Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs Installation - 2016 Ford F-150

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How to Install the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs on a 2016 Ford F-150


Today on our 2016 Ford F150, we're going to be taking a look at the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs, part number F2582. Here's what our airbags look like fully installed. Now these are going to be great if you're carrying a heavy load or even an off center load because you're going to have to adjustability to level out your truck and get the front end back down and raise the back end back up to level height. A big benefit of these springs is, is it's going to help support everything and your heavy load and it's going to prevent premature wear and sagging on your leaf springs and other suspension components. Now these bags have an operating range between 5 psi and 100 psi. The more air you put in them the taller it's going to get and the more firm ride it's going to have.

Now here we have both our separate air valves, if we have an uneven load and it's more heavy on one side, we can either apply more air to one side or reduce the air on the other side. Now here we can see that we can either add air to pour port here or release air to get to the desired height that we need. The heavier load, the more air you're going to need. To add air simply just take an air chuck and as you can see it's going to raise the vehicle up and give us more stability. We measured our fender heights originally with no load and factory settings. Our rear came in at 40 and 1/2 inches and the front was right at 40 inches.

Now when we added our load, which is close to about 1,000 pounds we lost 3 inches in the back and actually brought the front end up a half an inch. We're going to take our truck through our test course here. I can immediately tell you that it's a much rougher ride and it's not as responsive at the front end because it is coming down in the back and it actually raised the front end up off the ground more than it should. Braking, steering just seems kind of unresponsive and it doesn't want to go. It's a lot of swaying back and forth and I could tell that I'm definitely pulling something heavy. Now with our airbags installed, we actually got back to our factory height, even with our load in the back of the bed with only having 55 psi.

We're back to 40 and 1/2 inches in the back and 40 in the front. Now we tool our truck back to our test course and I could immediately tell you that it has much smoother ride and is definitely more responsive. As I'm going through the slalom part of our course, I can tell you the truck just generally seems like it wants to go faster and it's handling the back and forth maneuvering much better than without the airbags installed. Now that we've gone over some of the features, let's go and show you how we get it installed. To begin our installation, to make it a little bit easier on myself. I went ahead and removed our spare tire, so we have a little more head room and so you can see a little bit better.

Now we're going to need to remove our heat shield right here on the passenger side and we're going to have three 13 millimeter bolts. One right here on the side of our frame and then two up top up here. Now we'll be using a 13 millimeter socket to remove these bolts. Now we're going to set this aside for safe keeping for right now. We're going to need to remove our factory jounce stop. To do that I'm going to be using a 13 millimeter socket and I'm going to take the socket and extension and feed it up into the hole in our factory jounce stop. Then I'm going to take my ratchet just to save myself some room and attach that at the bottom and loosen up the bolt. Now once we have that removed, we're going to need to hold onto our factory bolt that's held up our jounce stop because we will be reusing this bolt. Our next step is going to be assembling our airbag. If we take our bag and we take the two covers off the studs on here. Now we're going find our top bracket and we're going to line up the holes and we're going to place it on our airbag, so that the slot in the middle here gives us access to our air line port. Next we're going to take our nuts, our 3/8 flange nuts and we're going to thread them on finger tight onto our studs. Come back using a 9/16 socket and we're going to tighten down our nuts just so they meet the top of our bracket. Now with our top bracket secured to our airbag, we're going to remove our plug where our air line fittings going to go in and if you're having trouble getting it out, I'm going to grab a screwdriver and just pop it out. We're going to take our air line elbow fitting here and we're going to thread it in hand tight for right now. Then we're going to come back and I'm going to be using a 9/16 wrench to tighten it up until the orange thread lock starts threading in. Now when we're tightening it down, I do want to mention the orientation of where our air line is going to be fitting. This bracket right here, part coming up off of our top bracket is going to be facing away towards the tire away from the vehicle. We want to make sure that our air line fitting is going towards the rear. Next we're going to attach our lower bracket to our airbags. If we flip our airbag over, just like that. If we take our lower bracket, which they are numbered and labeled for each side in the instructions. We're going to take our lower bracket here and we're going to face it on our airbag just like this, making sure that the smaller tabs are facing the same side as the vertical part on our upper bracket. We're going to take our 3/8 flange bolt right here and we're going to thread it in, lining up the holes on our lower bracket and our airbag. Now we're going to leave this pretty loose, just hand tighten nice and snug for right now. This is how our airbag assembly is going to look when it's fully put together. This is for a four wheel drive model like our truck. Now if you have two wheel drive model, it uses the same kit and they supply you with a spacer bracket and longer bolts. If it is a two wheel drive, this is going to fit in between the lower bracket and the airbag. Then we're going to take the longer bolt and thread it up through and attach it that way. Now we're going to put our airbag assembly aside and we're going to focus on our frame brackets now. Now again they are numbered and labeled in the instructions to tell you which one's left and which one's right. We're going to take our frame bracket and we're going to take the bolt that we took out of our jounce stop and we're going to go back underneath the vehicle to where we took our jounce stop out. Here we have where we removed our factory jounce stop and we're going to line that up with the flat horizontal plate that's on our bracket, making sure that the ears or these tabs here with the three holes are facing toward our tire and away from our vehicle. Now we're going to put it in place and we're going to take the bolt that we took out from our factory jounce stop and we're going to line up the holes and thread it in. Then we can come back and tighten it up. Again I'm going to be using a 13 millimeter socket to tighten this bolt up. Now before we get too much further, we're going to need to gain access to this hole right here in the frame. To make it a little bit easier on ourselves so we don't have to worry about the brake lines. I'm going to take this bolt off right here and move our bracket out of the way. Now I'm going to be using a 10 millimeter socket to remove that bolt. Now if we've paid attention to our plastic clip right here, that goes into the frame. We're going to take a flat head screw driver, get it underneath our clip, we're going to pull it out of the way. There's a clip back here as well that we're going to need to pop loose. You can just move everything out of the way so we have access to this hole right here. Now that hole I was referring to in the frame, we're going to be putting these in there. What we're going to need to do is, we're going to take the handle and we're going to bend it like that. We're going to feed it into our frame and we're going to line up the holes on the outside of our bracket. We're going to attach our one inch 3/8 bolt and this is what's going to hold it in place. We're going to insert our bracket into our frame and this is going to take a little bit of patience and a little bit of maneuvering. We're going to line up our holes going off of feel. You may need to bend the handle couple different ways to get everything to line up how you want it to. Here's the bolt coming from outside of the frame going to our bracket that we inserted through the hole. Like I said it's going to take a little bit of maneuvering and little bit of just going off of feel but you can line up the holes on the bolt on the inside bracket and thread it in place. We're going to repeat the same process through our remaining bolt hole on our bracket. Here I have my handles and my nuts and bolt in place. As you can see I just went ahead and bent the handles out of the way, so that when I reattach my brake lines I don't have to worry about anything interfering with it. I'm just going to push my clips back into place. I'm going to take my 10 millimeter nut and go in and replace that as well. Now we're going to come back to the outside where our bolts are and we're going to tighten them down and I'm going to be using a 9/16 socket. Now you don't want to over tighten these, manufacturer recommends no more than 20 foot pounds. Next we're going to take our bag assembly and we're going to go ahead and put it in place. Now I do want to mention again, that the flat tab here on the upper bracket needs to be facing towards the tire. Now there's several different ways that you can get the bad assembly in place. I'm just going right in front of the leaf spring and the wheel well area and working my way around until I get it into place. Now you want to make sure that your ears are going over your leaf spring back here on both sides. Here on the other side where the bag meets the upper bracket on the frame, you want to make sure that the airbag assembly is on the inside of our frame bracket. Now we're going to take a 3/8 by one inch bolt here and from the inside of our airbag, we're going to line up the holes. We're going to come through and reattach a nut loosely by hand for right now and we're going to repeat the same process with the hole right above that and the other two on the other side. Now we're going to come back and tighten up our nuts and bolts, be using a 9/16 socket and a 9/16 wrench to hold the bolt on the back. Next if we pay attention to our lower tabs here, we're going to take out U bolts and we're going to come up just like that so it cradles the leaf spring there. We're going to take our 3/8 nuts and put them on top loosely. We're going to do the same thing on the back side. Now we're going to come back and again I'm going to be using a 9/16 socket and I'm going to tighten these nuts up until the U bolt sits nice and snug against the leaf spring. You do want to alternate so it doesn't get in a bind and it tightens up evenly. We're going to repeat that same process on the back side with our other U bolts. Now once we have everything tightened down, you want to double check and make sure that your lower bracket here is going around your leaf spring on the front and the back and on the inside of the vehicle and as well as the outside to make sure everything is nice and square. Next we're going to have to tighten up our bolt that secured our airbag to our lower bracket. Now I'm going to be using a 9/16 to tighten that up. You can use a wrench, a ratchet and a socket or whatever you can get in there just to snug it up. With our drivers side done, we're going to repeat the same process for the passenger side. Now both of our airbags installed, we're going to need to run our air lines. Now we're going to need to take our air line and we're going to take both ends and put them together. Then we're going to run our hand down to the very other end of it. That's going to give us our center. Now we're going to need to cut this in half. I do want to mention, you don't want to use pliers or diagonal cutters. You want to straight flush cut. Now we're going to be using this air line cutter. If you don't have one, you can pick one up on our website using part number F9009. We're just going to take our air line tube, put it in the middle, squeeze it together and we have a nice clean flush cut. If we come to the top of our air bag here, where our air fitting is. We're going to take our air line tube and we're going to push it straight into our air line fitting. To make sure that it locks, we're going to make sure we push it in all the way and then we're going to pull on it to make sure that it doesn't come out. Now we know it's fully locked in place. Now we're going to install our passenger air line tube just like we did with this one. Everybody's going to run their lines a little bit differently, if you give me a few minutes I'll go show you how I ran mine. Here on the drivers side, I ran my air line towards the back and then right at this cross section of the bed here. I came in went over my spare tire support and I left a really large loop in the hose, that way if later on down the road it needs to be any changes, we still have plenty of air line. Then I came down, my air lines going to run right here to the back bumper where the hitch is. Now here on the passengers side I pretty much did the same thing. I came back right to where this bed support is right here, came over my frame, went over the spare tire, and came back and brought it back over to where my other line is at the rear bumper at the hitch. Now in our kit they did provide us a no drill mounting spot for our air lines to go into and this looks like a good spot right here. I'll show how we're going to attach all of our airline fittings to our mount. Here we have one of our air valves and we're going to go ahead and take the cap off along with the nut. We're going to take one of our flat washers here, we're going to put it on our valve. We're going to take our bracket, feed it through just like that. Take another flat washer, put it on top of that. Then finally we're going to take our nut, put that on there and snug it down. We're going to repeat the same process for the other valve. Once we have our fittings in there, hand tight. We're going to come back and I'm going to be using a half inch wrench and a half inch socket to tighten this up. Now this doesn't need to be extremely tight, just nice and snug. Now in the kit they do give you zip ties. I'm going to take my zip tie and I'm going to feed it through this slot, going over my hitch. I'm simply just going to zip tie it up just like that. The do provide you with a second one. I'm going to go ahead and attach that one as well. Once we have it in the spot that we want and it's nice and secure, we can come back and cut the excess zip tie off. Now we can come to the back and hook up our air lines. Now you can hook these up however you want, but I'm going to make sure that my left air line fitting is going to my left airbag. Again we're just going to take our hose and we're going to push it firmly into our fitting. Then pulling on it to make sure it locked into place. We're going to do that for the other side as well. Now that everything's mounted, now all we have to do is to add air to our airbags and then we're going to check for leaks. I'm just going to use a little bit of soapy water. Just spray out fittings here and what we're looking for is large bubbles that are forming up and popping. These small bubbles are okay because that's the soapy water just sitting on there. We're going to check all of our connections as well as the airbag itself. Once we can confirm that there's no leaks, we're ready to go. Now our final step would be reinstall our heat shield that we took off in the beginning. Now with our heat shield back in place, now all we have to do is put our spare tire away. That'll finish up our look the Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs, part number F2582 on our 2016 Ford F150.


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Info for this part was:

Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Dustin K
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Video by:
Michael B
Installed by:
Jeff D
Installed by:
Shane H
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video Edited:
Chris R
Test Fit:
Brent H
Test Fit:
Robert C
Test Fit:
David F

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