Pros and cons of air suspension - Mustang Evolution

Go Back   Mustang Evolution > 1979-2015 Mustang GT || Tech and Talk > 2015 Mustang GT



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them here!
Old 01-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #1
Registered Member
Regular
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: anaheim
Region: California
Posts: 132
Pros and cons of air suspension

Im thinking on putting airlift v2 on my car.. what are the pros and cons of an air suspension?

Sent from my SM-N910P using Mustang Evolution mobile app
5inco is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-21-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
Registered Member
Regular
 
CodyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Houston
Region: Texas
Posts: 249
Pros
- instant ride height adjustability, i.e., no more sh*tting bricks every time you see a pebble in the road
- can be a very comfortable ride

Cons
- if not set up properly, you'll be dealing with leaks and failures and could potentially be beached on the road if worse comes to worst
- takes up more inboard space than static coilovers
- adds more weight to the car unless you remove the spare tire, in which case it's about an even wash
- not really meant for moderate to serious racing, more for street and rarely tracked cars
- every time you change the ride height you change the suspension geometry which can cause alignment-related issues
CodyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
Registered Member

Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Spokane
Region: Washington
Posts: 1,595
Air suspensions, as stated above, are more about show than go.
It also depends a great deal on how much travel (from top to bottom of the bags) you plan on as well.
You are adding a BUNCH of very high pressure lines and fittings that are going to need regular maintenance and checking...........and as stated, a leak anywhere in the system and you will be lucky to make it off the road to a parking spot before your car becomes immobile.
Guard 5.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-21-2016, 11:29 PM   #4
Registered Member
Regular
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: anaheim
Region: California
Posts: 132
How long does this suspension set up usually lasts? How do you properly maintain all the lines and fittings

Sent from my SM-N910P using Mustang Evolution mobile app
5inco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2016, 11:42 PM   #5
Registered Member

Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Spokane
Region: Washington
Posts: 1,595
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5inco View Post
How long does this suspension set up usually lasts? How do you properly maintain all the lines and fittings
Start with the best quality bags, lines and connections that you can get. Make sure the shop that installs this system has done it many times --- successfully.
If there are other owners with air suspensions in your area that you can talk with, they can steer you well as to equipment and shops to go to --- as well as those to stay away from.
Why are you thinking about going this route, and what do you want to use your air bagged car for?
Guard 5.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 08:16 AM   #6
Registered Member
Regular
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: anaheim
Region: California
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guard 5.0 View Post
Start with the best quality bags, lines and connections that you can get. Make sure the shop that installs this system has done it many times --- successfully.
If there are other owners with air suspensions in your area that you can talk with, they can steer you well as to equipment and shops to go to --- as well as those to stay away from.
Why are you thinking about going this route, and what do you want to use your air bagged car for?
Ok. I will do that. The shop that quoted me has done it on mustangs and other cars as well. Mainly for show, its my daily.

Sent from my SM-N910P using Mustang Evolution mobile app
5inco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 08:31 AM   #7
Registered Member
Regular
 
CodyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Houston
Region: Texas
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5inco View Post
How long does this suspension set up usually lasts? How do you properly maintain all the lines and fittings

Sent from my SM-N910P using Mustang Evolution mobile app
In my opinion, you shouldn't probably ever have to replace the actual bags/struts themselves if you get a good set. I had BagYard struts on my Jetta (check my Garage on here for a picture), which are basically Bilstein dampers with bags where the coil springs would normally go, and those things were so solid I felt confident I would never have to replace them.

The lines and fittings I don't really see you needing to "maintain" either, because once they are set up correctly you don't really have to worry about them. If they are not set up correctly, however, you may have to re-wrap the fittings with teflon tape or re-cut the lines to a perfect 90 degrees to get rid of leaks.

The main thing you will have to maintain will be your tank. If you don't have water traps you will eventually accumulate some moisture in the air tank (especially if you live in a humid climate), and even then you may still have some water get into the tank. This water can be problematic because it can corrode the tank over time or even find its way into the valves/manifolds where it can corrode those or cause them to freeze up in below-freezing temperatures. You can mitigate these problems by using water traps and/or a drain fitting on the bottom of the tank, both of which you manually loosen to let the water drain out. You may never have a problem with corrosion or valves freezing, but better to take a couple minutes and get rid of water in the system than be sorry. If you're anal like me, you can take your tank to get inspected for corrosion every few years, and from there either get it cleaned out or replaced for peace of mind.

So like I said, once it's initially set up properly, there's really not much maintenance to it. Drain the water, maybe replace the compressor's filter periodically (which takes 2 seconds), and that's it. When everything's good, it's really good. When there's a problem, it can escalate quickly and be really bad.

For the installation on my old car, my friend did the electrical wiring and I did everything else. Once I got the kinks worked out I ran it for 4 or 5 years with zero problems.
CodyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 10:08 AM   #8
Registered Member
Regular
 
Trevorhart3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Carnation
Region: Washington
Posts: 158
Pros and cons of air suspension

Glad this thread came up because i am trying to decide the same thing. I just bought a 2007 Corvette and sold it three days later for a profit big enough for me to finally be able to afford air ride. I'm wondering if anyone has ever had any problems with their set up. Also they claim the bags do pretty well on the track but the only proof I've seen is by the company that makes the bags so of course they say they're better than coils.


Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution
Trevorhart3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 10:10 AM   #9
Registered Member
Regular
 
Trevorhart3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Carnation
Region: Washington
Posts: 158
Also has anyone run this set up with wider tires and had any clearance issues when airing it out when parked?


Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution
Trevorhart3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 10:15 AM   #10
Registered Member
Regular
 
CodyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Houston
Region: Texas
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevorhart3 View Post
Also they claim the bags do pretty well on the track but the only proof I've seen is by the company that makes the bags so of coarse they say they're better than coils.
Exactly, they're the ones selling it so of course they're going to make claims that will make the product appeal to the largest audience, even the racers. The one automotive engineer I've talked to about using air on the track, at least on a road course (I don't know how it would fare at the strip), said that the constantly changing geometry and spring rates causes the air suspension cars to handle sloppy and out of shape.
CodyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 10:45 AM   #11
Registered Member
Regular
 
Trevorhart3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Carnation
Region: Washington
Posts: 158
See that makes sense but I wonder if the spring rates change that much if you aren't lowering or raising the car. Also super cars use constantly adjusting spring rates but those change methodically for the conditions not because they get randomly compressed.


Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution
Trevorhart3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 12:21 PM   #12
Registered Member

Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Spokane
Region: Washington
Posts: 1,595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevorhart3 View Post
See that makes sense but I wonder if the spring rates change that much if you aren't lowering or raising the car. Also super cars use constantly adjusting spring rates but those change methodically for the conditions not because they get randomly compressed.


Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution
If you are referring to magnetorheologic (sp?) suspensions.........they do not change "spring rate". They monitor the road and constantly change rebound and compression rates of the shock absorbers --- two totally different things when it comes to the handling and ride.
Interestingly, I read the other day that these suspensions are getting so sophisticated that they can change the shock's character every INCH at 60 mph!
Guard 5.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 12:24 PM   #13
Registered Member
Regular
 
Beviking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Syracuse
Region: New York
Posts: 768
I like the idea of air ride for a street car since you would (in my mind) have a driving height which your suspension geometry would be set up at and have the ability to navigate speed bumps etc which should only be momentary changes in height/suspension geometry.
Which leads me to ask when y'all are talking about not being good for racing apps due to changes in suspension geometry, do the air ride systems allow more travel than coils? Lowered cars have stiffer springs which results in less travel and reduced suspension geometry changes...I would think an air system would function similarly?
Beviking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 12:36 PM   #14
Registered Member
Regular
 
Trevorhart3's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Carnation
Region: Washington
Posts: 158
Well air has less psi the lower it is so it is actually softer from what I understand. This is why I'm confused about it haha.

And sorry for my incorrect use of vocally previously but that was what I was trying to refer too.


Sent from my iPhone using Mustang Evolution
Trevorhart3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 12:46 PM   #15
Registered Member

Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Spokane
Region: Washington
Posts: 1,595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevorhart3 View Post
Well air has less psi the lower it is so it is actually softer from what I understand. This is why I'm confused about it haha.

And sorry for my incorrect use of vocally previously but that was what I was trying to refer too.
I think that what others here were trying to say when they referred to "sloppy handling at the track." If you lower your car thinking it is going to lower your CG at the track, you've also decreased your suspension's ability to control the weight of the car with softer bags. Lowering your PSI and the body of the car is for show, not go.
Guard 5.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 05:37 PM   #16
Registered Member
Regular
 
Beviking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Syracuse
Region: New York
Posts: 768
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guard 5.0 View Post
I think that what others here were trying to say when they referred to "sloppy handling at the track." If you lower your car thinking it is going to lower your CG at the track, you've also decreased your suspension's ability to control the weight of the car with softer bags. Lowering your PSI and the body of the car is for show, not go.
So lowering on an air ride suspension makes a softer suspension? That doesn't sound like sound engineering to me. I would think psi would stay the same or increase but volume would be reduced. But I know nothing about them so...
Beviking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 07:15 PM   #17
Registered Member
Regular
 
CodyC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Houston
Region: Texas
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beviking View Post
So lowering on an air ride suspension makes a softer suspension? That doesn't sound like sound engineering to me. I would think psi would stay the same or increase but volume would be reduced. But I know nothing about them so...
Yes, lowering your air suspension makes it softer. The bag's volume cannot be reduced; it is constant. The only thing that can change is the amount of air in that bag's volume. When you lower it, you're taking compressed air from the bag and exhausting it into the atmosphere. When you want to raise it, your system takes compressed air from the tank and moves it into the bags. If you watch the controller, you'll see your bags psi increase when you raise it and decrease when you lower it. So you're right, it doesn't make engineering sense if you're trying to race. But if it's your street daily driver, it makes perfect sense to have it lower and still retain a soft ride quality. I should also mention that some struts come with dampening adjustability that is supposed to help mitigate this phenomenon, although I can't say how successful they are.

When I said earlier that changes in ride height would affect racing, I was referring to the practicality of having air suspension. Obviously you're not going to be adjusting the system while you're on the track, so the assumption is that you'll have the rest of your suspension set up based on a specific ride height which you'll use exclusively on the track. But after your track day, as soon as you change the ride height your set up is no longer calibrated. Are you going to drive on the streets at a lower or higher ride height with the rest of your suspension off, or are you going to drive at the same settings as you use at the track? If you're going to try to have a setup for the track and a setup for the street, are you going to spend the time to adjust everything every single time? If you're going to keep using your track settings even on the street, why have air suspension at all? Just to park it low? Is that worth it to you? So that's what I meant when I talked about suspension geometry changing for the track. Hardly anybody who has air suspension uses it as a dedicated track car; most people use it solely as a street car or a combination of street and light track use. So if you're like most people, your suspension geometry is going to be changing on a daily basis and it's not likely that it will be ready for the track if you drive it straight from the street to the track.
CodyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Mustang Evolution > 1979-2015 Mustang GT || Tech and Talk > 2015 Mustang GT

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air silencer/ intake baffle: pros/cons? nicholasmadill 2011-2014 V6 Mustang 27 02-26-2015 09:28 AM
Pros and Cons of SCT Tuner 2011Rushracing 2011-2014 V6 Mustang 5 08-18-2011 06:59 PM
Need advice on Zoom clutches before i install it ne one ever had one ?? pros and cons Justbust1n 1979-1995 Mustang GT 5 03-01-2011 04:22 PM
UPR X Pipe:pros and cons TheWop 1996-2004 Mustang GT 6 01-07-2011 06:48 PM
Pros and cons NorwegianMustang Pre-2005 V6 Mustang 12 02-26-2005 12:53 PM

» Like Us On Facebook



03:07 AM


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

MustangEvolution.com is in no way associated with or endorsed by Ford Motor Company.