2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Air-Lift Installation
October 28, 2007

Introduction

I chose the The Air-Lift Ride Control kit part number 59547 to use as a leveling system for the rear axle of my Dodge Grand Caravan. We carry a lot a stuff and the rear suspension really compresses due to the factory single leaf springs.

I went to the on-line catalog of the Air Lift web site, http://www.airliftcompany.com/online_catalog.html and determined the part number of the kit and my local dealer. The kit took only 4 days to arrive and for the $185.00 price, there is not a whole lot in the big box that arrived. The parts were neatly packaged though and everything was included. The quality of the parts is very good.

The first thing I did was study the installation manual. It became apparent that the instructions, tool list and illustrations in my opinion are incomplete and confusing. I feel the tool list does not have all of the tools necessary to complete the job and photographs would have been better than the illustrations.

Here is the pdf of the Air Lift manual for the 59547 kit

I found that after installing the left side, I decided to document the installation of the right side, so below are photos of the steps.

Note: Photos below are of the right side (passenger side) of the vehicle.

Note: This web page is provided as a supplement for use with the Installation Manual, not replacing the manual. You should read and understand and follow the Air-Lift Installation Manual before starting this installation.



Step 1 - Verify That All of the Parts are in the Box
Refer to the manual to identify the parts in the package.

Step 2 - Determine All of the Tools Necessary
I found that the tool list was incomplete, so I'm including a list of what I used along with a photo to show some of the specialized tools I used.

Here is my Tool List:

  • Floor Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Wheel Chocks
  • Lug wrench
  • Creeper
  • Electric Drill
  • 1/4" Drill Bit x 10" long (a standard length drill bit listed in the manual is not long enough to reach the frame and axle for drilling!)
  • 5/16" drill bit to drill hole for air valves (each air bag has an air valve and tubing)
  • Extension Cord for Drill
  • Safety Glasses
  • WD-40 to lubricate and cool the drill bit while drilling
  • Sharpie pen to mark the holes to drill
  • Center punch to help in the drilling of the holes
  • Hammer
  • Utility Knife to cut the air tubing (don't use scissors or wire cutters)
  • Large Jaw Pliers to remove the jounce bumper (this is a very helpful tool)
  • Regular slip pliers to tighten the nylon nut after installation of Air Bag
  • 1/2" Socket with 3/8 drive ratchet and 5" extension to tighten the lower self tapping screws
  • 1/2" ratcheting combination wrench, for tightening the upper self tapping screws
  • Large Phillips Screwdriver to tighten the flat head screw on bottom of Air Bag

 


Step 2 - Assemble the Air Bag and Brackets

Here are the items that bolt together and mount to the frame and the axle

Note that the upper brackets are right and left hand and are marked
The lower bracket is the same for both sides
(right side shown)

 

   

Here are the items assembled (right side shown)
NOTE: Leave the Nylon Nut on Top Loose until everything is installed and aligned



Step 3 - Jack up vehicle, Set Jack Stands, Wheel Chocks and Remove Wheels. Refer to the Installation Manual.

Step 4 - Locate the Jounce Bumper


The Air Lift system will replace the yellow Jounce Bumper

 


Step 5 - Remove the screw holding the Brake Line Retainer Bracket

Move the Brake Line Bracket out of the way to remove the Jounce Bumper

Use the Large Jaw Pliers to remove the Jounce Bumper




Step 6 - Set the Air Bag in Place to Mark the Top Holes for Drilling

Push the Bottom Bracket onto the Axle as shown.
Then using the floor jack, jack up the axle so that the upper bracket
will meet the under side of the frame rail.

(Right side of vehicle shown)

The two lower mounting holes are to the front of the vehicle.
Position the Air Bag so that top bracket is centered under the frame rail as shown.
The wide part of the upper bracket is to the front of the vehicle.
This is a view of the front of the axle.


Step 7 - Mark, Punch and Drill the the Upper Mounting Holes

Mark the 2 Upper Holes with the Air Bag in place.
Remove the Air Bag to gain access to center punch the marks.
The red line is the outline of the upper bracket.
The wide part of the bracket is to the front of the vehicle.
The narrow part of the bracket is to the rear to clear the brake line bracket.
Drill (2) 1/4" holes in the frame rail.

(Right side of the vehicle shown)


Step 8 - Align the Airbag and Install the Top Mounting Screws

The longer screws are installed in the top holes.

I used a 1/2" ratcheting combination wrench to tighten the upper bolts.
Note that the lower hole shown above DOES NOT get bolted to the axle.
The tab is only there to provide tension on the lower bracket

 


Step 9 - Install the Air Line Tubing and Mount the Air Valve

I chose to mount the Air Valve using an existing rear bumper mounting hole.
I removed the plastic push pin, drilled out the hole to 5/16" and
mounted each Air Valve to the bottom of the bumper as shown.

Follow the Installation Manual for hose routing, cutting hose
and the Air Valve assembly.

 


Step 10 - Inflate the Air Bags to 10 PSI and Align the Air Bag Vertically.

Align the Air Bag by using the slot in the top bracket.
Refer to the Installation Manual for instructions.

 


Step 11 - Mark, Punch and Drill the Bottom Holes.

Mark the holes for drilling and center punch the lower holes.

I elected to drill the 1/4" holes with the bracket in place so the holes would line up

 


Step 12 - Install the Lower Bracket Self Tapping Screws



The shorter screws are installed in the bottom holes.
Use a 1/2" socket and ratchet with extension to tighten the bottom screws.

 


Step 13 - Tighten the Nylon Nut on the Top Bracket
Using a pair of slip pliers tighten the Nylon Nut to 4 ft/lb
Check one more time for leaks.
Check Air Pressure and make sure both valves read the same air pressure.
Install the valve caps to protect valves.

Minumum Air Pressure: 10 PSI
Maximum Air Pressure: 100 PSI

 


I am not responsible for any inacurrate information on this web page or any injury caused by following these instructions.