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Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Plus Air Springs Installation - 2019 GMC Sierra 2500

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How to Install the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Plus Air Springs on a 2019 GMC Sierra 2500


Hi there GMC owners. Today in your 2019 GMC Sierra 2500 we're going to be taking a look at and showing you how to install air lifts, Ride-Rite air helper springs. Before we install our air bags, we'll take some measurements of our stock ride height from the ground to the top of our fender well here we're measuring about 42 and a half inches. And then in the front of the vehicle we're measuring just under 40 inches, right at maybe 39 and three quarter, right around there. Now we're going to load our truck up with about a thousand pounds of weight. We're going to use our water tank here to simulate a heavy load that you might be putting in the back of your truck.We'll now recheck our measurements here in the back and we've dropped down about an inch and a half here in the back and here in the front when we recheck our vehicle's raised up about a quarter of an inch.

Now you can see here that our vehicle is tipping down in the back. This is going to have a lot of negative effects on our handling due to the back sagging down and our front lifting up. When the front lifts up, it changes the geometry of your tires at the front, which causes them to have less contact with the road, less surface area, which means you just don't feel quite the same. It's just not going to handle quite the same. That's also going to cause your tires to wear out faster and it's going to degrade your braking performance.Additionally, with the front end being lifted up, our headlights are now pointing up towards the sky, which lowers our nighttime visibility.

By lifting our back end up, we're going to restore our ride height to the way it should be, bringing our geometry for our suspension back into place, restoring that lost braking and handling performance. It'll also bring our headlights back down facing towards the road so we can see clearly at night. Now before we install our air bags, I've gone ahead and loaded up the back of the truck and we're going to take it out of the test course to see how it reacts.We're going to start by going into our uneven bumps and it rides pretty good. I can feel that there is a bit of a sway back and forth, but this truck overall has some pretty decent suspension on it. You can see here it is kind of throwing us around a little bit.

We're getting ready to go into the straight bumps now and again our suspension on this truck is pretty decent here. We do have a bit of a dip after coming back down, so I bet you when we put these air bags in it's going to help straighten that out, bring us back to our level instead of bouncing up and down as much. Let's get into the slalom and see how that feels.We're now coming into our slalom. We're going to see how it reacts under some invasive maneuvers. And as we go back and forth I can feel it, you know, it wants to kind of throw us from side to side as the cab wants to turn.

It's not terrible in this truck, but I feel like when we put the air bags in there, we should be able to help minimize that. So we're going to be able to have a little bit more control on the inside here.We've now got our air bags installed and we aired them up with the weight back in the back. We're now only dropping down about a quarter of an inch. Let's go recheck the front. And now here in the front, our ride height has been restored to where it was when we started. So it is normal that you're going to be down just a little bit because you do have a lot of weight back there. But we're very close to our factory ride height now, close enough to where our geometry of our suspension really hasn't changed much from where it was from the factory. And so what this means for you is when you're hauling a big load, you're going to enjoy a more comfortable and safer ride, you and your family will appreciate it when you go to your destination and you're less tired than you we're before because you weren't fighting as hard keeping control of your vehicle. We're now going to take it back out on our test course with our air bags installed and see how they compare. We're going to go into our uneven bumps first.Oh yeah, and as I expected, it feels even better than it did before. This truck's already got a pretty good suspension system on it, so it's not super noticeable, but it is definitely a difference and I can feel that it's not throwing me quite as much as they did before. We're now going to go into our even bumps and it's pretty close to the same as well. It doesn't quite bounce as much as it did before, it's a little bit less and we could always put a little bit more air in there to help stiffen that up some more. But once you get to a certain point adding air in and stiffening it up, you start to lose ride quality for that extra stiffness. I'm pretty content with how it feels, how it is, but if we we're going to add more weight on the back or something, we would definitely adjust for that. Let's go into our slalom and see how that feels.This is actually the most noticeable out of all the differences here is in our slalom. It's not throwing us back and forth before I know the camera guy that we had here before is noticing the difference here as he was being thrown around a little bit more when we didn't have our air bags in than he is now. And this is what our airbags look like when they're installed. They're going to replace your jounce bumper and they sit between your frame and your axle. These air bags will provide up to 5,000 pounds of load leveling support. Now you want to keep in mind that this doesn't increase how much you can carry in your truck, just how much weight our air bags can compensate for. Even though this replaced our jounce bumper, there is a jounce bumper internal to our airbag, so we still have that bump stop in case our suspension does come quite compressed, we still have that support from there as well.It's a double convoluted design, which will increase the verse pressure over your non double convoluted styles. It more evenly disperses the pressure to increase that verse pressure. Additionally, we have roll plates on the top and bottom, so our vehicle wants to sway from side to side, we have support for our air bags all the way around, which also increases the verse pressure of our bed. It features stainless steel braided cables for our airlines. These are going to be a heavier duty and resistant against anything that it might rub against so you can ensure that your air bags are likely never going to occur any leaks in the lines.We'll begin our installation underneath the vehicle by removing the jounce bumpers for both the driver and passenger side. To remove the jounce bumper, you'll use a large screwdriver or pry bar and just pry it out of there. Push it up in there and then you can just kind of twist it to pry it down and once you've got the lip down, a lot of times you can just pull it out. Our parking brake cable here has a bracket right here that goes up to a bolt, we'll need to take that out. We'll use a 13 millimeter socket to remove it. Pull that down out of our way for now. And then below where our jounce bumper used to be on the strike plate here, they'll have a bracket right there and we're going to remove that as well using a 13 millimeter socket.We can now perform some pre-assembly on our air bag. The roll plates will sit on your air bag, line up the holes. We're just going to flip it over for now and then do the other side here. Make sure the opening on this hole lines up with where your air fitting is going to go into the bag, and then we'll take the air fitting that comes in our kit and we're going to install it into the bag. You'll want to make sure that you've got at least a couple of threads of sealant down inside of it. The manufacturer recommends that you hand tighten it and then go a turn in a half. We can then take our top plate. These are going to be different depending on your driver or passenger side. They're labeled L and R. We're going to place it on top of our airbag and roll plate. Line up the holes with the roll plate, the air bag, and your bracket, and our air fitting is going to fit through the little notch cut out of it right there. We'll then secure it using the flathead Allen bolts.And we'll tighten them down with the 7/32 Allen key. We'll then flip it over and put our lower bracket on. The air fitting is going to be on the same side as the slant, so we've got our air fitting here, so we want it to be slanted out that way towards it. Set your lower bracket in place, lining up the holes again, just like we did it with the top bracket and then securing it with the same hardware. Now to give us enough clearance to get our air bag in place, we are going to need to lift up on the back of our vehicle to increase the gap between our axle and the frame. So if you're doing this at home, you can just place a floor jack underneath your hitch. Since I've got it on a lift here, we're going to be using a pole jack.And just go up enough until you've got plenty of clearance to easily get your air bag in. If you're trying to get it in there and you're having a hard time just jack it up a little bit higher. Now when doing this at home, you might want to chock your front wheels because when you lift up on the back it could potentially make the vehicle roll forward if the back wheels come off the ground. We'll now start getting our air bag in position. I found it was a little easier to get the top in first and then get the bottom of the place. You want to make sure your brake lines don't get pinched between the bracket and your axle. Make sure all that's on the outside. Now that we've got it set in place, we can go ahead and slowly lower the vehicle back down to help keep it there and for moving around with a little bit of pressure on it.Now at this point, our installation is going to vary a little bit depending on the accessories you have on your truck. If you've got a fifth wheel or gooseneck or anything like that that has a bracket that runs down the side of your frame, you won't be able to use the U bolts that come in the kit. Now if you don't have those brackets, this is the time that you'd take these U bolts, you'd feed it over top of your frame, and you'd come down through the holes here in the top bracket and you'd get that secure. Our vehicle here does have a gooseneck in it, so we have brackets on the side, so we're not able to use these and that's okay. We have hardware for this situation. Instead of using the U bolt to clamp around and go through these holes, the hole here in the middle, we will drill out and use the included self tapping screws and run it up in there.Now at this point you would be putting the U bolts in if you didn't have those. Since we do have it, we're going to wait to secure our top bracket and secure our bottom one first so that way it's all held in place while we're drilling it out and nothing's going to move. So first get your airbag lined up to where it's nice, straight up and down, and then we're going to put our lower bracket in and then we'll move back to our top. Now our bottom rack is going to install the same regardless, so re, if you've got your U bolts in and stuff, you just pick up and we'll continue on here. The carriage bolts, this slide down through the slots here on our lower bracket, there's going to be one that goes on each side. We'll then place our lower bracket onto those U bolts. Then secure it with a flat washer and then a nylon locking nut. We're going to do the same thing to the other carriage bolt. We'll then secure these with a 9/16 socket. You want to go back and forth, tightening them down evenly.Now if you we're like us and you had a gooseneck or fifth wheel with brackets on the side, we're going to go ahead and drill out these holes. Now we're going to use the holes in our upper bracket as a template and drill directly up into the bottom of the frame. We'll use a 5/16 drill bit to drill this out and it's important that you use this size because the self tapping screws will only thread into the frame if it is drilled out exactly this.And now we'll take the self tapping bolt that came in our kit, push it through our upper bracket and thread it into the frame using a 9/16 socket. Now that we've got this one in, we're going to go over to the other side and repeat the same process to get the other one installed. We can now go back and torque these bolts to the specifications found in your instructions. Now we can go back and torque our lower hardware. Now if you had U bolts installed on top, you'd torque those U bolts as well. We can now start re securing our brackets for the one with our brake line on it here. We're going to use the small bolt that comes in our kit, place a small flat washer on it. This will line up with the holes that are pre threaded into your lower bracket, and then you just thread this into that pre threaded hole. There's a small hole for the little alignment tab here to slide into as well, and then we'll just tighten that down using a 13 millimeter socket.For our parking brake cable, we're going to push that up. And if you use the U bolts, you would attach the clamp that you see here to the U bolt and then secure it with the included cerated nut. But if you're like us and we weren't able to use the U bolts, you're going to have to provide your own hardware or instead of using this clamp here, you could use a zip tie and just zip tie it to the forward inside hole on your upper bracket. We've gone ahead and provided our own hardware, so I'm going to slide this bracket up and then you secure your hardwareWe'll not repeat the same process for the passenger side. The only small differences on your passenger side is your parking brake cable instead of attaching up high, attaches down low to a pre threaded hole just like our brake line bracket did on the other side, and then you'll have a heat shield that will go in your exhaust here to protect your air bag from any heat from that exhaust.Now we'll need to route our airlines from our air bags back towards our fittings that we're going to Mount at the back. When routing your airlines, I recommend securing it to your factory wiring. So I'm going to go do all that here in a minute. Go back and secure it all. Because this way you know it's going to be avoiding anything excessively hot such as your exhaust as well as any moving components like your suspension. Zip ties come included with your kit to help you get it secured. One of the things that doesn't come included with your kit is a mounting bracket for your air fittings. So you might have to get creative with it. You can use a 5/16 drill bit and drill out a hole wherever you'd like to Mount it and then it'll slide through and you can secure it with the provided nuts. Now we've got a little creative with ours and we removed the bolts that we're located here as well as the clips that the bolts threaded into.By using some fender washers we we're able to Mount it right in that location. This way it's kind of clean underneath where you don't really see it and you can easily access the left and the right because they're distinguished and we can easily access it to add air whenever we need to. And what else I like about this location is that we didn't have to modify anything to get this installed. So if we want to, we could just put our hardware back in. We can now air up our bags and check for leaks.To verify you don't have any air leaks, you can use some soapy water and spray all of your connection points and you want to look for the presence of bubbles, not the little suds that you see here, but constant bubbles coming out, which would indicate that you have air leaking and you think of it like when you blow through a little bubble thing when you we're a kid, essentially doing that here. Since we don't have any bubbles, we're going to move on to the next fitting, one at a time, spraying and checking each one. If you have no leaks, then your installation is complete. Airlifts Ride-Rite air helper springs on your 2019 GMC Sierra 2500.


Info for this part was:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Robert C
Installed by:
Robert C
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Conner L
Test Fit:
Conner L
Employee David F
Test Fit:
David F

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