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Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs Installation - 2002 Ford F-250

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How to Install the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs on a 2002 Ford F-250

Today on our 2002 Ford F250, we're going to be installing the Firestone Ride-Right Air Helper Springs, part number F2550. Now we've gone ahead and added a water tank to our truck. This will help simulate the truck being loaded down. Now we'll go ahead and take it out on our test course to show you how the truck reacts with the factory suspension. You'll notice how much movement and sway the body of the vehicle has as we're on our test course. Now we'll go ahead and take our vehicle out on our test course again.

We've added our weight back to the vehicle, but this time we have the air springs installed. As you can see here, the air springs help control the sway and greatly improve the stability of the vehicle as we're carrying this heavy load. The air springs also help reduce the strain on the rear axle, and help keep the vehicle level. We're going to begin over here on the driver's side. We're going to need to remove this little clip here that hold the wiring harness to the frame. Either a large flathead screwdriver or a trim panel removal tool will allow you to release the tab.

We're going to need to be able to allow that to move outward. Now this vehicle does already have a fifth wheel kit in it, so we're going to need to remove this 3/4" bolt, and we'll be replacing it with one that comes with our kit. Next we're going to need to remove this rubber bump stop here. In order to do that, we'll be taking off the nut that's right up there. Now you'll need to save the collar here off of the bump stop, as we will be reusing this piece. Next we'll go ahead and take our bracket here, then go ahead and take the flathead bolt.

On the top side, then we'll put this washer and the hex nut. Next because this vehicle has a fifth wheel hitch already installed, we'll be using the longer 3/4" bolt supplied with the kit. We'll also be using the thicker flat washer. Go ahead and slide it into place like that. Since the hardware came out with the bolt going from the inside towards the outside, we're going to re-install that so that we match back up with the manufacture of the fifth wheel hitch. Go ahead and go through our bracket.

We'll then make sure that we add another flat washer, 3/4" lock washer, and 3/4" hex nut. Next we'll go ahead and tighten down our flathead bolt. Once that's tight, we'll go ahead and tighten down our 3/4" bolt. Next we're going to go ahead and take this bolt right here. We're going to attach the bracket here, the lower bracket, to the underside of the airbag. We'll be attaching it to the forward hole, so it'll come through like this. We're just going to attach it just hand tight for now. This right here is the driver's side bracket. These right here will go between the u-bolt on the spring of the vehicle, so this side here will be the forward side, or the front of the vehicle. We want to make sure that we put it in the forward hole. Next we're going to go ahead and install the air fitting in the top of the airbag. This right here is the alignment pin. We need to make sure that it goes in the forward hole on the bracket right here. Next we'll install our star washer, followed by the hex nut. Go ahead and tighten down the hex nut. Now with that tightened down, now we're ready to put the other portion of the lower bracket in place. We'll go ahead and push everything up, go ahead and slide our bracket up into place here. Go ahead and these are the bolts we're using. Using a lock nut. Go ahead then and install all the nuts and tighten them down. Now you want to make sure that there's enough room or clearance between the nut here and the top of the factory bump stop bracket. Depending on your truck's suspension depends on which hole that you'll line up. On this particular vehicle, we went ahead and went with this hole right here, so that it gave us plenty of clearance to tighten that nut down still. We'll go ahead and tighten down the 4 bolts that hold the 2 sections of the lower clamp together. Next we'll go ahead and tighten down the bolt that's holding the airbag to the lower bracket. We'll then go ahead and take our u-bolt, go around the suspension like this, and in the top hole here as well as the top hole in the other side. Before you tighten everything down, those 2 little tabs that we're on this bracket up here, you want to make sure that they're between the u-bolts hold the axle to the spring. Everything's in place, we'll go ahead and push our u-bolt in here, then go ahead and put some more of the locking nuts in place, one on each side. Next we're going to be installing the clamp here that goes underneath the rear axle. It goes like that. It'll be attaching to this location. We'll be using one of these carriage bolts. Drop one of those in place on each side, then take our clamp. It'll go around the axle here. Once our clamp's in place, we'll go ahead and add another one of these locking nuts to it. Do that for both of the carriage bolts. We'll then go ahead and tighten these 2 down, pulling the clamp here in the lower bracket tight around the axle. Now we just installed the driver's side. Now you repeat the same process over on the passenger side, except for you need to make sure you install the heat shield between the upper bracket and the airbag itself. Now that we have each of our airbags installed, the right and the left side, next we're ready to route our air tubing. We're going to go ahead and cut it into 2 equal lengths using a tubing cutter, that way we're sure that we get a good, straight cut. Now the tubing cutter that we'll be using today is the Firestone tubing cutter, part number F9009. We're going to go ahead and install one of the sleeves that comes with the kit, helps protect the air tubing as it goes into each of the top of the bags. It also works as a heat resistance shield, so it's really important to make sure you install this over on the passenger side where the exhaust will be running. I'm going to go ahead and start here on the driver's side. Going to go ahead and feed it through our frame. Go ahead and come up into here. Go ahead and slide our protective covering over it. Then take the end, line it up with the top of the air fitting like that. Go ahead and push straight down so that it bottoms out. Gently pull back upward making sure it's secure in the fitting. Since we have our tubing pulled into position, we'll go back and use a few zip ties to help secure it. Then we'll repeat the same process over on the passenger side for routing our airline to the rear of the vehicle. Now to mount our air valve fittings at the rear of the vehicle, we're going to be using a no-drill mounting bracket, part number 18140. Here's what the bracket looks like before we do any drilling on it. We're going to enlarge this hole and this hole using a 5/16 drill bit. Now here's what our bracket looks like now that we've drilled out the 2 holes. I'm going to go ahead and put it up into place, then go ahead and use our hose clamp that comes with the bracket. Go ahead and feed it around. We can go ahead and tighten it down. Next we can go ahead an attach our air valves. I'll need to slide one of the washers on. Come through the hole, then add another washer. We'll then put the nut back in place. Go ahead and repeat that over for the other side, and then we can tighten both of them down. When routing these airlines as well as connecting them, you want to make sure that you don't put too sharp a bend in the line so that you could kink it, possibly damaging it. Next we'll go ahead and take our tubing cutter again. We'll go ahead and trim our airlines down to the correct length. We can go ahead and take the other end, and push it into the back side of our air fitting. Go ahead and use a zip tie to secure up any loose ends. We'll go ahead and inflate our airbags to about 50 PSI. Next we'll go ahead and take our soapy water solution and check for leaks. This side looks good. Go ahead and check our back fittings as well. Everything looks good there. Next we'll go ahead and put our covers back on each of our valves. Now that the airbags are installed, we'll go ahead and take it for a quick test drive. That'll do it for our installation of the Firestone Ride-Right Air Helper Springs, part number F2550 on our 2002 Ford F250. .

Questions and Comments about this Video

Thanks for the video. Why did he say to save the collar from the jounce bumper and then he didn't use it? It looks like he used a 1/2" and 1/4" spacer together which is less than the collar. I had this kit on my '04 but took it off to put on an '05 and the collar still fits.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

I have added a link to the written directions for installation. Steps 1 and 2 outline how to potentially use the spacer that you mentioned.

Marc C.
A couple of issues: 1.) The instructions indicate that the frame nut is for 2011+ trucks; however, the installation instructions for a 2002 F-250 4WD seems very sloppy without this special nut and the shorter 3/4” bolt. The instructions also do not indicate where the thicker 3/4” flat washer is used. 2.) The instructions suggest that the lower bracket should be installed just above the jounce stop on 4 wheel drive models; however, this distance interferes with the brake line on the drivers side axle and requires the removal and installation of a custom bent brake line. Your video shows a taller configuration where the lower bracket is higher, well above the jounce stop and it’s doesn’t interfere with the brake line which contradicts the 4-Wheel Drive configuration which requires a relatively expensive modification of the brake line. Regards, Marc
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@MarcC this kit works with model years 1999-2010 and multiple configuratoins. Yes, there will be some places where your install will vary from the demonstrated installaton. Most importantly, our videos are for overall review. You should always follow the manufacturers instructions. I have included a link to them below.

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