TruckSpring Times

Truck & Trailer Parts - News & Information

Sway bar install on a 2009 GMC Yukon 1500 XL

Hellwig Sway Bar
It’s kind of a no brainer that adding a sway bar to a truck without factory installed sway bars will often help reduce body roll, sway and improve handling. What about replacing factory sway bars with aftermarket sway bars, will it improve the ride? Is it worth the time and money? We decided to test it out on a 2009 Yukon 1500 XL 4x4 by replacing the factory installed sway bars with new front and rear Hellwig sway bars.

We did a little measuring to check for differences and the Hellwig sway bars are beefier than the factory installed bars. The Hellwig sway bar also looked a lot nicer, higher quality, and more durable with its powder coated finish.

We measured the diameters of the sway bars.
Hellwig Sway Bar
Front Yukon factory Sway Bar:         1.38 inch
Front Hellwig Sway Bar 7685:         1.50 inch
(8.70 % larger diameter)

Rear Yukon factory Sway bar:          1.11 inch
Rear Hellwig Sway bar 7686:          1.25 inch
(12.62 % larger diameter)

  Both sway bars are no drill installations, so the install can be done at home with simple hand tools. Basically, all you have to do in unbolt your front and rear factory sway bars, grease the bushings and bolt up the new sway bars in their place. The only problem we ran into was bolting up the D-bushings. We did have a little trouble getting the bolt holes to line up and had to use a pair of channel locks, pinch the bushing, and install the bolts. It was a minor hang up, but worth mentioning.

We had both factory sway bars removed and the new Hellwig sway bars installed in under 2 hours. We did have the advantage of working in a pit, so a safe estimate would be about 2 hours for an at home install. Hellwig Sway Bar
Hellwig Sway Bar
We hit the highway after the install and were pleasantly surprised with the results. I have to admit, we were a little skeptical and weren’t sure we would be able to notice any big difference, but the sway bars turned a good ride into a great ride. The difference in body roll and sway reduction was most notable when changing lanes on the highway and the elimination of roll when getting passed by a semi going 70 mph was impressive. We look forward to testing it with a trailer and full load of gear as we think the results will be amplified.

Yes, the 2009 GMC Yukon has factory installed sway bars, but if you’re looking to further reduce body roll or sway and turn a decent ride into an excellent ride, we found that adding Hellwig sway bars is one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to do so.

You can order Hellwig sway bars by calling 1-800-358-4751.

Does your snow plow make the front of your truck sag or nose dive?

Suspension Support for Snow Plows

Snow plows are heavy and can cause the front of your truck to sag and sway. This not only looks bad, but can be unsafe and damage your front suspension components.
Snow Plow Truck

Whether you use your snow plow for your personal driveway, a landscaping business, or clearing runways and interstate highways, there is a suspension kit designed to help support your snow plow. Let’s take a quick look at a few popular options for beefing up your front suspension and giving your truck the support it needs for a snow plow. We’ll look at the options for a popular plow truck, a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 4 wheel drive.

Timbren Suspension Kits for snow plows

Timbren has been in the front end snow plow support business for years and they have a ton of customers using their kits. They offer front kits for everything from a Chevrolet S-10 to large municipal plow trucks. Timbren uses an AEON rubber progressive spring to provide support. AEON springs are hollow and progressive so they won’t affect your ride when the plow is not connected. The AEON springs comes into play when your plow is connected, providing support and preventing damage to your suspension. 

Timbren Kit Timbren GMFK25S
Material: Rubber
Warranty: Lifetime
Installation Time: Approximately one hour
Notes: Timbren offers a ride-satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with the product after you install it, you can send it back for a full refund.


Air Lift Air Cell for Snow Plows

Air Lift uses a closed cell urethane foam for snow plow support. Air Lift Air Cell has been around for a few years and is gaining more popularity every year. The closed cell foam provides a cushion of air to protect your trucks front end from sagging when your snow plow is hooked up. The rugged, long-lasting closed-cell urethane foam is the same material used in factory suspension parts. Quick, easy, bolt-on installs.

Air Cell
Air Lift Air Cell: 52212
Material: Urethane Foam
Warranty: Lifetime
Installation Time: Approximately one hour

Sumo Springs for Snow Plows

Sumo Springs are a variable rate spring with load capacities of up to 3,000 pounds. Front SumoSprings are ideal for leveling out your truck when your snow plow is connected. They will maintain the original factory ride and only provide additional support when needed. SumoSpring kits ship complete with all mounting hardware required for a quick, easy installation.

Timbren Kit
Sumo Springs SSF-201
Material: Polyurethane foam
Installation Time: Approximately one hour
Warranty: 2 years

Firestone Level-Rite for snow plows

Firestone Level-Rite is the Cadillac of snow plow support. They combine Firestone air springs with Bilstein's premium Heavy duty shocks, and you have the perfect front-end leveling system for snow plows. They are air adjustable, so you can maintain the ride height that you want from inside the cab of your pickup.

Fireston Level-Rite

Firestone Level Rite Air Adjustable Shocks
Material: Firestone Rubber air springs and Bilstein Shocks
Installation Time: 1-2 hours
Warranty: 2 years

All of the above suspension kits will help provide your truck with the extra front-end support it needs for your snow plow. A couple hundred bucks and a few hours of time and you'll have a level front end and protect your suspension from costly repairs down the road.  You can order any of the above front suspension overload kits by calling Michigan Truck Spring at 1-800-358-4751.

Firestone Work-Rite Load Assist Suspension Kits - No Air Helper Springs

Firestone Work-Rite kits are now available and have had good reviews from initial customers using the product.  Firestone Work-Rite kits are similar in design to other suspension kits that do not use air; Timbren Suspension kits and Air lift Air Cell kits. Like the others, they do not require air and are designed as maintenance free suspension load support solution.

The Work-Rite load assist springs are made of injection-molded, microcellular urethane. The rear kits are designed to help level your truck, reduce sway and absorb road shock when towing a heavy trailer or hauling a heavy load. The front kits are great for giving you that extra front end support when hooking up your snow plow, heavy winch, etc.

Fireston Work-RiteWork-Rite kits are vehicle specific and come in 3 different colors. Many of the kits come with spacers so you can adjust the distance between the load assist springs and your axle or leaf springs.

1/2-ton trucks - White Springs
3/4-ton trucks - Grey Springs
1-ton trucks - Black Springs

Firestone Industrial Products advised us “Our Work-Rite customers experience all the benefits of Firestone’s leading suspension technology – including increased vehicle stability, less vehicle sway, improved roll stability and reduced suspension fatigue – with no air pressure to monitor. Work-Rite is a fool-proof solution for constant-load or commercial applications,” said Todd Green, regional sales manager, Firestone Industrial Products, Ride-Rite™ division. “The addition of Work-Rite to our product line rounds out our good-better-best offering, allowing us to remain our customers’ leading source for load management solutions.”

Installing the kits does not require any special tools and can be done in your garage or at almost any repair facility. The majority of the Work-Rite kits are easy to install and do not require drilling. In our initial experience with them, we have found that the no-drill kits take about an hour for your first install and the kits that require drilling take about 1-1/2 to install.

Work-Rite kits are currently available for the following vehicles, with more applications being released in late 2010, early 2011.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Sierra 1500
Chevrolet Silverado 2500
GMC Sierra 2500
Chevrolet Silverado 3500
GMC Sierra 3500
Chevrolet and GMC G-3500 and G-4500 Commercial vehicles
Chrysler Town and Country Vans
Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan
Dodge RAM 1500 Pickups
Dodge RAM 2500 Pickups
Dodge RAM 3500 Pickups
Dodge RAM 4500 and RAM 5500 Commercial Trucks
Ford F-150 Pickups
Ford F-250 Pickups
Ford F-350 Pickups
Ford E-350 Vans
Nissan Xterra
Nissan Titan


You can view the installation instructions and purchase the kits at Firestone Work-Rite Helper Springs

Do you have a Firestone Work-Rite kit installed on your truck, SUV, or Van? Feel free to post your feedback on your experience with them. Call 1-800-358-4751 to order a Firestone Work-Rite kit today.

Air or No Air? Which suspension kit is better?

Do you have a truck and it sags more than you like when  towing a trailer or a hauling a bed full of supplies?  Ever wonder what is the best solution to get rid of the suspension sag, so your truck drives normally?


These are common questions and we will touch on a few of the pros and cons of each to make your buying decision a little easier.
Which is better? In our experience over the years, we've found that both air suspension kits and kits that don't use air will reduce suspension sag.  If you search the web, you'll find truck, motorhome and SUV owners around the world using one or the other, that would recommend either of them to friends.  Rather than ask which is better, perhaps a better question is “Which suspension kit is better for me?”

Pros and Cons? Lets take a quick look and a few of the pros and cons of each kit to help you weigh your decision.


Air Spring Kit



Firestone Ride-Rite
Firestone Coil-Rite
Firestone Sport-Rite
Air Lift Load-Lifter 5000
Air Lift 1000
Air Lift Ride-Control
Hellwig Air Springs


Air adjustable: A little obvious, but this is the major plus that a non-air kit can never overcome, the ability to adjust your truck to the desired ride height. Hook up your trailer, truck sags a few inches, no problem. Inflate the air springs until your truck is level. Done towing and just using the truck for the daily commute? Simply remove the air pressure until air springs are at the minimum required air pressure, and your good to go.

Level Side-to-Side: Have a motorhome with a tank full of water on one side, or a pickup with a slide in camper and your leaning to one side? With air springs, you have the option of running a “T” fitting and inflating both the air springs equally, or running the air lines separately  to each bag which allows you to increase the pressure on one side over the other. This allows you to level out the side with the water tank, etc.


 Air Leaks, holes, etc.  Yes, using air to level your truck is a major plus, and the advantages do outweigh the disadvantages, but air does require more attention and opens the door for cons that a non-air load leveling kit will never experience. When dealing with air, you have the potential to run into leaks, damaged air line, holes in air springs etc. These problems can all be easily repaired, and are not very common in the big picture, but they do happen. If you're planning on extensive travel, it's never a bad idea to have a spare air spring and some air line. Replacement air springs and air line are readily available and not very expensive.

Time to install: You will have to allow yourself a few more hours to install an air suspension kit. The instructions get better every year and now include detailed images, and many kits are no-drill, bolt on installations, but it still can be time consuming. They are not technically difficult to install, but it can take some time to cut, run the air lines, etc. Click to view the Air Lift 57275 installation instructions for the Chevy 2500HD and GMC Sierra 2500HD.

Maintaining Minimum Air Pressure: This is about as easy as it gets, but is one of the major causes of air spring failure. All kits require a minimum air pressure, usually 5-10 PSI. While its easy to check them while filling up for gas or washing your truck, people tend to forget. Running air springs without the minimum air pressure can cause them to tear or rub against something causing a hole. The best solution if your concerned about this, is an air compressor kit. This gives you the ability to monitor the air pressure from inside the cab and takes all the guessing away.


Timbren Kit




Timbren Kits
Air Lift Air Cell Kits
Firestone Work-Rite Kits







 Install and forget: Once you install a rubber or urethane suspension kit, your done. No worrying about air pressure, leaks, etc. They are maintenance free, and are great for company trucks, when other employees may be driving them.

Easy to install: Installation for these kits usually takes about an hour, and can be done with simple hand tools. For most installations you simply unbolt your existing rubber bump stop, and bolt the rubber spring in its place. For a sample installation, view the Timbren GMRCK25S Installation Instructions for the Chevy Silverado 2500HD and Sierra 2500HD.

Cost: These kits typically are $180-$300, depending on your appliation. Cost to install is also less than installation of an air spring kit, if you're not planning on doing it yourself.


 Not Adjustable: While these suspension kits are progressive, and will stiffen up when a load is placed on them, you do not have the ability to adjust it to the exact desired height as you do an air bag kit. The rubber or urethane springs will expand and contract with the varying load conditions, but you cannot control the ride height or the stiffness of the springs.


 Both air adjustable and non-air suspension kits will help reduce suspension sag, prevent body roll, reduce sway, and help level out your vehicle.  Adjustability, maintenance, installation time, and cost differentiate the various kits.  We hope this helps clear up some of the differences between them. 

Positive feedback can be found on both types of kits.  Feel free to post your comments on the experiences you have had with either of the two, that may help someone else decide “Which suspension kit is best for me?”