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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone using the RoadMaster Active Suspension? I have not modified anything on my 2018 Z71 4WD Short Box and am towing about 6000. All seems good, but I feel like I am getting more rear bounce than I would like over dips and bumps in the road and am looking for a way (s) to beef up the rear suspension a bit and am looking for what is working best for others.
BTW - have heard good reviews on the airlift bags, but found out they will not fit in a Colorado diesel, gas yes, diesel no.. reason is gas tank size and extra space for exhaust....
 

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I have been using the RAS on my 2017 Z71 4WD Diesel for about 7 months now and am very happy with it. I have a Leer shell and a few hundred pounds of crap in the bed and wanted to get the factory posture back on my truck and deal with all the extra weight.

There were a few lessons learned on the installation;

1. If your headlights are already properly aimed then that will change so before you start park your truck about 4-6 feet from a wall or garage door and mark where your headlights are aimed/hitting because after you're done adjusting the springs you will want to adjust the headlights back to that point again (before driving it of course else you will need to mark your front wheel position to return to that spot/distance). There is only an up/down adjustment on the Colorado and its a simple top Phillips screw adjustment with the hood open.

2. I did not need the included rear leaf spring replacement hanger brackets on mine, I had adequate space with the OEM bracket for the RAS springs to hook over the end of the leaf spring eye. You do still have to drop the rear of the leaf spring however so plan on some creative fun with jacks.

3. In picture 14 of their installation instructions they show using the two end nuts to tension with using a ratchet - but there is no space to get any swing on a wrench to do this on the Colorado, I ended up backing the two lock nuts shown in the middle of the tension rod a couple of inches and 'jamming' those two together and using them and an open-end wrench. NOTE: I also had to put a pry bar under the hooking bracket where the tension rod went through to hold it parallel to the adjusting rod while tightening else it tended to angle down and eat into the rod (yes I did this and ordered a replacement).

4. I did this in my driveway and took no chances; used two RV jack stands to hold up the truck frame in front of the axle and still needed 3" of paver stones under each to get the entire rear end 'hung'. I also need my regular hydraulic floor jack to help manipulate the rear axle when disconnecting the leaf springs to attach the RAS units (one at a time). And I also bought one of these these units which I came to LOVE as I needed it to get the truck jacked up high enough for the frame jack stands; a 3-in-one bottle jack this link is from Amazon but I bought mine at the local Tractor Supply Center to avoid a wait

Huge point here - try to do the work during the week when they have a support tech handy to ask questions, they are really great about helping you out but if working on the weekend you're on your own.

My overall impression has been pretty good. I did remove my Hellwig anti-sway bar as I didn't want this suspension which is supposed to provide some sway control there also conflicting with the Hellwig. The ride is a little stiffer which was expected/desired, and I got back ~2" rear height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the detailed reply! and so I am clear, you are not towing anything, just that extra weight in the bed, right?
 

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Yes, the RAS suspension is primarily for the additional weight of the shell'n crap - but the intention was to also help deal with the tongue weight of a small 12-16' travel trailer also but I haven't had a chance or way to to see how that works out.

I tensioned them with the 2mm disk that they state is supposed to provide 40% additional carrying load.
 

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Hey EKarlW,

I have a 2017 Z71 Long Bed (also with a Leer cap) and will be getting a TT soon. Now that you've had your RAS over a year, how has it been holding up? Have you had a chance to tow your TT? Did you use stock shocks?
 

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Still haven't towed anything with the new suspension and still have the factory shocks. It does seem to be holding up well and the ride is still stiff :)
 

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Just read this, I am considering this system but don’t want a stiffer ride while unloaded. im thinking firestones airbag system may be better for me. I tend to tow a lot and my rv trailer is heavy on the hitch. Thanks for the comments. Paul
 

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Just read this, I am considering this system but don’t want a stiffer ride while unloaded. im thinking firestones airbag system may be better for me. I tend to tow a lot and my rv trailer is heavy on the hitch. Thanks for the comments. Paul
FWIW, I installed the Firestone airbags on 2017 colo. They worked well for a while, nice smooth ride without load and nicely tunable as load got heavier. But on recent trip (rough washboard towing small trailer) lower bracket mounts came loose on both sides. I had checked tightness before trip. Appears that a bolt sheared off and that left the bracket free to wander. Airbag on one side already destroyed when I noticed. Other side was heading that way but I jury rigged it and managed to nurse it 500+ miles home. Was shocked that those bolts were not hardened at all just garden gate variety carriage bolts. Simultaneous failure on both sides points to design problem imo. Firestone reluctantly agreed to send a new bag (one time only!) so that's good. I got some grade 5 bolts to replace the original mangled remains. Previously used airlift kits on my other trucks and never had a serious problem and customer service was top notch. Also found the Firestones a royal pain to install, but I am older these days. Anyway, I hear that airlift now has a kit to fit our colorados (they didn't back then). If I were doing it now I'd definitely go with the airlifts.
 

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FWIW, I installed the Firestone airbags on 2017 colo. They worked well for a while, nice smooth ride without load and nicely tunable as load got heavier. But on recent trip (rough washboard towing small trailer) lower bracket mounts came loose on both sides. I had checked tightness before trip. Appears that a bolt sheared off and that left the bracket free to wander. Airbag on one side already destroyed when I noticed. Other side was heading that way but I jury rigged it and managed to nurse it 500+ miles home. Was shocked that those bolts were not hardened at all just garden gate variety carriage bolts. Simultaneous failure on both sides points to design problem imo. Firestone reluctantly agreed to send a new bag (one time only!) so that's good. I got some grade 5 bolts to replace the original mangled remains. Previously used airlift kits on my other trucks and never had a serious problem and customer service was top notch. Also found the Firestones a royal pain to install, but I am older these days. Anyway, I hear that airlift now has a kit to fit our colorados (they didn't back then). If I were doing it now I'd definitely go with the airlifts.
According to their website it doesn’t fit the diesel.
 

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According to their website it doesn’t fit the diesel.
Well that's too bad, I was sure I had seen somewhere that they came up with one. So, as I mentioned, if you do end up with the FIrestone kit, please consider upgrading the bottom bracket bolts. I am quite sure that those bolts shearing is what caused my brackets to come loose.
 
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