Suspension Upgarde Suggestions

BCHauler

Adventurer
FYI - for anyone who has Timbrens and found the unloaded ride poor, they are installed incorrectly. Installed properly, the springs should be 1/2-1" away from the axle tube or lift block ear. Unloaded, the spring shouldn't be touching, therefore have zero effect on the ride. Sometimes, the listed kit will be incorrect for a vehicle if the suspension has a different-than-new ride height.
 

incognito

Adventurer
Hy,
have my Dodge ram with a 4000 lbs truck and service box added one leaf spring and 2 strong overload leafs at a truck suspension shop. good for highway no sway at all but too stiff.added a 5000 lbs airbags Ride Rite from Firestone and drives like a dream now at 25 psi of air. takes a lot of load from the leafs . big trucks are using airbags and can carry a lot of weight.
the plan is to have more flex i'll do some more testing. maybe take one leaf out and get the overloads to engage later or out completely from there.bought a 2 inch spacer in the front, a leveling kit what it is called and with airvalves and airbags in the rear i'm planning to have 2 things done: to be able to level the truck by playing up and down with the airbags, rear goes up and down app 2-3 inches and second to have a soft suspension for offroad and stiff when on highway with no sway. will see if airbags can do this when well inflated
payed 420$ for the airbag set and 60$ for a 12v dual piston heavy duty compressor which is always good to have, 120$ for the dual airvalves on ebay
like this i don't want to carry leveling plates. leveling is more too keep my fridge working
also just bought daystar air bag cradles not installed yet
incognito
 

canyonrover

New member
I too would be interested in the off road capabilities of the Timbren vs air bags. I want to be able to 4 wheel with my TC on my Tundra. Need the Timbren/airbags due to weight but don't want to compromise my 4 wheel capabilities.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I just made these spacers for my 02 f350 with factory overloads. I just bought a Northstar tc650. With the camper on the truck it barely hits the overload on the drivers side and there was about 1/2-3/4" gap on the passenger side. Before I do anything else, I thought I would try these by engaging the overloads sooner. I have not tried them yet. The long bolts will be replaced with short ones, I was doing a test fit. The front spacers are shorter in both length and height due to clearance issues when installing them.

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My Dodge buddy fabricated/installed some of those on his '05 3500. It does help. 2.5" Kings or Foxes specially valved for campers work wonders also.
 

805gregg

Adventurer
I just made these spacers for my 02 f350 with factory overloads. I just bought a Northstar tc650. With the camper on the truck it barely hits the overload on the drivers side and there was about 1/2-3/4" gap on the passenger side. Before I do anything else, I thought I would try these by engaging the overloads sooner. I have not tried them yet. The long bolts will be replaced with short ones, I was doing a test fit. The front spacers are shorter in both length and height due to clearance issues when installing them.

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Excellent Idea, and easily removable
 

UHAULER

Explorer
I finally got around to trying out my overload spacers. They make a big difference. The rear stays up and there is less drivers side sag. Took it for a drive and there is very little sway. They were very squeaky so I came home and put some Bel-Ray waterproof grease on them and took took it for another drive and it quieted up.

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motrhed

Observer
Air Bags!

I have tried various load stabilizing systems over the years and air bags are the clear winner. Currently I have an '07 Chev 2500HD 4x4 d-max crew cab long box to carry a Corsair 9'2" hard side camper (about 4000 lbs loaded). The unit is tall at just under 13' and definately raises the center of gravity. Controlling the weight and roll is critical and I have achieved it with a few modifications.
The truck has a 4" Rancho lift with adjustable RS9000 shocks, Firestone air bags with custom mounts due to the lift, urethane front sway bar bushings, and 33" BFG AT T/A's (10 ply). The airbags were plumbed together and all the air lines were armored and routed properly for protection from rocks and debris. The airbag filler valve was mounted inside the fuel filler door and is easily accessible to fill from a portable 12 volt air compressor that I always carry. I can adjust the pressure easily and keep track of what pressures are required when empty (5 lbs), with the camper fully loaded (75-85 lbs), or with the camper and enclosed trailer (90-95 lbs). An adjustment of even 2 lbs is noticeable and I can fine tune to eliminate any bounce or excessive sway. The RS9000 shocks were a huge help in controlling the bounce that can occur when airbags take the majority of added load. I adjust the shocks up to a predetermined setting front and rear when the camper is being loaded and when the camper is off, the shocks are adjusted back down to a comfortable setting. Urethane bushings on the front sway bar also give a more controlled feel when being more aggresive while braking or turning. Tire pressures also play a large part in the behavior of the ride and they are adjusted according to the load and driving conditions.
I have had air bags on a few different trucks over the past 10 years and have only encountered one slow air leak, on the first truck on a section of air line that was not properly armored with rubber tubing. It was a quick fix and has never been a problem since.
This truck rides better than it did stock when empty but particularly when loaded. Not a small feat for a lifted pick-up.
I hope this helps... Best of luck to you.
 

topher800

New member
4. No air bags. (i have a set of Firestones you can have for free) Why? Recoil. If your wheel falls in a hole, there will be an opposite and nearly the same recoil action. Boinga-boinga-boing. Dumb old leaf springs are tried-and-true. "Duh, what happened?", say the leaves.
I have been reading that the newer Dodges with truck camper and air bags are not a good combo. Sway is increased due to the airbags being mounted towards the interior instead of over the springs. I have this setup and I can confirm, exiting the supermarket parking lot is like the most dangerous thing I do...though I have no other experience.

I am looking to improve my setup also. Currently airbags and Hellwig sway bar. Trying to decide between:

Supersprings or Roadmaster and some Monomax shocks....or some really nice shocks like Fox or King. Anyone have experience with the Rancho/Bilstein/KYB groupo vs. the King/Fox/Swayaway shocks on stock springs?

I have looked into some of the full suspension kits (Carli, et al), but not sure I want [need] to level the vehicle and I am not looking into bigger wheels.

Thanks for any insight.
 

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incognito

Adventurer
Hy,
air bags acts like a cushion, softens a lot the ride and helps unload some weight from the leafs. The problem with leafs is that creates a harsh stiff ride bad for off-roads.Unless you have a good shackle attached to the leaf pack which allows a good up-down movement I've added one more leaf and 2 bigger helpers and ride was very stiff, Now with air bags it softens a lot the ride and i hope i can adjust the pressure for highway and off-road. Airbags cannot be that bad big rigs are using airbags and are carrying huge weights without rolling and also Earthroamer are riding on air bags.
Concerning the recoil action when the wheel goes into a hole i've just bought the Daystar airbag craddles, so the lower part of the air bags is no longer attached to the rear axle, allowing free down movement for the wheel. i'll do some tests in avril.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4QBG3izhyA
I've bought Bilstein 5100 shocks because is a monotube design. Good reviews and price. need more there is Bilstein 5160 remote reservoir.
Other shocks you've listed are adjustable, which means one more task (i don't need that), or very good off-road racing shocks.
True good shocks controls sway, saw that off-road racing trucks have 3 huge shocks per wheel.
hope this helps
incognito

p.s photo one more leaf and 2 bigger overload helpers which engage earlier. professionally installed. with 4000 lbs weight truck was sitting on the overload leafs didn't like the ride. added airbags and truck rides 1 inch off the overload leafs with airbags at 25 %. a little more sway but a nice soft ride.
 

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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I finally got around to trying out my overload spacers. They make a big difference. The rear stays up and there is less drivers side sag. Took it for a drive and there is very little sway. They were very squeaky so I came home and put some Bel-Ray waterproof grease on them and took took it for another drive and it quieted up.

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Very balanced setup. My friend did the same block deal you did on the overloads of his '05 Dodge 3500.
It does look like some longer springs up front are needed now.
 

topher800

New member
So I finally took my truck into Denver Spring and had a leaf added to the rear spring pack (about $700). The RAM 2500 does not have an overload spring. It rides about the same empty, but is now an inch higher in the rear (actually 2" since the Sulastic Shackle added an inch). Truck sits perfectly level with the camper on and the ride is greatly improved. We left the airbags in and he suggest running it anywhere from 15-30 psi. As an aside, they do not like airbags since MagChloride was introduced, eats away the O-rings.

I am going to agree with the people who say this was the best suspension improvement I've made. I have a wet payload of 3500# on a truck with a 2100# payload rating.

I am at 39k miles and am now replacing the shocks. Fronts are done, I went with Fox 2.0 Factory Performance w/ reservoirs and adjusters (1-8). Rears will be the 2.5 version of the same shock.
 
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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
So I finally took my truck into Denver Spring and had a leaf added to the rear spring pack (about $700). The RAM 2500 does not have an overload spring. It rides about the same empty, but is now an inch higher in the rear (actually 2" since the Sulastic Shackle added an inch). Truck sits perfectly level with the camper on and the ride is greatly improved. We left the airbags in and he suggest running it anywhere from 15-30 psi. As an aside, they do not like airbags since MagChloride was introduced, eats away the O-rings.

I am going to agree with the people who say this was the best suspension improvement I've made. I have a wet payload of 3500# on a truck with a 2100# payload rating.

I am at 39k miles and am now replacing the shocks. Fronts are done, I went with Fox 2.0 Factory Performance w/ reservoirs and adjusters (1-8). Rears will be the 2.5 version of the same shock.
Deaver added a leaf on my '98.5 Dodge and chucked the bar of steel overload on the bottom. A little overboard on mine. I could feel every section joint on I-5 with the camper and without it was teeth jarring.
My present truck with suspension mutt components: Lorenz minipaks,Kore VR front coils,Thuren Kings,Carli LT's and a Hellwig swaybar does well.
Glad you got it worked out.
 

incognito

Adventurer
hy,

made more than 25000 miles on my set-up 5000 lbs air bags with air bag daystar cradles and is a very comfortable ride at high speed and works well offroad
one more leaf add approx 1000lbs o payload and\or 2 air bags connected with separate hoses , take some stress out of the leaf pack and the 2 leaf connecting bolts, add a lot of stability can be adjusted hard on highway or soft offroad, ride more comfortable with air bags and big trucks ride air bags and carry tons of load with air bags mounted inside and not over the leaf pack if there is one
if there a sway with air bags there is one because air bags are connected together. it should be connected with separate hoses in order to prevent air transfer
hope this helps
incognito
 
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