I asked a simple question and wanted to see if anyone had installed on a 94-97 OBS truck. If that's dumb don't read this...
I have used Firestone Air Bags for 20+ years on 2 GM trucks and the 2wd I bought last year till I bought this '96 4x4 and had have no problems with how they work.... they are great!
The kit for a '96 2wd and a '96 4X4 use the same part # and that is great but the unit does not install as per instructions on either truck and both needed a 1" spacer under the air bag to bring the top bracket up to the area of the frame their instructions say is a "safe" area to drill.
It was frustrating a little last year but the Tech guy I sent pics to and showed him the problem, took care of this issue and had parts sent out the next day....We talked on the phone so it was simple... Fast forward to this year and I sold the 2wd because this 4X4 came up for sale that only had 126K miles on it and showroom clean as well. I bought it from a friends father and he owned it since new.
Neither truck had any lift and I ordered the same rear bag set and it was too low on this truck as well so I emailed them and asked that the tech guy call me so it could get worked out faster.... he did not call and it took a week, the wrong parts sent out because he did not understand the problem, several emails and I hope a week just to get remedied... I say I hope a week because I still am waiting for the parts.... They emailed me this :am and said the parts are on the way. I have spent over $1000.00 on this front and rear quad air bag setup, new shocks and with the wireless system so you can say I'm upset that this took so long when last year was a snap to get figured out ....well yes I am.
Now again I ask has anyone installed these on a OBS 94-97 truck? (1969-2010 kit #2071) Did you have the same problems?
I'm thinking the R&D staff used a gas motor F250 truck to develop this kit on and the higher 8800 GVWR for the diesel maybe had different springs ..... Maybe?
Both these trucks had a 8800 rating and diesels.... one 2wd and one a 4X4. Both autos as well.
OK I thought since the diesel weighs so much more maybe both ends get different springs... so the GVWR does not change .... so what could it be that both kits have the same install issues.....? I never checked the bag part #'s so I'll look to make sure they have the correct #.... I know these are old trucks and FS probably not going to bother to change them but there has to be a reason.....
Another problem that came up is the wireless Quad Air Control system was 'sposed ta have a standard air compressor in it but even the paperwork and some vender websites show it to be a light duty #9377 compressor. What came with it shows that it's #9377 compressor is a "light Duty" compressor. In order to get more volume and faster fill rate I had to spend another $100.00 to get the real standard compressor. Why bother? Over the years we have traveled in some high wind areas. It's nice to be able to "lean" the rig into a side wind while driving since we haul a large camper. When I saw this I called and asked if I could put one of my heavy duty air compressors in the system but they told me you can't....
Our old 2wd with camper...
I haul a 10 ft camper plus the added weight of the stable lift on the camper.
I have the firestone bags installed... Had no problems installing them in the 4x4 with stock suspension.
I also just have a standard duty compressor and a 0.5 gallon air tank so I can adjust pressure on the road if needed with dual paddle and gauge mounted below the dash
OK here is the pic of the install and if you look at the instructions in this kit it says to keep the install as close to vertical as you can and not to drill in the area of the frame shown in instructions. (1969-2010 kit #2071)
I will post the pic of instructions picture later...
It shows that the safe area is in the center of the frame not within 1.5" of the edges. It says the bags should be 5-6.5" tall when assembled in the brackets. The one pic shows bags at 6.25".
I put a 1" spacer under the front and no spacer under the rear of the bottom bracket (to keep it vertical) the holes would not be in the area they call "safe" to drill and are too low.
Yes I did pop the brake, electrical and fuel lines out of the way on last years install... This is their directions and they should know their products best but they say:
"This whole thing sounds off to everyone here (managers, engineers, tech guys, and bosses)"
I sent them these same pics and this is the answer I get??? All they have to do is look at the instruction sheet and my pics! Here are the pics I sent them last year and it was no problem.... You can see with a 1" spacer in back the bracket is in the "safe area" but the front is not and still low. They only send out 1" and 1/2" spacers with the kit. So in order to get both trucks systems correct and "as vertical as possible" is to use a bag spacer of 1" to raise the top bracket into the area they say is safe. They do not include these with the kit.
Like I said last year the tech guy understood the problem and sent me the tow bag spacers and all was good... but this year they do not understand and said they would send them but I'm still waiting.
I have always used Firestone air bags over the last 20+ years and had never had and problems with function.... I have spent a lot of $$$ to do a wireless system this year and this is BS! I see now why their customer service rep is so bad compared to AirLift company!
Just thinking if this makes a difference or not, do you have the truck jacked up by the frame or by the axle. I mean is the axle supported with Jack stands or are they on the frame? Thinking this can make a differnce in the distance from the spring pack to the frame? I assume the axle, but thought I would ask.
I was also looking at videos online, says to pump up the bags to where they need to be. Meaning the bags are totally deflated and need to be aired up to get it to expand. Mine are going on this week so I will see how it goes. Also not a fan of the bolts that mount to the spring. I think u bolts like airlift uses would be better?
Buy a set of Supersprings! They are easy to remove and installed, no air pressure to check, and they are adjustable up to 3000K additional weight. I have a set on my '01 250 and they are great for hauling a heavy load to hooking up my gooseneck. My neighbor has them for his 250 and says they work great for hauling his slide in camper.
Yes the truck is supported on the axle so ride height is the same. Of note you should not lift a truck with Firestone air bags by the frame unless you have to because that can damage the air bags by over stretching them**. It says if you have to to remove the air in the bags before you lift by the frame. I like using air bags because we haul a camper and it's nice to be able to level or lean the rig into a side wind on the fly.
What video? I don't think it's from Firestone. I would not do it that way... The bags have a plug in them static and you would have to remove the plug and push out the air to deflate them. Are you installing the double convoluted bags? This kit has those bags. This kit is #2071...
The instructions do not have the bags pumped up... they have to be static and measure from 5"-6 1/2" per their instructions... which mine do (6 1/4") but the upper bracket does not come up to the area of the frame they say is safe to drill.... 1 1/2" from the top down and from the bottom up so they want the holes in the middle of the frame...while keeping the bags vertical as possible. They also say to never air the bags when not in the installed brackets.
**If you blow them up to get the upper bracket higher in the frame they maybecould get too stretched when the truck leans or bounces also. My FS GM bags went on without any problems on both trucks I have set them up on many years ago. I sold the GM truck last year when I bought the 2wd '96 and never had any problems with 20 years use. They really need to look into this as this is 2 1996 OBS trucks (2wd& 4wd) with no lift that have had the same problem...
Last year they sent me out 1" bag spacers that went under each bag and cured the problem. The tech guy understood my pics and said he would send them out and all was great.
This year the guy did not understand, sent the wrong parts even after I sent the pics and told me all the techs, R&D and bosses can not understand what's up! I"M STILL WAITING FOR THOSE BAG SPACERS! He sent me a email that they were on the way over a week ago! If they would go read their own instructions and look at the pics I can not understand why they are so confused!
You have to be careful watching people's video's...... just say'in...
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