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Air bags on a 2WD F350 - not possible?

 
  #16  
Old 03-17-2016, 10:15 PM
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Thanks for the pictures, a little hard to tell from the pictures since the tie bolts for the bag are in the way.

Here is the problem I am facing: The truck is 3" high in the back unloaded. If it remains that way with the camper, you feel like you are on a slope and the sinks don't drain. It squats 3- 3.5" with the camper on, a little too much, 2" down would be good.

Unloaded, there is 7.5" from axle tube to frame. With 2" squat, 5.5". That is already the minimum ride height for the Firestone bag, no mounts yet. I did what you did in the pictures last time, the lower mount still eats up maybe 1.5" (the CL mounting bolt from the bag doesn't help) and the top mount at least 1/4". Subtract that from the 5.5" and now my bag is 3.75" at rest. A little less than 1" from crush and nothing to prevent it, since the bag replaces the bump stop. With the factory bump stop, there would still be about 3" of travel.

The Airlift and Hellwig kits are similar. At this point I can't find an outside-the-frame kit like I did last time.

Adding a block to gain more space will make the truck run downhill again, unless I also add a block to the front. Now I have a lifted truck - might have been fun when I was 20.
 
  #17  
Old 03-18-2016, 05:26 AM
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I see. With the slide in camper you'll need a specific drop to level the truck. Do you not add blocks under tires to level the truck when camping? If so, just add a 2x6 under both front tires and your tanks will be good. Otherwise if I were in your shoes I would go with Timbrens as others suggested. They do the same thing as bags basically but no mounts. They replace the Oem bump stops. This would let you have your 1.5-2 in drop, sit level, and not sag. When empty they aren't engaged. Super easy install. You might find a retailer like Amazon that would allow you to try them on and return if necessary. I almost went this route but I decided to cut down the mounts first.
 
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by swarf_rat View Post
...the lower mount still eats up maybe 1.5" (the CL mounting bolt from the bag doesn't help)...

Fab a lower mount that sits on the axle tube and you gain ~1.25" This may be just enough. The lower brackets on the kits that are designed to work around the 4x4 lift block overload tangs are a joke. If it were mine I would weld a mount right to the axle tube like the leaf spring pads, and bolt the bag to that.... Perhaps even use leaf spring mounts, they are cheap and easy to get.
 
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:22 PM
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Looking again under my truck, it looks like yours does have a block that I don't have. Also mine is a dually - I think that means I have the Dana axle and the SRW has the Ford 10.5, there might be some differences there too.

With the Firestone bags (and many others) you need a little space under the mount because they have a center line mounting bolt. I have found some that have two offset bolts though.

Also I discovered that there are still outside-the-frame mount bag kits, sold for "gas only" up to about 2011 year model. Why the bag would know what fuel you are running is a bit of a mystery to me.

If I can't find a full on air suspension system, I'm kind of leaning this way: fab an outside the frame mount similar to the kits but more robust (the kit ones flex and bend readily). Remove the overload leaf and its spacer block. Now I have almost 11" between the top of the U bolts and the bed to work in. Using a Dominator 2500 bag, it will have enough travel and is just small enough to fit between tire and frame. I'm trying to avoid doing anything that prevents returning it to stock.
 
  #20  
Old 03-19-2016, 06:32 AM
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The diesel truck have a fuel/urea tank against the inside wall of the driver side frame rail that is different than the gasoline tank. This effects the design of the upper bracket for the indside frame mounts, therefore, the diesel may allow the config better than the gas model.
 
  #21  
Old 03-19-2016, 12:04 PM
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Yeah, might be the case. It looks to me like you can still easily get to the bolts involved (this is outside the frame, not inside), there is an extra bolt head in the way holding up the DEF tank. I'm thinking they could easily have modified the kit to work, but decided instead to spec the under the frame version for new models as everyone is going that direction. I can't find any outside mounts from about 2012 on. Engineering-wise, under the frame is mostly better, if only it fit.
 
 
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