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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start with a simple Q about sway bars because if I'm correct the rest of my Q wont matter. trying to make sure my thoughts are right.

A sway bar works by trying to keep each end at the same level. So if both ends are at 5 inches or 2 inches it wont matter as long as they are equal. but a sway bar will try and equalize if one side is at 5 and the other is at 2


So the reason for my Q... I have air ride suspension, NOT overload air bags. ... let me repeat... I have the r4tech air ride suspension very similar to Keldermen air ride suspension. I basically have no leaf springs, no overloads, can't use traditional options as I have Air ride. The bag is literally my spring.

One of the features is the ability to dump the air in the airbags and drop the rear end of the truck down 4-5 inches. I'm considering installing the hellwig sway bar to help with my slide in camper sway as the truck never came with a sway bar. My concern is I dump the air bags and somehow destroy the hellwig bar... but if I understand how they work it shouldn't matter.

FYI the r4tech is no longer made so don't bother spending a bunch of time looking online...
BUT air riide is really nice, Kelderman will be installed on the next truck when ever that happens.

So thoughts?
 

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The function of a sway bar is to mitigate body roll. This works by the sway bar absorbing body roll in the form of tosional flex. The torsionally stiffer the sway bar, the less articulation the suspension has. The fact that you have an air ride suspension is irrelevant to the sway bar's function.

Some air ride suspensions can be fitted with leveling sensors which can automatically adjust the individual air bag pressure to mitigate body roll, thus eliminating the need for a traditional mechanical sway bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The function of a sway bar is to mitigate body roll. This works by the sway bar absorbing body roll in the form of tosional flex. The torsionally stiffer the sway bar, the less articulation the suspension has. The fact that you have an air ride suspension is irrelevant to the sway bar's function.

Some air ride suspensions can be fitted with leveling sensors which can automatically adjust the individual air bag pressure to mitigate body roll, thus eliminating the need for a traditional mechanical sway bar.
My concern is my ability to change my ride height drastically ... which I guess isn't much different then putting a big load on a truck. And you basically have confirmed my thoughts

Yes air ride can vary pressure on demand but it isn't instant like you go into a corner and it adds air to compensate in a fraction of second that you would really need... sure if the corner is long enough it will adjust based on ride height but reality is 4-10 seconds for the system to react at least when epic loads are added to the truck example being a pallet of something heavy set in the bed, as you lower it down you can see it start to lift back up... blows a lot of fork lift operators mind as the bed raises up on them just as they start to backup or move the load. A sway bar is instant.
 

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My concern is my ability to change my ride height drastically ... which I guess isn't much different then putting a big load on a truck. And you basically have confirmed my thoughts
With a properly setup sway bar and end links, this should not be an issue.

Edit: I setup the air ride on my '59 hot rod to make near instantaneous adjustments for body roll, dive, squat, etc. That required an air tank, corresponding compressor, and the correct solenoids. I know air ride for a truck application is a different animal, so I probably should not have made a comparison between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With a properly setup sway bar and end links, this should not be an issue.

Edit: I setup the air ride on my '59 hot rod to make near instantaneous adjustments for body roll, dive, squat, etc. That required an air tank, corresponding compressor, and the correct solenoids. I know air ride for a truck application is a different animal, so I probably should not have made a comparison between the two.
What did you use for air controls? I have compressor, air tank ... so maybe this could be an option.
 

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Our '17 has factory rear air ride and sway bar. I dump the rear end to the bumpstops occasionally with no issues yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Our '17 has factory rear air ride and sway bar. I dump the rear end to the bumpstops occasionally with no issues yet.
The system from the factory is basically leaf springs and air bags assist that 99% of what people have been doing for years in the aftermarket. if you have a load and dump your air it will drop some but not all the way also I understand empty it won't drop. please let me know if I'm wrong on this. Also dodge made the system really complicated with a closed nitrogen setup.

Kelderman, r4tech and a few others do not have leaf springs, they have linkage to locate the axle and 100% of the load is supported by a much larger air bag simular but not really to the bag you have. without leaf springs the truck falls to the ground when you dump air. empty or loaded.

find it interesting they have a factory sway in 17.

I'm ordering a swaybar I see no reason not to at this point
 

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You’re wrong. Full air ride, not air assist - no metal springs. There’s no reason air bags and a sway bar can’t work together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You’re wrong. Full air ride, not air assist - no metal springs. There’s no reason air bags and a sway bar can’t work together.
Mind sharing some photos I looked awhile ago 6 ish years at a new truck at the dealer that had "Air" and it for sure had leaf springs and extra bags, wasn't impressed Not sure if they changed the system over the years or if the dealer slapped some aftermarket crap on and called it the dodge setup and lied to me. Maybe I need to revisit that factory option as that is NOT what I was shown for sure, so I have ignored it more the most part. If it was I more then likely would have purchased it.
 

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Mind sharing some photos I looked awhile ago 6 ish years at a new truck at the dealer that had "Air" and it for sure had leaf springs and extra bags, wasn't impressed Not sure if they changed the system over the years or if the dealer slapped some aftermarket crap on and called it the dodge setup and lied to me. Maybe I need to revisit that factory option as that is NOT what I was shown for sure, so I have ignored it more the most part. If it was I more then likely would have purchased it.
A 3500 yes, mine is a 2500 but regardless, no reason air bags and sway bar can't work together. Just make sure nothing interferes since you're combining components from different companies.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A 3500 yes, mine is a 2500 but regardless, no reason air bags and sway bar can't work together. Just make sure nothing interferes since you're combining components from different companies.
WOW OK yeah that is NOT what I saw at the dealer on the truck they claimed had Air on it. Maybe they changed it over the years or the sales dude didn't have a clue. but this is way nicer then what I was lead to believe.

So how do you like it?
 

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I'm undecided. I can't say it's overly useful other than visually there is no sag, ever, and it's not any smoother in my opinion but 20" wheels don't help the ride either. That being said, I don't feel the typical spring bounce/chatter in the rear that you can usually feel in a pickup. I haven't had any problems and not many have other than those that overload them.
 

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Also dodge made the system really complicated with a closed nitrogen setup.
Contrary to popular belief, Ram did not make it a closed Nitrogen setup.
Either way, an anti sway bar doesn't care if you have air, coil, leaf, or whatever springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Contrary to popular belief, Ram did not make it a closed Nitrogen setup.
Either way, an anti sway bar doesn't care if you have air, coil, leaf, or whatever springs.
Maybe this thread has gone off the rails... Oh well..

So What is the system then? The bag Lins shared is for sure interesting I suspect it is some sort of protection device around a more traditional bag... but that's a guess.

I did some looking and it seems around 2015 they had a hybrid setup "Leafs with air assist"
2 min mark they talk about it and then what they have now. and maybe a few more in-between Really hard to know unless your looking every few years and or work on them.

So this guy has a 2018 and it's leaf spring
7 min mark you can totally see the leafs.

This is really confusing to see now... Lins Truck is a 2017 and full air... HMMM I wonder if this is 2500 VS 3500 changes. I think Lins is running a 2500, never looked at those. So maybe we are both right. :)

Jimmy N If you ahve info on the air system I would love to learn about it.


In terms of the original Q my concern was revolving around the abiltiy to change ride height at will with the push of a button... 4-6 inces worth I was 99% sure that wasn't an issue as both sides drop VS just 1 which is where the Sway bar Would do it's job.
 

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Off the rails? Yeah, it kinda got away from the anti sway bar and to suspensions.

So, a 2500 can be had with optional air springs from '14 and on, replacing the standard coils.
A 3500 can be had with optional air springs, which are in addition to leaf springs, replacing the standard heavy leaf pack.

There's lots of info available on both kinds, from the manufacturer (Ram) and other sources. Allpar comes to mind.
And then there's also lots of misinformation to be found, primarily on forums.

Making a functional suspension with a 4-6 inch height difference depends largely on if that difference is split between up and down, or in one direction only. Straight air springs would make it simple and fully feasible, as you know from your setup, but if there are leaf springs involved, too, it gets trickier.

Anyway, an anti sway bar doesn't know or care about what kind of suspension a vehicle has. They don't interfere with suspension travel in the up/down movement, only resist articulation. Just like in front applications.
 
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