Overview of Air Conversion Kits
This Page is for all those cars not listed with separate kits, and is intended as a guide to costs of kits, and also to try and evaluate what you actually need. For a specific quote please call. Prices are for guidance only and accurate at February 2009 (£1 GBP = $1.4 to $1.5 USD).
In general when pricing an Air Suspension Conversion kit, the costs comes down to the speed of the system. For the most part the actual bags used will be the same regardless of the specification of the rest of the kit.
The Most basic Air Suspension Kits are designed for Motor-homes and Vans. These are “assistance” kits designed for a specific purpose.
In the case of Motor-homes this is to help take the increased weight of all the living accommodation, and related apparatus, plus often the weight of water tanks etc. This can regularly lead to uneven weight, and almost always to an under sprung and wallowy road characteristic that is at best uncomfortable, and at worst dangerous. Air suspension is often added to balance the left and right, and to take the extra weight. Much of the time this has to be inflated using a tyre inflator at a Workshop or Petrol station, and is then left. These systems are not regularly adjusted.
Motor-home systems can have an optional compressor, and also an optional tank if required, and this does make them self sufficient and able to be adjusted at any time. It is normal only to fit air to the rear of such vehicles as it is very rare for the front to see any additional weight.
Motorhomes normally have the air bags in addition to the original suspension, unless they are based on small vans when often the only option is to remove the old spring.
For Vans a similar but actually different situation exists. When a van is made the manufacturer fits a fixed rate metal coil spring. This has to be designed to cope with the vehicle fully loaded which is often 2-3 tons, but also with the vehicle unladen. This is always going to be a compromise, and that compromise is always biased toward fully laden, as its the only safe option. It does however mean that the van is over-sprung for most of its life, as vans are rarely full, and that means the rear is bouncy and crashes over bumps.
Thus air suspension provides the ability to adjust the suspension for the actual load at that particular time. Again the most popular kits are for the rear only, and just like Motor-homes kits can be in addition to the original springs, or as replacements, and the kits can be with a compressor or without.
It should be noted that whilst rear only kits are by far the most popular kits for vans and motor-homes the rear kits cost more than half the cost of a full 4wheel kit.
Kits for motor-homes and Vans tend for the most part to be at the slower and more basic end of the market as this is more cost effective to fit. Kits generally use 1/4 inch lines and non-solenoid based controllers. This leads to slower operation of about 15-30 seconds to lift the rear of the vehicle from fully down to fully up depending upon tank size. Non tank systems can take as much as 2 minutes, and non-compressor systems will depend upon the specific tyre inflator used.
- Typical cost to supply rear only, non compressor kit £650-£750
- Typical cost to supply rear only compressor/tank/controller kit £1350-£1400
- Typical cost for above 4 wheel kit £2150-2250
- Typical cost to install above kit £500-£750 (rear) add £200 for four wheel kits
On 4wd SUV type applications requirements are often evaluated on an individual basis. They can take on any of the characteristics of the above kits, or of the car type kits below.
Air Suspension conversions for cars, can have any of the options above but almost always are 4 wheel kits, and almost always include on-board compressors.
The on board compressor and tank means you have air available to fill the bags at any time, and typically the slowest systems will lift the entire vehicle in around 15-20, and the fastest just under 1 second.
The most basic systems use a non-solenoid controller, and are very simple to wire, and very effective. These are our least popular kits although they meet all the requirements of 90% of our customers.
The next stage up on the kit hierarchy brings on board a bank of solenoids to electrically control the air flow. this brings with it a huge leap forward in speed, with the slowest smallest valves taking around 5-10 seconds to lift the vehicle, and more normally about 3 seconds. With solenoids you have a simpler air circuit but more complicated electrics, although for the first time you are able to use ECU controllers.
The next stage up takes you to larger solenoids, which bring with them more speed, and we are at the 1 second level, and using 1/2 inch lines. This is our most popular option, when fitted with an ECU controller and remote operation is also available on these kits. These go beyond just function, and bring with them the FUN factor – playing with the suspension puts smile on every-one’s face.
- Typical cost for above 4 wheel kit (non-solenoid) £2150-2250
- Typical cost to install above kit £750-£1250
- Typical cost to supply 4 wheel basic solenoid kit £2800
- Typical cost to supply 4 wheel fast solenoid kit £3050
- Typical cost to supply Fast solenoid ECU controlled kit, with remote £4050
- Typical cost to install above solenoid kits £1000-£1500
This page is intended as a guide to the options and likely costs and does not contain any prices specific to any vehicle. For your particular requirements please call, or email.
Options which prove very popular these days and we install on almost every car, van and SUV we did last year is to use two tanks and two compressors, this gives more “play time”, and two compressors fill the tanks quicker. Prices vary, but please let us know if you would like prices.
We only use the most reliable parts on the market – they cost more in the short term, but are far cheaper in the long run as well as being safer, and more reliable. All the parts we use on your cars are the ones we use on our own.
ON ALL SYSTEMS LEFT AND RIGHT CIRCUITS SHUOLD BE SEPARATE. WE WILL NEVER INSTALL FB (FRONT BACK) SYSTEMS THAT ARE TWO CIRCUIT OR REAR SYSTEMS THAT ARE SINGLE CIRCUIT AS THEY ARE NOT SAFE DURING CORNERING, AS THE WEIGHT OF THE VEHICLE IS TRANSFERED TO THE WHEEL LEAST ABLE TO COPE WITH IT.