I have been down both roads and honestly I think just changing the springs is the way to go, If you have read any of my posts you already know I run the crap out of my trucks and over load them and just plain beat them, I ran air bags in the rear in my dodge 3500 and honestly don't think it helped that much, sure it leveled the truck when I had a small load but mine were hooked together so when you leaned the truck the air would transfer from one side or the other. I believe in springs, I use to get into rock crawling and off road buggies and we had air chocks, nitro shocks and springs. I got the most from springs and the shocks just helped keep it level in off camber situations. I have added a new set of leafs in my 97 dodge 3500 and they are BIG, as in 12,000lb capability BIG w/helpers. I love them and in the front I ran the 3300lb coils. This truck may drop an 1" with a western 8.6 with custom 1/4" thick wings. the plow is 11' w/wings and weighs much more than any western you'll see, I have a few repairs on it too which ads to the weight
I would say Springs but I spent much more than 600 bucks getting custom packs made and the coils came from Dodge
MattNice, Let me know how they work out with the 8611pl.
I am planning on putting some rear bags on my 3500. Loaded with salt even for an hour it seems a little to much for her. I guess I am used to the F450.
I may put these shocks on the front also.....thinking about it.
oh by the way.....I am figuring that you are taking the pics with your phone. Change the settings (to less fine pic) and you probably won't have to reasize them. After I did I never have to resize.
i had the exact same problem as you drescribed installing mine last week!!! haha. i was about to go crazy, i got mine from a guy used for $300 shipped, which was a steal. one worked fine, the second i had to take off twice and bench test cause it was leaking air after i installed each time. but i got it right eventually.I got he air over gas shocks in, and pretty easy install overall. One note, after collapsing the shock so you get the unit to fit. Use some tie wraps to hold the shock in the collapsed position. We installed the unit, cut the tie wraps and bolted the unit top and bottom. We ran the air line and put the air to it leaked like a sieve. Thought I had a bad unit, so we removed the unit and bench tested it, no problems, worked great. Reinstalled, and had the same issue when we put the air to it again. Removed once again and bench tested, again worked fine. Seems that the unit got slightly tweaked when installing the bottom bolt, enough to cause the air bag to lose its seat.
So when installed the last time, we attached the air line to the unit before we cut the tie wraps. Put about 10-15 psi to help east the bag against the shock. Cut the wraps, bolt it up and worked like a charm.
I have the pics of the install. I will forward them to Chuck, and I am sure he post them here.
When I mount the plow in the am, I will get some pics of how the front end looks with the plow at different PSI settings.
Why not just put on a set of timbrens? you won't need anymore than that. I run an 8 foot Stainless spreader with a 3X6X3/16 steel tube frame in mine FULL of Magic and I am just touching the helpers.