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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:16 PM
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BlueOvalBud BlueOvalBud is offline
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F150 rear suspension air bags, add-a-leafs, or helper springs

Hey fellas,
Just wondering who has done rear suspension modifications to their F150's? I spoke with a local leaf spring shop and the fellow recommended an add-a-leaf for the rear and it will raise the rear about 1".
I have a friend who installed air bags on the rear of his Toyota Tacoma for stability when he's hauling weight in the bed and he loves them.
Has anyone installed air bags and like the benefits?
My goal is to retain the stock ride quality and only gain stablity and stiffness when I have weight. For this, the add-a-leaf doesn't thrill me. I'd prefer air bags or part-time helpers that only come into play when I've got weight.
I'd also like to keep the ride height the same as stock, so I'd really prefer not to raise it 1" with the add-a-leaf.
Any thoughts?
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1996 F350. 7.3 PSD, E4OD, 4x4, D60, just starting....
1985 F-350 Work truck. 6.9 Diesel IDI, T-19, 2wd 3.55 Ford 10.25....Planning a fully built 6.9 with PSD turbo, ZF5, Dana 60, 5.13's with ARB's - Scrapped
1991 F-Superduty Work truck. 7.3 Diesel IDI, ZF5, 2wd, 5.13's, 12' x 8' x 4' stake dump. Planning a nasty 6.9 and Dana 60 swap
IDI's make me
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:55 PM
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FORDF250HDXLT FORDF250HDXLT is offline
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f350 rear spring packs bolt right in.grab a set at the salvage yard.
this sets her ars up some though.
just head to the salvage yard for some f350 overloads and bolt 'em in.
as per your other thread on the 8.8 axle;

last truck:
1996 f150 ex cab/short bed/300-6/mazda 5spd 31x10.50's 4wd.swapped the 3:08's for 3.55's.
f350 springs swapped in,with the overloads.
all i could fit on that 7' bed with a wooden rack, with wood chips/wood/brush etc.
the rear axle finally locked up after 120k miles of this.a salvage yard replacement outlasted for my use,until i sold it(pretty much gave away i should say.)
everything was pretty decent,but that cheap trans.the f150's are pretty dang impressive.
they can handle a ton regularly with some springs.i know.
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♠ Chip Truck: '93 F250HD XLT 4x4 1st Gen Navistar 444ci IDI Diesel w/ Intercooled 2nd Gen Banks Sidewinder Turbo, E40D, 3.55, Dually, 9' Dump, & Plow ♠

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  #3  
Old 11-18-2010, 09:03 PM
TexasGuy001 TexasGuy001 is offline
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Then get the factory type overload springs. Thats what I want to get for mine.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2010, 11:15 PM
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Conanski Conanski is offline
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I installed a set of Helwig EZ-990's on my truck this summer, they really do help handle big loads better and retain stock ride height and quality.

EZ-990 | Hellwig Products
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Paul (Conan) O'Brien

1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:20 PM
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F250, nice to see another IDI up here!
As for the F350 springs, would they ride quite a bit stiffer than the F150 springs?
Nice to hear ya made some money with your last F150, sure helped fund the nice IDI you've got now!

Are the factory overloads similar to the Hellwig's? Those look like a nice unit. I'd prefer something mechanical, as it's one less thing to break.
But, if I did end up with some air bags these are what I'd try out: HELLWIG PRODUCTS SUPER STRONG AIR SPRINGS - JCWhitney

On another note, I found these air bags that claim to work on the front end. AIR LIFT AIR LIFT 1000 ADJUSTABLE AIR SPRING SETS - JCWhitney
They fit inside of the coils, I think they'd work well to help handle a snow plow if I chose to go that route. Granted, the snow plow would really only be used a handful of times each year...it seems keeping the suspension lever would certainly help the front end. I've seen some F150's and Bronco's with snow plows and MAN it's nasty what the front tires look like with that heavy plow sinking the front end down.
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1996 F350. 7.3 PSD, E4OD, 4x4, D60, just starting....
1985 F-350 Work truck. 6.9 Diesel IDI, T-19, 2wd 3.55 Ford 10.25....Planning a fully built 6.9 with PSD turbo, ZF5, Dana 60, 5.13's with ARB's - Scrapped
1991 F-Superduty Work truck. 7.3 Diesel IDI, ZF5, 2wd, 5.13's, 12' x 8' x 4' stake dump. Planning a nasty 6.9 and Dana 60 swap
IDI's make me
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2010, 02:16 AM
TexasGuy001 TexasGuy001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conanski View Post
I installed a set of Helwig EZ-990's on my truck this summer, they really do help handle big loads better and retain stock ride height and quality.

EZ-990 | Hellwig Products
I was considering these too. They are easier to install than the factory type too.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2010, 02:17 AM
bruegge bruegge is offline
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I agree - the more that can break the more will break. I had a buddy who loved the add a leaf and it didn't make the truck look like a hot rod.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2010, 05:35 AM
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Prothane Universal Coil Spring Inserts
Prothane Universal Coil Spring Inserts
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2010, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueOvalBud View Post
F250, nice to see another IDI up here!
As for the F350 springs, would they ride quite a bit stiffer than the F150 springs?
Nice to hear ya made some money with your last F150, sure helped fund the nice IDI you've got now!

Are the factory overloads similar to the Hellwig's? Those look like a nice unit. I'd prefer something mechanical, as it's one less thing to break.
But, if I did end up with some air bags these are what I'd try out: HELLWIG PRODUCTS SUPER STRONG AIR SPRINGS - JCWhitney

On another note, I found these air bags that claim to work on the front end. AIR LIFT AIR LIFT 1000 ADJUSTABLE AIR SPRING SETS - JCWhitney
They fit inside of the coils, I think they'd work well to help handle a snow plow if I chose to go that route. Granted, the snow plow would really only be used a handful of times each year...it seems keeping the suspension lever would certainly help the front end. I've seen some F150's and Bronco's with snow plows and MAN it's nasty what the front tires look like with that heavy plow sinking the front end down.
yeah.it took me a few years getting by with the f150,that's for sure.
i didn't notice a loss of ride quality.but using the whole leaf pack,really set her up in the air.
if you want same ride height,just use the overload(s).
Click the image to open in full size.
for my current truck(pre-dually conversion there with a good jag of wood on.)
you can see i built a custom triple pack.
you can buy the aux springs and the perches at the salvage yard pretty much cheaper than you can do anything else,and it's the BEST way for increasing payload.
helper springs,air bags' etc.imho are a waste of $ for the rear,since overloads are so cost effective.
adding these,do nothing to your ride height.
for the front,im likely going with firestone ride rite air bags for my plow.this way i wont loose ride quality year round,by adding another leaf.
so i think your on the right track for the front.but iv no experience with those coil helpers.
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♠ Chip Truck: '93 F250HD XLT 4x4 1st Gen Navistar 444ci IDI Diesel w/ Intercooled 2nd Gen Banks Sidewinder Turbo, E40D, 3.55, Dually, 9' Dump, & Plow ♠

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  #10  
Old 11-27-2010, 07:57 PM
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Yeah I like the idea of the helpers, setting the rear end up real high won't hep me much since it's a work truck...constantly being loaded and unloaded. Well, you know how it is...that's why you went with the shorter tires when you went dually!
For the fronts, I like the air bag idea...I'm just worried about more parts that could break. I know that guy Murphy....
__________________
1996 F350. 7.3 PSD, E4OD, 4x4, D60, just starting....
1985 F-350 Work truck. 6.9 Diesel IDI, T-19, 2wd 3.55 Ford 10.25....Planning a fully built 6.9 with PSD turbo, ZF5, Dana 60, 5.13's with ARB's - Scrapped
1991 F-Superduty Work truck. 7.3 Diesel IDI, ZF5, 2wd, 5.13's, 12' x 8' x 4' stake dump. Planning a nasty 6.9 and Dana 60 swap
IDI's make me
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2010, 10:50 AM
TexasGuy001 TexasGuy001 is offline
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I don't like the air bag idea for any of it, its just more stuff to have problems later.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:50 AM
 
 
 
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