BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
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St George SC
Since I can't log onto GMFS for some reason, im gonna ask here. Not sure how many bagged members we have.

I want to bag my nnbs ecsb. Realistically speaking, how much is this project gonna cost? I've found a few kits and stuff but maybe piecing together my own setup will be cheaper. I pm'd a vendor on GMFS and he said around $2300 but that seems high.

I just want to lay frame on my stockers with just front/back.

Many thanks for serious replies.

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BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
12,991
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St George SC
The only thing i would need professionally done would be welding the 3 or 4 link and tubbing if needed. Im pretty mechanically inclined and have many peeps with shops and proper tools.

I don't want/need a show truck. The truck will be driven into a clinker parking lot everyday. Just a bare bones, functional, and most of all, reliable set up

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Samuel6731

Cant Get Right
Mar 11, 2012
674
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New Roads La.
I have a buddy locally who lays on 22s.
I think hes running a 4link not sure because im not into bagged trucks.
I know he has 2 switches one for front one for back.
his parts were close to 4k
and his labor to install all of it, and tub was around 1k
IIRC
 

SMiGGs

El Super Mod
Feb 3, 2011
751
4
18
If you do it yourself and use low quality parts you can get away with a 3k Budget.

What i did was doing a little here and a little over there. I bagged the rear, and then moved to bagging the front, then tubbing, and then all the rest.....

I have current spent 5k, and im still not done, i still need to tub the front and relocate everything in the engine bay. Dont let the price stop you, i first began piecing everything i need together. I read about air suspension for about half a year, and followed up on peoples builds. I think we have some build threads here, including mine, that you can check out.
 

BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
12,991
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Thanks for the insight.

I mainly wanna do it so it's different. Number one priority is riding Cali style so doing the back first is a good idea.

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Ed4x4

White supremacist
Jan 21, 2011
63
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Oklahoma
If you do it yourself and use low quality parts you can get away with a 3k Budget.

What i did was doing a little here and a little over there. I bagged the rear, and then moved to bagging the front, then tubbing, and then all the rest.....

I have current spent 5k, and im still not done, i still need to tub the front and relocate everything in the engine bay. Dont let the price stop you, i first began piecing everything i need together. I read about air suspension for about half a year, and followed up on peoples builds. I think we have some build threads here, including mine, that you can check out.

just curious, but why bag first then tube? seems to me you'd want the clearance first, then bag. Never bagged anything so I have no clue.
 

BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
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I had a few friends in high school that bagged then tubbed. Just ride around with no wheel wells lol. Im against it due to the fact that they busted numerous rear windows from rocks.

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Adjusted

Super Moderator
Feb 8, 2012
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Im going to cater more to 99-07c in this post - its all i know at this point, but its good basic info for many setups.

First of all it really depends on what you want. The big decision is whether or not to go electronic air management, im sure youve checked them out and know what they are all about - and for something you want to enjoy driving daily, id recommend one, the prices arent too outrageous these days. I initially had a non-electronic air management setup and didnt enjoy it, I want everything to be perfectly precise and level (im anal about that stuff), and i had trouble with that with individual valves and a switchbox - im sure you could make it work, many have, but i had difficulties. I had other problems due to installer error, which is another reason id recommend electronic - most come with valve bodies and other things that reduce install difficulty and possibilities of future breakdowns, leaks, and maintenance. Like stated previously, thousands have had perfect experiences with non-electronic setups, so if you are operating on a budget and thats your game - play it well, ill give you some tips:

WELDING/FABRICATION WORK: I would surely pay someone to do the welding/fabbing if you are not 100% confident with it.

-Rear link setup:
Tri-links and 4-links are the best setups on these trucks, get a reputable shop to build and install one of these. Bolt on kits are tempting because of saved install costs, but do your homework and see of you save money having someone build/install one for you. A link setup inside the frame rails will take alot of relocating and cutting/removing. A tri-link will need to be inside the frame rails. Many 4 links are as well, but its not absolutely necessary, so i would go this way for a budget build so you dont have to get a fuel cell or different gas tank, and relocate other things between the frame. A 4 link rides great, and has minimal side-to-side axle movement with a watts link when dropping/raising , and minimal to no front to back movement when built well. I bought a used KPcomponents 4-link for a good price, and have enjoyed it, but I would not have paid their ridiculous retail price, research on who will build what for you and for what cost - i cannot help you much on the cost element here.

-Notch, Bed, etc:
Get a reputable shop to do the notch, go check out their welding and frame work beforehand IMO. Do not buy a notch kit from an internet shop, anybody reputable shop should be able to fab one up for you. I would recommend setting up for the biggest tire you would even run, you dont want to be limited by your notch if you want to step up wheel sizes, but you dont need an oversized notch either. Make sure they box the frame on and around the notch, and add bracing between the notches for extra strength. My notch was done by a local shop for $250 and It is holding up fine after 4 years. The notch cover in the bed can be done many ways - I leave the style up to you. I went with a ThorbeckeBros steel rounded cover setup for 24in tires (the size my notch is setup for). It does its job, but if i did it again i would cut up another trucks bed floor and make my notch match the rest of the bed from that material - that gets pricey though if you arent doing the labor id imagine. My notch was bought and installed for $400. I havent tubbed the front yet, and dont plan to do so for awhile, so i cannot comment on price here. The gas tank will need to be raised if it is left in the stock location. The method to do this is to notch the bed first (you arent cutting into the cab, just removing extra material), then raise each tank mount bracket 1.25in. You will not drag with it raised this way. I had a friend do this for me so I cannot comment on cost. You will also want shock relocators for the front suspension. This aids with the ride quality; it keeps the front from feeling like its riding out a cloud and keeps the truck feeling as close to stock handling as possible while still allowing the truck to lay out. A shop quoted me $250 to build/install one for me. Someone (possibly you) will have to do some cutting on the front suspension as well. The spring pockets need to be cut to clear for the bag, and the bump stop and its mount will need to be cut out (for 99-02 iirc). I did this with a dremel, wasnt bad.

Add it up: 250+250+100(gas tank raise estimation)+400 = $1000est. I believe I got a decent deal on labor, was done at a friend of a friend's shop so he helped me out a little plus i got alot of work done there- then again who knows if he gave me a deal or not. Could cost you more, this thread is all just estimated cost.

PARTS RECOMMENDATIONS: Simple recommendations, with justifications.

-Compressors: Go with two. Simple. A fullsize truck takes ALOT of air to drop/raise its weight, and even a 5gal tank takes around 4min to fill from empty with two compressors. One compressor simply isnt enough. (This is all null and void if you go for a high dollar oasis or something that can flow crazy amounts yet costs crazy amounts.) I use and am very happy with my 2 Viair 360c's. They have never seized on me, fill fairly fast, dont use gobs of electric power from your alternator, can be rebuilt, and are somewhat quiet. Also, they are rated at 200PSI, many are rated at 160PSI - you want the former, more air = better. Also keep in mind that your pressure switch will also need to be rated to match your compressors (i.e. 200PSI), they are easily attainable. I got my compressors used as well, but a new set goes for $400-ish without tax/ship, the pressure switch can range from $5-$25 - you get what you pay for.
-Air Tank: Go with 5-10gals, can be had in many variations, just know what you need for your setup. $100ish?
-Switchbox: DONT CHEAP OUT HERE. Research, and remember if this dies...your air setup dies. I got a switch box from SD.com. Get a rocker box IMO. $50-$100 here.
-Valves: Get 8 dude, please. You want to be able to control all 4 bags on your vehicle, its safer, is easier to make ride better (dont have to add check valves everywhere, etc), and you can level your truck easier. I initially rode with 8 SMC 3/8 valves, worked well, didnt have to have any drop/fill controls to help with their speed - but i wouldve liked to slow down the drop a bit, just personal preference. I got these used, but new I think they still go for around $50 a piece, so $400 here.
-Fittings: Use Brass. I prefer PTC (push to connect). They are way easier to install/uninstall, airline leaks are easier to repair once driving, and they leave less room for leaks. They are pricier, but are way worth it IMO. I think i spent around $125 for all of my fittings, check valve, misc stuff, cant remember exactly though.
-Relays, electrical, etc.: I used a Stinger 80amp relay, they are about $25, but are better quality than the 10amp 2000cycle ones you buy from walmart. They are meant for this type of thing and make install a snap. Use a good stranded wire to wire anything, always follow install instructions when referring to gauge size, etc. Always loom when you can. Also, the stinger relay recommends a large gauge wire to operate the compressors; I used 1ga amplifier wire. Around $75 here, alot more misc stuff goes here than you think.
-Airbags: Id get 5, one extra, for piece of mind, just sayin. Do your research here and find one that gets good reviews and is in your price range. The less air it takes to fill it the better it will ride and easier it will be on your air consumption. I use Firestone 2600's all around and really like them in the rear, they arent awesome in the front - but I havent added shocks yet, so that could all change when i do so. Around $200-$300 here for a decent sized/quality bag.
-Front bag kit: You can use cups up front, KP makes a good set that can easily be modified and installed, its pretty much bolt on. They go for $150 +tax/ship nowadays. Many other kits are available, none as cheap as cups, but most yield better results.
-Gauges: There are so many options here, I went with simple KP gauges along with a 3-gauge pod. Worked fine. Youll need three for this, 2 of which will need to be dual-needle in order to read 2 bags, one to read your tank pressure (or another dual needle if you run two tanks). 1/8 airline and the appropriate fittings will also be needed, be sure to get enough. Again, got all this stuff used, so just to estimate id throw in another $200 for gauges/pod(s).
-Misc: Dont forget the stuff that nickels and dimes you if you do it yourself, tools, nuts, bolts, screws, beer, band-aids, stuff you break, etcetc. Throw in another $200 here just to be realistic.
-Spindles: Do you have spindles, you didnt mention it? If not, get a set of McGuaghys 16in+ and slap them on there, they give you the best angles throughout suspension travel on these trucks, most places retail these at around $250.
-Shocks: Again, so many options here, do your research, but your stockers wont work. Nother' $200 here for cheapies.

Add er' up: $2450. Sounds about right to me.

So there ya have it. Once its all said and done Id estimate you spend 4k on it after shipping/tax on everything. This price is doing all of the non-fabrication labor yourself.

I can add more on Accuair later. They can be cheaper when taking into account the cost of all the small things in a non accuair setup, plus often come with kits including other necessary parts, but more on that in another post or edit. This is a huge job, labor and pocketbook-wise. Dont underestimate either aspect, I did, and ive paid dearly (and still am), but I sure have learned alot in the process. Learn from my mistakes, thats why we are all here.

Let me know if you have any questions or want to add any info,

Brandon
 
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BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
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God damn. I think I owe you and handjob or something. :nohomo:

Thanks for all the info. Deff needs to be sticky'd.

Do you have any quotes on tubbing? Obviously the back wont be bad but im worried about the front and relocating shit.

You said you had 3/8 valves? I was always told to run 1/2 ones. Any reasoning behind it?

Forgive my noobness.



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Adjusted

Super Moderator
Feb 8, 2012
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God damn. I think I owe you and handjob or something. :nohomo:

Thanks for all the info. Deff needs to be sticky'd.

Do you have any quotes on tubbing? Obviously the back wont be bad but im worried about the front and relocating shit.

You said you had 3/8 valves? I was always told to run 1/2 ones. Any reasoning behind it?

Forgive my noobness.



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For the time being im just going to lay tires on the factory tubs, im only running a 30.5in tire, so i should come close to laying out. I have not got any quotes on the front tubs, but many guys run trailer or 18 wheeler fenders as tubs. They remove the front fender, cut out the factory tub, prep and weld those in, bam your done - shouldnt be terrible, and it looks clean. As for relocating, no idea yet, we can figure that out together though lol. There are other sources i can draw from to get that info if you cant find it, holla at me. I ran 3/8 because its what came in the used kit i bought, but i ended up loving them. Like originally stated they dont need other controls to limit drop/fill speeds - a 1/2in valve will slam your truck up/down violently when a switch is hit IMO, it looks dumb and isnt good for your truck. You can get drop/fill controllers from anywhere that sells bag stuff, but it all just adds extra cost. 3/8 is best IMO.

No prob on the newbishness, its the hardest thing ive ever taught myself about vehicles...and im a mechanic for a living atm.
 
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Zach.

Member
Jan 25, 2011
637
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Bakersfield, Ca
Adjusted- this is for an nnbs, not an nbs.


Figure out your budget and the max you're willing to spend. Then go from there. I think I'm at around $2,600. That's with me making everything suspension related(cups,bag plates, bar tabs, etc etc)

There's a ton of different options to go with. 2-links, wishbones, and parallel 4-links will allow you to keep the stock has tank. You can do bag over bar or bag over/behind axle. Bag over bar will provide the most lift in the rear with the best ride if shocks are used, but you will lose towing capacity. Bag over axle will keep almost all your towing capacity but will not get a lot of lift and will not ride good unless you use sleeve bags. Even then I doubt it'll be as good as or even close to bag over bar.

The easiest of those to install would Probably be the two link(I have no experience with them) but I hear they suck ass. If you go with a two link or parallel 4-link then you'll need something to keep the axle from moving side to side when driving(panhard bar or watts link) the watts link is what I would get out of those two choices. With a wishbone setup you won't need a panhard or watts. You just need to have the axle mounts as close to the wheels as possible and the frame mounting point as close to the center of the truck as possible.

The only bags I've messed with are the Slam Specialties RE8's, RE7's, and air lift d2500's. I would rather have the slams then the airlifts. I can't comment on how any of them ride since my truck isn't at that stage yet. The RE8's are a lot softer then the RE7's. I've been told that if you want to ride low without bottoming out then you'll want the 7's since they're stiffer. If you run a stiff shock then I'm sure you'll be able to ride low with RE8's as well.

As far as the notch goes, buy one premade. They're not expensive and would probably be cheaper to buy one and have it installed then to have a shop make one and install it. you can also buy notches that are prewelded. All the shop would have to do is just weld It to the frame instead of putting it all together,weld it, and weld it to the frame. Nfamus suspension has these for a good price. They sell a weld on wishbone kit for most trucks for $700 I think.

For the compressors, you can go electric or engine driven. Engine driven compressors are a lot quieter and faster then electrics but tend to be more expensive if you buy the full kit(brackets,pulley,fittings,pressure switch, etc) like most people do. I made all my fittings, and bought a universal Bracket, so everything for engine driven ended up costing about the same price as a viair dual 480 pack. Maybe a bit less. They also require maintenance like Changing the oil and checking the seals. electrics are pretty simple, mount them,plumb them, give them power and you're good. Maybe rebuild them every couple years or so.

You'll want at least 6 valves(4 for the front, two for the rear) preferably 8. 4 for the front
And 4 for the rear. If you just use 4 for The whole system then air is going to transfer sides when turning. Causing one side to lean more then the other. Not safe IMO. Youll also want check valves On your lines. It's very important to run these. For example if you're tank was to blow and you didn't have check valves then your whole system would air out while driving. If you have check valves then the air will stay in your bags until You let the air out. The most common size of valve would probably be 3/8". Almost everyone I talk to says 1/2" is too fast for Them. My setup is 3/8" valves with 1/2" line and will eventually be swapped out for all 3/8" when I switch to accuair. I'm sure you can find some vids on YouTube showing different speeds.

Don't cheap out on a switchbox. If you're going to buy a box then make sure it's from a reputable brand like AVS. Or if you're going to make your own be sure to use good switches. Ive heard about people's Switchboxes messing up while driving and valves draining or the boxes catching on fire.


For the front youll need cups. I believe they'll bolt right up if you get KP components. I've never looked under a NNBS so idk how they'd mount. You'll also want spindles. When it comes to NNBS trucks idk a damn thing about which brand is better. So I can't help you there. Lol. I do have some NNBS spindles from mcgaughys that I'm trying to sell though.


Tubbing- I don't think you need to tub the firewall on the NNBS trucks unless you're running a 24. I could he wrong though. Never really looked it up. Also I don't think you need to cut a whole lot out of the bed either. As far as fenders go, check your local trailer stores. I bought mine for $25 a piece at a trailer shop around here. I'm sure a shop can make you a notch cover but it'd probably be easier to just buy one premade from AVS or thorbros.

That's pretty much all I can think of at the moment. If I remember anything else I'll be sure to post it up.
 
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Zach.

Member
Jan 25, 2011
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Here's some links to some articles that explain the different types of suspension setups and how to properly set them up.
Link 1 & link 2 are the same articles but link 2 has comments with some good info in them.

Link 1

Link 2
 

BigBoi

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2012
12,991
1,375
113
St George SC
Post up pics of nnbs rear set-ups if y'all have any. I know I can google search them but I figured if you have some then you might can explain about them.

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Zach.

Member
Jan 25, 2011
637
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Bakersfield, Ca
heres the Nfamus kit I was talking about. You might be able to find some pics on their site of different installs.


or You can also use a KP 6-link for a NBS on the NNBS. From what I can tell you just wont use all 6 mounting bolts on the front. Just 4 since the frame is taller on the NBS.