How to choose the right suspension upgrade for your truck: Timbren SES with spacer kits vs Airbags with air suspension lift
What is an air suspension lift kit?
An air suspension lift kit is not the same as a conventional lift kit. Air suspension lift kits are adjustable. In other words, by adding compressed air into the airbags, you are able to lift the frame of the truck to your desired ride height.
Before we try to explain how they work, let’s take a quick look at the basic working parts of an air suspension lift kit with onboard air supply:
- First of all, there are 2 airbags (bellows) - one for each side of the truck.
- Secondly, airlines connect the airbags to the air tank.
- Thirdly, the air tank connects to a compressor.
Air Lift adjustable air springs are engineered to fit with your existing suspension. They work well with either leaf spring or coil suspensions and help to eliminate squat, providing you with a more comfortable ride when towing or hauling a load.
Air Lift's air suspension kits for trucks come with adjustable air springs that offer better weight distribution by leveling the load. When you’re towing, you can drive with more control over steering and braking.
What is a Timbren SES spacer kit?
When a truck has been lifted an inch or two, it changes the dynamic of the suspension. In other words, the frame sits an inch or two higher than normal. The extra height looks sexy and stylish, but it diminishes the effectiveness of a Timbren SES upgrade.
Why is that? Here’s the thing: Timbren SES kits are designed to work with a standard suspension from the factory. They’re meant to sit with an inch gap between the rubber spring and the axle when unloaded. If the vehicle has been lifted 2 more inches, the space between the rubber spring and the axle is now 3 inches. Therefore, the suspension must drop 3 inches before it engages with the axle. Needless to say, the SES upgrades aren’t able to do their job effectively!
But there is a simple solution to this problem. They’re called “spacer kits.” A spacer kit comes with 2 one inch spacers, 2 half inch spacers, and enough fasteners to adjust to your desired ride height. So you see, it’s not a problem if your truck has been lifted a couple inches. At the end of the day, you don’t need to sacrifice function for style. Timbren SES spacer kits give your lifted truck maximum suspension performance that you have come to expect.
How does Air Lift compare with Timbren SES?
Load leveling: Both products can keep your truck level even under the heaviest loads. Here are some of the benefits associated with load-leveling:
- Reduced roll and sway
- Improved steering
- More control
Ride quality: Both products promise better ride quality with or without a load.
Warranty: Both products come with a Lifetime Warranty.
Obviously, Timbren SES and air bags use two very different technologies: Aeon® hollow rubber springs vs Airbags filled with air. Even though a Timbren SES product can sometimes be mistaken for an airbag suspension system, nothing could be further from the truth. Airbags use compressed air to lift and lower the truck. Timbren SES products use hollow rubber helper springs. The rubber - not air - does the job of keeping the truck level and stable.
Airbag kits can potentially cost much more than Timbren SES products. In fact, cost is one of the biggest differences between the two systems. Installation charges plus the number of additional conveniences and upgrades (e.g., air compressors) can really add up.
Most Timbren SES products take about 30 minutes to install. Due to the large number of parts needed for it to function, an airbag system can take up to 4 hours to install.
Timbren SES kits require zero maintenance. Airbag systems are more high-maintenance and require periodic checks for leaks and broken airlines.
Timbren SES products are self-adjusting. Airbags require height-control valves that adjust the amount of compressed air sent through the airlines to the air bags.
It’s fair to say that airbag suspension kits bring to the table certain benefits. And Timbren SES kits have their own set of advantages as well. Hopefully, this article is providing you with some clarity to the question, “Should I purchase air bags or Timbren SES?”
Which suspension upgrade is best for you?
Above, we compared Air Lift airbags to Timbren SES suspension upgrades. So, which one of these suspension systems is best for you?
A quick observation suggests that Timbren SES products have the best price and the most capacity. And if you were to take a closer look, you’d notice that Timbren SES wins big points for:
- best ride quality loaded or unloaded
- best added stability
- best warranty
So, just in case you missed it, we highly recommend Timbren SES suspension upgrades for your half-ton pickup.
Think about it: Timbren SES products have been around for over 50 years and are still the best and smartest choice hands down!
“Whether we’re towing with our Nissan Titan or our Toyota Tundra, our Timbren SES kit has been a game changer. Reduced all sag in the rear plus helps the tow rigs gain maximum control. Over a year with SES and we would never go back.” @ClicOutdoor
For more information about Timbren SES products, please visit Timbren.com