R4 Tech Suspension question - Page 6 - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #76 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 02:05 PM
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When installing the R4tech suspension be careful with the instructions. There are a few bad mistakes for the GM Truck. One is the J spring torque spec. The manual sais to torque to 169 Ft/lbs. I tried that and I broke one bolt. I decided 120 Ft/lbs was good enough. There are a few other mistakes also, but I don't have time to list them
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post #77 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 10:11 AM
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I installed the kit on my '11 Ram 3500 a couple of months ago. What do I think?

First of all, install was a bear! I did it all by myself which was probobly a bad idea... should have had some help at times... it took me about 40 hours to install this kit and to make all of the modifications it needed. I take part of that back, I did have help lifting out the factory leaf springs. The rest? I was on my own.

The empty ride is better than the stock leaf springs, but not that much better. Loaded up with about 1500 lbs the truck rides extreamly well with the R4 kit... but honestly, when it had leaf springs, I never really had an issue with the ride of the truck when it was loaded up, it was always the empty ride that I wanted to improve. Dont get me wrong... the R4 tech empty ride is better than stock leafs... but not $2000+ better... (to me anyway). If you are so dissatisfied with your trucks ride that you will do anything for some improvment, than it would probobly feel worth it.

Other problems with the kit that I experianced:

-Several brackets had to be modified to fit properly. I talked to the tech support, they said Dodge and Toyota are bad for changing things on the frame several times throughout a model year, so they were sorry for anything that didn't fit right.

- Poor ubolts, flat washer and nuts in kit. I could not believe the poor ubolts, flats and nuts supplied. I went to my local welding shop and had my own ubolts made, and bought new heavy flats and nuts.

-Poor brake line management. As important as a brake line is, I cannot believe the poor placement and handleing of the brakline this kit needs. (on the Ram anyway) I made some modifications to make it better.

-Not enough air line fittings to route the airlines proporly. Had to buy some more of my own.

- The truck has more body roll now when turning. Not allot, but it is more. Looking into a rear sway bar kit.

- The air pressure controled Rancho shocks were no good, too soft. When loaded up with about 1500 to 1700 lbs, the rear end would bounce several times before stopping (after a big bump) I replaced them with Blistens heavy duty shocks. Now its perfect.


-It's kinda of complicated to expain, but there is a portion of the top leaf spring of the kit that is mated up with a second half lenght spring. These two springs (on my kit anyway) slap against each other if the bump was right. It was very annoying. I was able to solve the problem by tightly wrapping the two springs together with several rounds of Gorilla duct tape. Ya, I know...

-If you need your truck to sink down some from the weight of your fifth wheel camper in order to make your camper sit right/level (like I do), you will have to make adjustable linkages for the ride height control valves (at least I did) so that you can adjust your ride height quickly. (When I am going to pull my camper, I adjust the linkages so my truck sits down several inches so the camper will sit more level.(My camper has so much overhang behind its rear axle that it almost drags everytime I enter a gas station. I had to keep the rear end of the truck down. What I really should do is put a lift kit on the camper so it just sits higher, but thats another project...)

-There were a few other little things I modified to make it better. Would it have worked without these mods? Probobly, but I wasn't happy with certain things so I changed them.

This is my experiance. Yours may be different/better. Would I go throught all of this again? Mmmm, I dont think so. If I got the kit for free somehow? Yes, then I would.

Good luck

Past trucks '
- '97 F350 CC LB SRW 4x4 7.3L
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- ' 01 F250 SC LB 4x4 7.3L
- ' 04 F350 CC LB SRW 4x4 6.0L
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- '06 F250 CC LB 4x4 6.0L
- '08 F350 CC LB 4x4 V-10
- '11 Ram 3500 Cummins CC LB 4x4
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Currently - 2012 F250 CC SB 4x4 6.7
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post #78 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 09:05 AM
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Well after over a month of no help from firestone of sanluis rassaini.....

Firestone tech r4 thoughts and opinions.
Keep in mind this is all related to an install on a Ford 6.7 F-350 DRW, your mileage may vary.

First off, after the sale tech support sucks – period.
With some of the issues I have the flat out answer received from sanluis rasssani was that my application was a very small market share and didn’t justify their attention – and that was from Tony, the person you see in the r4 youtube videos. I have waited well over a month for some help.

I kind of get the impression this kit made engineered for the SRW’s and then adapted to the DRW’s. You just can’t lower the truck to level and keep the installation within the design parameters. Meaning, if the air bags are installed to the proper height the truck is about 2” over stock height.
The kit is well made and most everything fit well.

The instructions are just OK, you need to be able to figure some things out for yourself.
The kit is a difficult, time consuming install, and I would not recommend a do it your self. Get some help.

I saved all the old parts with the thought if I sold, traded or wrecked the truck I would remove it and install in the next vehicle.
I will never use one of these kits again, if you want air ride - look at Kelderman or Ultimate air and get a real air ride.

Before purchasing I tried working with S-R, firestone and the suppliers about leaving the supplied air system out. I had plans for a more robust compressor/storage. Even though the package is a “build to order” kit, there was no dealing with the change.

I have an air leak that I have narrowed down to the Height Control Valves, but is hard to verify.

The spring center pin not long enough to allow the parking brake cable to be secured.
The compressor comes on while driving, there should be little air change once the height is set, there is a delay with height change valve which is supposed to keep cycling to a minimum.
Compressor is a bit small for the task
The parking brake cable rubs the bag all the time, and there is no way to relocate due to the DEF tank.
The right side air bag is fairly close to the exhaust, and there was no supplied heat shield. Firestone did send out a heat shield for me to install.
The air bags wrap over the upper steel spacer and will most likely cause wear when collapsed
The right side brake cable has to be run through the brackets for the installation

I have had a hard time leveling the truck and have yet to get a straight answer from S-R on the proper procedure. Makes me wonder why there are two height valves. Most pickups really don’t need side to side leveling. OTR trucks use one valve for 2 axles/4 bags.
After a month’s use my side to side level has changed, with the right side dropping a bit.

If I level the truck I have the wrong bag height. If I hve the correct bag height the truck sits about 2” high.
Because of the design, the height control valves (HCV) are fairly close to the springs and are attached to the springs with links. All seemed well until I put 4 wheels and tires back on. The extra weight almost pulled the HCV off the bracket with a way too short-wrong angle link.

The rancho shocks are useless with the truck unloaded. See the video of the lack of dampening
This causes an annoying bounce and bad side to side wobble when backing out of my driveway on an angle. Feels like you are on a boat and just got waked.
The suspension has now developed an annoying squeak.

On the positive side, when I drop 3000+ pounds of pin weight on the hitch, the truck drops and comes back up to height and you barely notice the change.
On the road with the trailer the ride is better then it was stock but nowhere near what I was led to believe I would get with an air ride.
There is more, but this is what I recall for now.

So – no recommendation here for a DRW 6.7 Ford.
Stick with air bags only (you still get an air ride since the bags should always have 3-5 psi)
If you are looking to level the truck and get a smooth ride – this is not the kit

Expensive, difficult to install.
Minimal tech support after the sale.

Thanks,
Duane

Last edited by porthole; 06-23-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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post #79 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the follow-up
I've been keeping an eye on mods such as this one for better ride quality when empty and keeping the factory tow/haul capacity... looks like I need to keep on looking... Here's a similiar mod (not R4 Tech) for those interested... http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/...r-ride-298371/

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For: 2014 F350 Dually Platinum
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post #80 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 03:34 PM
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Duane,
Sorry you had to be the a guinea pig for this system. I was seriously considering it, but have gradually changed my mind. Your review finishes it off for me, you just can't spend that kind of dough for such a mediocre product. I'm interested in the Keldeman setup, just might need to save some pennies for a while longer.
Thank you for your thorough review!

Roy
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post #81 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_Boy View Post
Duane,
Sorry you had to be the a guinea pig for this system. I was seriously considering it, but have gradually changed my mind. Your review finishes it off for me, you just can't spend that kind of dough for such a mediocre product. I'm interested in the Keldeman setup, just might need to save some pennies for a while longer.
Thank you for your thorough review!
Roy
I wouldn't call it mediocre, but your application is the same as mine - trying to tame the ride of a DRW unloaded and keeping the truck level loaded.

Have you towed anything yet and seen how much the rear drops on the new trucks?
That's one thing that is not exaggerated in the GM propaganda videos (that and the tailgate jamming when not level)

Thanks,
Duane
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post #82 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 10:10 AM
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Yes, I've towed a lot with mine, the sag is bearable, but somehow it doesn't look right when a 16' enclosed trailer sags an F450 about 2-3" I do have a LOT of tongue weight on that trailer, can't find a picture though.

Here's a couple other examples This one is 45k gross, so I think I was 10-11k on the rear. Just slightly overloaded.


This one is not as bad, would be nice if the headlights were a little more on the road, though.


No sagging here

Roy
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post #83 of 83 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:52 AM
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Before the air my truck looked the same as yours with the 5th wheel.
I have a toy hauler. About 3000-3300 pounds pin weight

Thanks,
Duane
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