Author Topic: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig  (Read 2436 times)

BowtieBone

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AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« on: January 23, 2013, 01:26:44 AM »
Thought I'd post this up for anyone interested in keeping their tow rigs level and reducing the swaying with heavy loads.
This is a pretty easy project to complete, AirLift boasts it's a 2hr job and no cutting/drilling.....It took me 4hrs....a bit of cursing....and of course the tapper was running the whole time  :beer:

The kit I bought was the AirLift LoadLifter 5000...has a 5000lb capacity for under $300. Surprisingly VatoZone had the cheapest price on it (although, I didn't look at any other brands). I chose not to purchase the additional compressor for it simply due to the fact that I just didn't have the $$ for it, but they offer a few different compressor options allowing you to air/deflate from the cab as well as keeping a minimum amount of air in them while empty (AirLift states that a minimum of 5psi is required in them at all times with a max of 100psi).

The kit is pretty straight forward , you have to assemble each air bag from the parts supplied

Once assembled it looks like this

The factory bumpstop has to removed

Then you bolt the top bracket of the airbag in place of the bumpstop first - leaving it loose for adjustment later


The lower bracket "wraps" around the bump plate on the axle and has a ubolt to secure it

You want about a thumb-space between the leaf spring and the airbag as their instructions state. I just made sure it was evenly centered on the lower plate then tightened both the top bolts and the ubolts to secure the airbag assembly in place

The kit came with a heat shield to put on the exhaust pipe to protect the airbag

I chose to put the inflation valves in the fender wells, although you can put them anywhere convenient for you. The airbags are kept seperate to allow you to adjust based on the load

With 80psi, the Duramax is loaded and still level as if it were empty

The only issues I had was getting the tubing to seal properly in the airbag fitting. You need a very clean cut on the plastic tubing...the tubing just pushes into the fitting and it locks into place. Initially, both sides leaked when I first tried to air them up, but after messing with it a bit, I was able to get them to seal.
Of course this setup may not be exactly the same on every tow rig, but this should give a general idea. To me, very well worth the $$ spent. We had the cabover on the truck the week before and made a 300 mile trip up north without the airbags and having them made a very noticeable difference in the way the truck handled.


93 Blazer, 350 tbi, 4L60E trans, NP241C, rear 14 bolt welded, front Ford D60 spooled

blackd-out-chev

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 01:48:49 AM »
 I had firestone ride rite bags when i had my dmax and plan to put some on the dodge soon. Best thing to ever have on a truck. itll be my first upgrade on this truck and ill never have a truck without em again. Makes it nice especially if you tow a bunch of different things. Or haul different things. Alot alot more versatile then an add a leaf and load leveling bars.  And if you like to get a little rowdy in your tow rig..you can pump em up and it tightens up the rear end from hopping some and kills some body roll if you like to carve the canyons.

I had the compressor setup...wayyyy sweeter then my buddy with no compressor...great upgrade when you have the money...then you can dump your bags some if you get on a sh**ty road or if you feel it needs some adjustment.  Also, on those ubolts that strap the bag to the axle...theyyyyy suck!  I put 4 welds on the lower bag bracket to the axle. I was haulin firewood outa the mountains once and articulated some with like 65psi in the bags and it spun that bracket around...not cool.

Good purchase!

BowtieBone

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:37:32 AM »
  Also, on those ubolts that strap the bag to the axle...theyyyyy suck!  I put 4 welds on the lower bag bracket to the axle. I was haulin firewood outa the mountains once and articulated some with like 65psi in the bags and it spun that bracket around...not cool.

Good purchase!

Thanks, the base bracket is factory welded to the axle tube, so shouldn't have a problem like that. I agree, great first upgrade to my Duramax  :thumbup:
93 Blazer, 350 tbi, 4L60E trans, NP241C, rear 14 bolt welded, front Ford D60 spooled

blackd-out-chev

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 10:02:35 AM »
Ahhhh it mounts over that extra flat part that kinda resebles another leaf spring pad?   Good deal!

kkattfish

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 11:37:17 AM »
good info.  my air bag kit has been sitting in my garage for 2 years now... lol 
maybe this will motivate me to get to it, probably not though :lee:
thanks tony
just all bad luck at this point.  whatever is the worst that can happen will

BowtieBone

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 11:42:14 AM »
good info.  my air bag kit has been sitting in my garage for 2 years now... lol 
maybe this will motivate me to get to it, probably not though :lee:
thanks tony
If you get that motivation, let me know and I'll give you a hand if you want.
93 Blazer, 350 tbi, 4L60E trans, NP241C, rear 14 bolt welded, front Ford D60 spooled

kkattfish

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 12:43:50 PM »
sounds good, thanks tony
just all bad luck at this point.  whatever is the worst that can happen will

SUB602

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Re: AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 02:24:54 PM »
Definitely a great addition to any Tow Rig. Plan on adding this kit to my Burb when I start Towing the Jeep. Good Work Tony!!
Ruben

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77 Gmc Jimmy, 350, 3SPD, np205, 4" lift, 33" tires, 8-lug axles.

 


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