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Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs Installation - 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs on a 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup

Today on our 2003 Dodge Ram Pick Up, we will be installing the Firestone Ride Rite Air Helper Springs, Part Number F2299. These springs have a load leveling capacity of 3,200 pounds, at most up to 5,000 pounds. It can be adjusted in increments of 5 psi to 100 psi and has a limited lifetime warranty on the air springs, with a 2 year warranty on the hardware. First let's go ahead and take a look at our vehicles ride height before we add any weight. This will be the drive, ride height with the standard or stock suspension. We're riding at approximately 41 and a half inches. Next we'll go ahead and add approximately 2,250 pounds.

Now with our weight added, we'll go ahead and remeasure, as you can see it's lowered the ride height to just under 39 inches. Now with that same amount of weight in it and approximately 60 psi in our air bags, you can see we brought it back up to the manufacturers ride height, or beginning ride height of 41 and a half. With the airbags inflated, helped controlling and supporting the weight, we have a better response time and feel from our steering wheel and less body roll when cornering. Along with additional help and control when going over the uneven bumps which would simulate potholes, or the even bumps which would simulate a speed bump. Now we'll go ahead and show you how to install the new airbag kit. Now starting on the driver's side we're going to go ahead and begin assembling the airbag here on our cart.

We have our airbag, or bellow and our lower bracket. If we look at the lower bracket closely, we'll need to identify which side is the wide end and which side is the narrow end. This will be our narrow end and the wide end. Now depending on your application will be which side you use. We're working with a diesel application, so we're going to use the wide end. This side we'll go ahead and use the spring pack and we'll get our U bolt that will go down and attach to the axle.

We use this side, the pre drilled hole, to secure the bottom of our airbag. The fastener we're going to use is the 3/4" long, inaudible 00:02:46 bolt. As you can see, it's already got some pre-installed thread locker to help hold it in place once it's installed and tightened down. At this time we're just going to thread it on finger tight. Next we'll go ahead and set that aside and move to the truck. We need to identify the manufacturers jounce bumper and remove it.

There are two fasteners to be removed. These fasteners go into well nuts built in to the jounce bumper bracket. Once we get them loose I'm just going to go ahead and zip them off. We'll go ahead and set the fasteners and jounce bumper aside as they will not be reinstalled. We'll reuse the manufacturers attachment points, the well nuts built into the support bracket, as the attachment points for the upper bracket of the new air bag assembly. Our upper bracket is designed for both two wheel drive and four wheel drive applications. We're working with a four wheel drive application so we're going to use the upper two holes. Here's our support bracket that'll get attached to the pre drilled holes using 3/8 bolt and locking flange nut. We'll have a total of four fasteners to secure the support bracket to the upper bracket. Now once we have them installed finger tight we can go ahead and run them down. Once you tighten them down you can go ahead and torque to specifications as indicated in the instructions. The torque specs are also listed here in the top of the airbag. We're now ready to attach the upper bracket to the jounce bumper bracket, reusing the manufacturers well nuts. To secure it we're going to use the 3/8 flat headed bolts. once we have our hardware installed finger tight, we'll go ahead and run them down. Then we'll torque to specifications as indicated. Now with the upper bracket in place, we're ready to take the lower bracket and air bag assembly and set them into position. As we set it into position, we'll note that the wide end we marked earlier is going to sit in between the leaf spring U bolt. Over time that U bolt can become a little distorted, built up with rust and debris, so we're just going to give it a little help to get into place. Now with the lower bracket sitting on the axle, put my U bolt back in place, and we can start attaching the upper portion of the air bag to the upper bracket. Keep in mind, when setting it into position that we'll chose the hole in the upper bracket that will allow the airbag to be straight up and down as much as possible. Also note it's got the nipple here on the outside of the airbag that will line up with the pre drilled hole in the upper bracket. For this application we're going to use the rear pre drilled hole for the air fitting and attachment point, and the rear hole for the nipple. Once it fits in, it'll lock into place. To secure the air bag to the upper bracket we use the 3/4" star washer and nut. We'll just install the air washer down over the threaded fitting here on the top of the bag, and then our nut. Now one we've got it tighten down we'll go ahead and torque it to specifications. next we can install the air fitting into the top of the airbag. Note that the threads of the air fitting also have a thread locker and sealant on them. We want to make sure that we thread it down far enough to engage the thread sealant. Once we get it started, let's go head and tighten it down. Now, with the air valve installed and our upper bracket secured, we'll move to the lower bracket. To secure the lower bracket to the axle we'll use the bale clamp that will go to the bottom of the axle, and two of the 3" flange nuts to secure it. Keep in min when tightening down your U bolt, you want to do it as evenly as possible to both the front and back fasten. Once it's tightened down we'll go ahead and torque to specification. now with the drivers side airbag and brackets installed, secured, and torqued to specifications we'll move over to the passengers side and repeat the same process. With one exceptions: we'll add the heat shield between the airbag and the upper bracket. now with both airbags installed and secured, we're going to take our airline and start routing it. We'll feed through the hole here in the frame back towards the bumper and out the end of the frame. Once I get it out the end of the frame, I'm just going to pull the excess through until we get to our desired length here near the airbag. Next we'll install the line protector onto the airline. The line protectors provided with the install kit and will help prevent the line from rubbing and fraying, or even getting a hole in it as it passes through the frame. Once we have that in place, we can go he'd and install the airline into the air valve. The air line will go into the top of the air valve, and to secure it we firmly press it into place and then pull back to lock it in position. Now that I've got my air line run to the back of the vehicle, we'll make sure we've got plenty of air line then use our Firestone tubing cutter to cut the line with a clean square cut without crimping it. Take the remaining portion of our air line, move over to the passengers side and repeat the same process. Now with both air lines run to the back of the vehicle , to secure my air line we're just going to use some zip ties that we're provided with the install kit. now with both air lines routed, we'll go ahead and install our T, part number F3105-1. It's the same style push connection where you slide the line in firmly and then pull back to lock it in place. Next, we'll need to drill a hole so we can mount the air valve. One we mount the air valve we can then run a line form our T to the air valve, or inflation valve, that we can utilize to air up the air bags. Now, locations for an inflation valve can be pretty much anywhere that's accessible to the user. We're going to make ours here in the bumper. Now we can go ahead and take the nut off the inflation valve, install a flat washer onto the threaded portion, and then feed it through our pre drilled hole. We'll install a second flt washer, put the nut back on, and tighten it down. now with our inflation valve tighten down, we'll move back underneath and run our air line from the T to the valve. I'll take a piece of our remaining air line, install it onto the T, and route it down to the inflation valve. Go ahead and remove just a little more off the end here. Now with everything installed and secured, I'll cut off the excess from the zip ties to clean up our install a little, and we can test the new airbag system. we're going to use a soap and water solution and just spray down each one of the connection points. With everything sprayed down we don't have any extra bubbles which would indicate a leak. We're now ready to hit the road. That'll do it for the install of our Firestone Ride Rite Air Helper Springs, Part Number F2299, on our 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup. .

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