Last week we posted part 1 of a four-part series: 10 things to look for in a helper spring.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll suggest 10 things to look for in a helper spring, comparing 3 popular products:  Add a leaf, Air ride and Timbren SES.


If you plan to do-it-yourself, you’re going to want a product with a simple design.  Who needs the hassle of trying to install something that’s complicated?

Add a leaf systems usually bolt-on. Some kits include as little as 2 leaf springs, and 2 center pins. Others have 4 leaf springs and a series of U-bolts and related hardware.

Air ride suspensions are more complicated. You get air bags, brackets for mounting, pipes, hoses, compressors, special fittings, shims, hardware, etc.

Timbren SES have the DIY person in mind. The average kit has about 6 parts.

Easy to install

If the product has relatively fewer components, the installation will prove to be much easier. Length of time for helps determine ease of installation.

Add a leaf systems typically take approximately 2 hours to install.

Air ride suspensions take a professional about 3 – 4 hours to install.

Timbren SES kits take roughly 30 – 60 minutes.

Low cost

You always get what you pay for… although, sometimes you’re just paying for more bells and whistles.  Let’s compare cost:

Add a leaf systems run between $100.00 – $300.00 US over the counter.

Air ride suspensions cost (on the average) between $350.00 – $400.00 US retail.

Timbren SES kits retail at about $215.00 US for a half-ton pickup truck.

Before you purchase a helper spring for your truck suspension, be sure to look for simple design, easy-to-install and low cost.

Next week:  What to look for in a helper spring – Part 3