Firestone R4Tech suspension - downgrade - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:09 AM
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Firestone R4Tech suspension - downgrade

Well after over a month of no help from firestone of sanluis rassaini.....

Firestone tech r4 thoughts and opinions.
Keep in mind this is all related to an install on a Ford 6.7 F-350 DRW, your mileage may vary.

First off, after the sale tech support sucks – period.
With some of the issues I have the flat out answer received from sanluis rasssani was that my application was a very small market share and didn’t justify their attention – and that was from Tony, the person you see in the r4 youtube videos. I have waited well over a month for some help.

I kind of get the impression this kit made engineered for the SRW’s and then adapted to the DRW’s. You just can’t lower the truck to level and keep the installation within the design parameters. Meaning, if the air bags are installed to the proper height the truck is about 2” over stock height.
The kit is well made and most everything fit well.

The instructions are just OK, you need to be able to figure some things out for yourself.
The kit is a difficult, time consuming install, and I would not recommend a do it your self. Get some help.

I saved all the old parts with the thought if I sold, traded or wrecked the truck I would remove it and install in the next vehicle.
I will never use one of these kits again, if you want air ride - look at Kelderman or Ultimate air and get a real air ride.

Before purchasing I tried working with S-R, firestone and the suppliers about leaving the supplied air system out. I had plans for a more robust compressor/storage. Even though the package is a “build to order” kit, there was no dealing with the change.

I have an air leak that I have narrowed down to the Height Control Valves, but is hard to verify.

The spring center pin not long enough to allow the parking brake cable to be secured.
The compressor comes on while driving, there should be little air change once the height is set, there is a delay with height change valve which is supposed to keep cycling to a minimum.
Compressor is a bit small for the task
The parking brake cable rubs the bag all the time, and there is no way to relocate due to the DEF tank.
The right side air bag is fairly close to the exhaust, and there was no supplied heat shield. Firestone did send out a heat shield for me to install.
The air bags wrap over the upper steel spacer and will most likely cause wear when collapsed
The right side brake cable has to be run through the brackets for the installation

I have had a hard time leveling the truck and have yet to get a straight answer from S-R on the proper procedure. Makes me wonder why there are two height valves. Most pickups really don’t need side to side leveling. OTR trucks use one valve for 2 axles/4 bags.
After a month’s use my side to side level has changed, with the right side dropping a bit.

If I level the truck I have the wrong bag height. If I hve the correct bag height the truck sits about 2” high.
Because of the design, the height control valves (HCV) are fairly close to the springs and are attached to the springs with links. All seemed well until I put 4 wheels and tires back on. The extra weight almost pulled the HCV off the bracket with a way too short-wrong angle link.

The rancho shocks are useless with the truck unloaded. See the video of the lack of dampening

This causes an annoying bounce and bad side to side wobble when backing out of my driveway on an angle. Feels like you are on a boat and just got waked.
The suspension has now developed an annoying squeak.

On the positive side, when I drop 3000+ pounds of pin weight on the hitch, the truck drops and comes back up to height and you barely notice the change.
On the road with the trailer the ride is better then it was stock but nowhere near what I was led to believe I would get with an air ride.
There is more, but this is what I recall for now.

So – no recommendation here for a DRW 6.7 Ford.
Stick with air bags only (you still get an air ride since the bags should always have 3-5 psi)
If you are looking to level the truck and get a smooth ride – this is not the kit

Expensive, difficult to install.
Minimal tech support after the sale.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:00 PM
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what was your reason for putting in that system...I just installed the ride rite air bags on mine as I tow heavy dumpsters all day ...the install took about an hour to 2 hrs tops..I used the direct air lines to the back bumper..no compressor as I have an ARB dual for a future front ARB locker...I love my airbags and have had them on my last 3 trucks..
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonydumpsters View Post
what was your reason for putting in that system..
1) Tame the ride of a DRW when empty
2) Drop the rear 2-3 inches to level out the truck
3) Air ride
4) Keep the truck level when adding 3300 pounds of pin weight
5) Automatic height adjustment
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:21 AM
MIT MIT is offline
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R4Tech Suspension

Porthole, I've read back through your installation of the R4tech suspension and am interested in knowing if you still run the Mor/Ryde suspension shackles. It looks like you had them before installing the air ride kit. How did it perform back then and how does it work in conjunction with R4tech?

Thanks,

MIT
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:11 AM
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Yes to the MOR/ryde shackles. The MR kit is one of those things you notice right away but after a day you don't notice it anymore, which I suppose means they work.

The shackles have nothing to do with the r4.

BTW, I have MOR/ryde suspension on my trailer, and you couldn't ask for better customer service.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:34 AM
MIT MIT is offline
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Suspension Travel

Hi Porthole, will the Mor/Ryde shackle mimic the factory shackle front to back and will it allow the axle to fall away from the truck further than the steel shackle? I wonder if it will pull on shocks and stuff if it has further downward travel than the oe setup. This would be a great thing on my jeep but I'm not sure how it would affect my truck. We sure see some nasty articulation getting to trail heads in tow.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIT View Post
Hi Porthole, will the Mor/Ryde shackle mimic the factory shackle front to back and will it allow the axle to fall away from the truck further than the steel shackle? I wonder if it will pull on shocks and stuff if it has further downward travel than the oe setup. This would be a great thing on my jeep but I'm not sure how it would affect my truck. We sure see some nasty articulation getting to trail heads in tow.
Sorry, I just found this. My understanding is that the geometry doesn't change at all, just the physical connection. Instead of steel shackles there is now a rubber "shear spring"
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