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View Full Version : Firestone Ride-Rite Air bags


nosparkplugs
02-24-2008, 01:35 AM
I see lots of folks rear end sagging, this is dangerous since the nose of the truck tends to be pointed skyward, less control in emergency situations.

Simple Fix is the Firestone Ride-Rite airbags, the air bags level your truck/ trailer load on the rear end of your trucks. This is my second 3/4 ton truck with air-bags. I sold my 02 Ford F-350 crewcab dually 7.3 diesel; because the Dodge 2500 Cummins Turbo diesel outperformed the f-350 with the air-bags. Also the bags enable me to safely tow the Dodge 2500 CTD 13,500GTWR I have towed up to 16,000GTWR although not recommended. The Air-Bags can support 5,000lbs each or 10,000lbs combined @65psi.


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/Firestoneriderite1.jpg
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/Motometal_1.jpg

Classified
02-24-2008, 06:03 AM
yeah i have the airlift on my ford and love them. i got the auto ride height sensors also so i dont have any switches or guages in the cab. its all automatic. i had 5K in the bed last summer and it was riding ass high the whole time. Definately worth the cost.

ConstSvcs
02-24-2008, 10:58 AM
It's my understanding that this system isn't designed to increase the GVW of your vehicle but simply to equalize the trailer weight at the hitch. Similar to a weight distributing hitch.

Overloading an axle has it's own safety issues.

Seems like a great easy to install load leveling system.

Jason Rose
02-24-2008, 12:07 PM
I wondered about airbags for my Dodge, but I had some doubts about how long they would hold up with high loads on them most of the time. Mine is a 1998 3/4 ton and I have a heavy dump bed on it. It was sitting leveled out with the bed empty! I tried (read as wasted my money on) a set of "super-springs", they hardly did anything for it.

Last week I talked to a spring shop and decided to add 2 leafs to each side and have the stock springs re-arched by about an inch. I didn't want to be riding high in the rear by more than an inch or so when empty. I'm hoping that the new springs will help! I haven't had it loaded yet, but the ride is a lot rougher now, also dosn't have the body roll it did in the turns.

They told me that *if* it still sags too much, which it shouldn't unless I'm way overloading it, I could add some frame mounted progressive overload springs.

nosparkplugs
02-24-2008, 01:44 PM
IMO the Airbags work better than weight distrubution hitchs, because the airbags are on the towing vehicle, so if you have several different trailers you only have to purchase one set of bags. Also the WDH can snap the trailer hitch, I watched a Class IV hitch bolts snap when the WDH was adjusted. Also the airbags improve the ride quality with a trailer, and extend the life of your leaf springs & shocks. the Airbags are dangerous in that they are so effiecent at carrying the load, you can easily overload, yes you need to be aware of your GVWR with or with the airbags. As far as durability the bags are like steel I have yet to blow one with 60PSI, have over 4 years of use one set of bags.

pclawncare
02-24-2008, 01:56 PM
My dodge 3/4 ton has almost 9 years on a pair of firestone air bags yet to have any problem.

Classified
02-24-2008, 03:35 PM
It's my understanding that this system isn't designed to increase the GVW of your vehicle but simply to equalize the trailer weight at the hitch. Similar to a weight distributing hitch.

Overloading an axle has it's own safety issues.

Seems like a great easy to install load leveling system.]

no its not designed to increase the GVWR its designed to keep the truck level under load whether the load is in the bed or a trailer keeping the truck operating safer because the rear tires arent sticking up in the air.

My truck still rides high in the back towing my trailer before the airbags were installed. I installed them for when i have a full load of mulch or dirt or salt im riding level which is much safer.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
02-24-2008, 07:26 PM
I wondered about airbags for my Dodge, but I had some doubts about how long they would hold up with high loads on them most of the time. Mine is a 1998 3/4 ton and I have a heavy dump bed on it. It was sitting leveled out with the bed empty! I tried (read as wasted my money on) a set of "super-springs", they hardly did anything for it.

Last week I talked to a spring shop and decided to add 2 leafs to each side and have the stock springs re-arched by about an inch. I didn't want to be riding high in the rear by more than an inch or so when empty. I'm hoping that the new springs will help! I haven't had it loaded yet, but the ride is a lot rougher now, also dosn't have the body roll it did in the turns.

They told me that *if* it still sags too much, which it shouldn't unless I'm way overloading it, I could add some frame mounted progressive overload springs.
Yeah, those Super springs are a big waste of money. I wish they had a return policy. Adding two leaves to each side will help you out a lot. If you still have a sagging issue, the airbags will help it along the rest of the way.

GravelyNut
02-24-2008, 08:43 PM
IMO the Airbags work better than weight distrubution hitchs, because the airbags are on the towing vehicle, so if you have several different trailers you only have to purchase one set of bags. Also the WDH can snap the trailer hitch, I watched a Class IV hitch bolts snap when the WDH was adjusted. Also the airbags improve the ride quality with a trailer, and extend the life of your leaf springs & shocks. the Airbags are dangerous in that they are so effiecent at carrying the load, you can easily overload, yes you need to be aware of your GVWR with or with the airbags. As far as durability the bags are like steel I have yet to blow one with 60PSI, have over 4 years of use one set of bags.

If someone snapped the bolts on the hitch, one of two things were wrong. 1.) They used the wrong grade of bolt. Or 2.) They overloaded the hitch due to stupidity. A trailer that is rated for 12000 lb should only have 1700 lbs on the tongue to start with in WT mode. That is the highest rating you get with a 2" reciever. At that point, my truck would still be slightly above level as it takes over 2000lbs at the back of the bed ( Tailgate just closed ) just to get the truck down to almost touching the helper springs.

As for bags themselves, air shocks did the same thing back in the 70's. They were common on cars that left the factory with trailer towing packages. I.E. 73 Ambassador.

nosparkplugs
02-24-2008, 09:09 PM
My brother a Car hauler for 35years, went in to Hotshot driving after retirement for a while, the truck a 2002 Chevrolet dually 3500, with a two car enclosed car hauler at least 30ft 1 year of use on the WDH. The hitch was fairly new, and he was carefully to get the tension just right, the trailer hitch bolts Grade 4 also, just snapped while tightining down the WDH. He was like wow, and switch back to the Gooseneck hitch's & air bags. IMO the WDH is for someone who does not want to spend the money/or mess with installation on a gooseneck hitch & trailer or likes the ride of the hitch mount trailer. When hauling over 9,000GTWR I switch to my gooseneck dually. That is stored energy within the WDH, something will give at some point wear & tear over time, sorry there a dangerous & complicated system to hook & unhook daily.

ProTouch Groundscapes
02-24-2008, 10:39 PM
we have a set of the firestone air bags on our 1 ton dump and they work amazingly well. our stock springs have been weakened by loading and these help to take alot of stress off of the springs.

im curious though, u said they can do 10K combined, i dont believe that is true, its only 5K on a PAIR of the air springs. i havent seen a system for light duty trucks that is over 5K load carrying capacity. and our springs are rated for 100psi.

nosparkplugs
02-25-2008, 10:47 PM
50lbs of weight per PSI max of 100PSI x2 is how to calculate the weight the bags can carry. I have the commercial bags on my Dodge. 100PSI X50 combined. I run about 60PSI right now have got up to 90PSI before.

My bad its per pair I stand corrected everyone one that.

Once the inflation valves are installed, inflate the air helper springs to 70 psi
and check the fittings for air leaks. Using a spray bottle, apply a solution of soap
and water to the fittings. If a leak is detected at a airline tubing connection then
check to make sure that the airline tube is cut as square as possible and that it is
pushed completely into the fitting. The airline tubing can easily be removed from
the fittings by exhausting all the pressure in the air springs and then pushing the
collar towards the body of the fitting and then, with a pull, remove the airline tubing.
Re-install the tubing and reinflate the air springs and check for leaks as noted
above. If a leak is detected where the air fitting screws into the spring, just screw
the air fitting into the air spring until the leak stops.
This now completes the installation. Install the wheels and torque the lug nuts
to the manufacturer's specification. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Reattach the
negative battery cable and remove the wheel chocks from the front wheels. Before
proceeding, check once again to be sure you have proper clearance around the air
springs. With a load on your vehicle and the air helper springs inflated, you must
have at least 1/2" clearance around the air springs. As a general rule, the air helper
springs will support approximately 50 lbs. of load for each psi of inflation pressure
(per pair). For example, 50 psi of inflation pressure will support a load of 2500 lbs.
per pair of air helper springs. FOR BEST RIDE use only enough air pressure in the
air helper springs to level the vehicle when viewed from the side (front to rear). This
amount will vary depending on the load, location of load, condition of existing
suspension and personal preference.
NOTE:
Too much air pressure in the air helper springs will result in a firmer ride, while
too little air pressure will allow the air helper spring to bottom out over rough
conditions. Too little air pressure will not provide the improvement in handling
that is possible. TO PREVENT POSSIBLE DAMAGE MAINTAIN A MINIMUM
OF 5 psi IN THE AIR HELPER SPRINGS AT ALL TIMES.

Jason Rose
02-25-2008, 11:13 PM
Just curious as to how much they cost?

I just paid close to $400 for adding 2 leafs to each spring pack on my truck, and that was with me and my buddy removing them and reinstalling them on the truck! If they did that labor they wanted another $200! (it was a pita though, had to pull a toolbox off and partially drop the fuel tank.)

Of course in going through receipts today I found the one for my "supersprings" for $407. Made me want to cry. I'm going to be cleaning those crap things up and putting them up for sale!

Accu-cut Lawn Care
02-26-2008, 12:33 AM
Just curious as to how much they cost?

I just paid close to $400 for adding 2 leafs to each spring pack on my truck, and that was with me and my buddy removing them and reinstalling them on the truck! If they did that labor they wanted another $200! (it was a pita though, had to pull a toolbox off and partially drop the fuel tank.)

Of course in going through receipts today I found the one for my "supersprings" for $407. Made me want to cry. I'm going to be cleaning those crap things up and putting them up for sale!

I only paid 350 to have two leaves installed on each side of my truck! But, yeah... I paid 400 for my garbage supersprings. Beware, I might bump your thread with my info for those things!

Jason Rose
02-26-2008, 12:41 AM
Beware, I might bump your thread with my info for those things!

hey now! Play fair!

I'm going to try to sell them locally, really don't want to have to ship them... The place that sold them to me said thy sell a lot of them and blah blah blah... I think they work great for a 1/2 ton truck (like my GMC) that only hauls a ton in the bed a few times a year. For a truck that already has a weak suspension (Dodge) and is already loaded bad with a heavy as heck dumpbed, they weren't the answer...

Classified
02-26-2008, 01:20 AM
about $250 for most kits and they take about 2-3 hours at the most to install.

Accu-cut Lawn Care
02-26-2008, 12:09 PM
I paid 400 for my airbags installed. That is for the basic setup. If you want in cab controllability, the price goes up.

mason dude
02-26-2008, 04:39 PM
I put them on my Tundra and quickly became annoyed with getting in and out to adjust the air pressure and trying to get the left and right side even, with very little air volume and all pressure, just checking them dropped 7-8 lbs. Firestone wants 200+ for the incab compressor so for $20 I put a tee on the bags and ran 1 line into the cab and put another tee on and put a gauge there then put the inflation valve at the end so now I can monitor the pressure and be sure they are even and I have inflated them with a cheap cig lighter compressor while I was driving and also let a little out after unloading, love the ride they give, kinda like the "float" of the old 70's caddys

GravelyNut
02-26-2008, 07:51 PM
My brother a Car hauler for 35years, went in to Hotshot driving after retirement for a while, the truck a 2002 Chevrolet dually 3500, with a two car enclosed car hauler at least 30ft 1 year of use on the WDH. The hitch was fairly new, and he was carefully to get the tension just right, the trailer hitch bolts Grade 4 also, just snapped while tightining down the WDH. He was like wow, and switch back to the Gooseneck hitch's & air bags. IMO the WDH is for someone who does not want to spend the money/or mess with installation on a gooseneck hitch & trailer or likes the ride of the hitch mount trailer. When hauling over 9,000GTWR I switch to my gooseneck dually. That is stored energy within the WDH, something will give at some point wear & tear over time, sorry there a dangerous & complicated system to hook & unhook daily.
Grade 4 bolts? Those fall in the same Category as Grade 1 and 2. And as Grade 4 heads are unmarked, you have to treat them as Grade 2. They are low carbon and cold drawn, subject to fracturing. Nothing under a Grade 7 or 8 should be used in that service. Even a Grade 5, while slightly weaker, will be less likely to fracture. Grade 4 is 100 10^3 while Grade 5 is 92 10^3 but is medium carbon, quenched and tempered. Quenching and tempering cuts down on fractures when torqued to specs.

But I will agree that a gooseneck is the way to go if you have the money.

hanson's glc
02-27-2008, 03:43 AM
i just wanted to get my 2 cents in. i ordered a set of Firestone bages this week. last year i had a 12' enclosed at 3,000 lbs. this year i will have a 18' with about 6-7,000. with haven a 1998 3/4 chevy 5.7L with 230,000. i want to keep the truck and trailer riding level as posible. i Will run the filler tubes to the cab and use a $5 air compressor to fill the bags with a digital gauge. i want to get the set up like classy grass lawn care with the auto leveler. i payed $256 from summit racing. i hope to post some pics.