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Air Lift - Suspension Air Bag Helper Springs

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Old 01-21-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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Smile Air Lift - Suspension Air Bag Helper Springs

I have a 2006 Pre-Runner - TRD - 2WD truck. I carry a few hundred pounds of stuff in the bed most of the time. I noticed that on more than a few occasions that the rear of the truck seem to bottom out. I ask my local dealer and he told that there had been a "campaign" a few years ago to correct this. Of course I was no longer covered. I asked about replacement springs and was told they would cost about a grand. I had purchased some air lift air bags for a F250 I owned and had good luck with them.

The Suspension Connection sells a set for Tacoma's #2407 at a cost of $260. They were a breeze to install and have worked great. No more bottoming out . Hope this helps.

http://www.suspensionconnection.com/...scon/2407.html
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:32 AM   #2
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air lift suspension air bags

i put firestone air bags on my 2007 taco. very easy to install. put them in while in my driveway. for $200.00 bucks it solved alot of my issues that come with heavy loads and tacoma weak leaf springs. way better solution than add a leafs. more room for adjustment than add a leafs and you get a better ride. hope this helped
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #3
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Good accessory

I had these on my Jeep Cherokee for 10 years. They really make a difference. Being able to level the rig when towing a trailer or hauling 4 backpackers was awesome. No more of oncoming cars thinking I had my brights on. And it lifted the rear when I used link-style snow chains, giving me more room for on/off and less clanking around in the Jeep's tight fenderwells.

I caught a snow chain on the leaf bracket once and tore that bag apart. Years later the road de-icer apparently took its toll on the other bag, so it too had to be replaced.

Be sure the air hose connections at the top of the bags is well sealed, or they'll leak. Put the air valve stems where you can easily reach them, since you'll need to check the air in the bags frequently. You're supposed to keep 10-20 psi in the bags, even when you don't have a heavy load.

My first Tacoma has plenty of wheel well space for the chains. I haven't towed or hauled much in the two weeks I've had it, but if it sags (apparently it will) I'd definitely go for these air bags again.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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I had the older style of Air Lifts with a bag surrounded by a coil spring.
These were on my a 1992-3 Toyota truck, that suffered greatly from "doggy-ass" with only a topper place.


They helped immensely, and made for a level and comfortable ride.
After about 4 years, the bags sprung a leak, and were replaced under warranty. About 4 years later the leaked again. I think of the newer style bag should be more durable, because it reduces the friction points with coil springs ( actually there are no Springs)

If my new truck suffers from the same symptom, I would certainly consider this solution again.

Incidentally, the mechanic who installed them cleverly routed the air hose valve into the compartment with the gas tank cap. This made it convient to fill and kept the valve clean.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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The gas cap compartment is a very clever location for the valve(s). Frequent reminder to check the pressure.

In further research it seems there are other options that don't require air lines at all. Timbren (timbren.com) makes an air spring that replaces the bumper pad on each rear axle. They supposedly don't change the ride until you load on enough weight to make contact (about 1/2"). Install looks easy.

Thought I'd share that finding, since I was so gung-ho about Air Lift above. My '11 off road d-cab is uncomfortable with a 1500# trailer, and the rear sags. So far I've done nothing about it. Summers Auto recommended better shocks and an air bag kit like Timbrens or Firestone.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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I have the Ride-Rites on my 2011, I have been happy with them. I have a truck bed camper, heavy, I took it down some serious trails in Death Valley and the Ride Rites held up just fine. The hardware did come all dinged up in the box, I cleaned them up and spray painted them, that is my only complaint, they seem built to last. I did not get the auto inflate system, I just use a bike pump and that works well for me, also simple and cheap.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #7
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Do ride rite airbags limit rear travel

Hello All,

With the airbag mounting to the frame as well as the leaf, do the airbags limit rear travel when you are wheeling? I am concerned when rock crawling that I won't get full drop.

I need something since my gear weighs down the rear so much.

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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I too would like to know this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllMountainToy View Post
Hello All,

With the airbag mounting to the frame as well as the leaf, do the airbags limit rear travel when you are wheeling? I am concerned when rock crawling that I won't get full drop.

I need something since my gear weighs down the rear so much.

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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Do airbags limit travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllMountainToy View Post
do the airbags limit rear travel when you are wheeling? I am concerned when rock crawling that I won't get full drop.
That's not a concern with stock suspension. The air bags are partially compressed when the rig is sitting level, to allow for normal travel of the axle.

If you have modified your suspension for crawling, yes, the bags would presumably limit vertical travel of the axle. The bags are rubber and attached at the top and bottom, so they could be torn loose by over-stretching. You may need to modify the bag assembly in some way, or use a different load helper such as Timbren that attaches on the bottom only.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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Regarding limiting travel/articulation

I measured it and posted the photo here:
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/sus...ml#post7630163
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:11 PM   #11
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add a leaf ?

hey people,,,if i was to add a leaf or block for a little extra lift would that make a diff for bag susp?? thanks in advance
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:41 PM   #12
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Yes, I think it would. My truck is not lifted, nor was the Jeep that I used airbags on before. The AirLift airbags I have, and the other brands I've seen, fit between the frame and the axle or leaf spring. If you increase that distance the airbags would be much less effective IMO. However you might talk with the airbag manufacturer to identify a different model of their airbag that would fit your truck after you lift it. I can't imagine that stiffening your suspension with a leaf alone would cause major problems with airbag fit. It's the lift you need to worry about.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:24 PM   #13
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Air bag recommendations

A few brands of air bags for the rear suspension were mentioned. Is one of them considered the best? Thanks, Rye
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:49 PM   #14
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Best suspension helpers for Tacomas

Rye, good question. "Best" is subjective. They each have their pros and cons. I can only speak to the ones I have, the AirLift inflatable ones.

Pro:
Adjustable. They're soft when the truck is empty. The more load I have, the more I inflate them. The truck's always level but the unloaded ride is not overly firm.

Con:
Upkeep. I have to check them every week or so and add air. The mfr offers nice in-cab controls for inflation if you want convenience. The bags always have to have some air in them. When an air line leaks or something, you can't ignore it.

I had these in a Jeep for 10 years prior to becoming a Tacoma owner. One bag was punctured by a chain while winter off-roading. Some kind of abrasion or rot eventually damaged the other one. I replaced each of them, and obviously became a repeat buyer when I got my '11 Tacoma.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:12 PM   #15
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I'm wondering if I add airbags to my truck can I remove a Leaf from the spring? That way achieving a cushier more adjustable ride.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Clark View Post
I'm wondering if I add airbags to my truck can I remove a Leaf from the spring? That way achieving a cushier more adjustable ride.
You might be able to do that, you'll be putting more weight at that point of the frame though. Firestone makes a complete replacement for the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks, R4Tech, that replaces stock springs with a single spring. The rear of the truck can then be lowered, backed under a 5th wheel and lift it.
http://www.firestoneip.com/site-reso...ochure%202.pdf
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:46 AM   #17
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Cushier ride

I'm not an auto engineer, I don't even play one on Facetube. Some owners add airbags instead of adding a leaf. But it seems like if you took out a leaf you'd have to compensate by over-inflating the airbags. Otherwise the rear would sag even without a load.

Once you inflated the bags that much, would the unloaded ride be any softer? I don't know but my guess is that it would be firmer. I keep my unloaded bags at around 30 psi because I prefer the ride. I find the unmodified Tacoma ride to be plenty cushy.

If you haul or tow with your truck, you'd have reduced your cargo/tongue weight capacity by one leaf's worth of support. The bags probably couldn't restore the full ~1200 lbs of capacity. (The bags' maximum pressure is predicated on there being stock springs.)

It would require some experimentation. Let us know how it goes. Don't scrap the leaf!
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