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Old 02-08-2016, 11:01 AM   #1
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TV Suspension Upgrades??

So, I need to put new shocks, struts and sway bar bushings in my in to my Dakota. There is a little rattle starting and the ride is not quite as smooth. I am trying to decide go with OEM components or upgrade to something else. When I am on the Dakota forum sites, they primarily talk about suspension lifts, and a little bit about lowering. There is almost no talk about towing performance, and the replies are nearly none existent.

With the HTT on, she rides nice, with it off not quite so nice on rougher roads. More like what you expect with an older solid front axle, versus the independent front suspension. When new she floated like a Cadillac, very smooth, no matter what the road conditions are.

I am leaning towards OEM components and possibly adding Timbers or helper springs. I noticed last year the backend was sagging a bit. We moved last year, and shortly later I only notice the sagging while in the driveway, this might just be due to the driveway slopes (truck mostly sites on the level and the HTT is on a fairly good slope, tail low).

What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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Bilstein shocks are a good choice,a little more money than others but imo worth it.As far as the back why not look into getting a set of air bags,you can adjust the height as needed.If the truck is sagging with no weight it could be that they are getting worn out and may need to be replaced, a helper spring would help but only mask the problem of worn springs,air bags would do the same but at least the will help lessen the weight on the rear springs.I added air bags to mine to help with the ride while trailer is hooked up and it rides like a dream.also there is companies that sell upgraded bushing kits for the front end that are worth it
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:30 PM   #3
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You have a 9 year old truck and the suspension is gone on it... go after market.. you can get upgraded parts from many places without going lifted... Summit is a good place to call... their TSR's will help you get the right parts..
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:36 PM   #4
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No desire to lift/lower. Just want it back to where it use to be.

Thought a bit about air bags. The thought on helper springs with new shocks would be easy mod with no noticeable change in everyday use.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
No desire to lift/lower. Just want it back to where it use to be.

Thought a bit about air bags. The thought on helper springs with new shocks would be easy mod with no noticeable change in everyday use.
Going aftermarket doesn't mean lift or lower,but you can get a better spring for less money than OEM.A helper spring is only gonna help when loaded,your saying it appears to be a little lower with nothing hooked up which means springs are most likely shot or going bad.Start with shocks and go from there,but shocks aren't going to raise it back up to where it was.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:38 AM   #6
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I'd do air bags if it were me. I have them front and rear. No change to ride or height unless you want it to. Having full adjustability allows you to do pretty much anything as far as towing. But, it doesn't change your towing cap. Air bags just level things out. Great for household use as well. I rarely get mulch or firewood delivered. I now have the ability to pick it up and save on delivery charges. Maybe it's just me but, I believe they are the best bang for your buck. Don't overlook the fact that you still may need shocks though. It all works together for a better ride.


Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:17 AM   #7
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I put airbags on the rear to eliminate a bit of rear end sag on my F150 and really like them. I ran the airlines to the rear bumper as my license plate screws and carry an 18v Sears portable cordless air compressor to air them up to 30-35 lbs. Much easier install than on-board compressor but less convenient than airing them up from the driver's seat if you go with compressor and in-cab control.


No experience with the other "helper springs". When air bags are deflated they do not affect ride quality and they are infinitely adjustable and will take some of the load off and protect your new shocks while towing.
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