Custom Aftermarket Air Ride Suspension Kit Installation / Documentation For Standard and Plug and Play Air SystemsJuly 8th, 2015
For those looking for assistance and information on there next air ride suspension installation project, then you have come to the right place!
The below generalized documentation will give you a great understanding of the chassis components installation as well as a deeper perspective of the air management hardware, controls and how everything works together.
Each of our air ride systems are a bit different but certainly offer all the hardware required to build a complete on board air system with controls.
To begin we will discuss our standard street style air ride system witch includes a bit smaller hardware without limiting any of the functionality within your system, and is great for the consumer looking to equip there ride on air without the cost, and need to have a great amount of play time.
Illustrated below is the plumbing diagram for said air management system, and as you can see this kit includes 8 independent brass air valves which will section off each corner of the vehicle with a fill and dump valve per wheel.
From the age of hydraulics, switch controllers have had a pronounced place on the retail market. Many years have gone by since then and now there are many more options when it comes to the comfort and truly dynamic features of air ride chassis, no matter what the application. Many standard kit on the market include the basics which can be either a single rocker switch to control all air valves “lift and drop” or multiple rocker switches which control each wheel, the right side, the left side, the front, the back or even combinations of all four wheels. Popular basic electronic models include the 4 switch panel, which will allow control of each wheel independently. This setup is on a bezel and can be mounted in a convenient location within reach. You may be the type that would like all the control in your hand, and if that is the case our handheld switch controllers are the way to go. These controllers range in functionality from a simple 3 switch which will allow front, rear and all up, all down activation. Of if you choose more options then a 7 or 9 rocker switch controller may be for you, either way they are convenient and allow you to tweak in your heights with the toggle of a switch. Some of the 7 and 9 rocker controllers also offer additional features like, key-less entry activation which will allow your vehicle to lower once you leave your vehicle and lock your doors. They also include a handy and secure key to disable your system so no one else will be able to activate the controller without turning it on again with a key! Check out the picture of the multiple manual switch control options X2 Industries offers below:
If your more interested in a wireless way to control your air ride system then we have you covered there too! With the introduction of Bluetooth and smart phones a new control system has been introduced to provide wireless connectivity and ease of use. This Bluetooth module will provide the functionality of our best rocker switch controllers, but in a wireless format on your Bluetooth enabled Apple, Android, or Blackberry device. No wires equals a more exiting way of controlling you air ride suspension system while at shows or simply exiting your vehicle when out on the town. Many of these systems will require a relay control box which is wired between the logical controller module and valves to support the current your valves require to activate. X2 Industries offers an easy to wire relay box witch will support all the functions you need in one solid unit offering inputs and outputs for 8 individual valves or an 8 valve engine. Keep in mind that wireless units do have there downfalls and can become problematic within high traffic RF or Bluetooth areas, which is very seldom due to the use of these controller systems not being as widespread as the direct wired manual electronic controllers. Check out our custom aftermarket air ride controller section for details on all the latest wireless control methods on the market today!
Computer Controllers are the newest wave in air ride control, and come with an assortment of mind blowing features that will have you the happy bad ass behind the wheel. These programmable control units can come in many shapes and sizes, and offer a broad spectrum of features which can add convenience and style to your custom vehicle as well as the interior. One of the more basic functions of these controllers is auto ride height leveling and adjustment, which will allow a preset ride height to be obtained by the simple press of a button. Some units can come with 2, 3, or 4 presets and others 6, 7, 8 or more. This ultimate upgrade depending on the controller, can also accommodate either pressure sending units (pressure sensors) or mechanical sending units (mechanical sensors) depending on your budget and the amount of accuracy your looking for once your preset height is activated. Going with a pressure sensing system can vary your final height by a 1/4 of an inch and can even be off quite a bit more if your carrying an unbalanced load at the time of setting your preset or activating a preset height where a controller with mechanical or both pressure and mechanical sending units can adjust the height no matter how unbalanced your ride is and can always keep a reasonably exact height when activated.
As many of the older cars and trucks are becoming harder and harder to restore due to parts availability, there is certainly one aspect of the vehicle for which you are restoring that can be converted to accommodate a new style, better ride and dynamics that will interest enthusiasts of all ages. The chassis of many of these classic/hot rod car and truck restorations are very basic and can easily be converted from the traditional coil spring, leaf spring, or transverse leaf to a solid adjustable solution like air ride suspension. These suspension kits are built to accommodate the OEM hardware (IE: control arms, and factory chassis components) in many of these vehicles, so the work can be done in a timely manner. Traditionally many of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s vehicles utilized a coil spring and separate shock assembly which would simply require the installer to remove the coil spring and adapt a air bag bracket kit to the coil spring retainer cup. This modification with the appropriate tools can be done over a weekend, and requires minimal fabrication work depending on the specific vehicle.
As with any custom project, there are many ways to get this modification done. Just be sure to think everything through and be sure to have all the hardware ready to go when beginning your installation. X2 Industries is one of the few companies to include 100% all of the parts with there air ride suspension kits, no matter what the application. If you are thinking about piecing together an air ride system, be sure not to forget a front shock relocation kit if your classic car, truck or hot rod has the current shock through the coil spring configuration.
From one end of the spectrum to the other, we have just about any type of aftermarket shift knob you are looking for. All of our shift knobs are able to convert to just about any shift lever style and adapters are available in all sizes. For our customers shift knobs are an extension of an interior modification and can mimic the exact style you have been looking for. If it is a color your looking for then we have them in every spectrum of the rainbow you can imagine, and even a rainbow colored knob. Stand out from the rest and add that touch of customization you have been looking for to finish off your project right.
If you do not see the knob you are looking for then simply give us a call as there are always new styles being added. X2 Industries also provides etching services to say a name, or add art to your knob to make it just the way you want it.
Check them out today!
Plasmaglow has introduced a complete line of ready to mount LED light bars for the Off-Road enthusiast. These new massive LED systems have the capability to output many thousands of lumens for extreme dark situations. X2 Industries now caries over 20 different styles for just about any configuration that you would like.
Check out this sweet lineup of OFF-ROAD LED light bars today!
In this post we will elaborate on the differences between our air system models. There are two basic systems for each vehicle that X2 Industries provides air ride for, they are the Standard Air Ride System and Plug and Play Air Ride System.
The Standard Air Ride System is the more basic of the two. Keep in mind that both of these systems are fully built and complete to provide our customers with a more streamline install.
Our standard air ride suspension systems offer an independent corner control system to allow a dynamic front, back, right, left and independent corner control over the vehicle. Each vehicle requires different hardware and depending on the application this said hardware will be included for the chassis at each wheel, on top of this the system will include a basic 4 switch panel controller with built in 4 corner gauge display. Eight heavy duty brass independent air valves are included for the fill and dump at each wheel, as well as a fitting kit and 3/8 inch air line to plumb the air to each air bag in the system from the air management system. The major difference which separates each of these systems (standard kit and plug and play kit) is the air management hardware. The standard kit accommodates the installation with each piece necessary for a complete on board air supply including a 1/3 hp air compressor, three gallon tank, pressure switches, relay, wiring, and other hardware all separate to get the system up and running. This separate hardware can create a more timely installation compared to the valving hardware included in the plug and play system. The plug and play kit includes similar hardware at the wheels, once again specific to your application but includes an easier to install air engine assembly which can take you much less time to install. All of the hardware included in the standard kit is can also be found n the plug and play kit. You will also find that this air management system houses a larger 3/4 hp air compressor. The solid all in one air engine which takes the place of the 8 independent air valves as seen in the standard kit is key to the Plug and Plays quicker installation time. This can usually spare about 3-4 hours worth of installation time when it comes to the custom air suspensions air supply (air management hardware). To get a clear picture of this you can take a look at the illustration below which lays out the hardware differences between the two air bag systems.
As always keep in mind that though we work very hard to make these systems as easy as possible to install while keeping our systems the most affordable on the net, there will always be work when it comes to installation and every vehicle application is different and will require different installation techniques to get the job done. Remember that we are here to help and assist with any questions you may have on the routine of your custom air ride suspension installation.
There are limitations to any and all parts on your vehicle, custom aftermarket and factory. Knowing these limitations can keep your parts and overall custom vehicles health top notch! To get to know how a custom air strut works you need to know how a shock works as a strut is simply a shock with a means to support the vehicle attached (coil spring) making it a complete assembly. Below you will find a picture of said strut assembly to get an idea of how this part works.
If you take a look at the illustration above you will see the issue with over inflating/extending and under inflating/collapsing a custom air strut assembly. The main issue lies within the internal structure of the shock portion of the strut assembly. Excessively pushing a strut in either direction while the vehicle is at rest is fine, though while driving this situation can cause serious damage to the internal seals and piston within the assembly that is normally not visible. As you can see from the diagram above, if the strut mounted air bag is extended to the max and then the weight of the vehicle traveling hits inconsistencies on the road a hammering effect in the upper portions of the strut can bee seen. The strut/shock piston will slam against the upper strut body cap and can possibly create metal debris and other damage to occur within this sealed area hindering your inoperable and putting a major amount of excessive wear on internal components. It is essential with air struts to keep them approximately 1-2 inches below max, and 1-2 inches above collapsed while driving to avoid any of this damage from occurring with your new air ride hardware. This situation does not apply to air springs with no shock attached or standalone air bags with separate shocks.
There are many vital components within your air ride system, and keeping it running top notch is extremely important to ensure you are not dead in the water with your new air ride suspension system. To ensure your costly kit and specifically your air managements compressor hardware is running top notch there are a few things you should know.
One of the most important things to understand is that your compressor is one of the hardest worked components within your entire system and in order to keep this component running perfect for years and years there are a couple simple things that you can do. First it is extremely important to keep all moisture out or your system. There are many issues that can arise from excess moisture buildup within your pneumatic air system like rust, corrosion and seal deterioration or even complete seal failure. Many of the compressors on the market are susceptible to these kinds of degradation properties by moisture and as with any metal parts air compressors can eventually rust or corrode from the inside out leaving you stranded. There are many parts within an air compressor that are not treated against this sort of abuse and to add to this the compressor can get very hot which creates friction, water build up will ultimately break down any of the lubricant that was added to the compressor which will in turn create more friction and eventually prematurely wear out your seals and stop your compressor from working at its full potential. The reed valves within the compressor head which act as the valve system allowing air to flow into and out of the compressor will also begin to rust and then may break causing the compressor to quit functioning as an air pumping unit. Though these parts seem insignificant, any damage to them can really cause problems for your compressor power or even stop your compressor from pressurizing air all together. On top of this there are many seals and even simply rust on the cylinder walls can damage your seals within the compressor to the point were a rebuild or replacement would be necessary. Below you will find an exposed view of one of our basic compressor systems. This will give you a good idea at the parts and pieces that may become problematic when your compressor may be subject to moisture.
I would suggest anyone dealing with humidity levels of 35% or more on a consistent basis to get a water separator/trap to ensure longevity of this hardware. It is also great practice to use a light weight oil to ensure less friction and hinder corrosion and rust in the long run. This oil can be added to the intake of your compressor while it runs and only needs a few drops to guarantee a well maintained and the long lasing use of your compressor unit.
Body shops will love the larger selection we have for replacement body panels, specifically our hoods, hood scoops and roll-pans! It is proactive to have a reliable source for aftermarket truck and car parts when your a body shop, and to do this it is almost necessary to have this supplier in your speed dial whenever one of your customers presents a custom vehicle. Many collision shops will run across the non-factory applications at least a few times a month and this can put a damper on the turn around of your job if the source for these parts are not readily available. Taking the time to find said outside source can be a drain on your pocket book and ultimately turn a happy customer into an unhappy customer fairly quickly when the job ends up taking longer then it should. This is where X2 Industries comes in, our friendly staff can quickly and efficiently access thousands of aftermarket car and truck parts within our online inventory, and better yet if we do not have the specific part we will go out of our way to find it and effectively inventory it and then ship it out to our customer in the quickest manner possible saving you a huge amount of time and headache.