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Old 06-10-2017, 08:54 AM   #1
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
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Airlift or Firestone rear bags?

I'm looking to replace my rear airbags. It seems the bags you need vary slightly by wheelbase. There is one set for 137" and 158.5" wheelbase, and another for anything larger. Anyhow, my 250 is 158.5, so I'm looking at the Firestone

http://www.truckspring.com/suspensio...rite-6859.aspx

or the AirRide 5000:

https://www.airliftcompany.com/shop/88203/

Does anyone have a view on which is the better product?

In addition, should I take this opportunity to buy an entire new kit and swap everything out?

thanks
Nick
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:26 AM   #2
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Nick,

I have been using Firestone airbag units for many years. Very satisfied with their performance. When I purchased my 2011 Sprinter, Firestone had ceased making bags for the Sprinter chassis due to some legal issues relating to several overloading situations that resulted in legal action.......their many warnings about NOT overloading the rigs not withstanding.

I went with Air Ride as it was the only one available that would fit. While the construction was not as robust as the Firestone, they are still working after 6 years the Sprinter.

I would definitely look at Pac Brake's air bags, as they are probably the best built on the market but are not widely available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
I'm looking to replace my rear airbags. It seems the bags you need vary slightly by wheelbase. There is one set for 137" and 158.5" wheelbase, and another for anything larger. Anyhow, my 250 is 158.5, so I'm looking at the Firestone

http://www.truckspring.com/suspensio...rite-6859.aspx

or the AirRide 5000:

https://www.airliftcompany.com/shop/88203/

Does anyone have a view on which is the better product?

In addition, should I take this opportunity to buy an entire new kit and swap everything out?

thanks
Nick
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Hi

Looking at your location as listed (Oxford) ... do you need a product that is legal / supported / available in the UK?

Bob
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:46 PM   #4
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Hi from AZ. . . I put a pair of airbags on my F150, and make no mistake, it's all about the installation. These were done by an 'authorized' dealer in Anchorage and after 2 return visits & 2 visits to other dealers on the way back home. . . . I NEVER got them to stop leaking the air out in usually less than a week ! Just sayin' regards, Craig
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Looking at your location as listed (Oxford) ... do you need a product that is legal / supported / available in the UK?

Bob
Firestone and Airlift are both available over here, so no problems on that score. More generally, they seem to have tightened up on US vehicle imports. My understanding is that there is some kind of initial roadworthiness check on import now and it's also more difficult, but certainly not impossible to get them registered. When we imported ours in 2007, we had walk in DVLA (DMV) offices. I simply walked into the Oxford office with some original US documentation and walked out 20 minutes later with a road legit vehicle which can be driven anywhere in Europe. God knows what will happen when the UK exits the European Union.....but no doubt it will cost me more.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
Firestone and Airlift are both available over here, so no problems on that score. More generally, they seem to have tightened up on US vehicle imports. My understanding is that there is some kind of initial roadworthiness check on import now and it's also more difficult, but certainly not impossible to get them registered. When we imported ours in 2007, we had walk in DVLA (DMV) offices. I simply walked into the Oxford office with some original US documentation and walked out 20 minutes later with a road legit vehicle which can be driven anywhere in Europe. God knows what will happen when the UK exits the European Union.....but no doubt it will cost me more.
Hi

I'm glad the import process and hassle was that simple. In some cases coming the other way forces you to change out headlights and other strange stuff.

I've often wondered how one gets through the typical "last major update in 1067" town center with an F-250 ...

Bob
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I had to make some minor changes to the bulbs etc in the rear light cluster and add a fog light below the bumper, but that was it. This is a bigger problem......even funnier on the continent when you can't speak the language.

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Old 06-10-2017, 04:10 PM   #8
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Hi

Heading into someplace odd, that sort of thing could happen over here as well. Good reason to have a *big* tow strap with you. I won't bring up my opinion of a front wheel drive motor home ....

There *somewhere* is some video of a certain *someone* ... errr.... mistaking the signs on a road (... trail .... track ... goat path ...wide spot on the cliff) in the Austrian alps. We did indeed live through the experience.

I'm not real surprised by the lighting stuff. It takes me a bit to adjust to night driving any time I cross the Atlantic.

Bob
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:47 AM   #9
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The wife and I installed a set of Firestone Air Bags on our 2016 f-150, pretty straight forward install if you are handy with tools. I spent a few extra $$$ for a "T" single valve to fill the bags, this way you make sure you have the same PSI on each bag. The standard kit come with two fill valves. They work great.
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:15 PM   #10
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Put the Firestone RideRite air bags on our 2016 F-250 diesel and really like them. Got some good advice here on the Forum to have the compressor installed as well; that was a great bit of advice. Now I can set the desired pressure from a control switch/pressure gauge in the cab. Next step is to add an air tank so I can inflate tires, etc. from the truck's compressor. Have towed our Classic at least 3,000 miles now with the airbags and varying loads in the truck; truck is 8642 with me and full fuel (50 gal), so the TV weight range is from 8642 to 10,000 (generators, bikes, kayaks and all the cooking gear in the world for my chef wife). AS is weighing in at 8500 for normal trip to 9000 with more clothes and food on board. We always travel with full water.
Hooking up to the ProPride and leveling the trailer is a piece of cake between the WD jacks and air bags. Very glad I spent the $ for the air bags.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:12 PM   #11
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Air Bags

I installed air lift air bags in my 2014 1500 Silverado two years ago. They have never leaked and perform as advertised and expected. I run them at 12lbs or 14 lbs depending on load in the bed. I had entertained the idea of the 5 leaf spring used in the 2500 series silverados, but the cost of the air lift bags was only a fraction of what new springs would have been from chevy. Considering Bilstein shocks, but haven't researched in depth yet.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:42 AM   #12
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One very important point to remember about air bags is that they DO NOT INCREASE YOUR WEIGHT CARRYING CAPACITY and should only be used for stabilization and load leveling.

This is clearly stated in every manual from every air bag manufacturer. This is also the reason why Firestone no longer makes bags for the Sprinter chassis. Several folks thought it would be a good idea to add their bags to the 3500 dually chassis on rigs like the Winnebago View and promptly exceed the OEM stated GVW and rear axle capacity.

After several accidents from these scenarios and the resulting law suits (which Firestone won.......they felt it prudent to discontinue the product that so many were abusing.

I would have done the same if my explicit instructions were ignored!!!

Be careful out there!!!
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogieshoes View Post
Now I can set the desired pressure from a control switch/pressure gauge in the cab. Next step is to add an air tank so I can inflate tires, etc. from the truck's compressor.
Boogieshoes, would you mind sharing which control switch / pressure gauge you used?

I already have onboard air (Viair compressor and tank) for air inflation so am doing this in the reverse order that you did.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:18 AM   #14
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We installed the Firestone airbags on our F150 and I love how it stabilizes the rig while towing getting rid of most of the porpoising. What I don’t love is the wireless controller from Firestone.

The Firestone wireless controller is sad on two fronts. Its user interface is sluggish and confusing. Surprising for a product with such a simple job to do. It also had such a short range that we were constantly waving the controller around trying to find the one sweet spot where it would talk to the receiver under the truck. It’s an absolute piece of junk.

I replaced it at some expense with the AirRide controller, even though I have Firestone bags, which is a joy to use. It’s responsive, simple to use, and works every time.

I have no experience with the AirRide bags themselves.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:54 AM   #15
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Airlift or Firestone rear bags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
I replaced it at some expense with the AirRide controller, even though I have Firestone bags, which is a joy to use. Itís responsive, simple to use, and works every time.

I am going to install the Firestone 2597 bags with a t-union so that both bags get the same air pressure and supply.

Do you have a link to the AirRide Controller you used? Canít seem to locate it. Thanks in advance!

For reference, here are the links to the parts I plan to use for the F250 Super Duty install.

Firestone Ford F250/350/450 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Q3N68J..._Dug3BbTHAQ2YB

Firestone 3025 1/4" Union Tee Tubing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GBZY6W..._ivg3Bb9PHA1BS
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:05 AM   #16
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UncleBad - I used the 2573 Plastic Control Panel. Came with my kit.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:08 AM   #17
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I have the Ride Rite air bags; installed Aug 2016. Really like them and like the ability to adjust on the road from the simple control switch under the dash. System holds air for weeks without much if any pressure loss. Wish I had included an air tank; may add that. One problem: just in the past week have had oily foam leaking from the control switch when I decrease air pressure. Probably from the compressor (is a 9499); about to get under the truck and inspect. Warranty only 2 yrs; new 9499 is $170 on Amazon.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBad View Post
I am going to install the Firestone 2597 bags with a t-union so that both bags get the same air pressure and supply.

Do you have a link to the AirRide Controller you used? Can’t seem to locate it. Thanks in advance!

For reference, here are the links to the parts I plan to use for the F250 Super Duty install.

Firestone Ford F250/350/450 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Q3N68J..._Dug3BbTHAQ2YB

Firestone 3025 1/4" Union Tee Tubing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GBZY6W..._ivg3Bb9PHA1BS
This is the link to the complete Air Ride compressor and remote. This will work with the Firestone bags if you like.

In my case I already had installed the worthless Firestone system so already had the compressor that came with that. I used the cheaper generation 1 system from Air Lift and just threw away the ricky dink compressor that came with it. If you are starting from scratch, though, get the generation 2.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daleyocum View Post
This is the link to the complete Air Ride compressor and remote. This will work with the Firestone bags if you like.

In my case I already had installed the worthless Firestone system so already had the compressor that came with that. I used the cheaper generation 1 system from Air Lift and just threw away the ricky dink compressor that came with it. If you are starting from scratch, though, get the generation 2.


I went a bit simpler. I will use this single switch and gauge to air up or down the bags.

Firestone Ride-Rite 2570 Pressure Gauge Single White Plastic Pneumatic Gauge ... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FBKVOI..._.uz3BbXD470A5

Now... where to locate this switch....
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:19 AM   #20
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My 270 setup is different due to not having a tag axle.
My rear airbags are used for the drive axle and the bags are tied together coming from the leveler valving, back to the dash.
I have a pressure regulator at the dash that sets the pressure to the rear air system. This way I can adjust for a softer ride when I am not towing.
I also have individual dash air switches with gauges to each front air bag. Not really necessary, but I had the parts and the space.
One switch is for power to the compressor and the other is a valve switch to cut off the air supply to everything.


On that note, I just blew out a front airbag, I am waiting on good weather to have the fronts installed. I also ordered a pair of rears since the rubber on them is beginning to oxidize. The rear Firestone bags are on backorder till December
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