The Definitive Pneumatic Suspension Thread - Scionlife.com


Scion xA/xB 1st-Gen Suspension & Handling Coilovers, Shocks, Airbags, Swaybars...

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Old 02-15-2006, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default The Definitive Pneumatic Suspension Thread

Well, folks... here it is. I haven't messed with this thing in weeks, so I suppose it is time to post. If you see things missing (which I am sure there are) just post up and I will get them added.

In this post, and the ensuing thread I will try and include as much information as possible relative to pneumatic suspension and how it relates to the Scion xB. Keep in mind as you read through this that it will be an evolving thing. As more products are introduced, they will be added. And I can't be aware of every single component out there. Finally, remember that this was written by one man, so my personal opinion may sneak in there every now and then.

Also, products may be available from multiple sources. I will typically only list one online retailer. If a retailer is listed, they either have the best listed price, or a very trusted source.

I guess the best place to start would be with complete systems. These complete systems are available from both domestic and JDM (Japanese) manufacturers. A complete system consists of a package that includes each and every component required to install a pneumatic suspension on an xB. The complete systems are convenient in that you have a single source, and single purchase to obtain an entire pneumatic suspension. The drawback to the complete system is that the convenience of a single source is incorporated into the cost. In most instances a complete system will cost more than a system that is pieced together using similar components.

While many would prefer a high quality JDM system, they are much more difficult to come by than a domestic pneumatic suspension. And those that can be had easily can only be had if you are willing to pay a premium. Some feel that the JDM kits are worth the premium you must pay, others do not.

Complete Pneumatic Suspension Systems:

JDM Systems

Manufacturer: ACC
System: Air Runner
Website: http://www.airrunner.co.jp
Retail Price: $3,100
Pros: High quality
JDM System
Time tested
Cons: Price
Struts aren't adjustable
Manual Control (Electric is an option)
Online Retailer: http://www.autofashionusa.com


Manufacturer: Altair
System: Airdyne
Website: http://www.airdyne-jp.com
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...l%3Den%26lr%3D
Retail Price: 358,000 - 407,400 Yen ($3,100 - $3,52
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Price
Manual Control (Electric is an Option)
Only 2 Way Control
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Revolution I & II
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 777,000 - 980,700 Yen ($6,733 - $8,499)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


USDM Systems

Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $2,220
Pros: USDM System
Adjustable Front Struts
Electric Control
Price
Cons: Quality (Mostly Rear)
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com


So those are the available complete pneumatic systems, to my knowledge. If there are others out there, let me know.

From this point we move on to the parts and pieces that make up a complete pneumatic suspension. First we can look at the individual parts that are specific to the xB. Then we will move on to parts that are universal to all vehicles with a pneumatic suspension.

The best place to start would be the separate front and rear kits. While all of the kits listed above include the parts required to modify the front and rear suspension, some are not available as separate pieces. I am not including EAI, or their cylinders in this list, as it has been stated in other threads that they are no longer available due to the company closing it's doors. The other reason for not including cylinders is that an air cylinder is not a true suspension. Without a dampener it is not technically a suspension.

xB Specific Front Components

JDM Systems

Manufacturer: Roberuta
System: Cup Kit (Components Only)
Website: http://www.roberuta.com/
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...l%3Den%26lr%3D
Retail Price: 178,000 - 207,900 Yen ($1,542 - $1,801)
Pros: Incorporates use of coil-over suspension
JDM System
Cons: Requires use of separate Coil-Over Suspension
Only available for the front (No rear option from manufacturer)
Price (When you consider additional cost for Coil-Overs)
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Parfume (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 483,000 ($4,066)
Pros: Incorporates use of coil-over suspension
JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Requires use of coil-over suspension
Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Ultima I (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 575,400 Yen ($4,844)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Ultima II (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 491,400 Yen ($4,136)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Revolution I (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 417,900 - 449,400 Yen ($3,518 - $3,783)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Revolution II (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 325,500 - 354,900 Yen ($2,740 - $2,98
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Aero-Over Version (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 459,900 Yen ($3,872)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown

USDM Systems

Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet (Front Struts)
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $650
Pros: USDM System
Adjustable Front Struts
Price
Cons: Quality (Not all agree.)
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com


xB Specific Rear Components

JDM Systems:

Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Revolution I (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 522,900 - Yen ($4,401 - $4,472)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


Manufacturer: Bold World
System: Revolution II (Complete Front Kit)
Website: http://www.boldworld.co.jp
Translated Website: http://translate.google.com/translat...lr%3D%26sa%3DG
Retail Price: 451,500 - 459,900 Yen ($3,801 - $3,871)
Pros: JDM System
Unknown
Cons: Very High Price
No known domestic distributor or retailer
Online Retailer: Unknown


USDM Systems

Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet (Rear Kit)
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $325
Pros: USDM System
Price
Cons: Quality (Not all agree.)
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com


Manufacturer: Fender Bender International (FBI)
Component: Rear Air Bag Brackets
Website: http://www.fbimini.com
Retail Price: $100
Pros: USDM Parts
Price
Quality
Cons: Brackets Only (requires air bags)
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=249893


And now we can begin to look at pneumatic suspension components that are not vehicle specific. To start we will look at the universal components available that can be applied to the xB front and rear suspension. From there we will move into the different components that make up the remainder of the pneumatic suspension system. These components as a whole are typically referred to as "air management."

Universal Front Components

USDM Components

Manufacturer: Universal Air Suspension
Component: Aero Sport Bag
Website: http://www.universalairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $189
Pros: USDM Components
Price
Reuse factory struts
Cons: Quality
Requires more extensive fabrications than any other system
Universal, not Scion xB specific
Reuse factory struts
Online Retailer: http://www.universalairsuspension.com


Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet (Universal Strut Kit)
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $425
Pros: USDM Components
Adjustable Front Struts
Price
Flexibility
Cons: Quality (Not all agree.)
Requires extensive fabrication
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com

Universal Rear Components

Air Springs

Air springs, or air bags as they are more commonly called, are the heart of almost all pneumatic suspension. Whether mounted on struts or shocks, with custom fabricated brackets, or off the shelf mounts, the air bag is what "suspends" the vehicle. Air bags are available in a multitude of styles and sizes, and are available from several manufacturers.

The air spring takes the place of traditional load carrying steel springs. The amount of load a spring can handle varies by it's design characteristics. For any particular spring design, the load capacity increases as the volume of air within the spring increases. The wide range of adjustment found in an air spring is what makes them such a desirable suspension option.

To simplify the loading characteristics of air spring design, just remember this simple rule. All other design characteristics being equal, the more surface area within a bag, the higher the load characteristic.

In common automotive suspensions we see three basic air spring designs. The most common of these three is the "convoluted bellows" style. Of the convoluted bellows designs, the "double convoluted is the most common. The two other easily adapted air spring designs are "roll-sleeve" and "tapered-sleeve." Though similar in design, the tapered-sleeve springs usually have higher load ratings than rolling-sleeves. And the convoluted springs usually have a higher load rating still.

Below you will see the air springs most commonly used in the pneumatic suspension for the Scion xB.

Manufacturer: Firestone
Component: 255C
Website: http://www.firestoneindustrial.com
Retail Price: $70
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Price
Reliability
Cons: Low pressure rating
Stroke
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Firestone_255c_2500.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3953
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 100
Min. Height: 2.8"
Max. Height: 8"
Stroke: 5.2"
Max. Diameter: 6.4"


Manufacturer: Goodyear (Airlift)
Component: 2B6 Gen. II Street Series Single Port
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $90
Pros: USDM Component
Price
Moderate pressure rating
Stroke
Cons: Moderate pressure rating
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/2B6_2500_180PSI_Single.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3965
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 180
Min. Height: 2.8"
Max. Height: 9.5"
Stroke: 6.7"
Max. Diameter: 6.8"


Manufacturer: Goodyear (Airlift)
Component: 2B6 Gen. II Extreme Series Single Port
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $143
Pros: USDM Component
High pressure rating
Stroke
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/2B6_2500_300PSI_Single.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3967
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 300
Min. Height: 2.8"
Max. Height: 9.5"
Stroke: 6.7"
Max. Diameter: 6.8"


Manufacturer: Goodyear (Airlift)
Component: 2B6 Gen. I Single Port
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $90
Pros: USDM Component
Price
Low minimum height
Cons: Low pressure rating
Stroke
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Eas...t-p-16539.html
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 100
Min. Height: 2.3"
Max. Height: 7.7"
Stroke: 5.4"
Max. Diameter: 6.5"


Manufacturer: Slam Specialties
Component: RE-5 (Formerly RS-52)
Website: http://www.slamspecialties.com
Retail Price: $89
Pros: USDM Component
Moderate pressure rating
Price
Cons: Stroke
Moderate pressure rating
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/RE_200_PSI_Single_Port.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3955
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 200
Min. Height: 2.9"
Max. Height: 8"
Stroke: 5.1"
Max. Diameter: 5.5"


Manufacturer: Slam Specialties
Component: RE-6 (Formerly RS-62)
Website: http://www.slamspecialties.com
Retail Price: $89
Pros: USDM Component
Moderate pressure rating
Price
Stroke
Cons: Moderate pressure rating
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/RE_200_PSI_Single_Port.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3956
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 200
Min. Height: 2.9"
Max. Height: 10"
Stroke: 7.1"
Max. Diameter: 6"


Manufacturer: Slam Specialties
Component: HE-6 (Formerly ES-62 / HS-62)
Website: http://www.slamspecialties.com
Retail Price: $129
Pros: USDM Component
High pressure rating
Stroke
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/HE_400_PSI_Dual_Port.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=3959
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 400
Min. Height: 2.9"
Max. Height: 10"
Stroke: 7.1"
Max. Diameter: 6"


Manufacturer: Contitech
Component: FD 70-13 "2500"
Website: http://www.contitech.de
Retail Price: $70
Pros: German Component
Price
Cons: Low Pressure Rating
Stroke
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Contitec...ingle_Port.php
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 120
Min. Height: 3"
Max. Height: 7.9"
Stroke: 4.9"
Max. Diameter: 6.5"


Manufacturer: Contitech
Component: FD 70-13 4 Ply "2500"
Website: http://www.contitech.de
Retail Price: $100
Pros: German Component
Price
Stroke
Moderate Pressure Rating
Cons: Moderate Pressure Rating
Price
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Contitec...ingle_Port.php
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 210
Min. Height: 2.8"
Max. Height: 8.5"
Stroke: 5.7"
Max. Diameter: 6.5"

Now we can move on to the more universal parts to the air management system. I will try and take a somewhat logical approach. I figured following the path of air would be the most logical means to present the components. And while I will try and offer a brief description of the role of each component, this list is in no way complete. There are so many different options out there that it is innumerable. For instance I will not get into using a compressed gas system, as opposed to, or in conjunction with compressors. With that, lets move on.

Universal Air Management Components

Complete Air Management Systems

There are several companies out there that offer complete air management systems. While some may have a few things you don't need to finish an installation, some may leave you lacking when you should be going for a test drive. Study the offerings different companies have carefully before you make a decision.

While many companies offer 2 path and 4 path systems, I will only include the 4 path systems. My personal opinion is that a pneumatic suspension done right allows for individual control of each air bag, and eliminates air transfer from one air spring to another. While you do not have to control each bag individually, eliminating the air transfer improves performance of the system, and reduces risk.

Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet 175 PSI High Performance 4 Path
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $1,295
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Moderate Pressure
Moderate Flow
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1754
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Eas...p-p-16536.html


Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet 145 PSI High Performance 4 Path
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $1,375
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Moderate Flow
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1753
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Eas...g-p-16529.html


Manufacturer: Airlift
System: Easystreet Autopilot Digital Air Management
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $1,450
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
High Flow
Digital Gauges & Controller
Controller Presets
Cons: Low Pressure
Price
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=2537


Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
System: Ride Pro E 4 Way (ARC4000E)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $1,099
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Unsurpassed Quality
Digital Gauges & Controller
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Very Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/ART...m-p-16746.html
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
System: Ride Pro E 4 Way (ARC4100E)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $1,299
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Unsurpassed Quality
Digital Gauges & Controller
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
System: Big Red 4 Way (ARC4700E)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $1,495
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Unsurpassed Quality
Moderate Flow
Moderate Pressure
Digital Gauges & Controller
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/ART...m-p-16747.html
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
System: Big Red Max 4 Way (ARC4800E)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $1,795
Pros: USDM System
Electric Valves
Unsurpassed Quality
High Flow
Moderate Pressure
Digital Gauges & Controller
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/ART...m-p-16748.html
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Thorbecke Brothers
System: Starter Kit - 3/8"
Website: http://www.suicidedoors.com
Retail Price: $600
Pros: Electric Valves
High Flow
Choose High or Low Pressure
Price
Cons: No Fittings Included
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Starter_Kit_3-8.php


Manufacturer: Thorbecke Brothers
System: Starter Kit - 1/2"
Website: http://www.suicidedoors.com
Retail Price: $700
Pros: Electric Valves
Very High Flow
Choose High or Low Pressure
Price
Cons: No Fittings Included
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Starter_Kit_1-2.php


Manufacturer: Thorbecke Brothers
System: Build Your Own Air Management
Website: http://www.suicidedoors.com
Retail Price: Varies
Pros: Fully Customizable
Electric Valves
Choice of Flow
Choice of High or Low Pressure
Price
Cons: No Fittings Included
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/custom.php


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 3/8" Line and Valves
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $727
Pros: Electric Valves
Moderate Flow
Low Pressure
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line, 3/8" Valves
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $725
Pros: Electric Valves
High Flow
Low Pressure
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line and Valves
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $780
Pros: Electric Valves
Very High Flow
Low Pressure
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way Extreme 1/2" Line and Valves
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $1136
Pros: Electric Valves
Extremely High Flow
Low Pressure
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way Extreme 5/8" Line, 1/2" Valves
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $1,575
Pros: Electric Valves
Highest Flow
Low Pressure
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Fender Bender International (FBI)
System: FBSS Airbag Kit
Website: http://www.fbimini.com
Retail Price: $1,000
Pros: Electric Valves
Very High Flow
Low Pressure
Cons: Price
Extra Components
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=8857


Compressors

A compressor in a pneumatic suspension application is really no different than a compressor in any other application. The compressor uses electricity to convert the ambient air into pressurized air. What you do with it when it leaves the compressor depends on your system's design. A byproduct of generating pressurized air is heat. This heat must be dissipated, or the compressor will "burn up."

This heat dissipation plays into "duty cycle." Many people misinterpret what duty cycle actually is. A duty cycle is the percentage of time a compressor can run relative to the time it must not run in order to dissipate heat.

An example:

If a 100% duty cycle compressor runs for 5 minutes, it should not turn on again for 5 minutes. If a 33% duty cycle compressor runs for 5 minutes, it should not turn on again for 15 minutes.

So why would anyone choose a 33% duty cycle compressor over a 100% duty cycle compressor? CFM (Cubic Feet/Minute) rating. In other words, how much compressed air a compressor can produce in given time. Typically a 33% duty cycle compressor can generate more air than an equivalent 100% duty cycle compressor.

Now there are hundreds of compressors out there geared toward the automotive pneumatic suspension market. There is no way I am going to list every single one. What I will do it list the most common, and most likely to be used in the Scion xB.

Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 450C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $190
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Price
Reliability
Duty Cycle
Cons: Low pressure rating
CFM Rating
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Viair_45..._SHIPPING).php
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Air...1-p-16580.html
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 150
Duty Cycle: 100%
CFM: 1.66
Max. Amps: 23
Dimensions: 12.75"Lx4.0"Wx7.0"H


Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 400C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $170
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Price
Reliability
CFM Rating
Cons: Low pressure rating
Duty Cycle
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Viair_40..._SHIPPING).php
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Via...C-p-19556.html
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 150
Duty Cycle: 33%
CFM: 2.54
Max. Amps: 30
Dimensions: 11.25"Lx4.0"Wx7.0"H


Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 380C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $185
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Price
Reliability
Duty Cycle
High pressure rating
Cons: CFM Rating
New Product
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Viair_38..._SHIPPING).php
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Via...C-p-19555.html
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 200
Duty Cycle: 100% @ 100 PSI / 55% @ 200 PSI
CFM: 1.49
Max. Amps: 16
Dimensions: 9.0"Lx4.0"Wx7.0"H


Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 460C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $210
Pros: USDM Component
Reliability
Duty Cycle
Cons: New Product
Low pressure rating
CFM Rating
Price
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Viair_46..._SHIPPING).php
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 150
Duty Cycle: 100%
CFM: 1.66
Max. Amps: 23
Dimensions: 12.75"Lx4.0"Wx7.0"H


Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 420C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $188
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Reliability
CFM Rating
Cons: New Product
Price
Low pressure rating
Duty Cycle
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 150
Duty Cycle: 33%
CFM: 2.54
Max. Amps: 30
Dimensions: 10.0"Lx4.3"Wx6.5"H


Manufacturer: Viair Corporation
Component: 480C
Website: http://www.viaircorp.com
Retail Price: $240
Pros: USDM Component
Industry Standard
Reliability
Duty Cycle
High pressure rating
Cons: Price
CFM Rating
New product
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 200
Duty Cycle: 100% @ 100 PSI / 50% @ 200 PSI
CFM: 1.67
Max. Amps: 30
Dimensions: 11.5"Lx4.3"Wx6.5"H


Manufacturer: Air Zenith
Component: AZ-OB01
Website: http://www.air-zenith.com
Retail Price: $300
Pros: USDM Component
Duty Cycle
High pressure rating
CFM Rating
Cons: Price
New product / New company
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Air_Zenith.php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=255689
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 200
Duty Cycle: 100%
CFM: 2.85
Max. Amps: ??
Dimensions: 13.5"Lx5.5"Wx6.5"H


Manufacturer: Thomas
Component: 337
Website: http://www.rtpumps.com
Retail Price: $180
Pros: USDM/German Component
Long History
Price
Reliability
Warranty
Cons: Low pressure rating
Duty Cycle
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Thomas_3..._SHIPPING).php
http://www.fbirides.com/product.asp?idno=4019
Specifications:
PSI Rating: 150
Duty Cycle: 40%
CFM: ??
Max. Amps: ??
Dimensions: ??


Water Traps

From compressors we will move on to water traps. Inevitably the ambient air, and therefore the compressed air contains moisture. When the compressed air travels from the compressor and into the tank, the moisture is allowed to accumulate as standing water. Over a period of time this water can lead to rust. A water trap is used to capture as much of the moisture as possible so that your suspension system sees only clean, dry air.

Manufacturer: SMC
Component: AF30-N03-2Z
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $30
Pros: JDM Component
Price
Cons: None
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/SMC_Water_Trap_3-8.php#
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Specifications:
Port Size: 3/8" NPT
Material: Metal Bowl


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: AF40-N04-2Z
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $40
Pros: JDM Component
Price
Cons: None
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/SMC_Water_Trap_1-2.php#
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Specifications:
Port Size: 1/2" NPT
Material: Metal Bowl

Air Tanks

Well, it doesn't get much simpler than air tanks. Hunting down the manufacturers, and listing the information an all of these tanks would take forever, so I won't list them. Instead I will just give a brief synopsis and provide links to retailers. Each of the retailers carries their own selection of different manufacturers. But for the most part, they all have the same offerings.

The biggest differences you will find in air tanks are materials, size, and ports. Almost every tank on the market today is rated to 150 psi. A few are rated higher, but they are harder to find and more expensive. Commonly available air tanks are available in sizes from 1/2 gallon to 12 gallons. And chances are you won't be using anything from either end of that scale on your xB. Choosing the right air tank for your application is as unique as each car owner. Everyone is looking for something different. One thing to remember is that the number and type of compressors you have must be coordinated with your air tank selection. And both of these must be coordinated with how you would like to use your pneumatic suspension.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that you need one typical compressor (Viair 400c or 450C) per 5 to 6 gallons of air, minimum. If you plan on using your system more (playing) this figure can easily be multiplied by 1.5 to 2. Just remember, that as you add electric compressors, you are adding load to your vehicles electrical system.

The more you want to play with your system, the more reserve air you should have. While most would just go straight for a big ten or twelve gallon tank, that method just doesn't work well in a Scion. Space is at a premium, and most don't want to give up the entire back of their car for an air tank. A better option is to use several smaller tanks to achieve the total volume of air you desire.

So why so many sizes? I can remember a time when the largest tank you could get was five gallons if you didn't want to spend a lot of money, or a lot of time searching. Faster and faster air systems have created the need for larger and larger storage tanks. So now we see these very large ten and twelve gallon tanks on the market, and available at reasonable prices.

And what about the other end of the spectrum? Why would anyone buy a little 1/2 gallon tank? Originally these small tanks were used to supplement "helper bag" systems. Systems used to help a truck carry heavier loads than it was originally designed for. Today, some people use these smaller tanks to supplement the pneumatic systems of very fast moving suspensions. Placing a small tank very close to a fill valve that is mounted on or near an air spring provides a very quick fill. This is just one of many tricks the fastest air hoppers have used to achieve their great speed.

OK, so we all understand the different volumes available, but what about materials? Most tanks are available in mild steel. Some are offered in stainless steel, and now are even being offered in aluminum. So why choose one material over the other? Well steel is cheap, and it can keep the cost of your air system down. Painted steel is the cheapest option out there, while chromed mild steel will bump your cost a bit. The drawback to mild steel is that over time, if water is introduced they can rust. To resolve this issue we can look at the other two materials, stainless steel and aluminum. While these materials do not rust, the cost is significantly greater, and the selection in tank size and port options is much slimmer.

The last item to consider when buying a tank is the porting. Most tanks volumes are available in many different port configurations. Everything from simple two port designs, all the way up to 9 ports. The ports are also available in sizes ranging from 1/4" NPT to 1/2" NPT. Remember, if you are trying to optimize your pneumatic suspension for speed, you are only as fast as your smallest orifice.

Retailers:
http://www.suicidedoors.com/Air_Management_Airtanks.php
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Tanks-p-1-c-659.html
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...mode=cat_click
http://www.fbimini.com/shopping_depa...at_idno=257024
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...S&Category=216

Airline

Why a whole section devoted to something as simple as airline? Because sadly, it is necessary. All that really needs to be said is to use D.O.T. approved airline with the proper pressure rating for your pneumatic suspension design. The stuff I have typically used is called "Synflex." And 9 times out of 10, that is what online retailers sell.

There are other safe options out there as well, but the most important thing is to make sure that what you use is D.O.T. approved. Just so that there is some information here, some of the other options include hydraulic line, stainless steel hard line and braided steel line. One option that used to be fairly popular a few years back, and is an absolutely bad idea is copper hard line. While many think of it as a cheaper alternative to stainless steel hard line, it is not. Copper will work harden and become brittle over time. Eventually leading to a failure.

The next thing to take into consideration is sizing. Typical airline sizes range from 1/8" to 3/4". The larger diameter the airline, the faster a system has the potential to be. But remember, a system has to be dealt with as a whole. Simply switching to larger airline by its self may not speed up a system. Another thing to remember is that airline is sized by the outside diameter. Subtract 1/8" with most standard synflex to get the inner diameter.

So how do you actually choose what size airline to run? The easiest way to determine this is by your valves. You do not want to go with a smaller air line than the valve you are running. I also would not exceed the diameter of valve by more than 1/8"-1/4". It would just be money spent for no gain. To optimize a system you want to have the orifice of the valve be as close as possible to the inner diameter of the airline.

Retailers:
http://www.suicidedoors.com/Air_Line_(DOT).php
http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Airline-p-1-c-667.html
http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...mode=cat_click
http://www.fbimini.com/shopping_depa...?cat_idno=3751
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...S&Category=234

Fittings

Believe it or not, the fittings are one of the hardest issues to address when it comes to pneumatic suspension. The reason is that each and every system is unique. Every single component you choose, and where it is located on a vehicle can and will affect your fitting selection.

Rather than trying to analyze and review every single fitting available, we will look at the basic fitting types, and their pros and cons. First there is the material. For the most part there are two types, brass and plastic. Brass is obviously stronger and more durable, but costs more than plastic. Plastic is less expensive, but it can break down faster than brass. Brass fittings are also available nickel plated for a more "show" finish.

Then there is the fitting style. The two most popular are compression and PTC (Push-To-Connect). The compression fittings offer greater reliability, but are not as easy to service if you have a problem. PTC fittings have a greater tendency to leak or fail, but are much easier to service than compression fittings. With that being said, the most important thing to consider when buying fittings is the same as with air line, make sure whatever you purchase is DOT approved. I would take a plastic PTC fitting that is DOT approved over a cheap brass compression fitting from the local hardware store, any day.

As I mentioned before, hunting down each and every fitting needed for a pneumatic suspension can be mind boggling. Luckily, there are companies out there trying to make the process a whole lot easier. Several companies offer what they call "fitting packages." Aside from offering complete air management systems like were listed above they also offer the fittings separately. They have taken the time to determine what fittings would be necessary for the most common pneumatic suspension designs. Below I will list a few of those offerings.


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 3/8" Line and Valves on Tank
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $131
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 3/8" Line and Valves near Bags
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $149
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line and 3/8" Valves on Tank
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $120
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line and 3/8" Valves near Bags
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $143
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line and Valves on Tank
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $136
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Innovative Air Suspension
System: 4 Way 1/2" Line and Valves near Bags
Website: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.com
Retail Price: $163
Pros: Brass DOT Compression and PTC Fittings
Predrilled for Gauge fittings
Price
Cons: ??
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail


Manufacturer: Fender Bender International (FBI)
System: FBSS Fitting Kit - 1/2" Valves - 9 Port Tank
Website: http://www.fbimini.com
Retail Price: $130
Pros: Brass DOT Compression Fittings
Price
Cons: Minimal
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=3951


Manufacturer: Fender Bender International (FBI)
System: FBSS Fitting Kit - 1/2" Valves - 7 Gallon Tank
Website: http://www.fbimini.com
Retail Price: $120
Pros: Brass DOT Compression Fittings
Price
Cons: Minimal
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=3949


Valves

The valves are a key component to any pneumatic suspension system. The valves you choose can determine a lot about the rest of your system, as well as your installation. There are two basic types of valves used. One is manual, the other is electric.

Manual Valves

Manual valves are plumbed with air line and when opened one direction release air to the air spring. When opened the other direction they release the air from the spring back into the atmosphere. Most manual valves accept 1/4" airline, though you can find them to accept larger sizes. The advantage to manual valves is that they require no additional wiring to operate. The disadvantage is that they are typically slower than electric valves and require you to plumb your airline directly to your switches.

Below you will find manual valves from several different manufacturers.

Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
Component: Paddle Switch (ARV3000)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $40
Pros: USDM Component
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Very Low Flow
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: ??
Connection: ??
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: ??
Commentary: Overpriced and underperforming.


Manufacturer: Airlift
Component: Paddle Valve Switch (21703)
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $15
Pros: USDM Component
Price
Cons: Low Pressure
Very Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Air...h-p-16597.html
Orifice: ??
Connection: ??
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: ??
Commentary: Decent pricing, but they do not offer very much performance. Only get these if you have to get the job done now and have no other options.

Manufacturer: Master Image Customs
Component: Manual Air Valves
Website: http://www.masterimagecustoms.com
Retail Price: $30-85
Pros: USDM Component
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.masterimagecustoms.com/store/manualav.html
Orifice: ??
Connection: 1/8"-3/8"
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: ??
Commentary: Over priced and underperforming.

Electric Valves

Electric valves have become the most popular choice for pneumatic suspension aficionados in recent years. And over the last 6-8 years there have been a lot more options introduced into the market. With the popularity of electric valves increasing, and a wider array of options, prices have dropped as well. When first used on pneumatic suspensions buy customizers, electric valves were sourced from industrial applications. While many crossover industrial valves are still amongst the most popular in the industry, today valves are being designed specifically for custom automotive pneumatic suspension systems.

The first thing you must determine when choosing an electric valve is what size valve you would like to run. 3/8" and 1/2" are the two most popular sizes, though both smaller and larger valves are available. As with anything else in pneumatic suspension, the larger the orifice, the greater the flow, the faster the suspension.

The next thing you must determine is whether you want a two way or three way valve. A two way valve is a simple on/off assembly. When using two way valves you must have one valve to fill, and one valve to exhaust the air. When using a three way valve, only a single valve is required to perform both operations. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. You should really perform your own research and decide which application is right for you. Most custom suspension builders today prefer to use two way valves.

I will not get into actual valve design. This post has become long enough without delving into information that most casual pneumatic suspension enthusiasts either wouldn't understand, or really do not care to.

With that, let's take a look at what's out there.

3/8" Two Way Valves

Manufacturer: Airlift
Component: 3/8" Chrome 300 PSI
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $60
Pros: High Pressure
Looks
Cons: Low Flow
Price
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Eas...t-p-16588.html
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1849
Orifice: 3/8"
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 2.8
PSI Rating: 300
Commentary: Though they do not list a manufacturer, I am sure this valve is manufactured by another company. Most likely a Chinese company in order for Airlift to keep their costs down. These replaced Airlift's old valves commonly called "Bad Boy." I do not have enough experience with these to comment on their performance.


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" / 10mm Orifice (VXD2130-03)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $32
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Industry Standard
Price
Cons: Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/SMC...s-p-19559.html
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1849
Orifice: 10mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 2.4
PSI Rating: 217 (102 Differential)
Commentary: These valves quickly became the industry standard for 3/8" valves when they hit the street in the late 90s. The reliable performance and low cost of the valves made them a favorite. Though claims of higher pressure handling quickly hurt the valves reputation among those looking to build the fastest of pneumatic suspension systems. The valves have since settled into their place as THE valve to have for low cost, low pressure systems.

Though the maximum pressure rating is listed as 217 psi, the maximum pressure differential is only 102 psi. That means the pressure on one side of the valve can not exceed the pressure on the other side of the valve by more than 102 psi. My personal experience with the valve has shown them safe to operate at up to 175 psi in pneumatic suspension applications.


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" / 15mm Orifice (VXD2140-03)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: Moderate Pressure
High Flow
Cons: Availability
Price
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: 15mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 5.0
PSI Rating: 217 (145 Differential)
Commentary: Similar to the other 3/8" valve from SMC, but with the same orifice as you would find in the 1/2" SMC valve. These valves were fairly popular several years ago, but as new valves emerged they fell by the wayside. They are still available from industrial suppliers, but very few suspension suppliers carry them any more. These valves typically handles slightly more pressure than their 10mm counterparts.

If anyone knows of an online retailer for these, let me know so I can add the information.


Manufacturer: Parker Hannifin
Component: Skinner 7000 Series 3/8" / 5/8" Orifice (73218BN3TN00)
Website: http://www.parker.com/skinner
Retail Price: $50
Pros: Moderate Flow
High Pressure Pressure
Reliability
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1756
Orifice: 5/8"
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 3.0
PSI Rating: 300 (150 Differential)
Commentary: While Parker themselves do not list a maximum pressure in their catalogue, retailers list the burst pressure of these valves at 300 psi. I can personally attest to the high pressure reliability of the 7000 series Parker Hannifin Skinner valves. These are probably some of the best performing, most reliable valves on the market. However, the performance and reliability come with a higher price tag as well.


Manufacturer: Herion / Blitzluft Jr.
Component: 82410 Series 3/8" / 10mm Orifice (8241100)
Website: http://www.herionusa.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Moderate Flow
Cons: Price
Availability
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: 10mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 3.6
PSI Rating: 230 (?? Differential)
Commentary: I don't have much experience with the Herion/Blitzluft valves, but the specs are respectable. It is my understanding the Blitzluft valves from FBI and the Herion valves are one in the same. If anyone knows of an online retailer for these, let me know so I can add the information.


Manufacturer: ODE
Component: 21W Series 3/8" / 1/2" Orifice (21WN3K0B130)
Website: http://www.http://www.ode.it/ode/Home?lang=_L1.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: High Pressure
Moderate Flow
Cons: Availability
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: 1/2"
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 4.1
PSI Rating: 350 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves were popular for a short time around 2002-2003. Finding them now from regular pneumatic suspension dealers can be difficult. If you are interested in these valves, your best bet is an industrial supplier.


Manufacturer: GC Valves
Component: GC 250 Xtreme 3/8"
Website: http://www.http://www.xtremevalves.com
Retail Price: $35
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Price
Cons: Unknown Flow
Fairly New to this Market
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/GC_250_PSI__3-8.php
Orifice: ??
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: 250 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves began hitting the scene around 2002, and were first given nation-wide recognition by Iaccino Fabrication (IF Customs). Though they seem to perform well, not much can be said for their longjevity, yet. The 250 is the lowest series of valve offered by GC in an automotive application. They have valves rated all the way up to 800 psi. However, not even the manufacturer has information on the web related to the actual valve specifications.


1/2" Two Way Valves

Manufacturer: Airlift
Component: 1/2" Chrome 300 PSI
Website: http://www.easystreetair.com
Retail Price: $85
Pros: High Pressure
Looks
High Flow
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Eas...t-p-16589.html
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1861
Orifice: 1/2"
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 5.5
PSI Rating: 300
Commentary: Though they do not list a manufacturer, I am sure this valve is manufactured by another company. Most likely a Chinese company in order for Airlift to keep their costs down. These replaced Airlift's old valves commonly called "Bad Boy." I do not have enough experience with these to comment on their performance.


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 1/2" / 15mm Orifice (VXD2140-04)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $55
Pros: Moderate Pressure
High Flow
Price
Industry Standard
Cons: Higher Flowing Valves Available
Higher Pressure Valves Available
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/SMC...s-p-19560.html
http://www.suicidedoors.com/SMC_1-2_Valve.php
Orifice: 15mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 5.5
PSI Rating: 217 (145 Differential)
Commentary: This valve is very similar to the 3/8" valve with the 15mm orifice. It handles the same pressure, but has better flow characteristics. This valve emerged on to the custom pneumatic suspension scene at the same time as the 3/8" counterpart. The valves flowed well, but when put to the test could fail under pressures greater than their listed ratings.

These are still very capable valves. They work best in applications where you plan to use only compressors, and no type of compressed gas. They are hard to beat at lower pressures, especially for the price.


Manufacturer: Parker Hannifin
Component: Skinner 7000 Series 1/2" / 5/8" Orifice (73218BN4UN00)
Website: http://www.parker.com/skinner
Retail Price: $70
Pros: Moderate Flow
High Pressure
Reliability
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/Par...e-p-19561.html
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1757
Orifice: 5/8"
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 4.0
PSI Rating: 300 (150 Differential)
Commentary: While Parker themselves do not list a maximum pressure in their catalogue, retailers list the burst pressure of these valves at 300 psi. I can personally attest to the high pressure reliability of the 7000 series Parker Hannifin Skinner valves. While they do not have the highest flow rating of the 1/2" valves availability, they can handle pressure.

These are the valves that were used to test the very first set of prototype Slam Specialties air bags on a working truck. The valve eventually locked open at close to 600 psi.


Manufacturer: Herion / Blitzluft
Component: 82410 Series 1/2" / 12mm Orifice (8241200)
Website: http://www.herionusa.com
Retail Price: $40
Pros: Moderate Pressure
High Flow
Price
Cons: Higher Flow Valves Available
Higher Pressure Valves Available
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=4015
Orifice: 12mm
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 4.6
PSI Rating: 230 (?? Differential)
Commentary: I don't have much experience with the Herion/Blitzluft valves, but the specs are respectable. It is my understanding the Blitzluft valves from FBI and the Herion valves are one in the same.


Manufacturer: Herion / Blitzluft 580
Component: 85310 Series 1/2" / 12mm Orifice (8531200)
Website: http://www.herionusa.com
Retail Price: $120
Pros: High Pressure
High Flow
Cons: Price
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=4014
Orifice: 12mm
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 5.3
PSI Rating: 580 (?? Differential)
Commentary: I don't have much experience with the Herion/Blitzluft valves, but the specs are respectable. It is my understanding the Blitzluft valves from FBI and the Herion valves are one in the same.


Manufacturer: ODE
Component: 21W Series 1/2" / 1/2" Orifice (21WN4K0B130)
Website: http://www.http://www.ode.it/ode/Home?lang=_L1.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: High Pressure
High Flow
Cons: Availability
Online Retailer: http://www.streetbeatcustoms.com/airva13514w.html
Orifice: 1/2"
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 4.8
PSI Rating: 350 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves were popular for a short time around 2002-2003. Finding them now from regular pneumatic suspension dealers can be difficult. If you are interested in these valves, your best bet is an industrial supplier.


Manufacturer: GC Valves
Component: GC 250 Xtreme 1/2"
Website: http://www.http://www.xtremevalves.com
Retail Price: $35
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Price
Cons: Unknown Flow
Fairly New to this Market
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/GC_250_PSI_1-2.php
Orifice: ??
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: 250 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves began hitting the scene around 2002, and were first given nation-wide recognition by Iaccino Fabrication (IF Customs). Though they seem to perform well, not much can be said for their longjevity, yet. The 250 is the lowest series of valve offered by GC in an automotive application. They have valves rated all the way up to 800 psi. However, not even the manufacturer has information on the web related to the actual valve specifications.


Manufacturer: GC Valves
Component: 450 Outlaw Xtreme (Slam Specialties Digital Stealth Valve (1/2"))
Website: http://www.http://www.xtremevalves.com
Retail Price: $78
Pros: High Pressure
Very High Flow
Felxibility
Cons: Price
Fairly New to this Market
Online Retailer: http://www.slamspecialties.com/specs/dsv_spec.html
Orifice: 3/4" / 0.060"
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: 7.1
PSI Rating: 450 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves were introduced a couple of years back through Slam Specialties. As far as I know they are the exclusive distributor, but I may be wrong. The nicest part about these valves is that you can switch between very high flow to very low flow using the same valve. These valves work best with systems using the Digital Stealth Controller from Slam Specialties.


Three Way Valves

Manufacturer: GC Valves
Component: GC 450 Deuce Xtreme 1/2"
Website: http://www.http://www.xtremevalves.com
Retail Price: $125
Pros: High Pressure
High Flow
Installation
Cons: Price
Fairly New to this Market
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/GC_3-Way..._Valve_1-2.php
Orifice: 3/4"
Connection: 1/2" FNPT
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: 450 (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves are similar to the GC 450 Xtreme valves, except that they are a 3 way valve. Incorporating two solenoids into a single, easy to install valve body makes thses a great option for people looking for high speed out of a 3 way valve system. 3/8" options are also available.


Manufacturer: Air Ride Technologies
Component: Big Red (ARV7000)
Website: http://www.ridetech.com
Retail Price: $199
Pros: USDM Component
Reliability
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Online Retailer: http://www.innovativeairsuspension.c...on=show_detail
Orifice: ??
Connection: 3/8" FNTP
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: ??
Commentary: Though these valves are pretty high priced and don't handle a lot of pressure they perform very well. Probably the most reliable valve on the market today. These have been a favorite among hot rodders and high end builders since they were introduced.


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" (3320-30
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $110
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Cons: Price
Low Pressure
Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.coolcars.org/air/Detailed/30-3320.htm
Orifice: ??
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: ??
PSI Rating: ?? (?? Differential)
Commentary: These valves aren't very widely available. They offer convenience of installation, but that is really where their advantages end.



Controllers

Controllers are the method by which you interface with your pneumatic suspension system. There are several different methods to use, and some of your choices will be limited by what other components you have chosen to use. For instance if you choose to control your pneumatic suspension manually, your toggle switches and your valve component are one in the same. Since we have already addressed these manual controllers, I will focus on electronic controllers used in conjunction with electronic solenoid valves.

When choosing a method to control your pneumatic suspension your options are nearly endless. Everything from inexpensive pre-packaged switch boxes all the way up to full custom digital control systems costing thousands of dollars to implement. An optional addition to many control systems is remote control. Rather than try to address every single option out there, I will focus on the most common and readily available. And the best place to start is the most basic.

Electronic Controllers

Manufacturer: Varies
Component: 3 Prong Momentary On-Off-On Toggle Switch
Website: Varies
Retail Price: $5
Pros: Mounting Options
Price
Cons: Installation
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/Toggle_Switch.php
Commentary: The nice part about individual momentary on-off-on switches is that you can literally mount them anywhere. Buying these parts separately allows you to design your own switch box, or mount them discretely in existing interior panels. A 3 prong switch is used to control 2 valves. Typically used to activate the fill valve for a single bag in one position and the dump valve for that bag in the other position.


Manufacturer: Varies
Component: 6 Prong Momentary On-Off-On Toggle Switch
Website: Varies
Retail Price: $8
Pros: Mounting Options
Price
Cons: Installation
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/6_Prong_Toggle_Switch.php
Commentary: The nice part about individual momentary on-off-on switches is that you can literally mount them anywhere. Buying these parts separately allows you to design your own switch box, or mount them discretely in existing interior panels. A 6 prong switch is used to control 4 valves. Typically used to activate the fill valves for a two bags in one position and the dump valves for those bags in the other position.


Manufacturer: Varies
Component: 12 Prong Momentary On-Off-On Toggle Switch
Website: Varies
Retail Price: $10
Pros: Mounting Options
Price
Cons: Installation
Online Retailer: http://www.suicidedoors.com/12_Prong_Toggle_Switch.php
Commentary: The nice part about individual momentary on-off-on switches is that you can literally mount them anywhere. Buying these parts separately allows you to design your own switch box, or mount them discretely in existing interior panels. A 12 prong switch is used to control 8 valves. Typically used to activate the fill valves for all bags in one position and the dump valves for those bags in the other position (pancake). These can also be used to set up a "see-saw" motion. In one position the fill valves on one side of the vehicle and the dump valves for the other side of the vehicle are energized. In the other position the opposite fill and dump valves are energized.


Manufacturer: Varies (Cheap Overseas Labor)
Component: 10 Switch Plexiglas Box
Website: Varies
Retail Price: $19-$50
Pros: Control
Price
Cons: Reliability
Online Retailer: http://www.fbimini.com/product.asp?idno=3886
Comme
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:39 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. This is a very useful info. for eveyone.


Stickied!
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:38 AM   #3
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Wow RTon ... i don't even have enough time right now to read the whole thing, just wanted to say thanks for posting it up. I'll check it out when i can.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:58 PM   #4
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Very informative and great job, wish I would have had this to read through while doing my research


Thanks for the info
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Old 03-16-2006, 09:17 PM   #5
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Awesome write-up! Kudos to you for taking the time to help everyone out with this information.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:49 PM   #6
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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Great research, this will help a lot.
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:04 PM   #8
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whew, that took a while. i just read through the whole thing. thanks for posting the info
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Definitive Pneumatic Suspension Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTon20s
Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" / 10mm Orifice (VXD2130-03)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $32
Pros: Moderate Pressure
Industry Standard
Price
Cons: Low Flow
Online Retailer: http://www.truckshop.com/catalog/SMC...s-p-19559.html
http://store.gaugemagazine.com/index...OD&ProdID=1849
Orifice: 10mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 2.4
PSI Rating: 217 (102 Differential)
Commentary: These valves quickly became the industry standard for 3/8" valves when they hit the street in the late 90s. The reliable performance and low cost of the valves made them a favorite. Though claims of higher pressure handling quickly hurt the valves reputation among those looking to build the fastest of pneumatic suspension systems. The valves have since settled into their place as THE valve to have for low cost, low pressure systems.

Though the maximum pressure rating is listed as 217 psi, the maximum pressure differential is only 102 psi. That means the pressure on one side of the valve can not exceed the pressure on the other side of the valve by more than 102 psi. My personal experience with the valve has shown them safe to operate at up to 175 psi in pneumatic suspension applications.


Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" / 15mm Orifice (VXD2140-03)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: Moderate Pressure
High Flow
Cons: Availability
Price
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: 15mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 5.0
PSI Rating: 217 (145 Differential)
Commentary: Similar to the other 3/8" valve from SMC, but with the same orifice as you would find in the 1/2" SMC valve. These valves were fairly popular several years ago, but as new valves emerged they fell by the wayside. They are still available from industrial suppliers, but very few suspension suppliers carry them any more. These valves typically handles slightly more pressure than their 10mm counterparts.

If anyone knows of an online retailer for these, let me know so I can add the information.
Suicide Doors and Gravity Werx are SMC dealers.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:15 AM   #10
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thanks i'll be using this info very soon.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Definitive Pneumatic Suspension Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTon20s
Manufacturer: SMC
Component: 3/8" / 15mm Orifice (VXD2140-03)
Website: http://www.smcusa.com
Retail Price: $??
Pros: Moderate Pressure
High Flow
Cons: Availability
Price
Online Retailer: ??
Orifice: 15mm
Connection: 3/8" FNPT
Cv: 5.0
PSI Rating: 217 (145 Differential)
Commentary: Similar to the other 3/8" valve from SMC, but with the same orifice as you would find in the 1/2" SMC valve. These valves were fairly popular several years ago, but as new valves emerged they fell by the wayside. They are still available from industrial suppliers, but very few suspension suppliers carry them any more. These valves typically handles slightly more pressure than their 10mm counterparts.

If anyone knows of an online retailer for these, let me know so I can add the information.
Suicide Doors and Gravity Werx are SMC dealers.
Actually neither Suicide Doors, nor Gravity Werx carries the 3/8" NPT, 15 mm orifice SMC valves. They both sell the 3/8" NPT, 10 mm valves, as stated in the original post.

Very few people sold the 3/8", 15 mm valves even when they were popular. The reason being, there really was no use for them. Even with the higher flow of the 15 mm orifice, if you ran 3/8" airline it could not be optimized. This is why most shops sell the 3/8" valves with a 10 mm orifice and the 1/2" valve with the 15 mm orifice.
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:50 AM   #12
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i purchased everything i needed for my air ride set up from suicide doors those guys are awesome they will work with u and are a big company and know what u need to get u air ride done and save u money. i spent a lil under 2,000.00 dollars for everything and installed it all my self in approx. 2 days. with a few breaks. deff. check these guys out. and wanna say thanks suicide doors.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:36 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the info. I just purchased a 3/8" starter kit and will be buying the Easy Street front and rear kit in the next month. Any tips on the install? This will be our 2nd bagged vehicle.
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:12 AM   #14
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hey if anyone needs any info on putting together a 1 off kinda air system get at me because ive been installing this stuff for years and my currnet project is a 97 ram sst bagged on 22s soon undergoing a stock floor body drop and a blown ls2.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:08 AM   #15
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Very nice RTon20s.. Well put together
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:52 AM   #16
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oh ok thats what duty cycle means.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:16 AM   #17
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wow...information
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:14 PM   #18
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awesome info..... this is my next project for my toaster
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:50 PM   #19
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Bump it from the dead ! its alive ! lol
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:46 PM   #20
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oh nice.. well i will be buying an xb soon and baggin it too but first i gotta sell my bagged s10. but if that dont sell then i will be having to bagged rides. but ill go with my original resources for all my bag parts. but this info was useful thanks
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