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Air Lift airbags vs Firestone Ride Rite's?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Protrucker, May 8, 2015.

  1. May 8, 2015 at 8:20 AM
    #1
    Protrucker

    Protrucker [OP] Active Member

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    I'm looking to level my '06 Access Cab Tacoma & increase my load capacity. I'm thinking about Bilstein 5100's all the way around & air bag for the rear. I was corresponding with a rep from AutoAnything about this project & he recommended the Air Lift airbags. He said that the Firestone Ride-Rite's add 1000# to the load capacity, but the Air Lift's add 2000#, which I really like. The thing that I don't like about the Air Lift's is that they don't mount directly over the axle. What is the general opinion about Firestone vs Air Lift?

    Also, Will I need to do anything different with my front coil springs along with the Bilstein's to have a couple inches of lift? Again, I just want to level out the truck & add load capacity.
     
  2. May 8, 2015 at 8:26 AM
    #2
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    Do what you like but at the end of the day re-arching and adding a leaf is cheap, simple and effective. In fact, you could replace the leaf packs altogether. Air bags dry rot and then leak so you'll be f'n with them now and later. Here it comes... :crapstorm:
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  3. May 8, 2015 at 8:59 AM
    #3
    Pigpen

    Pigpen My truck is never clean

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    Access cab toolbox/ dog bed with seats and headrests deleted, waterproof TRD seat covers, yellow wire mod, diff breather relocated to tail light, engine block heater, Leer topper with Yakima tracks and rack, Yakima rack on cab, Ride Rite with Daystar cradles, CBI hidden front hitch, wired for winch front and rear Warn quick connect, Warn x8000i on external carrier, sway bar delete, trailer plug relocated to bumper, Pelfreybilt IFS and Mid skids, ECGS front diff bushing, ARB CKMA12 compressor, 255/85/16 Toyo M55 load E tires on stock steel rims, Up2NoGood heated mirror kit, Husky X-act Contour front floor liners, Northstar AGM 27F battery, Pelfreybilt bolt on sliders with kickout and top plates, TRD Pro headlights, Depo smoked tail lights, Energy suspension body mount bushing kit, Cobra 75WXST cb with rear mounted Wilson 3' antenna on Shmellmopwho mount, OME Dakar leaf packs with AAL, Billstein B110 rear shocks, 5100s with 885 coils and 1/4" spacers, SPC LR UCAs, 2wd low range mod
    The RideRites will out last your truck, never heard of dry rotting and I've used them for over ten years. You'll never even max out the ability of RideRites (I tried on an F350 with a dump bed - we use the same bags as bigger trucks). A Taco would buckle under the load required to max them out. I've had 3 different one ton trucks with air bags, towing everything from forestry equipment and timber to big trailers full of livestock. I have nothing but good things to say about the Firestone bags on those trucks and my Taco.
     
  4. May 8, 2015 at 9:09 AM
    #4
    Fifthwind

    Fifthwind Master of None

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    I never heard of this happening, do you have any links or pictures?

    As for durability, I have seen a handful of broken leafs in person, and a couple of dozen pics on the web, but have never seen a failed bag on a pickup.

    I have seen a failed bag on a tour bus and on a couple of dump trucks at mining sites, way back in the 70's, but nothing recent.
     
  5. May 8, 2015 at 9:13 AM
    #5
    Protrucker

    Protrucker [OP] Active Member

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    Air bags can fail, but so can leaf springs. I've experienced both. I drive "big trucks" with air suspension all the time & have no hesitation at all about putting them on a pickup truck. My question is more about the mounting of the two brands I mentioned. The Air Lift brand has a lifetime warranty. I'm just not so sure that I like the way that they are mounted. I sent a note to Air Lift asking about my concern..... waiting for a reply.
     
  6. May 8, 2015 at 9:18 AM
    #6
    Harry

    Harry Science, Bitches

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    I have the Air Lifts, they were the least expensive solution (rebate FTW) and a local shop had them in stock. They work great for towing my toy hauler. But when I lift my truck I'll be removing them and replacing with Firestones + Daystar cradles.
     
  7. May 8, 2015 at 9:42 AM
    #7
    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    Neither increases your payload capacity at all, and in fact will decrease it by the weight of the air bags and brackets. However, the Firestones are more than capable of leveling a very overloaded Tacoma at only 40 psi. I too dislike how the airlift bags are not centred on the axle - which will cause a change in the pinion angle as the leaf packs deform because of it. I would by the Firestone Ride-Rite bags in a heartbeat again - 4 years and still one of the best things I've done to the truck.

    And as a HD truck mechanic, I'd certainly changed my share of failed air bags, but they are very reliable as a whole, and ride much better as the spring rate is always matched to the load.

    BTW, specs from firestone 2407 (your kit number)
    Specs:

    • Load-leveling capacity: at least 3,200 lbs (at most 5,000 lbs)
      • Ride-Rite springs will not increase your vehicle's weight-carrying capacity. Do not exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight limit.
    • Adjustable air pressure: 5 psi to 100 psi
    • Limited lifetime warranty on air springs
    • 2-Year limited warranty on hardware
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  8. May 8, 2015 at 9:55 AM
    #8
    Fifthwind

    Fifthwind Master of None

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    Barcelona Red 09 DCOR- Icon 2.5" ECOs w/CDC - 14" 700lb, ICON 2.0 RR Ext rears, AP EXPO pack, Diff Wedge, Diff and Skid Drop, Discoverer S/T 255/85/16, Ride-Rite Bags w/ Daystars, ARB Bull/winch Bumper, Warn 8k, ARB CMK12, Budbuilt skids, BAMF bolt on sliders BAMF diff diaper, bedlights, hoodlights, BAMF CB, etc.
    landphil is correct in that it will not increase your capacity, however, if you need to concentrate your capacity into the bed, the Firestones made an easy task out of 2Klbs of Versa-Lok Block. Body roll was minimized and steering did not feel to be affected.

    I must warn you that at 1.5K of #2 modified, I did see some outward flexing of the bed walls; so think before you get a yard of soil or stone.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. May 8, 2015 at 10:01 AM
    #9
    Jefes Taco

    Jefes Taco Well-Known Member

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    Firestones. Easy install. Reliable. Works with lift and can be used with the Daystar cradle (designed specifically for the Firestones). Mounts like you prefer. No advantage to the Air-lifts.
     
  10. May 8, 2015 at 4:43 PM
    #10
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    It is true the 1970's is where I'm coming from. Sorry, carry on.
     
  11. May 8, 2015 at 5:42 PM
    #11
    Protrucker

    Protrucker [OP] Active Member

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    I've never seen that with my truck. Just a couple weeks ago, I had 2,800 # of no. 3 crushed stone in it & the only problem I had was the bottoming of the suspension.

    I haven't received a response from Air Lift yet & I'm leaning very much toward the Firestones now.

    I'm also thinking about improving the leaf springs too. Does anyone know if the TRD springs are heavier than the base model? If they are, I'm thinking about asking when it goes in for the frame & spring recall if I can pay the difference to get the TRD springs. Even then, I might improve on them by adding a leaf or some overloads.
     
  12. May 8, 2015 at 6:55 PM
    #12
    tacoma guy

    tacoma guy Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100's on all four corners. Front set @ 0 with OME 883x coils. Alcon leaf springs. Viper Alarm. Wet Okole seat covers. WeatherTech Floor liners front and back. Oem Toyota chrome exhaust tip. ARE Shell. America Outlaw Wheels.
    I have the stock leafs 2+1 leaf springs and am thinking of getting a shell at 180 lbs would this be a good solution to preventing it from saying or should I get knew leaf packs ? Sorry if I'm jacking the OP thread.
     
  13. May 9, 2015 at 5:52 AM
    #13
    Fifthwind

    Fifthwind Master of None

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    Adding the bags will allow you to handle the shell plus whatever you load into the bed. I adjust as needed which is not too often.
     
  14. May 9, 2015 at 6:02 AM
    #14
    Fifthwind

    Fifthwind Master of None

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    Wow. 2800# is a lot of payload for a Taco.
    For those less experienced: The bearings will not be able to dissipate the heat very well so keep your trips brief and at a low speed.
    That much weight pushes the truck into load range C as a minimum for tires. You will want to upgrade your brakes to at least slotted to allow the break pad gases escape as they will boil under hard braking. Lastly, expect the diff and transfer oil to have a shorter lifespan, and the factory WS automatic tranny fluid won't have much of a (edit:lifespan)lefespane either
     
  15. May 9, 2015 at 6:08 AM
    #15
    Pigpen

    Pigpen My truck is never clean

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    I've been running stock springs with RideRites for 3 years. I tow and haul regularly. I DD with a shell and lots of tools/ gear. After putting good shocks in the rear, I don't feel much need to replace the leafs any time soon. I do a fair amount of light offroading with this setup.
     
  16. May 9, 2015 at 6:25 AM
    #16
    tacoma guy

    tacoma guy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's what I was thinking too. I will have to really think about these. Thanks for your reply.
     
  17. May 9, 2015 at 1:40 PM
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    landphil

    landphil Wishin' I was Fishin'

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    TRD leafs are the same as all other leafs - there are 2 versions of stock 6 lug leaf packs (2+overload) and 4 leaf packs (3+overload). I've run both with my ride-rites, - I installed the bags, broke a leaf a year later, and bought some lightly used 4 leaf packs to replace the broken 3 leaf packs. I honestly don't see a huge advantage to the stock 4 leaf packs with the Ride-Rite bags, though there is a SLIGHT reduction in axle wrap. If you're hauling loads like this though, you really should be looking at a 3/4 ton HD or a one ton - look up the payload capacity on your Tacoma and you'll find that you've exceeded it by over 100% (Driver and any passengers are included in the payload capacity as well).
     
  18. May 9, 2015 at 4:07 PM
    #18
    jbrnigan

    jbrnigan Well-Known Member

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    I've had both over the years. They both worked equally well and were quality products. Never had failure of either one. I just bought Air Lifts because of a 50 buck rebate putting the price of the system well under 200 bucks. I don't use the daystar cradles and have never had a problem with over extending the bags - if my off road adventures were pushing the limits of a bone stock TRD Sport 4X4 , then I might consider the cradles.
     
  19. May 10, 2015 at 6:31 PM
    #19
    Protrucker

    Protrucker [OP] Active Member

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    When I load my truck that heavy, it's not normally even a 10 mile ride to where I'm going to unload & there are several traffic lights along the way so the bearings don't get the chance to really heat up. My truck has a 6-speed manual tranny, so I'm not worried about burning up an automatic. I'm running load range E tires, which have a max load rating of 3264# per tire & keeps me in a safe tire load range. As far as brakes go.... I'm just running stock brakes, but I drive big trucks professionally using the Smith System & keep well aware of the increased stopping distance that I'll need when running that heavy.
    I do realize that I'm "over using" my truck. I know that I really do need & want a one ton truck, but until finances allow I have to make do with what I've got. I have a hard time justifying spending $50k or more to have a truck that'll be heavy duty enough to haul my occasional personal loads. If I was using the truck to make a living & could write it off, I'd already have a bigger one.
     
  20. May 11, 2015 at 8:57 AM
    #20
    Fifthwind

    Fifthwind Master of None

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    Thanks for clearing the air.
    When there are hundreds of views, and less than two dozen responses, we run the risk of leading less-experienced people think that you can go fill their stock truck bed with stone and haul it 100 miles at interstate speeds without running the risk of killing themselves or others, or destroying their truck.
    I had expected you to cover the bases, but appreciate you taking the time to show your specs, and I'm sure that you wouldn't put that CDL on the line over a load of stone.
    I used to drive lime water trucks from mining operations, and having a 40 ton enema a foot over your shoulder makes you a little alert, no coffee required. Saw pictures of one in a safety meeting that lost control and it ripped the fronts off of three houses before it stopped at the fourth.
     
    Gvsukids likes this.

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