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Air suspension for off-roading

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by thelal, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. thelal

    thelal

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    Anyone done any air suspension (air 'springs') on their cruiser?
    Or have any links or knowledge to someone thats done it for 4x4.

    I'm looking to keep my existing 2.5" springs (Lovells) but want to get some extra lift when off-roading. Hence will turn on the air-bag to give me the desired lift and turn off when back on-road.
    Seems to be lots of choices of airbags (springs) and compressors. Lots of interest on the web from low-rider trucks but no info on how they are run off-road and in off-camber situations.

    Looked at other sites for Range Rovers etc. that have had them for several years and also seen very few of the 80/100 VX (EU/Asia/Africa) that can have them installed (for a fee!)

    Lal
    96 FZJ80 with 85K in Colorado
    brendan.lally@mail.com

    Also posted on 80scool sites
     
  2. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    I'm definitely no expert but I was under the impression air bags were useful for load leveling or carrying alot of weight. I would think they would seriously limit your articulation, as they basically stiffen up the suspension. If you had it set up to air up or down on the fly though it seems like it could be useful for increased ground clearance when you need it.
    I'm sure someone with real offroading experience will chime in with better advice.
     
  3. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    No experience with this, but I was just talking to a bunch of Land Rover dudes and some of their trucks have air suspension (OEM)

    My sense is that they love it when it works, but many expect the need to replace the system ( I think they were quoted $1,500 - $2,000). The also gave me an example of a brand new truck where the air suspension failed on the trail = no suspension for the trip out. The quote was 'it was really painfull to watch' - YMMV :D

    You may want to roam/post on some Land Rover boards before you commit.

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    >> The quote was 'it was really painfull to watch' <<

    This happened to an '01 Disco on one of our December outings. The failure on the trail was ugly and total cost to repair all the things that got busted was several thousand $$ according to the Disco owner. Apparently the diffs got banged up on every rock. Additionally, the truck was unstable after the suspension failed and it slid into a deep ravine and nearly flipped over. It was a long, cold night getting that LR off the mountain.

    It was really painful to watch. :D

    -B-
     
  5. ovrroks

    ovrroks

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  6. BMT

    BMT

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    Any air bags that sre used with the existing springs will only be good for extra capacity. If you wanted the ability to raise "or lower...maybe with some dubs :D" you would actually replace the springs with the air bags.
     
  7. thelal

    thelal

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    BMT has the idea.
    I will only use the airbags for extra 1-3" capacity on top of my existing coil springs. I will not be taking off my coils in case of failure. So offroad I will lose that extra 1-3" of airbag lift but I will still have my 2.5" coil lift. The airbag will sit on top of the coil (not inside) and down under the spring mount.

    Hence I shouldn't have the same issues as the Range Rovers/Disco's that lose their air. Looking at the RR boards their main problems seem to be with their airbag ECU's and bad electrics on that system.

    Lots of links on the low-rider body-drop-to-ground effect and those kits come in at $2000. I'm looking to pickup bits from junkyards as there several US trucks with airbag systems. Will need to get compressor, airlines, values and I expect the hardest to be the console control. Simple system is inflate to set pressure/height. However would like to have 4 wheel independant height adjustment (for off-camber and big rock climbing) but also self-leveling eventually.

    Lal
    brendan.lally@mail.com