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Old 08-26-2017, 02:24 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, 03:08 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, 06:24 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, 06:52 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, 07:17 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, 07:35 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, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mucram View Post
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, 07:53 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, 08:05 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, 08:09 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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