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Stock Truck Air Bag Leveling System

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Taco John, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Mar 29, 2010 at 3:39 PM
    #1
    Taco John

    Taco John [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Anyone got these and if so, what do you recommend?
     
  2. Mar 29, 2010 at 3:57 PM
    #2
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    Firestone Ride Rite

    One of the bests things I put on the Tacoma.
     
  3. Mar 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM
    #3
    bb609

    bb609 O.F.

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    I have an Air Lift system. Works great for me!
     
  4. Mar 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM
    #4
    Taco John

    Taco John [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Any downsides to these or all good things? Also, where did you mount your fill valves?
     
  5. Mar 29, 2010 at 4:50 PM
    #5
    mustangwilly

    mustangwilly Well-Known Member

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    www.truckspring.com has them on sale for $260 with free shipping. I just ordered a set and I have never seen a cheaper price.
     
  6. Mar 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM
    #6
    bb609

    bb609 O.F.

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    I'll guess they're similar but the air bags alone hold so little air capacity, it's tough to get a good pressure reading without losing significant air pressure. I air them up when towing my boat but otherwise leave them at minimum pressure so I bought the controller which solves the problem. The fill valves are in the gas fill area. Hindsight 20/20 install them vertically behind the latch. I have to remove the gas cap to fill the inner one...

    [​IMG]

    And the rest of the story...

    To keep everything compact in the rear, I installed the compressor above the bed cubby (outside wall) and the controls in the cubby.

    [​IMG]

    The whole system was about $400.

    [​IMG]

    Total air capacity is 100 lbs. I tow my 4000 lb. boat at 40 lbs. and it tows level.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mar 29, 2010 at 5:21 PM
    #7
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    There are several small holes on the underside of the rear bumper - I mounted my air chucks there. I didn't bother with a compressor as the kit cost just as much or more than the bags themselves. A digital tire pressure gauge and one of those small bicycle pumps are all I use. Both items fit conveniently in the pouch behind the drivers seat until I need them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mar 29, 2010 at 5:51 PM
    #8
    Taco John

    Taco John [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Great options. I originally didn't think I wanted the compressor etc. as I am a tight ass, but it would be handy. I also thought a tee in the air lines and 1 fill valve because I am lazy :)
     
  9. Mar 29, 2010 at 7:17 PM
    #9
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    That's not really recommended as it will cause the air to rush from one bag to the other while cornering under load - causing the truck to be unstable.
     
  10. Mar 29, 2010 at 7:44 PM
    #10
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 2 Hella 4000 HID, 1 Cibie Halogen. Bilstein 5100s Ride Rite Air Bags
    I had it on my 2005, installed in 2007 after I got tired of the rear end bottoming out with back seat passengers or a load in the bed... Ride Rite, made by Firestone, installed at Off Road Warehouse in Escondido, CA.

    I complained many times to the service people at the Toyota dealership about the 'harsh ride', I didn't know about the TSB, and thety didn't tell me about it LOL!

    I had them remove the air bags and hardware when I traded the '05 for the '10... So far, the '10 has better springs and I haven't ever bottomed the back off roading.. yet.

    See this thread, with photos of my air bags installed:
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/80940-ride-rite-installation.html

    I may be selling them! They did work great... loved the ride and height adjustment... air fill valves in the back bumper on each side of the license plate.
     
  11. Mar 30, 2010 at 5:38 PM
    #11
    mustangwilly

    mustangwilly Well-Known Member

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    Actually Ride Rite Tech Support says there is no problem with tee-ing the lines.
     
  12. Mar 30, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    #12
    gcwaterski

    gcwaterski Well-Known Member

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    So what kinda height difference you get when you fill em up?
     
  13. Mar 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM
    #13
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    There isn't a problem per se, but in cases such as cornering on an off ramp or having to take an evasive maneuver in traffic, that body roll will cause the air from the bag on the outside of the turn to rush into the bag on the inside of the turn. This will allow the suspension on the outside of the turn to compress (increasing body roll) and stiffen or raise the suspension on the inside of the turn. This creates a dangerous list that could contribute to a roll over since the heavy cargo in the rear of the truck has increased its center of gravity.

    There was actually a warning message included with my kit as well as a message at one time posted on the Firestone website warning of this.

    Either they no longer feel it is a risk or the guy who took your call answered incorrectly - but the physics behind the argument makes sense in the correct (or incorrect) situation.
     
  14. Mar 31, 2010 at 1:25 AM
    #14
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Well, the air bags are NOT replacing the factory suspension, they are just adding firmness and possibly height. So, I don't think body roll would 'move air' to any degree tht you would notice, since the pressure would be uniform between them, and unless the bags were near empty, the pressure in them would be greater than the suspension compression force that could push against them.

    I wondered why the installers didn't tee it to one fill valve, but apparently the kit didn't offer that, so I had seperate fill valves for each... It was no big deal having two... It takes just a few seconds to add air and adding air was needed only a few times... I checked them when I checked my tires. 20 psi was normal for me and boosted to 30-40 when heavily loaded. That raised the bed of my truck a full inch. 100 psi is the max. but, you would be crazy to do that, plus I heard that those that ran high pressure in them caused the frame to crack on some Tacomas because at that high pressure and lift, the geometry is altered.
     
  15. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:18 AM
    #15
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    That is the exact reason right there, if the two bags are connected by a single airline with a "T", the air is now free to transfer from one bag to the other (unlike a dual line system where the bags are isolated). Therefore when the suspension compresses on one side of the truck such as in the outside corner of a turn, some air is forced out of that bag into the opposite bag (inside corner of turn). The bags are free to transfer air from one side to the other with a single line system. With a dual line system no air transfer is possible therefore your suspension will be rigid on both sides regardless of the shift in weight with minimal body roll.

    I don't really care what the guy does - its his truck, his money, and his safety should an event unfold in such a manner as the warning suggests. Just posting what I have read in the product literature, online, and communicated to me by the truck shop where I bought them. The science behind it makes sense - the OP can do whatever they desire.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:38 AM
    #16
    bb609

    bb609 O.F.

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    For the EXTRA work to install a T, you lose the ability to adjust each side. Makes no sense to me.
     
  17. Apr 1, 2010 at 6:38 PM
    #17
    mustangwilly

    mustangwilly Well-Known Member

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    http://www.fsip.com/riderite/pdf/2010 Catalog.pdf

    You must not have read this literature...look at page 13 where it talks about single, dual, and automatic control.
     
  18. Apr 2, 2010 at 7:27 AM
    #18
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    No I didn't read it - what I quoted previously was the literature that accompanied my air bags when I installed them 3.5 years ago. I think the literature if anything supports my argument. It states towing or hauling centered loads - suggesting a single line isn't appropriate if the load/weight had to shift to one side or the other - which it will under cornering or an evasive maneuver.
     
  19. Apr 5, 2010 at 4:40 PM
    #19
    sge1414

    sge1414 Member

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    To those of you who have an air bag system under the leaf springs... what is the ride quality like when you're not hauling a load? Is it noticeably better or worse?
     
  20. Apr 5, 2010 at 4:42 PM
    #20
    bb609

    bb609 O.F.

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    When not towing, I drop mine down to 5 lbs. which is the same as not having them.
     
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