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Old 04-30-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
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air bags

anybody running air bags as a helper? how is it set up? cost? so on and so forth
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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I recently purchased a set of Firestone Ride-Rite airbags from autoanything.com. Cost $250 shipped to my door.
Have not installed it yet - plan to, in the next week or so. I got this kit becasue of some reviews I read here.

Also picked up some used bumpstops and cut them on a bandsaw before hand, to make the install go quicker. This way i dont have to putz around with a hacksaw, cutting the bumstops on the truck while doing the install. I will take pics while I do the isntallation and post here.

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anybody running air bags as a helper? how is it set up? cost? so on and so forth
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam_i02 View Post
I recently purchased a set of Firestone Ride-Rite airbags from autoanything.com. Cost $250 shipped to my door.
Have not installed it yet - plan to, in the next week or so. I got this kit becasue of some reviews I read here.

Also picked up some used bumpstops and cut them on a bandsaw before hand, to make the install go quicker. This way i dont have to putz around with a hacksaw, cutting the bumstops on the truck while doing the install. I will take pics while I do the isntallation and post here.


thank you for taking pictures when you install them. i was going to get the leaf spring TSB done but im not under warrenty anymore and the dealer said it would be roughly 1400 not including labor. i said f**k that
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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I've struggled with this decision. For 95% of the time I drive with no weight in the back. I actually like the smooth ride on the pavement. I'm worried that if I get the leaf spring TSB done it will stiffen the ride too much for me.

Now for the rest of the time when I want to tow, haul firewood, mulch, dirt, and other construction material around I want it to stiffen up and not sag the rear end down. I'm looking into airbags as an option instead of the TSB. In my thinking they could be aired down for straight unloaded road use or aired up for heavier loads. I'm even thinking about adding the onboard compressor to adjust the ride on the fly.

Keep us posted on how your truck behaves after you get the bags installed.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knayrb View Post
I've struggled with this decision. For 95% of the time I drive with no weight in the back. I actually like the smooth ride on the pavement. I'm worried that if I get the leaf spring TSB done it will stiffen the ride too much for me.

Now for the rest of the time when I want to tow, haul firewood, mulch, dirt, and other construction material around I want it to stiffen up and not sag the rear end down. I'm looking into airbags as an option instead of the TSB. In my thinking they could be aired down for straight unloaded road use or aired up for heavier loads. I'm even thinking about adding the onboard compressor to adjust the ride on the fly.

Keep us posted on how your truck behaves after you get the bags installed.

will do. im thinking of doing the same thing you just said. compressor, bags, gauges and a way to air them and deflate them at the flip of a switch
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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I have the firestone ride rite airbags on my '09.
I'm very pleased with them. Truck will remain level even when loaded. I'm running about 3 pounds in the bags when unloaded and hardly notice they're there.

Install is not too hard, although I'd sugges replacing the supplied locking nuts with a regular nut and lock washer, otherwise you fight the nuts all the way.

Also I suggest you leave the big bolt that goes through the frame until last. This way you can flex the airbag to move it around and have easier acess to the other bolts.

Good luck
Donald
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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I just installed the firestone ride rite bags last night with the standard duty compressor mounted in under the hood.

I was patient enough to find them on our local classifieds for $400 used but in great condition. About three hours to install the bags, lines, compressor and switch/guage unit.

I started out with a 2" lift and after the bag install it rides at 3/4" taller at 10psi.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Here was my truck yesterday (with a 2" lift):

I started by lifting the rear and removing the tires. Then I cut the bump stops off where they are level with the leaf spring ubolts.


Next I found the best way to install the bags is to assemble the unit loosely and only take out two of the four small bolts on the backside of the upper part of the unit. Slide it in and lave the large main bolt loose. This fits pretty tight but not too bad to install. No drilling or any tough work here.


Run the line between the two sides and then T that line to the engine compartment (watch out for getting to close to the muffler and pipe. i ran mine up the passenger side frame).


Mount the compressor next to the battery, like Toyota gave you the perfect spot for it! Drill holes and push hardware through. Plenty of room in the wheel well, very easy step.


Next I chose to mount the gauge in the glovebox to keep the cabin neat and tidy. Plus, the only good place to mount it in the cabin would bump my knee when I got in and out of the truck. You can see two sets of holes...I rotated the gauge and remounted it, try to avoid this misstep!!!


Now run the air line from the bags into the glovebox, connect to back of gauge and run the other air line to the compressor. Next run the wire for power and ground to the battery. I skipped the illumination wire part because I really dont want that light on in my glovebox whenever I use my headlights.


This is the finished pic at 10 PSI - adds about a 3/4" to 1" inch incease in height.


And at 60 PSI - Only for towing as you can see.
Attached Thumbnails
air bags-before-bags.jpg   air bags-cut-off-bump-stop.jpg   air bags-install-bags.jpg   air bags-mount-compressor-next-battery.jpg   air bags-run-lines.jpg  

air bags-mount-glove-box.jpg   air bags-friewall-pass-thru.jpg   air bags-60-psi.jpg   air bags-done-10-psi.jpg  
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Nice!
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:14 PM   #10
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Great work! You solved another concern for me and that was where to mount the gauge and switch. The glovebox is the perfect hidden location. I do wish the gauge was electronic and had a pressure sensor at the compressor. That way you wouldn't have to run air lines into the cab.

(BTW Swerve, I recognize those mountains.) I'll have to PM you if I get stuck when I do mine. You can't be too far away.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:01 PM   #11
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Always willing to help.

If you mean you recognize the mountains in my motorcycle pic, that was a 40 degree day in July on the continental divide in So. Colorado. Nasty cold!
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:16 AM   #12
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Swerve - excellent write up. Thank you!
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:43 AM   #13
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I have an Air Lift system. With controller, it was about $400. The bags mount forward and behind the bump stops (depending on the side) in all predrilled holes.



I mounted the compressor above the bed cubby to the outside of the bed wall and controls in the cubby to keep everything in the back of the truck.




Air capacity is 100 lbs. At 40 lbs, they keep my truck level towing a nose heavy 4,000 lb. boat.

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