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 Post subject: Air ride suspension...
PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 3:25 pm 
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... For those of us who live in area's with decimated roads (basically anywhere that gets snow..) the low ride height of the sevenesque could prove problematic.

Adapting air ride to mass produced chassis has been done forever. If we are building our own control arms, why not design the suspension for an air ride system? There is enough space in the "luggage compartment" for a small compressor and air tank, and the variable ride height and added comfort of air suspension I think would prove beneficial for the street.

Weighing all of these Pro's.. What con's am I missing? Sure, it may add a couple pounds.. but no more than 20-25. and a high quality air ride that's properly set up will often out perform a standard coil over spring set up when it comes to handling..

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 3:43 pm 
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It would work. My problem is I haven't found a reasonably priced air ride setup.

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 4:05 pm 
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TooBusy wrote:
It would work. My problem is I haven't found a reasonably priced air ride setup.


Well.. From what I've found.. it would have to be pieced together to keep the cost reasonable. a 12v dc compressor is easy enough for less than $100, the air reservoir can be made from just about anything. The small portable 5 gallon air tanks are more than enough and can be had for $30 from your local harbor freight or carquest. Air lines are cheap enough, as are fittings.

the expensive bits are the bag over struts, as there simply isn't enough room in the chassis for a bag and external strut. and the management if you choose to go digital. I would prefer to go mechanical, a 4 valve set up with individual pressure gauges. this wouldn't allow for the body roll of a typical 2 valve front/rear split system.. but would be more difficult to get all the pressures equal without some means of controlling all four valves at once. maybe linking all four valves with a bar.. much like a 2 bung breaker in your home electrical panel.

when you consider the cost of a quality coil over spring system purchase new, I would imagine it would be comparable with a little ingenuity.

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 4:43 pm 
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We've been thinking along similar lines. The best price I've found on Craigslist locally is $700 for the bag over struts. The ones I've found have been overkill for a 7 weight car.

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 5:06 pm 
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TooBusy wrote:
We've been thinking along similar lines. The best price I've found on Craigslist locally is $700 for the bag over struts. The ones I've found have been overkill for a 7 weight car.



OOMPH! $700 is more expensive than I've seen for sure. They've been floating in the $3-400 range for a set of four used in decent shape. You are certainly right though.. absolute overkill - 3 - 5k lb load ratings. May end up being too squishy, or way too hard depending on the amount of air involved.

Are you on Facebook? I've been lurking in our local "euro" car group.. the VW/Audi guys seem to change their suspension more than they shower. It seems there is always a deal to be had there.

I'm going to diddle around with some graph paper, and a pen and see if I can't figure out a way to get an independent strut/bag system working. The rear should be super easy, considering I'm using a solid rear axle and an s10 donor. I think the S truck platform is one of the most bagged vehicles on the road :lol:

The fronts are what worry me. Not enough real estate for a bag and strut. Well.. Maybe I'd be able to cut my cost in half. Bag over in the front and bag out in the rear.

hmm.

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 9:32 pm 
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Firestone and Goodyear sell air bags as suspension components, soft seat mounts, equipment mounts, etc. The problem is most of them are pie shaped instead of stick shaped, and apparently the metal end caps are cast iron or steel, since they're fairly heavy.

One possibility might be to buy some air shocks, drill holes to let (most of) the oil out, and use them as air springs. The shocks on the back of my Malibu are 14 years old and still hold air...


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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 10:08 pm 
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I work in industrial distibution - and part of what triggered this idea was ordering some Good year air bags for a customer of ours. I had to delve into their catalog to find the specific needs.. and they have a product to fit just about every single application. even including stainless steel end caps.. so really not terribly heavy. the issue is none of them are designed for over strut capability..

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 10:31 pm 
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yes, I'm on Fb

This is me
https://www.facebook.com/tommy.samuels

This is my project page
https://www.facebook.com/Locost7Builders/

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PostPosted: November 24, 2015, 11:25 pm 
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TooBusy wrote:



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Following your build page!

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PostPosted: November 25, 2015, 1:10 am 
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The big problem with changing the ride hight is that you mess up the suspension geometry. Ask me how I know. If you raise the ride hight 2" you will mess up your alignment completely.

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PostPosted: November 25, 2015, 1:33 am 
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Look a it backwards, is there an alignment setting for the higher ride height that would give you an acceptable track setting if lowered 2"?

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PostPosted: November 25, 2015, 8:30 am 
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Depending on the suspension type, caster and camber are the two that suffer the most from ride height. The idea would be to dial in your suspension at your standard driving height, and then only use the taller height when needed. I've driven cars with little caster before. It's annoying, but not impossible. If you set the car up with -1° camber at your ideal ride height, for every inch you raise it expect to see a .5° camber change. A 2" raise would keep it well within reason.

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PostPosted: November 25, 2015, 3:20 pm 
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Air shocks are fairly cheap at around $70/pair.

I thought you were talking about a large change in ride height, which vsusp would help you design quickly since the camber gain is a curve rather than linear, but a couple inches wouldn't be too bad.

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PostPosted: November 25, 2015, 4:53 pm 
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Once upon a time I looked into this but the price, weight, plumbing and room you needed for everything made it a no go.

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PostPosted: November 26, 2015, 7:47 am 
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It could be cheap using shocks instead. I suppose the shocks plumbed together ($70x2) with the included tubing, a tire valve near the driver to lower the vehicle (also included with shocks), a gauge to mark for the desired ride height pressures ($5?), a dry 12v compressor switched on and hard wired ($15) with a remote toggle ($5), and an air tank only if you want one ($40).

Phillipe added air ride to his aerostar bits. I don't recall if he elaborated on the details.

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