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2014 Ram 2500 Big Wig Air Spring Kit Install - In the Bag Photo Gallery
Hellwig Brings Air Support to Coil-Sprung ’14 and ’15 Ram 2500s
Brett Evans –
Apr 24, 2015
Photo 1/25 | 2014 Ram 2500 Towing | This is a great example of the heavy loads this Ram gets called upon to haul. The truck-and-trailer combination pushes the combined weight rating to more than 16,000 pounds. While that falls into the middle of what heavy-duty trucks are capable of moving nowadays, it’s nevertheless a lot of weight to have to handle.
Photo 2/25 | Big Wig Air Spring Kit | The Big Wig air spring kit comes with all the parts and hardware needed for an easy installation. Backing plates, brackets, air lines, and hardware are all included.
Photo 3/25 | Truck And Trailer Scale Slips | This is a great example of the heavy loads this Ram gets called upon to haul. The truck-and-trailer combination pushes the combined weight rating to more than 16,000 pounds. While that falls into the middle of what heavy-duty trucks are capable of moving nowadays, it’s nevertheless a lot of weight to have to handle.
Photo 4/25 | Rear Ram Coilspring Suspension | One of the benefits of the Big Wig system is that no drilling is required to install the air springs themselves. They mount outboard of the coil springs, where the factory bumpstops are located on stock trucks. Removing the factory bumpstops is the first step of the installation.
Photo 5/25 | Mounting Plate Install | After removing the bumpstops, a mounting plate is installed in their place using the Hellwig-supplied hardware.
Photo 6/25 | Mounting Plate Install | This plate will provide a safe, secure point to attach the airbags.
Photo 7/25 | Mounting Plate Attached To Spring | Next, another mounting plate is attached to the tops of the airbags themselves. This plate matches the one installed on the frame of the truck.
Photo 8/25 | Thread Locker Applied To Studs | 2014 Ram 2500 Big Wig Air Spring Kit Install - In the Bag
Photo 9/25 | Studs Installed In Air Spring | 2014 Ram 2500 Big Wig Air Spring Kit Install - In the Bag
Photo 10/25 | Studs Installed Into Mounting Plate | 2014 Ram 2500 Big Wig Air Spring Kit Install - In the Bag
Photo 11/25 | Bottom Mounting Plate Install | After the top mounting plate is installed, the bottom plate goes onto the airbag. The bottom bracket has provisions for these long bolts, which connect to a bracket mounted under the rear axle. Securely mounting the airbag from both the top and the bottom is one aspect of the system’s durability and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Photo 12/25 | Bottom Of Air Spring Mount | With the top bracket’s studs securely bolted to the frame, we can turn our attention to the bottom of the air spring.
Photo 13/25 | Air Spring Installed On Axle | 2014 Ram 2500 Big Wig Air Spring Kit Install - In the Bag
Photo 14/25 | U Shaped Axle Bracket | A simple U-shaped bracket connects those long bolts to the Ram’s solid rear axle. With one air spring mounted firmly to one half of the rear suspension, we repeat the process on the other side.
Photo 15/25 | Shcrader Valve Installed | Drilling two small holes in both bumper mounts creates convenient locations for mounting the airbags’ nozzles. Once this is done, lengths of the included air hose are run from the nozzles to the airbags, carefully avoiding places where the hose might flex or get pinched. Adding to or removing air pressure from the springs is as easy as inflating or deflating a tire.
Photo 16/25 | Watching Waterworld | Most people recommend against having anything distracting in the background when performing tech upgrades to your vehicle. Luckily, Kevin Costner’s Waterworld is so mind-numbing that it barely counts as a distraction.
Photo 17/25 | Sway Bar Removal | With both air springs installed, we removed the factory rear sway bar, including the end links. The links will be reused, but it’s a good idea to remove them and inspect their bushings before bolting them to the new sway bar. Odds are they’ll be in decent shape, but it’s not a bad idea to check anyway.
Photo 18/25 | Stock And Hellwig Sway Bar | With the sway bar removed, it’s easy to see the difference between old and new. The upgraded sway bar looks nicer, but beyond that, its extra adjustability makes it perfect for people who fine-tune their vehicles.
Photo 19/25 | Swaybar Install | As the saying goes, “installation is the reverse of removal.” After attaching the old links to the new sway bar, the bar gets installed where the old one was.
Photo 20/25 | Swaybar Bushing | Using factory mounting points eliminates any need for drilling additional holes. The adjustable sway bar gets new mounting hardware as well.
Photo 21/25 | Completed Air Spring System Installed | With all the hardware securely tightened and the new sway bar fully installed (including the old links), our newly upgraded rear suspension is primed to handle some heavy loads.
Photo 22/25 | Measuring Ram Height | Up front, the Laramie stands about 40 inches off the ground (measured up to the wheelwell).
Photo 23/25 | Measuring Ram Height | With our new air springs, the truck measures the same in back, even with our big, heavy car hauler hitched up.
Photo 24/25 | Ram 2500 Towing With Air Spring System | Over the road, the new air suspension setup significantly reduces unwanted body motions both with and without a trailer. Adding air pressure to the springs is easy as well, simplifying setting up the truck for specific jobs.
Photo 25/25 | Air Spring Level Load | This shot makes the air-spring benefits obvious: There is absolutely no rear-axle sag with the big trailer hitched up. Not a bad result for less than a day’s work!