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Firestone Ride-Rite Rear Air Helper Springs Installation - 2012 Ford F-350

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How to Install the Firestone Ride-Rite Rear Air Helper Springs on a 2012 Ford F-350

Today in our 2012 Ford F350 Super Duty, we'll be installing the Firestone Ride Right Red Label Extreme Duty Air Helper with springs. Part number F2703. All right, now before we get started with our airbag install here, we want to get a couple measurements of what our truck is at factory ride height with no weight in the bed at all. This'll give us a good ideal comparison of what the airbags are going to do for us once they're installed and we have a large amount of weight in the bed of a truck. Let's go through the center line of the rear wheel here up to the fender well. We're about 44 inches, so we'll keep that in mind for our comparison. We'll do the same on the front. Okay, in the front here we're about 41 inches.

We'll record this measurement as well because when you have a large amount of weight in the bed of your trunk, the back end sags and the front end rises a little bit. Not only does that effect your headlight angle here, but it effects your braking ability, your steering and handling ability, but also increases your tire wear on the front a little bit more because your tires start to camber out like this and you get what's called positive camber. That will cause you to wear the outer side of your tires quicker than the inner. Now with a large amount of weight in the bed of our truck, we'll retake some measurements here to see on stock suspension how it's effected. Okay, we're down to about 42 and a half inches in the back. Okay, in the front here now, we're about 41 and a half.

So our front end has raised up about a half of an inch. Now we'll show you what the vehicle was like on our test course so you can see what the added weight does to the rear suspension. We have our airbags inflated about halfway right now. We have our weight back in the bed. I want to take our measurements here and find out where we are compared to factory ride height with no weight in the bed of the truck. Okay, we're about 44 inches again, so we're back to the same measurement as the factory ride height in the rear. Let's double check the front.

All right. On our front, we're about 41 inches again, so that's about where our factory ride height is. Being back at factory ride height with this much weight in the bed of our truck, we'll have our same factory headlight angle so we're not blinding oncoming drivers. We have our same handling characteristics because our weight transfer is equal on our front wheels like it was before. So we don't have that increased tire wear and we also have the good handling characteristics that we're looking for. These air bags are meant to be run between 5 and 150 PSI and they will support up to 7,500 pounds of load leveling capability. If you have 7,500 pounds of weight in the bed of your truck or 7,500 pounds of downward pressure from a gooseneck or a fifth wheel trailer pushing down on it, it'll get you to that factory ride height.

It doesn't give you an extra 7,500 pounds of towing or low capacity. It'll just maintain your ride up to 7,500 pounds. All right, to begin our installation we're going to be on the driver's side of the vehicle. When you remove our factory bump stop here, there's a 15 millimeter nut on the top of it. You can use a ratchet with a socket or a ratcheting wrench. Okay, once you get it down to a certain amount, the pin the locates the bump stop and in the frame becomes loose, so you have to push up on the bump stop in order to loosen it up the rest of the way or hold it in place with a pair of channel lock pliers. All right, now that we have our bump stop removed, on trucks that are equipped with a diesel engine, we have this bracket here that holds our diesel exhaust fluid tank in place. There's a bolt right here that we have to remove. Normally this bolt will just come out from the other side of the frame. Just take it straight out. Not a big deal. You pop this clip off here too. However, this truck that we're working with here today has an after market gooseneck hitch. So if we look up, inaudible 00:04:19 this frame right here for the gooseneck hitch above this spacer block. You see the bolt head so we can't remove it with this frame bracket in the way, so we're going to have to loosen this up a little bit to get in there with a wrench and a socket. So if you don't have a gooseneck hitch in your vehicle, you don't need to worry about loosening up this plate on the other side of the frame. Since we do, you're going to go ahead and do that. Once we have it loose enough now to get the bolt out, we'll continue on with the installation from there. All right. We have our gooseneck frame plate loose here now. You can clearly see our bolt. It's a 13 millimeter head. So let's remove this bolt. All right, now that we've got the bolt out that's on the diesel models that hold the diesel exhaust fluid tank bracket in place, we'll remove the clip that has the nut on it. So just get a screwdriver behind it and pop it loose. If you can't get in there with a screwdriver you can try using a pry bar and a hammer to pop it loose. Okay, with that bolt clip all the way removed now, we'll take our river's side bracket for the frame. It's the one that has the small hole in it and our inch and a half long three eighths bolt, we'll stick it through there, push it through. Right now we have our bracket in place with the bolt sticking through. We'll stick one of our smaller three eighths washers over the bolt. We have our three eighths nut taped to our wrench and we'll spin the bolt and we're off to a good start. Now if you don't have a gooseneck or a fifth wheel hitch in place, you can just do this. It'll be a lot easier because you won't have the plate in the way. Now we'll take one of our half inch and one of our quarter inch spacers. We'll have the holes that are offset facing out away from the frame. We'll slide them between our frame and our top bracket here. Then we'll take one of our long flathead bolts, go through the plates, up into our frame. Then we'll drop on one of our large three eighths flat washers over the bolt. Make sure we don't pinch any wires underneath the washer. We're going to drop one of our small washers above that and then we'll put on a nylon lock nut. We're using a nine sixteenths wrench to hold the nut in place and we're using the 7/32 Allen key and we'll start to tighten our hardware up. All right. For the top one we'll do a nine sixteenths wrench to hold the nut in place and a nine sixteenths socket to tighten the bolt up. All right. Once we have the top one snug, we can finish snugging up the bottom one. Okay. We will torque these down to the amount specified in the instructions. Now we'll take our airbag and we'll squeeze it into position with the outer hole towards the end of the frame and then the inner hole towards the center of the vehicle. We want to go towards the outer hole, push that up there, and we want our alignment pin here to go inside this front hole and our bracket. Replace a lock washer on top of the stud that goes to the bracket and we'll thread on one of the three quarter nuts onto there. With our hardware in place to hold our airbag to the upper bracket, we'll torque it to the amount specified in the instructions using an inch and one eighth socket. Now we'll screw our air line fitting into the stud where our nut is screwed onto. There is no torque specification for this. We just want to make sure that our thread seal on this goes down fully into the stud so we don't have any air leaks. We'll start it by hand and we'll snug it down with a wrench. We'll use a nine sixteenths wrench to tighten this down. Now we have the rear of our vehicle supported with a pole jack to help raise some of the weight off the suspension. If you do this on the lift too and let the tires hang on the rear axle, it'll do the same thing. We'll take our upper part of our lower bracket here. We'll work it in over where the bump stop would contact the axle and over our brake lines here and our ABS wires. We'll slide it into position, make sure we get as close to our lead spring stack as possible, and we want to make note of where our airbag contacts this bracket. It looks like it contacts right here out in the middle of our oblong hole and we'll thread in our stud to secure the brackets to the airbag. All right. Once you get it started, you can tighten it down. We're going to use our 7/32 Allen key again in order to snug this down. Okay, once we have it snug, we'll torque it to the amount specified in the instructions. Now we'll slide our lower part of the bottom bracket in place, line it up, and drop it on down. Now we'll take one of our one inch long three eighths hex bolts coming from this direction from the inside. Put a flat washer on and then one of our nylon lock nuts. We'll do the same on all four locations. Now we'll take our u-bolt, come in around our lead spring stack, and we'll slide it into the bottom hole on our bracket and push it through just like so. We'll place on a washer and a nylon lock nut on each side. Now we'll drop down our carriage bolts from our lower bracket. Making sure they go on each side of any brake lines. Now we'll take our axle clamp here, go through out carriage bolts. Once we have that through, place on our flat washer again and another nylon lock nut. Do the same on both sides of it. Then we'll start tightening down all of our hardware, going evenly. We use a wrench to hold the bolts in place while we tighten the nuts. Okay, now that we have all of our hardware snugged down. We can tighten it down to the amount specified in the instructions. You want to do this evenly. So we'll do a little bit on one. Okay. Now that we have all of our hardware snugged down on the driver's side, we can now repeat the same process on the passenger's side to install our airbag. Now that we have both of our airbags installed on our driver and passenger's side, we need to start doing our plumbing for the air lines themselves. We'll start with mounting our fittings. We can use our non-drill bracket here on the hitch or we could attach them on the bumper themselves which is what our customer wants today. So we'll drill a five sixteenth hole on both sides of the license plate. So the one on the right side will control the passenger side airbag and the one on the left will control the driver's side airbag. We've already verified there is nothing behind that we're going to drill into. Drill that out and now we'll take our air line fitting here. One of our five sixteenth flat washers. We'll stick it on. We'll come behind the bumper here. Get it through the hole. Place another one of our five sixteenth washers and we'll put on the nut. We'll put that in place. We'll do the same for the other side and then we'll tighten them up. We'll use a half inch wrench and a half inch socket. Go behind the bumper with the wrench and hold it in place and then tighten up the nut. Okay. Do this on the other side. Okay. With those installed we're going underneath and starting on plumbing now. We've found the midpoint of our air line tubing. We're going to use an air line tubing cutter and we're going to cut this right here. We're going to go in nice and square and press down and you get a nice clean cut on our air line tubing which won't leak. We'll take one end of our air line tubing, go to our fitting on the back bumper, and we'll insert it. Push in until it stops then we'll back and make sure it's secure. All right, now we'll start routing our air line tubing over to our airbag, making sure we avoid any moving parts or sources of heat such as the exhaust. We're going to show you how to do the driver's side. The passenger's side will be the same way. We're just going to go inside the frame wheel here. That'll protect our air line tubing. All right. I'll measure off how much we're going to need and cut off the excess. We'll go ahead and leave a couple of inches of slack in just in case we have an end go bad and we need to trim them off. We'll just push this in like we did on the other fitting. Push on it until it stops. Make sure it's secure. Now we'll repeat the same process for the passenger's side. All right. Now we have both of our air lines installed. We're going to inflate both of our airbags to 70 PSI and check for leaks. Okay. Now with the bolt tightened up, we'll check our pressure. That one's at 70 on the dot. So is the other one. So we'll spray it down with some soapy water. Check our fittings here. Make sure the inaudible 00:15:23's tight. If we don't see any bubbles, we know we're good. Okay, those are good. Now we'll need to go underneath and check those too. Now we'll check where our hose goes into the bag itself. The same with the fitting where it screws into the bag. We'll spray them both down. We'll check this side too and that completes our installation of the Firestone Ride Right Red Label Extreme Duty Air Helper with springs. Part number F2703 on our 2012 Ford F350 Super Duty.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Joshua S
Video by:
Joshua S
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Brent H
Test Fit:
Brent H
Employee Shane H
Test Fit:
Shane H
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C
Employee Ryan G
Test Fit:
Ryan G
Employee Bradley B
Test Fit:
Bradley B

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