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1999-2004 Ford F250, F350 2wd 4wd - Firestone "Ride-Rite" Air Bag Helper Springs
1999-2004 Ford F250, F350 2wd 4wd - Firestone "Ride-Rite" Air Bag Helper Springs (NO-DRILL) [REAR] (Kit 2484)
Installation on 2000, F250 SD, 4x4, Crew Cab, 7.3, with stock overload springs
A few things were unclear, easily misunderstood, or funky.
1. Stock rubber bottom-out bumper and bushing were instructed to remove and "may not" be re-installed, which turned out to mean that they were removed and then later re-installed if they would still fit. Which mine did. Mine easily went back in. The new bracket overlaps the old bracket, and has the little hole for the index / no-turn tab on the bumper, and the main hole, and everything fit just like normal. I did NOT install the supplied flat washer on the top as instructed, instead opting for the original fit and a couple extra threads for the nut.
2. The big main single bolt that anchors the side plate to the frame rail ends up bending the new side plate a little bit, since the new side place sorta sits in a recessed part of the frame, but doesn't quite mate flush. No big deal, but you notice extra space / slop after you torque down the big bolt and once you align the upper air bag bracket to the side bracket. On the bench, when test fitting, there is no slop. But when you torque down the big bolt, it puts the side plate in a little bit of a U shape. Extra space / slop that wasn't there when the brackets came out of the box. Fits nice and snug around the old bottom out bumper bracket (the bumper bracket is riveted and stays in place, while the bumper comes out so you can fit the new side plate over. Then you re-install the bottom out bumper--not real clear in the instructions). Once you tighten the 4 side plate to top plate bolts, it takes away the extra space / slop (couple of mm's)
3. Clamping the air bag lower bracket to the springs, since mine has the overload leaf, you clamp ONLY to the overload. There are 1/2" and 1" straps that are used to sandwich the springs and hold the lower air bag bracket in place over the factory spring to axle shackle U bolts. The instructions tell you to use, or not use, depending on what it takes to make a level fit of the airbag. I was unable to get a level fit, and clearance over the spring U-bolts, and the required 5" to 6 1/2" required bag space, unless I used a 1" on the front side of the spring shackle on the lower bracket, and a 1/2" on the back side of the spring shackle on the lower bracket. This left me without the required number of 1/2" straps to put on the bottom side to finish the clamp. However, since there was a wider gap and barely enough room on the bottom front side of the overload at the spring shackle, it allowed me to substitute a 1" strap on the bottom, instead of a 1/2" strap, in order to form the bottom clamp.
4. The instructions tell you to install the air lines last. The problem with this approach is that the tight clearance and lack of access to the top of the bag makes it nearly impossible to push the air line into the fitting on the top of the bag with any confidence that the airline seated all the way into the fitting correctly. To make things easier, I simply installed the airline into the air bag fitting before mounting up the air bag top bracket to the side bracket.
Last edited by heykerrdog; 04-25-2012 at 11:24 PM.