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Car Modifications – Air Suspension

  • Dec 27, 2018
  • 7441 Views


In the mysterious world of suspension tuning, air suspension gets high regard. Being the only setup which is as versatile as it is, with only one major problem - cost - air suspension should have been used everywhere right? But that’s not the case, the most affordable air suspension equipped car costing more than a whopping half a crore Rupees (the Volvo XC60). But if you want a suspension setup which is adjustable to your every driving mood, there’s nothing better than an air-suspension. Here’s what you should know in brief before going in for such a system for your car.



  • The advantages:

    On-the-fly adjustment.

  • Retains ride characteristics just like standard coil spring suspension, even when ride height is changed.

  • Simpler method of lowering your car and still remaining functional.

  • Adapts to weight changes automatically (if sensors are added)


Cons



  • Expensive. Parts are expensive, installation is expensive and replacements are expensive.

  • Complex systems mean complex problems can develop


Air suspension detractors will point to the fact that it is an expensive and cumbersome mod, but the unparalleled, almost endless ways to adjust your suspension settings immediately makes it worth it.


What are the components? The most obvious ones are the air springs, so called because they are the air-equivalent of coil springs. These can be separate units or built onto the shock, with the shock tube going through the bags. Then there are the lines which control the flow of air, maintain ir change the pressure etc. In standard systems these are usually braided polyurethane lines, in custom ones these can be made of stainless steel. Then there’s the compressed air tank reservoir, the heaviest component, which is usually placed in the trunk. A series of sensors, valves, a computer and electric actuators completes the system.


What you do have to take into consideration, at least in the Indian context, is that not a whole lot systems are available which can be fitted to cars sold in India without bodywork or chassis modifications. Concerns regarding increased weight and proper calibration also come to mind, and there are a few scattered shops in the country which can carry out such a job.

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