Tow kits have utilized Air Ride Suspension for some time now, riding our day to day driver of that awful looking level, and stiff ride quality found in static suspension tow kits by offering increased carrying/towing capacity while retaining the comfortable feel you are used to with a factory ride. There are many configurations for towing capacity to choose from, and this greatly depends on your application. No matter what you drive “car or truck” nowadays air ride leveling or towing kits are readily available.
In this reading we will talk about some of the industry standard options you have to choose from when considering your tow kit. Considering a budget some may simply start with a manual air fill style helper kit which is as basic as they come. In the diagram below you will see a basic Schrader valve connected to a tee fitting and two air bags. This will allow the user to bear there load for tow and then level to ride accordingly by filling the plumbed tire inflation valve (Schrader Valve) with a detached air compressor.
Though this is a very cost effective way to increase your are capacity and allow for a level ride, there are a few down falls. Considering you now do not have an on board air management system, the convenience factor is slim to none. You may also need to consider the ride quality and specific height at the time of the fill, or be stuck pulling over and either inflating the bags again or defining the bags depending on the situation. On top of this your simple inflation plumbing is connected by a tee fitting which ties both air bags together so the roll that you may experience during cornering due to the air transfer from bag to bag as the weight shifts may be more then you would like.
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 bag kits 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.