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Old 01-16-2017, 11:48 PM   #1
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Sooo airbags or helper springs?

Now that I know where to find the right helper springs what's better air bags or helper springs.

I'm trying to compensate for weight in the rear Van is dragging. Lost about an inch of a 4 inch lift. I'm guestimating it's 7700lbs loaded now. Don't want to compromise offroad performance, but don't want to jack the rear so I pop over 7'10" (I'm 7'9" now) It's a 2014.

When fully loaded for camping I'm expecting 8300-8800lbs dripping wet gross. It drop shipped as a plain old van (not a class B) just under 6000lbs.

  • Airbags can be mostly deflated but limit suspension travel. (unless I rig them to float)
  • Airbags can fail in a remote trail. (Do I care? Not sure if I should.)
  • Helper springs are less likely to mechanically fail and won't suffer from age like rubber air bags.
  • Helper springs may pop the rear of the van up too much. (Will simply changing the tension on the Ubolts adjust that?)

Helper springs
1999-2016 Ford E250, E350 Van - 2500 lbs Helper Springs - LP-25 [Progressive] (pair) [2510] | $234.95 | SD Truck Springs | Leaf Springs, Helper Springs and Suspension Parts
Air bags.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I know my dad would say helper springs because he used to install them before it was cool.
Any experience? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:26 PM   #3
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My personal preference: More springs to carry your added static weight. Air-bags to compensate for added load.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
My personal preference: More springs to carry your added static weight. Air-bags to compensate for added load.
Yeah, I think of airbags as a patch, springs for the permanent fix. Unless you have drastic (like maybe 1000 lbs) swing in your weight, go with springs.

As for whether those SD helper springs are the right ones, got me!
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:46 PM   #5
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I have that airbag kit on my van. it works good and raises the van up an additional inch when I have 11 passengers and their gear on board. allows full droop as well.

that said, I plan on getting proper spring packs and getting rid of the kit afterwards.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:12 PM   #6
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FWIW - I did both. My van weighs 8500 pounds empty. 2 more leafs added to the main pack, with "SportRite" airbags for heavy loads.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
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OK great feedback thanks!

Weight may vary drastically as I designed nearly everything as removable. Right now could probably get it down to 5800lbs without a ratchet. That said it's still a real PITA to remove everything so not going to happen very often. Most often it's run fully loaded or with a few seats removed.

Anyway to know if those helper springs will work with a quadvan 4" lift? Seems to me so long as the leaf width and length is the same there is nothing to go wrong.

No way helper springs are not gunna work with airbags so it's helper springs or airbags. Not a clue how to buy just 1 or two more leafs. Or if I can buy 2 but only install 1, etc? Gotta keep that height down. Bridges are tight here.

Of course I've already bought the bags but I just can't bring myself to put them on. Something is nagging me, can't put my finger on what. Maybe dad is my offroad conscience? LOL.
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Old 01-17-2017, 02:09 PM   #8
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Here are some thoughts on air bags from a guy who knew. I sure miss his presence here. RIP Ramsey

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...nes-13653.html
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #9
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I'm with carringb. Build your spring pack to carry the weight of the van at the height you want. Air bags to compensate for a heavily loaded trip or towing etc.

I've always found that rigs ride and handle better with the springs carrying all or most of the weight.

What's your rear spring setup now? Add a leaf and a tall block or something? Time for a custom spring pack.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:36 PM   #10
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I've only got these two part numbers to go on...
F81Z-5598-FA N811667-S436
The rest of the part numbers seem to be missing from 'the spreadsheet'
They match and I was told, it's essentially an F350 underneath. I'll hunt around for labels and stamps tomorrow. Ubolt width matches dana80 and brandless 'traction control' rear axle.
I should probably at least figure out the bushing numbers before everything is worn out.

Sorry for being a newb.
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