Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Firestone Ride-Rite Airspring Defective Design Bent Brackets
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 > Firestone Ride-Rite Airspring Defective Design Bent Brackets

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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 10/30/20 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To be fair, they are built to a price point. The bags they are using have approximately 5" of travel between fully extended and bottomed. A typical pickup has 10 or 11" of travel in the leaf springs. You do not use 11" of travel for bumps (typically), the springs are made that soft so that the ride isn't unreasonably harsh when empty, yet can still carry a load by compressing them. This compression is the sag that air bag helpers attempt to limit. The problem is the bags must be set at a height that does not overextend them when empty, nor bottom them when loaded, and this is a large compromise: if set to not over extend, about 1/2 of the load carrying ability of the steel springs cannot be used as the air bag bottoms. If set to use all of the load carrying of the springs without bottoming, they will overextend when unloaded. You are instructed to install them in the former way, but then must run higher pressures and higher loads on the air bags to keep from bottoming them. That results in the high and very progressive total spring rate that people complain about with air bags.

A related problem is that the stiffness of an airbag is proportional to its installed height for a given load carrying ability. On true air suspensions the bags are 10" or more high. It isn't possible to do that on a pickup using the inexpensive brackets that these kits use.

I've installed 6 of these kits over the years, they have their place in eliminating sag for not much money, but they come with significant limitations. On my current truck I installed true air suspension and the difference is huge.


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

srschang

Western NY

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Posted: 10/30/20 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I put Firestone Ride Rights on my 2004, 2008, and 2015 3500 Ram Diesels. Never had any problem with them. I decided to put Air Lifts on my 2020 3500 Ram diesel, the only reason being I wanted an onboard inflation system, and liked the Air Lift inflation system better, so I thought I would give them a try. About 10,000 miles on them so far and they are working fine.

But, I usually run 35-40 psi or so, and only onto rough gravel roads once in a while, so my situation isn't quite the same.

Scott


2020 Ram 3500 SRW Crewcab Longbed Cummins, 2019 Northstar 12 STC

forumtruckcamper6789

Washington

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Posted: 01/16/21 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't believe the truck was overloaded, with no suspension mods, fully loaded w/ camper there's still a lot of clearance from the frame to the axle and the back still rides 1" higher than the front. However I do believe the Firestone design is not appropriate at least for this specific F150 2016 application; the brackets end up being the axle stop unless high pressures are used. To get a reasonable bracket clearance requires at least 50 psi which ends up with a compromised ride and a very high back end.
Fully loaded with the Timbren SES severe duty kit there is still some clearance between the rubber spring and the axle "pad" so there's no load riding on them.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 01/16/21 09:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Several months later and still no pictures. Seems like an attack against Firestone considering there was so long between posts. But, maybe there is another explanation.


'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.


KKELLER14K

BEAVERTON OREGON

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Posted: 01/17/21 04:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found out immediately that the brackets were incorrect with my truck. It was obvious, immediately changes would have to be made. I get it installed after major changes and have the mechanical skills to make it right..but not everyone can do that. Airbags are not just a bolt on a go...not when I did mine. Maybe your lucky today, but this is a big job..be prepared. There is a lot to it in the older 2nd Gen but it is well worth it in my situation. lots of pics just ask. I also have the onboard controller and compressor...this changes everything.

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