March 27, 2007: The Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs are a popular option for pickups and other trucks which occasionally carry a heavy load. I drive a Dodge 3500 which has a carry payload limit of 4,500 lbs. I've never exceeded that load limit and my truck and fifth wheel normally sit level when connected. However, I would like the security of the extra stability offered by the Firestone Ride-Rite system.
I've chosen to have these professionally installed by Justin but the procedure is simple enough it could easily be done in your garage with the right tools.
The axle bumper pads are removed from my Dodge 3500 4 x 4. Only two bolts connect the pads. You will use the same holes for mounting the Ride-Rite upper support. Justin uses an air driven wrench to make the job quick and easy.
The bottom support for the bad is held in place with a U bolt and bracket which wraps around the axle. The Ride-Rite air springs are bolted to the bottom and top supports with the supplies nuts. The air spring shown above right is on the right side of the vehicle where the exhaust pipe passes. A metal heat shield is mounted between the air spring and the exhaust pipe.
An air driven drill is used to drill a hole into the bottom of the bumper on each side. A Schrader valve will be mounted into the
bumper then an air supply line is connected to the Schrader valve and the air spring. The air spring to the above left is on the left side of the vehicle showing the air supply line coming into the air spring from the top. No heat shield is needed on this side of the vehicle. The air supply line is accessed from the bottom of the bumper. Any standard air pump or compressor can be used to add pressure to the springs. The driver must keep a minimum of 10 lbs and a maximum of 100 lbs in the air springs. Many years ago, I had air shocks on pickup. They helped tremendously and I expect these air springs to be much better.