Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

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Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:03 pm

This weekend I installed Air Lift's Airlifter 5000 Ultimate air bags along with Daystar's lower cradles. The install was pretty straight forward. I did have to get 4 new bolts to secure the upper bag mounts, as the Power Wagon's have a 1" thick spacer above the bumpstop's that the normal 2500's dont have (bolts with the kit were too short to use the spacer). As best as I can tell, the cradles appear to be necessary; at full droop with the stock shocks and sway bar attached, the bottom of the bags are roughly 1" above the cradles. And, the cradles are about 3/4" thicker than the mount to secure them that comes with the kit. So, unless these bags stretch quite a bit (which they may, I dont know), without the cradles it may either limit down-travel or possibly damage the bags (or both).

I did the install on the ground in my driveway. Here are some pics I took as I went through the install. I just realized the camera I used produces horrible pics... sorry about that.





These are the pieces of the Air Lift kit that I used. I did some pre assembly inside my house as it was a bit warmer...

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Here are the pieces I did not use. These are the lower mounts for the bags...

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Here are the Daystar cradles...

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The directions with the Air Lift bags are very nice and professional. Color photo's, and pictures of the actual vehicle (although not a power wagon)...

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Time to pop the top on your favorite beverage...

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Here is the new/longer bolt I bought to replace the short one's that came with the kit (in order to use the Power Wagon bumpstop spacer). This was as close of a match as I could get with quick trip to the local Gill-Roys hardware. The head on it was a little too thick, so I had to grind it down a little thinner so it would work...

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With the upper bag setup bolted in place, it was time to turn figure out the lower cradles. To locate the correct spot for the cradle to be mounted, what I did was set the cradle on the pad and jacked the rear axle up to ride height. Then, when the cradle/bag looked nice and straight in all directions, I marked the lower pad in a few spots so I knew where it needed to be placed. Keep in mind the axles moves forward and to the passenger side when it drops down...

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To mount them, I drilled and tapped a hole on the bumpstop pad located in the center of the cradle. To get enough room to fit a drill between the upper bumpstop mount and the lower pad I had to unhook the shocks and sway bar...

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By now my beer evaporated and I was getting parched...

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This was the drivers side all bolted up at ride height...

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This is at full droop with the factory shocks and sway bar installed...

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Now it was time to start the same process all over again on the other side. Once completed with that, it was time to run air lines. This part is pretty straight forward; find a place for the air valves, mount them, then find the best path from that point to the bags. Here is where I mounted the valves...

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I was able to route the air lines into the end of the frame by the bumper, then popped them out of an elongated hole close to the bag's. I did add some protection to the lines where they rubbed up against the frame to help prevent chafing from occurring (not in the pics)...

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Now it was time to grab another beer, air up the bags and admire what appears to be a job well done...

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All seems to work as planned so far, although I have only driven the truck about a half mile since the install and havnt towed anything. So I guess I really dont know for sure. Truck has been sitting in the garage with 32PSI in the bags for a day now with no loss of air pressure, so I think I'm good to say it is leak free.
Last edited by olyelr on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Kodiak » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:24 pm

Nice write up! Especially the choice of beverages :)
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:01 am

Thanks!

Here is a pic of a bag being compressed down to the internal bumpstop when articulating the truck checking for any issues.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Low_Sky » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:42 am

Great write up, olyelr. Is there any loss of up travel between the original bump stop and the bag?


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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Bill2014 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:47 am

Very Nice! The pictures are more than adequate! I'm anxiously awaiting your testing feedback.

I often end out with 1500-2000 pounds of tongue weight with a full dump trailer load. Because of the lower spring rate on the Power Wagons, my front end will lift up about 1.5 inches while the back end drops. So I'm definitely glad the truck has an unloaded rake. Not sure if the bags will be tall enough to keep the truck level in my situation.

If your testing goes well, I will likely duplicate your bag setup this summer. :cheers:
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Limamikemike » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:56 am

Great write up, I have the exact same set up waiting in the garage for some warmer weather.

Looks like you missed a few spots with the fluid film too on the axle lol :D
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:39 am

I also have the exact same setup in my garage waiting for warmer weather and more recovery from back surgery. Great write-up!!

I do have one question for you. Instead of longer bolts did you try removing the spacer instead? The gap between airbag and cradle looks fairly small as is and that should be fine?

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:55 am

Low_Sky wrote:Great write up, olyelr. Is there any loss of up travel between the original bump stop and the bag?


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To be honest, I am not completely sure yet. You cant visibly see the bump-stop (obviously), and I didnt do any testing with the factory bumpstops before I removed them to determine how much compression the suspension had. I am pretty sure these bags/bumpstops are a little taller, most likely resulting in a small loss of up-travel.


Bill2014 wrote:Very Nice! The pictures are more than adequate! I'm anxiously awaiting your testing feedback.

I often end out with 1500-2000 pounds of tongue weight with a full dump trailer load. Because of the lower spring rate on the Power Wagons, my front end will lift up about 1.5 inches while the back end drops. So I'm definitely glad the truck has an unloaded rake. Not sure if the bags will be tall enough to keep the truck level in my situation.

If your testing goes well, I will likely duplicate your bag setup this summer. :cheers:
Even with a heavy trailer I have a feeling the this setup would work just fine lifting the back of the truck back up to at least normal ride height, if not more. Just testing the bags out in the garage, they looked to lift the back of the truck 3-4" higher than normal ride height (with no trailer on).



Limamikemike wrote:Great write up, I have the exact same set up waiting in the garage for some warmer weather.

Looks like you missed a few spots with the fluid film too on the axle lol :D
Nope. I can surely attest that the entire undercarriage of the truck was thoroughly dripping in fluid film. The problem is, that damned OCD stuff just will not allow me to leave my truck sitting covered in salt, so the easily accessible areas of the undercarriage have been thoroughly power washed, several times, throughout the winter. And of course, I am pretty sure I have washed the majority off the stuff off from these areas. You can kinda see it creeping out of the holes in the frame though :lol:



TankerZak wrote:I also have the exact same setup in my garage waiting for warmer weather and more recovery from back surgery. Great write-up!!

I do have one question for you. Instead of longer bolts did you try removing the spacer instead? The gap between airbag and cradle looks fairly small as is and that should be fine?
I have not. Yet. But, I may experiment with this once I get my trailer back and do some testing. As the truck sits, stock, with no added weight and all air out of the bags, the bottom of the bags are already touching the Daystar cradles. I think if I removed the spacer they would not be touching at all, which is fine with me as long as they will adequately raise the back of my truck high enough when towing. This would give me a little more up-travel, which I believe I have lost some from the factory bump-stop setup.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:12 pm

Thanks olyelr, i think I'm going to try without the spacer first. It sounds and looks as if without the spacer it might work better, give more gap, more travel, and the part where you said you could go 3-4 inches above stock height leads me to believe installing without the spacer might be the better option. Thoughts?

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:17 pm

TankerZak wrote:Thanks olyelr, i think I'm going to try without the spacer first. It sounds and looks as if without the spacer it might work better, give more gap, more travel, and the part where you said you could go 3-4 inches above stock height leads me to believe installing without the spacer might be the better option. Thoughts?
Ok. I just did some actual measurements instead of just guessing off the seat of my pants. These measurements are without any added weight in the back, with all stock rear suspension.

With 70 pounds of air in the bags (they are rated for 100 max), the ride height is 2" higher at the wheel wells, and 2.5" higher at the hitch receiver. (Sorry about the 3-4" guesstimate... just a few inches looks huge!) With the 70 pounds of air in the bags it is also at 1" from full droop (with the shocks maxed out). Obviously, with a heavy trailer on these numbers will be much less, but exactly how much i am not sure yet.

The main reason I left the spacers in on the top mounts is because I figure the manufacturer designed the setup for a truck that was roughly 1" shorter in the back, so leaving the spacer in should be "as designed".

If the bags will have the back of the truck over a level stance with "normal" air pressure in them, I will most likely be removing the spacer. Until I determine that I will leave it in.
Last edited by olyelr on Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:18 pm

Also, I think even without the spacer above the upper mount the bags will still be touching the cradles at ride height.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:10 pm

When do you think you'll get a chance to hook up? With my back the way it is i simply can't do this twice. So i can either go without the spacer or wait for you to confirm... but with all you've said so far i think without the spacer sounds best. I would hope they engineered it for without the spacer. Ram threw the spacer in so they didn't have to manufacturer another type of bumpstop.

I'm also not leveled with no plans to do so. So it should sag an inch and a half or so just for normal tow height.

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:23 pm

TankerZak wrote:When do you think you'll get a chance to hook up? With my back the way it is i simply can't do this twice. So i can either go without the spacer or wait for you to confirm... but with all you've said so far i think without the spacer sounds best. I would hope they engineered it for without the spacer. Ram threw the spacer in so they didn't have to manufacturer another type of bumpstop.

I'm also not leveled with no plans to do so. So it should sag an inch and a half or so just for normal tow height.
I probably wont get the travel trailer out for a month or more yet.

I will be towing my buddy's Jeep again in a few weeks I think, so that will be a decent little test. The truck was squating like a little school girl towing it a few weeks ago.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:33 pm

Yeah, without airbags or timbrens the squat is insane. I was shocked the first time i towed. I wasn't planning on hooking up the WD system because i was only going like 10 non highway blocks... man it was bad...

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by adeluca73 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:09 pm

Great stuff. I like what you did. I installed those bags on my F250 power stroke KingRanch. Fun job, worked very well to get rid of the sag when I drove back from Alaska & has several thousand lbs in the bed & towing a moving trailer. Look forward to some usage feedback.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:39 am

I just spent some time reading in detail. Do you think there was another way to mount the cradles without drilling?

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:36 am

TankerZak wrote:I just spent some time reading in detail. Do you think there was another way to mount the cradles without drilling?
No, not that I could think of. The directions with the cradles, if you even want to call them that, are very brief and vague. If I remember correctly, about all they said was that the cradles mount to most trucks and fit most 6" bags. Thats it. The only hardware they came with were the two nut/bolt/washers combo's.

Honestly, when I was opening the package and trying to determine how to mount them, the question "Why the hell do I even need these?" came to mind more than once. I mean, if the bags can rest straight down on top of a hard plastic piece, why the hell cant they just simply rest down on the metal bumpstop pad? I could see an issue if the lower pad was small, but it is just about as big as the cradle.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:24 am

Not saying that thought hadn't occurred to me. Or could we just attach the cradle to the airbag side instead of the bumpstop side...

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:11 am

TankerZak wrote:Not saying that thought hadn't occurred to me. Or could we just attach the cradle to the airbag side instead of the bumpstop side...

Well damn you, where were you when I was doing the install :lol:

Thats a great idea :idea: There are two threaded inserts in the base of the bags to bolt up the hardware that was provided. It is possible they could be utilizes to bolt the cradle in place instead. But you would have to wollow out an area at the bottom side of the cradles to allow the hardware to be flush or slightly above the base. Might be a little tricky, but i think it would be possible with a little dremle tool and some grind time. I actually like that idea better. The thought of mud/debris getting into the cradle itself has never made me feel very good. Hmmmmm.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Hammerballs » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:15 am

I'm assuming the cradle is about not allowing the air bag to bow out and slide off the bump pad under load? Not sure how likely that is but that would be my guess.

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:45 am

Hammerballs wrote:I'm assuming the cradle is about not allowing the air bag to bow out and slide off the bump pad under load? Not sure how likely that is but that would be my guess.

Yea as highly unlikely as that seems to me, I suppose it is a possibility. It might actually occur a lot easier than I would think. If thats the case, it may be best to secure the cradles to the axle instead of the bag.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by TankerZak » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:13 pm

But yeah, you'll have to check the cradles after offroading before bag inflation to tow just to make sure they aren't full of crap...

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:16 pm

TankerZak wrote:But yeah, you'll have to check the cradles after offroading before bag inflation to tow just to make sure they aren't full of crap...

Yea i will check them often, and spray em off every time i clean the truck. Remember, even at full articulation they are only an inch or less from resting on the cradle, so there should be fairly minimal debris getting in there. Even without using the pw bumpstop spacers, the bags will still be on the cradle at ride height.
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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by Ghostrider304 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:55 pm

So I'm going to guess this was fabricobbled up for your PW? I'm impressed with the ingenuity, and would be interested in part numbers to try this myself.

Nice write up and I hope to see some towing pics.

Thanks,
Will-

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Re: Airlifter 5000 Ultimate airbags w/ Daystar cradles '14+

Post by olyelr » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:03 pm

Ghostrider304 wrote:So I'm going to guess this was fabricobbled up for your PW? I'm impressed with the ingenuity, and would be interested in part numbers to try this myself.

Nice write up and I hope to see some towing pics.

Thanks,
Will-

Well, not really. But kinda maybe. A little.

Here is tge link to the bags http://www.8lugtruckgear.com/Dodge-Susp ... p1547.html and the link to the cradles http://www.8lugtruckgear.com/Dodge-Susp ... -p911.html

Towing pics and feedback on how it actually works will have to wait a bit. But i will post up when it happens.
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