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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > How to Adjust Airbag Pressure??

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rcolman

southern california

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Posted: 08/21/09 10:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just installed some new Airlift air springs (airbags) on my Chevy 3500 hauling a Fleetwood Caribou 11-K. The installer put in 70 psi as a starting point. I notice that the back is higher, and the handling seems better. HOWEVER, I wonder how one goes about "dialing in" the proper air pressure for the best ride and handling?

Any suggestions as to the proper procedure would be appreciated.

Rick Colman

kylekai

San Diego, CA

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Posted: 08/21/09 11:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just had some installed also. Before I installed them, I measured the distance between the ground and the top of the truck bed without the camper. Had the airbags installed, but camper on, and added just enough air so that the top of the truck bed was the same distance from the ground. Took about 80 PSI.

BradW

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Posted: 08/22/09 05:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kylekai wrote:

Before I installed them, I measured the distance between the ground and the top of the truck bed without the camper. Had the airbags installed, but camper on, and added just enough air so that the top of the truck bed was the same distance from the ground. Took about 80 PSI.

That's pretty much what we did with our two SRW trucks; we ended up with enough air to bring the truck back up to near it's unloaded height. I think that was 90 for the F-350 and 70 for the F-250. But, the bottomline is you will need to try different pressures to see what gives you the best/most stable ride. You might want to start out with 90 and work your way down in 5 or 10 psig increments until you feel the sway increasing. I would want to have the minimum pressure in the bags which will still give you a good stable ride. Rancho 9000 XL's and keeping your rear tires at their max psi will help also.

Good luck,
Brad


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Sturgeon-Phish

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Posted: 08/22/09 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the process now of determining the best air prssure also. In the truck maintenance log in a seperate section, I am recording the pressure, load and ride charistics. After a bit I should have some values. With the camper I set my firestones to 75# at this point and empty 10#.
Jim


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~DJ~

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Posted: 08/22/09 08:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the most stable ride you need to add just enough air so the overload springs are just "touching". Lifting the truck off the overloads defeats their purpose and could actually create more sway by riding on bubbles vs steel springs.

If this position still has the truck in a squat attitude then extended bump stops like Stable Loads are needed so you can level the truck and still keep overloads engaged.

If a newer 2500 series with no overloads get to a spring shop and have some custom ones made. Then, like me, you can totally eliminate those pesky, PITA, leaking, always fiddling with air bags!!!!! [emoticon]


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ramlinwillie

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Posted: 08/22/09 08:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

~DJ~ wrote:

For the most stable ride you need to add just enough air so the overload springs are just "touching". Lifting the truck off the overloads defeats their purpose and could actually create more sway by riding on bubbles vs steel springs.

If this position still has the truck in a squat attitude then extended bump stops like Stable Loads are needed so you can level the truck and still keep overloads engaged.

If a newer 2500 series with no overloads get to a spring shop and have some custom ones made. Then, like me, you can totally eliminate those pesky, PITA, leaking, always fiddling with air bags!!!!! [emoticon]


This is what I do, I added longer rubber bumpers so the overloads would touch and use 60 pounds of pressure, best ride for ours.


04 F250 FX4 CC Lariat SB, Rhino Lining 6.0L V-8 Diesel TorqShift auto Camper Package-Rear Stabilizer Bar,Aux Springs, Rancho RS900X, Timbrems, Goodyear 245/70R19.5G, Pullrite SuperGlide, 2005 CedarCreek Silverback,2003 F350, 2007 Outfitter Apex 9.5


Less Stuff

WA. USA

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Posted: 08/22/09 08:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my 2003 Chevy 2500HD the air bags mount in place of the bump stops. INBOARD of the springs! IF the air bags take the load instead of the overload springs truck sway will increase. So I run my air bags at no more than 20 psi.

THIS MEANS THE AIR BAGS DO NOTHING FOR MY TRUCK!!!

I did not need to spend the money!!

My truck is a regular cab and when loaded over weight by 800 lbs yet still rides slightly tail high. Real tail high unloaded.


DG
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BradW

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Posted: 08/22/09 09:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of Stuff wrote:

So I run my air bags at no more than 20 psi.

At 20 psi, your airbags are carrying 1,000 lbs.

Brad

Reddog1

El Dorado, CA

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Posted: 08/22/09 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I adjust my airbag pressure pretty much like kyleka and BradW. I usually run from 40 to 50 PSI.

I find it interesting in the various pressures people run in their airbags. The same is true with adjustable shocks. Not only are there so many variations in truck weights, CG's, and tires, it seems the trucks and their suspension differences are never ending. You add that to our individual preference as to how we want our truck to handle, and it should be obvious that we cannot tell someone how much air to run in their airbags, what settings for shocks, or how much air in the tires.

I have I have a 2500 with 19.5 tires, aftermarket anti-sway bar, added a rear leaf to springs, adjustable in-cab controller for my shocks, and airbags with in-cab controller.

I have discovered I must not be as sensitive to airbag pressures or shock adjustment as most people are. I get the rear lifted with about 40 PSI in the airbags. I really cannot tell any difference in handling if I go up to 90 PSI. On my shocks, anything from 6 to 9 is OK. When I had airbags only, before tire and other upgrades, I think different air pressures in the bags and shock settings were more obvious to how the truck handles.

Adding the rear leaf and 19.5's definitely makes for a stiffer ride without the TC.


Wayne



2004.5 Ram SLT LB 3500 DRW Quad Cab 4x4
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jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 08/22/09 12:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've found my ideal pressure to be 20-40 and that is with extended bump stops. As others have said, you want the weight to be distributed to as many contact points as possible which means you want at least some weight on the overloads. Air bags do help soften the ride as long as you don't have too much pressure in them.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


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