Severe service kits for towing with Toyota Tacoma
Let’s be honest. The customer service department at Timbren gets calls all the time from customers who think the load they’re hauling requires a “severe service” or heavy-duty suspension upgrade kit. Somehow, they think ‘more’ is better. The truth about “severe service” is… not everyone needs it or wants it!
In this short article, we’ll also take a look at the best helper springs for towing.
What is the difference between standard SES and severe service?
The key to understanding the difference between standard and severe service rubber springs can be found by examining their size and shape. Virtually every Aeon® rubber springs used in SES kits are either double-convoluted or single-convoluted. A double-convoluted spring sits a little taller than a single, while a single-convoluted spring – even though shorter – is much wider.
Most rubber springs used on pick-up trucks are double-convoluted, providing a perfect blend of capacity and ride quality. But the rubber springs used for “severe service” are single-convoluted, designed to resist weight more aggressively. The result is reduced ride quality in exchange for more stability. Also, severe service springs are typically made with harder durometer rubber. The harder rubber resists weight more efficiently compared to softer rubber.
Are severe service kits meant for towing or hauling?
Generally speaking, severe service helper springs are required when the load is extremely top-heavy, side-heavy, front-heavy, or back-heavy.
A few examples of a top-heavy load is a truck camper, a crane carrier (aerial device with a bucket), or a car carrier.
A few examples of a side-heavy, front-heavy, or back-heavy load include:
- Tow truck
- 5th wheel
- Wheel lift
- Dump body
Regarding towing: Any trailer that causes dangerous instability (like a 5th wheel trailer) or threatens to damage any suspension components of the tow vehicle most likely needs a severe-service kit.
How do I know I need a severe service kit?
Let’s say you decided to go with a popular suspension helper (like an airbag or polyurethane system) because you wanted to maintain good ride quality. Or perhaps you purchased a standard SES kit, but you decided it’s not giving you enough stability.
As we said earlier, there are certain applications that always require a severe service kit:
- Tow truck - back-heavy load
- 5th wheel - back-heavy load
- Snowplow - front-heavy load
- Aerial device - side-heavy load
- Truck camper - top-heavy load
Don’t be afraid of the single-convoluted rubber springs that come with a severe service kit. They’re designed to take the punishment of a top-heavy load such as a truck camper. Even though they resist the weight more aggressively, they will provide good ride quality when paired with a severe service application.
Is there a severe service kit designed for my Toyota Tacoma?
Are you thinking about installing a truck camper on your Toyota Tacoma? No worries! There is a DIY severe-service SES kit designed for both Toyota Tacoma and Tundra: part # TORTTN.
The following are 7 easy steps that will ensure proper installation:
Step 1 Be sure to block your tires to ensure that the vehicle does not move during installation. Wheel blocks are often overlooked as a safety precaution. Put the vehicle in park and apply the emergency brake. Then, wedge the blocks beneath the tires on both sides to keep the vehicle from moving.
Step 2 Use a jack to lift the vehicle and allow the axle to hang freely. The jack should contact a sturdy, unpainted area of the vehicle’s frame. If necessary, remove the tire to ensure you have adequate room to work.
Step 3 Loosen the U-bolt and remove the OEM bump stop.
Step 4 Drop the bolt into the hollow rubber spring. As you do so, be sure to feed the bolt through the internal washer (found inside the rubber spring) and up through the top of the spring. The internal washer is important because it prevents the bolt from pulling through the rubber spring as you tighten the assembly.
Step 5 Position the rubber spring over the round plate welded to metal bracket allowing the bolt to thread through the plate on the bracket. Tighten rubber spring until snug.
Step 6 Position the Timbren SES assembly to the axle using existing U-bolts.
Step 7 Tighten the U-bolts and replace the tire.
That’s all there is to it! When you’re done, repeat steps 1-7 on the opposite side of the vehicle.
Do severe service kits come with a lifetime warranty?
Not all suspension upgrades offered by the competition come with a lifetime warranty - particularly when it involves severe-service applications. However, Timbren has been manufacturing SES suspension upgrades for over 50 years. Right from the start, they developed severe-service products for their commercial customers in snow removal, agriculture, mining, and forestry. Their easy-to install suspension upgrades are quite literally bulletproof and therefore require zero maintenance.
For that reason, Timbren has always offered the two best warranties in the industry:
For more information on Timbren SES suspension upgrades visit www.timbren.com