Air Suspension System And the Components
Believe it or not, an air ride could be the best way to transport cargo. Now your car can go with air too. Vigorairride air suspension systems have been used for about 2 decades in the trucking industry.
Now, they are becoming increasingly popular in the commercial sector. In fact, air suspension systems are applicable to motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and custom cars, or even daily commuter cars.
General introduction to air suspension systems
In today’s world, the improvement in technology has made air suspension systems more precise, streamlined, and less cumbersome. Actually, they can use precise, fast technology with enhanced electronics to control stuff.
From ride height to bag pressure, you can control them using electronic units. Hence, this allows you to have a controlled and smooth ride experience.
Well, it’s about time to pay attention to the suspension system of your car. Surprisingly, our car’s suspension system is crucial to your car’s safety and comfort. In conventional suspension systems, coil springs and shock absorbers help to absorb vibration, keeping wheel oscillation and rebound.
But, any time you add or subtract loads to a car, or speed up or slow down, traditional suspension systems face huge challenges to perform well.
Well, sometimes turning left or right with huge loads can be a burden to the capabilities of shock absorbers and coil springs. Actually, the traditional stock shocks and springs were designed with a set of specific situations.
What is air suspension?
Air suspension systems don’t use conventional metal springs like coil or leaf springs. Instead, airbags or air springs replace the coil springs. Normally, airbags are the springs for the air suspension system. And air springs rubber bellows which are tough and durable. Airbags are where air flows into.
By using an onboard air compressor, it inflates air to a specific pressure and height to imitate how coil springs work. Hence, pressurized air in the airbags provides proper pressure as a power source for the suspension system to perform well.
An overview of the advantages airbags offer
Today’s air suspension systems offer many advantages over conventional all-metal springs. An onboard air compressor provides enough pressure with compressed air in the airbags.
Also, with the help of air tanks inside, immediate use of air is available. As a result, airbags suspension offers near-instant tuning. Also, it gives it the ability to adjust handling under various conditions.
Air suspensions come in manual or electronic. You can install it by weekend mechanics or professionals. What’s more, with an airbag suspension system, you can lower a car even with heavy lows. Also, it increases the ride quality of an old Detroit street beast. What a bonus!
Air suspension system parts or components
In fact, air suspension systems in their early stages were simple. Usually, coil springs were replaced by airbags. Then, through a valve, air compressors will provide the airbags the right pressure. Thus, it enables it to adjust height instantly and gently, giving a pleasant ride.
Technology and user changes have added new components and control to the system. Air suspension systems today have many similar components, which are very common across manufacturers. Controls and installation ease are the main differences.
The material of airbags has not changed much over the years. Well, the air springs are made of tough rubber and polyurethane. These durable rubber airbags provide strength, durability, and toughness against road debris and sand. It also resists salt and chemical corrosion.
Air springs: three types of airbags for the suspension system
Double-convoluted bag. This bag looks like an hourglass. This design offers a bit more flexibility than other shapes.
Tapered sleeves. The air spring works the same as other airbags. However, it is smaller in size. Besides, it has a greater range of adjustments for ride height.
Rolling sleeves: This airbag is usually for specific applications. Yet, the main differences between these sleeves are ride height, spring control, and which is best for your vehicle and application.
A compressor is essential for your air suspension system (with an air dryer)
For an air suspension system, an onboard compressor is a must-have. Also, some even are equipped with two compressors, with one as a backup or even enhancement.
Normally, the air compressor is a pump that pumps air through airlines to provide compressed air for the airbags. And, the compressor is usually mounted in the trunk or on the vehicle’s frame. In addition, most compressors include an attached air filter or air dryer.
The air compressor draws outside air and compresses it before sending it to the airbags. Thus, the outside air usually contains dirt and moisture.
And this can cause problems in such a closed system. To absorb as much moisture as possible from the air before it is sent through the system, the drier uses a desiccant to achieve the goal.
An air compressor with an air tank is better for your air ride system
Simpler compressor systems rely only on the onboard air compressor to provide power. However, you need a more advanced air ride power system with storage space. Thus, advanced air compressor systems should include an air tank.
The air tank will be the place where pressurized air stays before the system needs it. Thus, it maintains pressure and provides an even transition between pressures. An immediate and constant air pressure supply is possible because of the air tank inside.
The driver can activate the compressor manually or automatically using an ECU(electronic control unit)
Other components in your suspension system
Valves work like gateways that control what direction the air flows to. Valve technology plays a vital role in an air suspension system.
Airlines run inside the frame of the car. They are the routes where compressed air can reach every airbag of four corners.
They are for electronically-controlled air ride systems. Solenoids fill and vent each air spring. The open or close states of them change the air volume in each airbag.