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Thread: Air ride!

  1. #1
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    Talking Air ride!

    Hello! I suppose this is a rare topic, so I figure I should start documenting my process for anyone else who's dumb enough to spend upward of $3,500 dollars on their $400 car!

    I guess I should start with some context, just so it's up to date and no one gets too confused as to what's happening in this pictures. I bought my first 3gee a year ago, and slammed it, fixed it up, and then drove it into a tree, which led me to deciding that I need to do a frame off restoration and make it the coolest one in my corner of Detroit. So I bought another as a parts car, and did a massive amount of frame swapping all of last year to this year, and figured I should put my restored vehicle on air ride since I'll be daily driving it for every summer for the rest of my life (I mean, if I finish it). But in the meantime, I fixed up my other car because I felt bad for wrecking it, and I'm currently using it as a test bed for my air ride system, so that's the car pictured here.

    With that out of the way, here's the options I considered for Air Ride;
    For management, I looked at;
    Accuair (very expensive, super high quality) Air Lift Performance (good all around, plus their HQ is like ten minutes from my house, but that may not be true for you.) K-Sport (a little lower end, but still kinda' expensive) and Vera Air (very affordable, great way to get bags and save cash)
    And bags, the only ones I know of that fit our cars are;
    K-Sport (a little expensive, but have a sound reputation) and D2 Racing (best price!)

    I chose to combine two companies parts for my setup, Air Lift Performance for the Management ($1500 for; Dual compressor, no bluetooth, 4 gallon-7 port tank, 1/4 inch lines, stealth edition) and D2 Struts ($1820 for all four).

    As of this moment, I only have my management, but I will be buying struts either next week or by the end of this month. So from here on out, Build thread!

    Starting out, I decided I would do a hardline setup, so after some general measurements, I mocked up my setup in Google Sketchup, and hacked that all full of notes so I had a general idea as to what I was getting into.
    -img_20171103_171134109-jpg

    So here's management up on it's arrival, note those dual compressors!
    -img_20171028_164415424-jpg

    I don't know what it's like on a Sedan or hatch, but on the coupe there's a perfect amount of room behind the spare tire that fits both compressors beautifully.
    -img_20171028_182427-jpg

    I then started mocking up a fake floor out of 3/4 inch MDF, the tank fits between the struts perfectly (the key width for building everything behind and around coupe struts is 33", just an FYI)
    -img_20171105_203142635-jpg

    And from there I made a pair of "wings" so I could still have a flat floor that I could lift up in the center to access the spare/ compressors. I should also point out that I'll be wrapping the whole spare tire well as well as the bottom of all the MDF in Sounds Deadening (Nioco, for those interested in the brand)
    -img_20171105_165413856-jpg

    I'll be bolting the carpet between the MDF and actual lines/tank/manifold, but here you can see how flat it all is once it's covered up.
    -img_20171105_204407168-jpg

    So that's the jist of what I have so far in terms of trunk action, I'll be building a housing for three 10" subwoofers to float over the tank, but that's for a different thread
    But there's also this little feature that I'm relatively proud of, since our dashboards are so sparce, there's really not much of way to install the Air controls in a place that appears factory (my goal is to keep this all quite minimal/factory in appearance.) So, in a moment of "well-duh, you dummy" I popped out the coin tray and realized that it-with a little modification- can house the Air lift control box perfectly.

    So by hacking out the front lip and a little of plastic behind the pull down with a dremel, you get this;
    -img_20171105_203102348-jpg
    -img_20171105_203119293-jpg

    And that's all the pictures I'm allowed to attach at the moment! Stay at the edge of your seat for ten minutes while I conjur up the next bit of nonsense!
    Last edited by B0CKS; 11-10-2017 at 05:02 AM.



  2. #2
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    Re: Air ride!

    So, that set of buttons fits in the coin tray near perfectly, and with a little metal bracket behind it to guide the wire and hold the buttons, it'll be perfect.
    -img_20171105_202932321-jpg
    And there's also the very nice feature of visibility, it's easy to reach, and view able between the spokes of the steering wheel! On ya' Honda.
    -img_20171105_203001474-jpg
    And so, I'm currently waiting on more hardware+sound deadening+ free time, so updates will come in spurts, and most likely on Mondays.
    -img_20171105_210322790-jpg

    Stay tuned! That way you can pressure me into finishing this absurd project!

  3. #3
    LX User rushell's Avatar
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    Re: Air ride!

    where u from in detroit i grew up on 6 mile and Gratiot went to denby hi till 10th grade then i moved to lake wales fla in 1987

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    Re: Air ride!

    No way! I'm originally from Lansing- but I'm staying at a place a block off 7 Mile and Livernois!

  5. #5
    LX User rushell's Avatar
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    Re: Air ride!

    my dad lived on joy and livernois im still a michigan fan detroit tigers, lions, pistons ect go blue

  6. #6

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    Re: Air ride!

    Looks like a very cool project. I like how well you're thinking placement through. Any reason you chose MDF for the trunk floor over regular plywood? You could use 1/2" plywood and equivalent strength (especially when wet) for a lot less weight.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else

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    Re: Air ride!

    Because I never think anything all the way the way through , plywood would have made more sense. Although you'd still want to keep it 3/4 of an inch tall, there's a support right behind the fuel pump lids that's exactly that height, so in efforts of keeping it flush, going any lower will add some extra angles and bumps. Just as an FYI! I've been thinking about re-cutting it to add a few updates/keep a few lines, maybe I'll do the switch a little while down the road.

  8. #8

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    Re: Air ride!

    Well hey, the 1/2" is a lot closer than the 1/4" masonite they spec'ed at the factory! LOL. The 1/2" is nice and light and works well for my purposes. Unless you're hauling something really heavy, it's plenty strong.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else

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    Re: Air ride!

    Hahaha, it sure is! I'm happily retiring the wadded piece of cardboard that's been filling my trunk with this project! I'm planning on making a few legs to barely touch down on the spare tire with, so if it does come under load, it'll just rest on rubber.

  10. #10
    LXi User Shane86's Avatar
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    Re: Air ride!

    I had this idea 10 years ago I'm glad it's finally coming true. I also have my tanks installed too instead of air ride it's water ride and when I fill the tanks up it slams the back like I'm in three wheel motion
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -20171111_233208-jpg  

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    Re: Air ride!

    Hahahaha, yeah man! Lol I did the same thing with my Aurora, sat real high in the rear, but that was nothing that 400+ pounds of leftover concrete couldn't fix.
    -img_20170928_162358248-jpg
    -img_20170928_171000608-jpg
    -img_20170928_171019911-jpg
    I mean, I later reverted it, but same concept haha.

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    Re: Air ride!

    Quote Originally Posted by B0CKS View Post
    Hahahaha, yeah man! Lol I did the same thing with my Aurora, sat real high in the rear, but that was nothing that 400+ pounds of leftover concrete couldn't fix.
    -img_20170928_162358248-jpg
    -img_20170928_171000608-jpg
    -img_20170928_171019911-jpg
    I mean, I later reverted it, but same concept haha.
    Hell yea

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    Re: Air ride!

    Bags are for groceries!
    Just kidding. It's your ride, do you. In rural Alabama it's more of a thing to jack a vehicle up rather than bag it, to avoid falling into the perilous depths of potholes. My 3gee is alittle lowered, and i can't get down several roads now without almost framing the car.
    Steven T. White
    FFII/EMT-FR


    "What's my age again? What's my age again?"

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    Re: Air ride!

    Updates! Didn't get a ton done, but here's a quick little recap of this weekend.
    Got the rest of my hardware together for my hardlines, now all I have to do is learn how to bend em!
    -img_20171120_220259454-jpg
    and did a whole bunch of loom wiring, it's the less pretty side of installation, but it still has to be done!
    -img_20171119_165311479-jpg
    I also got the coin tray control buttons permanently (literally) mounted, it feels and looks great.
    -img_20171120_114031932-jpg
    So yeah! I got that wrapped up so I'm clear to start installing the interior on the car this is all going on, and it's looking pretty sharp!
    -img_20171120_220454225-jpg
    -img_20171120_220443572-jpg

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    Re: Air ride!

    you bet! Detroit roads are awful as well, and I did coilovers for awhile and the ability to just lift my car over potholes on the go sounds like a dream! But I understand the sentiment I promise!

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    Re: Air ride!

    Time for an update! Spent all of these past few days working on this, and believe it or not, but I actually made some progress! I finally got around to ordering bags, ($1920 later, I sure hope they fit nice!) and so I really wanted to make a lot of headway on management before they get here, and I think I did! Starting out, my goal was to really concentrate on hardlines, as I don't have any real experience doing tube bending. So I straightened out a few sections of my reel of line and made a first few feeble attempts and eventually found my sea legs and got my first two lines bent!
    -img_20171202_165225-jpg
    Then instantly got very excited and decided to place it in car, and man, I was stunned at how cool I think this looks!
    -img_20171203_112653-jpg
    I had to do a lot of work under the MDF to start getting things sorted, this was a little bit of a bear, but get the compressors mounted, I had to attach a piece of sheet metal to the ribs as a standoff, and then mount the compressors onto the standoff. I had to drill an easy dozen holes, which I felt bad about, but hey, no turning back now.
    -img_20171203_112522-jpg
    I also had to sort out the whole wiring harness (there's actually two, since I have two compressors ) and so I wrote some illegible words to show try and convey the idea of what I did. I'm actually really proud of how it laid out.
    -img_20171202_191129897-jpg
    And so I wrapped up last night with bending the tank>gauge>manifold lines, and they are tentatively going to be last hardlines. There might be one more, but that's TBD.
    -img_20171203_214557236-jpg
    So yeah! Actually made some progress! Next week might have this all wrapped up! (Well, don't hold me to that...)

  17. #17
    LXi User Shane86's Avatar
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    Re: Air ride!

    looks awesome I'm curious of how loud the compressors are going to be

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    Re: Air ride!

    Looks super legit! Nice work!
    Dr_Snooz

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    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 208k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap, nuthin' else

  19. #19
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    Re: Air ride!

    Thanks for staying tuned! It's starting to get there, next weekend could be the big one, we'll see!

    Bags showed up last Wednesday, they look and feel fantastic, can't wait to see how they sit in the wells!
    -img_20171206_180456177-jpg
    -img_20171206_180510126-jpg
    Over the weekend I did a ton of chores this week on the trunk, nothing crazy visible or jarring, but they had to get done nonetheless. I finished up the center piece of the tank, the gauge and its hardlines. They're not totally perfect, but hey, it's my first time around, and there's not any competition yet, so for now, I'm pretty geeked. I then drilled holes through my trunk carpet and gave everything a good test fit!
    -img_20171208_214325681-jpg
    I then installed netting mounts (and netting) from an Olds' Aurora, in replacement of the Christmas trees to hold the trim in place, which meant redrilling eight holes and buying a ton of nuts and bolts. But with eight attachment points I can move the net around wherever I need to not only fit in luggage, but be a constant divider to protect my hardlines.
    -img_20171208_214445406-jpg
    And some stuff also happened down in the well, I can't remember what, but something certainly got done.
    -img_20171208_214753495-jpg
    I also ran my two front lines through the car, they're both tucked under the running board and poke out near the front of the doors then fly up into the inner wheel well trim. I should have taken a picture, but that'll come next week.

    So for now I'm waiting on a few more lines a few more bits of hardware, if they arrive in time we might be giving this a test run soon!

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