Timbren SES Single-Convoluted DRTT3500E first look

Timbren Single-Convoluted Aeon spring

Timbren’s SES (Suspension Enhancement Systems) severe-service, single-convoluted Aeon rubber springs were an excellent upgrade on my 2017 Ram/Cummins 2500 Hallmark flatbed camper outfit.

The double-convoluted version I have been running for six months worked well, but the shorter and firmer single-convoluted spring is a better fit for my application. Not stiff or jarring, but more supportive and less squishy. Combined with other recent upgrades, my camper outfit drives fantastically.

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James Langan

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Ram 1500 heavy duty suspension options

White Pine County, Nevada. Moonlit.

Reader slangheld asked my opinion about Ram 1500 rear suspension options after seeing one of my Ram 2500 heavy-duty rear suspension post photos showing TufTruck, Timbren, and Air Lift aftermarket springs.


I’m confused, and I’ve considered all of these options for my 1500 (Ram). I’m leaning towards the Air Lift 1000 for the ease of install, maintaining unloaded ride quality, and price. Any opinions?

I asked:

Give me more info… what is your load?

Load and use details: 

I’m pulling a bumper-pull camper (trailer). Tongue weight is close to 900 pounds, and I figure my 1,471-pound payload is close to the maximum. I probably take six, two-to-four hour trips per year. The truck might get another six heavy loads each year doing stuff. The rest is street or highway driving.

Reply, HD Ram 1500 springs:

There’s nothing wrong with the Air Lift 1000 drop-in springs, and I agree that the ease of installation and low price, along with retaining the soft factory ride when unloaded are pluses. Possible negatives with air suspension can include leaks, and sometimes a bouncy ride, deepening on the rest of the chassis setup and suspension. Air Lift’s Universal 1000 springs were the first heavy-duty spring upgrade to the rear of both my 2014 and 2017 Ram 2500s, worked quite well, and it’s a simple and inexpensive place to start. The pair on my 2014 crew cab have remained leak-free, however I do have a leak somewhere on my 2017. That truck has had the springs installed and removed a couple times, where the 2014 has remained plumbed.

Air Lift 1000 Universal Kit #60927 was installed on both a 2014 and 2017 Ram 2500.

TufTruck rear coils for my 2500 are designed to add about 500 pounds of additional carrying capacity, which is really not that much. I would love it if they made an extra-heavy-duty set for my application. Looking at TufTruck’s site I was surprised to learn that they make four different rear coil options for the late model Ram 1500s. Their variable-rate TTC-1223V is presumably their softest-riding spring when unloaded. It’s nice to have choices, and they are all quite inexpensive, from $215 to $270. Rear coil spring installation is so much easier than leaf springs. Like the Timbrens below, the TufTruck coils are never going to leak and should be maintenance-free.

TufTruck TTC-1225 2014-up Ram 2500 rear coils.

The Timbren rubber auxiliary springs seem to work impressively well with my truck camper, both the DR2500D regular-duty set I installed June 2019, and the DRTT3500E severe service springs added six months later. With my heavy truck camper the Timbrens are constantly loaded, same as they were on my 2011 Toyota Tundra with a slide-in Four Wheel Camper. On trucks that only see occasional loading, Timbrens are set-up to only engage after a load is added. I’m considering putting the DR2500D springs on my 2014 crew cab that no longer hauls a truck camper, and sees more typical, mixed use. Installing the Timbrens is arguably even easier than the Air Lift 1000s. There are no airlines to run or leak, though they are more expensive and theoretically not as adjustable. Theoretically because it’s likely that you would simply inflate the Air Lift 1000 to their maximum 35 psi when loaded, and then reduce them to the minimum 5 psi when not hauling.

Timbren double-convoluted rubber spring from kit #DR2500D

If I owned a Ram 1500, depending on my loads, I am guessing that I would try a pair of TufTruck coils, which I’d possibly augment with either Timbren or Air Lift 1000 auxiliary springs.

There are a lot of good options and products, but it is sometimes a crapshoot of where to start or what will work best on your outfit for your needs. Often some tinkering is required to get things exactly where you want.

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James Langan

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Air Lift Performance




Wagan Tech Wayfinder LED Light

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James Langan

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Wagan Tech

Toyo Open Country R/T Diesel Wear Review

One of the first camping trips with the new R/Ts where they saw light dirt, rocks, a little mud, and much low psi crawling.

Toyo Open Country R/T Tires

Toyo Tires’ rugged terrain R/T got the nod to be the first traction tread on my 2017 Ram regular cab. The versatility of a 60/40 design is ideal for my many miles both on- and off-highway. The R/T has had my attention since its introduction, but there was extra allure once it was offered in my favorite, niche, 18-inch size, the 285/75R18. Hearsay reports indicated that it was extremely quiet on-road, but I needed to experience this for myself.

Toyo’s Rugged Terrain R/T

Features And Benefits include:

-High Turn-Up, 3-Ply Polyester Sidewall Construction: Contributes to excellent durability, impact resistance, and handling.

-Optimized Pattern Arrangement: Reduces noise for improved driving comfort.

-Aggressive Sidewall Designs With Durable Sidewall Compound: Enhances traction and side impact protection and offers two slightly different sidewall tread designs for owner preference.

-Open, Scalloped Shoulder Blocks: Improves off-road traction; enhances grip in muddy, sandy, or snowy off-road conditions; and ejects mud and snow through the open channels.

-Stone And Mud Ejectors: Forces stones and mud from the grooves.

The R/T offers a choice of sidewall shoulder tread design.

Mount, Balance, and Baseline

Five tires were ordered to ensure I had a spare that was not only the proper size but also offered adequate traction, which can be important when the spare is needed in difficult terrain. The new rubber balanced without drama on OEM aluminum wheels, typical for Toyo’s multi-segment designs.

One would think that the R/T’s outer lugs would lead to more noise compared to the familiar A/T II Xtreme. My initial run on the R/Ts had me thinking they were maybe slightly louder. However, when I put the A/T II Xtremes back on, and drove over the same section of freeway, I could not tell a difference. My back-to-back evaluations corroborated other reports that say the R/T is extremely quiet and sometimes indistinguishable from the A/T II Xtreme. Quite an engineering accomplishment! At most there may be a slightly different pitch to the noise they make and how they sound at lower speeds. To be perfectly clear, the R/T is not a silent tread design—get a highway tire if you want that—but they are impressively quiet for their appearance, void, and target audience.

Toyo A/T II Xtreme on the left, and Toyo R/T on the right. Both are LT285/75R18E and can support 4,080-lbs each at 80 psi.

Because I am a stickler for drivability, I was happy to discover that the Toyo R/T construction and design mated perfectly to my 2017 Pack Mule, which still sports the factory caster and camber settings; only the toe has been adjusted. There were no unusual handling or tracking quirks that required me to seek alignment or suspension adjustments. On level and smooth roadways no steering input correction was necessary. The truck continued straight and remained neutral, even when I played the old game: look mom, no-hands.

Some treads and chassis, even identical sizes from the same manufacturer, mesh differently. It is worth noting that the same size Toyo A/T II Xtreme drift to the right a bit on the ’17 Mule, yet they track perfectly straight on the 2014 Carryall crew cab that sports an SPC offset ball joint.

The guys at the tire shop must hate seeing me drive up.
Static, single-plane spin balancing in my preference.
Nearly 100 lbs of Toyo traction tire and OEM forged aluminum wheel needed a mere 3-ounces.

General Use And Wear Data

Over several months these Rugged Terrain treads saw at least a little of most surfaces. That means much pavement, but also plenty of dirt, gravel, snow, slush, and a little ice. The R/T is not a dedicated winter tire. It does okay, though maybe not quite as good as the familiar Toyo A/T II, which offers much more siping. The R/Ts have spent as little time as possible crossing mud…I don’t care for it, and heavy trucks and campers often flounder in mud.

Modern turbo-diesel pickups (not just Rams) often wear tread quickly compared to their gas-powered cousins. This has much to do with the massive amount of twist that the engines apply to the ground, and in this case the ‘Mule’s constant GVWR load. Manual transmissions are compounding factors, and both my Fourth Generation Ram/Cummins 2500s have the G56 6-speed (which I love). My driving style is generally smooth and efficient; however, there are times when I intentionally smash the accelerator, run the Cummins up-to the redline, and/or drive at higher speeds for hours. Therefore my tire wear data may represent a slightly fast wear scenario.

34.84-inches tall inflated according to Toyo, and about what I measured.

All LT-metric R/T sizes come with 16.4/32” of tread depth. This is 0.6” less than the same size Toyo A/T II, and the starting depth affects how many miles one might get out of tires before needing replacements. I prefer more rubber for both traction and longevity, but the 16.4/32” seems to be just enough. All floatation sizes start with 18.9/32-inches. Over 8,650 miles, rotating four, using a rearward cross pattern, these 285/75R18 Toyo R/T have delivered 1,965 miles per 1/32” of tread. This is similar to other tires that have yielded up to 2,100 miles per thirty-second. Wear often slows down as tread becomes shallower (if tires are rotated), and the measurements become more accurate as well.

Recently I mounted a different set of meats for a new evaluation, but the R/Ts remain in my shop mounted, balanced, and ready for continued use. Tire prices vary throughout North America, but in my part of the West the LT285/75R18E Toyo R/T are $340 each at my local Discount Tire.

16.4/32” of tread depth on all LT-metric Toyo R/Ts.
New tires looking good at the fuel pumps.

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James Langan

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Resource: Toyo Tires




Light switch caused dead batteries?

1) 15 mm deep-socket and thumb wheel worked nicely for the thin toggle nut.

2) Two terminals versus three on new switch was not a problem, but terminal size and design was. Looked, but found essentially the same thing at two additional auto parts stores.

3) My solution was trim the terminals into a narrower shape, and file the screw threads, thinning the spades.

4) VisionX 6.7 Light Cannons are working again.

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James Langan

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iONBoost V10 WaganTech Diesel Jump Start

iONBoost V10 WaganTech real world diesel jump-start. Works!

WaganTech’s iONBoost V10 started my 2014 Ram/Cummins with dead batteries this morning, December 7, 2019. I moved the black/negative clamp to the battery terminal; it did not like using the fender ground. The Cummins 6.7L engine started immediately and easily.

It had been only two days since I last drove the truck. The factory batteries are six years old (not five), but they might be fine. I need to search for parasitic losses from aftermarket wiring, and do some other diagnostic testing.

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James Langan

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Honda 2000 and Harbor Freight TailGator 900 noise

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James Langan

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