Periodically inspecting your suspension air bags can increase their life and make operation safer. Luckily, there are nine easy steps to making sure that your air springs are undamaged and operating correctly. These steps can be taken while the vehicle is in for periodic maintenance. The total inspection takes a matter of minutes to complete. Finding and correcting problems with your air springs before you hit the road will save you time and money.
- Inspect the outside diameter of the air spring. Make sure to check the bellows for signs of irregular wear or heat cracking.
Inspect the airlines to make sure there isn’t contact between the air line and the outside diameter of the air spring. While in operation, contact between these parts can create friction and rub holes in the spring very quickly.
- Ensure that there is sufficient clearance around the total circumference of the air bag while it is inflated to its maximum size.
- Look for debris buildup around the air bag's piston. The piston is the bottom component that plunges the air from the bellows on reversible sleeve style air bags.
- Make sure the correct ride height can be maintained. Any vehicle featuring air bags have an established ride height specified by the original equipment manufacturer. The ride height should be specified in the vehicle’s service manual. Make sure that the ride height is within ¼ inch of the specified height. This measurement can be taken while the vehicle loaded or empty.
- Inspect, clean, and if necessary, replace leveling valves or height control valves. These valves play a large part in ensuring that the total air spring system works as required.
- Make sure your shock absorbers and end connectors are not worn or broken. Be on the look out for leaking hydraulic oil, as this can be a sign that your shocks are damaged. If this is the case, you must replace your shock absorbers immediately. Your air bag can overextend and become damaged if the shock absorber does not limit its rebound.
- Check all mounting hardware to make sure that they are tightly fastened. If nuts and bolts are loose, you should re-torque them to the tightness specified by the manufacturer, being careful to not over tighten.
- Clean the air spring with the approved cleaning products, such as soap and water, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and methyl alcohol. Non-approved cleaners include abrasives, open flames, all organic solvents and direct pressurized steam cleaning.
Important: Never service the air suspension on a truck or trailer with the air springs inflated.
Firestone Air Bags and Air Spring Kits
- Firestone Coil Rite Air Springs for Coil Spring Suspensions
- Firestone Sport-Rite Air Helper Springs
- Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs for Leaf Spring Suspensions
- Firestone Level-Rite Air Spring & Damper
Firestone Air Bags for Light Duty Trucks, Pickups and SUVs
Firestone Air Springs for Buses
- Single Convoluted Bus Air Springs
- Double Convoluted Bus Air Springs
- Reversible Sleeve Bus Air Springs
Firestone Air Springs for Heavy Duty Trucks and Trailers - Class 6, 7, 8
- Reversible Sleeve Air Springs
- Single Convoluted Air Springs
- Double Convoluted Air Springs
- Triple Convoluted Air Springs
Replace your worn and damaged air bags with Firestone Air Bags and Replacement Air Springs from Truckspring.com, your source for truck suspension parts. Call Michigan Truck Spring 1-800-358-4751 if you have any questions about Firestone air springs. They have been installing them for years and are authorized warehouse distributors for Firestone air springs and air bags.
Do you notice excessive bouncing, sway or sag in your suspension while towing that camper, boat or equipment trailer with your pick-up truck? Adding a helper spring to your rear suspension will keep you riding smoothly while hauling those heavy loads.
A Timbren Kit Suspension Enhancement System is an affordable option for improving the suspension of your pick-up truck. Installing Timbren helper springs is easy, requires no special tools and can be done in just a few minutes by almost anyone.
A 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 was brought to us when its owner noticed that his trailer was causing his rear suspension to bottom out while negotiating the rough terrain of his job sites. He wanted to save his shocks the wear and damage from such rigorous use and the DR1525H4 Timbren bump stop for rear suspensions were the obvious answer to this problem.
When placed side by side, the difference between the OEM stop bump (left) and the DR1525H4 Helper Spring (right) is obvious.
We were able to install the Timbren helper springs into the Dodge Ram in about ten minutes using only a ratchet set. Upgrade your suspension and install a Timbren Kit in your pick-up truck in five simple steps.
Raise the vehicle – Use your lift, jack or pit to give yourself room to work. Preferably, the vehicle should be raised so that the axle is able to hang freely.
- Remove existing parts – Use your ratchet set to unbolt the preexisting bump stop assembly.
- Assemble the helper spring – Assemble the Aeon rubber spring and bracket with the provided hardware. The spacer disc is only needed if the gap between the helper spring and the lower support is greater than 1 inch on ½ and ¾ ton pick-ups or ½ inch on 1 ton trucks. Important: This distance should be measured when the vehicle is unloaded.
- Mount the assembly – Bolt the assembly to the frame assuring that the bracket is flush with the frame and the helper spring lines up directly with the lower support.
- Lower vehicle – With your helper spring assembly securely fastened to the vehicle, you are ready to lower your truck and start enjoying the benefits of your newly upgraded truck suspension.
Buy the Timbren Rear Helper Spring Kit for the 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 from Truckspring.com, your source for truck suspension parts.
Rear Timbren SES Bump Stop
Buy online at Truckspring.com or call 1-800-358-4751.
Are you looking to improve the performance of the suspension on your SUV or truck? These vehicles, with their larger tires, greater overall weight and increased load carrying capacity, place extra demand on a shock absorber’s damping ability. The Bilstein B6 Heavy Duty Monotube gas pressure shock absorbers are the ideal solution to this problem. On or off the road, loaded or unloaded, these shocks provide improved handling and stability which delivers better control, precise handling and ultimate performance without sacrificing comfort. These shocks offer a super damping ability that makes them ideal who needs superior performance and an exceptionally smooth street ride.
Why choose Bilstein Shocks? Not all shocks are created equal. With Bilstein shocks, the difference is in the unique design. Bilstein shocks employ a Monotube design which is technically superior to conventional shock designs. Conventionally designed shocks trap heat within the body of the shock which over time causes a reduction in performance and eventually will cause the shock to fail. Bilstein’s Monotube gas charged design allows excessive heat from the oil to transfer to the outer surface, where it can dissipate more efficiently. Further, the Bilstein Monotube design uses gas pressure on the dividing piston which exerts pressure on the oil column to prevent aeration and viscosity loss. This provides the superior qualities that allow this shock to maintain full damping characteristics under all conditions.
We recently installed the Bilstein B6 24-060813 (F4-BE5-6081-H0 & F4-BE5-6081-H2) front shock absorbers and 24-060820 (F4-BE5-6082-H0) rear shock absorbers on a 2001 Chevy 1500 HD 4x4 pickup truck. These shock absorbers can also be used in 1999 – 2010 Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra 1500 HD & 2500 HD 4x4 pickups, or 1999 – 2004 Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra 2500 4x4 pickups.
The preexisting front and rear shocks being badly worn and they were showing signs of damage caused by inadequate heat distribution. Furthermore, they were lacking the quality and unique design found in Bilstein’s products. Consequently, the performance of the vehicle was suffering, especially on rough roads and uneven terrain, as the truck became difficult to control when driven in these conditions.
Once we hit the road with the new Bilstein shocks the difference was immediately noticeable. The Silverado comfortably breezed over even the largest potholes, due to the Bilstein B6 shocks’s ability to react almost instantly to changes in the road. Not only did the Bilstein B6 shocks create a more comfortable ride, but it made the vehicle more stable and easier to handle by reducing the amount of bouncing and sway.
The Bilstein B6 Heavy Duty Monotube gas pressure shock absorbers are an effective and efficient way to improve the performance of your Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra.
If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-358-4751 to speak with our experts in truck suspension parts.
Bilstein B6 Heavy Duty Monotube gas pressure shock absorbers
Front Shock Absorber
- Part #: 24-060813
- Old Part #: F4-BE5-6081-H0 & F4-BE5-6081-H2
- Manufacturer Suggested Sales Price: $135.00
Rear Shock Absorber
- Part #: 24-060820
- Old Part #: F4-BE5-6082-H0
- Manufacturer Suggested Sales Price: $135.00
Truckspring.com is your source for truck suspension parts. Call 1-800-358-4751 to order Bilstein shocks.
Even heavy duty trucks need a little help sometimes when pulling a large load. Take advantage of the brute strength offered by the AIL57338 - Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 Air Spring Kit for 2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD & 3500 HD trucks and Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD & 3500 HD trucks.
Air Lift Load Lifter 5000 Air Spring Kits are the heaviest-rated spring kits offered by Air Lift and are great for towing or hauling the heaviest of loads. The Load Lifter 5000 spring kit utilizes commercial grade convoluted bellows. These bellows are crafted with multiple layers of rubber, capped with ultra-high strength Zytel nylon and held together by Air Lift’s exclusive Shur-Grip crimp for long lasting durability. These parts combine to form a superior leaf spring leveling kit that is strong enough to cushion the heaviest load and tough enough to resist the damage caused by corrosion, vibration and road wear and tear.
With a maximum of a 5,000 pound leveling capacity the Air Lift 57338 will keep your truck riding comfortable and level, even while pulling the heaviest loads (the vehicle’s manufacturer’s recommended gross vehicle weight should not be exceeded). By allowing adjustable air pressure, from 5 to 100 psi, the Air Load Lifter 5000 provides the freedom to ride comfortably, whether loaded, towing or just out riding.
The Air Lift 57338 load lifter air bag kit is easy to install. It is designed to be installed in about two hours and contains all necessary parts, including: bellows, air lines, quick connect fittings, brackets, mounting hardware, and fully illustrated instructions.
The Air Lift 57338 is designed for 2011 Chevrolet/GMC 2500 HD & 3500 HD trucks with 2WD or 4WD.
The Load Lifter 5000 air spring suspension kit will keep the heaviest loads riding smooth and level even on the roughest roads. Truckspring.com is an authorized dealer of Air Lift air bag kits.
Manufacturer Suggested Sales Price: $460.40
Buy online at Truckspring.com or call 1-800-358-4751 to speak with a suspension expert.
Many Air Compressors are not built to be run continuously and some need time to rest between uses.
The term Duty Cycle refers to the percentage of time an Air Compressor can run before needing time to cool down. The Duty Cycle of an Air Compressor is often expressed as a percentage of a certain amount of time, usually being 10 minute periods. That is, the Duty Cycle measures the proportion of time an Air Compressor can run against the amount of time needed for it to cool.
For example, the Firestone Super Heavy Duty Air Compressor has a 30% Duty Cycle and can be run for 3 minutes, it must then rest for 7 minutes. However, the Firestone Ultimate Duty Air Compressor has a 100% Duty Cycle and can be run continuously without a cool down time. These air compressors usually cost a little more but they are a time efficient alternative to lighter duty Air Compressors.
The Duty Cycle of an Air Compressor is calculated by dividing the total run time by the amount of time the compressor can run before resting. For example:
D = R / T with ‘D’ being Duty Cycle,‘R’ being run time before resting and ‘T’ being the total time.
30% Duty Cycle = 3 minutes run time / 10 minutes total – So an Air Compressor that can run for three minutes before needing to rest for 7 minutes has a 30% Duty Cycle.
Conversely, by knowing the Duty Cycle the run time can be determined by multiplying the Duty Cycle by the total time (usually 10 minutes). For example:
R = D x T
3 minute run time = 30%(.3) Duty Cycle x 10 minutes total – So an Air Compressor that has a Duty Cycle of 30% can run for 3 minutes before needing to cool for 7 minutes.
The below table is based on a 10 minute total time.
||Cool Down Time
||Standard Duty Air Compressor FIR9284
||Super Heavy Duty Air Compressor FIR9285
||Heavy Duty Air Compressor FIR9335
||High Duty Air Compressor FIR9270
||Ultimate Duty Air Compressor FIR9287
Do you have a 2011 F250 Super Duty pick-up truck? Are you looking for a smoother ride while pulling that camper, boat or trailer? If so, the Timbren FR250SDG SES Bump Stop Kit is the perfect solution for improving the quality of your ride.
This Timbren Rear Suspension Kit includes a rubber helper spring especially designed for the 2011 Ford F250 Super Duty pick-up. This rubber helper spring improves your ride and protects your vehicle by working with your existing suspension. The rubber helper spring will cushion your leaf springs from becoming damaged by the rigors of overloading, road shock, bottoming out and sway.
The Timbren Rear Suspension Kit solves several of the main problems associated with hauling a heavy load, such as suspension sag, body roll, rough ride and trailer sway.
A heavy rear load, such as a 5th wheel trailer, can really abuse your truck’s leaf springs causing them to sag and even become damaged. With an 8,600 lbs. capacity the Timbren rear suspension kit protects your truck springs from damage caused by bottoming out on bumps my acting as a bump stop and restricting the range of motion available to the spring.
While taking a turn, the weight of your vehicle shifts, moving the center of gravity away from the center of the vehicle. The farther it moves from the center of the vehicle, the less stable the vehicle becomes. The rubber helper springs help to distribute weight evenly to all tires. This even distribution makes steering easier, decreases wear and tear on your breaks and tires.
The FR250SDG Timbren Rear Suspension Kit is easy to install. It requires no special tools or skills, does not use air lines, and bolts to your frame using existing holes. Each kit comes complete with all necessary parts and instructions for easy installation on to your 2011 F250. Additionally, the instructions can be found on Timbren's website.
Buy the Timbren FR250SDG Rear Bump Stop for the Ford F250 Super Duty Pickup Truck, an inexpensive solution for some expensive problems. Truckspring.com is your source for truck suspension parts.
Manufacturer Suggested Sales Price: $259.95
Buy online or call Truckspring.com at: 1-800-358-4751.
Firestone has released its new kits for the 2011 Ford F-250 Superduty and 2011 Ford F-350 Superduty pickups. Firestone has introduced 2 new kits for you campers that need to tow a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer, one for gas SuperDutys and one for diesel pickups. Both kits are in stock and ready to ship.
Firestone Ride-Rite kit 2520 fits all 2011 F-250 SuperDuty and 2011 F-350 SuperDuty gas engine models that plan on towing a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. The kit is a bolt on installatoin and does not require drilling of the frame. Ride-Rite kit 2520 has a load leveling capacity up to 5,000 lbs.
Have a diesel engine? No worries. Firestone kit 2535 is specifically designed for your heavy hauling 2011 F-250 Superduty and 2011 F-350 Superduty with diesel engines and a gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch. 2535 also has a 5,000 lb load leveling capacity.
Todd Green from Firestones Ride-Rite division said "Our latest Ride-Rite air helper spring kits, which are available for gas and diesel versions of the new Ford Super Duty, are designed to meet the needs of today's drivers who often use their trucks for both work and play, to haul equipment or tow the family camper. By using air pressure, we are able to offer such benefits as increased vehicle stability, brake effectiveness and reduced tire wear. Varying the air pressure in our air springs allows the driver to keep the vehicle level under a load while maintaining the ride quality"
Below is a quick reference on the air bag kits Firestone has to offer for the 2011 Ford F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks.
Kit used on trucks With a 5th wheel or Gooseneck Hitch
2011 F-250, F-350 Gas Engine 2520 No Drilling
2011 F-250, F-350 Diesel Engine 2535 No Drilling
Kits used on trucks Without a 5th wheel or Gooseneck Hitch
2011 F-250, F-350 Gas Engine 2452 No Drilling
2011 F-250, F-350 Gas or Diesel Engine 2071 Drilling Required
All above kits fit 2 or 4 wheel drive models. You can Firestone Ride-Rite kits by calling Michigan Truck Spring at 1-800-358-4751 or 989-755-0561.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Lift Air Cell: 52212
Material: Urethane Foam
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.
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.
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 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.
Work-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
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.