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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sup guys? Just wondering if you guys knew any good sites with info on air ride. I wanna get into it, but I wanna learn more about it first. I know it's not good for racing, but that's okay cause my car is slow as poop:D
But seriously, if you guys can recommend any good sites with lots of info, I'd appreciate it:)
 

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AIR VS HYDROS

Hydros are essentially actuators that run liquid instead of compressed gas or air. But keep in mind the design of a hydraulic cylinder is very different from gas or air shock cylinder... hydros are designed to be a lot stronger (AND HEAVIER) due to the nature of running liquid vs air. This increase in strength doesn't mean there's and increase in durability b/c hydro cylinders go through WAY more torture. This also doesn't mean that hydros ride better... in fact the ride you get from Hydros is not even as good as a STOCK suspension setup. And B4 you hydro guys respond no my opinion is NOT biased, b/c I have had hydros (on 3 vehicles) as well as air (on 2 vehicles) and I will NEVER hydro another vehicle that I have to drive daily... bottom line. Hydros CAN be installed w/ gas shox as helpers, but this doesn't increase the ride quality too much, and decreases the speed and amount of the lift somewhat. Accumulators can be added to the hydro cylinder to increase damping and create a softer ride, but the ride is STILL not as good as the most basic air-ride setups. Simply put, hydraulic cylinders are NOT springs and were never designed to be used as springs... they were originally designed as actuators. The reason why hydros don't provide a stock-like, smooth ride is b/c liquid cannot be compressed as easily as gas or air, therfore the damping effect achieved from compressed liquids (oil) is minimal.

BENEFITS OF USING AIR OVER HYDROS

*better ride
*no maintenance or lubrication required
*safer (running at lower PSI)
*friction free
*better ride
*angular capability
*CAN be as fast as hydros
-when upgraded solenoids, tanks, and air lines
*amount of lift/drop is comparable to hydros
*better ride
*compact starting height
*more affordable than hydros
-easily upgraded
*no extra batteries required (less space required)
*durable
*oh yeah, did I mention BETTER RIDE?

Air-ride setups ride good at any height, but to be honest if all out competition is your goal then go w/ hydros. If you want to have a nice ride AND be able to flex on somebody w/ the occasional "switch fit" then go w/ air!!!

NEVER drive around at maximum pressure in the front or rear. Lots of people who have blown seals/bags did so b/c we (uhhh.... I meant THEY... I have NEVER done this... ha ha, riiiight) drove around at max pressure. Why? Simple... at max pressure, there is no more room inside of the bags for anymore air. W/ no more room inside, the bags/cylinder will be at maximum stroke (height), and any compressive force on the bags at this point may cause the bellows to rupture. Actually the weakest point in the system will be the first to rupture, LUCKILY w/ air-ride the LINES will go before the bags, which are more expensive to replace. When you bust an air line it better than when you bust a hydraulic line... there are no special fittings needed... just go to any truck stop or Lowes or Home Depot or industrial supply company and pick up your hose and you're off!!! However it IS safe to SLAM or LIFT your ride to max PSI or 0 PSI if you're parked... NOT WHILE DRIVING!!

PART DEUX...
As promised I found my old documents on Air Suspension and I'm posting it for every1 to see... I'm making changes to this document on the fly b/c since I wrote it there have been quite a few hardware, technical and airride theory upgrades. NEway... as far as air lines go, be sure to use a DOT approved hose... even the colored hoses can have the DOT Approved stamp along the entire length of the hose... this can save your tail when it comes to the blue/red light specials in your rear view. Do not install air line close to NEthing that gets hot (i.e. ENGINES... ha ha) like exhaust pipes... this is MORE important for smaller diameter (1/4 inch) line. Always install the air lines in protective tubing (flex-loom) NEway to be on the safe side.

Empty the air tank of condensate once a month (depends on humidity/climate) to prevent the condensation inside from corroding the inside of the tank. Better yet water separators prevent this from happening (condensation buildup) and are very inexpensive... they are free flowing and don't adversely affect your compressor CFM.

I have 2 control systems for my Accord. I have the standard onboard air control systems w/ a compressor and 7 gallon tank and manual MASS FLOW valves from MIC (www.masterimagecustoms.com). I also have an auxiliary air tank line installed behind the gas tank door to fill the bags in case the compressor blows a fuse (uhhh, prolly NOT gonna happen). That way I can get to a gas station, pop a quarter in the machine and compress my system until I can fix the compressor. I ALSO have a separate, fully electronic control system w/ solenoid valves... includes 10 switches and 1/2 inch lines. My system kix a*s!! My system is faster than most hydro setups in my area, but of course that depends on the starting pressure in the tank.

The kind of valves I run are 2-piece dual-action solenoid valves. This means they drop AND lift fast... some shops concentrate on the old-fashioned valves that drop fast but have no quick-lift capability. Don't get those!!! Make sure your valve setup is DUAL-ACTION, w/ 2 valves... 1 for lifting and one for dropping. Install the lifting valves as close to the tank as possible... and install the "dropping" valves are as close to the "bag/cylinder" as possible... this is for speed purposes so the air doesn't have far to travel. Also always use Teflon to prevent leaks. DON'T OVER TIGHTEN THE FITTINGS TO THE VALVES OR YOU MAY END UP W/ WHAT I CALL "AIR-ARRHEA".... you'll slam your ride at night and it leaks and you'll wake up w/ a lifted ride in the morning!! If you want valves that never stick, I suggest the advanced valves from MIC. Stay tuned for my next post on Connecting Air Valves, and 4 Wheel Independent Air Valve Setups.

depends if u want to go manual/electric
this is just BASIC stuff... depends on how intense youwant to go w/ it:

cylinders or bags
tank * BEST to have a tank w/ a psi readout
compressor
valves (manual or electric)
lines (1/4 in, 3/8 in, 1/2 in, or 1 in)
fittings

you can piece your own kit together for around 6 - 800 if you know what you are looking for...

If you're buying valves, get SMC.
If you're buying a compressor, get Viair.
If you're buying DOT line, go to NAPA.

CHECK OUT THESE SITES..... http://www.eastcoastmayhem.net/ www.wecairsystems.com www.strictlymodified.com www.brislands.com

these are all little things i pick up from a guy who really know his sh*t..........;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Damn man; did you type all that or did you copy and paste? Well either way, thanks a lot for all the good info. Most of it is a little over my head, but I'll go back and read it through and check out those sites too.
Gosh that's a lot of information:D
 

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i copy and paste from another site.....the guy who wrote that teached me alot about air ride systems......hope it helps. this is ur basic setup
Refer to wiring diagram for the final wiring of the Parker valves, relay and compressors.

200 PSI pressure switch wiring:

Relay:
30- To 12 volt power (to battery)
85- Ground to Chassis
86- Blue on PSI switch
87- Red on compressor

Pressure Switch:
Blue to 86 on relay
Red (DO NOT USE)
Purple to ignition 12 volt power

Compressor:
Red to 87 on relay
Black to Chassis ground

just put this down so u can come back look at it if u have any problems;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the good info man. I think I'll definitely be having a shop do it for me. LOL Actually I thought you wrote that before. Where did you have your setup done at?
 

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me and my brother install it ourselves. it was hard to install it b/c of bad directions........(hack shack sucks) now they have better directions as u see up top. some shops charge up to $800-$1000 to install it. if u get a system make sure u get smc valves, 1/2 in. lines, 2 viair 450 or 550 comps.(these comp. have low amps)www.viaircorp.com .... 2 tanks or one big tank(like 7 gallons and up), watertrap, check valves,and adjustable pressure switch......... if a shop installs ur system, make sure they put 3 wheel motion might cost u more but its cool to have. on air ride systems u can also run co2........to hop. some little things u might need to know b4 u get a air ride system...........:D :D ;)
 

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Easystreet at airliftcompany.com just came out with an airstrut system instead of a cylinder, also airride technologies is coming out with a similar airstrut sometime before the new year. The airstrut systems will ride better, but they are a little higher priced than cylinders. I think a system runs next to $2000. Hope this helps.
 

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CivicLx said:
I know it's not good for racing, but that's okay cause my car is slow as poop:D
I've heard of this air ride, but i don't know much about it. So my question is, why isn't it good for racing? Don't hate on me or nothing, i'm just trying to expand my knowledge of cars. Thanks.
 
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