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Old 11-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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Air ride pin box

What would be better, air ride pin box or air bags on truck suspension? I have the air bags and wonder if an air ride or 5th airborn pin box would smooth things out even more. Anybody running with both?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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It all depends on what problem you're wanting to address. Vertical bouncing? Fore/aft surging or "chucking"? If it's the latter, the Demco GlideRide pinbox is very effective, and there are other similar designs by MorRyde and perhaps others.

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Old 11-23-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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I have had air bags on my 2000 F-350 since new. I just added a TS-3 air hitch. What a difference! I think it will do just what it says-save the trailer.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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If you are looking to improve the "ride" of your rig, IMHO, air bags on your truck won't do it. They'll lift the truck so that it rides level, but, in my experience, they don't do anything for the ride, in fact I found that they stiffened the ride both loaded and unloaded. One of the reasons I use Timbrens...do roughly the same thing, helps support the additional load and aids in stability, but, unloaded the Timbrens don't even come into play, so the truck rides stock, however, Timbrens are not a "lifting" aid, more support than lift as an air bag does.

If you are concerned about the ride, there are a whole bunch of options. Air hitches, air pin boxes, glide plates, and combinations. I use the Tri-Glide TrailAir pin box.



Combines the up down cushioning of the air pin box with the fore/aft cushioning of a glide plate. You can't miss the fact the trailer is back there; dropping almost a ton in the bed is hard to hide, but, the 5er just floats along behind the truck going up and down, back and forth, and we don't feel a thing. Don't get me wrong, a big bump or pavement misalignment is going to be felt no matter what you use, but, normal motions of the truck and 5er are not. Even the big actions are reduced in perceived feel to a level that is not uncomfortable. Actually, kind or eerie watching what it is doing in the mirror compared to what we aren't feeling in the truck.

Pricey, but, not at an air hitch level and can be used with any 5er hitch (I wanted to keep my B&W with Companion).

There's a whole lot of options when it comes to "smoothing" the ride. You can pick a single device depending on what you are trying to eliminate; up and down = air pin box or air hitch; back and forth, chucking = a Demco or MorRyde glide plate; both problems, then the Tri-Glide TrailAir type combo.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webslave View Post
If you are looking to improve the "ride" of your rig, IMHO, air bags on your truck won't do it. They'll lift the truck so that it rides level, but, in my experience, they don't do anything for the ride, in fact I found that they stiffened the ride both loaded and unloaded. One of the reasons I use Timbrens...do roughly the same thing, helps support the additional load and aids in stability, but, unloaded the Timbrens don't even come into play, so the truck rides stock, however, Timbrens are not a "lifting" aid, more support than lift as an air bag does.
I have both on my 08 RAM 2500HD air bags and the Trail Air pin box. With both of these options installed the ride with the 5er has improved markedly.
Now has far as the ride un-loaded the truck will ride somewhat stiffer with the air bags and will be more bouncy if the bags are inflated over 10 psi.
I just read an interesting article in Turbo Diesel Register quarterly publication 78 about expansion tanks for air bags or what the author called PING tanks. The tanks are one gallon each and he uses one per bag to provide a larger air chamber for improved ride due to the air bags being installed on his truck. The idea behind this is too allow the bags to have a larger air cushion so the spring rate would allow the shocks to do their job and improve ride quality in the un-load condition. He goes on to inform you there is all sorts of information on the internet about expansion tanks and how they improve the ride quality of the truck with air bags installed.
Jim W.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Yes, there are ways to mitigate the shortcomings of the air bag system and if you need the air bags for lift, some of them are good answers to the problem. Fortunately, I didn't need the lift, haven't ever really needed it with HD trucks, so the complexity and nuisance of the air bags (air up for tow, air down when sightseeing, air up again, not towing at home, air down and have a stiffer ride, etc) isn't there when using Timbrens. Takes 15 minutes to install them (they replace the stock axle bump stops) and then you just ignore them. When there isn't a load, they don't do anything...they sit above the axle. When you put a load in the truck, they compress and start supporting and providing handling stability. The more you load, the more they compress and the harder they work. No "airing up" and trying to figure out how much air to use for various loads, no compressors needed, no tubing, no reservoirs, no failure points (although the modern air bags are much more reliable than those I used "back in the day").

Air bags have their place and if you need them, they can be a real boon to load management, however, there are other alternatives if "lift" isn't needed, but, load stability is.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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I have bags on my F-450 to level the bed, I have a Reese Airborne to help with the trailer jolting up & down and I have air ride suspension on my 5er to keep the jostling to a minimum. But I don't expect nor do I think the truck airbags do anything to help the ride, only to get the bed up level with 2 tons sitting in it.
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