Adding Rear Air Bags to a Motor Home
Ford F-53 Chassis
I have been wanting to add Firestone Ride Right Air Bags to the rear of my motor Home, which is a 2006 Thor Four Winds Hurricane 31D with the Ford F-53 Chassis. I purchased a set on a open package deal for a little over $200. Last October. I’ve been waiting for good weather and the ambition to do the Job. Yesterday started and finished one side today.
Although the Kit is for the F-53 Chassis, Firestone and others warn that the jit is not for Thor Motor home because of the location of the House brackets holding the house to the Chassis frame> I know of a few others who have done it so I decided to try. Here is my story.
First off I had to modify the House Brackets so I could install the upper air bag bracket to the frame. I bought a 12 ton Bottle Jack on sale at Harbor freight and placed it under the axle, I blocked the front wheels and the rear wheel on the other side. I then jacked up the motor home so that the dual tires just cleared the ground enough to remove them from the Hub. After removing the wheel liner, I took my air impack wrench and loosened the lug nuts. After removing the Dual tires, I placed another jack stand on the axle for safety. I took the air bag upper bracket and loosely bolted it to the frame. This way I could see how much of the house bracket I would have to remove and how much I would have to remove on the upper air bag bracket. After marking and measuring the real work began. I took my 4 inch welders grinder and started the grind the house bracket so the upper air bag bracket would clear. See Picture below.
This is the House Bracket on the Motor Home Frame after I ground off the metal so the upper air bag bracket would clear. The two big holes below the bracket is where the lower bolt holes in the Upper air bag bracket goes. You have to drill two holes in the frame for the upper air bag brackets bolts to go. Next I had to modify the air bag bracket. See Picture below.
You can see where I had to modify the bracket so it would clear the house bracket on the frame. The Next Picture shows in more detail the Modified Upper bracket Bracket.
Modified Upper Air Bag Bracket
Next was to install the air bag to the upper and lower air bag brackets, using Locktite Blue on all threads. Then using the Grade 8 Bolts and lock nuts supplied, I installed the air bag assy to the frame. See Picture below:
Air bag and brackets bolted to Motor Home Frame.
Air line is routed to a compartment so air filler fittings are out of sight and locked in compartment. See picture below:
Air filler fittings Locked inside compartment to prevent tampering.
Tomorrow I will start on the other side weather and temps permitting. I am stiff and sore so it could be a couple of days before I get started again.