Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs Installation - 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup

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How to Install the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs on a 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup


Today on our 1999 Dodge Ram pickup we'll be installing the Firestone Ride Rite air helper springs, part number F2071 from Firestone. With nothing installed on the vehicle and no air helper springs on it, we have an initial measurement of 36" from the ground to the top of the fender well. Once we added our water tank with approximately 900 pounds in it, our new height was 33 and 3/4 inches. For video purposes we've already gone ahead and put our vehicle up on a lift as well as removed the rear tires. We need to first put together the air helper spring and its brackets. We'll do it over here on a bench. We need to remove the two plastic caps that sit on top of the stud, then we'll need to go ahead and take the top bracket, we'll slide the two studs through the opening making sure that the large hole in the top bracket lines up with where our air fitting will go. Next we'll go ahead and install our 3/8th flange hex nuts on to them and them torque them down to the manufacturer's specification.

We'll then go ahead and take the bottom bracket and we'll use a 3/8 by 3/4 inch hex flange bolt that already has some thread sealant on it. We'll go ahead and loosely install this so that we can still slide the airbag back and forth because we'll need to make some adjustments later. Now that we have the top and bottom bracket attached to the airbag, we're going need to put the top air fitting in. This is the air fitting that is a ninety degree elbow and has some thread sealant already on it. We'll go ahead and tighten it down so that the thread sealant is well into the threads. You want to make sure that you tighten this air fitting down securely so that you engage the orange thread sealant. Now with this done, now we can ahead and we're going to start over here on the driver's side.

Now the kit comes with either half inch or one inch bracket strips, or shims, that help you level out the air helper spring. In our case, we'll need to use the one inch spacer bracket on the front of the air helper spring. On the rear we will not need to use anything. It's also a good idea to point the outlet, or the part where you will be connecting the air tubing, towards the rear of the vehicle on whichever side you're doing. In this case we're doing the driver's side so we want to make sure we point this towards the rear. Now because our top brackets don't reach the frame since our rear suspension is hanging, we're going to go ahead and make up a quick fix.

To do this we'll take a very small piece of air line tubing, we'll then put it into the valve that we just put into the airbag. We'll then use the Schrader valve fitting and put it on to the small section of air line. Once we have our quick set up made we'll go ahead and put some air into it. We'll add small amounts until we get the right height. We want to make sure that all four bolts will match up on the frame. Once we have this done, we'll need to go ahead and mark the four holes that we'll need to drill through the side of the frame.

On the driver's side here, there is a brake line as well as some electrical wires behind it that you need to be careful you don't drill through. Once we have our four locations marked, we'll go ahead and drill them out. We'll ultimately need to drill out to a 3/8ths hole. It's a good idea to start small and gradually step up to a 3/8ths bit. The hardware used for each of the four locations for mounting the upper brackets of the frame is a 3/8ths by 1 1/2" hex bolt as well as a 3/8ths flat washer and also a 3/8ths flange hex nut. You'll notice at one of the locations there's a pretty good gap from the indention on the vehicle's frame. In this location we'll actually use two of the 3/8ths flat washers supplied with the kit to take up the gap. Once we have all four of these on, we'll go ahead and tighten them down and then torque them to the manufacturer's specification. For the bottom brackets our 3/8ths by 7 inch carriage bolts are way too long so we're going to go ahead and put them in and measure where we need to cut them off. It's a good idea to go ahead and find another nut that will thread down past the 3/8ths carriage bolt where you're going to be cutting it so that once you make your cut you can back a nut back off and make sure that the threads are still good. Once we've got all four of our carriage bolts cut down now we're ready to go ahead and bolt in the lower bracket. We'll put the carriage bolt through the spacer block that's located on the front of the bracket and finally through the lower 1/2" bracket that's in between the main spring pack and the helper spring. On the bottom of the carriage bolt we'll be putting a 3/8ths flange hex nut. Once we have all four of these on, we'll go ahead and tighten them and then torque them to the manufacturer's specification. Once we have everything lined up now we'll go ahead and tighten down the bolt that goes through the lower bracket into the bottom of the airbag. Once you've got the airbag positioned correctly, go ahead and tighten it down and then torque it to the manufacturer's specification. That'll do it for the actual installation of the airbag and the brackets. All that's left to do on this side now is to run our air line out to our Schrader valve. To mount the inflation valve, we'll actually have to rill a 5/16ths hole. Once we have our hole drilled we'll go ahead and put a flat washer on the inflation valve then we'll put it through the bumper, followed by another flat washer, followed by the hex nut. We'll go ahead and tighten this down. Now we need to go ahead and route our air tubing from the airbag up to our valve. The kit does come with two sleeves that'd give you protection if you need to run it near the exhaust or over any sharp edges. Put the sleeve on, we'll go ahead and make our connection to the airbag. To do this you simply push it into the back of the inflation valve, gently pull outward to make sure it's fully seated. We'll then go ahead and route our air line to the back where we've installed our inflation valve. We'll use a few zip ties along the way to help secure it. Once we get back near the back we'll go ahead and use a tubing cutter to give ourself a good clean straight cut. Now that we've got our link figured out, we'll go ahead and cut the tubing and push it into the back of the inflation valve. That'll do it for the installation on the driver's side. Now for the passenger's side we'll just repeat the same process, just make sure that when you install the valve on the top of the airbag you point it towards the back. Now that we've completed our installation on both the driver and the passenger side we're going to go ahead and put some air into each of the airbags and check for leaks using a soapy water solution. Now that we've checked for leaks and none are found we're going to go ahead and put the tires back on. Now we're going to go ahead and pump our airbags up to about 60 psi and let's go do the test again with the water tank and see how the vehicle rides. As you can see now, with about 60 psi in each airbag the vehicle now sits at about 38 1/2 inches from the ground up to the opening to the wheel well. When we put our water tank in again, now we go down to about 36 3/4 inches, it's about 3/4 higher than it sat before we installed the air springs. With that, that will conclude our installation of the Firestone Ride Rite air helper springs, part number F2071 in our 1999 Dodge Ram pickup. .


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Info for this part was:

Video Edited:
Andrew K
Installed by:
Jeff D
Video Edited:
Andrew L
Video by:
Dustin K
Test Fit:
Shane T
Video by:
Alan C
Video by:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Jared G
Installed by:
Shane H
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Installed by:
David F
Video by:
Michael B

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