What are helper springs?
A short history of helper springs
In order to comprehend the need for a helper spring, we need to understand what truck suspensions have looked like over the years. Suspension systems play a vital role in ensuring that your vehicle can smoothly drive on any surface. There are several types of suspension systems, and having a basic understanding of each type will help you choose the right one for your vehicle.
- Independent Suspension
Independent suspension is a type of suspension system that allows the wheels to move independently of each other. This means that bumps and shocks are absorbed by each wheel separately, providing a smoother ride. Independent suspension systems offer better handling, stability and braking performance. They also provide more comfortable rides and are found in most passenger vehicles.
- Dependent Suspension
Dependent suspension systems are the oldest type of suspension systems used in vehicles. In this type of system, both wheels are linked together through a solid axle. This means that any shock or bump that one wheel experiences is immediately transferred to the other wheel. This provides less comfort and stability while driving, but is more robust and reliable than independent suspension systems.
- MacPherson Strut Suspension
MacPherson Strut Suspension is one of the most commonly used suspension systems in modern passenger cars. It combines the shock absorber and spring into a single unit, which is connected to the wheel hub. This provides simplicity and efficiency, making it cost-effective and easy to maintain. MacPherson Strut Suspension also provides more significant space for mounting the engine and other components.
- Double Wishbone Suspension
Double Wishbone Suspension is commonly found in high-performance vehicles such as sports cars. Its design allows for superior handling and stability by keeping the tires perpendicular to the road surface even when the car is going through corners. This system has two pivots or “wishbones”, which help to control the movement of the wheel, and prevent any sideways or tilting forces from affecting the tires.
- Multi-Link Suspension
Multi-Link Suspension is a type of independent suspension system that is commonly found in SUVs and crossover vehicles. This system uses multiple control arms and links to control the movement of the wheels and to manage suspension geometry. Multi-Link Suspension provides a more comfortable ride and better handling, especially on rough and uneven terrain.
- Air Suspension
Air Suspension is a type of suspension system that uses air bags to support the weight of the vehicle. This system provides a more comfortable and smoother ride, as it can be adjusted to different road conditions and vehicle loads. Air Suspension is commonly used in luxury vehicles, buses, and trucks.
- Leaf Spring Suspension
Leaf spring suspension is a type of dependent suspension system commonly used in light to medium-duty trucks and trailers. It uses several leaf springs, which are stacked on top of each other and mounted to the axle of the vehicle. This type of suspension system provides excellent load-carrying capacity and is cost-effective. However, it can be uncomfortable to drive, especially on rough roads.
Helper springs are an addition to the primary suspension designed to assist with hauling and towing heavy loads by reducing sag, squat, and instability.
What are the most popular helper springs?
Airbag suspension helpers like Firestone Air Bags and Air Lift Air Bags allow you to adjust the pressure to compensate for different payload conditions. You can tweak the amount of air to get the ride you want.
Hellwig leaf spring helpers and SuperSprings are designed to bolt to the top of your leaf springs to prevent sag, helping to eliminate bottoming out.
These helper springs - made of microcellular polyurethane - replace the original bumpstops.
Timbren helper springs are made from natural rubber, designed to replace the original bumpstops. Timbren SES is an easy-to-install DIY system. Sometimes called shock helper springs, these hollow rubber springs can absorb road shock just like shock absorbers.
Which helper springs are considered the best?
The “best helper springs” on the market today have multiple uses and provide several benefits:
- Easy to install
- Require zero maintenance
- Deliver better ride quality
- Keep the truck level
- Maintain stability
- Eliminate roll and sway
- Absorb road shock
Provide a smooth ride at all times – loaded or unloaded
Very few helper springs can combine all of the above benefits and advantages. Some truck helper springs provide a great ride but not enough stability. Others provide stability without extra ride quality. There’s only one that offers everything listed above: Timbren SES
Timbren helper springs review
Timbren SES truck springs were first developed for the North American market in 1968. Timbren’s founder, Arnold Heron, wanted to develop alternatives to older, more conventional truck suspensions.
The sale of SES kits has expanded since then to include well over 400 kits for everything from small pickups to big rigs like Peterbilt. Timbren SES helper springs, aka Aeon® hollow rubber springs, are at the heart of every Timbren SES product. They are the alternative to metal and air.
Aeon® springs come in various sizes and shapes: single, double, and even triple convolutions, some round, some square. A set of Aeon® springs provide extra weight capacity for your suspension, starting at 1,000 lbs up to 50,000 lbs. Every SES kit is a combination of carefully selected Aeon® springs and components that can be installed on virtually every truck, van and SUV that rolls off the assembly line.
What's so special about Timbren SES? In order to understand why Timbren SES are so special compared to the competition, you need to understand two innate characteristics of an Aeon® hollow rubber spring - used in every Timbren SES product:
Progressive spring rate
Unlike metal springs that have a linear spring rate, Aeon® rubber springs have a progressive spring rate, a rate that increases as more weight is added to the truck. In order to explain a progressive spring rate, let’s talk about a linear spring rate: A linear spring rate means that the spring rate is the same as the spring compresses all the way down until it can’t compress any more. In other words, a 300 lbs per inch linear rated spring will compress 1 inch when 300 lbs is applied An additional 300 lbs applied to the spring will make it compress another inch - and so on.
A progressive spring rate (or variable spring rate) constantly increases its spring rate. In other words, if it takes 300 lbs to compress the spring 1” it could take 3 times the load to make it compress an additional 1 inch - and so on.
Timbren SES helper springs offer a progressive spring rate. Here are some of the benefits that you will enjoy using Timbren SES upgrades for towing:
- No more sag & squat when you hook up the trailer
- Increased stability when you turn corners
- Smoothest ride with or without a load
Unlike metal springs that need shocks to absorb the energy created when they compress, Aeon® rubber springs are self-damping, able to absorb the kinetic energy by themselves.
These two characteristics – progressive spring rate and hysteresis - offer some unique advantages:
- Their progressive spring rate means they automatically adjust to the load, preventing sag and squat
- Increased stability - reduced roll and sway
- Smoothest ride even with the heaviest loads
- Maximum safety
- Maximum control while towing
For more information on Timbren helper springs, visit Timbren.com