Airbags or Springs for rear suspension?

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 21:42
ThreadID: 103756 Views:2104 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi there,
we are wondering if you could possibly help us in the decision process as to whether we use airbags or springs for the rear suspension. We have an F250 Twin cab carrying approximately half a ton in the back of the Ute plus a 400kg ball weight from the caravan.Can you please advise us as to what would be best to stiffen up the back of the rear suspension as currently it feels a little soft.

Your comments would greatly be appreciated.

Best wishes and Happy travels!!

Sue and Shaun
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Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 22:19

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 22:19
Springs anyday over airbags, you can not beat a well setup suspension.
AnswerID: 516363

Reply By: Work2Travel - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 06:52

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 06:52
Hi Sue & Shaun,
If the load that you are carrying is a permanent load, or close to permanent, then I would upgrade the springs. However, if it is a temporary load, then the air bag set up would be better, that way when you are unloaded you can reduce the pressure in bags and have your normal ride.

Regards Dwayne.
AnswerID: 516371

Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 09:43

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 09:43
ditto to Dwaynes comments
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 14:38

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 14:38
Agree with Dwayne, however if by soft you mean you have too much movement then you would also benefit from better shockers.
If you upgrade your spring rate (by adding stiffer steel springs or air bags) you will need a shock that can handle the extra load.
FollowupID: 795744

Follow Up By: Gado - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 22:58

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 22:58
Airbags alone will fix the ride height, but if you are carrying much extra weight, the car will bounce more and you may need heavier duty shock absorbers to counteract that.
As Dwayne suggests, if the load is temporary (and not too great) I'd try the airbags and see how it rides, then upgrade shock absorbers if you need to.
Stiffer springs would be ideal if you carry a heavy load often, but if you do that you'll definitely need heavy duty shock absorbers and the car will ride hard when unladen.
FollowupID: 795768

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 17:22

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 17:22
First of check you haven't exceeded you ball weight & if you haven't being such a big truck I'd be getting some quality load assist air bags like Firestone Ride Right Air Bellows.
AnswerID: 516400

Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 17:24

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 17:24
Try calling The Air Bag Man or someone who knows what there doing not Pedders.
FollowupID: 795754

Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 18:28

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 18:28
Second dropping the AirBag Man an email, some very good advice will be forthcoming.

AnswerID: 516402

Reply By: OBT46 - Thursday, Aug 15, 2013 at 23:49

Thursday, Aug 15, 2013 at 23:49
I would be opting for air bags, but be careful what you get if you choose this path. Installed some on a GU Patrol coil cab tray back farm ute a few years ago which have been great, and versatile as you can adjust according to load.
Just done a 12000K trek throughout outback Oz with this ute & camper trailer with no probs with them. They " made" the coil cab as the rear coils were too close together I believe & the airbags fitted nicely where rubbers were between axle & chassis, which has given vehicle greater load capacity & stability.
I did see an effy in trouble on CSR a few years ago where the owner had fitted helpers to the rear, only to have one break not far along the trek, so he had no option but to remove the other from his lopsided vehicle. Don't know how he got on as there wasn't much clearance under the rear of the fully loaded ute.
AnswerID: 516466

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 20:28

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 20:28
Sue & Shaun,

Have just upgraded the rear leaf springs on my Landcruiser 79 series ute, and I bought a set of springs from Dobinsons, in Rockhampton. Have a canopy of about 400kg, on the back, and the ride is now excellent. On "lumpy" bitumen anyway. Have Tough dog 45mm Adjustable shockies on the back as well.

On other vehicles, I've been down the airbag road, and they just aren't reliable in the real world. Bags get punctured by rocks, hoses rub through or get cut, and they can be damaged if the minimum pressure isn't keep in the system.

Checked Dobinsons website, and they have 2 grades of rear springs for the Effy. Also front spring upgrades too.


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