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Differences Between Air Springs and Jounce Style Springs

Question:

I want to add airbags or rubber springs to my truck - 2011 F-350 4x4. I get some sag when towing my 5th wheel and when hauling wood. What is the difference between the Firestone air bags and the Timbren/Firestone/Super Springs rubber springs?

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Expert Reply:

The Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs # F2550 for your 2011 Ford F-350 maintain an even load distribution using air pressure. The Firestone air bags' air pressure is adjusted for the weight of each individual load. This system includes air lines that run from the air bag to an easily accessible point on your vehicle's bumper. These air bags can be adjusted independently of each other for off-center loads. This system is dependent on an air tank of some kind, such as those found at gas stations, to fill the springs. You can always add control panels, air compressors, and air tanks to your vehicle to ease the adjustment process. These air springs can level loads between 3,200 - 5,000 pounds.

A jounce style suspension enhancement system such as Timbren's # TFR350SDF is a hollow, rubber spring that becomes more rigid as more weight is added. This type of system automatically adjusts for off-center loads, but can not be adjusted for loads of different weight. This type of system has an easier install because it has less components. These springs can level loads up to 8,600 pounds.

Both types of systems will level out vehicle sag, help absorb shock, and help increase ride comfort while towing.

For your 2011 F-350, I recommend the Firestone Ride-Rite air bags # F2550. This suspension enhancement system will allow you to adjust the air pressure in each air bag for loads of different weights. Whether you are towing your fifth wheel or hauling wood, you will be able to adjust your suspension enhancement for the perfect ride. These air springs mount to the frame of your truck through a bolt hole right above the axle. The underbed frame brackets of your fifth wheel hitch may be covering this hole. If that is the case, you have two options. You can choose to drill a hole through the frame bracket of your hitch. I strongly suggest checking with the manufacturer before drilling a hole, because in some cases drilling a hole in your bracket will void the warranty on your fifth wheel hitch.

If you do not want to drill through the bracket, you will need to go with Trimbren springs. These do not require any hardware to be bolted or drilled into the frame. The springs simply replace the factory bump stops.

I have attached some article about these two types of suspension enhancement systems for you. I have also attached installation videos of both of these systems on vehicles similar to your 2011 F-350.

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Victoria B

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