Air Lift Air Helper Springs Installation - 2011 Dodge Nitro

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How to Install the Air Lift Air Helper Springs on a 2011 Dodge Nitro

Today on this 2011 Dodge Nitro, we're going to show you an Airlift 1000 Air Helper Springs for Coil Springs. Part number AL60820. Now, before we do our install, we'll go ahead and put a load in the back of a vehicle and we'll go ahead and take it on our test course over the bumps to see how suspension works without any help over the bumps. Now, original measurement before we put the load in the vehicle was 32" and now with our weight in the vehicle, we'll go ahead and get our next measurement. Our new measurement's going to be about 31". We'll go ahead and check our measurement now with loaded and airbag's in use. It's a little over 32".

Okay, since we're just beyond the original ride-height of our vehicle, we could let out some air and the vehicle would ride even better than it did before. In this case, with a load in the back of the vehicle, going over our bumps course, the vehicle handled a lot better than it was originally without the airbags. Now, to install these airbags, we have to remove the springs. In order to do that, we need to lift the vehicle up and off the suspension. We also have to remove the two rear wheels.

We'll also need to use a floor jack to help support the axle as we lower it down in a controlled manner. We'll also have to unbolt some suspension components as well. Now, while we have our vehicle up in the air, we'll go ahead and show the components we'll need to remove. It's going to be simple. We need to remove a bolt for a shock down here, this will allow the axle to lower down even more. Then, also, on this linkage right here, go all the way up to the frame, we need to remove this bolt as well.

There's only two bolts on each side that we need to remove so far. Before we do that, we'll lower it down on the ground, we'll put support under the axle to help hold it up for us and take the tension off the bolts. Now, we'll use an 18mm socket on this bolt. We'll need an 18mm socket here and a 15mm wrench to hold the bolt. We'll get these broke loose and then we'll go ahead and lower it and remove the bolts. Okay, this is our driver's side done.

We'll repeat the same process over on the passenger's side. Next, we need to remove the bump stop right here. We can just pull on that and work it out. This will not be reinstalled. Next up, we'll go ahead and make a mark on our spring by where it connects to up by the body here, just so we know that we can line it up in the same position when it was original. We'll do that on both sides. Next, we'll go ahead and lower the axle down enough where we can get our spring out. We're going to use our floor jack to do that with. We'll slowly lower it probably at least a couple inches. Now, when you do this, you want to check on brake lines, make sure they're not getting pulled too much as well. Okay, driver's side's done, pull the spring out on the passenger's side as well. All right, now with the spring out of the way, we need to drill a hole through the top of this seat right here and into the hollow section that's between this part and the axle. You can actually get access to it from underneath on this side as well, just so you can see, this is for routing our air line out the bottom. The kit does come with a template and you have to cut it out of the page. Just cut to where it fits inside of the cup here and centers it for you and use that to make your mark to drill your holes. Okay, that's our pilot hole. Eventually, we're going to drill that out to 3/4". We'll just keep working our way up to a 3/4" hole size. Now you want to make sure you've got all the burs removed from here as well so your air spring doesn't rub on this constantly. Now, I'm going to use a step bit to help clean out the burs. We'll go ahead and vacuum it out and we'll repeat this same process on the other side. We'll go ahead and put our air spring inside our coil. To do that, we'll go ahead and flatten it out first. We'll pull out the little caps, that makes it easier to flatten out. Then, once it's flattened, we'll put the cap back on and slip it into place in the spring. Now, you remember the mark that we made on top We'll make sure that's the top of the coil, then we'll make sure that our air bag goes down toward the bottom of the coil and also make sure the brass fitting at the end also goes out the bottom. Next, go ahead and get out the air-line tubing and we'll cut it into two equal lengths using a tube cutter. The part number we're using for the tube cutter is AL10530 from Airlift. Now, to connect your air line to the air spring, there's a little clamp that we need to use to help connect the two together. To help us spread it apart or to help us install the clamp, use some pliers. Squeeze it open, put our air line tubing through a little bit with the valve shut for now. Then, we'll slide this into the barb fitting on our air sprayer. We'll make sure the clamp keeps it in place, sliding it in and up towards the top. We'll repeat this same process on the other side. All right, let's take your airline and run it through our hole and out the bottom and alongside our axle. Go ahead and run it through and then we'll go ahead and put our spring back into place. Okay, we'll also rotate the coil to match up to our marks and set it in place. Make sure your air line tubing is not pinched or anything. We'll repeat this same process on the other side. All right, now we'll go ahead and use our jack and push your axle back up in position and we'll also double check to make sure we guide the springs back into their correct spot. Now with the axle back into place, we'll go ahead and reinstall our suspension components. We'll get them all loosely installed first. Then, we'll tighten them down. We'll repeat this same process on the other side. Once we have the bolts all snugged down, we'll go ahead and torque them down as described in the instructions. Next, we'll go ahead and run our air lines towards the back bumper. Everyone's going to run their air lines just a little bit different, but this is how we did ours. First off, you can see how the air line came out from below the spring seat, here, up alongside the parking brake cable here, went up along this breather tube, through this opening. We zip-tied it anywhere it was convenient and went to the back bumper. You can also see our secondary line from our airbag on the other side. Now, the passenger's side, quick look. Here's our air spring in the coil. Here's our air line running out the bottom and we follow the parking brake cable all the way up, jumped across and went through the same opening and followed the other line going towards the back. Now, we've got to find a location for our air valve, so it can inflate the airbags. What we're going to do is drill out this plastic rivet, right here for the support that's behind the bumper. We'll actually use the valve to replace our rivet. I'm just going to drill it out using a 5/16 drill bit. We'll leave that alone for now. Then, we're going to take our two air lines and we'll combine them together using this T. We'll also use clamps once again. We'll slide them on first, then slide on our T. We'll go ahead and cut our other line to the same length using our tubing cutter and we'll add another clamp and we'll slide that on our T as well. Once you have it over the barbs, we'll go ahead and put the clamp back on. This last line will go to our air line fitting. Now, to our inner air line tubing, we'll go ahead and add one more clamp. This time, this brass fitting for an air chuck. We'll go ahead and take our air valve here and we'll install it right here. First, we'll throw it on the nut. I'm going to run it all the way down to the bottom. All these little bits of hardware do come with the kit. After we install the nut, we'll install a star washer, then run that from the inside to the outside. On the outside, we'll get a rubber washer, a flat washer and another nut. You'll tighten all that up using a 1/2" socket. Let's go ahead and add some air to the system. It doesn't take much. Then, we'll go ahead and check for leaks. No bubbles is a good thing. Once we're satisfied with everything not leaking, we'll go ahead and take the air out of the bags, zip-tie our air lines and put our tires and wheels back on. Okay, with that, that'll finish it for the install of the Air Lift 1000 Air Helper Springs, for Coil Springs, part number AL60820on our 2011 Dodge Nitro. .

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Info for this part was:

Test Fit:
Joe V
Video by:
Andrew K
Video Edited:
Joshua S

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