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Installing Airbags.

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Quality SR, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    Today I installed a set of Ride Rite airbags on my 04 GMC 2500HD. I snapped a ton of pictures but due to the sun most didn't come out. :realmad:. On a scale of 1 -10 i give them a 8 on the install. The instructions were pretty easy to follow. I wanted to make this thread to bring up somethings that wasn't included in the instructions. You can keep the wheels on the truck, thats what i did. But you have to jack up the body, high enough to get the bag in. I went a little higher then the bag. Remove the rubber stopper. The bracket will line right up with the holes. Use a short 14mm socket to remove the nuts.
    Attach the top bracket on the air bag ( where the air fitting is) tightly. The air fitting only needs to be turned in 4 - 6 full turns. Make sure you point the threaded air fitting pointing toward the inside of the truck.

    driver bag 2.jpg
     
  2. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    Make sure you dry fit the brackets to the bag. The nuts they give you ( 9/16") are a locking nut and they are a pain to get off if you mess up. You have to hold the bag in one hand and tighten the nuts with a socket in the other hand. They give you a small alan screw to attach the bottom bracket to the bag. Attach this bracket and leave the screw Loose. Go a head and attach the bracket to the frame rail. Once it is tight to the frame rail, you can go ahead and turn the bottom bracket where you want it and then tighten it down. The book doesn't say this, it says to tighten the screw. But i find it easier this way.
    Before you install the driver side bag you have to remove the 13mm bolt that holds the emergency cable. The carriage bolts hit the bolt. They give you a bracket with the bags to secure this to the airbag brackets.

    driver brackets.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  3. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    They give you a heat deflector for the passenger side. This has to be sandwiched between the bag and the top bracket. Dry fit this to make sure you have the deflector on the right side. They also give you a heat tape to put over the hose. Here are the pictures.

    driver bag.jpg

    pass bag.jpg
     
  4. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    Once you get the bag installed you now have to run the hose. Make sure you measure twice and cut once, because once the hose is inserted in to the fittings they cant be removed.
    The book says to drill two holes in the bumper, but i didn't do that. I ran both ends of the hoses to the driver side of the rear bumper and i am making a 4" x 4" L bracket. I am going to use 2 - 1 1/2" muffler clamps to secure this bracket to the tubular bracing on the receiver hitch. I haven't made the bracket yet but ill post pictures of this when i am done.
    I have head this install taking 3 hours. It took me longer, with no air tools it took me about 4 1/2 hours. Of course the first one takes the most time, and after messing around with the first one ( read above) the second one went fast.
     
  5. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    ...............................................................

    bag side.JPG

    driver angle.jpg
     
  6. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    ........................................................

    driver angle 2.jpg
     
  7. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    After the install the book says to inflate the bags to 70 psi and spray the bags with soapy water and check for leaks. I left the air in for about an hour and kept checking it for an decrease in air. Then i let the air out to 30 psi. And thats where they are now. The truck rides nice and smooth with the 30 psi in them. Here is a picture with 70 psi in the bags. Again sorry for the poor quality of the pictures i couldn't get a break from the sun. Ill have the pictures up soon of the bracket under the bumper.

    jacked 70 psi.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  8. mike psd

    mike psd PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,028

    wow rich good install we need a pic with a load in the bed now hahaha congrats :cool:
     
  9. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    Thanks for the comments. I will snap pictures when i pick up pallets of rock that i will be using for my water garden. Hopefully next weekend if not the weekend after.
     
  10. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    What do you use to fill the bags with as i'm guessing you didn't go with the onboard compressor option since you routed the air lines to the rear of the truck? Where do the lines actually come out of? I'm interested in doing this to my truck at some point see how i'm using it more and more to haul heavier things :)

    Also, where did you get the bags from? Why did you choose these over the firestones (or any other brand that maybe around)?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  11. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    The air bags come with air fittings ( like the ones on your tires) They get mounted where you want to be able to fill the bags. I decided to mount mine on the trailer light hook up.( picture below, sorry for the quality) I didn't want to go with the on board compressor because i really don't use the bags too much so why spend the extra money when it is not needed. Not only do you need the compressor, you need a air tank, and a switch panel with gauges. Anyway i left enough slack that i can always move the lines in a spot for the compressor. I bought the bags from a guy on Ebay, the bags were brand new. They were around $300 with the shipping. I chose Firestone only because i know people that use them and had good luck with them. They are simple to install, and work great. I used them 3 times already. The first time i had a little over 3,000#. The second time, i had about a yard and a half of top soil in the bed, that was over 1,500#. And the last time was 2 weeks ago it had right around 4,000# of shall stone in the bed. Anyway, when i know i am going somewhere to pick something up. I take my pancake compressor and fill it with air. And i use that to fill the bags when i am some place that doesn't have electric or a air compressor. It works well for me. I hope this answers your questions. If you have anymore feel free to drop me a PM or give me a call. Rich

    air fills.JPG