Firestone Air Bag Suspension ?

Firestone Air Bag Suspension ?

This is a discussion on Firestone Air Bag Suspension ? within the F150 Ecoboost Towing forums, part of the F150 Ecoboost Forum category; Looking at getting the firestone air bag suspension ride-rite kit. There are two options: w/out B & W 5th wheel (2525) with B & W ...

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Thread: Firestone Air Bag Suspension ?

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    Rookie sledhead_79's Avatar

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    Firestone Air Bag Suspension ?

    Looking at getting the firestone air bag suspension ride-rite kit.

    There are two options:
    w/out B & W 5th wheel (2525)
    with B & W 5th wheel (2542)

    w/out B & W 5th states will not fit vehicle with in bed

    Does the 2542 model also work for bumper tows?

    Whats the difference between the two? I've breifly went over both mounting instruction and unable to find anything.

    Currently pulling an enclosed snowmobile trailer; possibly getting a camper in 5 yrs or so, not sure if 5th wheel or bumper tow.

    2013 Ecoboost Platinum Max Tow package

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    Ecoboost Sr Member great white's Avatar

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    I haven't had one on a 2013 Ecoboost, but generally the issue with air helper bags and 5th wheel mounts is bracket interference where the bags mount and where the fifth wheel bolts to the frame rails.

    I have a 2016 and in reading up on the mounting issues the fifth wheel guys usually say they can make them fit with some adjustments. Take that for what it's worth.

    Either kit should work with a bumper tow. Airbags only see load, they don't care where it comes from. Ie: tongue wieght or 5th hitch weight.

    Also be aware that most 5th trailers will put you over the weight rating (gvwr) once you're loaded to roll out. It because a 5th wheel pits more percentage of its weight on the pin than a bumper tow does on the tongue...
    Last edited by great white; 01-10-2017 at 03:29 PM.
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    Ecoboost Regular PGT_cruzer's Avatar

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    Found this on etrailer.com regarding your question. Have you also looked at Airlift? Very happy with mine, and you can usually find a little cheaper and often have rebate's as well.
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    Last edited by PGT_cruzer; 01-10-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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    Eco-Beast meaz93's Avatar

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    ^^Airlift Loadlifter 5000's with built in bump stops!


    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

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    Ecoboost Sr Member great white's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by meaz93 View Post
    ^^Airlift Loadlifter 5000's with built in bump stops!


    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
    Nope.

    There's a few threads out around the net where new f150 guys installed them and the problem is the bump stop is too large for the available travel.

    Bottoms the suspension very easily. I considered both and read up on airlift since I was aware of them, but never looked closely at them.

    If you go airlift, consensus is not to get the ones with integral bump stops. There are some airlift kits that are supposed to work, but not the bump stop ones.

    I just sidestepped the whole issue and went with the Firestone ride rites. Used 'em on my last couple trucks. Nothing but good things to say about them. And they are a "no drill" install on my 2016.

    Both airlift and Firestone advertise "no drill" but airlift wants you to drill two holes in the license plate area to mount the schraders, Firestone provides a small bracket that "zip ties" to the receiver tube to hold the schraders.

    Small difference, but in the rust belt any time you don't have to break the factory coatings the better off you are.

    I also didn't like how the brackets ont eh airlift kit sat a square metal edge on the axle tube. The Firestones use a lower bracket that straddles the spring perch, where the loads are intended to be carried.

    Last edited by great white; 01-10-2017 at 06:11 PM.
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    Rookie sledhead_79's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by great white View Post
    I haven't had one on a 2013 Ecoboost, but generally the issue with air helper bags and 5th wheel mounts is bracket interference where the bags mount and where the fifth wheel bolts to the frame rails.

    I have a 2016 and in reading up on the mounting issues the fifth wheel guys usually say they can make them fit with some adjustments. Take that for what it's worth.

    Either kit should work with a bumper tow. Airbags only see load, they don't care where it comes from. Ie: tongue wieght or 5th hitch weight.

    Also be aware that most 5th trailers will put you over the weight rating (gvwr) once you're loaded to roll out. It because a 5th wheel pits more percentage of its weight on the pin than a bumper tow does on the tongue...
    If we get a 5th wheel, it will most likely be a small one.

    My father has livestock on the other side of the state and half the time his 2003 Powerstroke isn't running so I might have to use the Ecoboost to hook up to the gooseneck if I wanna take the horses for a ride or if we need to grab a couple head of whatever he has these days!

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    Rookie sledhead_79's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGT_cruzer View Post
    Found this on etrailer.com regarding your question. Have you also looked at Airlift? Very happy with mine, and you can usually find a little cheaper and often have rebate's as well.
    In regards to your attachment, how many different 5th wheel hitches are out there?????

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    Ecoboost Pro Jsrunnlus's Avatar

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    While I agree the Firestone's have a nicer installation and should handle the heavier loads, in my experience some people do better with the Air Lift because of the jounce bumper. Over the years I have seen plenty of vehicles come in with leaks where people failed to keep the minimum air in the bag and it results in a hole. You also need to be aware of limitations in jacking the vehicle (by the frame or hitch) and extending the bags resulting in damage.

    The Platinum has soft suspension and is near the lowest payload capacity of any F150. A properly loaded 5ver with as little as 7,500 pounds and optional 36 gallon oem fuel tank can hit the payload capacity. You run into two items to think about. A failure of the Firestone bag will have the truck loaded and no jounce bumper to sit on; the rear will drop to the point the bag is compressed. While Air Lift may require a higher air pressure (with a harder ride) to keep you from rebounding off the bumper at certain weights, it will not drop as far in the event of a failure.
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    Rookie sledhead_79's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsrunnlus View Post
    While I agree the Firestone's have a nicer installation and should handle the heavier loads, in my experience some people do better with the Air Lift because of the jounce bumper. Over the years I have seen plenty of vehicles come in with leaks where people failed to keep the minimum air in the bag and it results in a hole. You also need to be aware of limitations in jacking the vehicle (by the frame or hitch) and extending the bags resulting in damage.

    The Platinum has soft suspension and is near the lowest payload capacity of any F150. A properly loaded 5ver with as little as 7,500 pounds and optional 36 gallon oem fuel tank can hit the payload capacity. You run into two items to think about. A failure of the Firestone bag will have the truck loaded and no jounce bumper to sit on; the rear will drop to the point the bag is compressed. While Air Lift may require a higher air pressure (with a harder ride) to keep you from rebounding off the bumper at certain weights, it will not drop as far in the event of a failure.
    Platinum softer suspension even with the max tow package (3:73, long bed, mirrors, etc.)? I would think that max tow package would have the same stiffness in suspension between all trim packages for the half tons, but I could be wrong, since the King Ranch and Platinum are more of a cadilac version of the trucks.

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    Ecoboost Sr Member great white's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsrunnlus View Post
    While I agree the Firestone's have a nicer installation and should handle the heavier loads, in my experience some people do better with the Air Lift because of the jounce bumper. Over the years I have seen plenty of vehicles come in with leaks where people failed to keep the minimum air in the bag and it results in a hole. You also need to be aware of limitations in jacking the vehicle (by the frame or hitch) and extending the bags resulting in damage.

    The Platinum has soft suspension and is near the lowest payload capacity of any F150. A properly loaded 5ver with as little as 7,500 pounds and optional 36 gallon oem fuel tank can hit the payload capacity. You run into two items to think about. A failure of the Firestone bag will have the truck loaded and no jounce bumper to sit on; the rear will drop to the point the bag is compressed. While Air Lift may require a higher air pressure (with a harder ride) to keep you from rebounding off the bumper at certain weights, it will not drop as far in the event of a failure.
    In approx 25 years of installing and using airbags, I've yet to see a Firestone fail in the manner described. Even abused with 0 psi. You are more likely to get the bottoming issue with airlifts than you are to have a Firestone failure. I have seen bags fail due to contact with hot exhaust, but that's another story.

    The Air lifts cut the travel in half because of the jounce bumper in the bag. You are stuck with it whether or not you want it there. If a Firestone were to fail and you were using it to support the cargo load,well, you're overloaded anyways. Worse you will get is tire to wheel well contact. I have, however, seen airbag leaks. But it's almost always from poor installation and the lines/fittings leaking.

    I have, however, changed lots of OTR truck air bags. But they comprise the entire suspension and run anywhere from 500,000-1,000,000 miles regularly. A failure is inevitable with that kind of use.

    But, if the jounce bumper is a worry, simply reinstall it with the Firestone kit installation. The airbag is beside the area where the jounce bumper installs, not replacing it like the Airlifts. The only added distance is the 1/4" or so of the bracket material.

    I would be surprise if a 150 had the actual payload to handle a 5th wheel. I have a couple friends who insisted that they were inside their trucks weight limitations with their 5th wheels. One friend even said he worked the numbers and they were good. Well, we were all on a trip once and I ran across the scales. I was good. My buddy did the same and he was well over his GVWR. So were the others who were "positive" they weer good. The trailers pulled fine, but they were over rating. One of those friends was towing this year and had rear wheel shear the wheels studs. It also has had lots of transmission work done and rear end problems (bearings, howling, etc). It is a doge however.....

    I always get a giggle when I drive by the local RV place with all sizes of 5Th wheels and "1/2 Ton Towable!!!" plastered on them....

    To be clear; I'm not trying to argue one way or the other. Just pointing out things for consideration.

    Last edited by great white; 01-11-2017 at 12:10 PM.

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