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Air Lift just cosmetic surgery?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Darstedly, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Darstedly

    Darstedly Rockstar 100 Posts

    I'd like your thoughts. My 1998 K1500 Suburban sags to the left at the rear. I'm going to get the shocks and suspension looked at and see what they say. The ride is great when loaded but cornering right at anything you could call speed gets uncomfortable body roll when running light. Now, I plan to haul fairly heavy trailers and to fit a removable frame to support front and/or rear platforms for film cameras and their operators. Levelling kit will be a must to keep everything in the horizontal. So, I'm wondering if I can use the four Air Lift bags to deal with the sag as well or should I go after the root cause? Do you think it would it be penny wise pound foolish to simply give the old dear a nip and a tuck?
  2. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Air bags have come along way and Im sure they can fix up something you could adjust the load and height BUT since you are looking into shocks anyways why not try some of these from Monroe.

    I put these on my truck cause I carry extra weight and occasionally haul a trailer and they have done real good by me. Used to the truck would squat down some in the rear when you gave it power and there was a load now it goes down some but you feel the springs load up and keep that from happening.

    The price was not bad it was $110 US for a pair.

    http://www.monroe.com/products/sensatrac_loadadjustshocks.asp

    [​IMG]

    These units also include a heavy gauge calibrated spring for extra control and comfort. A new pair of Monroe Sensa-Trac load adjusting shock absorbers can assist in maintaining ride height when up to 1,200 lbs*. of additional weight is loaded. These units are ideal for light trucks that carry varying loads or tow trailers.
    * Capacity is limited by vehicle suspension, tires and transmission. See vehicle owner's manual for details.
  3. Darstedly

    Darstedly Rockstar 100 Posts

    Thanks, I'll look into the sensa-tracs shocks.
  4. Z71_guy

    Z71_guy Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    our lead tech at work has put those in all his trucks and swears by them, he would have put them in his 02' but he went the air bag route for pulling the car trailers.
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I'm a fan of airlifts.
    The advantages are being able to adjust the ride height and firmness with a twist of the regulator.
    For trailering I've yet to find a swaybar set-up that helps as much as an airlift.

    I'm sure the price of an airlift on that side of the pond will put a big dent in the bank acct.
    So I'm gonna let you in on a little secret I found out while living on that side of the Atlantic, most newer large delivery trucks in Europe have air suspension. And much like your cousins in America you guys wreck them often. Start looking at the wrecking yards for newer trucks with air suspensions. You should be able to get most of the parts from wrecks then modiy them to fit your truck.
    You can either do a linked suspention or a supplemental suspention to the existing springs.
    I used a 1998 Mercedes Delivery truck for all the parts to lift my 1982 Bronco when I was stationed in Sicilly. A lot of it was custom fab because I was lifting the Bronco 8", but if your staying close to stock height you should be able to keep the fabrication to a minimum.
  6. Darstedly

    Darstedly Rockstar 100 Posts

    Looks like I'm off to the crap yard (oops, make that scrap yard). My needs are more akin to to towing because of the way the platforms will jut out from the truck.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  7. bonanza_john

    bonanza_john New Member

    slt load levelling failure

    It looks like my load levelling on my 2001 slt has simply given up the ghost. Any way to diagnose this? i.e. is it the compressor, or a leak in the system, or what? ?????
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    First make sure the compressor is working,
    The easiest way is to hot wire the compressor and you should hear it run, a low humming, then disconnect the air supply line and make sure it has pressure.
    If it has pressure reconnect then trace your lines and spray the lines and fittings with a soapy water mix and look for bubbles.
    If you find no leaks spray down the load leveling bags with the soapy water mix.
  9. daddytech

    daddytech Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts


    I have those same shocks on the rear of my tahoe because I also haul things with my truck. those shocks did help stiffen up the ride and give it a little more stability but I had the sag issue with the left rear of my truck and I still do kind of. on long runs down the highway I can still feel the rear end sagged more than the rest of the truck and it kind of leans to the left in the rear, there is no roll at all when i turn sharp or fast but the sag is still there. none of my springs is broken or weak because both sides are equal but there is something else that is causing the problem and like the original poster here I need to get it figured out because it's driving me nuts. What i am thinking is that the rear end may have slid back a little on the springs and just needs to be re-aligned but until i take it to get it checked out for sure i honestly don't know one way or another. I'll be inquiring about it this week and let you know what I find out on here maybe it can solve both of our problems but honestly i don't thing the airbag deal is the way to go, that's not correcting the problem, it's merely masking one problem with another problems resolution. give it a bit and i'll post on here what i find out .

    BTW not sure if it makes any difference at all but with my stereo system and the police package options on this truck of mine it weighs 5,800 lbs now. I am getting ready to do some changing around and lighten up the load a bit (probably about 400 pounds or better) and see if that changes anything in the event that no one knows anything that might be causing this issue.
  10. Darstedly

    Darstedly Rockstar 100 Posts

    I've now had my suspension looked at. The verdict seems to be that the springs are sound, the shocks are good and there is nothing to waste money on. So no explanation for the left hand dip. Look forward to hearing what you learn.

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