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Air Bag Suspension and Air Ride FAQs


These are some of the most common air ride FAQs (frequently asked questions) that we receive. If you have a question that is not listed here, please send us an email
and we will do our best to answer your air ride frequently asked questions

“Can I install an air ride system myself?”

One of our most air ride faqs. It is our recommendation that your air ride suspension be installed by a professional since a complete understanding of how air suspension and all of its components work together, and the labor involved with installation is necessary. However, basic instructions are included with most of our air ride products and if you have all of the necessary tools and are “mechanically inclined,” you can probably manage to install an air suspension yourself.

"Can I used my custom air ride equipped vehicle for daily driving?"

Custom air ride vehicles are fine to use on a daily driving basis, provided that certain limitations are followed. First of all, anyone who has air bag suspension installed must understand the fact that sometimes, unforeseen things can happen to cause a problem in your air ride suspension. These unforeseen things can be caused by road debris being kicked up by the vehicles tires and damaging things like air line, or even the bags themselves. Sometimes heat from the vehicles engine can be great enough to melt airline if the airline has been routed to closely to an exhaust part or something of the like. Air ride equipped vehicles are not intended for highway use, unless you are referring to an 18-wheeler, or a factory installed air ride system. Daily driving around in the city should be fine in most cases, but excessive speeds on the highway could lead to damage of air ride components and is highly not recommended. Keep in mind that air ride suspension is designed for show vehicles and for looking good.

“Will my handling be affected?”

This is one of many Air Ride FAQs that is a common misunderstanding about air suspension, but no. If your air ride suspension is setup correctly with quality components, and the correct air pressure is being used, you can expect your air suspension to handle the turns as well as, if not better, than your original suspension.

“Will I need to get a steering alignment after installing air ride?”

Any time that your suspension is altered, modified, or even just taken apart and reassembled, it will be mandatory to take your ride to an alignment shop to have the alignment checked and or fixed. When aligning your air equipped ride, make sure that it is at your most frequently used ride height since the alignment will change at different heights. Ride height is the height that you will most frequently be driving at.

“How fast will my air suspension lift or lower?”

This is another one of the most common asked Air Ride FAQs. Lifting and lowering speed will be directly related to the size of air line, air valve, air bag port size, and also what pressure you are using in your air tank. Smaller airline, like ¼” outer diameter will be significantly more restrictive and slower than that of ½” o.d. air line since the air will have to be pushed through a smaller space of air. This is a little extreme, but you can imagine trying to blow air through a drinking straw (1/4” air line) as hard as you can versus blowing air through the center of a paper towel roll (1/2” airline). It will be much easier to blow the air through the roll than the straw.

The same applies to the valve size that you use and the port size on the air bag inlet. For those wanting to hop their ride, extreme pressure (usually achieved by using compressed gases like nitrogen, CO2, or Nitrous), giant air line (like ¾, or 1 inch), and large valves would need to be used.

“How is air suspension different from a hydraulic suspension?”

This is a good Air Ride FAQs since quite frequently, people confuse air ride for hydraulics. Hydraulic suspension is similar to air ride in that both are used to lift and lower the suspension in custom cars and trucks, except hydraulics systems fill metal cylinders with hydraulic fluid, instead of filling rubber bellows with compressible air, but the benefits of air suspension far exceed that of hydraulic suspension in many ways. Here are a few: Since hydraulic fluid can’t be compressed, the ride tends to be quite harsh (very bouncy and choppy).

However, air ride uses rubber bellows and compressible air which will allow for the suspension to have some play, or “give” to absorb the bumps for a far better, smoother ride. Another benefit of air suspension over hydraulic is if you ever have a leak in one of your air lines, it will only leak air and a coupler can easily be used to fix the leaky air line, while a hydraulic system leak will spray hydraulic oil all over everywhere! Plus, hydraulic lines must use press fittings to withstand the high pressures and can only be made by hydraulic line shops, and the necessary bleeding of air from hydraulic components is worse than doing the brakes on your girlfriend’s Honda. So, stick with air ride if you want a smooth ride, cool exhaust sounds, and a mess-free installation!

“How can I be sure that my air ride system is leak free?”

Yikes this is definitely one of the most popular air ride FAQS! In order to make your air ride system leak free, which is very possible to do, make sure to use Teflon tape on all of the male air-fitting threads when assembling your air ride components. After installation, pressurize your system (inflate all air bags, tank and gauges, etc.), then get a small cup of water and put in a few drops of liquid dish washing soap and use a paintbrush to “paint” all of the air fittings with the soapy solution. If an air leak is present, tiny air bubbles will appear. If you see any bubbles growing, make sure that the fitting is tight then wipe of and recheck the fitting for leaks (bubbles).

*** If you have any other Air Ride FAQs, please feel free to Contact Us!

Click below to learn more about the uses of automotive air suspension and the components that are used:

Air Suspension Uses

Air Bags

Air Bag Compressors

Air Ride Tanks

Air Ride controllers, Switch Boxes

Air Ride Accessories

Air Ride FAQs

Air Bag Suspension Main Page

Click Here for the Air Suspension Products that we sell

 

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