Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best air suspension kit 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2019
Best air suspension kit of 2018
However, after giving you the TOP list, I will also give you some of the benefits you stand to gains for using it. Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products.
Here are the customer reviews of some of the best air suspension kit of 2018. Now, let’s get to the gist of the matter: which are the best air suspension kit for the money?
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – Vixen Air 5 Gallon
Why did this air suspension kit win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this air suspension kit come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this air suspension kit take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
air suspension kit Buyer’s Guide
Most forks are air-sprung, so they’re adjustable to different rider weights and riding styles with a shock pump. Pushing back against the main air spring inside the fork is a negative spring, which helps the fork break away, and improves small-bump compliance. The negative element is either a second air chamber, that automatically equalises when you charge the main spring, or a small coil.
Forks in all categories have seen increases in performance through not only suspension action and control but through a more purposeful construction. The lower legs are one piece with an integrated brace stiffening up the structure and keeping the weight low. The upper legs have dropped in weight too, and have a bonded or one-piece crown and steerer, and this, along with a bolt through axle gives very accurate steering, less flex, more grip and better braking control.
Here we take a look at the differences between trail, enduro and downhill forks.
The RockShox Pike showing sag indicators and air pressure settings chart.
Trail forks to suit these frames will usually have a similar travel to the rear suspension (occasionally 10mm more) and this will be from 120mm to 150mm. The upper leg diameter will need to be larger on forks with more travel to stiffen up the chassis, reduce flex and increase steering authority with 34mm or 35mm being a suitable size. This is an area where trail forks have improved enormously over time.
Springs and dampers.
Lighter, air sprung units are the way to roll when it comes to most trail and enduro bikes and like the matching forks up front they keep weight down and give ease of tuning the spring rate. Matched with good damping qualities these give a progressive quality to the travel of the shock.
Sizes and fit.
Off-set shock bushings can be used to adjust the geometry and bottom bracket height of your bike and are an easy and cheap way of changing how your bike rides and handles.
RockShox Monarch Debonair is a well sorted shock for a trail bike.
The standard Rockshox Monarch shock (pictured above) is standard on many well regarded trail bikes and this, or a Fox Float DPS are good choices. Air sprung X-Fusion shocks will show up on production bikes too such as the much anticipated 201Marin Hawk Hill.
As with the forks, moving from a trail bike set up to that of an enduro bike means adding a touch more ability and staying power but still keeping the weight low.
The Fox Float X2, Rockshox Monarch Plus and Bos Kirk all take this approach and the Cane Creek DB Air takes adjustment even further with low and high speed rebound damping dials too. This can take some knowledge, experience and patience so maybe not the one if you want the simple life.
Springs are the central component to your suspension system. Your suspension springs are designed to absorb the vertical energy your wheels generate when going over bumps and holes. They also bring your wheels back to their normal height after vertical travel. Springs come in three basic designs, each with their own benefits.
Coil springs are probably what you first think of when you hear the word “spring.” You will see these slinky-shaped springs above the front and rear wheels of many different vehicles. Coil springs from B&G suspension and Eibach springs do a great job handling vertical energy, making them great for all corners of cars. You may even see front coil springs on some trucks and SUVs. B&G springs feature a progressive spring rate, which provides stiff dampening in high-demand situations and a softer feel when cruising. You can also use coil springs like Eibach Sportlines to lower your ride. Coils do come up short when responding to side-to-side activity, making them less suitable for heavy-duty use. For heavier applications like trucks and full-size SUVs, a stronger spring design is necessary.
Coil springs and leaf springs work by compressing and flexing. Unlike those, torsion bars twist to absorb your wheels’ vertical energy. Torsion bars connect your vehicle’s control arm to its frame. The frame end of the bar stays in one place, while the control arm end is free to move. When your wheels hit a bump the upward and downward motion causes the torsion bar to twist. The bar snaps back into place, returning your wheels to their normal position. A wide variety of vehicles use torsion bars, and you’ll typically find them on front-end suspensions.
Shocks & Struts
Shock absorbers are among the most important factors that determine your ride quality. If you suspension consisted of just springs, your wheels would perpetually bounce up and down, causing a jerky ride. Shocks (also known as dampeners) alleviate this problem by controlling and slowing the shaking of your springs. Shock absorbers wrangle the vertical energy in your springs to give you a smooth, bounce-free ride.
The key to shock performance, besides providing smooth dampening, is how well they can handle and dissipate heat. Shocks are strong and resilient components, but they can be sensitive to high temperatures. In high demand situations your shocks start to heat up, which lowers the oil’s viscosity and its ability to absorb energy. In extreme conditions the oil can heat up to the point of bubbling over, making the shocks basically useless. This effect is known as shock fade, and shock designers try to minimize the chance of this phenomenon.
One of the main ways shock manufacturers, including Ground Force and KW Suspension, try to control heat and prevent shock fade is by keeping internal pressure high. This is because high pressure raises the boiling point of fluids, and therefore increases the amount of stress needed to cause fade. Dampeners are available in three common designs, each with their own benefits and ideal applications. Let’s take a look at some of the different styles of performance shocks out there.
Dual-Tube shocks are common on cars, SUVs, and trucks. These shocks utilize inner and outer tube chambers, hence the name dual-tube (sometimes called twin-tube). The inner chamber contains the main oil supply and the piston. The outer tube includes extra oil and the extra space is charged with a low-pressure (100-150 psi) gas, typically nitrogen. The gas provides resistance against the oil flow, dampening your wheels’ movement for a smooth ride.
The dual-tube shock design offers a smooth and comfortable ride, making it a highly popular choice for stock vehicles and street use. Twin tube shocks, from brands like Skunkand Belltech, are more durable than monotube shocks so they can withstand the kicked-up rocks and debris that come with daily driving. Heavy-duty use such as racing and off-roading can make twin tube shocks overheat, which causes the oil to foam and mix with the gas and can ultimately result in shock fade.
Like the old saying goes, “less is more.” That’s generally true when you’re talking about shock design. Monotube shocks include the piston, oil, and gas all in a single tube. In this design, the piston presses on a mass of oil which then pushes a second piston. The second piston rests between the oil and a section of high-pressure gas, usually between 200-350 psi. This design keeps the oil and gas separated, reducing the chance of oil foaming. Plus, because all the oil is in one tube it is more easily cooled by ambient air, delaying the onset of shock fade.
Monotube shock absorbers are stiffer and tighter than twin-tube or foam cell shocks, making them a more suitable choice for heavy-duty off-roading and racing applications. The monotube design requires more length than twin-tube shocks, so they may be difficult to install on non-lifted trucks and cars. Some models utilize an external reservoir to hold the gas charge, which brings the shock length down to a more easy-to-install length. Monotube shocks are also more susceptible to dents and damage than twin-tube shocks because of their single, exposed-tube design, so extra care should be taken when installing and using them. This also means Monotube shocks are ideal for racing use, where road conditions are consistent and there is a minimal chance of impact from debris.
Foam Cell Shocks
Foam cell shock absorbers utilize essentially the same design as dual-tube shocks, except the gas is not free-floating in the outer tube. Instead, the gas is stored in small capsules. These cells keep the oil away from the gas, virtually eliminating the chance of foaming without sacrificing a comfortable ride. Like twin-tube shocks, however, foam cells can also fall victim to overheating. Foam cells can burst if the oil gets too hot, which causes irreparable damage to the shocks.
For optimal damping in high-performance and off-road situations, go with coilover shocks. Coilovers consist of a long-travel monotube shock absorber wrapped with a coil spring. These performance shocks provide excellent damping without torsional stress. Many coilover suspensions, including KW coilovers, let you fine tune your ride height and stiffness, giving you the freedom to dial in the ride quality and performance you desire. Some coilovers can be modified with different coil springs so you can find the perfect spring rate for your driving needs.
Trucks and SUVs have a commanding presence on the road, but sometimes you need even more height when tackling the trails and driving off the beaten path. Plus, you may be of the “bigger is better” persuasion and want to achieve a rugged big-rig look with oversize tires. Whether it’s big looks or big clearance you need, you can achieve it with a lift kit.
How Lift Kits Work
Helpful Tip: Some front-end lift kits are also known as leveling kits, because they raise your truck’s front rake, leveling it out.
Rear Lift Kits
Blocks – By inserting spacer blocks between your axle and rear coil springs you can add a couple of inches while maintaining your stock ride.
Replacement Springs – If it’s huge height you need, you may have to completely replace your springs. When you add replacement springs to your vehicle you get an extra height boost as well as the superior feel and handling of new springs.
Front Lift Kits
Lifting your front end can be a bit more complicated due to all the steering linkages and components up front, so there are a few more ways you can add some height.
Spindles are where the wheel hub and bearing mount to your vehicle. By replacing your stock spindles with a taller design you can boost your front end height.
Steering Knuckles, where your wheels pivot when you turn the steering wheel, can also be replaced with longer ones that push your vehicle higher.
Control Arms – These form the connection between your wheel hubs and your frame. Contrary to your expectations, control arms on lift kits are actually shorter than stock. This alters your suspension’s angles to make your ride taller. You will typically need to install new coil springs to compensate for your suspension’s new geometry.
Spacers – Just like rear blocks, you can lift your front end by placing spacers below or above your front coil springs. Coil spacers, such as Daystar Lifts, are becoming more popular due to their relatively easy installation and their ability to maintain a stock-like ride quality.
Add-A-Leafs – Heavy-duty trucks and SUVs may have leaf springs on the front as well as the back, so you can add a few extra leafs to the stacks and take your ride to new heights.
Sports car drivers and performance enthusiasts love a short stance because it lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity. This minimizes the gravitational resistance on your vehicle, giving you a more responsive feel when hugging narrow corners. Plus, lowering kits generally include tougher springs and stiffer shocks than your stock suspension. By stiffening up your suspension, these kits tighten up your steering response, minimize body roll and squat during fast maneuvers, and cut down on nose dive when braking hard. This handling and performance does come at the expense of some ride comfort, but advanced technology like progressive-rate springs and shocks help alleviate the compromise by providing stiff response when you need it and a softer feel when you’re driving casually.
Sway Bars & Strut Bars
Your vehicle’s handling and ride quality don’t just depend on how your wheels respond to bumps and dips. The sturdiness of your chassis is also a hugely important performance factor. Without proper tuning your vehicle can succumb to body roll and shaky steering, giving you a less confident ride and ultimately diminished performance on the track and the street. By adding components you can tighten up your chassis for a more stable ride and a more confident driving feel. Anti-Sway bars are an often overlooked but essential suspension upgrade.
Another way to add extra rigidity to your chassis is by bolting on a strut bar, like the DC Sports strut bar. Spirited driving and high-speed turns can cause your vehicle’s body to slightly twist and flex, reducing your steering effectiveness. Racers and sport-compact drivers like adding strut bars because they add torsional stiffness and improve handling. Best yet, strut bars simply bolt onto your strut towers without any modifications, and they add some extra high-performance style under the hood.
Courtesy of the Manufacturer
If you’re a car show groupie and love to hang out and talk about your Mustang you probably haven’t put much thought into the car’s suspension. Sure, during your restoration or rebuild you might have stuck some handling springs in or a larger antisway bar; maybe even some urethane bushings in key locations. While these parts certainly do what they claim, they are, more-or-less, Band-Aids on an antiquated suspension that was designed to save Ford money building a large volume of vehicles. Ford wasn’t in the habit (and still isn’t) of spending any more than it needs to in order to meet a certain car’s design and safety aspects. This is one reason why once Carroll Shelby got ahold of the Mustang to build his G.T. 350 he relocated the upper control arms, added rear traction bars, and more—the best he could do with ’60s technology at the time.
Search all Porsche Cayennes for sale on evo.co.uk
How could anyone mix that facial graphic with notions of Range Rover, BMW Xor Mercedes M-class rivalry? How dare they? Well, the US market, and the emerging ones of Russia and especially China, are how. Rich customers there wanted fast 4x4s and they wanted a Porsche badge. Porsche could hardly not make the Cayenne. Consider how strong the model is now – and how long the waiting list for its baby brother, the new Porsche Macan, already is – and its development has surely been more than vindicated.
It has proved hugely lucrative for the company, its profits ensuring that the manufacture of ‘proper’ Porsches remains viable. And you can’t deny that there’s a certain appeal to a hefty SUV with, if it’s an original Turbo as featured here, 444bhp from its twin-turbo, 4.5-litre V8, a 165mph top speed and the ability to reach 62mph from rest in 5.seconds. Especially when it has proper off-road ability, complete with long-travel suspension and a low-ratio gear set. A non-turbo Cayenne S arrived at that 200launch, too, with the same engine capacity but a gentler 335bhp (good for 150mph and a 7.0sec 0-60 time). A Cayenne Vsoon followed, with a 3.2-litre, 246bhp VW/Audi engine. At the opposite extreme, the Turbo S of 200offered a rousing 513bhp.
In 200the range got a minor facelift with larger, direct-injection engines, the addition of a turbodiesel and the launch of the Cayenne GTS. On simple steel springs and with a manual gearbox, this was the most petrolhead-pleasing Cayenne of all, but it’s also rare in this basic form. There was also a revised model in 2010, with a slightly longer wheelbase, a new nose, less weight and a hybrid option. This guide, however, concentrates on the pre-200cars, some examples of which are now dropping below a five-figure asking price. Prices are currently as low as £7000, in fact…
One early-Cayenne must-have is air suspension, which is standard on the Turbo. The S and Vmodels with steel springs have a harsh, unyielding ride, a deficiency remedied by the 200revamp. The air suspension also adjusts its height as required, lowering itself at speed and raising itself when it senses troubled terrain. But even an air-sprung Cayenne in Comfort mode is still a taut, responsive machine able to perform agility feats previously undreamed of in an SUV, helped by a nominally rearward torque split. In essence the Cayenne feels a little like a 92GTS, only taller and more sophisticated.
These early Cayennes are not paragons of reliability, though, and age doesn’t help. Here, too, they are like a modern 928, especially in their electrical gremlins. Porsche specialist JZ Machtech goes so far as to recommend buyers avoid a pre-200Cayenne S entirely, thanks to a tendency beyond around 70,000 miles towards disintegrating Lokasil cylinder coatings and consequent catastrophic engine failure. A new engine from Porsche, once fitted, will – at around £18,000 – cost more than the car is worth.
In fact, JZ Machtech has given up selling all early Cayennes because they cause too much grief when customers bring them back for the inevitable faults to be fixed. Typically you’ll find early Cayennes at 4xspecialists rather than Porsche specialists, where the vibe is as different as the customers. So avoid the S and either opt for a sensible V(quite slow and little more economical than the S) or go for broke, brace yourself for a regular 14mpg and find a Turbo from £15,000. It’s bonkers, but there’s nothing else quite like it.
Some impressive numbers…
Consider some figures. Stuttgart’s top-of-the-range Turbo S came with a supercar-rivalling 512bhp and 531lb ft of torque, up from 450bhp and 457lb ft in the standard Cayenne Turbo thanks to a comprehensively improved intercooling system and a 0.bar increase in boost pressure. The swell in power and torque is sufficient to propel the 2355kg machine to 62mph in 5.2sec, 100mph in 11.9sec (some 2.6sec faster than the Turbo) and on to a top speed of 167mph. Mighty stuff.
We’re sorry, but we couldn’t save your contact information. Please try again later.
Racetrack Tuned. Countless laps and several competition events have helped the Airlift engineers hone the razor sharp handling and flat cornering nature of this airbag suspension.
Adjustable. Airlift suspension kits use 30-way adjustable, monotube struts with a serious range of damping adjustment that have been specially tuned to match their progressive air springs. The 30 clicks of adjustment aren’t just for fun, but rather allow the user to dial in his preferred handling feel or desired ride quality from super stiff to really soft.
4″ Drop; 1″ Lift. This Airlift Suspension Kit allows you to drop your Mustang over 4″ from the stock height for a killer parked stance and with the push of a button, lift it back up so you can tear around your favorite road course or drag strip. This Airlift Suspension Kit not only allows you to drop your ride height, but it also allows you to raise it up about 1″ (25mm) over the stock OEM ride height making it perfect for speed bumps or steeply angled driveways.
AutoPilot VDigital Controller. The AutoPilot VDigital Controller has different presets to tailor your rides height with incredible accuracy with just a push of the button. The Vconstantly monitors your pressures and adjust accordingly to your preset requirements. It also allows you to control your system manually, for the ultimate in independent corner adjustment. The VDigital Controller displays individual corner air pressure and tank pressure on a multi-color screen in a choice of 51color combinations, you can also choose to display pressure in PSI or BAR. The Vcontroller features a rugged, rubberized coating to help protect against the occasional drops and scratches.
Year Warranty. As the leader in air suspension products for over 60 years, Air Lift is committed to delivering quality parts that last. To ensure longevity, the key suspension components have been tested on a durability rig for over million cycles, which equates to 100K miles. With a year, unlimited mileage warranty, you can purchase this kit with peace of mind.
Application. This complete Digital Airlift Suspension Kit is designed for use on all 200to 201coupe and convertible Mustangs, including the V6, GT, Bullitt, Boss and Shelby GT500 models.
Technical Note. If you have a Mustang that has an Upgraded OEM Rear Shock (ie: Some Boss 302 and Shelby GT500 models) that features a larger diameter shock rod, it will have a larger shock bushing than a Mustang equipped with the Standard OEM Rear Shock. Since the Air Lift Performance Suspension Kit re-uses the existing shock bushings, the larger bushings will not work. In order for the rear shocks from the Suspension Kit to fit properly, you’ll need to use the smaller shock bushings that is used on the Standard OEM Rear Shocks.
Digital Airlift Setup
I have had my airlift setup since the beginning of the 201season. It is absolutely great and really makes your car stand out. Me and my friends installed in in my garage with all basic tools overnight. …
The installation isnt too bad, kind of like installing coilovers with a couple air hoses and a bunch of wiring from the trunk. the trickiest part is drilling in the trunk to line up the rear bags that sit on the axle. The digital vmanagement is a must have and is much more reliable and useful than the manual kit. You get auto raise on starts, auto adjusting, and presets along with not having to mount to ugly gauges anywhere. As far as handling its great. It has 1way dampers and my suspension is very stiff. Over all it looks great, rides great, and you get awesome looks when you air out.
The no-compromise solution.
The frustrating part of the install was installing and the rear airbags. The convertible has more structural support in the rear behind the seat, which is no surprise, and you have to drill holes for the rear airbag lines to feed up into the trunk. This was difficult to do, but that was the hardest part of the install.
Ride height is incredibly comfortable. I had many co-workers joke about the car bobbing around but after I took them for a ride, their mind did a 180* turn and it has left a permanent scar for how good the air ride quality is.
I took the install a step further though by installing a smaller tank in the trunk and locating it to the spare tire well under the trunk mat, along with the compressor, and regulator. All of the air system is now neatly tucked away out of sight and my trunk space is 100% usable. I plan to install a second compressor this upcoming spring.
Apples & Oranges
Apples & Oranges are the only way to compare how my stock handling 15.0 felt compared to now.
Before you start, have extra butt connectors, electrical tape, nylon cable clamps from inch to 1/& gut your interior from the kick panels, door sil, rear sides, back seat, trunk.
All around great!
This system is all around great for anyone who is wanting a cheap air suspension kit. This provides a smooth ride over my old Eibach springs, and looks great aired put anywhere I go. Very minimal maintainence required and money well spent.
WHAT IS AiROCK
AiROCK™ is a computerized suspension system that provides the ultimate in control, both on and off road.
When driving on-road AiROCK™ provides a smoother ride and allows limited adjustments at a lower ride height. It constantly monitors ride height and automatically compensates for any body lean that occurs. By maintaining a lower center of gravity it provides improved handling and reduces the possibility of a roll over. These improvements allow a vehicle with very large tires to be used as a daily driver.
WHY DO I NEED IT
Air springs articulate more naturally than coils making driving off of rocks less jarring and off camber situations more stable.
When changing to different sized tires, simply adjust the ride height from inside the cab instead of swapping out coils.
For off camber maneuvers you can lean the vehicle into the hill, and lower it to keep the center of gravity down.
If you get high centered, simply raise the vehicle up and continue down the trail.
There are countless other situations that AiROCK™ systems make more safe and enjoyable.
All of the parts in this kit are warrantied for one full year from the date of purchase.
The Control Interface consists of a display and six control buttons, encased in black anodized aluminum to ensure longevity and a clean OEM appearance. Its backlit display varies its brightness automatically with changes in daylight.
The ACU ties into the Vehicle Speed Sensor to constantly monitor the vehicle speed. It controls and monitors the pressure in the air springs and air supply along with monitoring the height sensors. This information not only allows AiROCK™ to operate in two different driving modes, off-road and on-road, but also to detect and diagnose any problems that might occur in the system.
The installation process is very straight forward. You essentially replace your old coils and shocks, mount the height sensors, Control Interface and ACU, and run the wiring and air lines. The average install time is about 6-hours. Any additional suspension and on-board air supply components require additional time.
The bolt on kit requires no special tools, welding or modification of the frame to install.*** The detailed instruction manual and user guide, along with great customer support, ensure a smooth install.
We also have a growing number of authorized installation and service centers in the U.S. and Canada that can install the kit for you. *** Note: For TJs the rear shocks can be bolted directly onto the chassis using the stock shock brackets. However to gain additional ground clearance and to better protect the shocks, we recommend relocating the shocks to the outside of the frame rail by using ORO rear shock mount brackets (sold seperately). Doing so requires the frame rail to be cut and the brackets welded in place.
Fitting and maintenance
Goldschmitt does not recommend its systems for DIY fit, saying, “Self-levelling and full air suspension systems are quite complicated pieces of equipment and should only be fitted by competent trained technicians.” Automatic systems in particular need to be set up correctly and calibrated.
Most levelling companies liaise with chassis manufacturers and design jacks for attachment to original chassis mounting points. Drilling and welding of the chassis is definitely out.
Ideally, the electrical gear is best located above floor level in a locker but, where room is tight, some manufacturers can supply a watertight box for fitting under the chassis. Controls can be on a panel located at an accessible location such as a doorway, but most systems offer a handheld remote control that allows you sight of operations, particularly for manual operations like lifting for changing a wheel.
It’s normal for the system to be powered by the vehicle battery, but only when the engine is running. Hence there are no implications for draining your battery.
Manufacturers recommend their systems be checked periodically, primarily to avoid a build-up of mud on the extending jack legs, but also to apply an anti-corrosive agent. The oil reservoir level needs to be checked from time to time and the oil changed periodically in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.
Supplementary air suspension
Air assistance or supplementary air suspension systems are easy to fit as they work alongside the existing leaf spring suspension on the rear axle. A basic kit can cost as little as £350 excluding fitting and you will find many suppliers of kits and installers. Typical of these are Marcle Leisure, which specialises in the supply (no fitting) of a range of kits and spares and Airide, which supplies and fits or can just supply.
A common reason for fitting air assistance is due to onerous loadings imposed on a chassis by a motorhome. Standard commercial vehicles will, at times, be fully loaded to their designed maximum gross weight (GVW) and, equally, they will spend time empty or partially empty.
Motorhomes, though, are always close to being fully loaded on and off the road. As soon as the motorhome converter starts fitting the interior, including fridges and cookers, the springs will start to move down. The majority of motorhomes will be at or very near GVW, if not overloaded.
Original leaf spring suspension starts life well enough, but several years on, the suspension becomes tired – sometimes in overloaded situations, symptoms of flattened springs appear in as little as six months. Once springs have become tired, there is less travel and therefore much less ability to absorb shocks from the road.
It should be noted that, where the condition of the springs is exacerbated by overloading, the weight issue has to be addressed – either reduce the weight or get the motorhome uprated. The addition of air assistance will resolve the flattened springs and reintroduce some welcome suspension travel back into the vehicle.
What it won’t do is make an overloaded axle legal. There is a formal procedure for uprating a vehicle and it is best to consult a specialist like SvTech for advice.
Air assistance doesn’t allow any great variation in level due to the constraints of the existing suspension springs, but it will eliminate rear end droop. With a dual-chamber system, the separate air lines provide independent pressures and permit a degree of compensation for uneven loading and transverse sagging.
Additional add-ons to a basic kit include pressure gauges for instant checking and an onboard compressor for convenient pressure top-ups so you don’t need to use a forecourt air line. An advantage of basic kits is the small impact on the vehicle’s payload allowance, adding as little as 8-10kg.
Six good reasons for installing full air suspension
Suspension design is based on achieving the most suitable trade-off between comfort for passengers and the need to achieve good traction and accommodate load variations and the amount of axle travel. In such a complex situation, it’s little wonder some compromises are inevitable with standard commercial vehicle chassis where value for money is always key. Hence the scope for full air suspension to improve the ride comfort and handling, but the cost of an automatic full air suspension system including fitting is likely to be in the region of £5,000 to £8,000 depending on manufacturer and sophistication of controls.
Because of regular air pressure changes, automatic systems require an air pressure vessel to supply the quantity of air needed. The pressure vessel must include a drying system for incoming air to prevent a build-up of moisture in the bellows that can cause problems in freezing conditions.
Goldschmitt’s ADC full vehicle air suspension even offers a vehicle weigh facility, though all this sophistication not only adds to cost but weight.
DriveRite, which manufactures full and supplementary kits, shows just the IntelliRide control kit of its top-of-the-range 4C full air suspension system as weighing in at 23kg. A full four-corner air suspension system on a standard Fiat Ducato chassis is likely to weigh up to 60kg, depending on what kind of leaf springs are removed. So watch your payload.
A huge advantage of full 4C air suspension systems, in addition to improvements in road holding and comfort, is the ability to vary levels significantly when static. Front seat passenger and driver are also said to receive greater levels of comfort, because for the likes of a Fiat Ducato, the front seats are almost directly located over the suspension system.
Fitting full air suspension to the rear axle only (2C) will reduce the benefits, particularly for on-site levelling, but will improve ride, the ability to keep up the rear end when using ferry ramps and achieve level ride height across the rear wheels.
Factors that matters
Though here, we use the simple term “best lift kit”; there are actually two types of lift kits you should know. The Suspension lift and body lift. The purpose is the same, but the end result is different between the two.
Make the right selections and you’ll have more fun. Make the wrong selections and you’ll have painful experience.
Tuff Country 5292Suspension Lift Kit
Tuff Country suspension parts and accessories are designed and perfected by expert engineers through years of professional study. All the bracket systems are inspected under strict supervision to ensure the quality and performance. Furthermore, this lift kit is made of the toughest components to survive extended use. For a proper fit, each bracket is cut to precise dimensions by means of a state-of-the-art computerized laser beam. So you see, Tuff Country focuses on the quality of their Tuff Country suspension lift kits which also make your favorite ride looks even better with it.
AIR LIFT 60811000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit
AIR LIFT 1000 suspension lift kits offer design innovation and absolute top quality. These products are a perfect add-on to improve the functionality of your favorite ride. An AIR LIFT suspension lift kit allows you to provide a new height to your truck without sacrificing its factory ride quality. And the best thing about AIR LIFT products is the new level of performance they give to any kind of vehicle. Because AIR LIFT suspension products have fully adjustable air springs, you will able to level your vehicle when towing or hauling a heavy load.
If you want to unleash the true ability of your truck, AIR LIFT 1000 suspension lifts are the answers. Made of the sturdiest components, this kind of lift kit can endure the roughness terrain. In addition, each kit is carefully engineered to provide maximum suspension performance that you need during off road driving. Now, you can enjoy the great outdoors if your vehicle is equipped with this revolutionary auto product. With this suspension kit, experience better control and handling both on and off the road.
Forks and shocks are available in many shapes and sizes to suit the intended application, from cross-country racing to dirt jumping, and the rider. There are a number of standards to be aware of though, many of which may or may not be compatible with your setup.
Rebound damping is exactly that: as the fork or shock extends from a compression, it slows the rebound and turns the excess energy into heat as the oil is squeezed through the valves. Most forks and shocks will have an adjuster to precisely tune how fast you want them to rebound. Too much damping and the fork/shock will pack down (ie have less travel) over successive hits, too little and it will feel uncontrolled and bouncy.
Compression damping controls the fork/shock as it compresses, allowing it to react proportionately to different sized impacts. Slow-speed damping regulates movement such as brake dive, fork bob and excess compression in berms, while high-speed damping can prevent the fork/shock blowing through the travel (bottoming out) on big hits and drops.
Too much high-speed damping can be a bad thing, though – the oil pressure may build up causing a spike (when the oil can’t get through the ports or shims fast enough), which can be felt as a sharp knock. Sophisticated forks and shocks have shim stacks – thin washers that can bend out of the way – allowing the oil through and the fork/shock to move faster.
Lockout levers prevent the fork or shock moving, sometimes completely but many retain a little bit of travel to help traction. Lockout is useful on smooth climbs or road sections. Blow-off adjusters let you set the force of impact that will knock the lockout off to regain full travel. Not all forks and shocks have all these features, but the very least you need is rebound damping.
Suspension fork terminology
Adjustment dial(s): Also called top caps. Besides allowing external adjustments – including compression, rebound, threshold and travel adjustment among others – the top caps seal the top of the stanchions/air springs.
Air valves: Depending on the fork, these can be for the main or supplementary air springs, the negative air spring or platform damping adjustment valve. Keep clean and check the valve core is tight if you get a leak.
Axle: This can be a regular 9mm quick-release, 20mm bolt-through or 15mm bolt-through. Now quick-release bolt-through axles, such as RockShox’s Maxle and Maxle Lite (20mm and 15mm for 201forks) and Fox’s QR1(15mm), are increasingly being seen on cross-country and trail bikes.
Bushings: Synthetic slider guides for smooth telescopic action between upper and lower legs.
Crown: The ‘hips’ that hold the fork stanchions and attach to the steerer tube.
Dropouts: Traditionally forks used slotted 9mm dropouts for quick-release hubs, but with the new 15/20mm through-axle standards compatible forks have a hole rather than slot to slide the axle into.
Fixing bolts: Extremely important fork end bolts that hold the internal spring/piston rods in place, stop damping oil leaking out, and the whole lower leg assembly falling off.
Negative spring: Helper spring that opposes the main spring to help overcome seal resistance.
Preload adjuster: Increases the initial spring resistance of coil and elastomer forks. If you’re using more than several turns, consider the next spring weight up.
Rebound dial: External adjuster for the rebound damping circuit. May be on the top of the fork leg or at the base and is normally red in colour. Increasing rebound damping slows down the speed at which the fork leg returns after each hit; decreasing rebound damping speeds it up.
Remote levers: Fly-by-wire bar operation of one or more of the fork leg/ crown mounted adjusters.
Seals: Multiple wipers and lubricating sponges vital for keeping insides in and dirt out. Clean and check for damage often.
Spring: Provides the basic up and down motion in air (light and easily adjustable), coil (ultra smooth and reliable), elastomer (cheap) or a mix of all three. Can be in one leg or both.
Stanchion: Slippery upper leg so the lower leg can slide smoothly over it. Occasionally steel, mostly aluminium and ranging from 28-40mm diameter, increasing in stiffness and strength as width increases. Watch for scratching or corrosion as this will rapidly ruin seals.
Steerer tube: Aluminium or carbon to save weight, or steel to boost strength and reduce cost. Come in a variety of sizes, with 1-1/8in being the cross-country standard and 1.5in steerers standard for freeride or downhill bikes. Tapered steerers (which taper from 1-1/8in at the top to 1.5in at the fork crown) are common on all-mountain or aggressive trail bikes where both stiffness and light weight are important.
Rear shock terminology
Air valve: Schrader valve used for adding or removing air from the positive air spring on air shocks. Normally marked with a ‘+’ on it. Keep clean and check valve core is tight if shock starts to leak.
Bottom-out bumper: Simple bumper to stop a harsh clang at full compression.
Coil: Metal coil spring on coil shocks. Can be steel or titanium (for light weight), straight rate or rising/ falling rate. Spring weight (in ft/lb) will normally be printed on the side as well as the dimensions.
Compression adjuster: Dial or lockout lever that controls the compression damping circuit.
Firestone 678Ride-Rite Rear Air Helper Spring
Upon full installation and inflating the air springs, they should be inspected visually to make sure that they are properly aligned. You should check the distance between the upper and lower brackets to determine if the ideal height of vehicle operation is met. The individual air springs have independent inflation valves to equalize the air pressure for each spring. It is not uncommon to have pressure differential among the air springs as the ride height is affected by the gross weight of the vehicle’s frame.
It is recommended that you inflate the air springs up to 50 psi. Loss of pressure is to be expected, but should not exceed psi per week. Inspect the brackets periodically, especially if you have recently loaded a significant amount of weight onto your vehicle.
Cars with Air bag Suspension
Air suspension is a feature found in flagship models of luxury car manufacturers. High-end vehicles with air suspension offer a gliding ride quality that corrects irregularities when a car comes into contact with the road. Air suspension entails adjusting the ground clearance, air pressure, and ride height of a vehicle automatically. This system is controlled by a complicated arrangement of sensors, electronics, and computers. Most of these developments have been engineered in-house by some of the world’s preeminent car companies through years of research and innovation. This feature significantly adds cost to production; hence it is generally reserved for top shelf models that can be sold at a premium.
Air suspension is also added to some SUV’s to increase the amount of weight that it can carry. However, this feature makes the vehicle’s air bag suspension susceptible to friction caused by its contact to the chassis as a result of the additional weight. This results to air-line failure through gradual use over time, and must be checked at regular intervals.
Rear Suspension Air Bags Rear suspension air bags are used to fit in the rear end frame of a truck or an SUV. They are designed to work in conjunction with standard leaf spring mounts to prevent the vehicle from sagging. Installing rear application kits results to reduced “bottoming out” and tire wear. The system works by lifting the rear end away from the frame by inflating the bags when carrying additional weight. Before installing rear suspension air bags, the frame of the vehicle must be braced and leveled. This is done by removing the frame from the vehicle and welding the components from the outside.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your air suspension kit wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of air suspension kit
- №1 — Vixen Air 5 Gallon
- №2 — Strutmasters 4 Wheel Air Suspension Conversion Kit for 2002-2009 Audi A8
- №3 — Strutmasters Rear Air Suspension Conversion Kit for 2003-2009 Lexus GX 470