Air Lift

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Oct 10, 2005
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Slovenia, Europe
As our HDJ100 will be fully loaded on our next trip (a family of 4 + a roof tent and also some additional stuff on the roof), id like to use Air Lift to level the car. Does anyone have it installed and also use the car offroad? Is wheel travel significantly reduced?

Regards

Samo
 
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spressomon

glutton
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SamoL said:
As our HDJ100 will be fully loaded on our next trip (a family of 4 + a roof tent and also some additional stuff on the roof), id like to use Air Lift to level the car. Does anyone have it installed and also use the car offroad? Is wheel travel significantly reduced?

Regards

Samo[/QUOT

If you use the 'search' feature of this forum you'll turn up some good info... ;)
 
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The only comment I've found was:
Great for towing, VERY poor for off-road driving.
But this was ment as if they were used for lift and not just leveling. I'm sure someone used them on an offroad trip with a loaded car and not just for towing...
I don't plan to lift my car. I still drive the original tyre size (plan 33" in the future - I have to find out, how to get TÜV for them). I've changed the shocks after my first Sahara trip (stock shocks didn't make it :) ) and now I drive Koni's and I'm satisfied with them. And as I drive with a lot of load on the roof (arround 120kg) I don't plan to go any higher.

Regards
Samo
 

DMX84

 
 
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I purchased some Air lifts and was ready to install them, but they wanted the hole at the bottom of the spring retainer to be opened up to a larger size. I had now way to drill this at the shop I was working at (¾ comes to mind). The other thing I don’t like about air bags is, they’re high maintenance. You need to keep ~5psi on them or you take a chance on damaging the bag.
I suspect that even 5psi will make it ride different.
The other thing I didn’t like is the air line comes out at the bottom on the Air lift. I would rather see them routing at the top to eliminate snagging stuff, also to eliminate the constant movement of the air line thus increasing the chance of leaks.
My 2¢
DMX
 

dclee

 
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I believe the air line comes out the bottom of the spring perch but on top of the axle, so you just run it down the axle and up to the chassis with a brake line or breather tube. I ran a set on another 80 once and used the Air Lift pressure sensor valve hooked up to an air compressor mounted where the subtank would normally sit (on top of the spare). This kit automatically keeps the bags at 5 PSI minimum and extends the bags' warranty as well. No human intervention required (except turning on the truck to give power to the compressor and valve). At the minimum PSI setting I detected absolutely no spring rate change. As long as you match load to air pressure (i.e. keep the truck level as you load it up), in theory you should not have any spring rate change as the bags are simply "assisting" the coils in holding up the increased cargo weight.

BTW, I don't believe there is any rule that says you couldn't run the air line out the top of the coil. I think they route it that way in their instructions because it is easier for most people to drill the bottom perch, or there is usually a hole big enough already present (or if not, there is at least a small hole already there, like on the 80, that can serve as a pilot hole - BTW, on my 80 I didn't bother enlarging the hole, just wrapped the air line in successive wraps of military duct tape to prevent abrasion and ran it through the hole - no problems for as long as I owned the truck). For those who want to take the trouble, I don't see why you couldn't drill the top perch and run it out that way.
 
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Where to drill depends on the car - in the installation instructions I found on Internet (link provided above), the hole was drilled on the top. Depends on the bump stop location.
And if you check the pressure every time you check the pressure in your tyres - does it make it high mantainance?

Regards

Samo
 

DMX84

 
 
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dclee said:
I believe the air line comes out the bottom of the spring perch but on top of the axle, so you just run it down the axle and up to the chassis with a brake line or breather tube. I ran a set on another 80 once and used the Air Lift pressure sensor valve hooked up to an air compressor mounted where the subtank would normally sit (on top of the spare). This kit automatically keeps the bags at 5 PSI minimum and extends the bags' warranty as well. No human intervention required (except turning on the truck to give power to the compressor and valve). At the minimum PSI setting I detected absolutely no spring rate change. As long as you match load to air pressure (i.e. keep the truck level as you load it up), in theory you should not have any spring rate change as the bags are simply "assisting" the coils in holding up the increased cargo weight.

BTW, I don't believe there is any rule that says you couldn't run the air line out the top of the coil. I think they route it that way in their instructions because it is easier for most people to drill the bottom perch, or there is usually a hole big enough already present (or if not, there is at least a small hole already there, like on the 80, that can serve as a pilot hole - BTW, on my 80 I didn't bother enlarging the hole, just wrapped the air line in successive wraps of military duct tape to prevent abrasion and ran it through the hole - no problems for as long as I owned the truck). For those who want to take the trouble, I don't see why you couldn't drill the top perch and run it out that way.

Yes, you are correct; my concern was enlarging the hole and leaving an inaccessible bur under the perch that could damage the airline. I considered leaving the hole as is to eliminate this problem. A good rubberized tape or a piece of vacuum line could also protect it. I didn’t like the idea running it on the bottom in fear of it constantly moving around and catching on brush etc. Probably not major concern as you had great luck with the set up. There is another company that has the airline mounted on top, forget which one offered it though (Firestone?). The air lift has a 30 day trial so I went with that one for that reason. I never installed them just almost.
The automatic compressor is definitely the way to go.
But, I’m thinking the 866’s is sounding better to me, having the progressive spring rate, and the added load capacity. And from some of you are saying, good ride quality.
I carry my motorcycle on a carrier on the back and need to maintain height for some of the roads I travel on, let alone the large camping trailer I tow on a regular bases.
Thanks,
DMX
 

DMX84

 
 
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SamoL said:
Where to drill depends on the car - in the installation instructions I found on Internet (link provided above), the hole was drilled on the top. Depends on the bump stop location.
And if you check the pressure every time you check the pressure in your tyres - does it make it high mantainance?

Regards

Samo
How often do you check you tire pressure?
IMO most people go by looks most of the time, and only check/adjust pressure before a trip.
When I worked at Winnebago, we were constantly replacing/repairing air bags, because of neglect.
Basically, air bags leak, they tell you this in the air bag manual.
DMX
 

spressomon

glutton
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DMX84 said:
Yes, you are correct; my concern was enlarging the hole and leaving an inaccessible bur under the perch that could damage the airline. I considered leaving the hole as is to eliminate this problem. A good rubberized tape or a piece of vacuum line could also protect it. I didn’t like the idea running it on the bottom in fear of it constantly moving around and catching on brush etc. Probably not major concern as you had great luck with the set up. There is another company that has the airline mounted on top, forget which one offered it though (Firestone?). The air lift has a 30 day trial so I went with that one for that reason. I never installed them just almost.
The automatic compressor is definitely the way to go.
But, I’m thinking the 866’s is sounding better to me, having the progressive spring rate, and the added load capacity. And from some of you are saying, good ride quality.
I carry my motorcycle on a carrier on the back and need to maintain height for some of the roads I travel on, let alone the large camping trailer I tow on a regular bases.
Thanks,
DMX
My verdict is still out on the 866's as far as good off-road performance (no complaints when on-road however). Comparing them to the 865's they seem a little too 'loose' on rebound when in more aggressive terrain and at faster speed. I don't know if it is because you have fewer coils typically doing all the work on the 866, with it's progressive design construction or??? Having said that it is really difficult to "A/B" them with any level of perceptive accuracy. I'll see how the air bags do...I am still in the experimentation phase. Unfortunately the cost of all the rear springs/bags and time it takes to switch everything is mounting.
 
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