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Old 01-10-2014, 05:38 PM   #1
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Add A Leafs or Air bags

Im getting ready to take my truck to spring shop to get it leveled up. I was trying to figure out weather to spend the extra money on add a leafs or air bags

2014 Jay Flight Swift 264BH
2000 F250 7.3L
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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Some discussions here on airbags and Timbrens:






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Old 01-10-2014, 07:05 PM   #3
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I cut and pasted a previous posting and a follow up as a result of a warranty claim. My set up was around the $1500.00 dollar mark. Springs would cost less but would not perform the same depending on your needs. Hope the info helps.

We have Ride Rites as well. It was explained to me that it would make for a smoother ride. There is no more thump when you hit the expansion joints or other bumps on the roadway. It works the same way as an air ride pin box, but you have 2 air bags. I opted for the on board compressor so as not to have to deal with any set up. It is on the under side of the floor (exterior) beneath the drivers seat.There is also a valve installed in the plate of the 7 pin connector at the rear beside the receiver hitch if I need to use an external pump. It has not lost any air in 4 or 5 years. Once the 5er is hitched up I bring the pressure up to 60 psi and the unit is level.
I have used the inflation and deflation capability to raise and lower the truck instead of the front jacks of the 5er. The controler (inflator/dump vale) is mounted on the bottom of the dash board to the left of the brake control for easy access from the cab. The controller is illuminated in the dark. You can even fill or deflate on the fly! We got the Morryde pin box as well, even smoother. One caution is to inspect the installation periodically. During an emergency brake repair in Charleston in May the Technician noticed the nuts on the mounting hardware were loose and he tightened them. Wouldn't be without them.

Follow up posting

I want to give some information about the Firestone Ride Rite air springs that we had installed on our tow vehicle 4 or 5 years ago. On the first day of a trip to Prince Edward Island this past July there was a slight leak in the system. I tried to diagnose in the field but couldn't. The only visible signs was a rust residue on the left side in the middle of the bellows and at the top where the mounting hardware is attached to the bellows. The right side bellows looked like it just came out of the box.
At first it required topping up the system every 300 kilometers. The rougher the road the more topping. It seemed to get worse after a couple of weeks. Nothing catastrophic happened, the system otherwise performed properly, so I waited until we returned home and went back to the shop that installed the system. That was August 15. They found a leak at the top where the mounting hardware is attached. They replaced the left side air spring at my cost and sent the unit to Firestone for warranty replacement. I had to remind the shop that there was a lifetime warranty. I also got the manufacturers supplied fittings replaced with compression fittings to prevent further slow leaks that are common with the kit fittings.
The shop took some time to send the unit to Firestone, trying to save freight expenses to me, by giving to the Firestone rep. The rep was tardy. I called the shop today and found out that Firestone refunded the cost of the air spring and the sales tax to the amount of $222.61. No labour. We were happy that Firestone stood by their product and warranty, not blaming it on the unlikely maintenance outlined in the warranty.
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2005 Red GMC Duramax 4X4 HD Crew Cab
2012 321RLTS
4" Magnaflow, Banks Air Intake
Firestone Ride Rite Air Springs
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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i just went to a spring shop and had them bend me up an extra leaf, best thing i ever did

i have the leveling kit in the front and the extra leaf in the rear gave me a total of about 2in extra in height which to me is perfect cause i can still use the bed
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:15 AM   #5
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I have an F250 with air bags and a compressor.

I went with Firestone air bags and an Air-Lift wireless compressor system.

The reason I went this route is adaptability, I have a box in the truck that weighs 800 to 1500 lbs depending on what is in it and my TT has a tongue weight of about 1000 lbs. The one thing in all this that is constant is weight change. I'm not usually towing a trailer and the stuff in the box can also vary greatly so with the air bags all I have to do is tell the compressor how many pounds I need and shazam the truck is level and the ride is good.

The install wasn't hard (air tools make a big difference) pretty much followed the instructions and ran the lines out through the license plate. I did the compressor later and it was no big deal, I did wire it to one of my upfitter switches so I could control when the compressor came on.

Being able to drop the PSI makes access to the bed and hooking up much easier, then putting 100 PSI when I hookup makes the WDH a lot easier to setup. All I do is set the remote and it will adjust to what I need.

If I had put on springs to handle the load when full the truck would have rode like a tank when empty.


If I had a fairly constant load I would have done springs, simpler and cheaper.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #6
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We installed the Firestone Air Bags with the onboard compressor on our last truck, a 07 Chevy 2500HD when we sold our previous 5er and got a larger / heaver 5er.
They worked great, let the air pressure down to about 5 psi when the truck bed was empty, truck rode great.
When the 5er was hooked up raised the Air Bag pressure to 50 - 60 PSI, truck leveled out and rode good.

Now that we have moved up to our current GMC 3500HD DRW, no mods needed to tow our 5er.
Robert & Bale the "Traveling Dog"
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #7
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If I had a 5th wheel, I would go with air bags. With a weight distributing hitch, you can't beat the Timbren SES system. They reduced my sag by 50% without engaging the spring bars because they sit down on the factory bumpstops. The spring bars are a lot easier to hook up, the truck/trailer is nice and level and sway is greatly reduced and they don't affect a no-load ride. Paid $168 for mine and the install was easy.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:13 PM   #8
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The nice thing about air bags is that they are adjustable for different weights.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
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We have a 2014 Jayco Greyhawk. I had Hellwig airbags installed and an Air Lift wireless compressor installed. The problem I was trying to solve was extremely low rear clearance in the rear end. The suspension would routinely bottom out and bang on road seams. After the air bags were installed we discovered that it only brought the rear end up 3/4" so we contacted Hellwig. It turns out that the problem was incorrectly adjusted Hellwig helper springs installed by Jayco. They were only loosly installed meaning that they were not doing anything and in fact the u bolts were being damaged by the cycling of the suspension because they were loose. It turns out I didn't need the air ride system at all. Jayco had the Hellwig system adjusted properly by a local Hellwig dealer. I still leave the air system up at 100 psi anyway and however even without it I don't have any low clearance problems. The motorhome rides much nicer with everything adjusted correctly! No more banging over road seams! It had an additional benefit of less body roll.

Old setup:
2004 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT with a 2004 Jayco JayFlight 29BHS
2014 Greyhawk 31FS with a 2007 Tahoe toad
New setup:
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