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Airbags Installation VIDEO

30462 Views 30 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  EpicCowlick
Here's a video of my experience installing Firestone Ride Rites and an Air Lift wireless on-board compressor.

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:thumbsup: Excellent video...where you at? I'm bringing my truck to you for this under 10 minute install...:icon_wink:
lol - maybe you could do it in 10 minutes if you had a 20 guy pit crew.

Salt Lake City, come on up!
Were you a little nervous about drilling the frame?
No, drilling the frame may sound scary, but it's no big deal. Talk to an engineer about the ability to put holes in the center of the vertical portion of a horizontally loaded structural member. It would have to be about 2 inches in diameter before it mattered.

Fun install isn't it?

I also installed the Ride Rite Wireless Air Command 2489 dual system a few months ago.
I have included T-valve on both sides to allow for manual fill and checking with the manual valve stems at the rear bumper. I am finding that handheld air pressure gauges do not match the pressure readings from the remote control unit readout. Both sides seem to be off by roughly the same amount. I have tried several hand held gauges to be sure. When the wireless meter shows 10Lbs the actual pressure is slightly more than double at 25Lbs. Any troubleshooting suggestions would be appreciated! I have contacted Firestone a couple of times through their website tech support with no response...
I didn't put the T in so I have no way to verify the actual pressure in the bags. But I don't think it matters anyway. At the end of the day, I really don't care what the pressure actually is, just that it levels the load and helps stabilize the ride. So any discrepancy in hand-checked vs. digital readings is a non-issue for me. I'm using the Air Lift compressor and not the Firestone so we can't compare that way.

I don't have any experience with Airbags so really don't know much about it. I purchased a new toy hauler last week that will have wuite a bit more hitch weight than my last 5er. I am guessing hitch weight to be around 2500, up 1000 from my cougar. I get that they make the truck squat less, but what are the other benefits? My Road Warrior has the EZ suspension on it which is supposed to ride a lot better. Any advice would be great.
I mentioned my thoughts on another forum so forgive me if I am duplicating. There were two things that I expected from the airbag system: level the load, and increase the load capacity of the rear end. I clearly accomplished both of those objectives. What I didn't expect was the added benefit of smoothing out the ride A LOT. My trailer was pushing (bucking/jerking) the truck quite a bit before the bags and that has all but disappeared with the air bags. I was actually looking at some type of shock absorbing system on the hitch but it's no longer necessary. The air bags have really smoothed out the bucking. My Next Level toy hauler has a similar advanced suspension on the three axles as well. It has four shock absorbers on two of the axles.

Be aware that I only have about 80 miles on the airbag setup so my opinion is only from a newbie's perspective. Take that for what it's worth. ;)
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I am a structural engineer and I approve of this message. :lol:

On a serious note, the vertical portion is what we call the web of the member. The web resist the shear forces in the member which are highest near the supports of the member.
Nice to hear from someone with actual credibility on the matter! lol

Just watched your video on installation of Firestone 2535 air bag kit. ( Great Job, Big Help)

Did you have an issue with the brake line on the passenger side? looked at my truck and it looks to me like the brake line would be in the way for the axle strap of the lower bracket.

Thank You Sir
Hey Cessna,

No, I didn't have any conflicts with the brake lines. You do have to work around them but everything fit in just fine. If there is a problem, I bet you could loosen the brake lines a bit and move them around as necessary.

My install was a lot easier. All I did was swipe a plastic card through 2 slots and it magically got done without any effort on my part.
lol - what was that old American Express commerical? The one with the guy swinging in a hammock in the back yard with a glass of lemonade and a satisfied look on his face as he surveys his beautifully landscaped back yard...

The announcer says, "There's only one thing more satisfying than enjoying the results of a long hard day of weed pulling and lawn trimming, and that's knowing that you paid Manuel to do it..." ;) love that :lol:

In your video, where you're installing the airbags themselves, you really only show the passenger side being installed. Question for you, how difficult was the drivers side with all the wiring harnesses, mount for the DEF tank and those other lines that run the inside of the frame?

Thanks, DS
The only problem I had was due to the fact that I had the B&W hitch already installed. I had to loosen but not remove the driver's side plate to allow the airbag bracket bolt through the frame. There were no conflicts with hoses and other stuff on the truck. The most confusing part was in setting the Firestone bracket height. I had to set them on the highest hole which the instructions specifically said NOT to do. There was no other way to do it without cutting or burning off the bump stop tongue that is in the way. Bottom line is after a summer of pulling a very heavy fifth wheel, the brackets are pristine and working great.
Hey BH. Great write-up. That would have been neat to go to the factory and talk to those folks. It sounds like several of the issues with the bags have been resolved including elimination of the 1.5 amp barrel fuse. It's great that they have only a single line running to the fuse box instead of two (I wondered why they didn't do that in the first place)! ;) I got a good look at my buddy's install and it looks like it's good quality and should last the life of the truck. He likes them but hated the installation. I told him he'd get over that soon.

So far my Firestone's are working great but I absolutely love the AirLift 72000 system.
So maybe I. Missed it some where but where did you get the power from exactly in the fuse box? Is there a owner connect acc power source under the hood?
Yes, watch the video again. There's a part where the fuse box is shown and which plugs can be used for power. There are several switched sources that are available. The front half of the fuse box is "always on" and the back half is switched.

I will confess that the way I connected is probably a bit ******* but it does work and hasn't ever given a problem. There are probably specific fasteners out there to accomplish exactly the same thing without any ******* flair.
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