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Old 05-15-2008, 10:32 PM   #1
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The great debate: Timbrens vs Air Bags

Advantage air bags:

1) infinately adjustable
2) cushy ride under load

Disadvantage air bags:

1) Expensive
2) Can leak
3) Lifting vehicle by frame can destroy them!!

Advantage Timbrens:

1) Less expense
2) easy two bolt install (rear only, in this case)
3) No tinkering around depending on load required

Disadvantage Timbrens:

1) Ride is said to be a bit rough, but only when loaded. Factory ride otherwise.

Decision: Timbrens!

The tipping points were the fact that airbags have to be unbolted from the axle to raise vehicle by frame...that's every brake job, tire rotation and oil change. Also, my brother and I can put them on, saving the cost of an install.

So anyway...that's what I'm doing. Just IMHO.
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
The tipping points were the fact that airbags have to be unbolted from the axle to raise vehicle by frame...that's every brake job, tire rotation and oil change. Also, my brother and I can put them on, saving the cost of an install.
Why would you have to raise by the frame for that stuff??

Just jack on the differentials or axle housings and lift everything. Especially for tire rotations and brake jobs where you need the tires off the ground.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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I have had air bags on two and this includes my current ride.

I am sold on air lift and will never look back. Last truck had the on board compressor that I will never do again due to the cost involved.


Not that I need them on the bigger truck but I love them. Not fixed and can adjust the ride a bit.

Mike
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2008Wildcat View Post
Just jack on the differentials or axle housings and lift everything.
The owners manual says not to lift the rear end by the pumpkin. And it's not me tearing them up airbags that I'm worried about, it's taking the truck into a shop for work that scares me. I have a mild case of "positional vertigo" and it acts up when ever I shove my head up under the kitchen sink or under a vehicle, so I don't do work under cars and trucks (or sinks) anymore. I hire it out. With the Timbrens I don't have to worry about it.

Although airbags really do ride better under load.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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I had the timbrens and was not happy at ALL with them, the ride was extremely uncomfortable. I recently got Firestone air bags, oh boy it's a nicer system. Cost wise they cost me 250$ and I installed them myself in about 3 hours, very easy install.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
Advantage air bags:

1) infinately adjustable
2) cushy ride under load

Disadvantage air bags:

1) Expensive
2) Can leak
3) Lifting vehicle by frame can destroy them!! Have to disagree with this statement. Timbrens hit the frame also. So do the factory bump stops that Timbrens replace. so this is a non issue IMHO

Advantage Timbrens:

1) Less expense
2) easy two bolt install (rear only, in this case) Same for air bags
3) No tinkering around depending on load required

Disadvantage Timbrens:

1) Ride is said to be a bit rough, but only when loaded. Factory ride otherwise. Not necessarily true. On rough roads there can be a lot of hammering because the soft springs compress enough to have the Timbrens hammer against the frame.

Decision: Timbrens!

The tipping points were the fact that airbags have to be unbolted from the axle to raise vehicle by frame...that's every brake job, tire rotation and oil change. Also, my brother and I can put them on, saving the cost of an install. Where did you hear this? Air bags are bolted to the axle in place of the factory bump stop. The vehicle can be raised by the frame as necessary with no damage to the bags.

So anyway...that's what I'm doing. Just IMHO.
All I can say is I am glad it is you not me. Had air bags on my 2500HD and would install them again in a heart beat if I needed a supplemental spring.
They are no harder to install and offer a factory ride if properly inflated with NO possibility of hammering on wash board roads like the Timbrens can do.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:00 AM   #7
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I have a 1997 Dodge 2500 V10. The original springs were kind of tired.
I only paid $5K for the truck so I wasnít looking to drop a lot into it.
I installed a set of Timbrens & an extra spring on each side last spring.
Not ever having experienced air bags I donít have any bases for comparison.

If the truck was newer I probably would have gone the air bag option.
I think the ride when loaded was actually improved after the Timbren installation.
And more important the truck is sitting correctly when loaded.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:21 AM   #8
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Smile Thrilled with my airbag system

2006 Sandpiper Sport toyhauler (18,000 pounds fully loaded)
2008 Dodge Ram 2500HD 4x4, 6.7L CTD, 6' bed.

Sliding hitch because of the 6' bed.
Air bags and on-board compressor.

Tires on the truck are rated for 70 psi max. I run them at 50 when not towing for a cushy ride. 65 when towing.

Airbags are kept at 10-15 psi when not towing. 50 psi when towing.

I find having the on-board compressor great.

Hook-up:
  • Load up the airbags to 50 psi.
  • Back up and connect.
  • Raise the RV legs.
  • Level as can be: No dropped rear truck bed. No raised rear camper. No 'V' in the middle.

Drop off:
  • Drop the legs. and raise up just a tad
  • Drop the airbags to 10 psi (lowering the bed just a bit)
  • Pull the release handle.
  • NO fighting the release. Ever.

These settings give me a ride that is just as smooth when loaded as when not. I couldn't be happier with the configuration.

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #9
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I've had both. In fact, I just pulled the Timbrens off my truck and replaced them with a Hellwig air bag system. This system is outstanding. It automatically keeps the truck level. The Timbrens were killing me with the ride. If you pick up the current issue of 8 Lug HD Truck magazine, you'll find an article I just wrote on this very subject!

Brian
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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I also vote for the airbags.
Instead of the extra $ for an onboard compressor I just bought a
cheapie tire inflater at WallyWorld. (Less than $20)
It works for me.
I usually inflate them at home with my garage compressor but
a few times I needed to lower them to load/unload my bike and
then I used a "slime" brand 12 v tire inflater to pump them
back up.
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