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View Full Version : Least expensive way to beef up rear springs


dualsmows
03-25-2008, 05:11 AM
I have a 1995 GMC HD 1/2 ton and looking for a way to keep it level when pulling my 20 ft. trailer.
Thanks

MarcSmith
03-25-2008, 07:26 AM
http://www.suspensionconnection.com/cgi-bin/suscon/scan/fi=products/st=db/co=1/sf=category/se=Helper%20Springs/op=eq/nu=0/sf=veh_make/se=Chevy%20%3A%3A%20GMC/op=eq/nu=0/sf=model/se=Truck%20%281973-1998%29/op=eq/nu=0/ml=25/tf=category/to=x/tf=veh_make/to=x/tf=model/to=x/tf=description/to=r.html
http://www.suspensionconnection.com/cgi-bin/suscon/2025C.html

Helper springs, air bags, or buy replacement leafs for the 3/4 model and bolt em up to the 1/2 ton.

just remember that you are not increasing your load rating....just the spring rate.


also check you trailer balance. if you are towing a 2000lb trailer, your tounge weight should only about 10-15% of the trailer weight.

Another thing that could affect your ride is the hitch height

Also, your current springs are 10 years old, I'm sure they are tired...and your shocks are probably due for replacement. If it was me. I'd try new shocks first...

no matter what, you looking at 3 bills, for springs and shocks...

02DURAMAX
03-25-2008, 04:19 PM
firestone ride rite airbags much better than those springconnection things and you can adjust it very easy..only $199..

JohnnyRoyale
03-25-2008, 06:25 PM
More springs will give you a stiffer ride without the trailer + jack your rear end up too. We put Firestone Air Lifts, with an underhood compressor and incab gauge and controller in our F250's. Now you have air with you whenever you get a flat, and the luxury of a smooth ride when not loaded. But I do agree, your springs may be tired, and thats not helping your case. BTW, that setup cost us about $800 installed-well worth it in my opinion.

Eclipse
03-25-2008, 08:42 PM
Helper springs will not affect your unloaded ride characteristics.

44DCNF
03-25-2008, 09:28 PM
Air shocks would probably be your least expensive approach.

Duncan90si
03-26-2008, 12:10 AM
Look into a set of Timbrens. I highly recommend them.

http://www.truckspring.com/timbren_285.html

JohnnyRoyale
03-26-2008, 08:22 AM
Helper springs will not affect your unloaded ride characteristics.

If your 'helper springs' refer to adding additional leaf springs, I disagree with your statement as I added additional leaf springs on a few trucks and the end result was a bumpy ride and the tail end was in the air when not under load.

GreenN'Clean
03-26-2008, 08:33 AM
I tried the add a leafs and I hated it so I switched over the air bad suspension it was pricey but was well worth it in the long run...

Eclipse
03-26-2008, 08:56 AM
If your 'helper springs' refer to adding additional leaf springs, I disagree with your statement as I added additional leaf springs on a few trucks and the end result was a bumpy ride and the tail end was in the air when not under load.

I am not referring to an add a leaf (adding more springs to the existing leaf pack). A helper spring (some call them overload springs or camper springs) mount on top of the current leaf pack and do not come into play into there is weight added to the truck. The do not increase the ride height or ride quality.

JohnnyRoyale
03-26-2008, 09:01 AM
I am not referring to an add a leaf (adding more springs to the existing leaf pack). A helper spring (some call them overload springs or camper springs) mount on top of the current leaf pack and do not come into play into there is weight added to the truck. The do not increase the ride height or ride quality.

Got it-never personally tried those.

MarcSmith
03-26-2008, 09:08 AM
If your 'helper springs' refer to adding additional leaf springs, I disagree with your statement as I added additional leaf springs on a few trucks and the end result was a bumpy ride and the tail end was in the air when not under load.

there are some helper springs which don't jack the ride height, or affect the unloaded ride of a truck.... I agree that nothing worse that a bumpy ride on the back end of the truck...but you also need to remember that they are work trucks, and you are using the truck for its ability to haul and pull a load.

For max flexibility and adjustability the Airbags are the way to go, for ease of installation...helper springs. But again. if you are on your original springs and shocks...., that would be my first step.

Valk
03-26-2008, 12:16 PM
Are you recommending getting new heavier duty replacement leaf springs...or can one expect similar results with additional helper springs on top of the originals? I've not hardly worked with suspensions per se, but replacing leaf springs sounds like a chore...whereas the helper springs install sounds like a breeze.

Also, I read that the helper springs are adjustable...am guessing them to be somewhat adjustable (via more tightening?)...but can they help to raise a slightly low side?

flykelley
03-26-2008, 12:42 PM
firestone ride rite airbags much better than those springconnection things and you can adjust it very easy..only $199..I Agree
One of the best things I ever bought for my truck. I installed them myself, not a bad job.

Good Luck Mike

Gravel Rat
03-26-2008, 06:23 PM
The cheapest way is cut two chunks of 2x4 jam them upright between the frame and top of the axle now you have solid suspension. It is the cheapest option.

The proper way of doing it is new leaf springs and rear shocks quit fooling around with cover ups. If the truck is in good shape put new springs into it.

Air bags on old springs is bad news you will break the main leaf.

You have to remember you still have a 1/2 ton with small brakes and a semi floating axle.

MarcSmith
03-26-2008, 06:31 PM
The cheapest way is cut two chunks of 2x4 jam them upright between the frame and top of the axle now you have solid suspension. It is the cheapest option. are you sure youre not form south of the border...:) thats great......

Gravel Rat
03-26-2008, 08:06 PM
Have used 2x4 chunks on the overload springs so they come in play sooner. Those are the days when you used to only have 1 ton dually trucks that were overloaded.

I learned my lesson with half tons years ago they are not designed to haul heavy loads. A 3/4 ton is a little better but nothing beats dual wheels to haul loads.

nosparkplugs
03-26-2008, 08:56 PM
I have two trucks with Firestone Ride-Rite air bags, great investment, and reduces the wear & tear on the truck suspension. Firestone was the first company to offer air bags, first in Class 4 & 5, now the market is flooded with "knock" off companies. Lifetime warranty on the Firestone air-bags. Their is a optional air com presser kit that adds $350.00, it gives you the ability to adjust air bag psi on the fly left, inflating the air bags, together, or individual, left or right for uneven loads. I carry a 30 gallon air compressor for tires, blade changing, etc, so i opted for the "basic" kit $350.00.


http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/Firestoneriderite1.jpg
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/Motometal_1.jpg
http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff141/nosparkplugs71/reardiff.jpg

Gravel Rat
03-26-2008, 09:24 PM
Ride Rite bags are the better brand of the bunch but like I said you add them to a truck with worn out springs your asking for troubles. Put bags on the truck now the center is fairly rigid so the ends of the springs are working more.

I would rather have steel overload springs that are beefed up that way the truck still sways a little bit. With bags you are too rigid it gives a false sense of security. You take a corner too fast and the bag blows you are out of control. I see it in the summer time guys with campers in 3/4 ton trucks air bags pumped right up I'am just waiting for them to rollover.

I seen a 3/4 ton with ride rite bags the upper bracket was bent upwards and the frame was damaged.

For a half ton you don't want to beef the main spring pack up too much or the truck becomes a jitter bug over the bumps. You are better off with a factory spring rating with either timbrens or ?

JohnnyRoyale
03-27-2008, 07:24 PM
Although its not going to be the cheapest, maybe something to consider on a new truck. Check out the video on this website ww.arnottairride.com -slick system.