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Old 11-28-2015, 08:10 PM   #1
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air suspension bags on f 150

I am thinking of putting airbags on the back of my f 150 to try and stop the bouncing while going down the road. I have a 2003 F150 super crew and tow a jayco j 23 hybrid trailer. Has anyone installed airbags? what are your thoughts on them?
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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I got 1000# Firestone bags on my Ram1500. Helps keep things level and gives my truck a smoother ride once all hooked up with my WDH.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:44 PM   #3
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I have the Air Lift 2000# system on my F-150. It was easy to install. I have it dialed in so that I have 0 sag in the back, 0 sag or lift in the front, and the RV rides nearly level. Haven't towed with it yet. First tow will be at the end of December.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:30 PM   #4
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Me too on the air bags. I use them to level TT hitch load and it has worked well.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:54 PM   #5
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What is your tongue weight... you shouldn't need bags for that small hybrid, or at least I wouldn't think.

I had bags on my Tundra and they were great. Really smoothed out the suspension. I had Firestone RideRite's, which were a no drill application. Super easy to install and use. I didn't have an on board compressor though, too much money for my taste. I simply used a small 12volt tire compressor to air up my bags.

There are 2 competing theories about running the airlines for your bags. One theory is to have separate lines for each bag to fill them independently. I did this at first and found it to be a pain the neck getting them exactly right.

I chose to use a T-fitting and plumb the bags together. They both get the exact same air pressure and lift the exact same amount. I figured that if I am driving fast enough to have to worry about body roll, I am driving too fast to have a need for the air bags.

Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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I chose to use a T-fitting and plumb the bags together. They both get the exact same air pressure and lift the exact same amount. I figured that if I am driving fast enough to have to worry about body roll, I am driving too fast to have a need for the air bags.

Good luck!
Plumbing bags with a T is not good practice.. If you ever got into a trailer sway issue while towing, the air in the bags will be able to transfer from side to side adding to body roll. You will also experience this with daily driving. Just my opinion..
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:38 PM   #7
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I installed the Firestone airbags on my F-150. They are plumbed separately and I use a 12V compressor to inflate them. The compressor is handy for the trailer & bike tires as well as the truck's. It's easy to get the pressure right and you don't have a problem with too much pressure.

With the air bags you don't need to put nearly as much load on the WDH and the ride is much better. Well worth the money spent.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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Plumbing bags with a T is not good practice.. If you ever got into a trailer sway issue while towing, the air in the bags will be able to transfer from side to side adding to body roll. You will also experience this with daily driving. Just my opinion..
Like I said, there are two differing opinions.

If you are towing, you should have a quality WDH and anti-sway control. With the proper set up, you don't have sway and don't have body roll. If you have enough sway that would be rocking the back of the truck and causing body roll than you have HUGE issues that wouldn't be prevented by separate plumbing of your air bags.

Daily driving without significant weight you shouldn't have your bags inflated, therefore no body roll. If you have enough weight to justify airing up your bags, you shouldn't be driving aggressively enough to have any body roll.

Its all about common sense. I drove for 5 years and 60K miles, the majority of it with T fitting in my air bags. Never had any issue at all.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:14 PM   #9
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air suspension bags on f 150

Air Lift recommends using the T if you are pulling a trailer. If you have a camper or if the weight on the back of your tow vehicle isn't even, they recommend the 2-channel approach. I installed the T. For non-towing driving, I keep 15 psi in the bags. It smoothes out the rear end quite a bit.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:17 PM   #10
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With the air bags you don't need to put nearly as much load on the WDH and the ride is much better. Well worth the money spent.

I haven't found that to be the case. I use the same number of chain links with the air bags as I did without. The point of the chains are to restore weight back to the front wheels. The air bags won't do that.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:46 PM   #11
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air suspension bags on f 150

I would not do the 'T' setup. Let's say in a turn truck leans to the outside and then the outside airbag pushes air to the inside airbag making the lean worse... Two separate feeds are more stable wether you are towing or not.

Thinking about it, it probably doesn't make a big deal on a rear leaf spring vehicle but why not have separate feeds? It's not much more work..,
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:51 AM   #12
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Firestone bags work great on the F150 and install is simple and straightforward. I ran the airlines out the rear bumper through the license plate bracket so the chrome valve caps look like license plate screws. I tried 40 lbs initially and found the ride a little harsh. While towing I run them at 35 lbs inflated with a handheld 18v portable air compressor that I use for bikes and balls while camping. You can add the wireless on-board air compressor with in cab gauges after the fact if you think the additional cost would be worth it.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #13
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I have the Air Lift system on my F250 and I'm very pleased with them. I agree, don't use the T method. Having control over the bags independently is the best. 50 lbs. loaded - 12 lbs. empty.


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Old 12-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #14
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What I intend to do with my Ride-Rite setup is to insert a T with a valve between sides. Open the valve to air up both sides to the same pressure from a single inlet. Close the valve to stop air movement between sides.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:32 PM   #15
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What I intend to do with my Ride-Rite setup is to insert a T with a valve between sides. Open the valve to air up both sides to the same pressure from a single inlet. Close the valve to stop air movement between sides.
Best of both worlds! Just don't forget to open the valve when filling, or your truck will have a really weird look to it!!!
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #16
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What I intend to do with my Ride-Rite setup is to insert a T with a valve between sides. Open the valve to air up both sides to the same pressure from a single inlet. Close the valve to stop air movement between sides.
My valves are the same as TWP above, except at the top of my license plate.

Please post some pictures of the T with a valve and how you secure or mount the T and valve as this sounds like a simple and effective upgrade to my install.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:57 AM   #17
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I also ran the Schrader valves through the license plate screws on my truck.

I use a hand operated bicycle pump to air up my air bags. 10-12 pumps on each side is all it ever takes. I carry a yard stick to measure the ride height, and just set it to the same as it is when the truck is unloaded.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:34 AM   #18
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What I intend to do with my Ride-Rite setup is to insert a T with a valve between sides. Open the valve to air up both sides to the same pressure from a single inlet. Close the valve to stop air movement between sides.
Any chance you have a link to the valves? I'm running a T right now and wouldn't mind having the convenience of the T with the performance of the dual air lines.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:15 PM   #19
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The best I have found are separate Tee and Valve so you'd have to reach under the truck to operate the valve. These fittings are available at HomeDepot
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:32 AM   #20
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Thanks.
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