Air Lift Ride Rear Helper Springs Installation - 2016 Ford F-150

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How to Install the Air Lift Ride Rear Helper Springs on a 2016 Ford F-150

Today on our 2016 Ford F-150, we'll be taking a look at and installing the air lift control air helper springs for the rear axle, part number AL59570. Now's here what our air bag kit looks like installed. This air bag kit will offer us a low leveling capacity up to 2,000 pounds. Now, these air bags are adjustable anywhere from 5 to 100 PSI depending on what you need. If you have a little bit of weight in the bed, you'll need less air. If you have a lot of weight in the bed, you'll need more air. These will help maintain all your handling characteristics as far as your steering, your braking, and will also help keep your headlight level close to stock.

That way you don't have to blind oncoming drivers if you have your rear end of the truck squatting down and the front end being raised up and in the air. Not only does it help all that, but it also will help improve tire wear. Because when you have a heavy load in the back, your front end comes up a little bit, and then you will get some positive camber, which will wear the outside edge of the front tires. By having an air bag kit installed, you help alleviate that situation. Now these air bags can be inflated manually from the valve on the back of the truck. Now if you find yourself in a situation where you're finding you need to adjust them quite frequently from varying weights in the bed of the truck or towing different tongue weight trailers, a lot of our customers recommend and found that it's a lot easier to get an air compressor system so you can monitor and control the amount of pressures in the bag from inside the cab. We have many different options available for that on our website if you want to look into that. One of the things that I've found that set this air lift system apart from other competitors on the market is the ease of installation.

This is a fairly quick install. There's no drilling or modification to the vehicles frame at all. Just simple clamp on brackets, and they install very quickly and easily. Before we get started here, we'll record some measurements of the vehicle unloaded with stock suspension. Just go through the center line of the rear wheel up to the bottom edge of the fender. We're about 39 inches.

Get the same measurement on the front. We're about 37 inches. Now we're going to place some weight in the bed of the truck and we'll see what the measurements look like with the truck loaded down and the stock suspension. We're about 36.5 inches in the rear, so we're down a solid 2.5 inches about. We'll double check the front now.

The front's about 38 inches. We're up about an inch. Now that we have our vehicle loaded down with some weight, we'll take it down our test course here, and you can see how it handles with the base of maneuvering and going over some speed bumps. You notice all that jarring action going on with the factory suspension. All right, now we'll give you some measurements with our air springs installed. We have the same amount of weight in there as before, but we have the air springs inflated now to help compensate for the weight. We're back at 39 inches in the rear, so we're back at factory right height in the rear. Let's check the front out. We're back to 37 in the front. Now let's take a look at it going down our test course with the air bag system in place. Notice how much smoother and how much more control we have over the vehicle. We've gone ahead and jacked up the rear of our vehicle by the rear axle and removed our rear tires. This will make our installation a lot easier. Now above our rear axle on the driver's side here we have our bump stop. We need to remove this. We use a 13 millimeter socket on an extension to get inside of it. We'll set it aside. After we take the bolt out, we will not be reusing the bolt, but we will be using the bump stop later on. Now we're looking at our driver side frame rail. This is where our bump stop was. We'll take our two frame E-bolts. We'll slide them up behind our break lines and any wiring harness that's up there. There's one that's clipped to the top of the frame. Just pop that off, slide it up, twist. Our rear one we'll do the same thing with right there, making sure it's in front of our bracket for our brake hoses. Now we'll clip the wiring harness back in and slide it back onto its clip until it locks in place. We'll take our upper frame bracket here and we'll slide it onto our U-bolts, place onto three-eighths flat washers, and nylon lock nuts. For reference we're right in our wheel well, right above our axle. We'll do the same as that process on the other side and leave all of this just finger tight for the time being. We have our bump stop and a bench vice here. Now you can see there's a crescent shape right here on the bottom, the smaller edge right here. We need to grind this edge flush so our air bag will have room to sit. We'll just use a grinder to do that. Make sure we wear safety goggles while we're doing this. Now you can see how we ground it smooth and flush here. This will allow us to have extra clearance for our air bag so we don't have to worry about it getting punctured. Now before we re-install this we'll want to paint this edge with some spray paint so we don't have to worry about it rusting out. Now we'll take our two and three-quarter inch long metric bolt, drop on a three-eighths washer. Drop it down into our bump stop. The paint is dry at this point in time so it's safe to handle. We'll re-install it into the factory position. We'll make sure the bolt goes through the middle hole on our bracket, and we'll hand tighten the bolt. Use a 17 millimeter socket for this. Now when we install the bump stop, we want to make sure the spot we ground out faces out towards the tire. Now with our jounce bumper snug down finger tight, we'll tighten our U-bolts down with the bracket just touching the bottom of the frame. We're not tightening them all the way yet. Just starting them a bit. Make sure we start them evenly. We're using a nine-sixteenths socket for this. Now we'll torque these nuts down to the amount specified in the instructions. Make sure we go evenly. With those nuts torqued down now, we'll snug down our bump stop bolt the rest of the way and we'll torque it to the amount specified in the instructions. Now we'll take our air spring and our air line fitting, and we'll thread it into the top until it's finger tight. Once we have it finger tight, we'll go another full turn and a half. There's one turn, and a half turn. We're using a half inch wrench for that. We'll take our bracket and the spot with this phalange here faces out towards the wheel. Take our half inch washer and our half inch bolt, and we'll thread it on as finger tight. Now we'll take our air spring and we'll install it in position, making sure our fitting goes through the hole. Lift up on it, and we'll slide it onto our frame on top of our lease spring like so. Now we'll take our U-bolts here and go around our lease springs and up into the holes on our lower bracket. Drop on our three-eighths washers and our nylon lock nuts. We'll just do them finger tight. We'll do the exact same process on the other side. Now we'll place our lock washer on over our air line fitting. Now we'll install our nut. Our nut is a plastic nut. There's a flat side, which faces down, and then a side that's not 100% flat and it has a couple dots on it. This will face up. Slide that over the fitting and we'll thread it on just finger tight. Now we'll install our air line. We've already cut our air line in half. We'll thread on one of the nuts, just run it all the way down and we'll place on one of the star washers. Now when we install the air lines, if we go over to the back of our truck we'll show you what we did. We used one of our brackets that we have available on our website. It's part number 18140. This will allow us to clamp it to the factory hitch and we drilled two five-sixteenth inch holes in it for fittings to go through. The one on the right will be for the right side of the truck or the passenger, and the one on the left will be for the driver side of the truck. We'll place down our air line fitting through the hole like so. We'll place the rubber washer on, a flat washer, and then another nut. You can install them on your bumper if you want. You just don't want to install them on the vehicle body because it's an aluminum body and this fitting is not aluminum. You don't want to cause galvanic corrosion from forming by having two similar metals touching. We'll hold the top one in place with a half inch wrench and tighten the bottom nut with another half inch wrench. Don't need to go overly tight on these. Just snug them down so the fitting won't be loose inside the bracket. With that snug down, we can put our valve cap on it now. Now we'll route our air line to our air bag, making sure we avoid any moving parts or sources of heat such as the exhaust. Here's our air line tubing from the driver's side. We have some slack here inside the bumper, made a loop here, secured it to a wiring harness, one above our spare tire carrier. Some more slack there. Secure to the wiring harness here, behind our brake hoses bracket. Then it goes out to our air bag. Again we have it secured to this U-bolt here in the back with another zip tie. Now we'll trim off a little bit of the excess of our air line making sure we have a straight cut. We're using an air line tubing cutter, part number AL10530, available on our website. When you trim up your air line, you want to make sure you have slack on both sides. You want to have about 12 inches of slack in it, and just bundle up out of the way. To install our air line in the fitting, just push our air line in the fitting. Push it in all the way until it stops. Then pull back on it and make sure it's secured. Now we'll take a zip tie and go around our U-bolt, and we'll secure the air line to it just to make sure the air line doesn't work its way out towards the tire while we're driving down the road. We'll remove our valve cap and we're going to put five PSI of air pressure in our bag. With our bag inflated now, we'll push our lower bracket flat against our lease spring, and we'll slide the air bag over until it's perpendicular of the brackets. Make sure it's in line, straight. Now we'll mark the location on our lower bracket with a paint marker. You can use a permanent marker or anything that you can get your hands on to make a mark. We'll just go around it so we know where our bracket needs to line up. With that done, we'll let the air out of our bag now. If you want to let the air out quickly, you can just push it on the fitting and pull the hose out. With the air released, we'll just push the line back in all the way and make sure it's secure. Now pull them back. Now we'll go underneath and we'll tighten down the nut on the bottom bracket. We'll pry up on our bottom bracket here a little bit just so we can get access with the wrench to tighten the bottom bolt. We'll use a three-quarter inch wrench to do this. You don't need to tighten this down a lot. Just snug it down by hand, no more than 15 foot pounds. Once we have it tight, we can lower it back down and we'll snug down all of our hardware. We'll start with snugging down on our nylon lock nut. We'll use a pair of channel lock pliers for this. We'll snug down our bolts using our nine-sixteenths socket again. Go evenly across on them. Now we'll torque down our nuts to the amount specified in the instructions. Now that both of our air bags have been installed, we'll inflate them to 30 PSI and check release. We'll spray down our fittings with some soapy water, making sure we don't see any air bubbles. We'll do the same on the other side. Now that our driver's side air bag is completely installed, we'll repeat the same process for the passenger side. It'll be a little bit easier since you don't have to contend with any of the brake lines or any electrical harness. That completes our look at and installation of the air lift ride control air helper springs for the rear axle, part number AL59570 on our 2016 Ford F-150.

Info for this part was:

Video Edited:
Joshua S
Test Fit:
Brent H

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