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Old 05-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kitts Hill, OH
Posts: 1,822
converting F-700 from spring to airliner (air ride) rear axle

My old axle is a 22K rated Spring Eaton axle. The new Rockwell is a 20K setup.
The vehicle has a GVW of 32,700 (it only weighs 13K)
The brakes on the new axle are exactly the same size as my old one.

Late last year I found a air ride rear axle and suspension for
$125 . It's out of a 92 freightliner and of course It will need
New air bags and shocks. Looks like I will have about
$450 in the setup.

This is the axle I bought.

I worked for about 8 hours cutting off the (21) 3/4 inch rivets
Holding the brackets to the frame.
Figured out this weekend that the gears are 4.10
I'll get it apart this week and see if the bearings are ok.
I have found a used 3.58 gear set for $307
This last winter I got a new set of air bags and Monroe shocks. After I get the one new brake drum All I'll need is to get is the gears installed in the pumpkin and I'll be ready to start the tear down, drilling and install.
last week I bought a brand new set of brake chambers. $38.50 each at Webb's truck parts.
I took the rails that came with the new axle and used them as a template to drill my Ford frame rails. Its working quite well. I got ahead of schedule on my drilling today but toasted all of the 5/8ths bits. I got all (6) 3/4 holes on one rail and used 2 bits and those are still good. On that same side I did get though all of the (5) 5/8ths holes By using a 11/16th bit. All (4) of the 5/8ths bit are toast.
I've got 3 more on the way now. I'm may have to find some more.

(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #2
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Posts: 330
Interesting project, keep the pictures coming.


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Old 05-07-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3
looks good, make sure to use the cross member that is between the front mounts to keep the geometry and frame rails from flexing.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kitts Hill, OH
Posts: 1,822
Well I have my air ride axle installed and it rides like...a....DREAM!! (compared to the old springs)
I can't believe the difference it has made in the reduction in harshness. It is now quite honestly about the same as most HD pickup trucks.
I put a gauge in the air line just to be curious and it has only 28 PSI in the bags to support the weight which last time I checked was about 8200 lbs. I can jump up and down on the rear bumper and get it moving up and down about 3/4 of an inch NO JOKE!!

this was such a good thing to do. Before I'd stop driving for the day because I was tired and beat. Now I stop because I'm sleepy and my eyes say to stop.
I'll post up details in the next few weeks when I'm back home.
(RVM#26) THE U-RV 94 F-700/24 foot U-haul box home built RV
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