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Testing for Air Leaks

pump action sprayerThe kits that we supply use very expensive and ultra reliable fittings. Leaks are almost unheard of. We regularly install exotic air suspension installs with over a hundred unions (multi controller systems and simulators) and experience no leaks on the system. We could get far cheaper unions which would save a little on kits but any saving would quickly be lost in additional time spent chasing leaks. I still remember the early days in the early 2000’s when we used those cheaper unions and it regularly took 2-3 days to find all the leaks (few unions did not leak!). You can read about those experiences elsewhere on this site.

A client recently brought us a vehicle with air suspension from another installer and cheaper unions – you guessed it multi leaks. We usually use our own leak test but this time tried some expensive gas leak detector spray. It failed to find leaks that our 99p home made detector could! We use a 99p pump action plant sprayer (you could recycle a kitchen cleaning product container if cleaned well). Fill it mostly with water and about a tablespoon of washing up liquid (you don’t need much). Systematically spray every union and you will soon see bubbles coming from any leaks. Its quick, its simple, and its effective.

Its advisable to do an overnight leak test monthly and if this shows a leak however small deal with it before it gets worse!

Independent Control Only

Roll-picFor many years now we have refused to supply or install kits where the left and right circuits are joined. This is on the grounds of safety primarily but also linked to legality. An air suspension circuit where the left and right are joined leads to air transfer as the vehicle corners which is dangerous as the vehicle progressively rolls (leans) through the corner getting worse and worse until the car can potentially spin out of control. This is worst on fwd vehicles but affects the handling on all vehicles.

Other suppliers are not so discerning and are happy to take your money and supply items not lawful for road use. Does this approach cost us sales – potentially yes. Are we going to change the policy – definitely not. It was heartening the other day when consulted on documentation for air suspension to see that the Australian government holds the same views as we do and wont issue permits for vehicles with conjoined systems.

It is dangerous to use FB or Front-Back systems where the left and right circuits are joined. It is almost certainly not lawful for UK road use (regardless of any MOT you may have) and saves only a relatively small amount of money for such a large safety compromise. Independent systems handle better and ride better.

We do not usually stock full suspension kits on the shelf. They are made specifically for you once you place your order. This can take anywhere from a few days for common items to 90 days for unusual or complicated items or items which have a waiting list. If you require a more accurate indication then this can be provided by email and will be provided once any order is placed in any event.

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