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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Timbren Installation on a 2006 F-350 DRW 4X4

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BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 06/24/06 08:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]
Factory Bumpstop


[image]
Factory Bumpstop Removed


[image]
Timbren Kit (I didn't use the spacer)


[image]
Timbren Bumper on Bracket


[image]
Top - Threaded Rod I Used
Bottom - Bolts Supplied With Kit


[image]
Top - Threaded Rod I Used (Assembled And Ready To Install)
Bottom - Bolts Supplied With Kit


[image]
If You Have A 2005 / 2006 Ford, Make Sure You Go By Detail C


[image]
Timbren With Camper Un-Loaded (1)


[image]
Timbren With Camper Un-Loaded (2), Man I Hate The Look Of White Shocks!


[image]
Timbren With Camper Loaded (1)


[image]
Timbren With Camper Loaded (2)


I install Trimbrens on our 2006 F-350 DRW 4X4 today. It was pretty straight forward, but would have been easier if the camper had not been on the truck. The basic tools I use were a 14mm gear wrench and a 15mm gear wrench. For most folks with average wrenching skills this could easily be done in a couple of hours.

After driving around a bit today (all with the camper) I will report what I have found. The Timbrens definitely change/improve the camper loaded ride. The most noticeable improvement is an increase in the firmness of the rear suspension with less rocking / swaying / floating.

The other change is the rear of the truck does not sag as far now with the camper in the bed. I took before and after measurements of the rear bumper height:

Camper Un-Loaded, No Timbrens - 28.125”
Camper Loaded, No Timbrens - 24.125”
Total Rear Sag Without Timbrens - 4.000”

Camper Un-Loaded, W / Timbrens - 28.125”
Camper Loaded, W / Timbrens - 25.875”
Total Rear Sag W / Timbrens - 2.250”

Camper Loaded, No Timbrens - 24.125”
Camper Loaded, W / Timbrens - 25.875”
Total Rear Sag Reduction of - 1.75”

That’s the good news.

The bad news (IMO) is that there is a noticeable increase in the harshness of the rear suspension in certain situations. If the rear tires encounter a sudden/abrupt obstacle such as a pothole or railroad track or a quick change in the pavement height, there is a slight jarring effect. It’s not real bad, but it is noticeable. It is possible that some of the harshness may go away after the Timbrens “soften up” from use.

The other bad thing (IMO) is the fasteners that come with the kit. They were all grade 5, 3/8” X 24 fine thread hex bolts. I would have preferred grade 8 bolts. There were 3 different length bolts that were to be used based on if you used the spacer or not. They were all just off the shelf lengths and I could not find a combination of bolts that engaged enough of the bracket coupling to suite me. I ended up re-threading the brackect coupling for 3/8 X 16 course thread and running a piece of threaded rod all the way through it. I would have also like to have seen the 3/8” bolts replaced with 7/16”; there seemed to be enough room.


CONCLUSSION
Overall I am happy with the Timbrens. They reduced the rear sag by almost 2”, which was my goal. The Timbrens don’t have the adjustability of airbags, but not having to air them up and worry about leaks is a plus. Rating the overall handling improvement due to the reduction in rocking / swaying / floating and the reduction in rear sag, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give them a 7.


BOTTOM LINE
Money well spent.


Brad

* This post was edited 06/24/06 09:11pm by BradW *

Rod Meyer

welches, Or. USA

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Posted: 06/24/06 09:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sounds good to me.I'm looking for the same results you got. My timbrens are on the way.
Is your truck a dually? For the duallys they make heavier rubber, maybe the bolts are thicker also. Let you know when I get mine.

#20 Home Depot

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Posted: 06/25/06 12:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! I haven't been on the forum for quiet some time but I thought you were really against Timbrens....guess I missed something while I was gone. What was your main reason for going with them vs air bags?


#20 Home Depot
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Timbrens, Bilsteins , color backup cam, Doran tire pressure monitor Reese Tow Beast, Torklift tiedowns w/ fastguns
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Craig A

Tampa Bay Area, FL

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Posted: 06/25/06 05:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is the best information I've seen on the timbrens. Great job documenting the installation. This one should be framed and published. A lot of peopple don't understand how to install and what they do and this clears it up greatly.


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Ibeme

Surrey, B.C., Canada

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Posted: 06/25/06 07:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you like them Brad. Your results/conclusion are identical to mine. Timbrens do a good job for what they are. My install was simpler than yours.... just a single bolt holding the old bumper on and same to put the Timbren on. As far as the Timbrens softening up over time with use, its hard to say whether they wore in or I just got used to them. Maybe a little of both? Hope they give you many miles of good service as mine have.

Nice write up by the way with lovely pics!

merlin


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BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 06/25/06 07:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

#20 Home Depot wrote:

Wow! I haven't been on the forum for quiet some time but I thought you were really against Timbrens....guess I missed something while I was gone. What was your main reason for going with them vs air bags?

Everything has it's pros and cons; whether it's air bags or Timbrens. One of the problems I had with Timbrens was not to do with how Timbrens perform, but the inacurate information that was repeated posted about them. The main one being that they would "stop rear sag" and "keep the truck level"; they will not do that. The rear will still sag; I my case. 2.25".

The main reason we chose Timbrens over airbags this time is we now have a dually instead of the two SRW trucks we had for 10 years where air bags were a better choice. Big difference. The Timbrens are carrying much less weight on the dually than they would have had to on the SRW's. Very different truck, very different solution.

Another reason is loaded miles vs un-loaded miles we drive the dually anually. We have gone from 30/70 to 90/10.

Brad

ogrer

Norwood On

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Posted: 06/25/06 08:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad yours looks much better than mine.

[image]

[image]

[image]

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Mine is a rusty mess. [emoticon]

Bob


Bob & Jan

F350OilBurner

Central MA

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Posted: 06/25/06 10:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've posted before about the need to upgrade the Timbren hardware to grade 8 bolts. When I moved mine from my SRW to DRW there was considerable wear on the fasteners that came with the kit. The threads were basically toast. I upgraded all the bolts to grade 8 at that time.

Adding the extended bump stops to my overload springs has taken just about all the perceived harshness out of the rear suspension. It was actually the overload springs, which were still 1-1 1/2" away from the bump stops, banging and clunking when the springs flexed. The Timbrens are what keeps them off the stops. Now the overloads are engaged and no more banging and clunking. Plus the overloads are now actually working and supporting a little bit of the weight.

I still believe the Timbrens are one of the single most effective additions to the truck for supporting the load of the camper. Not to mention the added benefit that I never have to worry about stabilizing the camper on the truck when parked. It is very solid and I never need the jacks down to stabilize.


2006 Ford F350 Lariat CC LB DRW
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Airlift Airbags/SureSet Controller - Timbrens

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countrykids

Minnesota

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Posted: 06/25/06 11:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures.

I started my suspension upgrade hunt looking at air bags but the reasons you mentioned kept me away plus I didn't like the way they attached to the lower axle on the Chevy. Almost went to the timbrens but decided against because of the jolt when slightly loaded or when hitting a big bump. We use our truck a lot without the camper and I felt it could be an annoyance.

Finally went with supersprings which based on two trips so far, are great. I didn't do the measuring you did but I did notice that the headlights adjusted for the camper on were pointing too low into the road so sag must be less.

Either way, timbrens or supersprings, I think you have a much lower maint option. The biggest downside of the supersprings is they cost more.


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JoeVita

Phoenix, AZ

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Posted: 09/05/06 09:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brad and anyone else that wants to chime in:

Isn't it strange that the 2 inch long bolt will not engage the bracket if the spacer is used? I'm off to the hardware store to buy a longer one. I will take your advice and get grade 8 bolts while I am at it.


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