Suspension Upgrades: Are they worth the money? | Timbren SES

Suspension Upgrades: Are they worth the money?

Not every truck that rolls off the assembly line has a suspension that can meet the demands of its owner. Sometimes it needs extra help. That’s what suspension upgrades are for. Whether you’ve got a front suspension that squats beneath the weight of a snow plow or a sagging rear suspension laboring under the additional stress of a slide-in camper, suspension upgrades can have a positive impact on your truck’s overall performance. 


To help you decide whether or not suspension upgrades are worth the money, this article will answer the following questions:


  • What are suspension upgrades?
  • Why would I need a suspension upgrade?
  • What are the ‘best’ suspension upgrades for trucks and trailers?
  • Are suspension upgrades easy to install?
  • Why are Timbren SES upgrades your best choice?


bump stop upgrades for trailers

What are suspension upgrades?


In order to understand what a suspension upgrade is, you’ll need to be familiar with the main components of a suspension in which it has seven:


  1. Springs
  2. Wheels/Tires
  3. Shock absorbers
  4. Rods
  5. Bearings and bushings
  6. Steering system
  7. Frame

A suspension upgrade could involve any of these parts listed above. The suspension provides you with a certain level of stability, comfort, and control. If any of these advantages need to be modified, any related component(s) must be upgraded.


Most suspension upgrades involve springs and shocks. Springs and shocks work together in order to soften the ride and control the bounce. A really good upgrade can both improve the ride and add stability.


Depending on the type of springs found on your vehicle’s suspension, this could involve a number of options. Among the most popular suspension upgrades, there are basically three:


  1. Add-a-leaf
  2. Air bags
  3. Hollow rubber springs

These three types of upgrades are considered ‘auxiliary’ springs. Instead of replacing the standard suspension installed at the factory, they are designed as a spring assist. Virtually every upgrade – at the very least – is designed to keep your truck level, absorb road shock, and improve overall stability. 


air bag system


Why would I need a suspension upgrade?


Earlier on, we mentioned some of the benefits of suspension upgrades. If you’re not aware that you need a suspension upgrade for your truck, then you’re probably not aware of any towing and hauling problems. Here’s how you can know if you need a suspension upgrade. Have you noticed the following?


  • The tow vehicle is not level with the trailer
  • You’re getting a lot of body roll and sway
  • Your truck suspension is frequently bottoming out
  • The headlights are pointing up into oncoming traffic
  • You feel extra sway when changing lanes or turning corners. 
  • Your steering feels "loose"

That said, here’s how a suspension upgrade can help your suspension:


Load leveling: If your suspension is sagging or squatting under a load, helper springs are designed to keep the truck level under load.

Stability: If your truck leans too far on corners causing you to slow down, helper springs reduce roll and sway.

Ride quality: If your truck porpoises while loaded on rough roads, helper springs can smooth out the ride by absorbing road shock.

Protection: Helper springs will protect your suspension avoiding any serious damage to the vehicle.

Safety: Helper springs will give you more control over your loaded vehicle, increasing safety and driver confidence.


Instead of asking “Why would I need a suspension upgrade?” you need to ask yourself, “Why not?”


trailer suspension upgrades


What are the ‘best’ suspension upgrades for trucks and trailers?


When trying to make an informed choice as to which helper springs are best for you, there are a number of factors that you should consider. 


Design: Is the product simple or complex? Is it easy to install? Does it require a lot of maintenance?

Cost: Some products cost more than others. Which one will give you the biggest bang for your buck?

Ride quality: What is the ride like with and without a load? Does the product enhance the ride or compromise ride quality? Does it absorb road shock?

Stability: Just because the product levels the load doesn’t mean that the vehicle will remain stable. Some products don’t really address the problem of body roll and sway.

Longevity: How long has the product been on the market? Does the product have a good warranty? Does the company offer a customer satisfaction guarantee? Is a good warranty important to you?


Not every product, however popular, is designed to meet your suspension needs. Hopefully, these five factors will help you decide which helper spring is ‘best’ for you.


suspension upgrade

Are suspension upgrades easy to install?


Earlier we listed 3 of the most popular suspension upgrades:


  1. Air bags
  2. Add-a-leaf
  3. Hollow rubber springs


Without a doubt, air bags – the first upgrade – are the most complicated suspension system due to the large number of components and the many tools it requires to complete the job. Air bags take the longest to assemble and are, therefore, the most difficult to install. If you don’t have the tools or the skills, we recommend that you hire a professional.


The second upgrade – add-a-leaf – is much easier to install. This bolt-on product has the fewest parts and, with the right tools, can be completed in a fraction of the time. Again, if you don’t have the proper tools and experience pulling a leaf spring apart and then reassembling it with the added leaf, we recommend you hire a professional.


Finally, the third upgrade – hollow rubber springs – are the absolute easiest to install. If you know how to remove a factory bump stop, you can certainly install a hollow rubber spring. The trade name for this product is Timbren SES. Most SES products take about 30 minutes to install. Some SES kits are so ridiculously easy that 15 minutes is all it takes to complete the entire job!


Why are Timbren SES upgrades your ‘best’ choice?


If you have read through this short article, you’re now aware that suspension upgrades can have a positive impact on your truck’s overall performance. After a brief comparison between the three most popular suspension upgrades, we think you’ll agree that Timbren SES suspension upgrades are truly your ‘best’ choice for your truck and trailer. Why? Because they check off all the boxes when it comes to:


  • design 
  • cost 
  • ride quality 
  • stability 
  • longevity 
  • ease of installation.

For more information on Timbren SES suspension upgrades, please visit Timbren SES.