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Old 02-09-2021, 06:44 PM   #1
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Kelderman Air Suspension on my F450 PU

So I did it. Dropped the coin on Kelderman air springs and their branded Raptor shocks on all four corners of my F450. Thereís not many reviews of this system online, so I thought Iíd share my impressions and experience so far.

$8800 in parts quoted $2500 in labor to install. (More on that later) mechanical auto leveling with an onboard compressor and air dryer.

The Good: this thing now rides *amazing*. Itís still obviously a 9500 pound truck but ALL of the harshness andó more importantly, axle hop is gone. Towing is smoother and the truck rides like a half ton off road. Thatís important because I work off road so I do that A LOT. Again, itís still obviously a large truck but just a joy to drive now.

The Bad: the support from Kelderman to my installer and the QC on the packaging was atrocious. Parts and hardware were missing, the instructions were incomplete and poorly ordered, and support was difficult to contact. This cost me and extra two DAYS of shop time. We had two guys on it for 4 days and three on it the fifth day trying to get it to me so I could head to work.

Overall, Iím happy with the kit now that itís on but Iíd be careful doing it again to head those QC problems off at the pass. With the price of the kit, itís my thinking the support and documentation should be stellar.
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:48 PM   #2
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Kelderman Air Suspension on my F450 PU

Pictures, because what good is it otherwise?

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Old 02-09-2021, 07:18 PM   #3
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Those parts look beefy.

Good for you - that is a good looking truck.
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:32 PM   #4
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you may want to go put some anti chafe stuff on those air lines that are zip tied to the old spring overload perch and front spring tower. I see a hole real quick in the lines.


a few pieces of rubber hose put on the touch areas


that is one heck of a system,

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Old 02-09-2021, 07:40 PM   #5
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you may want to go put some anti chafe stuff on those air lines that are zip tied to the old spring overload perch and front spring tower. I see a hole real quick in the lines.


a few pieces of rubber hose put on the touch areas


that is one heck of a system,


Thatís an excellent observation, thanks! I do intend to keep a length of air line tucked away as a spare.
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thatís an excellent observation, thanks! I do intend to keep a length of air line tucked away as a spare.
as an aircraft technician, stuff like that JUMPS out at me


I bet i spent days putting rubber hose or grommets on my air and hyd lines that they just wrapped across sharp things


get a few push on unions as well




have you tried adjusting the shocks to take some of the choppy out of the ride empty?


it makes you wonder why ford does not do this as a factory option.
thats a sizable investment. lots going on under there. do they do a re- torque in a few hundred miles to let every thing settle in on all that new stuff.
looks awesome
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:50 PM   #7
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Kelderman Air Suspension on my F450 PU

Really the shocks arenít choppy at all emptyó there are expansion tanks on the rear bags to give a little more volume at low pressures.

35-40k miles/year...sizable investment for sure but itís worth it to me!
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:17 PM   #8
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Really the shocks aren’t choppy at all empty— there are expansion tanks on the rear bags to give a little more volume at low pressures.

35-40k miles/year...sizable investment for sure but it’s worth it to me!

yep, the squeeze will surely pay back in RIDE comfort.



i put bags on my f250 back in 1998, night and day when pulling the fiver. took a few weeks getting the engineering right but she sure did ride so much better on choppy concrete and waving highways
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:23 PM   #9
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yep, the squeeze will surely pay back in RIDE comfort.



i put bags on my f250 back in 1998, night and day when pulling the fiver. took a few weeks getting the engineering right but she sure did ride so much better on choppy concrete and waving highways

The rear is completely new with this kit...the leaf springs are gone and a 4-link with airbags is in its place. Thatís why itís so expensive...shocks only work when the springs allow some movement!
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Old 08-12-2021, 09:22 AM   #10
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I have close to 20,000 miles on the suspension now, so probably time for an update.

The bad:
Iíve blown 4 bagsó both rears and the passenger front twice. The rears seem to have been infant mortality and the fronts were installation error from the shop I used. Those guys left the factory bump stops on and installed that side too far inboard at minimum ride height which caused the bags to rub. Getting this thing lined out has been an adventure. FWIW, Kelderman has been pretty great to work with despite the troubles my shop had dealing with them. (Im beginning to think those guys are knuckleheads and donít really think things through too muchÖ). Changing the bags can be a bit interesting the first time but manageable in a drivewayó youíll need a torque adapter for box end wrenches because thereís no way youíre getting a torque wrench in there. If I were to do it again, Iíd have the truck shipped through Kelderman for the install.

Itís somewhat maintenance intensiveó Iíve replaced a fitting here and there and a bit of airline here and there and spend a bit of time checking things out with a squirt bottle filled with soapy water. I do keep spare fittings/line and whatnot along with a backup viair compressor in the truck. I think the compressor ran one or two times in the last two weeks I was out so everything is pretty tight at the moment.

The good:
When itís working it is *awesome*. Towing is great and empty ride is so, so much nicer. But there is always that worry about a bag going out 500 miles from the house in the middle of rural Far West TexasÖ
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Old 08-20-2021, 11:17 AM   #11
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Thanks for the update. I have been curious how it was to live with. I am getting close to ordering a 450 so this has been on my mind. Not sure it will be worth doing for me since I likely will not be putting anywhere near the mileage you do per year.

For the cost of the system I had hoped you would have had better reliability. Do you think it would have been more reliable if Kelderman had done the install and do you know what they charge for that?
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Old 08-20-2021, 01:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for the update. I have been curious how it was to live with. I am getting close to ordering a 450 so this has been on my mind. Not sure it will be worth doing for me since I likely will not be putting anywhere near the mileage you do per year.

For the cost of the system I had hoped you would have had better reliability. Do you think it would have been more reliable if Kelderman had done the install and do you know what they charge for that?

I do not know what they charge but from what I understand itís pretty normal shop ratesó I certainly wouldnít have had the issues on the front if I had shipped it through IA. If I did it again, I might consider doing rears only which would cut the cost considerably. I *do* like the auto leveling thoughÖ
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