The next component(s) in an air suspension setup are Air Ride Tanks. The air compressor fills the air tank with air that will eventually be used to inflate your air bags. The air tank will be available in several configurations. Some air tank options include its size, number of ports, and finish.
Tank size is measured in gallons (i.e. 5-gallon air tank). The air tank's size can range from small to large and in different shapes. In the pictures above, you can see two styles of air ride tanks. The first is called a "pancake tank." Pancake tanks are used when limited trunk space is available, or when the installer decides to place his/her tank in the spare tire well. The second tank shown above is a more common style of tank and has no special name. Some air ride installers actually fabricate their own tanks to fit their needs for capacity or shape.
Air tanks are made with different materials too. Steel air tanks are the most common and least expensive. Unfortunately, steel rusts when exposed to condensation or water. When your air compressor pumps hot air into the tank, condensation can occur and water fill collect inside the tank causing it to rust from the inside out which will eventually lead to a tank rupture. This is the only bad thing about using steel air tanks. The steel air tanks we sell are powder coated inside and out to help prevent rust from forming.
Another material used to make air tanks is aluminum. I prefer an aluminum tank much more than a steel tank since there is no risk of rust forming. Aluminum tanks are constructed the same way as the steel tanks, but these tanks can be a little more expensive due to the material cost of aluminum. However, since aluminum won't rust, you don't have to worry about your tank rotting through due to rust.
Air ride tanks that are to be
used in an air suspension application need to be able to handle at least 150psi of air pressure.
"Approved" tanks are pressure tested after being made by the
manufacturer to be certain that they are leak free and able to
withstand the high pressures of air ride suspension.
You will notice that some air tanks will have more or less “ports.” Ports are air holes where air fittings are screwed into to direct the air through air line. Typically your air tank will need to have 5-8 ports. You will need 1 port for your air compressor to feed into. 1 port for your pressure switch (which cuts power to your compressor when the air tank is full or at the preset air pressure level). You will need another port on the bottom of your air tank to allow you to drain out water that collects in the air tank from condensation and 1 port for each of your air inflation valves. You can get away with less than one port for your air valves if you use tee-fittings that will allow you to turn 1 port into two.
Click below to learn more about the uses of
automotive air suspension and the components that are used: Air
Air Bag Compressors
Air Ride Tanks
Air Ride controllers, Switch Boxes
Air Ride Accessories
Air Ride FAQs
Air Bag Suspension Main Page