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Discussion Starter #1
My leveling system has been working well on my 2008 LE with the tow package. I have replace the compressor a couple of years back, and the relay recently, and it does its job well. However, I purchased a new camper today and the seller was dropping the trailer onto the ball and had it, evidently, sitting with the lip of the a frame on the ball and jacked down, then asked me to back up just a little, which dropped the load suddenly onto the ball. I immediately heard air hissing our if the airbag. Sure enough, the sudden load popped the bag, and there is a hole in the driver's side bag. I disconnected the switch for the air level to keep it from cycling the compressor and brought the camper where it needed to go. It stilled towed well. The Armadas do very well with weight on the hitch. My question is this:

Not towing the trailer, but with that airbag shot, does anyone have thoughts on potential damage that would be caused by driving the Armada NOT with a trailer. I am 1000 miles from home and if I am going to change out the springs and shocks, or even just replace both rear airbags, I would rather do it at home.

Please, no grief for calling them airbags. That is what we call the same part on semis, made by the same company, only smaller for autos and they do the same thing, and that is what I knew them as long before I owned an Armada. But feel free to correct me, so I can use the right words in the future.

Incidentally, I am leaning toward replacing the airbags and keeping the rest of the setup the same, since everything else is in order, and I really like the way it tows with the air levelling system, but might go with the entire aftermarket that I think Pops suggests.
 

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I would think it would be like driving with no shocks, right? The springs are still there but yo'd have no dampening or rebound, you be bouncing the back down the road. Up to you if you think you can drive 1000k like that.

Check ebay for new airbags I believe they are cheap there.
 

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you'r not doing damage by driving without them, its designed not to fail if they fail, the ride quality will just suck. If you are planning to tow often I would do as suggested above and just replace both air shocks. If towing is going to be infrequently I would replace the springs with the sturdier LE and put some decent shocks in the back. Then you can add in some firestone helper air bags and fill them manually with a compressor when you need to tow. these inside the springs do wonders https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001FEOTAW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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I ran for about a year with a mostly broken air suspension. The back bounces around a little more since it's pretty much just the springs maintaining your height and no dampening from the shocks, but it's not horrible.

Even if you are towing, it has bumpers to prevent metal from banging against each other. The ride quality isn't horrible without the shocks/airbags, but it obviously doesn't ride great. Just try to not drive at night if towing, since it will mess with your headlight angle.

The shocks are really easy to replace. I think it's a bolt on the bottom and another on the top and they're super accessible with the tire removed. I never bothered replacing my springs.
 

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Also i bet your rear tires are leaning in at the top and out at bottom now. Alignments are set at current ride height, any big changes like a lift or lowering will change it. And i know form experience that the angle can only be changed so much on the rear. But they are not hard to replace, no harder then a normal shock absorber really. It just also has a air line to disconnect.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The shocks are really easy to replace. I think it's a bolt on the bottom and another on the top and they're super accessible with the tire removed. I never bothered replacing my springs.
Thanks to all for in input. Yes, the ride is a little less comfortable, but surprisingly not bad. About 300 miles of the way into the trip home at this point and have no concerns.

Thanks for the info on replacing the shocks. I will dig around one here to find the part number, but having never changed shocks before, I am glad to hear it isn't anything overly complicated.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a follow up for anyone replacing the air shocks. As mentioned by others, replacing the shocks is quite easy.
Jack up the Armada, put it on jack stands,
Remove the air line from the old shock by pushing in on the orange collar then pulling the air line free.
Loosen both the top and the bottom bolts. A coat of PB Blaster the night before helps. If the bottom bolt is stuck and neither heat nor PB Blaster helps, removing the top bolt and moving the top of the shock toward you may loosen the bottom bolt. On one of mine the bottom bolt was rusted to the inside of the shock, so I was able to break it free this way.
Remove both bolts and pull out the old shock. The suspension will drop an inch or so.
Put in the new shock and insert the bottom bolt. Put the top of the shock into place and use a jack to raise the suspension back up so that the top bolt hole lines up with the shock. A rubber mallet is helpful to get the hole to line up.
Put in the top bolt, tighten both bolts, then reinsert the airline.
On the passenger side there is a plastic fender panel that gets in the way of working with the top bolt. It is easily removed by pushing out the plastic connectors from the back. Just take it out at the beginning of the job and put it back when you are done, it makes getting to the top bolt much less annoying and only takes a moment.

I paid $250 for two shocks with free Prime shipping through Amazon. Part number 56200-ZV60A. I could have gotten them from one of the other Nissan parts sites for a few dollars less, but without 2 day shipping.

56200-ZV60A Amazon

Hope this helps someone.
 
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