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View Full Version : Air Lift LoadLifter 5000 Install


flman
05-10-2014, 05:19 PM
So I have not been happy with my heavy laden NCV3 170. It feels like I am in a boat going around turns, and most of the time riding on the jounce bumpers.


Before

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19672761/2014-05-10%2009.10.27.jpg

So following the simple directions in the kit, I installed the air lifts, had to drill holes in the lower shock brackets. I had to route the air lines from the back of the van, to the air bags. I used a piece of slotted angle on the rear bumper to mount air stems. It also comes with a small heat shield, I will see how it works out on the next regen when the exhaust system hits 1200 degrees? It took me about 2.5 hours and a lot of grunt pushing a drill underneath the van. The frame is kind of wimpy where you drill for the upper mounts, it is glorified sheet metal, for now I will let ride, and watch for any signs of bending, but I do not plan on increasing the pressure any higher then 48 PSI.


After
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19672761/2014-05-10%2011.32.16.jpg


Valve stem mounting
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19672761/2014-05-10%2011.32.29.jpg


So I started out with 32" top of left rear fender to floor and 32.5" right rear fender to floor.

After pumping them up I have 33.5" on both sides, with 48 PSI in the left, and 25 PSI in the right.

The ride is more firm now, and it goes around corners much better.

I am just wondering if there is any brake proportioning, maybe that electrical device above the axle in my pics? Is there one in the front as well?

I got my kit here:

http://www.truckspring.com/suspension-parts/helper-springs/air-spring-kits/air-lift/load-lifter-5000-57147.aspx

Rusic
05-19-2014, 02:52 AM
I have not seen a sprinter with this setup installed yet. Be careful as the frame is not reinforced in the area where the air bag bracket is installed. I have seen the frames become crushed also cracked due to air bags being added. I first became aware of the issue in the following post http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4622&highlight=frame+broke

The setup you are using has a larger bracket than the one in the post above so I hope the load will be spread out enough. Keep a eye on it

flman
05-19-2014, 10:28 AM
I have not seen a sprinter with this setup installed yet. Be careful as the frame is not reinforced in the area where the air bag bracket is installed. I have seen the frames become crushed also cracked due to air bags being added. I first became aware of the issue in the following post http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4622&highlight=frame+broke

The setup you are using has a larger bracket than the one in the post above so I hope the load will be spread out enough. Keep a eye on it

I know all about Tab380s frame, he was pushing his air as high as 90 PSI, I have 48 PSI in the high side, and I may just drop it, to lower the ride height a little bit. I am still looking for the sweet spot.

BTW, the mechanic who drove it last week, says he likes the set up, and it feels like it has a dually suspension, not all mush around turns.

ehallspqr
05-23-2014, 05:59 PM
The frame rails on the Sprinter are glorified sheet metal. Tab380 was running too high of pressure and loading his van with allot of weight aft of the axel which greatly increases the bending forces. As long as you keep the pressure lower and any heavy weight items biased from the axel fwd then you should be okay.

I've run airbags on all my Dodge Van conversions and they are great for what they are, a load leveling and low level spring assist. Dodge vans have a regular thick wall frame and the airbags can be attached safely. I had bought some AB's for my Sprinter but changed my mind after the sheet metal frame debacle on Tab380's van. Went the helper springs and stiffer shocks route.

The upper design bracket was the culprit. It concentrated too much load in a small area. The better solution would be to have a large frame doubler plate to distribute the weight better over a larger area of the frame. A U-shaped channel that slips over the frame. The Sprinter Store in Oregon was designing such a replacement plate but never marketed it because of the liability. Hard to see what the upper bracket on this AB kit looks like but is is redesigned from what came with my kit.

flman
05-23-2014, 08:06 PM
So far so good, if it actually indents the frame, I am not going to worry about it, and I can always put some angle or U, or I even have some heavy 3/8" x 2" plate steel hanging around the shop, and that would do just fine.

Cheyenne
05-23-2014, 08:07 PM
The frame rails on the Sprinter are glorified sheet metal...

I have fitted a Dunlop Suspension Systems kit to our 2004 T1n and was very impressed with the quality. First off was a reinforcement plate for the chassis rail which fits to the bump stop mounting point and measures 20" long and is of 1/8" thick galvanised steel and is a very good fit around the chassis rail.
Second the rubber bellows are replaceable without having to replace the end caps if ever you suffer the misfortune of a leak and finally they have a bracket to hold the load sensing valve (LSV) in the fully laden position if you do not have ABS.

All in all a very good system but I'm not sure if it is available in the USA.

I bought mine from Marcle Leisure (Steve the owner is a forum member here :thumbup: ). Link to Marcle Leisure (http://www.marcleleisure.co.uk/store/dunlop-suspension-mercedes-sprinter-208d316cdi-p-3169.html).

Keith.

Walter Clark
05-28-2014, 06:40 PM
flman.

What do you feel from the van when these do bottom out? Like the original jounce bumpers, or something much harder?

In 2012 I purchased a set of Air-Lift "Ride Control" air bag helper springs from SDTrucksprings.com but was unhappy with the fact that the airbags reduced upward travel of the suspension from 3" into a tall rubber bumper to about 2" and a solid stop (from stock ride height) and from the look of the bag I got, bottoming it out would instantly increase the effective spring rate to something near infinity... not good for the chassis. Here is that thread: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22397&highlight=firestone

I was more interested in being able to compensate for an uneven load than carrying more weight or getting the van back to stock ride height so I thought the Air-Lift would do, but I didnt want to "jack up" the rear of my van to ensure I had reasonable travel. I sent them back uninstalled and unused (I simply did some measurements of the parts and determined I would not use them) and the sleazes at SDtrucksprings.com charged me a 20% restocking fee despite their satisfaction or your money back guarantee claim. The reason they used was that at that time my '12 was not yet listed as supported by the set they sold me (it was listed a couple months later).

flman
05-28-2014, 08:25 PM
flman.

What do you feel from the van when these do bottom out? Like the original jounce bumpers, or something much harder?

In 2012 I purchased a set of Air-Lift "Ride Control" air bag helper springs from SDTrucksprings.com but was unhappy with the fact that the airbags reduced upward travel of the suspension from 3" into a tall rubber bumper to about 2" and a solid stop (from stock ride height) and from the look of the bag I got, bottoming it out would instantly increase the effective spring rate to something near infinity... not good for the chassis. Here is that thread: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22397&highlight=firestone

I was more interested in being able to compensate for an uneven load than carrying more weight or getting the van back to stock ride height so I thought the Air-Lift would do, but I didnt want to "jack up" the rear of my van to ensure I had reasonable travel. I sent them back uninstalled and unused (I simply did some measurements of the parts and determined I would not use them) and the sleazes at SDtrucksprings.com charged me a 20% restocking fee despite their satisfaction or your money back guarantee claim. The reason they used was that at that time my '12 was not yet listed as supported by the set they sold me (it was listed a couple months later).

It does not bottom out, as long as they have air in them, it can not happen as long as you are compensating your load, actually they feel a little on the hard side, compared to the stock suspension. I might have to drop a little more pressure, and find the sweet spot, but I have been kind of busy to play with them right now.

Well, the air lifts will sure help to level up your van.

flman
05-30-2014, 10:42 PM
So I think I have found the sweet spot, the van seemed to handle a little weird with 2 different pressures. So I set the pressure to 30 PSI, and it did lift it but caused a bouncy ride and swayed. So I upped it to 35 PSI, and now the ride is firm enough yet smooth, and I am lifted for extra cargo, and clearance. The left side still sits about 1/2" lower, but it always has, and does not cause me any problems.

I can imagine if I were running them at 90 PSI, it would be like having a rock between the frame and axle. I have no fear of frame damage with the surface area the bracket covers.

jdcaples
05-31-2014, 03:40 PM
<snip>
The left side still sits about 1/2" lower, but it always has, and does not cause me any problems.
<snip>


Is that with you in the driver seat, or someone really obese in the driver seat? :bounce::lol:

-Jon

flman
05-31-2014, 06:33 PM
Is that with you in the driver seat, or someone really obese in the driver seat? :bounce::lol:

-Jon

That is before my 165 lb skinny arse gets in there. :smirk:

Maybe I need a fat passenger to balance it out? :popcorn:

MarcleLeisure
11-05-2014, 03:08 PM
I think the major problem with my Sprinter is the rear anti toll bar (ARB) as the roads are so bad in the UK with big pot holes. If one wheel drops in a hole, because of the ARB the vehicle is violently rocked. I do intend to experiment with different air bellows and removal of the ARB to see what improvements I can make. I do appreciate the ARB is good for high speed cornering, however as most of my travelling is low speed and having the air suspension, its removal shouldn't be too much of an issue.... hopefully.

NBB
11-05-2014, 04:07 PM
I've had mine for several years now, maybe 50k or 60k miles on them. I use 20, 30 psi. Overall, very pleased with the way they fixed what is basically an incorrectly and sometimes slightly overloaded Sprinter.

However, I would not be comfortable with these w/o Koni shocks set to max damping and a thicker sway bar. At high speeds (the van spends 90% of it's miles locked at 82mph), when I hit a bump, I can definitely tell there is an extra bounce back there. I would not want to inflate them much beyond the psi I use, and fortunately there is no need as my problem isn't that big.

flman
11-05-2014, 11:02 PM
I run mine at 30 PSI, my 2500 170 weighs in at 9100 lbs. I just put on a Hellwig sway bar a couple of weeks ago as well.