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JWalker
12-14-2011, 06:22 PM
This might be a crazy question, but could you use air bags to lower the rear of a truck. I understand most use bags to raise the rear, to level the stance. My problem is, even with the pin weight of the 5er, the rear of the Dodge still sits high (about 2" high). I cannot adjust the Reese hitch lower because the spacing between the cap and the bed rails is about right. The North Trail still sits nose high. I'm thinking about taking out spacers in the springs but the air bags would allow me to adjust for towing and back to regular ride height.

Thanks for the help
Jamie

jnbhobe
12-14-2011, 06:45 PM
Jamie; pulling out the spring blocks is an easy way to lower the back of your truck. I am thinking of taking out the 4in blocks and useing a set of 2in blocks. The only thing I can think of may be the alignment of the wheels by changing the angle. Maybe the shocks may be too long then ???? Other than clearance of the tires I can't think of a reason not to do it. Ya may need different air bags, but you don't have any yet. Let us know what you do !!! maybe you'll be the ginny pig. lol

GOTTOYS
12-14-2011, 10:48 PM
Jamie; pulling out the spring blocks is an easy way to lower the back of your truck. I am thinking of taking out the 4in blocks and useing a set of 2in blocks. The only thing I can think of may be the alignment of the wheels by changing the angle. Maybe the shocks may be too long then ???? Other than clearance of the tires I can't think of a reason not to do it. Ya may need different air bags, but you don't have any yet. Let us know what you do !!! maybe you'll be the ginny pig. lol
Will not affect the wheel alignment. There are no wheel alignment adjustments for the rear wheels. It will affect the pinion angle on the gears in the differential. If you replace the 4" 4WD block with the 2" 2WD block you should be fine. You will notice a slight wedge shape to them. The shocks should be fine as is. You can check the part numbers on the 4WD vs 2WD shocks just to compare them. They will probably be the same. Most 4 WD trucks sit a little high in the back when empty anyway. May not need air bags...Don

porthole
12-15-2011, 02:15 AM
Jon, the DRW uses the 2" blocks. All the ancillary parts are the same. That is a common swap on the Truck forums for those that level the truck without lifting the front end.
It is also the reason when your truck is next to mine mine is so much lower.
BTW, you need new shackles if you do this. The Ford's are one use only.


Jamie, to use air to lower the truck you would have to go to an air rear suspension. $2000 to $3500

Sandpirate69
12-15-2011, 01:50 PM
Air ride suspension is pretty expensive and delicate to maintain. Yes, it will help you lower & raise the bed hight, but unless you really load the bed, you will have a bouncy ride. Like a few posts below, your best option is to use the 2" blocks.

Ivan

JWalker
12-15-2011, 02:20 PM
Here's a few pics showing the ride height of the truck and also the "nose high" of the fifth wheel. Do you think this stance will cause issues on the suspension, axles or tires. I have to say, this combo pulls great.

http://i43.tinypic.com/2e2pm49.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/bdjt02.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/2m43qk3.jpg

Thanks For the Help

boatto5er
12-15-2011, 02:25 PM
Doesn't look bad at all to me. Add 500 lbs to the front closet and it'll be perfect!

jnbhobe
12-15-2011, 05:23 PM
You probably have 500 to 600lbs more on the rear axel than the front, more wear on the rear tires that way.I try to keep mine as close to level as I can.

JWalker
12-15-2011, 06:49 PM
Doesn't look bad at all to me. Add 500 lbs to the front closet and it'll be perfect!

I guess I can start packing my lead underwear and my steel socks.

2psnapod2
12-15-2011, 09:54 PM
Just replace your bed with a water bed!

lwmcguir
12-16-2011, 08:23 AM
Looks much better than than many of the rigs on the road. Leave it alone.

porthole
12-17-2011, 10:58 AM
Just my 2 cents, if it was fairly simple, like changing out blocks, I would level the truck.
One disadvantage to the trailer not being level, and especially nose high, is the braking.
Trailers with the brake application biased towards the front axle need to have the axle to trailer attitude level. IEven if there is no brake bias, you are introducing it by not having a level rig.

Easy way for you to level out - blocks between the axles and springs.

Difficult way, trade that trailer in for a Cyclone :cool:

porthole
12-17-2011, 10:59 AM
Air ride suspension is pretty expensive and delicate to maintain................... you will have a bouncy ride. Like a few posts below...............

Can you explain that?

JWalker
12-17-2011, 06:42 PM
Difficult way, trade that trailer in for a Cyclone :cool:

Now that is one way to fix a problem!!

westxsrt10
12-17-2011, 08:02 PM
Here's a few pics showing the ride height of the truck and also the "nose high" of the fifth wheel. Do you think this stance will cause issues on the suspension, axles or tires. I have to say, this combo pulls great.

http://i43.tinypic.com/2e2pm49.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/bdjt02.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/2m43qk3.jpg

Thanks For the Help

Your truck stance sets great so don't mess with it! You have the same problem I had, I raised the RV 2" and all is level now.

beardedone
12-17-2011, 08:20 PM
On my 04.5 2500 and on my current 3500 DRW I had the blocks removed and placed on the under side of the springs. That way the same shackles work. I have never had any issues with over 200,000 km on both trucks. You can go to the Dodge Cummins Forum and do a search on lowering your rear end and find a very good write up.

JWalker
12-17-2011, 08:52 PM
Your truck stance sets great so don't mess with it! You have the same problem I had, I raised the RV 2" and all is level now.

Question. How did you raise your Sundance? Since it sits 2" higher and that raises the center of gravity, did you notice any towing changes?

I looked at the suspension on our 5er and there does not seem to be any adjustments on the shackles.

porthole
12-17-2011, 09:08 PM
"Flipping the axles" is one method.

Are your axles currently sitting on top of the springs?
Moving them to the bottom will raise the trailer by that difference, probably 3-4".

But doing so you open your self up to other problems, mainly the additional stress on all the suspension components, especially the shackles and where they mount to the frame.

2psnapod2
12-18-2011, 11:59 AM
This thread brings up a interesting question, one that I have been thinking about. What is the best way to determine if your rig is setting level on the TV? I keep thinking that a level area would be good, but they are really hard to find and how do you know it is really level. And once you find that level area, how do you determine it is level?

cookie
12-18-2011, 12:55 PM
This thread brings up a interesting question, one that I have been thinking about. What is the best way to determine if your rig is setting level on the TV? I keep thinking that a level area would be good, but they are really hard to find and how do you know it is really level. And once you find that level area, how do you determine it is level?
I just put my TV and trailer on a flat surface. I then measured from the I-beam frame to the pavement front and rear. Take into account the drop frame in the front.
The weight on my axles differ by 100 lbs. front axle to rear axle. Each axle was weighed.
I know of one person that was nose high and his weight was around 1,000 more on the rear axle than the front axle. Don't quote me on that number, it's been a few years. But I do remember it was a lot. Maybe he will read this post and have the exact number. That was two or three coaches ago.
Oh, and how do you determine level? I don't think it needs to be real level, just make sure it is flat. All you need to do is take the measurement.
Peace
Dave

2psnapod2
12-18-2011, 12:59 PM
Thanks Dave, I never thought about measuring the frame height.

westxsrt10
12-18-2011, 01:02 PM
Question. How did you raise your Sundance? Since it sits 2" higher and that raises the center of gravity, did you notice any towing changes?

I looked at the suspension on our 5er and there does not seem to be any adjustments on the shackles.

I placed a 2" square tubing block 1/4" thick wall between the axle and leaf spring. (DYI) The blocks are pinned in the center, bought longer u-bolts @ Summit. I also bought taller wheels and tires to raise it another inch. My overall height is still only 12', it pulls no differiant than stock ( maybe better because the RV's axle weight is more balanced and level with the road.

JWalker
12-18-2011, 02:58 PM
"Flipping the axles" is one method.

Are your axles currently sitting on top of the springs?
Moving them to the bottom will raise the trailer by that difference, probably 3-4".

But doing so you open your self up to other problems, mainly the additional stress on all the suspension components, especially the shackles and where they mount to the frame.

I took a look under the trailer today. The leaf springs are already on top of the axles, so "flipping the axles" is not an option.



On my 04.5 2500 and on my current 3500 DRW I had the blocks removed and placed on the under side of the springs. That way the same shackles work. I have never had any issues with over 200,000 km on both trucks. You can go to the Dodge Cummins Forum and do a search on lowering your rear end and find a very good write up.

My concern about removing the blocks is that the truck will now sit low in the rear, once the pin weight is applied. I guess I need to put a tape measure to the the truck, when the trailer is hooked up. By removing the blocks, did this level your Dodge?

JWalker
12-18-2011, 03:08 PM
I placed a 2" square tubing block between the axle and leaf spring. The blocks are pinned in the center, bought longer u-bolts @ Summit. I also bought taller wheels and tires to raise it another inch. My overall height is still only 12', it pulls no differiant than stock ( maybe better because the RV's axle weight is more balanced and level with the road.

This looks like a simple and cost effective way to gain 2" What is the thickness of the square tubing? Did you do this yourself?

Thanks

Sandpirate69
12-18-2011, 04:58 PM
Can you explain that?
Absolutely, An air-ride suspension without heavy duty shocks will bounce. When I say air-suspension, I mean taking off your complete leaf packs. I have a couple of friends who have full air-ride suspensions (front & rear) on Dodge & Fords and their trucks bounce going down the road. I don't mean bounce to where you're jumping in the seat but you will feel a spring like effect inside the cab. They have now installed expensive double & triple inverted shocks to remove 90% of the bounce. If I get a chance I will post the pics. These trucks are lifted and by no means would they be able to tow comfortable. Nothing against air-bags, I have a set.

porthole
12-19-2011, 12:10 PM
Absolutely, An air-ride suspension without heavy duty shocks will bounce. When I say air-suspension, I mean taking off your complete leaf packs. I have a couple of friends who have full air-ride suspensions (front & rear) on Dodge & Fords and their trucks bounce going down the road. I don't mean bounce to where you're jumping in the seat but you will feel a spring like effect inside the cab. They have now installed expensive double & triple inverted shocks to remove 90% of the bounce. If I get a chance I will post the pics. These trucks are lifted and by no means would they be able to tow comfortable. Nothing against air-bags, I have a set.

Your talking about a different animal here. Just using SD's for example, I am still amazed at the number of people that spend 45-65K on a "diesel" truck and then lift it anywhere from 6-12 inches over stock, add tires that are grossly over sized and then expect anything but less then perfect ride.
You cannot add over-sized tires and lift without "shocking" correctly. The un-sprung weight difference alone will cause the issues you are referring too. Besides, after doing all that work the diesel just becomes "bling"

Two of the air ride kits I have looked at include shocks that match application. One kit has shocks that adjust the damping in relation to the air in the system.
Air ride gives you the advantage of adjusting the ride height to the load. Something normal springs cannot do.

There is a reason many OTR trucks and trailers have air ride.

PUG
12-19-2011, 01:17 PM
Looking at your photos, I can't see why you can't adjust the hitch a down say an inch. Seldom do you get in a twist that would neeed more clearance. My Cyclone had less clearance from trl to bed rails than yours does. Another idea is to raise trl axles where the trl sits up higher.

JWalker
12-22-2011, 07:52 PM
Looking at your photos, I can't see why you can't adjust the hitch a down say an inch. Seldom do you get in a twist that would neeed more clearance. My Cyclone had less clearance from trl to bed rails than yours does. Another idea is to raise trl axles where the trl sits up higher.

I might try adjusting the Reese hitch down an inch, or what ever the next adjustment on the hitch gives me. I do have some twisting when I back into our home campground. Most of the sites are on a slope and when backing in, I do have clearance issues.

I'm getting the truck inspected here soon and I'm going to see if they can pull the blocks in the rear. Hopefully that will get things level.

RollingHome
12-22-2011, 09:33 PM
Jamie, Are you able to raise the king pin box on your 5vr ? If you can that will lower the nose of the 5vr. Most king pin boxes have multiple bolt holes that allow adjustment as stated. Just be sure you still have side clearance when you make tight turns so the king pin box does not contact the TV bed rails. If you are not sure, take it to a competant shop that you are positive can answer or do the job. I would not change truck geometry to level your rig, in MO.