Feb 23, 2016 at 3:26 PM
  1. TDRadmin Staff Member

    RAM AIR SUSPENSION – 2500 Truck Owners - We Want Your Input

    Straight to the point. The folks at Ram Truck Engineering read your comments in our Issue 89 article about the Ram factory air suspension packages (pages 18 – 21). As they further refine these three distinct air suspension options (yes, the 1500/2500/3500 trucks all work a little differently), they would like your further comments and suggestions.

    Here is the format we will use. The Ram folks and I have made separate areas for each truck – 1500/2500/3500. There is an introduction/principle-of-operation area (for folks like me who didn’t bother to read their Owner’s Manual). This is followed by a description of the time delays that are programmed into each system. Next (again for those like me that did not read the Owner’s Manual), they give you the proper way to hook up a trailer. Follow this data which is in your Owner’s Manual (yep, I learned something new), and you will better understand the design parameters of the air system. Finally, “The Request for Input.” Here is your chance to tell the Ram staff the good/better/best or good/bad/ugly from your perspective.

    Thank you for your participation.

    2500 Rear Axle Air Suspension

    The 2500 system is a rear axle only open air system which fully replaces the rear coil springs of the steel suspension. Ride comfort was enhanced though elimination of the traditional leaf springs on both air and steel suspension offerings. It offers two customer selectable right heights; “normal ride height” and “alternate trailer height”. The latter is intended to eliminate the rake angle of the truck for level towing. The same 3 modes available in the 1500 system (Tire Jack Mode; Transport Mode; and Wheel Alignment Mode) are also available on the 2500 system to modify the system’s behavior and are all intended for the same functions.

    Auto Leveling – Time Delay
    Like the 1500 system there is an added delay to give a “steel suspension like” behavior. However, with the additional load capacity of the 2500 system, a two stage strategy was developed. When lighter loads are applied the delay time is 10 seconds. Heavier loads will trigger a 20 second delay. Just like the 1500 truck, the engine should be left running when loading the vehicle if auto leveling is desired.

    Key Off Strategy
    Like the 1500 truck, the 2500 system will also make adjustments to maintain a target ride height after the ignition has been turned off. The air suspension system will stay active for 10 minutes after key off. However, the 2500 system will only lower during this time frame and the compressor is not allowed to run.

    Door Open Strategy
    Since the 2500 system is a rear axle only system, lowering of the suspension may occur while any door is open.

    Trailer Hookup/Unhooking
    The alternate trailer height may be used as a way to raise and lower the truck to minimize trailer jacking. The vehicle will always adjust to meet target ride height when using this feature as long as the air suspension system is not being overloaded. However, the following guidelines should be adhered to when hooking up and unhooking a trailer:

    • When using load distribution bars for conventional towing, select the height you plan to tow at (Ram recommends alternate trailer height) and then adjust load bars as needed (see "Hooking up a Trailer With a Weight Distributing Hitch").
    • When hooking up or unhooking a fifth wheel trailer, place the vehicle into Tire Jack Mode to prevent automatic height adjustments easing the ability to slide the kingpin out of the head without binding.
    • Never hook/unhook a trailer or place a load in the bed of the vehicle while it is in transport mode. Transport mode deflates the air bags to lowest safe level possible when selected and the air bags may be damaged by applying additional loads to the vehicle.
    Hooking up a Trailer with a Weight Distributing Hitch (all trucks)

    1. Set air suspension to normal ride height. No action is required if already in normal ride height. NOTE: The vehicle must remain in the engine running position while attaching a trailer for proper leveling of the air suspension system. NOTE: For Ram 2500/3500 trucks equipped with rear air suspension, normal ride height or alternate ride height can be used.
    2. Position the truck to be ready to connect to the trailer (do not connect the trailer).
    3. Under radio suspension settings, turn on jack mode. Jack mode will be canceled and procedure must be restarted if the vehicle is driven at speeds above 5mph (8kph).
    4. Measure the height of the top of the front wheel opening on the fender to ground, this is height H1.
    5. Attach the trailer to the vehicle without the weight distribution bars connected.
    6. Measure the height of the top of the front wheel opening on the fender to ground, this is height H2.
    7. Install and adjust the tension in the weight distributing bars so that the height of the front fender is approximately H2-H1)/3+H1 (about 1/3 the difference between H2 and H1 above normal ride height [H1]).
    8. The truck can now be driven. Jack mode will be canceled when driven at speeds above 5mph (8kph).
    Request for 2500 Input
    Ram truck engineering wants your input on the delays implemented during the auto leveling strategy to provide the “steel suspension like” behavior. When replying please include the following information:

    • Length of time owning a Ram truck with the factory air suspension system
    • Typical usage in which you interact with the air suspension (type of trailer being hooked up/unhooked, type of loads going the bed, etc.)
    • Suggested delay time
    • Description of why does the delay time need to change or why should it stay the same
    Note: This delay is in addition to the amount of time it takes the system to assess the change in height, actual response times to applied loads will vary.

    Post Your Input Below

    To post, you must be a registered user. To register, click here:https://www.turbodieselregister.com/register.php
    TDRadmin , Feb 23, 2016


Discussion in 'Articles' started by TDRadmin, Feb 23, 2016.

    1. ERIC668
      I have a 2016 Ram with Factory Rear Air Ride Suspension. I currently have 100,000 miles on the truck and it has worked great. UNTIL IT DON'T !! Truck have been riding on axels for month now and been to the dealer 4 time and all they want me to do is throw money at it. No one at the dealer knows **** about the system and how to fix it. $ 200 to tell me I needed a new Air Ride suspension module and they wanted $1300 to install it. I purchased it online for $500 installed it took it back to dealer and it still don't work and now the want me to replace the compressor for another $2000 with no idea if it will work then or not ?? Im going to by a after market system and and rip the dodge junk out !! I have owned over 10 ram 2500 in my life and this one is great except for the air ride suspension. It was a great riding vehicle until it broke and now it aint worth a crap.
    2. Jim W
      Jim W
      Will I am not interested in a new 2500 Ram truck anymore. I will be looking at the 3500 Ram truck if I was in the market for a new truck. I pull heavy and the 3500 would be better option for me. I think I would not bother with this attachment for my needs. I would first want to drive the truck with my trailer attached and see if I have the need for an air ride system. If I do get a new truck it maybe a Long Bed and than I would be getting a new hitch for the truck. If I did than the hitch would be a TS3 Air-Ride Hitch, thus I would not need the air suspension system on the truck.

      What most people forget is that these are trucks not cars so, therefor the ride will be a litter stiffer. If I need a station wagon ride I would look at a 1500 size pick-up truck.

      The other problem with all of these technology improvements (if they really are) is cost to the end user. The marketing team needs to recover the cost of development and than provide a profit margin to the FCA so, the end user will be shelling out more money for the truck attachments that he may or may not want, especially if they are made standard.

      The selling cost are getting to be out of reach for the average buyer of a pick-up truck. When I bought my 2008 I paid a little over $38,000 for the 2500 Ram with the 6.7L Cummins. Given inflation and some model improvements I would not be willing to pay anymore than $45,000 for the truck I need. This is not going to happen in today's market place and prices for a 3500 Ram with the 6.7L Cummins.

      Just my very humble opinion.
      HPSimpson and AHutson like this.
    3. WalterJ
      Is this feature valid for my 2018, 2500? Sounds a bit confusing to me.
      "(Tire Jack Mode; Transport Mode; and Wheel Alignment Mode) are also available on the 2500 system to modify the system’s behavior and are all intended for the same functions."
    4. AHutson
      It is a nice sounding feature, but I really can't complain about the ride with long 3500. It honestly rides better than my 2001 quad cab short box did. And air ride will additional maintenance procedures and costs in addition the upfront costs. The cost of new truck now is beyond astronomical. My MSRP for my 2012 was $58,000 new. That will get a plain Tradesmen truck new currently. Like Jim stated, these are trucks not cars. They are not going to ride or drive like a car. People need to understand and allow for this. And I can say from a lot of experience, air doesn't help very much if the road isn't properly in the first place. I know this isn't Ram's problem to fix but does bear consideration on everyone's part in my opinion. Fancy features are all well and good until no one buys the product because no one can afford it.
      Jim W likes this.
    5. WalterJ
      Purchased new 2018 2500, CTD, 4x4 on 8-18-2019.
      Intended for hauling 5th wheel RV @ 13K#.
      We don't understand "delay time" concept, or need.

      First trip w/RV was Feb. 27th to Orlando area. 1st attempt to detach was 4 days later at our destination, 30min before sunset & a long day driving.

      It took me 20min. of putzing around to finally get the RV uncoupled. As I used the trailer front legs to raise/unload the hitch based upon a slim <1.4" gap betwixt the pin box & hitch, the darn computer decided to lower the truck 1"+, thus trapping the mushroom head of the pin box "pin" as the net effect was who knows how much down pressure was applied. Then it was back to lowering the RV to relieve the applied forces, only to have the leveling system start raising the truck! I swore at my new truck, in the dark.

      Totally unnecessary, IMHO! Is this where "tire jack mode" comes in? Where is that option invoked?

      Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    6. Benito
      The air suspension is awesome but takes a bit trial and error to learn the best way to use it. I found the delay to be a pain as well until I understood some of the benefits of it as well, for instance, the delay is good when loading things with a forklift. For trailering, I found the best way to unhook my 5th wheel is to lower the landing gear until I see it start taking weight off the truck and then stop- wait a few seconds for the air suspension to deflate back to the level set, (trailer mode for me usually), and then unhitch the coupler and pull out. Doing it this way I do not have any binding issues and the coupler releases easily. The other benefit is the truck barely raises once I pull out- otherwise the rear of the truck would jump up and possibly damage the trailer as soon as the weight of the trailer comes off the hitch.
      Hope this helps and maybe you will end up liking the suspension as much as I do.
      AH64ID likes this.
    7. AH64ID
      I’m using a 3500 but do it the same. No issues unhitching.

      I don’t like how it unhitched in tire jack mode, so I don’t use it. It requires the rear of the truck to get much higher than needed.
    8. WalterJ
      Thank you for the advice. I wonder why they just didn't engineer a switch function to "freeze" the darn thang in its current position!
    9. WalterJ
      P.S. I've searched my digital manual on the dash screen & cannot find anything about the "tire jack" mode, which is mentioned in a few places. The technical info on this is absent for my 2018 CTD, 2500, 4x4. I would appreciate someones definitive comments on this. Thanks.
    10. AH64ID
      Technically they did. NORM and ALT are as frozen in their position as they can be. Due to the way air suspension works the bags have to adjust to maintain the ride height as load changes, so the truck is "frozen" at it's set position, but will have to adjust to stay there. The time delay is also crucial as otherwise it would always be adjusting.

      Tire jack mode disables the suspension from adjusting. That means if you put it in tire jack mode and then remove 2K lbs of pin weight you will have a rear end that has raised many inches do to the volume of air that was in the bags. This is why I don't use tire jack mode to hitch/unhitch, too much vertical movement.

      This is from the owners manual on page 352

      "To assist with changing a tire, the air suspension system has a feature which allows the automatic leveling to be disabled. This mode is intended to be enabled with engine running. Refer to “Instrument Cluster Display” in “Getting To Know Your Instrument Panel” or “Uconnect Settings” in “Multimedia” if equipped with a touch screen radio for further information."
      Benito likes this.
    11. Cummins Thunder
      Cummins Thunder
      I believe that what Ram is dealing with is known as "competition". Either they rise to the occasion, or they get left in the dust and ultimately go away all together.

      My primary reason for adding to this thread is to say that my experience with the 2500 air ride has been great in terms of reliability.
      I must say though, my experience with the first iteration of this suspension on a 2018 truck, was disappointing in terms of ride quality when compared to the coil spring suspension. But having said that, whatever Ram did to improve rear air ride quality for the 2019 refresh worked.
      Put simply, 19+ is what air ride done correctly feels like. Nicely done Ram!

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