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Last weekend I installed a set of AirLift Load Lifter 5000's (air bags) on my 09 F-250 to help with load management when trailer towing. The details of that process are provided in the referenced post:

http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/6-4-mod-help/110074-airlift-air-bag-install.html

The Load Lifters are great and help both my overall ride (which was too soft) and my truck's "level" when towing (as it was squatting too much under load). However the normal method of controlling the air pressure and hence the "lift" is via the manual inflation valves, often mounted at the back bumper as shown below, with one valve for each side (air bag).


While this method works, I wanted something that would allow adjustment at any time, did not require stopping at a gas station, and would provide individual control of the left and right air bags for when I carry an off-center or unbalanced load. Several systems are available and my first choices were AirLift's SmartAIR (which provides continuous and automatic load leveling via a frame and axle mounted sensor assembly) and QuickSHOT (which is an all around on-board air system for "tools and toys" such as train horns or re-filling tires).

Several reviews of the SmartAIR indicated it might be a little too sensitive and aggressive in continually adjusting the air bags with the addition of minor loads (100 lbs), and the reviewers were installing master OFF switches to keep the system off unless actually needed or wanted. My personal perference was not to have a sensor mounted under the vehicle which if damaged would render the system inoperable.

The QuickSHOT is a higher capacity system with a large compressor and reservoir. While I like the capabilities, it was over-kill for my application and could provide too much air too quickly for the air bags. I also learned from the AirLift customer service staff that if I used an intelligent manifold (one of the ways to independently control left and right air bags) that it would not work with a reservoir and would actually drain it.

In the end I decided on a system dedicated to servicing the air bags, and a separate larger system in the future for "tools and toys". The WirelessAIR system provides a small air compressor, an intelligent manifold, and a remote control. The manifold will maintain a set pressure in each air bag, independently, and the wireless remote control eliminates the need for any wiring into the cab (it also allows adjustment of the air bags from outside the vehicle such as when connecting a trailer).


Finding the best location to mount the air compressor required some study as I wanted to preserve the larger locations (like under the passenger seat) for possible future additions like train horns, reservoir tank, larger compressor, etc. After crawling around under the truck and evaluating options I decided to mount it above the spare tire. The spare tire carrier frame is about 6 inches below the truck bed and provides a nice un-used, and protected space. (In the photo the front of the truck is to the lower right.)


I dropped the spare tire and tested the compressor fit for the best location. Finally deciding on the "valley" direclty behind the leading edge of the tire frame (closest to the rear axle). This afforded some protection from water, snow, dirt, and mud (there are several drain holes) and provides for a short run to each air bag (i.e., shorter lines, faster inflation).


I mounted the air compressor with four bolts from below (provided), and then the manifold close to but opposite the cable winch (with 2 bolts from below, also provided). All of the final mounts are shown in this photo. The manifold ground wire was tied to one of the compressor mounting bolts, and the 12V negative ground for the compressor was tied directly to the spare tire carrier frame using a 3/8" bolt, nut, washer and lock washer combo (not provided).


To be continued.....:)
 

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Viking Heavy Diesel
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Cant wait for the rest!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
AirLift WirelessAIR Install (continued)

The wiring plan for the WirelessAir system, per the manual, is given below:


Marking templates are provided to assist with locating and drilling the appropriate holes for the major components.


As shown in the wiring diagram there are two powered connections; the first (the yellow line from the left) a main supply from the battery (or equivalent) and the second (the red line from the left), a keyed supply to actuate the control relay so the compressor will only operate if the ignition key is on. Powered is fed to both the compressor and the intelligent manifold. Note, the compressor ground is the return for the 12V supply (not just a case ground) and necessary to complete the power loop. The control relay, mounted on the front cross member of the spare tire carrier, close to the main left frame member is shown below:


My truck has a trailer towing package so the easiest way to pick up a +12V keyed connection was in the wiring harness to the 7-pin plug. I tested the pins with a volt-meter to verify which pin was live with the key on (and not accidently the lights). I then tied into this using a clamp connector, provided, and installed the 10 amp fuse and holder, also provided. This was a short 3 feet from the control relay.


The main +12V supply line was run along the driver's side frame and tie-wrapped to the existing wiring harness, away from all heat sources..


To be continued...:)
 

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AirLift WirelessAIR Install (continued, 2)

The +12V supply was run to the driver's side battery and connected with a weather-sealed 15 amp automtive fuse (provided). While I could have run this into the cab and connected to one of the up-fitter switches, I decided to save these for other applications as this unit is already keyed with the ignition.


Spare wire to allow servicing the fuse connection and splices was coiled up and tie-wrapped below the anti-freeze reservoir.


Here is the final mounting of the control relay, manifold and compressor. Note the air filter has been relocated to provide a better and cleaner supply. The end connections and plastic tubing for this are provided.


This is the final location of the air filter along the driver's side frame, adjacent to the control relay.


Lastly, the bolts connecting the compressor are on the surface where the spare tire mates. Although they only protrude 1/8", and the tire is stationary, I decided to cover them with metal tape to avoid any abrasion.


Finally time for a test run. This required "pairing" the remote to the manifold which is easy and straight forward, BUT does require you to place the supplied magnet against the back of the manifold to activate the internal switch (which may impact how you mount it). I turned the key ON and waited. Within a few seconds the compressor came on (music to my ears) and both bags inflated to the minimum 5 psig (auto set in the manifold). Note, the air bags were emptied of all pressure as part of connecting the lines from the manifold. I did not have a picture of connecting the air lines from the manifold, but slip tees are provided to allow easy insertion into the existing air lines. As my air lines came from the back bumper along each frame rail, it was an easy install using the tees and about 3 feet of plastic line from the manifold.

Now adjusting the air pressure is as simple as dialing up the pressure you want on the remote control...whether you are in, or outside of your truck. I like the overall install but working alone, not having a lift, taking my time (check twice, cut once) and retrieving tools as needed, this took approximately 4 hours.

Now, I need a road test with my trailer. I'll post some results afterwards.

I hope you find this helpful, and that it answers some questions about the WirelessAIR.:)
 

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looking at all those pictures/directions makes me go :crazy:
 

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Nice write-up. How do you keep your truck so clean? Mine is covered in dust and dirt even after I wash it, just too many little spaces under there.
 

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I believe this write-up, like H2C's other one, should be made a sticky!!
 

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Thanks a lot H2C. Your two write ups made me pull the trigger on ordering up this setup for my truck. :crazy:

I guess the 310 tune and TCM will have to wait until later!...lol :doh:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WirelessAir Followup

Nice write-up. How do you keep your truck so clean? Mine is covered in dust and dirt even after I wash it, just too many little spaces under there.
Fortunately my rig is fairly new so it's cleaner than usual and a good time to do mods. Also, we've had 70 days without rain and high heat, so there' s no mud to get dirty.

I believe this write-up, like H2C's other one, should be made a sticky!!
Thank you.

Thanks a lot H2C. Your two write ups made me pull the trigger on ordering up this setup for my truck. :crazy:

I guess the 310 tune and TCM will have to wait until later!...lol :doh:
Awesome! Please let me know if the pics speed your install and how you like it when finished. (Don't forget to add the antifreeze to the air bags BEFORE you install them. I forgot on one of mine.)

:)

I did a loaded trailer test and it was great! See pics. I only had 45 psig in the bags (probably a little light as I was using 30 psig to firm up the empty ride) but it stopped the pogo-ing action the heavy hitch weight was causing. The rear wasn't quite level so after I drove off I bumped it up to 55 psig which did the trick (sorry, no pic).:)
 

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Awesome! Please let me know if the pics speed your install and how you like it when finished. (Don't forget to add the antifreeze to the air bags BEFORE you install them. I forgot on one of mine.)

:)

I did a loaded trailer test and it was great! See pics. I only had 45 psig in the bags (probably a little light as I was using 30 psig to firm up the empty ride) but it stopped the pogo-ing action the heavy hitch weight was causing. The rear wasn't quite level so after I drove off I bumped it up to 55 psig which did the trick (sorry, no pic).:)
LOL!

Of course I come in and read this post right after I just got done with the installation and DID NOT fill the bags before they were installed. :doh:

Anyway, yes your write up and pics helped a lot with the install process. :thumb:

I'll be towing my race trailor to the track on Saturday night so we'll see how these babys work! :woot:
 

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Filling with Anit-Freeze

AED F250 - Congratulations (on a completed job) and condolences on missing the anit-freeze (methanol). I ended up taking my wife's turkey marinade syringe and using it to fill the bags (through the top) in place. I did have to remove the threaded elbow...but it worked like a champ.:)
 
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