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Old 08-26-2017, 03:24 PM   #1
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rear air shocks

Am getting rear air shocks on my 2012 4runner. I hope that it will provide for a less porpoising ride as well as level out the tow & trailer. Only traveled in the dark once but had oncoming traffic blinking lights to switch off the brights as front of tow was raised. Anyway, wondered if you kind folks could summarize knowledge about these shocks. I did use search function but most threads digressed into something else (surprise!) Trailer is 2017 17B. TIA (no I don't use WDH).
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:08 PM   #2
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I installed Air Lift 1000 air bags in a Honda Pilot and in a 4Runner (2008). The Honda really needed them and the results were great. The 4Runner was stiffer but the results still worthwhile. No problems with performance of the airbags after many miles. I would recommend them as a way to stiffen the suspension and level the trailer.

Installation took about 1.5 hours in the driveway.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thanks viajante for the info. When u say 4Runner was "stiffer" but still improved ride, can u provide more detail? Appreciate the education. Julie
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:52 PM   #4
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Like Viajante, I use air bags in my van. The ride is stiffer with the bags inflated, meaning that the suspension moves less for a given amount of force (or size of bump) than without the bags. This can be more comfortable, because the movement of the vehicle is more controlled, and it doesn't "bottom out", harshly hitting the end of available suspension movement on more severe bumps.

Better control also means more immediate response to steering inputs, and less unwanted movement of the tug in response to the trailer.

These air bags are not air shocks, but have the same effect. Air bags and air shocks are two forms of air springs - devices which act as additional springs in the suspension, using air rather than steel or rubber. Air shocks are shock absorbers which have air springs mounted on them. The other way to add air springs is by adding air springs which are completely separate from vehicle's existing springs and shocks. Which one is used depends on the design of the suspension, and so what fits.

Within the Firestone range of products, the Ride-Ride website says that air bags which fit into the coil springs are available. Firestone calls these their Coil-Rite product. This is what I use, and is just like Viajante's Airlift 1000 bags. For the 4Runner, it does require cutting the bump stops shorter; it didn't require any modification in my van.

Julie, what brand of air shocks are you getting?
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
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Brian
Thanks for your reply. Am getting air bags (should rename post) but don't know maker. My mechanic Tom @ boise foreign car ordered & will put them in. Hope it helps w leveling & wiggly ride. Ps just received digital 2 wire heat only thermostat. Will be replacing soon!
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:35 PM   #6
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Thanks viajante for the info. When u say 4Runner was "stiffer" but still improved ride, can u provide more detail? Appreciate the education. Julie
The trailer tongue weight pushed the rear of the Honda down about 3 inches. This was within the vehicle specs, but gave it a headlights up attitude. The air bags corrected that.

The same weight pushed the rear of the 4Runner down about 1 1/2 inches because the suspension is stiffer. That isn't really enough to affect the attitude of the vehicle, but the airbags correct it and make for a nice level tow.

I think the ride is improved because the air bags cancel the some of the effect of the tongue weight. On the other hand, when not towing it is good to let some air out of the suspension or the ride is too stiff, you feel every little bump. If you really want to spend some money you can buy a built in compressor that will adjust the pressure automatically or with the push of a button.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:45 PM   #7
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Brian
Thanks for your reply. Am getting air bags (should rename post) but don't know maker. My mechanic Tom @ boise foreign car ordered & will put them in. Hope it helps w leveling & wiggly ride. Ps just received digital 2 wire heat only thermostat. Will be replacing soon!
An alternative to consider are Sumo Springs. While I have them on a leaf spring suspension, they make them for coil springs as well. No experience with the coil versions, but the leaf version replaces the spring bumper, does not come into play until the truck is heavily loaded.

I much prefer them to the air bags I had on my RAV4, which leaked down over a week or two.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:53 PM   #8
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I agree with Jon. I put them on my '06 Tacoma and am very happy with the result. Also, they're plug-n-play -- install them and you're done.
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:05 PM   #9
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Rather than use an air lift system, I personally like (and use on my Tacoma) a system like timbren or sumo springs that replace the bump stops. I also use a weight distribution hitch. The reason I prefer this method is that there is no chance of a loss of air pressure while towing. Weight distribution hitchs are great. My Tacoma rear dropped 1 inch and the front raised 5/8 inch without my WDH, but with it my truck was exactly the same ride height. Just my two cents worth.
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:09 PM   #10
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I think the sumo springs for the forerunner are not the bump stop type, but the timbre s are.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:35 PM   #11
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The SuperSprings application guide (covering both SumoSprings and SuperSprings) suggests that the company has no products - of any type - for a 2012 4Runner. Timbren does have their extended bump stops for the 4Runner - they use the same model (TORSEQ) as for other related Toyota models; it is functionally a bump stop and nearly indistinguishable from the stock bump stop, but mounted beside the coil spring, not inside the coil where the stock bump stop is located.

The SuperSpring product is specifically for leaf springs. The last 4Runner with leaf springs was the 1994 model.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:10 PM   #12
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The SuperSprings application guide (covering both SumoSprings and SuperSprings) suggests that the company has no products - of any type - for a 2012 4Runner. Timbren does have their extended bump stops for the 4Runner - they use the same model (TORSEQ) as for other related Toyota models; it is functionally a bump stop and nearly indistinguishable from the stock bump stop, but mounted beside the coil spring, not inside the coil where the stock bump stop is located.

The SuperSpring product is specifically for leaf springs. The last 4Runner with leaf springs was the 1994 model.
Bump...
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:32 AM   #13
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The SuperSprings application guide (covering both SumoSprings and SuperSprings) suggests that the company has no products - of any type - for a 2012 4Runner. Timbren does have their extended bump stops for the 4Runner - they use the same model (TORSEQ) as for other related Toyota models; it is functionally a bump stop and nearly indistinguishable from the stock bump stop, but mounted beside the coil spring, not inside the coil where the stock bump stop is located.

The SuperSpring product is specifically for leaf springs. The last 4Runner with leaf springs was the 1994 model.
I think that is what I said in not so many words. I would rather have a bump (combined with a weight distribution hitch) than a POP then possible loss of control. I have had air shocks and air bags when I was younger and sooner or later they both had air loss issues. You will NEVER have that problem with Sumo springs (where application applies) or timbrens. BUT, each to their own. That is why they make both air bags and bump stops as you call them. Nobody is an expert, but everyone has an opinion, good or bad. Everyone can buy what they think is best.
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:36 PM   #14
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I also installed Sumo springs on my 2002 Toyota tundra for towing my 21' . I couldn't be happier with the performance. They install with a 1/2 " gap under the frame, so I did not notice any change to unloaded driving. Yes, they are essentially a larger bump stop, but not exactly. When a loaded truck hits the bump stops, the suspension is somewhat eliminated. With the sumo spring they are progressive so some suspension travel is still present.
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:12 PM   #15
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I'm another vote for Sumo Springs. I had firestone airbags on my 2014 Tacoma. They worked well but as others noticed, the driver's side had a slow leak that I could never track down. When I bought my 2016 Tacoma, I installed the Sumo Springs. They have worked great and been trouble free. I also use a WDH.

Since you already have Airbags on order, be sure to have the installer put the fill up valves in an easily accessible location since they will need to be adjusted before each hook up. Airbags usually have a 5lb PSI minimum requirement even when unloaded. Before you take your 4Runner in for the install, measure the distance from the top edge of your receiver hitch while the rig unloaded. Write it down. Then once the bags are installed and you have the trailer hooked up, you will know how much air to add to the bags to return the 4Runner to level.

Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:02 PM   #16
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Thanks Arnie. Helpful advice. Tom said inflator thingy would be installed by hitch for easy accessibility. Said I need a low pressure gauge to test. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:57 PM   #17
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Thanks Arnie. Helpful advice. Tom said inflator thingy would be installed by hitch for easy accessibility. Said I need a low pressure gauge to test. Any thoughts on that?
I run Firestone ride rite bags like you asked about on a 2011 Tacoma , if you go for the built in compressor ask for a gauge run to the front of the vehicle so you know what the pressure in the bags are. Some things to note if you are not going the compressor route , I did not as the expense was not worth it for me . I already have an 110v compressor on board in my tool box. I do not use it though I use a bicycle foot pump. The bags when I am not towing as per model / manufacturers instructions are set at 5 PSI. When towing camper or dump trailer I set them to 20 to 30 PSI with an Anderson WD/Anti Sway hitch system.

They work very well and are far less expensive then replacing springs with Sumo, OME, Deavers etc . If you do the springs then you get a very stiff ride all the time the air bags only stiffen the ride when towing. Stewart or ARB air down gauge is worth the money the bike pump gauge is not very accurate. I go to 40 psi disconnect the pump and use the air down gauge to get them exactly where I want.

A WORD OF CAUTION read the manual for your air bags in mine it states if you are lifting the vehicle on a frame lift you must empty all the air out of the bags or you risk damage to them. Most shops do not listen to this when I tell them. If I have to take it into a shop some where I zero the bags when I pull in . Your bags may differ. Just ensure you check.

The other options suggested IE the put springs in do not account for the ride when not towing , the ride height change of the rear usually 1inch to 2.5 " depends on what you pick. You can induce drive line vibrations by changing the angles. It is a common thing on Tacoma's and I believe the 4 runner is built on a Tacoma frame and drive line so find out from those that KNOW or OWN a 4Runner and tow with it to find out.

There are way to many google experts around , so do you own homework or you may find out the experts around aren't :{

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Old 08-27-2017, 11:00 PM   #18
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Thanks Arnie. Helpful advice. Tom said inflator thingy would be installed by hitch for easy accessibility. Said I need a low pressure gauge to test. Any thoughts on that?
I installed my fill valves on either side of my 7 pin connector bracket if you wish I will take a picture of where they are. And yes there are 2 do not let them join the lines in a T and use only 1 valve if you blow a line or pop a bag they both go down , along with the air moving back and forth in the lines as the weight shifts side to side.

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Old 08-28-2017, 03:07 AM   #19
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I think that is what I said in not so many words.
Yes, I was just pointing the original poster (or anyone interested) to the specific products for the 2012 4Runner.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:11 AM   #20
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Tom said inflator thingy would be installed by hitch for easy accessibility.
I mounted mine (two separate valves, like Cypher) on a bracket right on the hitch receiver frame, which is readily accessible with my van.

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Said I need a low pressure gauge to test. Any thoughts on that?
The bags usually have a minimum pressure of 5 PSI and a maximum of 30 PSI. The inflation device is normally just an ordinary tire valve. That means any tire pressure gauge works fine.
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