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dwc
05-24-2009, 12:18 AM
I am considering getting some airbags for my truck since the back squats some under a couple of my trailers. This is a SRW 3500 Dodge. Does anyone run air bags and if so how is the ride? I am looking at Pacbrake and Firestone bags.

Thanks!

GravelyGuy
05-24-2009, 09:27 AM
I have the Firestone air bags and they work well. I actually think that they improved the unloaded ride when set around 20 PSI.

FYI I ordered mine from Trucksprings.com. They ship fast.

Gravel Rat
05-24-2009, 02:58 PM
Ah you have the common Dodge problem ie not enough springs. One of the local residents in my area had the same problem. Anyhow he couldn't cure the problem and bought a Ford. You are better off buying heavier springs they are better in the long run.

Air bags are a cover up if you have weak springs to start with its not going to cure your problem.

JDiepstra
05-24-2009, 03:12 PM
Ah you have the common Dodge problem ie not enough springs. One of the local residents in my area had the same problem. Anyhow he couldn't cure the problem and bought a Ford. You are better off buying heavier springs they are better in the long run.

Air bags are a cover up if you have weak springs to start with its not going to cure your problem.

LOL that is not a common Dodge problem. What are you talking about? That would be like me saying the common problem with Ford is all of their diesels are junk. Oh wait, that is a common Ford problem.

Gravel Rat
05-24-2009, 04:30 PM
It is a very much a Dodge problem. Anybody that has bought a Dodge has had to add extra springs because Dodge uses springs too small for the truck.

It doesn't matter its a 1/2 ton to the new 5500 they put rear springs into the truck that are too light. I lost count on how many Dodge trucks I see with the back bumper dragging with a load that would barely make a Ford or Chev squat.

In the summer time with people and Dodge trucks with campers in the box is deadly. With the road here being so twisty these guys with srw 3500 Dodges are almost laying on their side in the turns.

Any contractor that buys a Dodge 2500-3500 the first thing they have to do is beef up the rear suspension. Many guys that switched to Dodge from Ford say the trucks don't carry the weight.

Dodge has been like that for years a guy that used to rent a shop from my familly a die hard Dodge man every 3/4 ton he owned would carry less weight than the Fords we had.

I have been in the freight business for years the guys with Dodge flatdecks just can't carry any weight. Put 4000lbs on the deck and the truck is loaded h*ll I used to put 7000-8000lbs on Chevy 1 ton flatdecks.

I really don't care if you don't beleive me or not. Like I said I have been loading and unloading freight off of all sizes of trucks for 15 years.

The best option for fixing a weak suspension in a Dodge is replace the factory springs with something heavier. Just the way it goes.

doubleedge
05-24-2009, 04:49 PM
Ah you have the common Dodge problem ie not enough springs. One of the local residents in my area had the same problem. Anyhow he couldn't cure the problem and bought a Ford. You are better off buying heavier springs they are better in the long run.

Air bags are a cover up if you have weak springs to start with its not going to cure your problem.

Why wouldn't air bags solve the problem?

Gravel Rat
05-24-2009, 05:17 PM
Air bags are just a cover up you have weak springs you have weak springs. The only thing that fixes weak springs is new springs. I don't like air bags I never have I seen too many problems with them.

Lets put it this way you put a load in your truck you have a problem with the air bags. Without the bags the truck can't handle the load what do you do now.

nosparkplugs
05-24-2009, 06:03 PM
GR just HATES Dodge he baised , and he lives were anything will rust in short time anyways, The 2nd Gen Dodge's 98- 2002 year with the Cummins ISB had the stoutest leaf springs of any truck. The leaf Springs were so strong the 2002 Dodge 2500/3500's rode like tanks without some weight in the bed or towing something. The rough ride was due to a steep spring ARC, and was such an issue that Dodge lengthened the leaf springs to match Ford & GM weak arse soft ride. Dodge should have left their rear leafs with the short Steep ARC design like the one in the pic below.

Like anything that is a Ford vs Gm vs Dodge, this will be a Pissing match, I have posted pics of my weak arse Dodge leaf springs before:rolleyes:. Air Bags do not equal weak leaf springs it is a wise investment to extend the life of your truck. My 02 F-350 dually squared like a liitle "bitvch" hauling a gooseneck trailer without airbags, just look at all the FERDS towing big arse trailers pic a type of trailer car hauler, 5th wheel RV they Squatting really bad. Dodge's be nice & level, guess we all have air bags too.

GR notice my frame has NO RUST, this is what happens when you live in the South trucks last longer


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/firestone2.jpg

dwc
05-24-2009, 07:08 PM
Ford does ok with trailers but they still squat. I gave ford a chance in 2004 and not only did they drop the ball but they used it for soccer practice! The dodge does good but when you get close to max tongue weight on either a goose neck or bumper pull any truck is going to squat. I am not dragging the bumper on the ground, I just want to level out the truck. One reason you see dodges squatting around is because many owners think they can pull anything and everything and seriously overload the truck.
At least when I stomp the go pedal on the dodge something happens. Can't say the same for the ford I owned.

Nosparkplugs do you like the bags on your truck?

nosparkplugs
05-24-2009, 07:48 PM
I am 100% pleased with the Firestone Ride Right air bags, a wise investment too, no blowouts, or zero leaking ever. Those air bags in the pic have been on the Dodge since 2007, and worked really hard. The air bags makes the truck more stable being a SRW, ride very smooth with a heavy load, or empty. I keep about 20PSI in the bags at all times max anything more than 20PSI empty the Dodge rides like a brick I have used is 90PSI MAX for gooseneck towing. Get the Firestone Ride-Rite basic air bag kit, the onboard pump is a nice option, very pricey not for me. I carry a 30 gallon air compressor, and inflating the bags is as easy as inflating your truck tire's. I would also invest in a good air pressure guage one that reads up to 100PSI keeps your bags equal, although the manual says you can run different level of air in each bag depending on load distribution.

The air bag installation for my Dodge 2002 did involve drilling on the frame:cry:, and the gooseneck hitch:cry: it's all good when your done kinda like going to the dentist;). If you have the tools & shop you can save a small fortune installing the air bags yourself install price's average about $500.00. My 2002 install was the toughest of all my air bag installs, only because I had to drill through my new B&W hide a ball gooseneck hitch:cry: Depending on the year & model of your truck some kits now do not need drilling into the frame. I would invest in one good drill bit or drill bit set if you going to do it yourself. I cannot stress having a good sharp drill bit & lube, it made the job go much faster. Most of all!!! you can only Drill once into the frame, so measure 100 times to be sure before you drill:waving:

TruckSpring:) Its a small world I am originally from Michigan, our family has been using truckspring for leaf spring work & parts for years well before their internet success. I would order the air bag kit from Truckspring, no one will be cheaper, faster getting your order shipped & offer free shipping, and will support you should you have questions on the install or trouble with an air bag. I ordered both my set of air bags from Truckspring well before their sponsorship of lawnsite.


Ford does ok with trailers but they still squat. I gave ford a chance in 2004 and not only did they drop the ball but they used it for soccer practice! The dodge does good but when you get close to max tongue weight on either a goose neck or bumper pull any truck is going to squat. I am not dragging the bumper on the ground, I just want to level out the truck. One reason you see dodges squatting around is because many owners think they can pull anything and everything and seriously overload the truck.
At least when I stomp the go pedal on the dodge something happens. Can't say the same for the ford I owned.

Nosparkplugs do you like the bags on your truck?

dwc
05-25-2009, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I could install myself so I would just be out the cost of the bags. It says they have a no-drill kit for my truck! The on-board air pump seems pretty pricey to me.

GravelyNut
05-25-2009, 11:05 AM
GR just HATES Dodge he baised , and he lives were anything will rust in short time anyways, The 2nd Gen Dodge's 98- 2002 year with the Cummins ISB had the stoutest leaf springs of any truck. The leaf Springs were so strong the 2002 Dodge 2500/3500's rode like tanks without some weight in the bed or towing something. The rough ride was due to a steep spring ARC, and was such an issue that Dodge lengthened the leaf springs to match Ford & GM weak arse soft ride. Dodge should have left their rear leafs with the short Steep ARC design like the one in the pic below.

Like anything that is a Ford vs Gm vs Dodge, this will be a Pissing match, I have posted pics of my weak arse Dodge leaf springs before:rolleyes:. Air Bags do not equal weak leaf springs it is a wise investment to extend the life of your truck. My 02 F-350 dually squared like a liitle "bitvch" hauling a gooseneck trailer without airbags, just look at all the FERDS towing big arse trailers pic a type of trailer car hauler, 5th wheel RV they Squatting really bad. Dodge's be nice & level, guess we all have air bags too.

GR notice my frame has NO RUST, this is what happens when you live in the South trucks last longer


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/firestone2.jpg
Weak soft ride does not describe my 2001 Chevy 3500. 2000 pounds at the back of the bed brings it down barely enough to touch the helpers. At that point you get a good ride. Empty, it is better than a Dodge of the same age but nowhere near soft.

Now my question to the original poster is: What is the trailer weight that you are running as tongue weight exceeding 2000 indicates maybe either improperly loaded or overloaded. What is the factory ratings for GVWR of your truck, GVWR of the trailer, rating of the hitch, and factory rated GCWR. While some of the companies are now making hitches rated for 18k/1800 load on LEHs, a 3500 isn't factory rated for that. And the guys with the little blue lights are looking for easy money these days. And carry portable scales.

GravelyNut
05-25-2009, 06:43 PM
Ford does ok with trailers but they still squat. I gave ford a chance in 2004 and not only did they drop the ball but they used it for soccer practice! The dodge does good but when you get close to max tongue weight on either a goose neck or bumper pull any truck is going to squat. I am not dragging the bumper on the ground, I just want to level out the truck. One reason you see dodges squatting around is because many owners think they can pull anything and everything and seriously overload the truck.
At least when I stomp the go pedal on the dodge something happens. Can't say the same for the ford I owned.

Nosparkplugs do you like the bags on your truck?
Tests don't back that up. Ford or Chevy have always out pulled the Dodge. Take a look at the Edmunds test for 2006 as an example. Weighted with a trailer to 80% of the manufacture's ratings both the Ford loaded and the Chevy, also loaded, out ran the Dodge. Also in a 1/4 mile run.
Edmunds' story. (http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId=115662/pageId=97972)Same thing was true in 2001 with Truck Trends' testing of the big gasoline engines.

Gravel Rat
05-25-2009, 06:44 PM
Oh lets see No Sparkplugs loves to brag about his Dodge well I found the spring specs for his truck.

His beloved Dodge has spring packs rated at 2025lbs each the same year Ford 3625lbs each.

Like I said Dodge trucks have light springs. A Dodge dually has lighter springs than a Ford 3/4 ton.

My neighbours have a Dodge dually cummins 4x4 it is a 2002 the rear springs in it are lighter than what I had in my half ton.

I have been hauling with 1 and 1.5 ton trucks since highschool. I have had 3500-4000lbs on my half ton I had no not too smart but it did it no it didn't have 1/2 ton suspension in the rear. On my 1 ton trucks I used to carry 6000-7000lbs the biggest problem was the braking power.

I don't pull trailers because a trailer is useless around here. What ever needs to be delivered to a construction site or jobsite has to go on the back of a truck.

Pretty much all the landscapers use trucks everything goes onto one truck. Some places you can't even get the truck into you have to carry and push the mowers to the house.

If you want to use air bags to make up for a poorly designed suspension go right ahead. You are better off with Timbrens they are maintenance free and reliable. Install them and forget about them.

www.timbren.com/timbren-application-guides/chrysler-dodge-jeep.htm

nosparkplugs
05-25-2009, 08:58 PM
GR where did you get those numbers from:nono: Actually Ford & Dodge are very close in load capacity.


94-2002 Dodge offered two leaf spring width's 2.5" or 3"

2.5" packs are rated for 2,600lbs'

3" packs are rated for 3,050lbs

99-2007 Ford F-250 are 3" only

3" packs are rated for 3,000.


Here's a source for you too to back it up.

http://www.generalspringkc.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=1&pg=1

dwc
05-25-2009, 09:45 PM
Weak soft ride does not describe my 2001 Chevy 3500. 2000 pounds at the back of the bed brings it down barely enough to touch the helpers. At that point you get a good ride. Empty, it is better than a Dodge of the same age but nowhere near soft.

Now my question to the original poster is: What is the trailer weight that you are running as tongue weight exceeding 2000 indicates maybe either improperly loaded or overloaded. What is the factory ratings for GVWR of your truck, GVWR of the trailer, rating of the hitch, and factory rated GCWR. While some of the companies are now making hitches rated for 18k/1800 load on LEHs, a 3500 isn't factory rated for that. And the guys with the little blue lights are looking for easy money these days. And carry portable scales.

Not sure of the tongue weight, I know its heavy. My gvwr of the truck is 9900. Trailer gvwr is 12K. I have a class IV receiver hitch and class IV drop hitch to go in it. The drop is rated for 900lbs tongue weight. The hitch is rated 1200 tongue weight. The tongue on the trailer is rated 12,500 gvwr. Like I said I know this trailer loaded is at the max of tongue weight for the truck if not slightly over. If I have bags to level the truck it's not gonna draw attention from the blue lights. They are too busy with pickups with big gooseneck trailers and semi's. I have never seen a pickup with a bumper pull trailer stopped for a weight inspection. Half of them around here dont have 1 single working light on the whole trailer!!!!!!

My 5th wheel rv is my other reason for the bags. Again it's not something I couldn't live with but when there is a simple, cheap cure then why not???

Ford Chevy and Dodge could be argued for days and never get any further in agreement than when it started. I have owned all 3. They have all been decent trucks with the exception of the ford's engine control system. I think the perfect truck would be the cummins with the allison trans, and a ford body and interior. Too bad you can't custom build a truck like that from the factory like you can big rigs.

FIRESCOOBY
05-25-2009, 10:37 PM
Good god people...this post was about AIRBAGS!!!!

Just post pertinent information and try to resist the "X brand has weak X".

LawnScapers of Dayton
05-25-2009, 10:47 PM
I have Airlift air springs on my Dodge 3/4 ton, they are a great addition and helped me haul 4000# of salt and the dump insert....all winter .......I will add the compressor before this winter......

Looking Good Lawn Service
05-25-2009, 11:00 PM
I think you will be fine with the air bags, but Gravel Rat is right, new springs that are heavier are obviously the best choice for the long run since they are stronger. But, for your issue, the bags would be fine, especially if you are not pulling your very heavy trailer all the time. Perhaps a dodge 4500 or 5500 would be something to consider if you are going to tow very heavy anyhow. So for now, go ahead with the airbags, should do the trick, no need to dwell on what everyone else says, buy them, try them, if they suck return them, and try something else. Best of luck

GravelyNut
05-26-2009, 02:49 AM
Not sure of the tongue weight, I know its heavy. My gvwr of the truck is 9900. Trailer gvwr is 12K. I have a class IV receiver hitch and class IV drop hitch to go in it. The drop is rated for 900lbs tongue weight. The hitch is rated 1200 tongue weight. The tongue on the trailer is rated 12,500 gvwr. Like I said I know this trailer loaded is at the max of tongue weight for the truck if not slightly over. If I have bags to level the truck it's not gonna draw attention from the blue lights. They are too busy with pickups with big gooseneck trailers and semi's. I have never seen a pickup with a bumper pull trailer stopped for a weight inspection. Half of them around here dont have 1 single working light on the whole trailer!!!!!!

My 5th wheel rv is my other reason for the bags. Again it's not something I couldn't live with but when there is a simple, cheap cure then why not???

Ford Chevy and Dodge could be argued for days and never get any further in agreement than when it started. I have owned all 3. They have all been decent trucks with the exception of the ford's engine control system. I think the perfect truck would be the cummins with the allison trans, and a ford body and interior. Too bad you can't custom build a truck like that from the factory like you can big rigs.

Then the cheapest safe thing to do would be to use an equalising hitch for the bumper tow. Hitches are rated at 2 loads, Non-WD and WD. The receiver hitch on your truck would be only rated for the 900 if it has the WD bars on it. Almost all Class IV are rated at only 500 non-WD and 5000 lbs total trailer weight. When you add the bars, it then goes up to 1000/1200 tongue and 10K trailer. Class V are rated in the 12K range with tongue loads of 1200/1500 equalised. They drop to about 600/6000 without bars.

As for the other trailer, the bags would help but you also might want to upgrade your shocks too. IMHO, you really would be better off wih a good set of helper springs to carry the load.

Class IV Multi-Fit Receiver
5000 lbs Weight Carrying and 10,000 lbs Weight Distributing
Drilling required.

GravelyNut
05-26-2009, 03:34 AM
GR where did you get those numbers from:nono: Actually Ford & Dodge are very close in load capacity.


94-2002 Dodge offered two leaf spring width's 2.5" or 3"

2.5" packs are rated for 2,600lbs'

3" packs are rated for 3,050lbs

99-2007 Ford F-250 are 3" only

3" packs are rated for 3,000.


Here's a source for you too to back it up.

http://www.generalspringkc.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=1&pg=1 What they make for Ford.


99-07 F250 / F350 Super Duty Rear 5(4/1) 3 25 x 33-1/4 2-1/8 3000

99-07 F250 / F350 Super Duty Rear 5(4/1) 3 25 x 33-1/4 2-1/4 3300

99-07 F250 / F350 Super Duty Rear 7(6/1) 3 25 x 33-1/4 3-1/4 4400 3 inch and rated for 3000 - 4400 lbs.

And for Dodge:

94-02 Ram 3500 - 2 Wheel Drive 4(3/1) 3 28-1/4 x 31-3/4 3050

94-02 Ram 3500 - 4x4 4(3/1) 3 27-7/8 x 32-1/8 2860

94-02 Ram 3500 - Fits 4x4 and 2 Wheel Drive 6 3 27-7/8 x 32-1/8 2830

94-02 Ram 3500 - Fits 4x4 and 2 Wheel Drive 8 3 27-7/8 x 32-1/8 4000
So these range from 2830 - 4000 lbs.

And its funny, they don't offer what's in mine. 5/1 +2. My 5 springs are about as thick as their 7.