Write-Up: Ride Control Air Assist by Air Lift

Discussion in 'How-To' started by MXXN, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. MXXN

    MXXN New Member

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    I just purchased my Ride Control off Amazon.com. I read prior that there were some clearance issues so I figured I snap a couple pics for future reference.

    The main issue is the air bag hitting the rear sway bar.

    What it is. Air Assist system to increase load capacity when towing or carrying heavier loads in the bed

    Who makes it http://www.airliftcompany.com/

    Part Number 59564...for Tacoma (they list it as fitting the X-Runner)

    Instructions http://airlift.iwebcat.com/imgVD/AIL/MN-656_59564.pdf

    Tools beyond whats listed

    Right angle drill (not necessary but helpful)
    Drill Press (makes modifying the plate easier)
    Counter Sinking Drill Bit (1"X82*)


    The instructions are pretty straight forward so I will not spend much time on step by step just show a couple images and notes on modifying the kit so it fits like it should

    Please note, I have contacted them with pictures and hope to possibly prompt some changes. I think someone at the company dropped the ball and didnt realize the X had a rear sway bar. You'll see why in the next 2 pics

    Pics showing clearance issues.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the Above photos the system mounts up but it is very snug against the bar and doesn't even have air in it yet

    Below are pics of what I modified on the kit to make them work. The large plate mounts the bottom of the bag to the trucks leaf spring. It use a large 1/2" bolt with a countersunk Philips head to mount the bag to the plate. This is the hole I relocated.

    WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!!!

    You will need to drill a new hole for the lower mounting bolt plate. This hole is approx 3/4" from old center to new center. Doing it again I would push it over to 7/8" center to center

    Measure your plate and center punch it. I need a 1/2" hole so I started by drilling a 1/4" pilot
    [​IMG]

    After my pilot hole I openned it up to 1/2" so the bolt fit thru
    [​IMG]

    The bolt hole will then need to be countersunk. This bit may be something you can't find at your local franchise hardware store and may need to get it from a specialty store or a source like Grainger or McMaster Carr. Using a drill press to handle this make for a cleaner finished product. It can be done by hand.
    [​IMG]

    The top mount is "slotted" so it offers enuff adjustment to center the top mount nut over the bottom nut. This will keep the bag from inflating and canting to one side or the other. Its not rocket science so it doesn't have to be precision perfect.

    Slotted top mount
    [​IMG]

    The system is provided with 2 shrader valves so you can fill each bag up independently. I didn't want this option so I just ran 1 shrader valve to the gas filler compartment and T'd off the airlines so both bags fill at the same time.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the clearance i have now with the bags at 60psi which is way more then I will prob ever need them at. Note that the swaybar has drifted over towards the bag about 1/8th-1/4". You can see the clean/dirty line at the swaybar mount. This happened when I dropped the endlinks so I could drill the top mount holes in the frame easier. I repositioned the bar back to where it rides and have 1/4 of clearance now. There could possibly be more if I would have drilled at 7/8" center/center like I mentioned above. I felt that it would offset the bottom to the outside to much that I could compensate on the top mount and the bag would sit crooked.

    Drivers side clearance is not as close as the pic makes it look:top:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is a fairly easy and straightforward install done on the floor with jackstands. They say less then an hour install time but it took me more like 2 till I ran my airhose in a clean way and modified and test fit the plates. I recommend test fitting everything prior to the start of the install since this will give you a better idea what your after.

    Installed and inflated to 60psi on passengers side
    [​IMG]
     
    #1 MXXN, Aug 29, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  2. Vince77

    Vince77 New Member

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    Great write up. Thanks for putting this together, I'll be getting this kit sometime soon.
     
  3. 05runner

    05runner New Member

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    Great write up. So you also have 2" blocks on your X me too. I wondered about helper springs. Have you driven under load yet. How does it feel while driving is it still super stiff or a little spungy now. Thats what i wanna know before i purchase the kit. Good job on the install :rock:
     
  4. Coupe

    Coupe Active Member

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    Nice write up. I have been thinking of doing this.
     
  5. MXXN

    MXXN New Member

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    I will give my ride impression when I get home from the racetrack. I finished it Friday then had to leave for work all weekend.

    This will not effect your ride if you dont want it to. You can leave a low PSI in the bag like 5-10psi just to keep it from collapsing on itself. The ride can really only be made stiffer not spongier.

    If you want to firm it up a bit you can just add whatever air you want.

    Keep in mind that the system will tend to leak down gradually. It not really a long term fix for a stiffer suspension. It more for the guy who actually uses his truck to tow and haul. You know...what they were designed for:) I don't want a tricky compressor system or any on board pumps. Im just using a high quality hand held mountain bike pump. I can have the system to 30psi in less then a minute.

    I have 1.5 inch blocks in the rear. You can see in the last picture that my lopro bump stop is still hitting my axle and leaving a mark. Not sure how you guys do it with 2" and lower blocks with out bottoming all the time or notching the frame?
     
  6. Murderface

    Murderface New Member

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    Anyone know if these will work with the SS composite leafs?

    I really hate how I hear that the composites won't bottom out with the axle hitting the frame(shorty bump stop) mine hits on pretty small bumps and would like to resolve this without notching the frame.
     
  7. MXXN

    MXXN New Member

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    http://www.airliftcompany.com/ride_control.html#slam_air

    The issues I could see are that the composites are wider then the stock springs so the lower bracket might not work.

    I am not sure if the spring sitting closer the frame would make a tight fit for the ride control spring. The slam air might be a shorter bag.

    In the bottom picture the axle is basically jacked up and not free hanging on the spring so you get an idea how the bag fits between the spring and frame. If it was 2" less space the bellow might tray and sit below its mounting plates and cause it to rub.

    I'd check to see that the composites manufacturer is cool with loading the spring like that. It is causing a stress point

    I havent seen the composites so this is total speculation.
     
  8. heylookatthatblackXRunner

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    That looks really good & clean :top:

    Let us know when you start to notice how soon the air leaves the bags and @ what psi you started w/how much load (est) PLEASE :D

    Thanks, and good work!
     
  9. Tunedx

    Tunedx Active Member

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    Input please on this subject?
     
  10. MXXN

    MXXN New Member

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    I run about 5-7 around town unloaded and about 12-15 with a sportbike and gear in the bed. I may run more when I have the enclosed trailer. I would guestimate 300-350lb tongue weight. with a total trailer weight of 2000lbs...prob go 2 weeks without refilling maybe more?. I carry a small mountain bike pump to fill it up.

    I'm now running the sittin sic sway bars that are a little larger but still no issues
     
  11. FireB

    FireB New Member

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    Seems like a great product but they sent me 2 Left Lower bracket..........
    So pissed I can't explain my madness!!!

    How the hell they mess up left and right bracket?

    It's like making hamburger at MacDonald and putting two Burger and a single bun in the middle....

    Gosh I just had to tell someone! :motz:
     
  12. FireB

    FireB New Member

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    Oh boy........I totally got a different bracket from yours.........
    I can't believe that I ordered the ones for Tacoma and having this much problems.
    Anyways, I will call them up on Monday to straighten things up.
    The part number on the Instructions and the part number on the mounts are totally different.
    At the same time, I have 2 of the same sides which is not helping at all.
     
  13. Gators Taco

    Gators Taco <a . href="http://www.xr-underground.com/forum/sho

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    They don't make one ( airlift or firestone) for the XR only for the reg tacomas. The sway bar is in the way. All I did when I was at Summit in Georgia is look at the display board they had and pick one that had a short sleeve bag. It's a kit for a lowered full size truck. I knew the bottom bracket would work on the leaf spring and just modified the top to fit.
     
  14. FireB

    FireB New Member

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    Ahh, I see.
    Well, I need to return the bottom plate and offset the hole like the starter of this thread.
    But definitely need a matching pair any not 2 LEFTS!

    Thanks for your info!
     
  15. burnboy

    burnboy New Member

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    I have to carry my daytona 675 also. I have 2.25 blocks in the rear and I have the same issue. I have my ssbc brake kit for front on its way so this is actually next. And thanx for you posting your trials and errors. Its good to know I need to make a new hole. Big thanx homie
     
  16. earnesje

    earnesje New Member

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    Can you try putting the airbags foward of the axle?
     
  17. babyboi2284

    babyboi2284 BaggedXR2284

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    This is kinda making me think about dropping the x again. You can prolly add some psi to the bags and lower the qa1s a bit and find that sweet spot for a comfortable ride. Big rig trucks use air suspension for a smoother ride for the load so I don't see why this setup would be any different being added to the truck suspension.

    If your worried about it bleeding down you can always get a pressure switch and a compressor to automatically kick on if you wanna go that route...which I would prolly do. And get a gauge to install in the cab to monitor the pressure (I think there are some that monitor two different psi within the same gauge) in both bags separately. I would have each bag set up independently so I can add pressure to one side or the other. Doing this might also help out with the taco lean after a fill up.

    Nice write up bro keep us updated.
     
  18. Gators Taco

    Gators Taco <a . href="http://www.xr-underground.com/forum/sho

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    You have to install one bag in the front and the other at the back. They have to be opposite the shocks
     
  19. EYE LEVEL 22

    EYE LEVEL 22 New Member

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    hows the ride on these bad boys?
     

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