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Old 09-09-2015, 10:41 PM   #1
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Please help with 2011 F-350LB: Remove auxiliary springs to lower fifth wheel nose?

Question up front, this post is kinda long: Will removing the auxiliary/helper springs from my 2011 F-350 allow for some 'squat' to lower the nose of my fifth wheel?

Well after doing some extended work away from home, I'm finally getting ready to take my new Silverback 29IK (bought last December) out for its first trip! It's been stored in a covered farm equipment 'carport' and looks like brand new!

Here's my dilemma: The top of my front AC clears the carport roof by less than an inch, even after taking some extreme measures to lower the front of the fiver.

Background: When I parked the fiver under there, I had a 2008 F-250 with air bags. With the bags at 5psi, the top of the front AC cleared the carport roof by about three inches. Tight, but doable. Long story short--the 250 is totaled, replaced by a 2011 F-350 long bed (bought away from home), also with bags and compressor.

I go to pull the fiver out today and would have hit the roof with the AC if not for my spotter! In order to get the fiver out of there I had to lower the hitch in the truck bed as far as it could go (actually leveled out the fiver--I have 6" clearance between trailer and top of the bed) AND reduce the truck's rear tire pressure from 80psi to 40. With minimum pressure in the bags, I got the trailer out of there with less than an inch to spare. Too tight.

The hitch is lowered as far as it will go. I don't want to raise the pin on the fiver because that would give me less than 6 inches clearance bed-to-trailer.

SO...I'm thinking I can remove the extra leaf (auxiliary/helper I think it's called) from the rear of my truck. With the air bags at minimum, the rear of the truck should squat more when the fiver is hitched, correct? Then once I have the fiver out of the carport I can make up for the lost springs with the air bags, much like I did with the F-250.

Has anyone done this, or have any other suggestions? This is a great pull-thru setup that I don't want to lose. I admit I didn't consider the difference in bed height/spring compression when I got this truck.

Thanks and cheers for getting to the end of this long post!
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:56 PM   #2
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If the overload springs are touching their bumpers, then yes.....if not, then only the thickness of the spring would be gained......would really depend on how hard (if) they're hitt'n the bumpers.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:01 PM   #3
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I did this way back in 2001.Aux springs have been long gone!You say you have air bags but do you have a leveling valve on the rear suspension? I have the leveling valve and on board air so I actually can set my loaded ride hieght where I want it . My rear spring's only real function is to locate the rear axel.They do carry wieght,but if I deflate my rear bags completely and the truck is empty,it will sit perfectly level. When I add my 2500# pin wieght it will squat about 3 in. Then I set the level valve to bring the truck back up level.I have no idea how much air is in the bags because the valve controls this.When I unhook the trailer the truck will set about 3" higher in the rear,when the valve senses this it bleeds off air untill the truck is level.This is almost a pure air ride system just like is used on semi tractors,in fact it is IS the same leveling valve.The danger here is that I can overload the truck to the point it would start to bend something because the level valve always keeps it at the same ride hieght,regardless of how much wieght is in/on the box. You have to pay attention!
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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The newer F350s come with a 4" (10 mm) block between the axle and springs. The 250s have a 2" block (5 mm). I have been reading about F350 owners switching out the 4" blocks for the F250 blocks.

Not sure if the 2011 models have the same setup or not.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGuy View Post
The newer F350s come with a 4" (10 mm) block between the axle and springs. The 250s have a 2" block (5 mm). I have been reading about F350 owners switching out the 4" blocks for the F250 blocks.

Not sure if the 2011 models have the same setup or not.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGuy View Post
The newer F350s come with a 4" (10 mm) block between the axle and springs. The 250s have a 2" block (5 mm). I have been reading about F350 owners switching out the 4" blocks for the F250 blocks.

Not sure if the 2011 models have the same setup or not.
I did this on my 04 to clear my garage door with a topper. Leveled it out, too.
Anybody need some 4" blocks for their F250?
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #7
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The op said his set level as is, just needed door clearance....take over loads off for the clearance if that restricts using air bags to lower and raise to get it in and out.....or a sawsall to the header. Tak'n blocks out will cause the lowering of the front of truck, or it'll be a tail dragger. Would also have to add more threads to U bolts.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:02 PM   #8
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Personally I'd look into extensions and raising the carport itself. The companies that sell these usually offer extensions. I don't know exactly what your carport is like but most are just sheet metal tubing legs.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:58 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, I'm going to try removing those aux springs. I'll have to level the truck manually with the compressor but that shouldn't be a problem.

My term 'carport' was kind of a misnomer...it's roughly 100 feet long and 40 feet wide, made of heavy steel beams and heavy-gauge metal roof. It's intended to cover farm implements--planters, plows, hay wagons, that sort of thing. I pull in from one side and park the fiver with roughly 5 feet of roof overhang at either end.

I'll let you all know how it goes!
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:59 PM   #10
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