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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about putting air suspension seat in 2012 3500 dually used primarily to tow heavy, due to my bad back (it's not a daily driver). Pretty pricey to do this so two questions:

1). If anyone has done this, pro's and con's?
2). Anyone know a shop in the Denver area that carries the seats and will install? (I'd like to sit in one before buying). How about Kansas or Neb?

Thanks
 

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Dave, I can't really answer your question about air seats, but wonder if an effective air seat (plus seat travel) can fit into your pickup with the available headroom. Hopefully someone else has more on this.

What I can say is once you are firmly on the overloads the ride can become very harsh, as I experienced on my own 3500. If you cannot balance your trailer load to avoid this, then consider air bags to get your suspension off the overloads. Ask others with your particular loading if airbags helped. My opinion is it will help a lot.

Also, for the price of an air seat (if it even fits), you might be well on your way to the price of a full air suspension. With an air suspension you'll ride better, and so will your truck and your trailer. There are a few on the forum with various brands of air suspension, and they seem quite happy. One has a Kelderman on a 5500, and if you can tame that ride then you really are on to something!

Hope this helps, and let us know what you end up doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks PDM, i'll check out air suspension a little more. I've had air bags in the past and my experience was that under a heavy load you have to increase the pressure to keep the rear of the truck level, to the point the air bags become rigid. Right now I have Timbrens SES on the Dodge and with a 15,000 lbs trailer loaded properly my back really takes a beating on Wyoming roads.

I first started looking at air suspension seats when I had a Ford F-450, there are a number of companies such as National that make bolt in bases and a wide selection of air suspension seats for pickups, essentially the equivalents to semi seats. These seats are adjustable in many different ways and are far superior to a pickup seat with a simple lumbar support.

The down side is by the time you buy the base, the seat, the air generator, etc it will easily be several thousand dollars. Plus there are many different seats/options/prices to choose from and I'd really like to sit in a few in a show room before buying. Unfortunately the closest manufacturer I can find is in Wisconsin...

I'm hoping that someone like a hotshot owner/operator will be using one in his truck and will respond.

Thanks

Dave
 

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All our fire apparatus use nostrum seats. Ordered parts for one once and they must make a million different setups
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Air ride seats

I originally did a search for air suspension seats and didn't find much on the forum, but I just did a search for "air ride" seats and found as a very help thread from several who installed air ride seats in their pickups as well as pictures of minor mods they did to retain their factory power seats...

kelderman makes an air bag suspension kit specifically for my truck but it starts out around $3250 and the instillation is a little complicated (especially with my steel flatbed).

In any event it looks like a driver's side air ride base and seat would work, isn't too complicated to install with some minor fabrications, and should be well under $2000...

I'm just starting the process of upgrading the front end with new tie rod and drag link ends, ball joints, sway bar, and steering brace. Once that's done an air ride seat is my next project and I'll report back on this tread.
 

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As a thought to consider try looking at semi trucks. They have air ride seats and you can try a few different types out. Yes, they would probably be different than the pickup versions but at least you would have an idea of what you are looking at. You might also look at a big rig junkyard to find some more reasonably priced air seats. The bases would have to be wrong for your pickup.
 

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I've had air bags in the past and my experience was that under a heavy load you have to increase the pressure to keep the rear of the truck level, to the point the air bags become rigid. R
My fiver weighs north of 17k lbs.
With 3,400 lb pin weight, I run 80 psi in my bags, and can tell you they definitely aren't rigid. They might feel rigid if unloaded (I have no reason to try this), but under load the suspension still cycles.

A good suspension setup isn't cheap, but can make a world of difference in ride quality - both loaded and unloaded.

Also, have you tried and air-ride pinbox?
I've got this one, takes a bit of the edge off rough pavement:

 

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My fiver weighs north of 17k lbs.
With 3,400 lb pin weight, I run 80 psi in my bags, and can tell you they definitely aren't rigid. They might feel rigid if unloaded (I have no reason to try this), but under load the suspension still cycles.

A good suspension setup isn't cheap, but can make a world of difference in ride quality - both loaded and unloaded.

Also, have you tried and air-ride pinbox?
I've got this one, takes a bit of the edge off rough pavement:

What brand is this one? I run a hotshot truck and planned on ordering the Cody Air Hitch setup for my goose neck next time I got home. The Cody Cushion Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Air Ride

I thought it would do the job without going crazy money wise. Most of the ones I've seen are like yours or even more "fancy" but they run $2-3k.

As far as the air ride seats, it sounds nice but I think I would rather put the money towards an air ride setup like the one above. Also an air bag setup with the in cab controllers is the way to go IMO. I want to add the Firestone wireless system to my truck since I always have a different load on the truck. I recently had a load that was around 33k gross and loaded the actual load too far forward. I feel your pain when the truck starts getting down on those overloads, it's brutal.

I do plan on ordering this seat at some point though Corbeau LG1 Racing Seat

Here's a link to a member that installed them in his truck http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/2...-3rd-gen-getting-christmas-7.html#post9203074

I'm hoping between a nice air hitch, proper bag inflation/loading and the seat I'll be set.

Good Luck in your search.
 

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I don't know if this will help but a while back I contacted ToughSeats to inquire about air suspension seating for my 05 dually. Here is what they said:

Below are the Dodge seat options for some Dodge trucks. Please also verify your seat belts are not integrated into the factory seat. All seats we carry are in an air suspension and are all manual adjustments.

Suspension Only: $412.21 (non-returnable if purchased separately)
Seat Options
Standard Seat with suspension cloth or vinyl: $778.92 per side
Optional Inner Arm: $55.00 per side

Premium Seat with suspension cloth: $855.02 per side
Optional Inner Arm: $65.00 per side

Premium seat with suspension leather: $1042.24 per side
Optional Inner Arm: $75.00 per side

12V Air compressor: $303.99, can power up to 4 seats comes with fitting for two.

We stock these in greys. Feel free to call or email with any questions.


Tough Seats Inc
Phone: 262-298-5333
Fax: 262-298-5336
 

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I looked into this set up. There is a guy on here that had one installed but not sure in what year truck. username on here is haulin-rv I believe.

Air Suspension Dodge Pickup Trucks, Driver Side / 123.0246
That's me and it's the best money you can spend to make your ride better.

I made adapters to mount the factory seat to the air base and retain all the power functions. Installed the air control valve on the side. For an air source I used a 5 gallon tank and just refilled it at home from my compressor. The 5 gallon tank lasted a couple months.

 

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I made adapters to mount the factory seat to the air base and retain all the power functions. Installed the air control valve on the side. For an air source I used a 5 gallon tank and just refilled it at home from my compressor. The 5 gallon tank lasted a couple months.
Is the base basically an air shock hooked up to a cantilever?

I do not understand why the air seat once set to the proper pressures would ever need to be refilled again unless it had a leak. Can you explain what happens to the lost air?

My uncle is a logger. He had a REAL log truck. He said that if your air seat ever loses its air you sit down real fast. Apparently he had a problem once and found that out the hard way.
 

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Is the base basically an air shock hooked up to a cantilever?

Yes

I do not understand why the air seat once set to the proper pressures would ever need to be refilled again unless it had a leak. Can you explain what happens to the lost air?

There is no proper pressure, on rough roads I add air to keep seat from bottoming out then let air out on good roads for better ride also I raise or lower the seat on long trips to get a more comfortable position.

My uncle is a logger. He had a REAL log truck. He said that if your air seat ever loses its air you sit down real fast. Apparently he had a problem once and found that out the hard way.

The air bags in seats are small so any kind of leak they go down fast, also in big trucks seats can raise as much as 10-12" (6" up was what I liked in my Pete), so bust a bag and you go from comfortable to trying to see over the steering wheel real fast. :shock:
 

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I do not understand why the air seat once set to the proper pressures would ever need to be refilled again unless it had a leak. Can you explain what happens to the lost air?
As said above so you can adjust the pressure based on the conditions.
 

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I put some in a fleet of sterling bullets which are just rebadged dodge 5500. They do make them to fit the truck with no modification needed. Not sure of the price but I know it wasn't cheap and if your tall they don't work. I'm 6.2 and would hit my head on the roof when going over bumps if the seat was up anymore then an inch off it base which isn't enough air to drive with
 
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