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Old 02-11-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
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New shocks, Timbrens, or air bags

My rig is listed below. Trailer is 12270 GVWR but not loaded heavy. Truck was not new when I got it last Sept. at 65570 miles...probably has stock shocks. I put new Michelins on it. Will probably put new Maxxis M8008s on the trailer.

It drives ok...but has a little too much rear end bounce on roads that are not smooth to suit me. We are going to spend 2-3 months on the road this summer and I want a better ride. Don't notice it when solo...only pulling.

What would you suggest? New rear shocks would be least expensive. Probably Timbrens next, although I haven't priced them or ever had a set. Air Lift 5000 with in cab controller are right at $1500. I'm sure Firestone air bags with in cab controller is about the same.

This is how it sits now.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:02 PM   #2
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I had the same truck. Put Timbrens on. Good ride towing. Rough ride with no load. Purchased on Amazon and installed myself in 45 min.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:27 PM   #3
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On a Ram I owned, we installed air bags... with a on board compressor... as we hooked up to the trailer we changed the air pressure in the air bags from 15 psi to 70 psi. and the truck stayed level and towed well... we used a simple air regulator mounted under the hood to make that change...

But there is no doubt you have a little too much weight in the rear for the springs.. you need the truck level when towing..
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:32 PM   #4
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You are definitely riding heavy on the pin. Truck should sit level when towing. May want to get your official pin weight by going to he scales to decide if air bags are the way to go. I don't think just shock replacement is going to do it.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:57 PM   #5
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You can get the Air ride 5000 they have different price range for compressors and they have a wireless remote l got the whole thing for about 800. Been on 3 yrs no problem. Had a 94 Dodge got rid of it last year air bags and compressor still working.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:28 PM   #6
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Bilstien 4600's and bags aired to level truck. Golden
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:35 PM   #7
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On my 3/4T truck, I tried Timbrens, didn't like the ride unloaded or partially loaded as the Timbrens made contact at various times. Switched to air bags and never had another problem. My truck was 10 yrs old with stock shocks. Air bags w/o compressor cost no more than Timbrens.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:50 PM   #8
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Just change the shocks before spending on anything else. Should help the ride/bounce, but won't change the attitude of truck/trailer hitchup. Once you get the shocks (do the front also) then you can think if anything else needs to be upgraded.
Most Ford OEM shocks are gone at 35-40k miles...
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:05 PM   #9
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New shocks, Timbrens, or air bags

that gen F250 sag. Ford lengthened the springs and cut down to 2 leaves for improved ride when empty. F350 have pretty much same spring but with an overload and a spacer between the axle and springs.

New shocks will help the bounce, not the sag. Timbrens will help the sag but can decrease empty ride quality. Bags will cure the sag and will not affect the empty ride.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:53 PM   #10
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Batten54, your picture and weights have actually helped me with my future truck decision. After seeing how your truck sits with that trailer, I know a 3/4 will never work no matter the mods.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:21 PM   #11
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Obviously you're over on your GVWR with that 5th wheel. Probably pushing 25-2700lbs all loaded up on the pin. Bags would be the best bet.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:16 PM   #12
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I'll be taking the trailer in for warranty (seal loose on rain gutter) this week so I'll try to weigh it. Won't be fully loaded as to a trip but should be close.

I got under and looked...shocks are Rancho. Look like a plain Monroe painted white with a sticker on it. No series number (ie. 9000, 5000) and they look old with some cracking on mounting rubbers. Truck has over 73000 miles now...could they be OEM on a FX4? If not they are definitely old. Will probably change whether or not I do air bags.

I don't think Timbrens are the way to go for this application, so that's off the table.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:12 PM   #13
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Unless the PO changed the shocks to what you see, they are the original FX4 shocks that come with most of the tow packages/off-road packages. Basically a cheap OEM shock that they put a Rancho branding on--and they usually are toast by 35-40k miles. Just about any after-market shock will be better--Bilstein, KYB, even Monroe Gas-Magnums.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:46 PM   #14
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I would definitely install air bags. On our previous truck a 2009 F350 4x4 CC short box, I installed a product by Torklift called Stableload. It was a block that bolted to the pad above the overload springs. Basically as weight was added, and the truck settled, the block allowed the overloads to engage sooner. It worked well, and I assume similar to Timbrens. The problem was, the truck rode like a lumber wagon as it was on the overload springs even when empty. So for those reasons, I would spend the extra coin on bags. We traded the '09 for a new '16 dually and I left the Stableload s on the old truck. Debating on bags for the new dually.
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