Firestone air suspension failure - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Firestone air suspension failure

Can someone please tell me what’s going one here? Both sides lower brackets have buckled. Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:23 PM
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What is this installed on? Iíve never seen that mount before. It doesnít look anything like mine on a Sterling axle. It sure looks like the air bags werenít centered on the mount. Were you loaded crazy? Not that that should do that. Iíve had 7,200 lbs. of shingles in my bed and never had a problem.


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IF MY BODY IS EVER FOUND ON A JOGGING TRAIL JUST KNOW THAT I WAS MURDERED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DUMPED THERE
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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It’s a 2012 F250. I pull a 41’ fifth wheel.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:28 PM
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The air bags on my truck mount directly over the springs. The top brackets are bolted to the outside of the frame. Those are the ones I'd worry about.

If this was a commercial kit, I would check with the manufacturer about warranty.

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 11:53 PM
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Well several questions. What is the loaded weight of the 5th wheel and what is the GCVW of your truck???? Who mounted the air bags? Because from the picture the base was mounted too far outboard. Two posts on a 2012 truck so I take it this truck is new to you? Someone else did this work?

If you are within the GCVW of the truck you could call firestone and see what they can do. But!! I think it is not installed correctly, feel free to check. If not suck it up and get a set that set on top of the springs!!!! The issue will be to make it work with the 5th wheel hitch. I did some welding/cutting on mine (1999 F350 DRW) to make it work. I also got rid of the block and set the spring on the axle so my truck has no rake. I lowered my tailgate hight 5 inches just by getting rid of the F350 blocks!! Great when your are a old guy and use your truck to haul stuff!!

If you don't mind redneck fix like myself. You could Look up instructions/ if I am right about placement, hammer the bent stuff straight/ add metal plate to bent part and few extra bolts. That is about 3-4 hours with a buddy and a few beers and see what ya get. Lots of rust on the shock so if you are a redneck it is up North. Add some location in you sig or post.

Friends don't let friends do airbags unless they are over the spring!!
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Early 1999 F350 AUTO 4x4 CC LB DRW 4.10 6.0 trans cooler, Front hitch, 2,000 hubs/ brakes, Bilstein shocks/steering stabilizer, Diesel site coolant filter 203 thermostat, EBV delete, new O-rings, new Oil cooler, RIFF RAFF FRX, Glow plug led, Pillar gauges, Lighted cupholder, Painless wiring fuze block, Harpoon/hutch mods, Removed axle blocks. Air bags, 5 wheel hitch, In bed 7 pin plug. Spare tire key delete. KLHANSEN on speed dial. 75,000 as of May 2019
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:53 AM
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Looking at your picture again, I see that there are two holes without bolts, which would lessen the stiffness of the bracket. Without bolts there, it looks like the bend happened through the hole. If the two parts of the bracket were sandwiched tightly together with the bolts both top and bottom, they would likely not have bent. Two pieces of metal loosely held together don't have the strength of both bolted together.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:11 AM
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Looked at the pic again, do you have a lift on that truck??? If so I will give you old guy advice and get rid of it!!!
DENNY

Early 1999 F350 AUTO 4x4 CC LB DRW 4.10 6.0 trans cooler, Front hitch, 2,000 hubs/ brakes, Bilstein shocks/steering stabilizer, Diesel site coolant filter 203 thermostat, EBV delete, new O-rings, new Oil cooler, RIFF RAFF FRX, Glow plug led, Pillar gauges, Lighted cupholder, Painless wiring fuze block, Harpoon/hutch mods, Removed axle blocks. Air bags, 5 wheel hitch, In bed 7 pin plug. Spare tire key delete. KLHANSEN on speed dial. 75,000 as of May 2019
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I installed it myself probably four years ago. I’m pretty sure I followed the instructions and didn’t have any bolts left over. Looking now I do wish they went over the leaf springs. I think I’ll look into better options and replace the whole system. Thanks!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 09:30 AM
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Air Lift- lifetime warranty. Great product.


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IF MY BODY IS EVER FOUND ON A JOGGING TRAIL JUST KNOW THAT I WAS MURDERED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND DUMPED THERE
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjadams2 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I installed it myself probably four years ago. I’m pretty sure I followed the instructions and didn’t have any bolts left over. Looking now I do wish they went over the leaf springs. I think I’ll look into better options and replace the whole system. Thanks!
That bracket looks like it's installed over the bump stop, and has bent down until it contacted the stop. Likely it should have been installed in contact with the stop. But again, mounting them over the springs is more secure. The Firestone kit I installed required drilling the frame rail, but other than that was straightforward.

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:09 PM
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Maybe mine are Air-Lifts. I'm old and suffer from CRS.
Their system mounts over the springs and has a bracket that bolts to the frame.

This is a pic I clipped from e-trailer's site.
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First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 07:55 PM
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You have the same airbag setup I have (2008 F350 DRW), and they look incorrectly mounted, though in the correct place. The bolts that connect the halves of the lower mount should have been in the 2nd hole from bottom, which would also put the U-bolt around the spring about an inch lower. Being so open, the two pieces cannot provide proper support. That is what klhansen is pointing out.

Air bags are incredibly strong. I have experienced big rig trailers having similar problems, in that the lower bracket will bend before the bag fails.

If you straighten the two pieces and reuse them, keep an eye on them. Usually once a bracket is deformed it will not retain its strength.

I went with this Firestone setup, as no drilling was required and did not interfere with the 5th wheel custom mount plates.

Last edited by meteor56; 10-09-2019 at 07:59 PM.
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