Hello Guest

Author Topic: Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck  (Read 526 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bear9350

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 622
    • View Profile
Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:27:11 PM »
Over the last few weeks I test drove a bunch of 3/4 ton gas trucks.  I liked the ride and fuel economy of the 1/2 ton but although I didn't truly need a 3/4 truck but it would make it nice on the occasions that I am towing or hauling something heavy.  After much thought I decided the best bang for my buck would be adding helper air bags to a 1/2 ton. 

I plan on ordering a Rough Country 2-1/2" suspension lift/ level kit.  This will raise the front end up about 2-1/2" and the rear end up about an 1".  This should get me a little closer to the ride height/ stance I like and am more accustomed to in the 3/4 ton trucks I have been driving for the last 10 years.  I have no qualms with taking the rake out because I also plan to order helper bags to keep the truck level when towing/ hauling.  Currently I am looking closely at the Load Lifter 5000 Ultimate kit.  This gives me a 5000 lb carrying capacity.  This is far more than I expect to need but the Ultimate kit comes with an internal jounce bumper.  This internal bumper prevents damage to the air bags if they are ran with 0 pressure.

I already have a VIAR compressor and a 2 gallon air tank I think.  I purchased these a couple years ago and planned to install under my 2012 Dmax but it never happened.  Currently I am in the process of determining the best method to fill the bags.  I don't think I need a fancy in cab system.  I had thought I should just be able to install a pressure regulator and gage between the tank and bags to fill to the required pressure.  The second option I am considering would be installing the Schrader valves supplied with the kit and just using an air hose to fill them.  Should the VIAR compressor fail this would allow my to easily adjust pressure at just about any gas station.

I expect to be taking delivery of the new to me truck in the next hour or so.

Offline JR

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 6801
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 01:45:51 PM »
I take it you are getting a GM, right?

Looks like a good system. Does it only adjust manually? Auto leveling would be nice, load and forget.

Would a one way valve work to the bags? Would be nice not to keep the system pressureized, just the bags.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Bear9350

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 622
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 02:03:07 PM »
Yep.  Should be getting delivered any minute now.  Ended up finding a deal on one a couple hours from home.  They had a few things I wanted them to do so they are delivering it for me.

Auto level would be nice.  You can set it up to auto level just front to back or also front to back and side to side.  The  auto level systems are not cheap though.

A one way valve could work.  You would just need a way to vent the bags down stream of the valve.

Offline JR

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 6801
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 02:13:56 PM »
Just release the bag pressure via the schrader valve. Keep the tank and pump out of the loop.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Bear9350

  • Registered
  • **
  • Posts: 622
    • View Profile
Re: Adding Helper Air Bags to 1/2 ton truck
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 11:48:32 AM »
Had the truck for about a month now.  Much happier in this Chevy compared to the F150.

I installed the Rough Country Level kit a few weekends ago.  Prior to install the front fenders measured 36.5" from ground in the front and 38.5" on the rear.  The kit comes with some spacers to lift the front end and a 2" block to replace the 1" block in the rear.  After installing the front spacers I measured 38.5" front and rear.  I decided not to install the larger rear block that would lift the back end up another 1".

I had the trailer hooked up doing a few things last night and thought I would take a few measurements to see how the truck reacted.  With just an empty trailer the back end dropped 3/4".  When I pulled my 500 Sportsman on it dropped another 3/4".  I took it for a short drive last night and I could tell my headlight were pointed a little into the sky like this.

I am hoping to order the air bag kit and get it installed in the next week.  I would like to have it installed prior to a planned trip up north the end of the month to test it out.