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Old 04-02-2003, 10:13 PM   #1
drag_it
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Basic Air Bag information

Here is some info, myself and a few buddys did, just read through if you have any questions..and if you still have some..just post em

When you hear the term "Air Suspension" you probably think, semi's, dump trucks, heavy dute stuff like that. Well todays day and age we have started putting them on our minitrucks, the basic term "air suspension" means using Air Bellows, Or Sleeves to lift/lower our ride. For a basic setup, you are going to need
Full bag kits run anywhere from $999.00 To $3,999.00

- Onboard Air Compressor
-Air Tank
-Valve of some sort
-The actual Air bags
-Air lines
-Air fittings
-Pressure Switch
-Front air bag brackets
-Rear air bag brackets
-Step notch kit ( if your going for the serious low)
-Switches of some sort

Below, I will do some terminology, what the basic parts do

Air Compressor- THe whole point of this is to keep your air tank full, so when you need to get the truck up, and fast, the air is there
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air Valves- There are 2 main types of valves
-Electric Valves
-Manual Valves
-Electric Valves-Controls the air that goes Into the air bag, and that relases from the air bag. THe bigger the valve,The faster your system will be. The electric valve runs of 12v solenoids. The valves are wired to the switches that are mounted on the inside of the cab, these valve are usually mounted outside the truck, on the firewall, and the frame rails. 4valves are required for a front/back setup( 1 lift for front, 1 dump for front- 1 lift for rear, 1 dump for rear), and 8valves are required for a front/back/side/side setup.( 2 Lift valves for front, 2 Dump valves for front, 2 Lift valves for back, 2 dump valves for back) You can see why f,b,s,s is such a faster setup!
-Manual Valves- Also control the air that goes into the air bag, and that releases from the bag. Manual valves have no wiring required, they are mounted on the inside of the truck, and the airlines from the tank, and bags are ran right to the valve. These valves tend to be slower. It also gets quite annoying with air blowing off inside your cab.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air Tank-This stores the air for the suspension to lift. Air tanks come in MANY differant sizes, shapes, colors,and porting variations. Most tanks have a small port located on the bottom for draining the water that builds up!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air bags- These are the MAIN part of your air system. These must be installed so they are free of rubbing. If the bag rubs, it will eventually wear through and deflate on you, really, really fast. Many people have been using Dual, and Quad ports in there air bags to get the most out of there fast bag system, most basic systems come with 1 single 1/2" or 3/8" port.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air Lines- The come in many differant Sizes, Colors, and Pressure ratings. Most basic Systems use 3/8" airline. THe faster systems use 1/2", 3/4" airline. Airline is measure in outter diameter (OD), and come in Department of Transportation (DOT) approved and non-DOT approved styles.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Air Fittings- Many systems now are using Brass DOT fittings, just because they can usually handle more PSI than the conventional Push To connect (PTC) plastic Fittings. Many differant Sizes and Styles to chose from.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pressure Switch- Is plummed between the air tank, and the compressor. Basically when your system reaches a certain set PSI, the switch will cut-off power to the compressor(s) and when the system drops below the certain psi, it will engage power back into the compressors and let them run. The power wire for the compressor is hooked to 1 end of the pressure switch, and the power source is hooked to the other end.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Front Bag mounts- Differant Styles for differant trucks, Custom cut metal for the air bag to mount on.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rear air bag mounts- HUNDREDS of differant styles to chose from, Most common is the OVER THE AXLE setup.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Step Notch- Welded to fhe frame. The inside of the notch where your frame is, is cut out so the axle has more motion to travel up, making the truck lower.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Switches- Up to you on what you can run. Toggle Switches, Playstation controllers, your own custom box. Anything is possible

Guages, and water traps, and front shock r/l are optional.

here are some air suspension FAQ's
----------------------------------------
Q. I have my front air setup running to a T-Fitting and then to the valve,
should it be leaning to one side when I turn?
A. Yes, that is very normal, the weight distribution is transfering between bags,
there is nothing wrong with that.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Q.Will I blow a Firestone air bag if I put over 150psi into it?
A. You should have no problems with blowing bags, unless you are running
250+lbs of pressure.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Q.What happens to my front suspension components when I install air bags.
A. You will be removing your front shocks, and coil springs, and the Air Bag will
go directly in place of the coil spring, and because the shock can't run through
the air bag, like it runs through the coilspring, it will have to be relocated. The
bag and brackets can be left free floating in the A-Arms or the brackets can be
welded, or bolted into place.
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Old 04-02-2003, 10:15 PM   #2
drag_it
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some more too add

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Q.How hard is the installation on Air Ride kit
A. The front of a truck should be the easiest part of the whole installation. On a
Chevy s10, the coil springs and the shocks will be removed, and portion of the
upper spring cup will have to be torched out in order for the bag to stay free from
rubbing and blowing. The rear setup is a little bit harder to do, you will have to
weld the step notch in place, and then cut out the center portion of the notch so the
axle can travel into the notch so the truck can go lower. The top bag brackets will
weld to the notch, and the bottom brackets will weld to the axle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the differance between Electric Valves and Manual Valves, which is
better.
A. A electric valve has wires running to the valve, and then to a switch. A manual
valve has airline running to the back of a valve. A manual valve has to be mounted
in the vehicle, in reach of person. A Electric valve can be mounted anywere,
becaus the wires from the valve go to a toggle switch, which can be mounted in
side of the vehicle. A electric valve will be a lot faster, but it will also be loud.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Is the ride better with coilsprings, or Air bags.
A. The ride will improve with air bags, providing you run a shock and the right
pressure. The ride mite get bumpy if its all the way dumped, or all the way lifted.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Do you have to run a tank and compressor?
A. No, but it is highly recomended. You can run airline into the bed and mount them
on a shrader valve ( Looks exactly like a tire stem valve) and you can fill/release
the bags through that.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Will doing side/side motion wear out my air bags faster?
A. These are bags are made of some hella good rubber, you shoudl have no
problem as long as your bags don't rub.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. WIll cold climates, Road salt, temperature in bags ruin the system?
A. Some poorly made valves will stick when they get to a cold temperature, the
valves we sell are made for cold materials running through them. ex. Certain Types
of gasses for faster setups.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. How much is too much psi to run through air bags/valves?
A. Most valves are rated at 300-400ps. As for air bags, the Slam Specialties air
bags are rated way over 500 psi.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the normal Compressor/tank combination for bags?
A. Most of our kits include a Viair 450 compressor and a 7 gallon 5 port tank.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. How do I get faster air bags?
A. You can upgrade airline 1/4"-3/4". You can upgrade valves 1/4"-1". Or you can
just add a few more valves. 4 front valves and 4 back valves will really be a fast
setup.
---------------
Q. When I lift the front of my truck, It seems like I am using A whole bunch of air from my reserve tank? Whats the deal?
A. Check your valve placemnt, You wan the valves as close to the front bags as possible, but try to keep the valves centered in the middle of the 2 bags so you get even lift.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q.Is it that critical how you mount your rear bag mounts?
A. This is a very touchy subject, there are a lot of custom rear setups, but the basic setup is critical yes. You do not want your bag to be rubbing, or binding on anything anwere. Make sure you measure twice, and cut once. Remember to let the welds cool so no warping takes place.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Where is the best place to mount the front, and rear valves?
A. On a up/down only front setup, check your valve placement, your valves should be as close to the airbags as possible, but make sure you try to keep them centered as best you can to ensure even lift.On a Set up consisting Front/back/side/side, Mount 2 valves on the left side, and 2 valves on the right side, that way your ensured fast lift and even lift times.In the rear, Just run the airline anywere were it will be well suited, and not being rubbed against something sharp, or hot!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Sometimes when my tank gets to about 60psi, and I lift my ass end and my front end is up, the front will creep down a little bit. What is going on? are my valves bad?
A. NO, YOUR valves are not bad, some valves require a minimum PSI to stay open/closed, so when u hear a little noise and your front goes down, check your PSI.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Do i have to get an alignment after i bag my truck? and what height should I get it aligned at?
A. Yes, you shold get an alignment after baggin your ride, and get it aligned at the ride height you are most likey to drive the most on.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the purpose of a 4link, or a reversed traingulated 4link
A. A 4link will give you better dropping, lifting possibilities, it will aslo make the ass of the truck ride like a champ. A reversed 4link is for some trucks that have gas tanks were the normal bars would go, instead they are reversed back and welded to a X member.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Q. Where is proper line placement for the front/back?
A. That is entirely up to you, keep all airlines away from sharp material, or hot material, I would run the airline in the frame rail all the way back to the tank.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the benefit of Air over hydraulics.
A. better ride, no lubrication, safer, fricition free, angular capabilities, can be as fast as hydros, lift is comparable to hydros, compact starting height, more affordable, no extra batteries, cleaner, longer life, less space required, and BETTER RIDE
---------------------------------------------
A few important Tips when installing air suspension

When bagging the front of a s10, be sure to check to make sure the bag will not
be rubbing on the upper spring cup, if the bag rubs after everything is bolted up,
you will be blowing air bags like crazy, you dont want to do that. Make sure all
the fittings and airline are secured tightly so you have a leak proof system. If you
are going to use compression fittings for some of the lines, be sure to run a sleave
on the inside of the line were the compression fitting is, this will reduce risk of
leaking line.

It is highly recomended you DO NOT run DOT nylon airline from your compressor
to your air tank. Were the line comes out of the compressor fitting will get very,
VERY hot, and it could possibly melt the airline, and you do not want 150 psi
bursting out your air tank. I woudl recomend running 1/4"-1/2" copper hardline
from the compressor to the tank.

IT also is highly recomended to run a H2O separator from Compressor to tank,
if the pressure switch gets moisture in it, it could stop working.
--------------------------
Some of the product information on this page has to be credited to Matt @ s10forum.com (slammedDime).

If anybody has anything to add, e-mail me
__________________
Dont stop till the body drop. www.jpkustoms.com

Need Air Suspension?
e-mail me
jschatz@minot.com

Last edited by drag_it; 11-27-2003 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 04-03-2003, 01:50 AM   #3
LayinSonomaFrame
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nice lil 411 ya posted right chere
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Old 04-03-2003, 08:54 AM   #4
drag_it
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Thanks man

I figured beings it took me 2 hours ide post it on a few sites lol. Havent been around ssf.com for awhile, but i think ill keep in touch around here, its pretty actice,

Josh
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:35 PM   #5
mkgearhead
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Thank you Josh.
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'04 Subaru Forester XT EJ255 turbo, TBE, lowered 1.5" w/springs
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:37 PM   #6
drag_it
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Thumbs up

Hey noproblem...When im bored I like to try and think of things to do that wil help people out that arent too sure about some stuff...im baggin and old skewl s10 within the next month, ill try to do a tech article on the front/back and everything we do ..cantilever, all that good stuff...Later

Josh
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:50 PM   #7
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wow, pros and cons. god job with the data
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Old 04-16-2003, 05:37 PM   #8
mhrc4
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thanks man much appreciated, I am getting ready to bag the dime, and i needed a quick how to like this to get a list together of what I need to buy.

In your reccomendation, what companies would you suggest for some of the different components?
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Old 04-16-2003, 06:50 PM   #9
drag_it
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Thumbs up Sweet

Well, you can get most of the stuff from me, i PM'd you the info, and other companies, are fbi, suicidedoors, air ride tech...
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:55 AM   #10
DJDAudio
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Mind If I post a few?

Here are the links,

Thought I would put these all in one place.
If these help you in any way please Let me know
if there is anything that is wrong or if you want any more info please PM me or E-mail me at djd@landisusa.com
Thanks.

YORK parts list and contact info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=183189

OASIS FACTS and info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180093

CCI makes a 'oil control' YORK 99% better
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181737

AIRLIFT york is not the same as an AC york!!
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181734

NEW york oil mod ... maby?
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180494


FIRESTONE bags FACTS and info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181299


Draggin Balls... hitch that is.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144561

ALL EDC users read this INFO things you need to know.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=168956

The REAL scuba tank size and NITRO
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180121

VIAIR Compresors FACTS and info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=179451

AIR system calculator
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=177212

Sanden compressor FACTS and info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178969

Engine Drivin ( York ) facts. and info.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=154924

Viair 450C is far from a 100% duty comp info inside.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178742

What brand bag you running?
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=171114

What the inside of a YORK compact model looks like.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174078
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Reference guide to selecting the size of pipe thread. and some TERMS
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=188644

How an Air Amplifier Works
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=188641

an idea for 'oil cooling' a york.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=187364

Manual overide for Valves in the winter. ( plans)
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147871

air ride on a semi truck (pics)
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=184297

New air compressor idea.
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180340

What if I told you I found a way to double the speed of any compressor?
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174109
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