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Old 11-17-2014, 12:41 PM   #15
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This looks like they are in compression right from the start. It will stiffen the ride up even when empty. If so it will make the empty ride very choppy and unacceptable.

IMO they are for trucks that are continuously used with heavy loads. It does not look like there is an easy way to take them off when you do not need them.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:57 PM   #16
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Just put air lift 5000 ultimate on . They have a built in jouncer so you can run 0 air when not towing. Instructions were straight forwad with pic. Have air lift on my 94. My son has the truck and they and the compressor are still working. Great product
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:04 PM   #17
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I have a 5th whl and the Airlift requiered no drilling The upper plate bolted on where the factory jouncer is and the lower secured to axle . Got them on line from SD spring . About 320 showed up in a couple of days free shipping.
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
This looks like they are in compression right from the start. It will stiffen the ride up even when empty. If so it will make the empty ride very choppy and unacceptable.

IMO they are for trucks that are continuously used with heavy loads. It does not look like there is an easy way to take them off when you do not need them.
Actually it It's about a 10 minute job and is not difficult. All you need a wrench and a C clamp.

I had some of the same thoughts you had about the springs and based on some of the responses I decided to call ETrailer and talk with one of their tech reps. After a long conversation we came up with a way to accomplish installing the Firestone Air Bags.There was only one problem and that was attaching the upper air bag bracket on the passenger side thru a hole in the truck frame, which was covered by the bracket, without drilling a hole in the Fifth wheel custom frame rail bracket , which according to Etrailer would void the warranty on the hitch. I ordered the bags today and they said they will be here on Wednesday.When I get it done I will post some pictures just in case someone else comes up against this problem.

Thanks for the replys


PS Go back to post #14 and take a look at the brackets. Most people who replied to this topic were talking about the traditional fifth wheel brackets that for the most part are just two angle brackets about 3 inches wide.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:59 AM   #19
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Airbag alernative

Check out the Timbren Suspension Enhancement System for a great alternative to airbags. I am considering it as I also have an underbelly hitch that takes up some of the required space for bags. The cost for my 3500 HD SRW is $215. No airbags, no hoses, no maintenance, no need to inside air pump. The job of the system is to keep the truck level under load. Although I have yet to purchase the system I am very impressed with the customer satisfaction. Google the system or just google GMRCK25D...which is the system for my truck...I am sure you can get to your TV from there. Also, if there is anyone out there with this system how do you like it personally?
Bob
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bgall2 View Post
Check out the Timbren Suspension Enhancement System for a great alternative to airbags. I am considering it as I also have an underbelly hitch that takes up some of the required space for bags. The cost for my 3500 HD SRW is $215. No airbags, no hoses, no maintenance, no need to inside air pump. The job of the system is to keep the truck level under load. Although I have yet to purchase the system I am very impressed with the customer satisfaction. Google the system or just google GMRCK25D...which is the system for my truck...I am sure you can get to your TV from there. Also, if there is anyone out there with this system how do you like it personally?
Bob
I had Timbrens before pulling the same rig. They're OK but not even close to the ride of the Firestones I have now. If you can't be fitted for air bags, I would say they are just an acceptable alternative. One thing I didn't like about them was when I had a medium size load like an equipment trailer. It was heavy enough to engage the Timbrens but not heavy enough to justify them. The ride was very harsh and exaggerated.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:43 AM   #21
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Scotty,thanks for the reply...good info. I have not purchased my 5er yet but most likely will this spring. The one planned will have a loaded pin weight of around 23-2400 lbs. My GMC 3500 SRW sits pretty high in the back anyway so most likely will wait to purchase any support until I see how she rides and looks. Currently it will have to squat about 6 inches to bottom out.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:33 AM   #22
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It has been several weeks since we started this conversation about air bag suspension and I have been all over the ballpark. with all the different suspension methods. The system I really wanted was the Firestone Ride Rite. After I found out that there was a compatibility problem with the upper passenger side truck frame mounting bracket I called ETrailer and was told that if I drilled a hole in the bracket it would void the warranty on the 5th wheel hitch.The truck frame already had a hole, just not the bracket,. which covered the hole. The bracket itself mounts into the existing hole left after removing the jounce bumper and then to the truck frame on the upper side of the bracket, which is where the, (so called), problem occurs.This could be a very long post but the bottom line is that after I received the air bags from ETrailer and had a chance to actually see the connection all that was needed was an additional 1/8 inch steel washer to keep the bolt from bottoming out against the inside of the mounting bracket.It should also be said that based on the design of the bracket there is absolutely no stress on this connection.Bottom line is that they are installed and I am very happy

For those of you that might be interested here is a link to the install instructions:

http://riderite.com/-/media/www/ride...lManual_EN.pdf



Thanks for all the replies
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:32 AM   #23
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Scotty,thanks for the reply...good info. I have not purchased my 5er yet but most likely will this spring. The one planned will have a loaded pin weight of around 23-2400 lbs. My GMC 3500 SRW sits pretty high in the back anyway so most likely will wait to purchase any support until I see how she rides and looks. Currently it will have to squat about 6 inches to bottom out.
When I was deciding about adding additional air suspension to my truck I did an awful lot of research on the subject.If your truck now sits 6 inches above bottoming out that would only leave 3 inches. With a 2400lb pin weight a serious dip in the road would take up the remaining 3 inches which could possibly do some damage or cause you to lose control.It sounds like you may be getting close to a DRW which would give you about 800 to 1000lbs GVWR on the truck along with some additional stability. The two reasons I went with the bags were for a level truck and some stability. Here I go hijacking my own post.I hope this does not turn this into a discussion about pin weights, GVWR, GAWR, GCWR etc..........

Dick
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:58 AM   #24
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When I said "Bottom out" I meant 7 inches between the existing jounce bumper and the plate on the axle/springs. Having weighed my 3500 SRW (which is an extended cab vice club cab) with all in it and on it I have about 3350# left for the pin. I agree I may need some stability once loaded up.
My next question is this....Should I go ahead and put the bags on the truck before I get the 5er? Hey, I am just trying to learn from you guys out there doing it already.
I have downloaded the instructions for my GMC...slightly different as my truck takes the 2528 part number...I also have the underbelly hitch from B&W and from what I can tell I should be able to put the firestone bags on it without much trouble....I hope. If not I will have to go with the Timbren system
Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:43 AM   #25
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If you can't put thr FS on, look at airlift They also make a great product. I just put on thier 500lb ultimate . They have a built in jouncer and the upper plate bolts in where the old jouncer goes very easy installation. You can also run them with zero air because of the internal jouncer. On line at SD spring about $320. Still working over 20 years on my old truck.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:43 PM   #26
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When I said "Bottom out" I meant 7 inches between the existing jounce bumper and the plate on the axle/springs. Having weighed my 3500 SRW (which is an extended cab vice club cab) with all in it and on it I have about 3350# left for the pin. I agree I may need some stability once loaded up.
My next question is this....Should I go ahead and put the bags on the truck before I get the 5er? Hey, I am just trying to learn from you guys out there doing it already.
I have downloaded the instructions for my GMC...slightly different as my truck takes the 2528 part number...I also have the underbelly hitch from B&W and from what I can tell I should be able to put the firestone bags on it without much trouble....I hope. If not I will have to go with the Timbren system
Thanks.
Assuming that you are going to have a hitch weight of 2400lbs as you said your 3500 should be enough truck. I don't know what the weight ratings are for your truck but as long as you do not exceed the recommended max weight for the truck, axles and CVWR for both truck and trailer you should be OK. Check out the truck first and then look for a trailer that fits the truck with about 10% to spare. The air bags will add some stability and allow you to keep the truck level If your truck was a DRW ...no problem. Air bags are a small investment. If there is any question.....why not? Check out ETrailer they have good prices and some good install videos, tech support and very fast free shipping.

I would have a DRW if my garage would permit

Good Luck
Dick
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:33 AM   #27
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Timbrens worked well on my '07 350, after my AirLift system developed a leak and no one could figure it out without just replacing everything. So, went to the Timbrens. I was ok with them as they did not change the unloaded ride. On to my '09 450 and I went with the Timbrens again--not a good deal, as they design them for expected real heavy loads and there is absolutely no give, and the donut was sitting on the axle even when unloaded. Timbren, for their credit, sent me a second set of donuts that were shorter--that helped some, but the ride with the trailer is really harsh, again no give whatsoever.
I am researching air bags again, but neither Firestone nor AirLift seem to have a good answer for an install with the B&W hitch setup. Have been quoted pricing pretty high to try to put either setup on, so still mulling it over.
Joe
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:53 PM   #28
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Timbrens worked well on my '07 350, after my AirLift system developed a leak and no one could figure it out without just replacing everything. So, went to the Timbrens. I was ok with them as they did not change the unloaded ride. On to my '09 450 and I went with the Timbrens again--not a good deal, as they design them for expected real heavy loads and there is absolutely no give, and the donut was sitting on the axle even when unloaded. Timbren, for their credit, sent me a second set of donuts that were shorter--that helped some, but the ride with the trailer is really harsh, again no give whatsoever.
I am researching air bags again, but neither Firestone nor AirLift seem to have a good answer for an install with the B&W hitch setup. Have been quoted pricing pretty high to try to put either setup on, so still mulling it over.
Joe


I am not familiar with the B&W hitch setup.Where does the problem occur? I assume it is with the connection to the frame. I finished the installation of my Firestone Ride Rite bags on Saturday and took the rig out of storage on Sunday for a shakedown cruise . My 2011 F250 went down 2 1/2 inches under load prior to installation. I took my hitch down three inches due to the fact that I way high in front which led to a less than comfortable ride and some fishtailing. After connecting I took the rear of the truck back up to normal ride height for the truck and then took it down slightly to level the trailer.The ride was greatly improved. No more fishtailing or chucking. My setting on the bags was 35lbs. After the ride I took the rig back to storage and took the truck bags down to 10lbs. The ride is as close as I remember it was before installing the bags. The one thing I like the best is that I now have the latitude to correct the trailer to make it level using the air bags while still maintaining to the normal, or very close, ride height of the truck. Another side benefit was the transfer of 160lbs to the front axle.

I know this info does not help with your situation beyond the fact that it does address the harsh ride you spoke of for your F450. I hope you can work it out.Keep us posted

Dick
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