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Author Topic: Air Shocks on truck?  (Read 3660 times)

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Offline Kitzy

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Air Shocks on truck?
« on: April 17, 2015, 07:20:51 AM »
Any body familiar with them.  I'm looking for any info.  I bought my truck used.  Shortly after owning it I discovered a valve stem under the rear bumper with air lines running to each shock.  Around the air stem it reads 25-200 psi.  I never had a problem with them but it always intrigued me because I know nothing about it.  Searches bring up nothing. 

One day I stuck a gauge on it.  Less than 25psi.  Using a bike pump with a gauge I inflate to 100psi.  Don't notice much.  Recently the truck had been hopping around bumps and didn't feel right.  I assumed the roads had just gotten that bad because, well, they have.  Pennsylvania is notorious for potholes... Google it.  Lots of memes.  It also developed clunking in the rear over bumps.  Hit it with a gauge and it reads about 48psi.  Low but within "range".  My bike pump gauges tops out at 160 so let's do it.  Girlfriend is watching and says your truck is getting higher.  Sure enough it got significantly higher.  I was spent from the day so I didn't take it for a ride.  Let it sit overnight and next morning... It drives Like a New truck.  No clunking.  Its more responsive and planted.  Even corners pretty well for a truck. 

I was considering swapping to some 5100s but not sure If I want to.  I don't know much about this type of shock.  I don't know how often I should have to add air either.  Any info is muchly appreciated.

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline GreyMichFX4

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 07:47:04 AM »
I had them on one truck and never again because they always leak down unless you have onboard air. I would replace them the 5100's and never look back.
Good enough never is

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 01:08:16 PM »
How do you think the height will be affected with 5100s compared to the air shocks.  Obviously amount of air will be a factor.  Will they be similar to maxed out, half air, low air, etc?

I have to admit the ride is nice at 160 psi.  And the only experience with 5100s that I have is my girlfriends old 98 Wrangler lifted 4".  We all know they are different animals all together.

Tapatalkin...
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 05:57:36 PM by Kitzy »
If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline Blown F-150

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 04:17:51 PM »
I put 5100's on the F350 and was very happy with the improvement over the fake Ranchos.

I have no experience with the air shocks, but had bags on the F150 and as Dave says, they leak no matter what and an on-board compressor was the only way I could take it.
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Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 07:53:09 PM »
I'd really like the 5100s. I just don't know that I feel like buying them any time soon.

Tapatalkin...

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Offline Too Stroked

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 05:51:06 AM »
I've had air shocks and 5100's in various trucks. With air shocks, you can really stiffen the ride and raise the vehicle easily - but you can't do either one of those all by themselves. And as you've already discovered, air shocks have a bad habit of leaking. I'd suggest pumping up the system and going under the truck with some soapy water to see where they're leaking first. You might find an easily fixed leak.

As for the 5100's, they're really nice riding shocks. They won't be nearly as still as a pumped up set of air shocks though. If you truly want a stiffer ride, you really have to go for stiffer (higher spring rate) springs.

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 07:26:09 AM »
I don't necessarily want a stiffer ride.  After airing them up the ride became much less bouncy.  It was more planted over bumps.  I've only aired them up twice in the 2+ hears I've owned it.  I don't know What I want to do.  I really do like the extra ride height though since airing them up.

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Online sscully

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2015, 08:25:35 AM »
When they air down to ~ 50 PSI, they feel like a set of shocks that have blown seals in them.
- I have been in a truck that had them, but have never had a need for them myself.

Start saving for a set of 5100s, all the way around.

I did mine 1st on my 2006 at 384 miles.
- With the factory shocks, it felt about as planted as a Oldsmobile.
Steve

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 09:06:22 AM »
It's funny how no one ever mentions any other options than the 5100s.  Not that I'm complaining. 

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline Rollingrock

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2015, 07:32:06 PM »
I have air bags on my F250....run with 20PSI unloaded, 52-55 loaded with camper

I try to stay off the overloads. 

Thanks for visiting the Cafe, come back often.  There's always something new!

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2015, 07:37:44 PM »
I'm thinking there's a significant difference between bags and shocks.  Maybe I'm wrong.  To the guys who have run the shocks, anyone remember how much air you ran?

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline Rollingrock

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2015, 11:03:38 PM »
I'm thinking there's a significant difference between bags and shocks.  Maybe I'm wrong.  To the guys who have run the shocks, anyone remember how much air you ran?

Tapatalkin...

yeah, airbags take a 250 to a 450 without the sticker...LOL

I would say, as much air as needed to keep stock rake.   But what a pain...shocks leak.   I would replace. 

I have to monitor my air bags but I have a guage and air compressor on demand.  I can dump or fill in the cab.   

2 weeks sitting and they are flat.  First thing I do is run the onboard compressors and get to 20lbs.     

Thanks for visiting the Cafe, come back often.  There's always something new!

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 07:17:23 AM »
F this.  I'm thinking in a couple weeks I am just going to get the shocks.  Just be done with it.  The truck needs some love.  It hasn't been washed in ages so thenkeast I could do is get it some new shocks.  These April showers make it pointless to wash.besides, 5100s look killer!

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2015, 07:18:03 AM »
Oh and I have no idea what the factory rake looked like.  My truck is leveled and always has been as long as I've owned it.

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

Offline Kitzy

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Re: Air Shocks on truck?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2015, 09:23:08 PM »
So out of curiosity, I aired the shocks down to 40psi.  Measured height and aired back up to 160. 

It raised the back end 1.75". At 40psi the rear was sitting .75" lower than the front with no load.  So I let air back out until it was sagging again and continued adding air until it leveled itself back out.  It's a touch less responsive in it's maneuvering but it rode nice.  I only have one week back at work and two of those days were rain days so when I get a few week's back under my belt and have some cash I'll get some 5100s. 

Tapatalkin...

If you always do what you\'ve always done, you\'ll always get what you\'ve always got.

 


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