Posted 2018-05-05 1:25 PM (#171574) Subject: Air bags for truck suspension
I want to help the suspension on my truck while hauling my fully loaded LQ trailer.
The consensus of local RV and diesel truck guys is to use air bags. there seem to be 3 options
1. luxury version suggested by RV repair guy is what he says is on motor homes- a self leveling system that has all parts located under the truck- so no controls or wiring thru firewall into truck. Basically a set it and forget it- will inflate/deflate automatically to whatever you have preset as "level" as the load varies.
2.Next step down is more standard- firestone bags with on board compressor and controls in cab of truck - this requires, I imagine , loading up and just before you go down the road, you inflate to what looks good?
3.Step down from that is same except no compressor- you have valves at license plate area that you can use a small compressor to inflate
Looking for any input/experience, also good/bad brands
Posted 2018-05-06 8:13 AM (#171576 - in reply to #171574) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
Location: western PA
Another alternative is the insatllation of TIMBRENS. They have no moving parts or maintenance. They can be installed to not affect the original unweighted truck's ride quality, They are easier to install than a bag system and are less expensive as well. I have used them for over a decade and a half without any failures or needed adjustments. The truck owners in our club, who have installed these systems are equally as pleased with their performance. It should be noted that upon the initial installation, they should not be placed directly against or near to the frame as a bump stop. This will make the initial,l empty ride quite rough. Ours and everyone to whom I have recommened this system, have them placed to where they contact the frame, at the same time the overload springs first engage under a heavy load. On our truck, that is an aprox 2000 lbs load. With the TIMBRENS installed , the suspension will only then compress an additional fraction of an inch and will remain level. Our initial ride quality is undisturbed, and with a light load, (1000-1500 lbs) the TIMBRENS are unused.
Posted 2018-05-09 3:46 PM (#171579 - in reply to #171576) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
Hi- looked at these and seem like a great solution at reasonable cost. I looked at install instructions per manufacturer and do not quite understand what you are suggesting- instructions are pry out existing bump stop and twist Timbren into place in that cup, leaving 1 " gap between Timbren and part below- which seems to have it where you say not to put it?? Any chance you could clarify this for me?
Posted 2018-05-09 4:15 PM (#171580 - in reply to #171574) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
Location: Lawrence KS
I have installed Timbrens on 2 of my trucks- Dont have to mess with airing them up. ?You remove the existing bump stops and bolt in the Timbren pieces ( they look like an air bag but are solid rubber type material ) --- They come with a couple different spacers so you can adjust at installation to achieve a 1/2 to 1 " space when not loaded so you have normal suspension feel. Then when you hook up a trailer the suspension smashes down and " engages the Timbrens if you will " for extra load capacity - The Timbrens are kind of pricey but to me have been worth it and work well.
Posted 2018-05-09 11:36 PM (#171581 - in reply to #171579) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
lauraD - 2018-05-09 6:46 PM Hi- looked at these and seem like a great solution at reasonable cost. I looked at install instructions per manufacturer and do not quite understand what you are suggesting- instructions are pry out existing bump stop and twist Timbren into place in that cup, leaving 1 " gap between Timbren and part below- which seems to have it where you say not to put it?? Any chance you could clarify this for me? Thanks
Posted 2018-05-10 7:18 AM (#171582 - in reply to #171574) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
Location: western PA
On some trucks, a one inch gap installation will allow the Timbrens to engage with only a light loading, degrading the original truck's ride quality. Many trucks' brands and models have various suspension specifications, and the amount of deflection of each one can greatly vary. When you are installing the Timbrens, preloading the truck with a known amount of weight, say the same amount as your pin weight, will result in a ride that is unaffected until that amount is then placed on the truck. Some newer trucks have a suspension travel that can exceed four, six inches or more of deflection under various loading. Choosing the level ride you want with a known weight loading, is the advantage this system can offer. A Timbren dealer can mix and match parts to give you what ride you want. I know one owner of a used truck with Timbrens installed, who cut part of the cones off and was pleased with the result. The installation is a simple assembly of a couple of brackets. Spending a couple of extra minutes during their installations, can result in a more comfortable experience of ownership.
Posted 2018-05-10 9:59 AM (#171584 - in reply to #171574) Subject: RE: Air bags for truck suspension
Location: Valentine, NE
We went with air bags due to the Tembrens not having a large enough weight rating. Right after we got the bags on, Tembren came out with a higher rated style....I like to adjust the rear ride height so might not like the Tembrens. But never had them.
We did the compressor/gauge option. Tied it into the Ford acc. switches and all is good.
If you go with air bags, make sure you get the kind you can run with no pressure in them. AS you WILL have leaks from time to to time.