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Do you know of an easy way to introduce the antifreeze into the system?
It is a pressurized system and you will need an R134A fitting, regulator and assorted pressure fittings and connectors along with a bottle of high pressure nitrogen gas. After you depressurize the system, introduce an ounce or two of brakeline antifreeze into the reservoir and then repressurize to 175 psi with clean dry nitrogen.

I guess the answer is there is no “very easy” way without some tools and equipment. The pressure fittings and the nitrogen gas bottle from a welding gas supplier are a modest cost, BUT you need to know your way around this type of equipment.

Words of caution:

Heavy truck airline brake systems have a way to drain the methanol once it has scavenged as much moisture and water vapour as it can hold. The RAM pressure reservoir consists of two relatively shallow bottles laying across the frame rails. There is no direct way to drain any water saturated brake line antifreeze trapped in the system - and no place to tap and thread a fitting to put a drain in. Also, to access and remove the reservoir bottles you need to lift the truck bed.

There is also a small risk of a liquid entering your compressor, which is why you need to “Limit” the amount added.

Use only brake line antifreeze, since it has additives to minimize the corrosive effects of the methanol on certain types of plastics and rubber. The majority of the RAM air ride system short of the stainless steel pressure reservoir bottles is made of a variety of plastic, rubber and related compounds including the valve body o-rings.
 

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On Commercial trucks we made a resevoir out of a piece of pipe that would hold half a quart hooked it in line and let compressed air push it through into the system. I'm guessing you wouldn't need much on such a small system something like 1/2 to an ounce would probably do it, likely the end of all your problems. Also I would just pull a plug on an air resevoir and pour the antifreeze into the resevoir with a funnel, it will lay in the bottom and release vapour for a long time unless somebody drains it. Maybe there is a plug in one of the resvoirs.
 

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Do you know of an easy way to introduce the antifreeze into the system?
This fellow found a way to introduce Air Brake antifreeze, I don't know the system and can't find a schematic, in theory if it is a closed system I don't think this should work unless you have a leak some where. It is the vapor from the antifreeze that doe the work not the liquid so it can lay any where like the bottom of a resevoir.
 

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This fellow found a way to introduce Air Brake antifreeze, I don't know the system and can't find a schematic, in theory if it is a closed system I don't think this should work unless you have a leak some where. It is the vapor from the antifreeze that doe the work not the liquid so it can lay any where like the bottom of a resevoir.
That is pretty cool!

It relies on the system to draw in the make up air (and antifreeze) though that intake hose. Not sure when the air ride system control under the drivers seat actually commands the compressor to draw in makeup air but when it does any antifreeze present will be sucked in and can go to work.

I am pretty sure that guy’s airride has a leak but doing this will have kept him going for several months.

I injected mine via the R134 intake port and it got me through from late Oct to March 2020. That was the point that the leaks opened up so much that I needed two new rear air springs and solved the problem for good. In late March the compressor was constantly overheating and shutting down trying to keep off everything of the bump stops. I also did the pull 3 fuses trick to lock in the ride height at 1 or 2, which let me run around for several days before replacing the fuses to repressure the system and springs. It got to the point where I left tiny plastic jar and pair of needle nose pliers in a ziplock bag in the fuse box.

The interesting thing is that although all 4 corners dropped only one rear spring had a leak. I replaced both of them as a pair however.
 

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Yup i pulled the 2 fuses and the relay for the air suspension and left it in normal nothing moves do the same with off road 1 will leave it there
I know of the Compressor fuse but where do you find the 2nd fuse and the relay? Is this still working well for you? Any error messages or codes with the fuses and relay out?
 

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I know of the Compressor fuse but where do you find the 2nd fuse and the relay? Is this still working well for you? Any error messages or codes with the fuses and relay out?
Look at the fuse bock lid - there is a map and you will see there are three air suspension related fuses to pull.

For my truck it was a great stop gap until I could figure out how to fix the problem properly - the truck had two leaks, one in the rear driver’s side air spring and one at a fitting on the reservoir. After pulling the fuses, and setting the air spring at level one the bellows material was folded just right to self seal. Pulling the fuses also locked in the solenoid value block and isolated the springs from the reservoir leak.

The only on screen message was at startup and it read something along the lines of “Air Suspension Requires Servicing.” The message only flashes for a few seconds at startup.

Is this the end game solution - probably not. Every few weeks that air spring would move in such a way that it leaked and that corner was on the bump stops. This meant that I needed to lift the hood, re-install the fuses and let the compressor repressure everything to about 50 or 60 psi when the system sort of worked. Working pressure for the system is around 170 psi and that little compressor is not built to bring it up from zero to 170.

I strongly suggest that if this method works, it is relied upon as a stop gap for a month or two. Potentially longer, if it is successful. Whatever is leaking and causing the compressor to pull in make up air is just going to get worse.
 

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I wonder if GDE could also monitor air suspension compressor cycles ? if the compressor cycle count increases significantly that would be a clue that you have a leak developing like in an air bag.
 

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I wonder if GDE could also monitor air suspension compressor cycles ? if the compressor cycle count increases significantly that would be a clue that you have a leak developing like in an air bag.
Interesting idea. The air system’s brain is an auxiliary control module located under the driver’s seat that is linked to the vehicle’s ECU. Some diagnostics would make it easier to figure out what is going wrong. I have found that the problem is sometimes counter intuitive and some data would be helpful when fixing it myself.

The FCA technicians, using their diagnostic tools, have a bit more information. However, they also have a diagnostic protocol that basically tells them to replace quite a bit of stuff, “so you don’t come back and they fix it once.” However, in so doing they often empty your wallet - catch 22 for you and the technicians.
 

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I am also an engineer. There is a detailed schematic of the system on this site somewhere but I don't have time to search for it. The two tanks you reference may both be storage tanks and both may run at the same pressure. If you give it some thought you will see that it must have a compressor. It needs to compress the nitrogen from the low pressure bags to the higher pressured storage tank when the weight on the truck is small and/or when you are lowering it. Conversely you need the compressor to move the gas to the airbags when the truck is heavily loaded or raised up into offroad 1 and 2. No matter how you size the storage tank and what pressure you run it at you cannot move gas both ways without compression.

At 80,000 miles mine rides differently than it did 5.5 years ago when it was new too. I put this down to a bit of wear in all the linkage and some aging of the various rubber bushings. I notice it mostly on rough roads not on the highway. Mine has been overloaded several times to the point where it would not raise or lower on demand but it carried the load just fine. I guess the maximum load mine has seen was about 2500 lbs loaded well forward in the bed. AS I am sure you understand where the load is placed affects the suspension in addition to the actual weight.

Best of luck figuring it all out!
You are correct- the two reservoir tanks are coupled and at the same pressure. It would be nice if the originator of the post could edit that out.
 

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Pretty sure it is a closed system. I think there's been some discussion about it pulling outside air on this forum, but I don't think that's the case.
It wouldn't make sense to have a nitrogen based system and then have it mix with outside air.
I saw something on another thread about being able to access the air ride thru Alfaobd. I dont know much about it but it sounded like you have some knowledge and may be able to use that to recharge the system and/or replace bags if you have a leak.
It does pull-in make up air so that you are not stranded. It will not pressure it up to 175 psi but it will get the air ride system working. If the compressor runs too long and over heats the system will simply shut down and send a message to the dash. It will also try again when shut down and restart the truck.
 

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I want to start a thread around the factory Air Suspension because it appears many have had issues with it in cold weather, including myself. This is my 3rd Winter and I experienced the blown fuse first and then situations when the suspension will not operate. I have an extended warranty and brought it to the dealer and their answer is that they will just replace the Air Supply Unit (ASU)

There doesn't appear to be a lot of technical information on it and a lot of misinformation posted on it so here goes....

I have a Foxwell Tool with the Chrysler specific add-on so I can access the Air Suspension module to view codes, metrics, and run tests. This is what I understand so far, and if anyone wants to correct any items please feel free to make suggestions:

1.. First and foremost. The Air Ride Suspension is designed as a sealed nitrogen filled system and does not have the capability to bring in outside air unless commanded with the fill port and procedure. It is manufactured by Continental Automotive.
2.. The system does have the ability to vent to atmosphere with the vent located in the passenger rear taillight area. It is unclear on what commands this to take place but there are test procedures to vent each bag to atmosphere and I think if your ASU is locked up and you hit transport mode you vent to atmosphere.
3.. There are 2 tanks (Reservoir High/Low), the ASU, Air Suspension Control Module (ASCM), Bags, and Level Sensors.
4.. The ASU contains the air dryer, compressor, exhaust valve, valve block, pressure sensor, and temperature sensor.
5.. There have been numerous revisions to the ASU to deal with cold temperature issues. The latest was in late 2016 and involved changes to components to prevent lockup of the compressor head due to dissimilar expansion and contraction of materials. (My Dealer tells me there is a new upcoming revision to the control module to fix the fuse blowing issues)
6.. The unit needs to do a Air Mass Calculation to bring it into operation anytime you utilize testing procedures. (Plant Mode). This Air Mass Calculation is needed because the nitrogen is dispersed through the components at any point in time so it needs to get a true calculation of how much nitrogen the system has in the system. It does this by checking the pressure of each bag, tank, and the reservoir. The reservoir is charged to 175 PSI when new and again, it has the ability to sustain many vents to atmosphere before it will reach the point where the Air Mass is not enough for the system to operate.

From an issue perspective the system appears to have 2 levels of codes:

Yellow - "Service Air Suspension" or "Ride Height Not Permitted" - The system has pressure but the ASU has a code or the ASU is responding but is not able to execute function. It will be yellow the air bags are inflated and within a certain level or height spec.
Red - "Service Air Suspension Now" - The ASU is not responding at all, the system has low or no pressure, one or more bags has no pressure or below normal ride height or differential.

When looking at issues, they appear to be broken down into:

System Leak - There is a leak either to Tank or Atmosphere.
ASU or ASCM Failure or Frozen - The ASU or ASCM is not responding or unable to complete command.

Basically if your truck is on the bump stops, you have a leak. If the leak is to the atmosphere, your truck will at some point in time run out of nitrogen in the reservoir and you will get a Red Code. If the truck is more or less level and not in entry mode, you will get a yellow code. There are circumstances though that can result in your tuck lowering slightly after huge temp swings because the truck has a timer when shutoff to where it will level the truck. Once leveled, it will not run the ASU to level it until you start the truck.

If anyone wants to add anything, please feel free.

Cheers,
Great write up. However, system will pull in make up air through the filter and tubing located just behind the tail light. It does this automatically when the system reservoir pressure gets too low around 50 psi. The goal is to keep the system semi functional until it can be repaired.


 

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That is pretty cool!...

The interesting thing is that although all 4 corners dropped only one rear spring had a leak. I replaced both of them as a pair however.
Great thread - and very timely.

I have four new springs and remanufactured compressor from Suncore Industries and I'm going to replace all of those components - maybe not at the same time but eventually all of them. Doing R&R of suspension components isn't new - I've done a couple of trucks and three Jeeps with some NASTY tight front coilovers - so I'm OK with that part.

My question concerns the "potentially explosive" release of compressed gas from the system warned about in some of the online instructions when the air fittings are removed from the original springs. Arnott, Suncore, etc. all warn to relieve pressure from whatever spring I'm working on - is that really necessary? You mentioned that you replaced the rears; did you have to vent the springs to the reservoir via AlphaOBD? Did you disconnect the battery as also advised in the instructions that came with my kit? The YouTube videos from Arnott just mention "follow the OEM procedure" and for the rear the tech has a scan tool that decompresses the bladder which is easy enough. Any gas blowoff when the air fitting is taken off the top of the spring?

The compressor may be a bit more involved since there is a connection right to the storage tanks but for now I'm going to tackle the springs. Your advice is appreciated.

Thanks!


Bob
 

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Great thread - and very timely.

I have four new springs and remanufactured compressor from Suncore Industries and I'm going to replace all of those components - maybe not at the same time but eventually all of them. Doing R&R of suspension components isn't new - I've done a couple of trucks and three Jeeps with some NASTY tight front coilovers - so I'm OK with that part.

My question concerns the "potentially explosive" release of compressed gas from the system warned about in some of the online instructions when the air fittings are removed from the original springs. Arnott, Suncore, etc. all warn to relieve pressure from whatever spring I'm working on - is that really necessary? You mentioned that you replaced the rears; did you have to vent the springs to the reservoir via AlphaOBD? Did you disconnect the battery as also advised in the instructions that came with my kit? The YouTube videos from Arnott just mention "follow the OEM procedure" and for the rear the tech has a scan tool that decompresses the bladder which is easy enough. Any gas blowoff when the air fitting is taken off the top of the spring?

The compressor may be a bit more involved since there is a connection right to the storage tanks but for now I'm going to tackle the springs. Your advice is appreciated.

Thanks!


Bob
Definitely disconnect the battery or pull the fuses - you want the system disabled! You can do it via uconnect as well using “tire jack mode” but nothing provides the surety of a disconnected battery terminal.

I did not use any scan tools to vent a spring. I just loosened the connecting fitting slightly and let the pressure bleed out slowly. The various instructions warn of high pressure because it is a hazard! The most likely issue is dust blowing into your eye. However, a sudden release of pressure should always be avoided.

Because your system has a leak there is definitely moisture that needs to be removed and you will need to purge and refill the reservoir with nitrogen once you are done with the repairs - there are various degrees of sophistication here. I used a multi time purge and fill process over a few days - others have a vacuum pump and will boil off any moisture. In a cold climate adding an ounce or two of air brake antifreeze is very helpful for managing and trapping the last bit of moisture. I just feed it in through the hose hooked up to the reservoir fitting just before pressuring it up.

To get at a rear spring (drive way install) my major steps are:
  1. Jack up one side - jack point under the axle
  2. Put jack stand under frame. You are going to hold the frame up and drop the axle. I put my stand under the round points where the towing frame attaches.
  3. Remove the tire
  4. Remove the trim and plastic wheel well tub
  5. Depressurize the old spring
  6. drop the axle “slightly” to free old spring. (Your jack should still be under the axle)
  7. put in the new spring
  8. Raise axle to contact and slightly squeeze the spring in place
  9. as required, reposition jack stand and jack so that the truck and axle is at normal height
  10. start up truck, initiate air suspension system. This when a scan tool is handy - it lets you control the fill process- but not 100% necessary
  11. check for leaks
  12. install tire and move to the other side
  13. repeat process
  14. now purge and refill the reservoir with nitrogen (175psi)
  15. check for leaks
  16. I chose to leave tubs off - easier to clean and spray off salt and off road debris
As always be careful and safe, use jack stands, chock wheels, etc. you have a heavy weight to work under!
 

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Definitely disconnect the battery or pull the fuses - you want the system disabled! ...
As always be careful and safe, use jack stands, chock wheels, etc. you have a heavy weight to work under!
You're a wizard with written instructions!

Really appreciate the detailed info - and you've confirmed what I presumed about depressurizing the system via AlphaOBD or other scan tool. In your opinion would the same parameters cover replacing the compressor? In other words, by disconnecting the battery thereby disabling the system, can the compressor be disconnected, removed and replaced with a new one without losing complete system pressure?

My local dealer is already teed up to do a system purge and refill when I'm done with the spring/compressor R&R though your 'tutorial' has me rethinking that - maybe do it myself now ;-)

Thanks again!

Bob
 

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Yes that is correct the compressor comes out the same way. Just disconnect the system. I am assuming you are not changing out the valve/diverted block. This way the reservoir stays pressured up as well.

It is worth doing the purge and fill yourself - especially if you have a welding gas supplier near you to rent a nitrogen bottle from. The hoses and fittings are not super expensive - likely you can put the tool kit together for the cost of a one or two purge and fills at the dealer - especially if you go on Amazon/eBay. The regulator is the expensive item - mine was $149 bucks.
I put together my hoses, fitting, valves and regulator for under $250 CDN. It is of moderate quality but gets the job done.
 

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Yes that is correct the compressor comes out the same way. Just disconnect the system. I am assuming you are not changing out the valve/diverted block. This way the reservoir stays pressured up as well.

It is worth doing the purge and fill yourself - especially if you have a welding gas supplier near you to rent a nitrogen bottle from. The hoses and fittings are not super expensive - likely you can put the tool kit together for the cost of a one or two purge and fills at the dealer - especially if you go on Amazon/eBay. The regulator is the expensive item - mine was $149 bucks.
I put together my hoses, fitting, valves and regulator for under $250 CDN. It is of moderate quality but gets the job done.
Thanks for all your help! I went ahead and did the rear springs this morning and was planning on doing the fronts too but the weather turned cold and the snow started falling - so I wimped out and will do the fronts later this weekend.

Having AlphaOBD is a huge help to deflate the springs to the reservoir and then reinflate them when the new springs are in place. There was very little pressure remaining in the bladder when the deflation process was complete. The spring R&R really is a simple process - it literally took more time to remove and reinstall the wheel well liners than R&R'ing the springs.

The right rear removed. I could tell just by the feel of it out of the truck that it was tired.

88359


The new right rear spring installed:

88360


I took some pics of my tablet and AlphaOBD - there are settings to deflate the spring to the reservoir. Very simple - connect to the truck, choose Suspension/ASCM, connect to the module, select Deflate to Reservoir, choose the spring, and select Start.

88361


When the new spring is installed, jack the axle up to contact the bottom of the spring, then go back into AlphaOBD/suspension and choose Refill whichever corner you're working on, select Short Cycle initially. When that cycle finishes, select Complete to completely fill the bladder and the spring will fully inflate for Normal drive height.

88362


Reinstall the *&#[email protected] ing liner, put the wheel back on and move to the next spring.

Now that I know how straightforward the process is the fronts will go fairly smoothly. Of course much more to remove on the front (tie rod end, sway bar link, upper ball joint nut as well as the lower strut bolt and 3 upper strut nuts) beside dealing with the liner.

One thing I noticed right away... The system raises and lowers MUCH quicker than it did before the new springs. I'm sure one of the rears had a leak and was the source of the issues I've been intermittently dealing with. I've ordered an HVAC vacuum pump and pressure regulator and will purge and refill the system once those arrive and I'll replace the compressor at the same time.

Again, thanks to @UHBrandt for the tutorials!

Bob
 

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Thanks for all your help! I went ahead and did the rear springs this morning and was planning on doing the fronts too but the weather turned cold and the snow started falling - so I wimped out and will do the fronts later this weekend.

Having AlphaOBD is a huge help to deflate the springs to the reservoir and then reinflate them when the new springs are in place. There was very little pressure remaining in the bladder when the deflation process was complete. The spring R&R really is a simple process - it literally took more time to remove and reinstall the wheel well liners than R&R'ing the springs.

The right rear removed. I could tell just by the feel of it out of the truck that it was tired.

View attachment 88359

The new right rear spring installed:

View attachment 88360

I took some pics of my tablet and AlphaOBD - there are settings to deflate the spring to the reservoir. Very simple - connect to the truck, choose Suspension/ASCM, connect to the module, select Deflate to Reservoir, choose the spring, and select Start.

View attachment 88361

When the new spring is installed, jack the axle up to contact the bottom of the spring, then go back into AlphaOBD/suspension and choose Refill whichever corner you're working on, select Short Cycle initially. When that cycle finishes, select Complete to completely fill the bladder and the spring will fully inflate for Normal drive height.

View attachment 88362

Reinstall the *&#[email protected] ing liner, put the wheel back on and move to the next spring.

Now that I know how straightforward the process is the fronts will go fairly smoothly. Of course much more to remove on the front (tie rod end, sway bar link, upper ball joint nut as well as the lower strut bolt and 3 upper strut nuts) beside dealing with the liner.

One thing I noticed right away... The system raises and lowers MUCH quicker than it did before the new springs. I'm sure one of the rears had a leak and was the source of the issues I've been intermittently dealing with. I've ordered an HVAC vacuum pump and pressure regulator and will purge and refill the system once those arrive and I'll replace the compressor at the same time.

Again, thanks to @UHBrandt for the tutorials!

Bob
Awesome, I am glad that everything worked out.
 

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I was going to wait to do the front struts but the forecast is for colder weather than today so I jumped in. Just as easy as the rear springs - actually easier since the front bladders have a check valve and don't really need to deflate the bags to the reservoir. I did it anyway since it's a simple step in AlphaOBD.

For the most part I followed the Arnott How-To video on YouTube though I did NOT remove the sway bar links. I was able to get the springs in and out of the truck with a little nudge with a crow bar - it really wasn't much of a nudge either.

The compressor and purge and refill are next once my HVAC vacuum pump gets here - FedEx is swamped with Christmas stuff so everything is delayed.

For those of you contemplating this project, I say go for it if you're at all comfortable with replacing shocks on a standard suspension or doing a brake job. AlphaOBD is your friend ;-)

88377


88378


88379


88380



Bob
 
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Hello Everyone.
First... please forget my "frenglish"... i am french and will try my best not to write anything .... that doesn't make sense.
Second, its good to see that some people are trying to find the main reason why we are all experiencing this "ignorant" Air Suspension design from Dodge (RAM).
i have a 2015 1500 Sport Model, and yes.. it is equipped with the factory Air Suspension. my first issue started 2 years ago... late 2018. so... only 3 years after original purchase. initially, the suspension was working.... then not... then working... then not... in summer... not winter... then, needed to start looking for a new compressor. not easy... well... it is but.. finding the right model and a good price is somehow very very very challenging. ended up buying on amazon Canada for +/- 600$. Then decided to make it install directly at the dealer... so... they cannot say the install was not done correctly. At that point, i asked to get the old Pump back. they did the job and it worked fine from there.
I was so exited that i have forgot the most important thing to do .... LOOK AT THE OLD PUMP....
which i did ... later... and you know what i have found... on my old pump... "worn" out cables. take a look at the attached picture. The TOP LEFT is not my pump. it is actually to show how it is installed and how the "TIE RAP" are attached to the wiring cables. an actual wiring diagram (lower left) of the full system is also provided. but the 3 right picture are my actual old pump, which was taken out of the
vehicle. has you can see, and conclude, it appears that my original pump did not stop working because of a "Cold Temp" NOPE... the truck do sleep inside a heated garage.... it stop working because the stupid TIE RAP... had a friction effect on the protective "rubber conduit" around the electric wiring cables. Beleive me... the protection around the cables were cut... and the cable inside were like the picture shows... 1 completely cut, 2 sevirely affected. the remaining 2 cables were also affected but i started to repair them.

that said, the mecanic at the Ram Dealer didnt really look at it (the old pump) because he would have probably told me (YEH RIGHT).... that the cables were cut. He just replaced it... No hard feeling but.. if more and more Ram owner with equiped Air Suspension would look at this... we may actually be able to prove that this is a engineering problem that could be transformed into a recall.

OH yes i am not done.... i am now.... yes... now having the same issue i was having in 2018.... so... my truck, which is 100% inside a heated garage if i am not using it, is having air suspension issue again. no need to say that this is the reason why i am evaluating the REAL DIAGNOSTIC TO EFFECT of the cut cables. I was able to get the Ram 2015 Full Service Manual with the necessary testing instruction especially for the Air Suspension. I am not 100% sure if the pump needs to be in the truck... i will find out soon. But before buying another 600$ pump.. and 1000$ install at the dealer... i will make sure that my old pump could possibly be re-used. a cable that is not cut but open to free air... will for sure "oxidysed" if that is a word... then... rust... then... no more contact... then frustration... then $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in conclusion, i strongly invite all of you to inspect your old pump electrical cabling before trowing it in the trash.... you might be surprised... hope this help... cheers.
Ram 1500 2015 Air Compressor Info.png
 
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