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Bangin' through the gears
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Discussion Starter #1
LT Airbags has been on my to do list since probably 2006! First time I took my fifthwheel out onto the dunes and twisted the chintzy little Firestone ride rite bags all to hell I knew I would eventually need to go a different route. Also even when i had the factory leaf springs, the lack of available articulation was just pathetic.

Fast forward to last year. I bought some Firestone bags that are normally used in semi's or buses.



Then they just sat lonely in a box until I picked up a TIG welder and started learnin' myself a new skill! After deciding my welds have become halfway decent I finally started the project.

I figured I would fully weld the axle tubes since I would be partially blocking access to them. Easier to do them now rather than later.


Moved the axle vent tube and location of the t-block for the brakes.



Base plate I built. Note if anyone decides they are going to do this and thinks why not just weld that rolling lobe base to your base plate those lobes are made of aluminum. I thought it was kinda badass really. Luckily I decided to make a last minute change to my design or I woulda been spending even more quality time with my grinder and cutoff wheels.


Lower mounts done!


My welds are getting better, here is the upper mount/crossmember.



Painted.


And don't give me no crap about rattle canning! I ain't got powdercoat money these days!

Bags mounted and aired up.


About 3/4" clearance.


IIRC the bags are rated for 30 degree's of misalignment. I'd say I have around 17 just eyeballing it.



Deflated.


Notice there is way less deflection in the bag at ride height. That's what I was shooting for and it looks like I mighta got it right.



View from the wheel well.



No air in bags.


About an 1" higher in the rear.


I can't say how much air is in the bags because I just threw the air lines together with what I had laying around couldn't find any schraeder valves on a Sunday. But I basically achieved very close to full droop at what I imagine must have been around 75psi.


Only towed about 8000lbs across town but the bags felt awesome! And no more saggin' and draggin' !


Still have to figure out in cab controls and the airline plumbing. Overall I'm pretty damn happy with these things! Sometime In the future I'll have to get some video of the rearend at full boogie.
 

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Dude your so messing up. I cant believe u dont wanna use the god send carli bags. They have to be the best and only route when your talkn about lt air bags
 
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Bangin' through the gears
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5,088 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I know huh! There are alot of guys with a serious aversion to any other option besides Carli. I'm not saying my setup is superior, but it was fun to build and definitely fit my......budget better.
 

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Bangin' through the gears
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5,088 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks! Hmmm IIRC
Bags were $180 and 10% off
Bolts maybe $25
Steel I got from a steel recycler it was scrap prices and I've used it on several different things already but maybe $70
Couple cans of paint $20ish

Maybe more maybe less, but that's ballpark.

Estimated the in cheap route in-cab controls to be around 150. But I may end up spending 300-400 on a pre configured setup.
 

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How much travel do you they allow?
 

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Sounds like a cheaper alternative if you have the time and fab skills. I'm gonna keep it in mind for when I get my LT leafs. Probably five years in the future at my rate.
 

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Looks really good Roy! That boy has talent!!!

Nice work bro :thumbsup:
 
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Those look nice, if someone has the time, equipment, and skills to build something like that it's definitely an alternative to a simple bolt-on LT bag. I'm trying out the Daystar cradles because the truck I just bought came with bags, but I'm finding a flaw already.
 

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Bangin' through the gears
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Discussion Starter #13
Those look nice, if someone has the time, equipment, and skills to build something like that it's definitely an alternative to a simple bolt-on LT bag. I'm trying out the Daystar cradles because the truck I just bought came with bags, but I'm finding a flaw already.
Those cradles look like a decent option. They definitely went with the K.I.S.S. I'm interested in hearing long term feedback on 'em.
 

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It just seems like I can't get enough air out of the bags when I'm running empty. I can still feel them.
Sound like the volume of the bag is still filled with air at 0psi or so at ride highth but as it uptravels the bag volume is reduced creating more air preasure... You would have to empty the bags when the rear is compressed or leave the valve open when driving empty to allow it to push out the air as it compresses. Looks killer!
 

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