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Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper Springs Installation - 2016 Ram 2500

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How to Install the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper Springs on a 2016 Ram 2500

Today on our 2016 Ram 2500 we're going to take a look at and also show you how to install the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper springs. These are for the rear axle. The part number is AL57289. The really cool thing about the airbag system is that we run independent lines to each airbag. This is going to give us great side-to-side adjustability. I know we always try to make things even, we always try to get it to where our load's nice and level, but it's just not always the case.

This is going to allow us to put, for an off-centered load, maybe in the back of the truck maybe we need 20 pounds on one side, maybe we need 30 pounds on the other side. With the system setup the way it is it's going to give us the ability to do that. Now before we begin our installation, what we're going to do is take a measurement here at the top of the rear fender well and the front fender well. We're looking to find just like a stock measurement, or the measurement that we want to get back to any time we maybe put our fifth-wheel or our Gooseneck in, or maybe we put our trailer on the back or load up the back of the truck, whatever the situation is. That's going to give you your measurement that you want to get back to. Here on the rear it looks like it's going to be about 42", and then the front we've got about 40 1/2. Now we've loaded up about 140, 150 gallons of water.

That's going to simulate either trailer tongue weight, pin weight or just a load in the back of the truck. Now it looks like here in the rear we've gone down about an 1 3/4". You wouldn't think of it being a side effect, but it looks like the front's come up now about 1/2" to 41. Now with that being said, we're putting a lot of excess stress on our factory suspension system. This can cause premature fatigue and excessive wear and tear on these rear components, something that we don't particularly care for.

We want our trucks to last a long time, and by installing those airbags it's going to reduce the pressure that's on our suspension. Our airbags are going to take a lot of that excess pressure and leave us with a good, long-lasting rear suspension setup. Now with the frontend lifting up about 1/2" it has several negative effects on our vehicle. One thing is we're not going to have as much weight pushing down on these front tires. That's going to reduce our braking power and also our handling. By raising the truck up in the frontend it's also changed the geometry of the suspension.

The inside of the tires now are probably going to wear out really quickly if we we're to use this without an airbag setup. Another side effect of the rearend going down is that that frontend comes up. What that does is it increases the angle of your headlights. Now instead of them pointing flat and straight down the road, they're going to be pointing upwards, so it's going to the visibility we have while driving. Now we'll just air-up our bags here, help to get everything leveled back out. All right. We're back at 42 there in the rear, and that's with about 45 pounds of air. These bags will have a range of up to 100 psi, so you can imagine how much this is going to allow us to get up to the safe load-handling capabilities of our truck while still maintaining those factory ride characteristics that we like and also really reducing that stress and strain that we're putting on the truck itself. Here at the front we're going to be right back down to that 40 1/2" inch mark, so that's putting that weight back down on these front tires. We're getting back all of our stability. We're getting all of our handling, our suspension geometry is going to be back in line so we can expect nice, even tire wear here for our tires. Overall it's going to increase the driveability of the truck with this frontend back where it needs to be. Now we'll take a look at our after GoPro, and you'll notice as we do the slalom we're not getting near the body roll side-to-side as we did before our airbags. As we go into our large corner you can see the weight still shifts a little bit, but it's not nearly as dramatic as what it was before our airbags we're installed. Also we can see a good benefit here on our speed bumps. On our alternating speed bumps we don't have quite the shifting side-to-side, and it's not quite as stiff of a feel, so we're not getting all that shock transferred into the cab. On our solid speed bumps the hop in the rearend is reduced quite a bit. It just feels much more smooth and much more stable as we're driving around. Now here's a good look at our airbag, and I just want to show you quickly what they mean by a double-convoluted design. In older style airbags you just had one large bag and when compressed it would really pancake-out and it'd be much larger, so you'd need a lot of clearance room all the way around to accommodate for that. You see when we compress it here it doesn't expand, and so in the tighter areas on these new trucks this is going to fit in there. It's going to be a great solution so stiffen-up that rear to maximize our safe load handling capability. We don't have to worry about having 6" or 4" on each side of the airbag for clearance. Now here on the driver's side one of the first steps in the installation they talk about re-positioning this vent tube. They've redesigned it since the instructions we're done. Typically, it would have come right up out of the axle here and the top of it would have been right here. We would then zip-tie that off up a little bit forward. If yours is designed that way right here in front of the coil spring that's where the hole is going to be that you'll zip-tie it off. You can see this one's a little bit different design. It's going to come up and it's ran up this direction, so it really shouldn't give us interference. We're not going to be worried about zip-tying it off in this application. The next step's going to be to take our 16mm and we need to get rid of our old jump stops. We've got a bolt here on the backside, and then right up there on the front side. Now we can just repeat that for the passenger side as well. All right, now we're ready to attach our upper frame bracket. It's going to be the one that has the large hole, two medium holes, and then we've got one, two, three smaller holes, and then this one is going to be slightly elongated. These are going to be bolted right up in position in the same holes we just took those jump stop bolts out of. We're using a M-10 by 1 1/2 button-head bolts. Those will have an Allen key. You'll want a 6mm for that application. All right, now we can torque those down. Your specs will be listed in your instructions there. You just want to make sure you get it torqued appropriately. Now we can do the same thing over on the passenger side. Now we're going to take our airbag. We're going to start the assembly process on it here. We want to use our swivel fitting after we put our roll plate on top. Then we're going to thread that in here. We're going to run that down so that it's finger-tight and then from there we want to go another turn and a half. That'll have that tape down in there really sealing-up those threads for us. Now we can take our upper plate that mounts to the airbag. We've already got our upper plate mounted on the frame. You can see the two small holes here, we're going to take the hole that's kind of splitting the difference between those. That's going to go over the fitting there. For the hole location if you're looking at the fitting that's over to that side, we want to place on one of the carriage bolts. That plate prevents that from being installed later. Then we're going to take the shorter of the button-head bolts here. Now we can get those snugged down. Run those down hand tight and then we're going to torque them to specification. Now we're using a 7/32 bit driver there. You could also use a 7/32 Allen tool. Now for our lower plate we'll grab the long carriage bolts. We need to get those slid up into position like that. We're also going to take our 3/8 hex bolt. Now, this is going to be for the driver's side. These are our attachment points for our airbag. We're going to be doing it on this edge and we'll reverse that, of course, for our passenger side. Place that in and we've got our large washer that goes on, flat washer, and then our nylon lock nut. We want to get that secured down. That'll have our driver's plate set. Now we want to place one of our roll plates over the lower portion of our airbag. Now we're going to bring that assembly, we want to place that on top of our airbag. We just want to ensure that the large washer portion is above that open hole. We don't want it to be above the carriage bolt that we installed in that top bracket before. Line up our bracket and roll plate and we'll just thread-in one of the flat head screws. Get one of those started in each of our hole locations and then get those torqued down. We have it assembled at that point. We want to just do the same thing for the other side, just reversing it. Now we're going to guide our airbag up into position. We just want to make sure that we have our carriage bolt passing between the brake line here and the axle. We'll bring that down into position. We'll have one carriage bolt that comes down the front, and one carriage bolt that comes down behind. See our air fitting here, that's going to go through the large hole, and we want our carriage bolt to go right up through that hole. We might have to use a jack. We want to just close up the distance there. Make sure they pass freely through there without binding. We don't want to snap off the air fitting or anything like that. What we'll do is place a 3/8 flat washer down on the carriage bolt. Then we want to thread-on our 3/8 nylon lock nut. That, and do the same up on the front side there. It's just going to be catty-cornered, it's going to be over on this front side. All right, now we'll be able to snug these down, and then we're going to torque these to the specifications that are in our instructions as well. You're probably going to need a cat's paw or something like that to get in there. The only thing we've got left to do here as far as mounting the bags into position is to put our axle strap around the underside. It's going to slide up on the carriage bolts there. We're going to place on another flat washer and a nylon lock nut. We'll do that on each side there. Then we want to tighten these down evenly. Again, if you refer to your instructions you'll find your torque specifications. Now for mounting our airline fittings here in the back of the vehicle you can choose spots that would be on each side of the license plate or you could stack them up and down here. What I like to do is use the actual license plate mounting locations. We'll use a 5/16 bit. We're going to drill these out a little larger than the factor size. Clear that out of the way, and then on the back side there's going to be a little tab there. We need to bend it off or just cut it with a knife. That way you can remove it so we have a good clear area for those to pass through. Now we'll find the halfway point of our airline and we're going to use a tubing cutter to cut that. We want a very nice, very straight, flush cut on the end of our tubing there. This is part number AL10530, if you don't already have one. Now to start we're going to thread one of the nuts all the way down on our Schrader valve fitting here on the back. We're going to take one of the star washers, place that on. Now we can bring that right through one of the holes that we created. At this point we can place on our license plate. Now you can see, typically, on a standard license pate that hole's large enough, but on our e-trailer plate here we have to enlarge it slightly. We've got a rubber washer we'll place on there, follow that up with a flat washer and then another one of our nuts. Now we can grab a 13mm ratchet and also a wrench and we need to get that snugged down. All right, with that nice and secure we'll do the same thing for our other side there. All right. Now with our fittings in place we're going to start running these up towards our airbags. I like to use a lot of zip ties here, maybe even more than what's actually going to come with the kit, so maybe a few extra on hand wouldn't be a bad idea. We want to run this away from anything that might cause damage to it, so any sharp edges, any real significant sources of heat. We certainly don't want it laying on the exhaust or anything like that, so just keep it nice and tidy. Any time I can find a factory wire loom like this I like to run along with it. Now this is going to be about the end of our run because now our airline needs to go over there and connect to the top of the airbag. What I'm going to do is put in one little loop here. I'm going to try to keep it up on that top side, that way if we have any leaks or if we ever need to change anything we'll be able to. Now we can figure out what length of line we're going to need to make our connection with our fitting. I'll push it back just a little bit and we'll get that trimmed off. Again, this needs to be really nice and flush. We'll bring that into the fitting. Should feel an initial little click and then a second one to indicate that we've got that fully-seated in there, and then we should be able to pull on it without it separating just like that. That'll take care of this side. We'll go and do the same thing over on our passenger side. Now we're ready to pressurize the system here. You want to use about 30 pounds of air pressure. Now this is going to fill up a lot quicker than, let's say, like a tire would. It doesn't take a whole lot of air in those smaller airbags to get them filled. We've got about 30 pounds in them. What we'll do is use some soap water solution. You can spray your Schrader valves back here, but these should be sealed. We shouldn't have any issues here. Just in case, though, it's a good idea, and then we're going to spray-down each of our connectors on the side here where the airline fits into the top of the airbag. All right, now we just want to confirm that we don't have any small bubbles forming at either of the connections points there, and we're done with our installation. That'll complete our installation of the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Air Helper springs for the rear axle, part number AL57289 on our 2016 Ram 2500. .

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Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Kathleen M
Video by:
Kathleen M
Employee Randy B
Test Fit:
Randy B

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