Air Lift LoadLifter Air Helper Springs Installation - 2013 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty

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How to Install the Air Lift LoadLifter Air Helper Springs on a 2013 Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty

Hi there, Ford owners. Today on your 2013 Ford F250, we're going to be installing Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 air helper springs.And this is what our airbags look like when they're installed. It's going to sit between the frame of the vehicle and it's going to rest on top of the jounce bumper plate, located right above our axle.Each airbag has its own independent air line going through it, so they can be aired up independently. This is nice if you need to adjust for any uneven loads that may be placed in the back of your vehicle.Each airbag will operate between 5-100 psi. Five is typically used when the vehicle's unloaded. You don't ever want to run it all the way empty, so five pounds is your minimum.

100 is your absolute maximum on the airbags. However, you likely will never go that high. Even with the heaviest loads that you have in your truck, you're probably not going to exceed 50 psi.On a stock vehicle, it's a no-drill installation. All the hardware that comes included will work with all the holes that are pre-drilled into your frame, and the clamps will clamp right around your axles without having to make any modifications. Now, if you do have a fifth wheel or a gooseneck installed, some modifications to the vehicle, or your fifth wheel may be required, depending upon your fifth wheel gooseneck that you have installed.There is additional hardware that does come included with your airbags, as some of the hardware will not work with the fifth wheel, so there's varying sizes of bolts, washers and nuts to assist you in getting that installed.The procedure for installing it, when you have a fifth wheel gooseneck, is going to vary depending on which one you have.

So there are plenty of supplements within your instructions to assist you in getting those installed.For instance, you can see here our side plate on our fifth wheel. We did have to go in there and trim the bolt down so it would fit. It does still have a slight bow to it. But this may be necessarily on your particular fifth wheel. There are some applications where you would need to drill completely through the brackets on your fifth wheel gooseneck in order for them to install.Airbags can help compensate for heavy loads in the vehicle, by leveling your truck back out.

It's important to have your truck be level when you're driving and hauling a heavy load, to have the same handling and braking performance that you had when you had no load in the truck. When you load down the back, the back of the vehicle drops down and the front rises up. This changes the geometry of your suspension, which can cause excessive tire wear, and also make it difficult to maintain control of the vehicle compared to your factory ride.Additionally, your brakes are going to perform worse than they we're before, because your truck's supposed to lean forward and most of the braking's done on the front. Since the truck's leaning back, the weight's not distributing properly and the braking is happening less in the front and more in the rear, which takes longer to stop your vehicle. You'll have a greater distance to stop than you would if you didn't have that.By leveling it out, the weight can then properly distribute to the front, decreasing your stopping distance.

It also returns your suspension geometry to normal, so your tires will wear as they're supposed to, and you'll have a better feel and maintain better control of your vehicle because the geometry of your suspension isn't causing it to sit in an awkward location which can have less contact between the tire and the road.Putting the surface area back to the way it was will give you an overall better feel, decrease your stopping distance and just make you feel more in control. So overall, what this means for you, is you and your passengers are going to enjoy a safer, more comfortable ride, when hauling your heavy trailer or load in the back of your truck to its destination.The airbags are adjusted by manually inflating them on the inflation valves that come included with it. There's one for both the driver and passenger side, so you can adjust those independently from one another, to adjust for uneven loads in the back of the vehicle.Now this is going to require you to have an air supply, so you may have to stop at a gas station, or if you have an air compressor in your garage. But if you're constantly loading and unloading your vehicle, going from location to location, there may not be an air compressor on site.I'd recommend installing an air compressor on your vehicle to help compensate for that. This way you can load the vehicle down, air the bags up to make your truck level, drive to your destination, unload it, let the air out of your airbags to return that ride height to stock. Go on to your next destination, rinse and repeat.Before we install our airbags, we're going to take a few measurements with the vehicle unloaded. At the rear, we're at about 42 and a half inches, and at the front we're about 42 inches. We've now placed about 1000 pounds of weight in the back of our vehicle, and you can see here, the back has dropped down to about 41 inches. And the front lifted up about a quarter-inch, putting it at about 42 and a quarter inches.Now with the airbags installed and the same load put inside the vehicle, we've inflated it, and we've returned our ride height back to factory, at about 42 inches at the rear. So that inch and a half drop that we had without our airbags, has been taken up with the airbags that we're installed.This also dropped our front back down right to about 42 inches again, so our headlights are going to be level once again.You'll begin your installation by removing the jounce bumpers that are on your vehicle. You'll simply use a 15 millimeter wrench to remove the nuts and the jounce bumpers will drop down. Those will be located above your axles, where we currently have the airbag installed.Once the jounce bumpers are removed, you'll install the top brackets onto the frame. On the passenger side, that's going to use a single large bolt, and that bolt is going to vary, depending if you have a fifth wheel installed or not. If you don't have a fifth wheel, you'll use the largest bolt that comes in the kit. If you do have a fifth wheel, you'll have to find the appropriate length bolt that comes in the kit for your particular setup.Regardless if you have a fifth wheel installed or not, you will have washers and a nut on each side. The thickness of those washers will vary if you do have a fifth wheel installed.On the driver's side, it's going to be similar, however, there's wiring that you will need to relocate. There are brackets that come included with the kit. We currently aren't using those on this because of the fifth wheel that's installed. They we're already relocated when the fifth wheel was installed.If this is the case, I recommend that you maintain the brackets where it was relocated when your fifth wheel was installed. If you are going to relocate them, you'll see a small hole here towards the rear of the vehicle on your upper bracket, and that's where you'll install the bracket that comes with your kit, for relocating the wiring.Once your upper brackets have been installed, you'll leave the hardware a little bit loose, because you want some play in it to make it easier to get the airbag side attached to it. You'll now pre-assemble your airbags. They are going to be basically the same on left and right, but you want to pay attention to your components, because the upper plate that installs onto your airbag, is specific to either the driver or passenger side.So use the same hardware regardless of which side they're on, but they are shaped a little different. There are three carriage bolts that slide up through this bracket, and then you'll attach it to the top side of your airbag with the roll plate below it. You have to put the bolts in the bracket before you attach it to the air bag. As you can see here, the roll plate will block it and prevent you from being able to insert that hardware.What's nice about this is that the hardware cannot fall out after you've got it attached. After you've attached your roll plates, you'll put your air fitting on. There's a hole cut out, in both the roll plate and the bracket plate that sits on top of that, for you to put your air line fitting into.Before you place the lower bracket onto the airbag, you'll see a small cup here, that will sit onto our jounce bumper's strike plate. You'll have to use a small carriage bolt and nylon lock nut, and just loosely install that onto your lower bracket before you attach to the air bag. You'll tighten it up at a later step.You also need to take the long rear carriage bolt and slide it through the lower bracket before attaching it to your airbag. You'll then attach it to the airbag using the tapered flat head bolts with a seven thirty-seconds Allen key opening.The passenger and driver's side do have multiple holes. You'll want to make sure that you use the hole closest to that rear bolt we slid down. And the other hole will then line up. So as long as you're using the closest one here, the other holes that are in the bracket will only line up with one of them, so you can ensure that you're not installing it incorrectly. So it won't fit on any of the other holes.With everything pre-assembled, we can now lift our airbag up over the axle and put it into position. In order to get it into position, I recommend that you lift the body up. An easy way to do this is place a floor jack underneath your hitch and just jack it up. This will provide some additional clearance between the frame and the axle making it easier to get it in.When you slide your airbag on, make sure that the cup here sits on top of the strike plate, and on the driver's side, you want to make sure that your carriage bolt here is between the brake line and the axle. And after you've got it in there, and you tighten it down, you're going to want to make sure that it's not contacting it. If it is you can bend it out a little bit.On the passenger side, it's going to be similar, but your long carriage bolt is going to be on the outside of the brake line. You've got your bottom set on top of here, your carriage bolt's in the correct spot, depending on which side it's on for your brake lines. You simply then take the top part of your pre-assembled airbag and the carriage bolts that we're pre-installed on them will slide up into the holes on the upper brackets, and there's a third carriage bolt towards the back, and that actually slides up through the frame, through the hole where we had removed our jounce bumpers.You can then place washers and lock nuts on the top of the ones that go through the bracket, and use a flange nut for the bolt that's going through the frame. We can now take the U-bolt that comes in the kit, and we're going to slide it around the U-bolt that is holding our leaf springs on, it's going to slide through the highest hole possible. This is going to vary depending on the suspension package that you have on your F250 or 350.We we're able to place ours in the top, and that's the hole you want to use if possible. Once you've slid it through, place a nylon lock nut on the other side. We've already got one carriage bolt that's going down at the rear. You'll just slide the front carriage bolt down through the square hole on the other side, there's plenty of clearance to be able to slide that down.On the bottom, you'll take your clamp bracket, slide it over those two carriage bolts, put flat washers inaudible 00:10:06 and follow it up with a nylon lock nut. You can then go back now and tighten down all of your hardware.For your long carriage bolts here, when you're tightening that down, you will likely run out of socket length to be able to fully tighten it. You'll probably have to tighten it down, cut off part of your carriage bolt, and then continue tightening it down. As this carriage bolt stick down about that far, when it's uncut. And deep well sockets typically aren't long enough to fully tighten the bolts before they run out.Now that everything's tightened down, we can go back and tighten down the nut on the carriage bolt that's holding our cup on the bottom of our bottom bracket. You'll use a half-inch wrench, to tighten this down. You'll do that on both sides.We can now place our heat shield on. Your heat shield will come flat in the kit. You'll want to bend the center of yours towards the exhaust and then after you've bent them towards the exhaust, you're going to bend it flat again, so it's parallel with the exhaust. This is going to provide a small space between the heat shield and the exhaust, making it easy to dissipate heat in that area between the two.You'll use the hose clamps that come in the kit to tighten around your exhaust, and the ears that we had bent here, to hold it in place. Now the airbags are fully installed, we can run our air lines to it, so we can provide the air pressure we need to them.You'll need to choose a mounting location for your air fittings. We've decided to mount ours in the bracket for our seventh hole connector. We use a 5/16th drill bit to drill out the holes. We then took the pre-attached air line fittings, we put a nut and a star washer on the back side. Slid it through the hole that we drilled, and then placed the rubber washer, metal flat washer, and nut on the other side, and tightened them down with a half-inch wrench.After you've attached both of your air line fittings to the location that you chose, stretch out your air line, and you'll want to cut it in half. Make sure that when you cut it, you use a razor knife, or hose cutting tool, so that way it cuts it clean and square. It's really important for it to seal properly in the quick-connect fittings.After you've cut it in half, you'll want to route it towards your airbags. You want to make sure when routing it, you avoid any moving objects such as your suspension parts, and any inaudible 00:12:24 hot objects such as your exhaust. I always choose to route following factory wiring, because the factory wiring is already routed in a location that it's not going to come into contact with anything that's going to damage it.So we simply followed all of our factory wiring forward for our air lines, took one side and hooked it up to our passenger side, and we took the other side that we had cut in half and hooked it up to our driver's side. Once you get back here, you simply push it into the fitting. I like to kind of push it in and out, just to make sure it's fully seated.And the last thing we did was air it up. Watched our airbags inflate. And then we want to check for leaks. We used some soapy water. You want to spray it all over your fittings and connection points, and check for the presence of bubbles. Now, the little small bubbles you see here, are just fine, that's because of the soap. You're looking for bubbles that are continually occurring from a leaking location.Since we have no bubbles that are occurring, we have no leaks here. We'll move on and check the rest of our fittings. We have no leaks present, we're all set, we're ready to load up our truck and hit the road.And that completes our installation of Air Lift's LoadLifter 5000 air helper springs on your 2013 Ford F250.

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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Dustin K
Installed by:
Jeff D
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Nicholas E
Test Fit:
Robert C
Test Fit:
David F

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