Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement





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  1. #1
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    Default Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    As the Treg now has 230 000 km's and 12 years of pretty tough operation (towing, off-road etc.) decided it was a good idea to change the air bellows as a preventative measure. The workshop manual states replacement should be considered at 200 000 km's.

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    So I bit the bullet and ordered x 4 new air suspension bellows (the bellows only, not the shock absorber) from Miessler Automotive in Germany. http://www.air-suspension-shop.com/

    Reason for ordering from them is that I perceive them to know what they are doing and there being some sort of quality control vs. ordering directly from China for cheaper. Make no mistake, these replacement from Miessler units are also made in China, not Germany, but hopefully with some controls in place. Pretty sure via Aerosus is the same, Miessler was a bit cheaper though. Time will tell from a durability perspective. From visual inspection they seem good quality although not as smoothly finished and flawless as the original OEM units, but good enough. One thing that caught my attention is that the front left and front right were clearly from a different batch/process, i.e. slight differences in design. I questioned them on this, and they assured the performance/quality is equal. I would prefer two identical units but nothing I can do now.



    Total cost for 2 x rear and 2 x front was just under R 15 000 after courier and vat. Please note that air bellows carry no import duty to SA, 8708.80.30 is the code that SARS needs to apply, otherwise they slap you another 30% or so.

    It took me two days to put them in, a lot of time taken due to inexperience on my part, being pedantic, working without a lift and fixing other things on the Treg whilst I had access with the struts out.

    A few things to note for doing this work:

    - the rear struts are notoriously difficult to get in and out because of very restricted access to the mounting bolts. You can barely get a spanner or socket in.
    - without a impact wrench the nut securing the shock-absorber to the bellow is impossible to remove/replace, however you may be able to modify a socket to make a tool such as the specialized VW one for this job.
    - inflate each bellow just slightly before mounting back into the vehicle, this stops the bellow slipping off the shock and thereby not sealing. If that happens the whole thing needs to come out and apart again. I just lightly inflated it with a compressor.
    - The front struts are a bit of a job to get out, the whole plenum/rain tray cover needs to come out, which means windscreen wipers too
    - Be careful that the bolts do not pop out of their holes in the chassis. Getting them back or loosing the bolt in the plenum chamber is no joke. Had to disassemble everything on the left side because of this, e-box and interior air intake box.
    - On the front you need a tool to pop the upper control arm ball joint off. One of mine were so tight that even with penetrating oil etc., I had to apply so much pressure that the threads were compressed until it popped off, luckily I could re-cut them with a die.
    - It's not necessary to remove the wheel liners front or back to do the job. The Arnot YouTube video on a Cayenne shows it must be removed for the front ones, so does the VW manual, - but not necessary.
    - If doing the left front only (on a right hand drive), you can avoid taking off the rain tray/plenum chamber cover and wipers by using a universal joint socket extension... saves lots of time

    The old bellows that came out all still look very good, there is some wear on the rubber where it makes a sharp bend to form the rolling edge. No rubber dust or anything visible. So replacement might have been unnecessary, but I'd rather have peace of mind. The shock-absorbers themselves are still perfect, no leaks past the seals and they have very good compression still.

    Everything went well and the Treg sat stable in Xtra height for a whole night, did not budge a mm = no leaks.
    Last edited by Kortgat; 2020/02/28 at 08:08 AM.
    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


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  3. #2
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    Thumbs up Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Thank you for sharing Dieter.

    Well done!

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Thanks you very much.


    This will be a job for my Treg (235 000km) in the near future. We use our car as an overlander camping vehicle. I would not like to get stuck in a isolated riverbed with wife and two small kids as a result of air suspension failing.

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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by AWJS View Post
    Thanks you very much.


    This will be a job for my Treg (235 000km) in the near future. We use our car as an overlander camping vehicle. I would not like to get stuck in a isolated riverbed with wife and two small kids as a result of air suspension failing.
    That is exactly my use-case, so cannot afford failure and the constant uncertainty knowing there are 12 year old air bellows in the vehicle. Like I said, the old ones were in surprisingly good shape, so for anyone just using the Treg around town I would say the replacement is not necessary and only needs to be done when an actual breakdown occurs.

    Next is the compressor piston/head re-build. After that need to attend to an injector, - collecting refurbed ones in Germany next week. Then I need to rebuild the HPFP at some stage. New battery going in today... bit of a hectic phase, but good preventative maintenance is the only way to go.
    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


  6. #5
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    That is exactly my use-case, so cannot afford failure and the constant uncertainty knowing there are 12 year old air bellows in the vehicle. Like I said, the old ones were in surprisingly good shape, so for anyone just using the Treg around town I would say the replacement is not necessary and only needs to be done when an actual breakdown occurs.

    Next is the compressor piston/head re-build. After that need to attend to an injector, - collecting refurbed ones in Germany next week. Then I need to rebuild the HPFP at some stage. New battery going in today... bit of a hectic phase, but good preventative maintenance is the only way to go.
    I did the compressor rebuild with the group buy that Marius did a year or two ago. Easy job.

    Ek troos myself dat R20k se preventative maintenance per jaar baie minder is as die paaiement op 'n nuwe dubbelkajuit.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    So bad news, new left front bellow just popped. Top crimping ring slipped off. Mission now to get it sorted.

    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


  8. #7
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    So bad news, new left front bellow just popped. Top crimping ring slipped off. Mission now to get it sorted.

    Eish

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Kortgat View Post
    So bad news, new left front bellow just popped. Top crimping ring slipped off. Mission now to get it sorted.

    That crimp looks dodgy. On the Aerosus units I bought the crimping marks were more evident.
    Touareg V10
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Thats a ### one. Eish.

    Are you going to replace with Original that was still fine ?

    Its done exactly what the whole replacement exercise was supposed to mitigate against.

    It does not help with the peace of mind

    2011 VW Touareg V.8 TDI
    2006 VW Touareg 3.0 TDi air suspension aka Pumba ( sold)
    2003 Pajero IO 2.0 aka Bosvark

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Iím not going to put the old one back, they sending a new one at their expense. Iím in Germany next week anyway, so asked them to send it to an address there for me. That way I can avoid the customs on it again. Hopefully it will be all good then. The others seem fine, sitting on extra level for 24 hours now, and will leave it like that all week next week.
    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


  12. #11
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    Default Re: Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderGear View Post
    That crimp looks dodgy. On the Aerosus units I bought the crimping marks were more evident.
    Do you mind taking a picture of yours?
    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


  13. #12
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    Default Touareg Air Supension Bellow Preventative Replacement

    So my trip to Germany is cancelled due corona virus, so wonít be getting the new replacement bellow in a hurry. Put the old one back today. Becoming a pro now, can do it in an hour.

    Whilst at it today decided to modify a spanner to be able to take the unit apart without an impact wrench. Ie could take it apart in remote places if necessary.

    Size 18 ring spanner ground down so it can get to the nut, whilst allowing access to the tab on the shock absorber shaft with a size 7 spanner to stop the shaft from turning whilst tightening/loosening the nut. I only have an 8, will go buy a 7.



    Last edited by Kortgat; 2020/03/01 at 06:42 PM.
    2007 Touareg 3.0 V6 TDI (Facelift, Air, Rear Diff Lock, Rear Mounted Spare)
    2008 Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI (Multitronic)
    2009 KTM 990 Adventure (Weekend Fun)
    2012 Imagine Trailvan 4-Sleeper
    2010 Bombardier Electrostar 746 kw - Gautrain (Daily Commute)


    * consumption needs to be seen in the context that the vehicle is towing an Imagine Trailvan 30% of the time


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