Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tow Vehicles: Air Bag Problem
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packpe89

NC

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Posted: 10/28/20 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My son recently got a truck that came with air bags. Somewhere around a 2013 Ram. They do not tow with it, but I'm guessing the previous owner did. The truck has started to squat in the rear, I'm guessing a couple of inches at the tailgate below level. Pressure at the airbag gauge is 50-60 psi. If you blow them up to 90+, the truck will level, but be back the next day. So, I'm guessing there is a leak somewhere, but it goes down on both sides. Would think the air bags are independent??? Also, shouldn't the regular shocks keep the truck from squatting without a load?? So maybe new shocks are the answer? Can't post pictures as the truck is a couple of hours away.
Thanks.

Tyler0215

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Posted: 10/28/20 07:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shocks aren't the problem. Probably an air leak. They are not independant of each other.

pitch

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Posted: 10/28/20 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wether they are independent of each other depends on how the were installed. Proprely they should be tied together.
Most importantly is what the heck an unladen truck is sagging for? Start by putting on proper new shocks. If they do not get and keep it back up where it belongs, then you have another problem. Do you know the history of this truck, how it was used? I suppose that it is possible that someone destroyed the springs,the mere fact that the air bags exist point towards overloading and abuse.
I installed these on my '13 instead of bags.https://www.tuftruck.com/product/ttc-1211-rear-suspension-coil-spring-kit/ In one step I increased the capability if not the RATING of my truck

p220sigman

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a leak somewhere. You didn't say if it was factory air bags, but I'm assuming it is based on the sagging. For aftermarket bags, the shocks/existing springs should maintain the ride height unless they were removed. A spray bottle of soapy water should let you find the leak pretty quickly.

SweetLou

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just went through this with my 2013 Ram 3500. The bags on my truck were aftermarket not factory and because I have had some in older model trucks, I knew they were probably Firestone. I do not have an onboard compressor. If you have an onboard compressor it will complicate a bit to rundown the leak. Get soapy water in a spray bottle like you do to test for propane leaks for your BBQ. Run pressure into the suspension system either max with out a load, or halfway and connect a trailer on it for some weight. Get underneath and spray your fittings and look for the air bubbles. Mine was at the inflation valve fitting. Went to Michigan Truck .Com to buy new valve and changed it out. Problem solved.


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ktosv

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the truck is sagging the shocks aren’t the root cause of the issue. Bent/damaged /fatigued springs would explain a sagging issue. If the truck goes down the road and continually bounces/oscillates up and down that is a shock issue.


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Groover

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Posted: 10/28/20 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that shocks are not the issue unless they are seriously binding internally but then you would have a very rough ride. The air bags aren't the issue either, they only lift the truck and if it takes 90psi to get the truck back to where it should be with factory suspension and no load then the factory suspension has failed or has been altered.

It comes down to broken springs, hangers etc. Or, the truck was lowered intentionally and the air bags were added to keep it from bottoming out under load. You might want to find a similar truck and compare the suspensions.

Cummins12V98

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Posted: 10/28/20 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2013 RAM??? Little more info plz.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 10/28/20 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, presume you don’t mean factory air ride, because you mention a gauge which the OE systems do not have and you can’t “pump them up” unless the system has been hacked into.
Assuming aftermarket bags and a (relatively) light/ no additional load in the truck, your post makes zero sense.
30psi, much less 50 or 90 will Jack the back of the truck up sky high.
Zero psi should result in normal operation.
So unless the springs are totally shot ( still not the issue as 90psi and NO springs at all would Jack the truck up ), you must mean aftermarket air ride like a Kelderman system or similar? (But you analysis still doesn’t make sense.)
And shocks have virtually nothing to do with ride height. They don’t support any appreciable load.

You n the son should take a good look at the truck and do a little research. Whatever the issue, it will be obvious once you spend a few minutes understanding the rear suspension.


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goducks10

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Posted: 10/28/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it possible that the original owner lowered the rear of the truck to tow a 5th wheel and used the bags to control the weight. I've read many times about guys complaining that the truck is too tall in the rear for thier 5er and are told to lower the rear suspension then install air bags to level it out once loaded.
Agree need more info on truck.

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