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I am looking at getting a 2020 Ram 3500. Most of my driving will be empty. Are the factory air bags a factor in ride quality when running empty on the highway, or are they just there to support the extra weight when towing or hauling?

Either way I plan on replacing the rear leaf springs with Carli progressive springs and new shocks. I also heard that Carli is coming out with their own long travel air bag soon...

Thanks!
 

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So far, I like the factory air on 2020 3500 DRW, it is a little smoother than my 2014 was. I haven't towed with it, yet.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I just picked up my 2020 3500 SRW with factory air. So far it seems to ride really well (for a one ton truck that is). I believe that it is a softer ride than the non-air equipped 3500s that I drove.
 

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I am looking at getting a 2020 Ram 3500. Most of my driving will be empty. Are the factory air bags a factor in ride quality when running empty on the highway, or are they just there to support the extra weight when towing or hauling?

Either way I plan on replacing the rear leaf springs with Carli progressive springs and new shocks. I also heard that Carli is coming out with their own long travel air bag soon...

Thanks!
You should go look underneath an air assist 3500 and a standard 3500. That will answer alot of your questions.
However, if you're planning on gutting the OE suspension out anyway, why spend extra for the air and why does it matter in the first place?
And presumably you're planning on a real lift in front too? The Carli springs add 2-3" height in back.

You're confused about your want's and needs and what you're planning on doing with the truck, it sounds like.
 

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I own an 18 CC SRW 3500 w/ air.... Empty it gave me a head ache from h***... I now have the full Carli kit for the 3500 air running 35's... It is better but still very stiff.... To do over again I would have not bought the air assist unless I was going to be towing heavy... I still would have bought the 3500 just without the air, a lot more options from Carli and Thuren....
I've got 30,000 miles on mine now and I'm living with it but I won't ever buy one with air again, unless I buy something REALLY heavy to tow, because it will do that very well...
 

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Thanks Bigsky, that was the kind of constructive reply I was looking for...

I spoke to Dan over at Carli and he recommended the same, to get the 3500 without the factory air ride. Carli offers several products that will improve the ride without sacrificing too much of the tow / haul capacity. I don't tow / haul often, but when I do its on the heavy side. Just hoping to get a livable ride for driving when empty...
 

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Thanks Bigsky, that was the kind of constructive reply I was looking for...

I spoke to Dan over at Carli and he recommended the same, to get the 3500 without the factory air ride. Carli offers several products that will improve the ride without sacrificing too much of the tow / haul capacity. I don't tow / haul often, but when I do its on the heavy side. Just hoping to get a livable ride for driving when empty...
No prob man!!

To do over again and I will, this is exactly what I would/will do:

3500 SRW (non air assist)

Thuren front and rear springs or do the Thuren mod to the rear springs
Fox reservoir shocks
Torsion sway bar
track bar

And I can tell you, you'd have a fantastic riding truck, damn near 1/2 ton type ride.... The Fox reservoir shocks are a good cross for hwy and moderate offroad, so you'd be covered for long rough roads etc...

Carli products are VERY GOOD! Just $$$$$$$. Thuren he's in Oregon so his pricing is a little better, and now having built 4 different trucks with both Full Carli and Full Thuren, I will use Thuren products mainly because of price and the ease of install, as I typically do it myself... Carli a lot more involved having to deal with the radius arm drop brackets(a major PITA)…

Now having said all of that Carli's new 3500 leveling kit is a decent kit nothing wrong with it at all, springs in the front, block in the back, Fox shocks its all good... The real trick for the best ride is the torsion sway bar, that is probably the most key part to the entire ride deal add in the trac bar too... And a good way to test it, is simply unbolt you sway bar at the axle and then just pull in your drive way... The truck improves drastically, almost giving an IFS feel... I drove one of my previous trucks for several thousand miles with out a sway bar, Don Thuren did same, that's where I got the idea from...lol...
If I can help any further man just PM me and I'll give you my phone #...
 

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Sound like a bunch of mods to make a 1 ton ride like a 1/2 ton...
Great if you are only using it as a daily driver/brodozer.
Stiff torsion bars and stout springs are what I want under a HD truck when towing heavy or hauling 2 tons in the bed.
 

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Threads like this make me laugh. To date, no one has ever posted the rear spring rate of the DRW with the factory air, or the spring rate of the DRW without factory air. Also, what are the factory rear shock specs? Is the rebound and compression the same or different?

If the specs were known, including the Carli specs, the discussion would be much better.
 

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Threads like this make me laugh. To date, no one has ever posted the rear spring rate of the DRW with the factory air, or the spring rate of the DRW without factory air. Also, what are the factory rear shock specs? Is the rebound and compression the same or different?

If the specs were known, including the Carli specs, the discussion would be much better.
Well, if the OP was asking that, but he wasn't and hasn't...Whats your point?
 

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Sound like a bunch of mods to make a 1 ton ride like a 1/2 ton...
Great if you are only using it as a daily driver/brodozer.
Stiff torsion bars and stout springs are what I want under a HD truck when towing heavy or hauling 2 tons in the bed.
Read the OP's post... He's going to be driving it empty.... And at the end of the day we are all free to do whatever we want to our trucks, right?
 

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Threads like this make me laugh. To date, no one has ever posted the rear spring rate of the DRW with the factory air, or the spring rate of the DRW without factory air. Also, what are the factory rear shock specs? Is the rebound and compression the same or different?

If the specs were known, including the Carli specs, the discussion would be much better.
No........ The dots .. The spring rate and shock specs are out of reach for good reasons, although I'll bet the spring rate can be had in 5 minutes. The shock specs are TMI for here. ............ That stands for Too Much Information.
 

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Well, if the OP was asking that, but he wasn't and hasn't...Whats your point?
The OP asked a question and no one knows the specs. It's all based on feelings.

Would you discuss hp and torque without really knowing the actual hp and torque? Are HP and Torque feelings adequate?

Why not investigate what the spring rate is? That's my point.

How about something even more basic? I'll post a picture of the leafs on my truck. How about if we compare them to a photo of the leafs on a DRW with the factory air? I bet the leafs are different. Wouldn't you want to know what the spring rate is? What about know the capacity of the rear suspension with the air assist if the air assist fails. This has already happened.

The spring rate and shock specs are out of reach for good reasons
Why? Are tire pressures out of reach for a good reason? Is the HP and Torque spec out of reach for a good reason?

The shock specs are TMI for here
Maybe TMI for you. Why would Carli and Thuren offer another product? Could it be different specs or is that TMI for you? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry to cause a riff here by asking this question (none of us need any more tension right now, during world war Z - right?).

I wanted to ask about the empty ride quality of the 19/20 3500 with factory air bags compared to without air. Most of my driving will be empty / no trailer. But when I tow / haul it is on the heavy side, so I'd like to get the 3500 because of its higher capacity, but would like a smoother ride while empty if possible - (would air ride help while empty?) - since that is most of my driving, hopefully that makes sense.

It seems that the leaf springs from the factory would be different on a air -vs- non air optioned trucks, since the air bags would supplement the springs. (These are all assumptions since we don't have the specs - as someone pointed out).

Anyways, I appreciate the feedback - a driving test will answer the question if I can find a dealer who has both trucks on the lot, but it sounds like non air is the way to go. I can change out the springs to a progressive leaf spring and different shocks since that seems to improve the ride from what I am hearing.

Stay safe -
 

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Sorry to cause a riff here by asking this question (none of us need any more tension right now, during world war Z - right?).

I wanted to ask about the empty ride quality of the 19/20 3500 with factory air bags compared to without air. Most of my driving will be empty / no trailer. But when I tow / haul it is on the heavy side, so I'd like to get the 3500 because of its higher capacity, but would like a smoother ride while empty if possible - (would air ride help while empty?) - since that is most of my driving, hopefully that makes sense.

It seems that the leaf springs from the factory would be different on a air -vs- non air optioned trucks, since the air bags would supplement the springs. (These are all assumptions since we don't have the specs - as someone pointed out).

Anyways, I appreciate the feedback - a driving test will answer the question if I can find a dealer who has both trucks on the lot, but it sounds like non air is the way to go. I can change out the springs to a progressive leaf spring and different shocks since that seems to improve the ride from what I am hearing.

Stay safe -
You're fine man.. There's 2 or 3 at every game that just have to be heard. Same type of guys that will argue and tell you the right way to eat soup is with a fork... So tune them out..
There is a difference in the two spring packs, (3500 air vs. 3500 non air) its very obvious.. The 3500 air springs really don't look right.. When you see them it will be WTF moment, but I guess they work... The Carli spring pack is crazy big as they designed their kit so as to keep factory payload ratings..
Point being you'll have more after market suspension options with the non air..
 

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Sorry to cause a riff here by asking this question (none of us need any more tension right now, during world war Z - right?).

I wanted to ask about the empty ride quality of the 19/20 3500 with factory air bags compared to without air. Most of my driving will be empty / no trailer. But when I tow / haul it is on the heavy side, so I'd like to get the 3500 because of its higher capacity, but would like a smoother ride while empty if possible - (would air ride help while empty?) - since that is most of my driving, hopefully that makes sense.

It seems that the leaf springs from the factory would be different on a air -vs- non air optioned trucks, since the air bags would supplement the springs. (These are all assumptions since we don't have the specs - as someone pointed out).

Anyways, I appreciate the feedback - a driving test will answer the question if I can find a dealer who has both trucks on the lot, but it sounds like non air is the way to go. I can change out the springs to a progressive leaf spring and different shocks since that seems to improve the ride from what I am hearing.

Stay safe -
You're not causing a riff by asking good questions. Others are causing a riff because they don't want "additional information." LOL.

Regarding the rear suspension, part of the reason why I'm interested in more detail is because of the potential for simple modifications. No one on this forum knows the rear leaf spring rates, and if someone knows, they haven't shared the specs.

What if the spring rates for the following were known:
2500
3500 SRW
3500 DRW, no air assist
3500 DRW with factory air assist

What if the spring rates for the 2500 were the same as the 3500 DRW with factory air? If that was the case, we'd know two things:
1. If the factory air fails, the payload capacity would be that of a 2500 and if you had a heavy pin weight, you could be riding the bump stops. Not a good thing.
2. If you had a DRW with no factory assist and wanted to improve the ride quality, you could do a spring swap, add air assist and have a better riding truck and maintain payload (excluding all the legal/insurance issues).

And if the 3500 DRW with air assist spring rates were different from the 2500, big deal. At least you know the factory baseline and would know the target spring rate if you didn't want to buy leafs from the factory.

But until the spring rates are known, it's all based on feel. I don't mind the ride of the DRW without factory air. Others are can't stand it. Big deal. We're all different.

But when anti-TMI folks chime in and try to suppress new information or questions that could lead to good new information, I'm puzzled. I already stated it above: we're all different and some are willing to learn new stuff and others are not.
 
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