Converting Pete Air Leaf to Air Trac

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Caterpillar Cowboy, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Caterpillar Cowboy

    Caterpillar Cowboy Heavy Load Member

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    Nov 11, 2010
    Wyoming
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    Looking at maybe expanding and picking up a tractor for our outfit here in a year or so, and I'm pretty biased towards the Air Trac 4 bag suspension by Peterbilt, for working in the dirt everyone says that its one of the best air rides and I have to agree from experience. The problem is though there don't seem to be as many trucks like this that come up for sale, have to figure way more Air Leaf trucks were made to as for OTR vs dirt trucks.

    I got to looking at the spring hangers though and they seem to have the same footprint, 6 bolt of the same pattern, which got me to wondering if a guy picked up a good Air Trac cutoff if it would be a pretty easy swap. Looked on the Peterbilt body builders manual, and everything looks like it may line up.

    Anyone on here tried this before? I'm pretty familiar with the Air Trac setup, but am not at all with Air Leaf.
     
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  3. DON81

    DON81 Bobtail Member

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    Oct 4, 2011
    WASHINTON
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    I've done it 2 times now last one was just this summer. All the holes are the same except the spring hangers. The very front hole of the air leaf hanger is the proper location of the front hole for the air trac all of the rest on the hanger will need to be drilled. Unless you have a old enough truck (lower 90s into the 80s) then the hanger is the same. Hope this made sense.
     
  4. highside

    highside Medium Load Member

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Kansas
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    What are the main differences between Air Trac and Air Leaf? Air Leaf just looks like an updated version of air Trac upon first glance.
     
  5. Gambi80

    Gambi80 Medium Load Member

    The air-trac has trac bars on each corner of the axle, under the leaf spring...to preserve alignment and handle the torque instead of just a leaf spring + air bag. While it's arguably a tougher set-up, it's definitely the rougher riding suspension and more parts to maintain, but something that I would not let make or break a deal on a truck....JMO anyway.
     
    highside Thanks this.
  6. DON81

    DON81 Bobtail Member

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    Oct 4, 2011
    WASHINTON
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    The biggest difference for us in our vocational (on/off road) application, is that the air leaf has the spring mounted to the hanger fairly solidly with a spring eye bracket, bushings, bolts & ubolt. Our problem was the ubolts were breaking, the bolts were breaking & sometimes causing the spring eye bracket to break. Besides the spring acting as a track arm and torsion as well causing the springs to break more often. On the air trac the spring rides on a replaceable slipper in the hanger with tracking rod to hold the axle straight allowing the axle and spring a little more wiggle room. For us its less parts to break and it doesn't break near as often. LOL
     
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