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Old 05-25-2012, 12:27 PM
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Which air bags?

Hello to all, I have been looking into air bags for a while now and I probably have more questions now than answers. My signature shows my truck and hitches. I have looked into outside the frame bags with no luck, the older B&W turnover I have doesn't leave enough frame room to mount, or modify, that style. I am now looking into inside the frame bags, not what I really wanted, but the mounts look.... less than ideal to be polite. I started off looking at Firestone bags but started looking into Air-Lift as time went on. It seems that Firestone has a bigger "following" on the forums but the new Air-Lift inside bags, 5000 series, hardware looks stronger perhaps.

Anyone have any hands on experience with either or both of the insiders? We want to have this truck ready to pull our 35' Carriage in a couple of weeks and this is the last area I need to address before the season gets here for us. Oh, and yes I have used the search function for many hours before writing this trying to get up to speed, which I'm not yet. TIA
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:54 PM
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I use the Firestone kit and it has worked great since I bought the truck back in 2005!!!

Here is info on the F2400 kit which should be the correct one for your truck:

Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs - Double Convoluted - Rear Axle Firestone Vehicle Suspension F2400

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Old 05-25-2012, 04:06 PM
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I found airbagit.com on line. They have a rear only that looks good but their whole system sounds like not so good.

The rear only upgrade looks interesting.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:29 AM
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i went with firestone. have been happy with them so far.

bailey
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by van-boy View Post
i went with firestone. have been happy with them so far.

bailey
Did you go with outside the frame or inside? The outside looks plenty strong to me but the inside looks to have several smaller, lighter pieces. Air-Lift seems somewhat better, heavier maybe. I don't have a choice to go outside without fabing the upper mounts. The older B&W GN hitch comes outside the frame around 2" just at the top of the frame.

I always buy or build heavy duty, more than necessary. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregsSD View Post
I use the Firestone kit and it has worked great since I bought the truck back in 2005!!!

Here is info on the F2400 kit which should be the correct one for your truck:

Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs - Double Convoluted - Rear Axle Firestone Vehicle Suspension F2400

Thanks, It is probably my best choice.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:42 PM
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Done, on to the next project

Well, I went with Air-Lift outside the frame mounts and fab'ed the upper mounts with 3/8" material bolted at the rear and welded in the front.Worked great on the first run to the mountains with the 5er last weekend.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:00 AM
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Right on, I did the same thing but I went ahead and used 4-bolts per-side after I couldn't get good penetration with my welder only plugged into 110v.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jerg_064 View Post
Right on, I did the same thing but I went ahead and used 4-bolts per-side after I couldn't get good penetration with my welder only plugged into 110v.
We took advantage of the 3/4" bolts for the B&W hitch plate but thought welding the front, to the B&W plate, might be better just in case the 3/8" iron wasn't heavy enough, and bent, it would be easier to grind welds off and use heavier iron. This way we have drilled the least holes in the frame possible. We used heavier iron than the factory upper plate but it has less bends for strength. We believe what we have done will work but if it bends we will heavy it up. The highway to the lake/mountains is very rough and everything checked out ok back home afterwords.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:51 PM
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I had airllift 5000s put on the rear of my truck almost exactly 2 years ago when we bought our first truck camper. The bags on both sides are nearly shot - they have vertical cracks all the way around that are getting quite large. I always keep 10 psi in them when empty, and have never aired them up beyond 99 psi.

I've concluded that they are fine for loads carried on-road, but don't hold-up under heavy loads carried off road - perhaps due to articulation and the constant side to side swaying of a high profile load when off road. We spend a lot of the time off-road with the camper traveling across jeep roads and exploring the national forests, with a fair bit of time in 4low.

I have since added a double set of the ford OEM overload springs to the rear axle, and use Torklift Stable Loads to get them to engage the frame contacts sooner. With this I can now run the bags at about 35 psi, versus 95 psi without the springs.

If I had to do it over again, I would have skipped the 'bags.

Just my 2 cents.
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