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Air Lift airbags installation


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1 reply to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   epbog

epbog

    New Flex Member

  • Ford Flex Members
  • 7 posts
  • Region:U.S. Pacific Coast
  • Location:CDA, ID
  • Current Vehicle:2010 Ford Flex AWD Limited EB

Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:00 AM

Got the suspension leveling airbags installed on my Flex last night. No matter what the instructions say, this is NOT a one man job! The install is relatively straight forward, but getting the airbags into the coils took two of us. 

First, start by lifting the rear of the Flex and removing the rear tires/wheels.
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The higher you can get the rear off the ground, the easier it is. Next, we used a bottle jack to support the suspension to a 'neutral' sprung position and remove the lower shock mounting bolt and drop link to the sway bar on both sides. Then let the jack down to allow the coil to extend as far as possible.
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This is the hardest part. Next, follow the instructions to empty the air and flatten the airbags as much as possible. Starting with the bottom of the airbag (filling stud on top side), start stuffing the airbag into the middle of the coil spring. I started one turn down from the top of the coil. This is where it took two people, a little silicone spray, and a lot of elbow grease! Each one took about 5 minutes to get in. only used a little bit of silicone spray about in the middle of putting the bags through the coils, was a balance of making it easier for the bag to slide and still being able to grip it for pulling and pushing. Once the bag was fully inside the coil spring, I worked it down to the bottom of the spring, then pulled the cap off to let the bag inflate to its natural shape. this takes a little pushing on it, but happens fairly quick. And pushing the bag to the bottom allows room to get the air filler tube to the fitting on top.
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Now to run the air tubing. I found it easiest to start from inside the spring and work the air tube up through the existing hole in the top coil support and out the back of the support by the bushing on both sides. Then I slipped the clamp on the tube, pushed the tube onto the barbed fitting of the air bag, and moved the clamp into place. I then routed the air hose from the drivers side to the passenger side running it along the rear suspension crossmember and securing it using zip ties (always have extra, the kit has a few but I used more), keeping it as far away from the exhaust as possible. Zip tie it off securely, but leave enough slack in the air tube to allow for suspension movement. I used a tee fitting to connect the two airbags as I can't see why I would ever have different pressures on either side of my Flex. I connected all of the tubing at the tee fitting just behind the upper suspension bushing on the passenger side. NOTE: the kit does come with two air filler fittings if you choose to install it that way.
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Then I measured (by feel/sight, not tape measure) how much air tubing I needed to get to my airing up point. I chose to install that in the fuel filler trim behind the fuel door. I drilled the hole (plenty of room) and ran the tube up behind the inner fender on the rear passenger side. I connected the tube to the air filler fitting before mounting it as I think that attaching it after the fitting was installed would be rather difficult.
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Now that all of the air lines were on and secure, I reattched the shock bolts and drop links for the sway bar, and reinstalled the wheels/tires. Before lowering, I put about 10lbs. of pressure in the airbags to help them seat in place. Then I lowered the Flex off the jacks and torqued the lug nuts. I drove around for a few minutes in an empty parking lot turning the Flex hard right and left to make sure the bags were seated in place well. Then I checked pressure (holding) and pumped them up the to max recommended of 35psi. Done! I check them this morning and they were holding at full pressure. 

The complete install took about an hour and a half, cost of the airbags was about $100, and use of a friends shop, tools, and time cost a 12-pack of Fat Tire (much less than a shop would charge to install them, plus I got some of the beer too)!! I'm sure the install could have gone a little quicker, but had to take appropriate breaks to consume some of the Fat Tire and do quality spot checks of the work!!  :) 

 



#2 OFFLINE   Floridianman

Floridianman

    New Flex Member

  • Ford Flex Members
  • 19 posts
  • Region:U.S. Great Lakes
  • Location:Glendale heights, il
  • Current Vehicle:2013 limited

Posted 13 July 2013 - 04:20 AM

safety safety safety should have a block of wood under the car near the jack.  The jack could fail at any given time.  Does the air bags slowly leak over time?  How much expansion differance between summer and winter months?  How often do you check the pressure or not needed?  What was the main reason you added in thes air bags?  Towing, carrying heavy loads or both.  I have a 2013 and plan to load it with 6 adults for a trip.  I dont like having the butt of a car sagging going down the highway looks tacky.

 

I used to have a 1994 Grand Marquis with towing package and automatic air suspension.  I loved it for towing a 2150 cuddy cabin bayliner and three large guys in the back as the car would level. 

 

I am looking to have ford install some air suspension so i dont have any other items related to rear suspension void of premium care warranty.  Unless I can do it myself.   Where did you order your kit?








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