One explanation goes that if you know the amount of maximum PSI the airbag holds plus the area that the airbag is holding, then you can figure out how much weight the airbag is handling, But there are too many variables involved.
PSI is a unit of measure for pressure, and pressure (PSI) is the amount of force (lbf) applied per unit of area (in2). To convert PSI to lbs, simply multiply the pressure by the area over which the force is applied. (source)
To learn more about this process, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to make this conversion if you need to do it. One thing to watch out for is that the load will change the PSI reading.
The equation goes like this- simply multiply the pressure by the area over which the force is applied. But you may not have to do this calculation the old-fashioned way, using your brain.
As with anything else, there are gauges on the market that now have the ability to handle this type of math for you. The only thing you would have to worry about would be the accuracy of the gauge or even the chart.
Some people do not trust either if they did not make those gauges or charts themselves. Because PSI in the airbags will change once they are under load, you have to be cautious about overfilling those airbags.
For example, one owner put 17 PSI in his set of airbags but after he hooked up the trailer and set the weight distribution hitch, the gauge read 23 PSI. Since the majority of airbags have a maximum of 100 PSI, you need to be careful of how much air you put in them.
There are different calculators on the internet today. The trick is finding the one that deals strictly with airbags and not tires, shocks, and other key suspension parts.
This link should be one of the better ones to use and you just need to follow the instructions to get the information you require. There is also a spreadsheet that can help you find the information you want to know.
You can look at the spreadsheet at this link. However, a lot of the information about airbags, their PSI, and load ratings are old. It may take some time to filter through all of the data to make sure you are getting the right information.
One of the things that we would recommend if you do not want to do all the math, is to buy a good gauge that does the conversion for you. One of those gauges is found at this link and you can read all about it on that website.
The gauges, if accurate, should take the guesswork out of this calculation and make your task a lot easier. There are other gauges on the market that you can check out but make sure to see if they are truly accurate or not.
Accuracy will be the key issue and you may want to do the math anyways to double-check your results.
As you can see by the directions on the chart, these numbers are for reference only. They may not reflect actual information and you will have to make some adjustments to your airbags.
There is no golden rule on how much PSI you need to start with. Then you have to take into account several variables, for example, the condition of the springs. Good springs will require less PSI while older worn-out springs will require a lot more.
On top of that, you have to understand that the airbags are not there to replace the springs or suspension. They are only intended to supplement them.
What that means is that you only need to fill those airbags till the truck and the headlights are level and shining in the right direction. Then, because these airbags are installed on a variety of vehicles with suspensions in a variety of conditions, there is no set PSI standard to go by.
The PSI in your vehicle will depend on how much weight you are towing or hauling and the condition of your truck's suspension.
This type of gauge does not give you the ‘weight’ reading. But to read the load gauge you will need to park on a level surface, place the vehicle in neutral and set the parking brake.
Then chock the wheels so they do not roll on you and release the parking brake. Then check the gauge. The reading will be in PSI because the sensors in some of these gauges will not be monitoring the weight. They will only be monitoring the PSI.
Do not expect to get a reading of 0. The reason you will not get this reading is that there will always be some weight on those airbags even if you do not have anything in your truck bed or the trailer is not hitched up yet.
To get the load weight rating, you need a chart or one of those gauges that do the conversion for you. What you are looking for is that you do not exceed the maximum load rating for the axles or suspension on your vehicle.
If you install airbags to supplement your suspension, keep in mind that you are still bound by the maximum weight ratings your vehicle has. These airbags won’t change that rating.
They just help provide a little extra support and hopefully smooth out your ride. If the ride is rough, you may have too much air in those airbags. It is okay to make adjustments as you go. Just don’t go too low or the airbags may not be of any help. Find an accurate gauge to help you.