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Air Bags/ Air Horns - Onboard Compressor

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jbell36, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. jbell36

    jbell36 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 222

    I am looking into enhancing the suspension a little on my '08 powerstroke super duty...i do not know much about air bags so i wanted to ask a few questions...(airbags in front and back)...with no load on the front or back would you be able to "lift" the truck an inch or so with just inflating the air bags, basically the same idea as a small lift kit? or do the bags act as timbrens when it has to squat to a certain level for them to work? i'm asking because i wouldn't mind having the option to add an inch or so of height while unloaded...if so would it affect ride quality?

    i have also been looking into air horns and was hoping i could hook up the air bags AND air horns to the same onboard compressor?...where do you guys mount the air compressor?
  2. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Yes,it will raise your truck,maybe up to 2'' or so and without a load the more air you put in,the worse the ride.I'm a manual type guy.My compressor is mounted in the shed.:nod:
  3. 7.3 Plower

    7.3 Plower Senior Member
    Messages: 221

    I personally would mount the compressor somewhere near the frame rail. The typical location for the tank is in the factory location for the spare tire or I'm sure you could find somewhere else with some fabrication and creativity with brackets.

    If you're looking to do front and rear bags I would run a set of switches for each set of bags. One for front one for rear. Then you can use a dual sweep air pressure gauge like they use in big trucks and use one needle for front pressure one for rear pressure. You can pull as many different things off the tank as you want really.

    The other thing you can do if you don't want to go through the hassle of gauges etc on the airbags is to run a line of each bag to a T in the middle then bring that single line out to a Schrader valve. Basically the same thing as a tire valve stem uses. You can fill it with the same chuck as a tire and check it with a tire pressure gauge. The limiting factor here is that you cannot change pressures on the fly like you could by running on board air but it is a FAR simpler system to install.

    As far as your question of would it raise the truck up at all well that depends on the bags you use and how you mount them.

    Realistically I think a set of Timbrens would be better for you but that's just my opinion.

    I only know what I know about air bag systems due to a friend of mine who is into mini-trucks and is lowering his 99 F250 diesel to the ground.

    So a basic explanation of how you'd have to set your system up is a pretty decent compressor feeding into like a 5 gallon tank. You'd put a gauge up in the cab for tank pressure as well as a switch to turn the compressor on and off although the compressor would be set to kick off at a certain PSI. Wire it in however you'd like. So from the tank you could run air to your horns with a solenoid to open and shut a valve for the horns. Then you'd pull off the tank again and have a line running frontward and a line running rearward. Those lines would T off to each corner. In each corner you'd need an airbag whose travel was greater than the stock distance between each of the surfaces you mounted it to. eg: if the distance between the mounts is 6" you'd want a bag with travel in excess of 6" if you wanted to gain ride height

    From there you'd need to plumb in your gauge for bag pressures.

    And if you're going this far I'd highly recommend running another line to just under your rear bumper or something where you could plug in an air hose and be able to fill tires, run impact tools, etc. off the truck.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

  5. Fairfax F150

    Fairfax F150 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

  6. JeffNY

    JeffNY Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    My compressor is sitting under my back seat, with the 2.5g air tank. Neither is mounted, they're both just laying under there and havent moved. I wanted to keep em nice so I opted out putting them outside the truck. The compressor isnt loud at all.
  7. 3bladz

    3bladz Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    You don't want to T the lines together. When you turn a corner the weight will shift to the outside and the inside bag will over inflate causing magnified body roll. Each bag needs it's own valve.
  8. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I have airhorns on my truck, but I don't use a compressor, either on-board or in the shop. I have a bottle of compressed nitrogen mounted to the frame rail of my truck. I used a welding regulator and a solenoid and Parker push-lock hose. It is a simple solution. I would think that it would work for airbags, as well.

  9. JeffNY

    JeffNY Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    Never even thought of that. But then, wont you have to inflate/deflate each bag separately?
  10. 3bladz

    3bladz Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    Yes, but that is how to make them work correctly and safely.
    If you don't believe it, then before you put your air bags on the truck, just connect the two together and set them on the floor and push down on one and watch what the other does.
    Then think about turning a corner with a pallet of salt or something in the bed of the truck.
  11. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    bag kit comes with 2 filler valves.

    i install everyone in the extra plate holes on the rear bumper. blends in slick and dont even know there there. Thumbs Up
  12. JeffNY

    JeffNY Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    I understand how it works, just kinds sucks to have to have 2 of those switches for them to work 'correctly'. Can I use the dual switch one they offer?
  13. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

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