What suspension upgrade should I get?
The purpose of this short article is to introduce you to your truck’s suspension, why you probably need a suspension upgrade, and how to choose the best upgrades for your half-ton pickup. We’ll also recommend easy-to-install Timbren SES suspension upgrades and explain why we think they’re your best choice.
What are suspension upgrades?
Before we talk about suspension upgrades, let’s define a suspension. The following are the basic components of a truck suspension:
- Wheels and tires
- Shock Absorbers
- Rods and linkages
- Ball joints, bearings, & bushings
- Steering System
The three main parts of a suspension that can be easily upgraded are springs, tires, and shock absorbers. The parts of a truck suspension upgrade that we will be focus on in this short article are the springs.
Whether they be leaf springs or coils, the easiest and most affordable way to upgrade your springs is replacing the bump stops with a Timbren SES upgrade.
Why would I need a suspension upgrade for my vehicle?
If you haul loads of dirt and gravel or tow a heavy utility or camper trailer, you’re going to need a suspension upgrade. Even though your truck’s hauling capacity is 2,000 lbs or its towing capacity is 7,000 lbs, the rear suspension is going to sag under the additional weight.
Okay. So, why is that?
The trucks of today are designed to ride like a Cadillac. They’re designed to look sexy, offering all the bells and whistles of a luxury car. And that includes the nice, soft, Cadillac ride!
But when you soften the ride of a truck, it comes at a price: reduced carrying capacity.
If you load 2,000 lbs onto the bed of your half-ton truck, you haven’t necessarily overloaded it. But if you back away from the truck about 10 feet and look at it from the side, you will notice that the back is sagging. And this will only get worse as you continue to load it up day after day, year after year.
Here’s the thing: your truck should remain level even when loaded. Sag and squat is a recipe for disaster, especially when you’re towing a trailer.
If you’re driving around in your half-ton pickup every day without a load, you won’t need helper springs. But if you’re loading it up to the gills or towing a trailer causing the rear of the truck to sag, you will definitely need to increase its spring *capacity. One of the products that we recommend are Timbren SES suspension upgrades.
*Note: Increasing your truck’s spring capacity does not increase the GVWR set by the manufacturer. In other words, you must stay within the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – the maximum weight a vehicle is designed to carry – which includes the net weight of the vehicle with accessories, plus the weight of passengers, fuel, and cargo.)
How do Timbren SES upgrades measure up to the competition?
Here are three of the most popular suspension helper springs on the market today:
- Air bags
- Timbren SES
Let’s compare and see which one is best:
Add-a-leaf products (like SuperSprings) help to level the load. Unfortunately, they cost about $600.00 US for the pair. And they’re capacity is limited to approximately 4,000 lbs additional.
Air bag products (like Air-Lift) help to level the load but they’re expensive, costing anywhere from $1,000 - $1,500. And their capacity is limited to approximately 4,000 lbs additional.
Now let’s compare Timbren SES suspension upgrades with SuperSprings and Air-Lift…
Timbren SES upgrades retail for approximately $300.00 and provide up to 6,000 lbs of additional capacity. Without question, we think Timbren SES suspension upgrades are your best choice.
Can I install a Timbren SES upgrade myself?
Here’s an easy solution that won’t take a lot of your time. Below is a quick guide that demonstrates how to properly install Timbren SES kit - part # GMRCK15S - in 7 easy steps.
Step 1 Be sure to block your tires to ensure that the vehicle does not move during installation.
Step 2 Use a jack to lift the vehicle and allow the axle to hang freely.
Step 3 Unbolt 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.
Step 5 Position the metal spacer over the top of the rubber spring, allowing the bolt to feed through the spacer.
Step 6 Install Timbren SES assembly using existing holes in the frame. The Timbren-supplied bolt will thread into the existing hole in the frame located inside the cup.
Step 7 Tighten the bolt and replace the tire. There is no specific torque value you need to match when installing a hollow rubber spring. The rubber spring needs to be tightened until it is snug, and no more.
That’s all there is to it! When you’re done, repeat steps 1-7 on the opposite side of the vehicle.
Why are Timbren SES upgrades my best choice?
Above, we compared add-a-leaf products & air-bags to Timbren SES suspension upgrades.
So, which one of the three is best?
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