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Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper Springs Installation - 2018 Ford F-150

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How to Install the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper Springs on a 2018 Ford F-150


Clayton: Hello, everybody Clayton here at etrailer.com. Here at etrailer.com we install, test and review a lot of different products to help you as the customer make a better decision before your purchase. Today we're going to be working on a 2018 Ford f-150, we're going to be taking a look at. I'll be walking you through how to install the Airlift Loadlifter 5000 Ultimate Air Helper Springs. Our Air Springs are going to be a huge improvement to our truck's ride quality whenever we have a big load in the bed or we're hooked up to our trailer. Now our air springs are commonly referred to as airbags.

Now, again this is going to be a huge upgrade if you are towing on the weekends or even every day. It's just going to make our ride quality a lot better and it's going to help save our factory suspension. Again, this is the ultimate version of Airlift Loadlifter with 5000 capacity.Now what makes this ultimate is it does have an internal jounce bumper to help save our bags if we ever do go below that 5 lb minimum. And something you really want to keep in mind is adding airbags to your truck is not going to increase your towing capacity. It's just 5000 lb of helping capacity.

So when you are at that max load it's just going to make it a whole lot more livable. This is what our Air Springs are going to look like installed. As you can see, they look really nice, they sit nice and tight to our frame, our axle and our leaf springs. Like I said, the best part about this kit is we're not going to have to drill anything out so it's going to be super easy to get mounted up. It's definitely going to be an upgrade, it's going to make our lives a whole lot better whenever we're towing or have a heavy load in the bed of our truck.Our actual air spring is going to be constructed out of a two ply reinforced fabric.

So it's going to be really strong, it's going to hold up to anything we want to throw at it. And you want to keep in mind there is a minimum air pressure of 5 PSI required to be in the air bag all the time and our maximum air pressure is going to be right at a 100 lb. So we are going to get quite a bit of adjustability and being able to run a couple of different ways is really going to allow us to set it up to what we are towing. Our brackets are going to be constructed out of steel and all of our hardware is going to be included and this is going to be really easy whenever we're getting it installed and we're not going to have to worry about it breaking down over time.It also has a nice black powder coat finish to help keep rust and corrosion from becoming a factor as well. Our airline tubes are going to run from our airbags to the rear of our truck and as I said, there are a couple of different ways that you can get this mounted up.

I'll talk about this later in the installation portion. In my professional opinion this is one of the better kits I've ever worked with. It really made a huge difference in the truck's ride quality and you see that in the test course footage. It really makes this truck a whole lot better when we are nearing that max payload capacity. So it's definitely something that I would consider and install if I had this particular vehicle. One of the awesome feature of this kit is we're not going to have to drill into our trucks frame.So that's going to be a whole lot easier to install, it's going to make our lives a lot easier, definitely something you can do at home in your driveway. So we've gone over some of the features, I'll go ahead and walk you through how to get it installed now. With our truck bed empty, we're going to take a few measurements just to see where our truck sits stock. So we're not going to have any weight in the bed, this is what it's going to be like every day. We'll grab our tape measure, we're going to measure from the ground to the middle of our wheel well. Now we're looking right at 36 and three quarter inches. Now we can move up to the front. And the measurement of our front is going to be right about 36 inches. So we did have about three quarter inch rake, which is pretty normal for a factory truck with no weight in the bed.So we went ahead and loaded up about 1000 lb under the bed of our truck, now we can go ahead and get a few more measurements for you. Measurement from the ground to the wheel well is right at 34 inches. So we dropped two and three quarter inches. That's quite a bit of drop we'll move up to the front and get a measurement there. We're looking right at 36 inches. So it didn't change a whole lot in the front but we definitely dropped quite a bit in the back. This is going to do a couple of things. It's going to decrease our steering because we're going to have less tire on the ground with it squatting. Our headlights are going to be at a different angle so we're going to have more trouble seeing the road and it's really going to decrease our braking power.We're getting ready to hit our test course so we're going to start with our alternating bumps. This is going to simulate any potholes or bumps in the road or anything like that we're going to feel. And holy cow, we can definitely feel that weight around back there, kind of slamming the truck down and the recoil was pretty bad, it doesn't feel very comfortable. Now we're going to move on to our straight bumps. So this is going to be like a speed bump or a big curb, anything like that. It feels the same kind of sluggish, you can definitely feel that weight slamming the back of the truck down. For now we're ready to hit our slalom course, this is going to be tight maneuvers in the parking lot or on the road if you have to make any sudden maneuvers, we're just going to go back and forth. And we can really feel that weight kicking us around. It definitely wants to move the truck wherever that weight's going versus the truck moving the weight.So in the slalom course, we definitely feel a lot of body roll and you're just going to notice that if you're going down the highway and some big truck passes you or anything like that, it's really going to throw the truck around and make it really hard to control. To start our installation we want to remove our spare tire. With our spare tire out of the way and our spare tire holder kind of tucked up out of the way, we now want to remove our heat shield. We're going to use a 13 millimeter socket and there's going to be three bolts. With our hardware removed we want to make sure to hold onto our heat shield so it doesn't fall. You can kind of work it out of the way and we will set it off to the side.We are now ready to remove our factory jounce stopper. There's going to be a 13 millimeter bolt located in the center. So we're just going to grab our socket and get that onto our bolt and then kind of break it loose slowly. If you're having trouble with this, I would recommend using some penetrating oil just to get that bolt broken loose. And with our joint stopper off, we will repeat that same process on the passenger's side. We're now going to remove this bracket that holds our brake lines off of our spring pack. Now not all trucks are going to have this, but if yours does, we're going to just remove this 10 millimeter bolt and set this off to the side.I just want to pull that off, it gives us enough room to slide our bracket behind it. And I'm going to grab our upper frame bracket. They are going to be marked left and right so you want to start on the driver's side. We'll grab our supplied hardware with a split lock washer and we'll slide that through there. We do want the bigger hole facing the rear of the truck. We're going to grab this bracket, kind of slide it in with SL on the inside. We're just going to thread this in where we took out our joint stopper.Now we can go ahead and torque this down, all of our torque specs can be found in our instructions. We'll repeat that same process on the other side. Now I'm going to grab our lower bracket and these are universal so it's not going to matter which bracket goes on which side. I'm just going to lift this in and then slide it around our spring holders here at the bottom. You might have to grab a hammer and work this in as it is a little bit tight. You just want to get the holes lined up in our spring pack down here with the holes in our bracket, just like that.We'll make sure that this is going to fit in here like so. The hole on the front side of our axle is not threaded, but our kit includes these self-tapping screws so we just want to drive that in. We'll do this with a 13 millimeter socket and with that all the way press down, we're actually going to back it off a little bit so we have room to adjust our lower bracket, just like so. Now I want to grab our provided flange nut. We're just going to hand thread this in there, lining up our bracket with our brake lines, through the hole and our lower bracket to the threads in our spring clamp.Like I said, we're just going to get this loosely installed that way we are able to kind of shift everything around and get it to fit nicely once we get our airbag in. And I'm going to grab our lower bracket that goes around the bottom of our axle. I'm going to grab our long carriage bolt, we're just going to hold this up, slide our carriage bolt from the bottom like so. Then on the top here, we're going to add a flat washer and our nylon lock nut provided. We're just going to get this hand tightened like so. We're going to repeat that same process on the front of the axle. Now I want to grab a nine 16th ratcheting wrench. We're just going to tighten these down evenly to where our bracket just barely makes contact with our axle.Like I said, you want to make sure that you're tightening these down evenly that way it gets that bracket nice and centered. Now I'm going to grab our 90 air fitting, we're just going to start threading that into our airbag. And as soon as you feel that tape catch, if you just turn this nothing's going to happen. So we want to make sure that's thread starts catching then we'll be grabbing an 11 millimeter wrench and we're just going to turn it two and a half times just to get that thread tape engaged, you don't want to tighten it down all the way. We want to grab the top to our bag, we're just going to set that over the air fitting, you want the lip facing upwards. Then we can grab our upper bracket like so and we want this notch facing upwards. We then want to grab our provided hardware with a split lock washer and flat washer and then we'll just get these started into the threads on the top of our bag.We'll repeat that same process for this one. We're now going to grab our nine 16th socket and just tighten these down. Now I'm going to torque these down to the amount specified in our instructions. Before we slide our bag into the brackets, we want to lift up the rear end either from our hitch or from our frame using a jack and since we're on a lift, we already using a pole jack. I want to slide our airbag in to place. We want our carriage bolt openings on the outside so that means that this part that faces upwards is going to be towards the front. We also want our fitting facing outwards as well. So we'll just take our bag like so, you kind of slide it into place. You might have to compress the bag a little bit or jack up the rear of the truck just a little bit more.Our instructions are going to tell us to install our carriage bolts first, but it is kind of hard to work because this doesn't line up all the time, it's not going to line up perfectly. So if we leave this loose to where we can kind of slide it around to get our hardware installed on the bottom, it's going to make this process a lot easier. We now want to slide into place our lower seat. Again, you want the lip facing down. You kind of have to compress the bag again to kind of work this into place.You might have to move it around a little bit just to make it a little bit easier, just like that. Now we want to come underneath and line up our holes, but once you do, we just want to grab our bolt with a small lock washer and flat washer and we'll just get these started from the bottom. And again, we just want to leave everything loosely installed until we get it all aligned. We'll repeat that same process on this opening here. Now we'll take a nine 16th socket and just snug these down. Again, we're not going to tighten them down all the way up.I want to grab our smaller carriage bolt. We're going to have to position our slider bag around a little bit to get that to come through right there. Once that's through, we're going to grab a small flat washer and our nylon lock nut provided. We're just going to get that hand tight for now where threads start to catch, we'll repeat that same process on the front of the bag. Now I'll grab our nine 16th socket and tighten all this down. We're now ready to come back and tighten everything down. We're now ready to come back and torque everything down and again, all of our torque specs are going to be found in our instructions.We are now ready to repeat all the same processes on the other side. Remember to torque everything down. We are now ready to run our airlines to the rear of our truck. Now there are a couple of different options when it comes to running our airlines. Our customer in particular wants a one out fitting so you do need to pick up a Tee fitting if you are going to do so. Now, a lot of guys electrode run both fittings out to the back of the truck because he can air up each bag individually if you ever carry an uneven load. And another good option to consider is going to be getting an air compressor.If you did want to pick up a compressor or a Tee fitting, you can find those here at etrailer.com. I'm going to go ahead and run our airlines and then show you how we did it. To start you just want to grab the ends like so, kind of pull it apart and then cut it right in the middle so you have an even length on both sides. So we just push our airline tube into our fitting until you hear it click then we run it up through the hole in the frame rail here. Then it comes out of our frame rail on this side. It's really nice because we have all this factory wiring so I just zip tied it to that then run our airline tube up and over this cross-member and it comes out right here.On this side, we ran it into the frame rail through the same hole and then it comes out on this side and due to our exhaust thing here, I tucked it back into the frame rail and pulled it down to the end just like we did on the other side. So it runs up and over this cross member and then I zip tied it to our factory wiring here and I ran it over this cross member and behind our wiring here and then since we are going to be doing a single path, I'm going to add our Tee fitting here. Now, if you're only running dual path, what we want to do is zip tie, our extra airline tube out of the way, we're going to be using a nine 30 seconds drill bit to get a nice opening for our airline tube to fit through. With our hole drilled out we're going to make sure our airline tube fits through there and it does.This is the Tee fitting we're going to be using. We want to make sure to keep everything out of the way of our spare tire. So we're just going to grab our airlines, I think the best spot to put our Tee fitting is going to be right here and then you can zip tie everything to our factory wiring. So now we want to grab our airline tube cutters, if you don't have these you can pick them up here at etrailer.com. These are necessary because we want to make nice clean cuts. So we'll cut that, kind of rubbed the burrs off and then we'll push our Tee fitting on. We'll push that on the same way that we did with Tee fittings for our airbags. We'll come back and cut this guy, rub those burrs off and push it off like so. Now we're going to grab the part of our airline tube that has our air fitting and slide that into the opening kind of gauge where we want to cut it. I am going to cut it a little bit long, so we'll just cut it right about here.We're going to get those burrs off and push it into our fitting. Now we can get our fitting mounted up into our opening. On the backside of our fitting we just need to thread on our small hex nut and just do it right about there and we want to add our small star washer and then we'll push this through the opening that we drilled. On the backside, we're going to push on our rubber washer. That is pretty tight so you might just have to thread it like I'm doing here and this just keeps it from vibrating against our bumper. That rubber washer on, we can now add our flat washer and then our hex nut to tighten that down like so.Now I want to come back and tighten it down. We're going to put a 13 millimeter wrench on the backside and use a 13 millimeter socket on the outside to tighten it down and just like that it's nice and tight. We're now ready to add some air to our airbags and check for leaks. I want to grab some soapy water and spray down all of our fittings to check for leaks. We're going to be looking for a lot of really fast bubbles growing. We just want to spray down all of our fittings. With all of our fittings checked we can go back in and zip tie everything down and then we want to add our valve STEM cap to the air fitting on the outside, just like so. With everything cleaned up and tested we can now reinstall our heat shield and our spare tire in the reverse order that we took them apart.So now we have our airbags installed. We do have about 25 pounds in our airbags. We have our load added back to the bed so now we can go ahead and get a few measurements for you. Our measurement in the rear is right at 37 inches. So we actually picked up a quarter inch over stock, that's definitely going to make our ride quality a lot better. Now, if you move up to the front, we are looking right about 36 inches and that's where we we're at stock. So we're definitely going to be able to drive comfortably and not have to worry about losing braking power or our headlights not facing in the correct area. We're now ready to hit the test course with our airbags installed. Again, we're going to start with her alternating bumps, see how it reacts. And this feels a whole lot better than it did stock.The suspension is a lot more responsive and those bounces don't hit us as hard. Now we'll get to our straight bumps and it feels a whole lot better as well. It's just more responsive, not as saggy and it doesn't kick back as hard. Now, moving back over to our slalom course, we're just going to do some hard maneuvers less than right. And this is a whole lot better, there's a lot less body roll, have a lot more control of our truck. This is definitely going to be essential whenever we are traveling with a load on our bed.After hitting our slalom course, it's honestly a huge improvement. Definitely would feel more comfortable with driving with a heavy load in our bed or hooked up to a trailer. Before it was kind of nerve wracking because you didn't know what the truck was going to do and we didn't have full control. Now it feels like we're in full control and honestly, it's hard to even tell that we have a big load in the bed of our truck. That's going to do it for our look at and the installation of the Airlift Loadlifter Ultimate 5000 Air Helper Springs on our 2018 Ford f-150.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Brent H
Installed by:
Brent H
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O

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