push the
coloured ring in to the fitting, then pull the hose out. They do seal
extremely well, though if they do leak slightly, increasing the air
pressure to maximum (100psi) for a week or so usually does the trick. We have found
installations carried out in cold weather are more prone to leaking as
the pipes are hard and don't bed in so well. As mentioned earlier,
raising the pressure for a while will help.
We normally add a loop of hose to aid
working on the gauge assembly, but as this isn't such a tight
installation, we felt there was no need.
There's no need to start drilling holes
everywhere (apart from where the hoses enter the back of the
gas locker box or in to the cab) to use the cable ties, as you'll find plenty of
convenient places to fix to as shown above. Again, personal choice, if
the tie is long enough, we
like to wrap cable ties round several times to help excessive stress
in one place or even use a short bit of out hose as added protection.
When mounting the gauge assembly or
drilling holes, always check behind the panel as there may be items
behind the panel that could be damaged by drilling holes. In the
Ducato/Boxer cabs, its very unlikely to be any wiring etc behind the
plastic foot well liner, so you'll be relatively safe when fixing your
gauge assembly. The photo below is in a right hand drive Ducato/Boxer
foot well, on the left is a small cover that can be pulled off to
reveal a chassis identification plate, it also gives you access to see
where your going to drill holes for the air lines. Quite often this
area has been filled with carpet felt. Its wise to pull it from where the holes are to be placed and replaced afterwards as it
can wind around your drill to give you problems.
(All manifolds are now provided with counter sunk stainless steel screws, rather than the button head screws shown above - much neater)
On some Ducatos/Boxers, after drilling
through the plastic liner and the steel panel, its sometimes possible
to thread the hoses out to the chassis, however on some vehicles this
is not possible, so the hoses have to be threaded out through the same
hole as the handbrake cable (remove the rubber grommet and replace
once all the hoses are through. Unfortunately this is one of those
jobs where is can be dead easy, and other times you need plenty of
patience! Rather than trying to thread the hose straight through, use
some wire then tape that to the hose. When the small hose is through,
its relatively easy to use that to guide the outer sleeving through.
Luckily when mounting the gauge assembly, they're provided with
stainless steel screws which can be screwed straight in to the plastic
without pre-drilling. Tip. Have the hoses at least about a foot or
more too long, connect up the gauge assembly, then pull back the
excess so that the gauge assembly is in the correct position and then
cable tie the excess up to the chassis.
The valve assembly consists of two taps/valves
with a common connection to a pressure gauge and a Schrader/Tyre inflation
The valves are open when the handles are inline
with the pipe, which allows free flow of air.
When inflating your system for the first time,
open both valves and inflate as high as your compressor will go, usually about
85psi, never go above the maximum of 100psi. This will help bed all the
'push-in' connections to help them seal properly. After this has been done,
release the air by using the tyre cap to push the centre pin in of the Schrader
valve. Lower the pressure down to about 30psi, then stand back and look at your
vehicle, if to low or too high, adjust pressures as required. This will give you
a good starting point to work from. With use of the vehicle, you'll establish as
to whether you need to adjust the pressures further to get the ideal ride height
and comfort. However its usually best to increase the pressures if your planning
on doing a lot of fast driving or motorway driving.
After inflating your system, always close the
valves, and only open one at a time when you wish to check the pressures.
Keeping the valves closed prevents air passing from one side the vehicle to the
other which can happen when cornering or travelling along roads with an adverse
camber. Having a separate valve for each air spring/bellow/bag will enable you
to inflate one side of your vehicle more than the other. This feature is useful
if your vehicle has a tendency to lean more one side than the other due things
like water tanks and cupboards along the one side of the van, by increasing the
pressure in the air spring on the lower side of the van, it becomes easy to
level the vehicle up again, likewise the same principle can be used is parking
on an uneven site.
When your not using the vehicle for several weeks
or more, its good practice to lower the pressures down to a minimum of 5psi to
maintain air spring shape and seals in the hose connections.
When raising your vehicle, always lift the
vehicle by the axle, rather than the body/chassis. If its necessary to lift the
vehicle by the body/chassis, release all the air pressure from the air springs
to prevent potential damage to them from being stretched under pressure
Further questions and answers can be found here -
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