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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ive recently decided I need an Air Bag kit for daily towing with my truck in sig. Was planning on a Firestone kit but I found I can get the Air Lift for a lot cheaper and a lot of guys seem to like them. I finally decided on Air Lift rear bag kit #57275. I have a 3 1/2" Block so Ill have to go with the 4" spacer option because they only have 2"(#52130) , 4"(52140) , and 6"(52150) for options but they are out of stock on the 4" so ill have to get the 6 and throw 2 out of the 6 blocks on the shelf.
Also anyone have any experience installing these? The Firestones look pretty simple Im assuming these are pretty similar?
 

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Mine were pretty easy to install. A little over an hour or so to install, maybe 1.5 hours. We have chatted in PM about this so looks like you are going in the right direction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Ya thanks for the help so far Buckeye, Im not 100% on which way to go now. Well Im kinda back on to the Firestone kick now due to local guys in the same weather conditions as me using them without problems, I can get them locally and have a compressor installed at the same time but new question now. Does anyone know if the Air Lift Lift N Lock Air Bag Spacers will work without modification "as is" with the Firestone Bags (#2250) ? I want to go with the Firestones but there spacers arent tapered and the Air Lift spacers can be set up for a tapered block. Im not sure if I'll be ok with the Firestones or if I will absolutely need a tapered spacer like the Lift N Lock ones. Anyone have any experience or thoughts on this???
 

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I used those blocks before and don't really like them. Stick with the Firestone bags and build spacers or find someone else's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Firestone has spacers they just arent tapered. The air lift spacers are tapered so I figured i would need them because of my tapered 3 1/2" rear block. Would I be better off with the firestone ones then?
 

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No, you'll need a taper. I've had a few of those cheap plastic blocks break where the tabs interlock. I just really don't like them. And those were on customers' trucks, not my own.

I think Tough Country (or Tuff?) has a steel tapered spacer. That's what I used on my last truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was wondering about the "Plastic" it said stronger than steel but come on its plastic no matter how you look at it. No one else really had anything bad to say about them though. I just did a little more research and I guess tough Country is the way to go??? It said on a couple sites that they specifically fit with the Firestone 2250 and the AirLift 57275. The part # for the Tuff Country Tapered Spacer im talking about is #30002. It is a 3" Tapered Air Bag Spacer. Looks like Ill have to price this one out now instead of the Firestone and AirLift...
 

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Those are the ones. The 2250 kit has some screwy bottom plates and a cheap loop that goes around the axle, but it works.
 

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Hello
Curious as to why you are needing the tapered block for the air bags. From what I have read the upper and lower attachment points do not need to be parallel to each other for the bag to work. When the bags are inflated the attachment points will be at an angle anyway. Just a thought

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where did you read this? Ive been searching and searching but havent seen that anywhere yet. If I can just use the firestone spacers instead of a tapered spacer then I'll have to call and cancel my order ASAP... It would save a couple bucks if I could get away without the tuff country spacer but if it would help it will be worth it. I read that I would need a tapered spacer no where did anyone say that the bags dont need to be parallel and a flat spacer would be fine...
 

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I had read it on one of the air bag pages, I forget sorry. But if you look at the air bags that are on the Semi trucks and trailers they are not parallel. Yes close when at rest or not inflated. If they are only being used to raise the bed while the truck is being for towing. Or are they completely replacing the rear springs? As helper overloads, then the regular truck springs will keep the suspension in the correct angles. You might ask Air Ride directly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I talked to them. They told me that the spacers they sell are correct for my truck but of coarse they would say that. They didnt get in to the angles and if it was actually proper only told me that they would work with my truck. So now Im just assuming tapered spacer is the way to go because of my tapered block. Unless somone with experience with suspension and more specifically air bags like NorcalNick or someone chimes in and tells me its unnecessary Ill be goin with the tapered 3" spacer from tuff country. Wish I didnt have to though because Ill be waiting 4 weeks now for the spacer to get here...
 

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The blocks and leaf spring have nothing to do with the air bag, the bag is mounted to the frame of the truck and the axle. You'll need the same angle on the bag as you do with the block.

Robert, you do realize you mentioned a semi, right?
 

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OKay my bad.
I guess that adding a flexible helper air bag which will adjust to the angles that the two mounting surfaces are will not affect the operation of the bags unless of course it is way out of alignment. You are right to do what you need or feel will work with your truck.

I was under the inpression that this was to raise the sagging truck bed and that the altered suspension only needed help in handling the load of towing, with that said I will not intrude again.

Best of luck and sorry for any misconceptions that I may have inserted.

Robert
 

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The bags are flexible, but you can't have an angle on the axle perch and be flat at the frame. When trucks are lifted with blocks in the rear, you use a tapered block. That keeps the pinion angle correct.

Maybe we just aren't understanding each other?
 

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The bags are flexible, but you can't have an angle on the axle perch and be flat at the frame. When trucks are lifted with blocks in the rear, you use a tapered block. That keeps the pinion angle correct.

Maybe we just aren't understanding each other?
I agree that when lifting a truck and using blocks between the springs and the axle yes you need a taper block to keep the angle correct. But in using an air bag as a helper it which is much more flexible in its nature to be able to adjust for out of parallel mounting surfaces the taper block is not necessary. You have the spring taper to keep the axle angle correct, the air bag will adjust automatically to what the spring is.

If the air bag were replacing the springs and you were using the air bags as in a 4-link system suspension then the links would keep you pinon angle correct and allow the air bags to flex when inflating or deflating they will be out of parallel but the links will keep the pinon angle correct.

The leaf springs and the taper mounting block to axle set the pinon angle as you say and lifting the truck by using a block between them it continues to need the taper in the block between the springs and the axle.

But since the helper air bags are not doing anything other than providing lift they don't need to have a taper block installed.

Robert
 

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I wish I had a picture of my last truck when the lower bag mount would shift. It looked like it was pulling the bag out of it's frame, and compressed on the other side. If I understand you correctly, you're saying the bag can do that. Maybe it can, but that's not something I want to do.

To the OP, call Firestone, report back to us.
 

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Now as you said the mount shifted. Most likely yes it was out of alignment too much, and would cause a problem. In driving look at the angle on the semi-trailer air bags and you will see that yes they are a bit off from being parallel through all the range of motion on the suspension. All mountings must be fixed and not allow it to move otherwise as you said it would tear it out or bind it. The only time they are parallel is at one specific point in the full range of motion.
 

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What happened on mine was that the lower mount from Ride-Rite was junk. It had a small metal half-loop that tightened down with 2 1/2" bolts, and the mount didn't sit completely flat on the perch. I used a tapered 6" lift spacer between the bag and axle perch, and when it was all mounted it had perfect angles, but once the truck had a load and the bags were aired up, the bag would kick out at one end. It looked pretty dangerous and I'm surprised it didn't bust the bag.
 
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