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Old 05-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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2012 RAM, add air bags to coils????

Hey all, my husband and I are very new to all of this and have bought a new TT and a 2012 RAM 1500 5.7l Hemi with the 3.55 axle ratio ( I now know the mistakes in this, will be trading it in, as soon as possible, any trade in info would be helpful too ) The problem we are having with towing isn't the power of the truck, so far, it is the stupid coil springs Dodge put in for that easy ride. Anyhow, I have a WD hitch on rated to 10k and so is the receiver, TT rated empty 6130lbs, max 7700 lbs (I will be going over a weigh scale myself). So I am looking at the air spring 1000 setup for my truck, because if I tighten my WD one more link its too much and if I don't it's not enough and my front end bounces, but only a little bounce its not drastic. Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem?? I will be running through the Canadian Rockies.

Thanks so much!

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Old 05-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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Try tilting the hitch head back towards the trailer a bit more and leave the chin links alone.

Have you looked into getting the rear axle changed? Be cheaper than a ne truck.


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Old 05-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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I installed Firestone air bags on my last truck. The installation was easy and they worked well, but you need to keep a few things in mind. When the air bags are inflated you can definitely lift the rear of your truck to level everything but you still need enough tension on the weight distribution bars to send some of the weight to the front wheels. That's what gives you stability and reduces weight on your hitch. These are very important safety issues with TT's. Also, when you're not towing it's important to deflate the air bags or you'll be bouncing all over the road. Given the equipment you have, air bags are probably a good idea but make sure you use them correctly. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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Hey, thanks for the info TXiceman, I didnt know about the hitch tilt but as far as looking at my hitch I think they already have it tilted a lot they have like 6 washers in it already. I am taking the truck in to get the airbags put in this week and to get the TT brakes checked on it, I don't think they are working proper.
@Alba07, thanks for the info I just need a little bit of weight of my rear end and the stability. I will definately be letting the air out when not towing. Should I deflate them all the way or leave a little in? You guys are great thanks for the help!
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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You should never fully deflate the bags. At a minimum we suggest 5 psi, this particularly important with a 1000 series bag as it helps keep the bag in place in the coil.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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Back in the 60s GM had a coil spring soft ride package on their 1/2 ton as OEM and a option on the 3/4 ton truck. What a disaster. Coils like to bounce with weight and had terrible sway in strong side winds. Bags raised my rear sag issue but made the bounce/sway worse.
I went with the OEM aux 3/4 ton overload spring pack and a twin shock for each axle which were common in that era for those trucks. The aux overloads were a three pack half springs that bolted to the trucks main frame rails aft of the rear axle. As the truck settled the end on the spring with a rubber pad on the end came down on the axle tubes next to the coil spring. Eliminated much of my sway and bounce.

Maybe Dodge learned a lesson from GM on coils on a truck and did a better engineering job. Guess I'm gonna' have to drop by my local Dodge dealer and see one.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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So I got my airbags put in and I can already feel the stability of the truck increase at 10 and 20 PSI. I was going to try the trailer yesterday but the winds have been very high again. So I will try today if they stay down a bit when I get out there. I think I will be buying sway bars no matter how things go, just because it is a 29' trailer. But I will try the bags alone first and find out where I need the air set at.
I noticed that my hitch tilt is pretty far back from the trailer dealer setup.

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To get more weight off my rear axle to my trailer axles I need to take out a few washers right? Bringing the hitch tilt back towards the truck? I'm just asking for clarification, I'm a little confused on which way to tilt the ball for what affect.

And if I put the hitch up a hole on the receiver that would also put more weight on the trailer axles?

And if I pull the WD chains up a link....? What does that do? More to trailer or truck?

I seriously need simplified terms HAHA!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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JIMNLIN I don't know what the spring was like on the GM's then but here is a pic of mine with the airbag in.

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This was just put in and still on the hoist. I did notice one thing that others have talked a lot about in the Dodge forums, the drivers side spring has about 1/2" or more spread between coils than the passenger side. So I went to look at the underside of trucks at the dealership and they all have that extra 1/2" spread. Not sure why that would be.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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Here is a post with detailed instructions how to properly setup a WD hitch. It's not a guessing game. Do not have air bags inflated when adjusting a WD hitch.

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