air suspension

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 17:49
ThreadID: 96730 Views:1509 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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About to purchase a new 4x4 ute. I am used to having good ride quality. Will get a lift kit or similar to get better ground clearance. In talking to well known brand accessory supplier, he said he did not like air bags with springs as it turns the springs into bricks.
I have seen ads for air bags that appear to replace springs entirely.
I do not like the idea of driving a ute with Heavy Duty leaf springs that 80% of the time are on an empty ute.
Has anyone had experience with air bags only? They seem to solve all my problems as they can match all loads. But will they survive the Canning?
What about air bags turning springs into bricks. Does anyone agree with that?

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Reply By: Ross M - Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 18:56

Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 18:56
What sort of ute are you planning to buy because replies will alter with the make of vehicle.
AnswerID: 490341

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 22:06

Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 22:06
Paul for a leaf sprung ute, bellows air springs are an excellent option to help carry the extra load for that 20%. As the pressure is adjusteded to suit the load you'll find the ride barely changes so no it wont turn them into bricks. Not all utes can have them fitted as it does increase the loading on the chassis.
In my experience the coil assist air bags (like Polyair) are not suitable coupled to leaf springs as they either dont carry the load effectively or restrict wheel travel.
Replacing leafs with airbags is a major job which needs to be engineered but the ride is very impressive & with an onboard air system allows the car to be lowered or raised on demand, particually handy for leveling or loading trayback campers.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 490352

Reply By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 01:29

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 01:29
Our advice from ARB was its best to have the correct springs to carry the intended load.

They said air bags are not good for a leaf sprung vehicle like ours due to it changing the weight bearing point to somewhere it is not designed to be. (on the chassis rail over the axle)

Apparently can result in folding chassis rails in some models.
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AnswerID: 490361

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 10:44

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 10:44
Airbags are a cheap quick fix method and is a compromise.

Having heavier rated springs doesn't mean it will ride harder and in most cases you can get it to ride better.

My way of thinking is do it right the first time and you will be set for life.

With our 200 series we have had 3 sets of different rated springs in the front and we are about to respec the rears for the third time to get it to do what we want..... and avoid using airbags.

Our 2005 Hilux had 4 different spring combinations before we got it right.

It takes money and time but at the end of the day you have a far superior setup.
AnswerID: 490383

Follow Up By: Wolfy03 - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 17:52

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 17:52
Four different springs...what did u finally settle with? Only ask cos I'm due to get mine replaced ASAP...was the budget allows. Ta
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 16:49

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 16:49
We ended up with heavy duty ARB in the front and the same in the rear except being rerolled and having a few extra leafs fitted...... the spring works guy did the calculations.
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FollowupID: 765834

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