Rear Air Suspension & Installation - Questions

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  1. #1
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    Rear Air Suspension & Installation - Questions

    It's time for this soldier to pack up and PCS. Getting ready to make the drive from San Jose to Houston and I'm getting the Magnum sorted out and ready to hit the road. Planning to tow my Bimmer and the Maggie will be packed to the brim. The Bimmer is going to be on a 2-wheel dolly, so that should help keep some weight off the tail end.

    One thing I am concerned about is all the extra weight I'll be carrying (possibly a spare engine...turbo setup for the Bimmer) and all my other stuff. The rear springs on the BC coilovers just aren't up to the task. So, I'm at a cross-road...full rear airbags? Or, do I get some airbags that fit inside the coils and act as 'helpers'?

    The setup I'm looking at...

    1. Air Lift WirelessOne (WirelessONE | Air Lift Company - Tow and Haul with Safety and Comfort)

    This seems to be adequate. Not looking for a front/rear, independently adjustable setup. Not sure if I need tanks or not. Not planning to do anything other than load-level, and leave it there. I'll only need to adjust height when the amount of weight in the car changes.

    2. Option 1... Firestone Coil-Rite Air Helper Springs (Firestone Coil-Rite Air Helper Springs - Rear Axle Firestone Vehicle Suspension F4155)

    Seems like I would just need enough air to maintain shape during normal driving, and increase air pressure when towing or having a full load in the car. Any reason to suspect these won't work with the setup in #1?

    3, Option 2...Completely ditch the BC Racing springs and adjusters and go with a full bag in the back. (AIR LIFT® 75695 - Dodge Magnum 2005 Performance Air Suspension Rear Kit)

    Obivously this would simplify things, but I have no idea what the carrying capacity of the bags are by themselves, much less my confidence of going zero spring and first air suspension install right before a 2000+ mile drive. How much risk and difficulty am I looking at here? Will the air compressor in #1 above be sufficient, or will I really need a tank?
     
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  3. #2
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    Ok, nothing heard...so I bit the bullet. After watching a ton of install videos and installation instruction reading, I decided to go with the following setup:

    1. Air Lift 25592 - Air Lift Load Controller II Compressor System. Source: Jegs for $175.99
    Link: Air Lift 25592 Air Lift Load Controller II Compressor System - Free Shipping on All Orders @ JEGS

    2. Air Lift 60727 - Air Lift 1000 Air Spring Kit. Source: Jegs for $88.99
    Link: Air Lift 60727 Air Lift 1000 Air Spring Kits - Free Shipping on All Orders @ JEGS
    - Air bag dimensions are 3.0" x 8.0" which seems to line up well with the BC Racing spring dimensions which are 71mm (2.8") at the top and 80mm (3.15") at the base and 240mm (9.44") fully extended. With the weight of the car, that should easily be down to around 8" or slightly less.

    Total out the door was $264.98 with free shipping. I'm a little nervous about doing a full airbag setup right before driving 2000 miles (i.e. what happens if a bag fails in the middle of New Mexico...). So at least if a bag fails, I'll still have the BC Racing 16K coil springs and can at least raise the adjuster if need be to compensate for travel.

    From what everyone is telling me, the install will be very simple at take maybe only a few hours. I guess we'll see when the parts get here next week. Hoping these items will all fit snugly in the spare tire well and that I'll just be able to inflate to the needed height and go. If this goes well, I may try doing a full system when things settle down after the move.

    I also picked up a 12,840 Lumen 30" LED light bar to add to the bottom of the push bumper. Should help identify some critters on the road while driving across New Mexico at night.
    Link: 30" Off Road LED Light Bar - 150W | Pro series Off Road LED Light Bar | Off Road LED Light Bars | Super Bright LEDs | Super Bright LEDs
     
  4. #3
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    please let me know how they worked have same ones I bought for my old car , now thinking of putting them in my magnum .
     
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  6. #4
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    Quote: Originally Posted by budmanr View Post
    please let me know how they worked have same ones I bought for my old car , now thinking of putting them in my magnum .
    How did you like them? Pretty easy to install? How did it work for you in terms of drivability?

    It's going to be about a week or so before they get here.
     
  7. #5
    Member Cerebral 404's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. Magnum View Post
    How did you like them? Pretty easy to install? How did it work for you in terms of drivability?

    It's going to be about a week or so before they get here.
    I have what I believe to be the same things in my '87 Chevy Caprice. I originally installed them to get a little more height out of the rear end and save money over the more expensive air shocks. I was hoping to stop the rubbing of the sidewalls of my 305/60r15's on the fenders and was dissapointed to find out that the helper-bags did not actually LIFT the car up. They did, however, expand within the springs and tighten the rear suspension considerably, and my rubbing was mitigated. After running them for about a year, I sprung for Gabriel Hijackers that actually gave me the vertical adjustment I wanted. I also dropped to 275's for more clearance and welded in bump stop extensions to eliminate the chance of scraping. I left the airlift bags in as well, though I only inflate them if I'm loaded down or towing.

    I would recommend that you pressurize your bags BEFORE you load up your car or attach the tow rig. That way they will help prevent the springs from sagging as weight is added. Also, if you haven't towed with your Mag before, I would recommend that you get a riser hitch (or flip a drop hitch). I have never put anything more than 500lbs tongue weight and 1700lbs gross behind mine but the hitch is so low it almost always scrapes, and my ride height is stock!
    Last edited by Cerebral 404; 09-03-2014 at 01:22 PM.
     
  8. #6
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Cerebral 404 View Post
    I have what I believe to be the same things in my '87 Chevy Caprice. I originally installed them to get a little more height out of the rear end and save money over the more expensive air shocks. I was hoping to stop the rubbing of the sidewalls of my 305/60r15's on the fenders and was dissapointed to find out that the helper-bags did not actually LIFT the car up. They did, however, expand within the springs and tighten the rear suspension considerably, and my rubbing was mitigated. After running them for about a year, I sprung for Gabriel Hijackers that actually gave me the vertical adjustment I wanted. I also dropped to 275's for more clearance and welded in bump stop extensions to eliminate the chance of scraping. I left the airlift bags in as well, though I only inflate them if I'm loaded down or towing.

    I would recommend that you pressurize your bags BEFORE you load up your car or attach the tow rig. That way they will help prevent the springs from sagging as weight is added. Also, if you haven't towed with your Mag before, I would recommend that you get a riser hitch (or flip a drop hitch). I have never put anything more than 500lbs tongue weight and 1700lbs gross behind mine but the hitch is so low it almost always scrapes, and my ride height is stock!
    This is precisely the information I was looking to get. Extremely helpful, and thank you very much for your feedback!

    I had to order some replacement spanner wrenches for the rear adjusters, so I'll add about an inch of rear height (was planning to do this for a little rake anyway) before I install the bags. I'm towing a car dolly, and if I remember right, those are only around 100# of tongue weight. Shouldn't be too bad. It's the load inside the car I've been worried about.
     
  9. #7
    Member Mikey97d's Avatar Array
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    I'm a little late with this link, but here is what PaleRider added to his Magnum with the coilovers:
    Towing with coilovers or without Nivomats
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  10. #8
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Mikey97d View Post
    I'm a little late with this link, but here is what PaleRider added to his Magnum with the coilovers:
    Towing with coilovers or without Nivomats
    Better late than never! After reading this article, it looks like I might need to order a pair of the shorter 3x5.5" air bags just to be on the safe side. The 7" ones I ordered sound like they might be a hair too long and having them on hand will save a ton of time if I need them. The photos really help with this one. Haven't seen photos of these on a Mag anywhere else.

    Thank you Mikey! I have to admit, I miss my. Nivomats. After reading the Sachs documentation on how they work, I knew going to coilovers was going to shoot towing in the foot. Didn't realize just how bad until I put my in-laws, my kid, and 200# of luggage in the back for a road trip to LA. My trailer hitch hit the ground a few times on some of the bigger bumps....and that's without a trailer.
     
  11. #9
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    I plan to do the option 1 too when I install my BC coilovers. I was going to get the smaller 5.5 air bags. Hopefully in a couple of months. I will be following your progress. Good luck.
    08 SXT 3.5L RWD
    Mods: Pin striping, Air silencer removal, XE Ryder's Chilly air intake mod, DiabloSport InTune, Mopar hidden hitch, BC Racing coilovers with rear Air Lift Air Spring kit, SPC upper front A-arms, winter grill block, Big Bully intake & catch can
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  12. #10
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. Magnum View Post
    This is precisely the information I was looking to get. Extremely helpful, and thank you very much for your feedback!

    I had to order some replacement spanner wrenches for the rear adjusters, so I'll add about an inch of rear height (was planning to do this for a little rake anyway) before I install the bags. I'm towing a car dolly, and if I remember right, those are only around 100# of tongue weight. Shouldn't be too bad. It's the load inside the car I've been worried about.
    Glad it helps! And I'm with Mikey, let us know how you fare because after my experience with the helper bags in the past, I would be more inclined to go with your stated Option 2.
     
  13. #11
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    How did the install go? My time is coming soon. Love to hear your thoughts Mr. Magnum. Thanks!
    08 SXT 3.5L RWD
    Mods: Pin striping, Air silencer removal, XE Ryder's Chilly air intake mod, DiabloSport InTune, Mopar hidden hitch, BC Racing coilovers with rear Air Lift Air Spring kit, SPC upper front A-arms, winter grill block, Big Bully intake & catch can
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  14. #12
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    I have ordered my BC Racing coilovers, Air Lift bags (60723 5.5 inch), and other front suspension parts. Oh and a DiabloSport InTune . Hopefully I can get it all delivered and installed by the end of the month. Will update after install.
    Last edited by 2wheel; 10-08-2014 at 07:42 PM.
    08 SXT 3.5L RWD
    Mods: Pin striping, Air silencer removal, XE Ryder's Chilly air intake mod, DiabloSport InTune, Mopar hidden hitch, BC Racing coilovers with rear Air Lift Air Spring kit, SPC upper front A-arms, winter grill block, Big Bully intake & catch can
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    Future plans: R/T front brakes
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  15. #13
    Member Mikey97d's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by 2wheel View Post
    I have ordered my BC Racing coilovers, Air Lift bags (60723 5.5 inch), and other front suspension parts. Oh and a DiabloSport InTune . Hopefully I can get it all delivered and installed by the end of the month. Will update after install.
    Looking forward to your update!
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    Legmaker "Frankentake" IV Design
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    Mr. Magnum,
    Is the concern about towing because your Magnum is lowered?
    Or do you also believe the stock Magnum needs assistance with springs if towing.
    I ask because I'm putting a Class 3 tow hitch on my Magnum and hope to tow a 3400 lb car on trailer across the country.

    Should I look at some spring assistance back there?

    James
     
  17. #15
    Member Mikey97d's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Fredsgarage View Post
    Mr. Magnum,
    Is the concern about towing because your Magnum is lowered?
    Or do you also believe the stock Magnum needs assistance with springs if towing.
    I ask because I'm putting a Class 3 tow hitch on my Magnum and hope to tow a 3400 lb car on trailer across the country.

    Should I look at some spring assistance back there?

    James
    James, Here's my car without the tow-package at standard height towing 3 light bikes. With all the riding gear in the back plus 3 of traveling the rear of the car dropped about 2 inches. I would guess the trailer & bikes weighed about 1200 lbs.
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    '06 R/T AWD
    Legmaker "Frankentake" IV Design
    255/55R18 Tires on '10 Charger AWD Wheels
    Pappa John Shifter
    Parrot Blue Tooth
    Mopar Hidden Hitch & 7 Way Connector
     
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