Air Lift LoadLifter Air Helper Springs Installation - 2013 Ford F-350

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

Today, in our 2013 Ford F-350, we'll be installing the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Air Helper Springs with Internal Jounce Bumper, part number AL88396. The difference between this Air Lift air bellow and another without the internal jounce bumpers, is that it won't be completely compressed like one that does not have an internal jounce bumper. First we'll go ahead and compress the air helper spring with jounce bumper. Then we'll do one without. Here is a side-by-side comparison. With the internal jounce bumper, it will prevent the air bellow from being pinched if you we're ever to lose air while the vehicle is loaded. Before we install our Air Lift air helper springs, we'll go ahead and do a test with some weight in the bed of the truck.

After loading approximately 2,300 pounds, you can see the vehicle's suspension will begin to sag under this amount of weight. Here's what it'll look like with air put into our air helper springs, and the same amount of weight applied to our pickup. As you can see, the suspension does not sag as much and it'll give us a nice ride. Note we've already lowered and removed the spare tire for ease of installation and access while installing our air springs. We'll need to remove the older manufacturer's jounce bumpers.

To do this, we'll remove the nut that goes through the stud of the jounce bumper and once the nut is removed, we can pull the jounce bumper down and out of the way, as it will not be reinstalled.Next, because this vehicle's already equipped with a gooseneck hitch, we'll need to remove the center fastener that goes through the frame and side plate of the hitch. Hang on to the hardware, as we will be reinstalling it to secure the upper bracket for our new air spring. Now with the drivers side done, we'll go ahead and repeat the same process on the passenger side. Next on the drivers side, using the pre-drilled hole on the frame, we'll completely drill it through the side bracket of the hitch as a second attachment point for the upper bracket for the air spring.Now with the hole drilled out, we're ready to install the driver side upper bracket. Note because the vehicle has a preexisting hitch and we'll be going through the side bracket, we'll need to use a longer 8-millimeter bolt that is not supplied with the install kit.

We'll take the new bolt, install a flat washer, go through the upper bracket, through the frame, and then through the side bracket of the hitch, securing it with a flat washer and nylon locknut. Next, we'll take the hardware we removed from the side bracket and reinstall it into position. We'll leave our hardware finger-tight this time, until we get it all in place. Now we'll move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process, using the old hardware to secure the upper bracket to the frame. Next, we're going to move over to the workbench and start assembling our air bag assemblies. First, we'll take a set of roll plates and put it on the bottom and top of an air bag bellow.

Then, we'll take the swivel elbow fitting, which'll be the air fitting for our air bag, and install it into the top of the air bag. We'll install it finger-tight, and then an additional one and a half turns. Note each process we do here to the driver's airbag, assembling it on the bench, we'll also do to the passenger's. Next, we'll go ahead and take the lower plates, and mark them driver and passenger. Once marked, we can then start installing the hardware, taking the long carriage bolt and putting it into position. The reason we put the carriage bolt into place now is the carriage bolt access will get covered up once we install the airbag onto the lower bracket. Now with the carriage bolt in place, we'll install the three ace bolt, split lock washer, and flat washer to secure the lower bracket to the air bag bellow, sandwiching the roll plate between the lower bracket and air bag. Now we'll move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process.Then, we can install the three carriage bolts for each upper bracket into place. Those will go through the bottom of the bracket facing up, as it will secure to the frame and upper bracket. Once the carriage bolts are in place, we can set it on the top of our air bag and secure it with a three ace bolt, split lock washer, and flat washer. Once we have all the hardware tightened down, we'll repeat the same process on the passenger side. Now with our hardware tightened down, we'll install the spacer, which'll be on the outboard, or long carriage bolt, inaudible 00:05:32 through the old, or manufacturer's, pre-drilled hole for the jounce bumper. Now with both air bags assembled, we're ready to install them into the vehicle. We'll make sure that the lower bracket sits on top of the jounce bumper strike plate, which is located just above the axle, being careful on the driver's side to make sure our carriage bolt will fit between the axle and steel brake line. With our carriage bolts lined up with the frame and upper bracket, we can install the flat washer and nylon locknut to secure the carriage bolts to the frame and upper bracket. Now with all the upper bracket hardware in place, we're ready to go ahead and start tightening it down. Now we'll move over to the passenger side and repeat the same process. Now, with the upper portion of our bracket completely secured, we'll move to the lower portion. Here we'll install the two L-brackets onto the lower bracket. We'll be using the carriage bolt, flat washer, and nylon locknut to secure the L-bracket to the lower bracket. As we install them, we'll put a long, three ace bolt in position, as the hardware can make it difficult if we do it after we install it. Next, we'll install the hardware for the spring clamp bar. This will secure the lower bracket to the vehicle's leaf spring pack. We'll put the bar over the long three ace bolts that go through the L-bracket, and secure it with a flat washer and nylon locknut. As we tighten this down, we'll make sure that we tighten it down evenly. We'll tighten down the L-bracket hardware. Now, with our lower bracket secured to the leaf pack, we'll install the second long carriage bolt on the front side of the lower bracket. Put the axle clamp bar into position, and secure it with a flat washer and nylon locknut.Note as we tighten them down, we'll tighten it down as evenly as possible, front and back fastener. However, there is an exception on the passenger's side, making sure that our clamp bar and carriage bolt do not come in contact with the steel brake line that runs along the axle. If necessary, tighten down unevenly, pushing the clamp bar and hardware away from the steel line. We'll need to cut off the excess bolt length from our securing hardware. Using a small cut-off wheel and rotary tool, we can do this now. Now, with all our fasteners tightened down and our air bag secured, we're ready to start installing the air line for the air bags. This application will be installing the air line fittings into the back of the bumper. We'll drill out the holes for our air line fittings first. Note we'll use a step bit process, using a smaller, pilot bit, and then our larger 5/16 bit to allow for the air fitting to go through the bumper. Then, to secure the air fitting to the bumper, we'll install a nut and serrated washer. Feed it through the back of the bumper out, where we'll install the rubber washer, flat washer, and securing nut.Once we have it tightened down, we'll move underneath the vehicle and lay out the line towards the air bag. We'll give it a little extra length, and then cut the line. Next, we'll route it. As we route it, we'll be following the manufacturer's wiring on the inside of the frame rail. Once we have our routing completed, we'll cut off the line as necessary, making sure we do a clean, square cut. With the line cut, we'll then line it up with the swivel angle valve that we installed in the top of the airbag, pushing it in firmly, and pulling out to lock it in place. Now, with the line installed, we'll secure it with the zip ties supplied with the install kit. Next, we'll repeat the same process on the passenger's side. Before installing the passenger's side air line into the air bag, we'll install the provided air line cover, and then the air line into the air bag. This cover will be additional protection for the air line from the vehicle's exhaust. Now with both lines installed, we'll cut off the excess from the zip ties to clean up our install look, and put some air to our air bags. Now with our air line installed, we'll install the heat shield for the passenger side airbag. To install the heat shield, we'll take the clamps provided, the large one and small one, completely unscrewing the clamps, and then taking the small clamp and screwing it into the large clamp, creating one large clamp out of the two. Then, we'll install the clamps on to the exhaust system.Once we have the clamps in place and we've taken up some of the slack, we're ready to install the heat shield. We'll take the heat shield, bending the tabs in and over, giving us space to clamp them to the exhaust. Note you want to keep approximately a half an inch between the heat shield and the exhaust pipe. We'll have them in place, we'll tighten the clamps down, securing the heat shield into position. Now we're ready to test our new Air Lift system. We'll remove the cap from our air valve, and supply air to the air bag. We'll pump up both sides, and then check for leaks using a soap and water solution. Once we're satisfied we don't have any leaks, we're ready to hit the road. And that does it for the install of the Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Ultimate Air Helper Springs with Internal Jounce Bumpers, part number AL8396, on our 2013 Ford F-350. .

Questions and Comments about this Video

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tim 04/11/2014

who installes this 3556

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Patrick B 04/14/2014

Most of our customers install these themselves, but any auto mechanic should be able to perform the install for you. On the product page for part # AL88396 you will find a link to the instructions. You can print a copy, take it to the mechaninc that services your truck and find out if they can perform the install. 2686

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