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Old 08-07-2007, 06:55 PM   #1
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Hello folks.

I've got a 2004 Ford 15,700# chassis with a 30' coach. I need around a 1-2" height increase on the rear end. Thinking it was an easy fix, I took it to Camping World for a set of rear air bags and after a gallant attempt, they couldn't fit them in there due to lack of clearance.

Does anyone have a source for an adjustable helper spring for the rear leafs? They're 4" wide.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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Hello folks.

I've got a 2004 Ford 15,700# chassis with a 30' coach. I need around a 1-2" height increase on the rear end. Thinking it was an easy fix, I took it to Camping World for a set of rear air bags and after a gallant attempt, they couldn't fit them in there due to lack of clearance.

Does anyone have a source for an adjustable helper spring for the rear leafs? They're 4" wide.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:56 PM   #3
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Have you truck a truck suspension shop? Most areas have them - check the yellow pages.
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #4
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Yes, there's one around 40 miles away but I was looking for a recommendation from an rv-er who has tried and liked an aftermarket product.

You know, armed with some information before I shop!!
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:22 AM   #5
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Any way of shifting your load up front to balance the load off rear end. I installed four Air-Lift air bags on a Newmar MA to balence and control for level ride had to drill two holes each frame rail to mount air bag braket but had no problem to install.
A good spring shop can add leaf springs to level your coach also which was done on another Ford of mine.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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As far as the weight shift upfront, I've got 2 compartments up front below the floor but they're plastic and have a weight limit of 300# each so that's not much help. With an empty coach it actually rides very level....I just run into a sag when tow bar is installed and the water and gas tank are full. I need a happy medium which could have been obtained with air bags--had they worked.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:56 PM   #7
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Have to ask what was CW problem with mounting the air bags? The F-53 chassis is what I had.

As you can see the top braket has a lip on it that has to lip around the bottom surface of your frame of chassis. In this same location of mount you may have a piece of angle iron that supports the rear wheel well. On my Newmar I removed and mounted the air-lift braket. to finish up wheel well box I than cut angle iron to support wheel well support on both sides of the air lift braket.
I explained this before to someone else that had same excuse from CW, if something just doesn't fit they have no clue.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:27 PM   #8
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Well, the service mgr. said (and showed me) how the air bag needed 7" between the top of the leaf spring brackets and the top of the top bracket to work properly. My set up had 5.5". He explained all f-53 chassis' are not the same in every year or GVW. Also, Damon had installed (or ordered the chassis) with heavy duty u-bolts and brackets for a much heavier chassis. In effect, what I had was a light duty chassis with hd brackets. Maybe the combination of them precluded the installation. I'M SURE... they would have sold and installed their product if they could have. One thing I haven't checked on is other air bag manufacturers. CW sells Air-Lift brand and I know Firestone makes some 5000# models also. Anybody out there with Firetones?

The helper 1/2 leaf springs I was thinking about went from the rear bracket to the axle and had adjustable u bolts that you could adjust the tension on depending on how tight the nuts were.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:35 PM   #9
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Heres something you could consider timbren.com the clearence may not be as tight with this support help.

Albany Spring
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:15 AM   #10
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I had AirLift Springs installed at CW and they did the same thing to me. Took me back and showed me how they didn't fit. I called AirLift and verified the part number and applicability for my chassis. I then told them to put them on. They then told me that I couldn't install them on a chassis with hydraulic levelers as it would destroy the springs when I leveled. Called AirLift again and they said that was baloney, you can lift the chassis and let the wheels hang down without damage. I had the rears installed 6 months before the fronts and they went thru the same song and dance again for the front. I told them just to follow the instructions and install them. The technician did a good job, but didn't drill the hole for the front springs. I have over 10,000 miles on them and haven't gotten around to drilling the hole yet, but they haven't moved at all.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:29 AM   #11
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Good info John...Thanks for the post.

I decided I don't want CW to install anything for me. Why would I force someone to take my money? Armed with your information--I'm going to try it myself as long as I don't have to take the wheels off.

This reminds me of an incident my buddy had with CW. He took his new Winnebago Sightseer in to CW for it's first oil/lube service. $100 later he comes out and finds the 9 grease fittings on the front suspension dry. He goes in and the mechanic tells him F-53s don't have grease fittings. The service manager backed him up and said the don't either. When he showed him the 9 fittings they said they never knew that. Do you think alot of MH owners have loose front end problems in the northern Ohio area? Thanks again for the post.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:45 PM   #12
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Expo, what about adding another leaf to the rear springs....I'd check with your local spring
shop.

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Old 08-10-2007, 07:43 AM   #13
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I think cw should get more experienced installers.f53 chassis are basically the same for the weight ratings.Havent seen "heavy duty brackets" on an f53 and I've worked on ford trucks for 35 years.. I installed airlifts on my 95 f53 17,000 gvw and had no problems.The bag manufacturer is the one I would believe, they usually run up against any problems that can be expexted.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #14
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I see that Hellwig has helper springs for motorhome chassis, including the Ford F53. Might do the job for you.
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