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B250 rear lift options? Helpers or bags?
#782105 September 12th 2021 2:49 pm
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Nessie Offline OP
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Hi all,

I have a late 80s B250 conversion van that's sagging in the back even with new 2500lb springs. I've been researching options and thinking either Hellwig helpers or Airbags to give me a 2" lift.

Wondering pros and cons for both. I live in northern Canada and will be taking the van down rough logging roads sometimes. Are airbags ok in these situations?

If I go the airbag option, do the rear brake lines have to be moved? They look to be right where the bags would mount to the axle but I'm not sure. Other than that they look easy to install.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you

Last edited by Nessie; September 12th 2021 3:31 pm. Reason: Update
Re: B250 rear lift options? Helpers or bags?
Nessie #782117 September 12th 2021 8:06 pm
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I do not recall having to move the brakelines, even when I swapped from the original 8 3/8 axle, to a junkyard 9.25, and then had that Axle professionally re-bearinged.

My firestone ride rites have been insstalled since October 2007, they saw several hundred miles of Baja Washboard shortly afterwards, but that was also my last trip to Baja.

More recently they saw the Titus Canyon trail in Death Valley. There is about 10 miles of heavy washboard in the beginning of that one way route.

Mine do not noticeably lose pressure, not even after 13 years.

I have ZERO regrets with these airbags.

But New leafs springs designed for the intended load, within the GVWR of the vehicle, are ideal.
Airbags are not.

Rear passengers might think them too firm and bouncy. Rarely a factor for me, and screw those that complain anyway.

Your Van sagging with new rear leafs, perhaps indicates you have too much weight, and if so, that makes the brake performance a top safety consideration.

1 member likes this: Nessie
Re: B250 rear lift options? Helpers or bags?
wrcsixeight #782126 September 13th 2021 4:12 am
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Originally Posted by wrcsixeight
I do not recall having to move the brakelines, even when I swapped from the original 8 3/8 axle, to a junkyard 9.25, and then had that Axle professionally re-bearinged.

My firestone ride rites have been insstalled since October 2007, they saw several hundred miles of Baja Washboard shortly afterwards, but that was also my last trip to Baja.

More recently they saw the Titus Canyon trail in Death Valley. There is about 10 miles of heavy washboard in the beginning of that one way route.

Mine do not noticeably lose pressure, not even after 13 years.

I have ZERO regrets with these airbags.

But New leafs springs designed for the intended load, within the GVWR of the vehicle, are ideal.
Airbags are not.

Rear passengers might think them too firm and bouncy. Rarely a factor for me, and screw those that complain anyway.

Your Van sagging with new rear leafs, perhaps indicates you have too much weight, and if so, that makes the brake performance a top safety consideration.

Thanks for your insight. On mine I think I will need to move the brake line based on the pics below. I'd be curious if someone with bags can check to see how they mount with the lines going along the axle. Any way to move them easily without new lines?

The van is heavy and oddly I haven't added any weight to it. I did add 7272 springs up front so my "sagging" is likely more noticeable now that the front is higher. I may have used the sagging term incorrectly. I just need to raise it 2 inches out back however the drivers side is slightly heavier so it'd be nice to level it.

For braking it actually stops fast for a big van. If I can get it leveled out I'll be all set.

Attached Files 20210913_080714.jpg20210913_080512.jpg
Last edited by Nessie; September 13th 2021 9:02 am. Reason: Update
Re: B250 rear lift options? Helpers or bags?
Nessie #782175 September 14th 2021 3:03 pm
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I did Hellwig air bags on my 91 B250 back in 2018, orginally had them with load helper shocks. The load helper shocks are gone now, too stiff even at minimum inflation on the bags.
The adjustability of the bags is the biggest selling point. I can pump them up when towing or carrying heavy stuff. Deflate the rest of the time. It was a tight fit to the brake lines and I did have to reroute the exhaust a little bit, but not the brake lines.

- Rich


1991 Dodge B250 Zephyr Conversion. "Bi-frost" 74,000-ish original miles and counting.
- 318TBI; has headwork and other bolt on upgrades. Runs strong and smooth!
- Powertrax locker
- 3" aluminum radiator.
- Rear air springs, rebuilt suspension, steering stabilizer.
1 member likes this: Nessie

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