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OT: Air Bag Suspension for Ford F450


SuiteSuccess

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We will occasionally be taking our F450 and our Mobile Suites Trailer on trips with our grandkids (saves us from taking two vehicles since Smart won't hold four). I have the B&W turnover Companion Hitch for the Ford and my trailer pin box is the MorRyde which helps with chucking. I don't want to change the pin box to air ride since it wouldn't play well with the HDT and my ET and I don't want to switch back and forth between pin boxes. Several RV sites suggest adding air bags to the truck to control vertical bounce while the MorRyde controls the horizontal. Anyone with experience? And which airbag system would you suggest? And ease of installation? BTW compared Comfort Ride Hitch for B&W but cost is $$$ vs. $ and this is only occasional use.

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I had them on my 350 and it made all the difference in the world. If your only using it occasionally don't spend the money for built n compressor. Just add air till the truck is level. You'll find the sweet spot and just add air when needed for traveling.

 

JC

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Suite - years ago, our F350 dually was eating iron springs. At t end of the second set, I was talking with the spring shop and he said it was common in the Fords. The springs were too hard and acted like a tuning fork on the potholes in MI.

 

I went with a full air ride complete with compressor and leveling valve. The company is not in business any more, but the ride was a lot better, headlights always pointed in the right direction (no looking for space ships while towing),

 

Kelderman has a similar setup last I looked.

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You may not "dampen" the ride as much as you might be expecting. Supplemental air bags such as the ones you are purposing for your F-450 will "help" with leveling but depending on the air pressure needed to achieve this may make the ride "harsher". I know you are not expecting a ride similar to the Volve and ET!

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Carl- The air bags will lift the truck frame off of the bottom spring on the truck. On the rear axle, the spring pack is 3-4?? leafs thick. Bottom leaf is normally the overload and is thick and does not like to bend giving the truck a harsh ride when the other spring leafs are pushed down to it. Once you lift the weight off of that leaf the ride should get a better ride in the truck. As far as the RV bounce, it will help soften the impact on the truck. But you'll have to remember that there is a solid non-moving connecting hitch from the trailer to truck. The Moryde pin does help with the chucking fore and aft, but that 5" of travel that the ET allows, now transfers to your seat.

Another thought would be to put some extra seating in the HDT...... just a thought.

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Carl- The air bags will lift the truck frame off of the bottom spring on the truck. On the rear axle, the spring pack is 3-4?? leafs thick. Bottom leaf is normally the overload and is thick and does not like to bend giving the truck a harsh ride when the other spring leafs are pushed down to it. Once you lift the weight off of that leaf the ride should get a better ride in the truck. As far as the RV bounce, it will help soften the impact on the truck. But you'll have to remember that there is a solid non-moving connecting hitch from the trailer to truck. The Moryde pin does help with the chucking fore and aft, but that 5" of travel that the ET allows, now transfers to your seat.

Another thought would be to put some extra seating in the HDT...... just a thought.

Jim,

 

Considered the added seating but once we get to location we go to places where we can't take the HDT so would need to rent a car. Pickup allows us to seat five so why I was considering this route. May just have to have Donna follow in the van.

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On my Chevy k3500 I put the Kelderman 4 link on it, cost me 5,000.00 and I installed it, and I will do it again when I trade trucks, as I haul a lot of different trailers in my construction work, rides great all the time, sits level, and I can dump the air to hook up to a ball hitch trailer, no using the tongue jack to lift a heavy load, just drop drive out, and when I hook back up just drop and back in, but that's just me.

I pulled my DRV Atalanta to the national rally 2 years ago with it, couldn't even tell I was loaded the way it sat.\

 

Now I have Volvo air ride, works about the same way :D

 

Roger

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Seems like a lot of worry for what could be a non-issue. All the air bag camp have been in the 350/3500 group. Depending on the year, the 450 could handle a brick-house worth of weight in the bed.

Darryl,

 

I'm probably missing the whole point of an air ride. I have no worries about the 450 carrying the weight. I was thinking it would "soften" the ride the trailer itself experienced since my companion hitch is rigid and the MorRyde pin box only helps in vertical plane (chucking). I was thinking the air bags on the suspension might act similar to an air ride hitch or air ride pin box, just not as efficiently but better than just springs. Obviously that thinking is probably wrong. Sorry for the confusion.

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Up in post #3, mine was a total replacement of the springs, similar to the Volvo. Trailing arm, panhard rod, ride height, etc which is why I had a separate compressor. I thought, after doing the install over the weekend, I would just throw a 100 # propane tank in the back until I could mount the compressor. (Valves pulled, used as a extra air tank). Emptied it in day.

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Darryl I put a kelderman air ride nder a 99 550. Really helped the ride. But it was on my hauler for a 37 Cardinal. It was worth the money(1.5k) for me. Is it really what you need? I would put the bags on it an tow. How much longer are the grand kids going to want to go camping? Go the cheap and quick route and then rethink. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Just like previous post, I have Kelderman on my 2001 F550 and wouldn't want to be without it. One time left a vase of flowers on counter and after several miles down the road remembered they were there, stopped and they were still in same place as when we left. Smoooooooth ride.....

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I put Firestone Ride Rite bags on my F450. They work very well and I would definitely do the same ones again.

Yes that was what I was looking at. Thanks again for the "welding" consultation yesterday. Got the job done today. Not great but better. Just need more practice.

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