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Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
I have worked in the automotive service business most of my life. RV's are somewhat new to me, but there are many similarities with them and their cousins... cars and trucks. I am a long time automotive enthusiast and hope to help others by providing any info I can. In the following blogs I will attempt to describe repairs and maintenance in terms that everyone can understand.
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Installing rear ride-rite air bags on '97 F53

Posted 11-08-2010 at 08:58 PM by Wanabee FTer

I didn't really want to remove the rear dually's on my F53, the 12,000 GVWR on the rear axle was intimidating to say the least, but I did want to check the rear brakes anyway so I decided to take precautions. I found a coupon from Harbor Freight for 12k rated jack stands for 29.95 a pair. This in combination with my hydraulic levelers gave me enough confidence to go ahead and do the job.
After lifting and supporting the rear axle, I removed the dually's. I then performed a visual inspection of the rear brakes, pads and rotors, they looked great. Now is the time to take a good look around. I then found broken sway bar insulators, but I will save that story for later. Next I grabbed the rite-rites and read the instructions. I pre-assembled the upper and lower brackets on the bags in the right and left side configuration. Then I placed the assemblies in their prospective positions on the forward side of the rear axle. Two existing holes on the frame are used. One is a little larger then needed, the other too small. The smaller is then drilled to 7/16ths diameter.
I then secured the two bolts and drilled 2 new holes in the frame using the bracket as a templet. It is very important to use a sharp drill. I cut through it quickly using allot of pressure and about 1/2 speed for the drill. After bolting the upper bracket to the frame I secured the lower bracket and installed the air fitting at the top of the bag. I then secured a short route for the air tubing to the front top inside edge of the wheel opening. A smaller hole is needed to mount the air fitting. That's it. I think the hardest part of this job is lifting the rear end up and getting the rear wheels off and on. If you take your time like I do, allow 4-6 hours to complete this job.
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