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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since I have been getting a ton of air ride questions and have not found a "air ride everything you need to know" thread I will make one

Our cars are fairly easy to bag but most people would rather buy already put together kit, than piece together a kit themselves. Piecing a kit together your self you can buy the most reliable kit, save money, and get exactly what you want. But be prepared to be spending big kahunas $$$$

The management:
This is the brains of the system, Management consist of the air tank(s), compressor(s), Valves, manifolds, controllers, air lines, and relays.

There are different choices when it comes to management:


Manual:
Manual management is really what it sounds like, this set requires you to push the valves your self. The air line runs from the tank to paddle valves which would be located some where close to you in the front cabin. The air line then runs from those paddle valves to each individual bag.

pros:
-extremely simple
-no electrical or digital components
-very inexpensive
-great way to learn a lot about bagging cars
-great for newcomers
-4 corner adjustment
-reliable

cons:
-the air lines have to run through the cabin, if you have a leak that means you have to rip apart your cabin and check 10 different air lines for the leak
-you have a mount a spot for the paddles which is a decent sized square


Analog:
This is the next step after manual system, system is more electrical usual consisting of valves located near the air tank and such, with a controller in the front cabin. There is also a choice when it comes to what kind of valves. You could run single valves, in that case you would need 4 valves so you can control each corner of the car. Accuair VU4 is a great valve manifold that allows you to build off of it later down the road for a more advanced set up. My set up currently is running a VU4 manifold paired to a switch box.

Pros:
-extremely simple
-relatively cheap
-great for newcomers
-4 corner adjustment
-reliable

cons:
-more expensive than the manual management
-have a switch box and its cords running somewhere in the front cabin
-a lot more in your trunk


Accuair Switchspeed:
This is Accuair's Analog management it has 4 corner adjustment, and you can adjust the speed in which the car airs up and airs down. Everything you need comes in the kit.

Pros:
-extremely simple
-relatively cheap
-great for newcomers
-4 corner adjustment
-reliable
-backed by Accuair (phenomenal customer service)

cons:
-more expensive than the manual management
-have a switch box and its cords running somewhere in the front cabin
-a lot more in your trunk

Airlift Auto pilot V2:
This is Airlift's preset leveling system Comes with 8 user controlled and adjusted presets to choice from along with bag pressure gauges built in, all in a nice touch pad. All this comes pre wired and is an easy install.

Pros:
-very advanced
-4 corner adjustment
-height leveling
-8 adjustable presets
-bag pressures displayed
-reliable
-backed by airlift who's name is well known in air ride

cons:
-decently expensive
-have a touch pad and its cords running somewhere in the front cabin
-a lot more in your trunk


Accuair E-Level:
This is Accuair's greatest creation running similar to the switch speed the system using height leveling sensors to adjust the car based on presets in height, the car constantly adjusts the pressures in the bags to keep the car at the preset level height. Its actually incredible advanced and very expensive. More people get into the back of your car, it will adjust the bag pressure to compensate for the extra weight that has been added.

Pros:
-very advanced
-4 corner adjustment
-3 adjustable presets
-height leveling
-reliable
-backed by Accuair (phenomenal customer service)

cons:
-most expensive air set up
-have a touch pad and its cords running somewhere in the front cabin
-a lot more in your trunk
-need to mount the sensors


Gauges:
For most of these minus the Airlift you may choose to run bag pressure gauges or even a tank pressure gauge so you can see the pressures at any time, this also requires you to have 4-5 1/8 air lines running from your trunk to the cabin of the car

Air line

Regular air line
When buying airline 3/8 and 1/4 doesn't matter always make sure it is dot spec, it will hold up way better than a not dot spec one and if its safe for semi truck air brakes it will be safe for our civics.

Hardlines
If your even wondering about hardlines then you really shouldn't need this guide, you should know all about air ride by now. But when doing hardline most people thing you will need compression fittings this is true with harder metals: steel, but if your using a softer metal like aluminum or copper a PTC will work just fine


Compressors:

With compressor's it depends on the size and how quickly you want your tank to be filled up. This quote is taken directly from bagriders Faq section since they are the best at explaining this

Compressors are a bit of a science. You may notice that compressors are rated by duty cycle, which means basically "how long the compressor can run at the specified PSI without stopping to cool down or otherwise rest during a certain time interval, usually 10 minutes". A 400c compressor has a 33% duty cycle at 100psi, which means while filling at or above 100psi, the 400c can run for 3 minutes and 18 seconds (33% of 10 minutes) before needing to cool down for 6 minutes and 42 seconds. To fill from 110-145 psi (the standard pressure cut off), the 400c takes roughly 48 seconds, so it is well within the duty cycle. The 400c is the fastest VIAIR compressor that we sell, outputting 2.54CFM @ 0 psi (scales down becoming slower as pressure in the tank increases), and is often compared to the 444c compressor.

The 444c compressor is slightly slower (roughly 30%) than the 400c, outputting 1.76CFM @ 0spi. It is also marginally larger than the 400c, and also quieter due to its lower CFM output. Since the 444c is larger and slower, it has a duty cycle of 100% @ 100psi and 50% @ 200psi (which should never be the case in an air ride setup). That is to say, the 444c compressor can run continuously at 100psi without having to stop and cool down.

Air Tank(s):

With air tanks bigger is better, the bigger the tank the more air it holds. Running a single 3 gallon did not get me enough air to get the car up to a suitable highway height, in turn I am in the process of switching to a 5 gallon so I can still have plenty of air left when I air up.


Install

When installing bags use thread tape and/or thread sealant on all threaded fittings. Get a spray bottle and fill it with a soapy water solution, if you feel like your having a leak spray the soapy water on the fitting, if bubbles start forming you have a leak. After the install you will need to tune the little areas where you have leaks.


Maintenance:

With air ride there responsibility and maintenance that needs to be done periodically to preserve your set up. If you treat your air ride right, your air ride will work properly.


-Water
A little science lesson here when you compress air you get condensation, where does this go well without a water trap straight to your valves and into your bags. Periodically draining the tank is a necessity. Keep a routine I prefer to drain my tank and water trap every gas station trip where its convenient.

-Water Trap
this is a must have it filters the air running from the tank to your valves. This piece filter that water providing you with a clean running set up and clean valves. ***Cannot stress the importance of having a water trap***

-Cold weather
If you live in a climate that gets near or below freezing every year a good precaution is to add a few caps full of air brake anti freeze into the tank to keep the water thats in the tank from freezing. With this drain the tank periodically and add more anti freeze when you do.



Air struts and bags:

This is where most people stray away from air ride mostly due to the costs of these struts and bags. There are not many options but I will give you all of them and full suspension kits.

There is also two types of bags
-double bellow

image is from bagriders


-sleeve

image is from bagriders




On to the kits

Airlift Peformance:

Airlift performance has proven themselves as the best alternative to coilovers with their cars beating lap times of cars on equal coilovers. These kits were just released this year after our demand for them. With all the history and quality coming from airlift these kits should be incredible. Currently waiting on a review of them from some of our bagged members.

Price for this kit is $2300 (price off bag riders)

Photo coming soon


pros:
waiting for review

cons:
waiting for review



K Sports:

K sport, which are pretty much identical to D2/Air Force, sells their own air struts which consist of a double bellow air strut for the front with the rear running a rear shock and a separate double bellow bag

Price for this kit is $2100 (price off of K sport website)


This is not a photo of the one thats on for our car, this just a generic photo since I cannot seem to find one, If someone finds one can you please let me know



pros:
-basically the same as a coilover
-different struts height adjustment just like coilovers
-very reliable
-full camber adjustment (pillow ball mounts)
-dampening
-the double bellows are more heavy duty compare to the sleeves
-The bellow itself is adjustable, so you can move it to a better clearance.

cons:
-expensive
-double bellows do not allow for wider high offset wheels (if the bellow sits too low)



D2:

D2's, which are pretty much identical to ksport/Air Force, sells their own air struts which consist of a double bellow air strut for the front with the rear running a rear shock and a separate double bellow bag

Price for this kit is $2250 (price off of Accuair website)


This is not a photo of the one thats on for our car, this just a generic photo since I cannot seem to find one, If someone finds one can you please let me know



pros:
-basically the same as a coilover
-different struts height adjustment just like coilovers
-very reliable
-full camber adjustment (pillow ball mounts)
-dampening
-the double bellows are more heavy duty compare to the sleeves
-The bellow itself is adjustable, so you can move it to a better clearance.

cons:
-expensive
-double bellows do not allow for wider high offset wheels (if the bellow sits too low)



Air Force:

Air Force, which are pretty much identical to ksport/D2, sells their own air struts which consist of a double bellow air strut for the front with the rear running a rear shock and a separate double bellow bag

Price for this kit is $2725 (price off of Air Force website)


This is not a photo of the one thats on for our car, this just a generic photo since I cannot seem to find one, If someone finds one can you please let me know



pros:
-basically the same as a coilover
-different struts height adjustment just like coilovers
-very reliable
-full camber adjustment (pillow ball mounts)
-dampening
-the double bellows are more heavy duty compare to the sleeves
-The bellow itself is adjustable, so you can move it to a better clearance.

cons:
-expensive
-double bellows do not allow for wider high offset wheels (if the bellow sits too low)


Airrex:

Airrex air struts are nearly the same as the ksports/D2/Airforce but airrex offers a choice with the front struts of wether you would want double bellows or sleeve so you could run a different size wheel on this one.

Price for this kit is $2350 (price off bag riders)

Photo from bag riders: this is the double bellow front air strut kit




pros:
-basically the same as a coilover
-different struts height adjustment just like coilovers
-very reliable
-full camber adjustment (pillow ball mounts)
-get an option of double bellows or sleeves
-dampening

cons:
-more expensive
-double bellows do not allow for wider high offset wheels


Dorbritz x Monroe:

This kit is a bit more advanced and also a budget kit. If your not looking to start cutting up your car then you should buy a different kit, this requires cutting the rear spring perch a bit to have the fitting fit. The front struts from this kit are built from the airlift universal air strutsThis is also not an all inclusive kit, you buy the air struts separately from the rear bags and then also buy the rear shocks. The rear shocks for this kit are for a 2002 Lincoln town car and these bolt perfectly up to the kit and provide the greatest low and maximum height without stressing the shock. This kit is also designed and built to go extremely low.

Photos from Dorbritz website

Front air struts:


Rear bags:


Rear shock:
Photo from ebay:



Price of the dorbritz front air struts: $1150
price from Dorbritz

Price of the dorbritz rear bags: $250
price from Dorbritz

Price of the Monroe 55961 shocks: 2x $20.99
Price from Advanced Auto parts this has a lifetime warranty

Total price: $1442


pros:
-goes very low (expect frame on the ground)
-sleeve style
-fits very wide wheels
-has mounts for the Accuair E-Level
-cheapest of the suspensions
-rides like a dream
-front air struts have 9 levels of damping
-air struts backed by air lift

cons:
-need to cut the rear spring perch a bit
-needs camber bolts has no camber adjustment



Another option is bag-over-coil:

This set up is if you want to change the spring in your coil to an air bag

Picture is of the Aero Sport from bagriders


price of this set up is around $175 from bagriders

pros:
-great way to transfer to bags if you want to start saving for better air struts

cons:
-needs to be welded
-very large in width so wide wheels could be an issue
-chance of blowing the shocks in the coilovers due to its low nature

Some companies like Ksport, Airrex, D2, and Air Force offer full kits where everything is supplied I do not know much about these kits I am also not going to bash them either, I will provide links to where you can learn more about the kits and what benefits they have.

Links:

Ksport

Airrex

D2 Racing

Air Force



The biggest question I get asked

I don't want to sacrifice trunk space!

You do not need to sacrifice trunk space this is my set up, I have been running it for close to 6 months now will plenty of trunk space it is possible

MY TRUNK

This can also be way more out of the way and I have full use of my spare tire



UPDATE new trunk set up with full access to the spare and a 5 gallon tank rather than a 3 gallon






Now that you have this knowledge head over to bagriders and begin

BAGRIDERS

or if you want Ksport head here

KSPORT

Also don't feel to shy to email Bagrider They are very helpful and they have given me plenty of advice. Hit them up

and They also have a very nice tech section
Check it out here

and more faqs
Right here


Also I have no relation to bagriders, from looking around on the interwebs they have had the best prices for air ride, the biggest stock, and is well known in the air ride community.


Hope this helps guys if you have any questions that are not described in this or have any suggestions on some items I should change let me know :haybunny:


Install tips and Ideas

Best place to run airlines is underneath the car, I know someone ran his air lines through the cabin, but the easiest way is to run them along the fuel lines on the drivers side of the car.

1. To start send the air line from the ptc on the drivers and passenger side dorbritz strut behind the brake line and abs line bracket, this will protect the line against any rubbing issues.

2. (Next is optional but highly recommended) Drill a hole and rivet on a line holder on the engine side of the wheel well

3. Then run the lines to the fuel lines. From the Passenger side following the same steps, run the air line zip tying it to the sway bar across to the fuel lines (MAKE SURE ITS PROTECTED FROM THE EXHAUST, AND HAS CLEARANCE FOR WHEN THE FRAME IS ON THE GROUND).

4. Run both air lines on top of the fuel lines and zip tie them periodically to keep them from falling off.

5. When you hit the fuel tank run them to the drivers side and around till you get to the rear sway bar, the zip tie the lines to the rear sway bar and out the center of where the rear lower arms meet and into the trunk.

PHOTOS

Air line Behind brake line and abs line holder for driver front struts

Rivet for air line holder (please note this is aired out to show how much clearance between steering and air line)





Passenger side



Running along the fuel lines



Air line before running to the trunk





Bulk heads to trunk (how im able to keep my spare)




Members of the 8thcivic community on air and their set ups

If you want to be added to the list just post below what you have and such and Ill add your name and setup

-FR3DFR3DBURG3R1
Dorbritz kit, Accuair VU4 tied to an avs switch box, single 400c, a 5 gallon tank, Copper hardlines, 1/4 airline

-dany08fa
Dorbritz kit, Accuair E-level, dual 400c, a 5 gallon tank, and 3/8 air line

-J4M3S
Custom front struts, custom pretty much eveything, dual 480c, a single 2 gallon tank

-csmith
Dorbritz kit, Airlift v2, dual 400c, and specialty suspensions 4 gallon tank

-lpgray91
Ksport kit, Airlift V2, dual 400c, specialty suspensions 4 gallon tank

-aznjimmy
UAS bags over coil,Dual 444c, Avs Manual Switches with Avs gauge, Custom Hardlines, 4 gallon tank.

-HoustonExGuy
Dorbritz kit, Accuair Vu4, Accuair Switchspeed, 3/8 lines, 5 gallon tank

-Yoshir85
Dorbritz kit, AirLift V2, Dual 400c, 1/4 lines, 5 gallon tank

-SimplyClean
Dorbritz kit, Bagriders Manual Management, Dual 400c, 4 gallon tank

-MichaelFG2
Dorbritz kit, AirLift V2, Dual 444c, 4 Gallon Tank
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
This post is for reviews of the different Air suspension offered for our civic's


AIRLIFT

-First review is from Michael about the new Airlift full kit paired with V2:

MichaelFG2:

Since I have not seen any reviews on the new Air Lift Performance bags available for the 8thGen Civics, I decided I would write up a review for anyone looking to buy a set up. My previous set up was with the Dorbritz designs front and rear bags so I will compare the Air Lift kit to those.



[/url]Untitled by Michael An, on Flickr

Included with the kit:
Fronts:
Front double bellow Struts
Steel braided lines
¼ and 3/8 Fittings

Rears:
Double bellow bags and brackets
Heat Shield
Heat Wrap
Steel Braided Lines
¼ and 3/8 Fittings
Nutsert

Quality:
Quality of everything is nothing less than expected from Airlift and all their experience with Air Suspension. Unlike the Dorbritz kit, Air Lift took into account problems that the 8th Gen Civics have like exhaust clearance, play in the rear bags, lift in the front, etc.

Now I’ll break down the pros and cons of the front and rears.

Front:



[/url]Untitled by Michael An, on Flickr

Pros:
-Double bellow design provides adequate lift of the front end
-Threaded strut design allows for additional height adjustment
-No clunking sounds


Cons:
-Double bellow takes up a lot of space in strut tower
-Camber plates are useless. Any negative camber adjustment will cause bag to touch strut tower
-Lowering the strut too much will cause bag to rub on tire (especially on stock wheels)





Rears:


[/url]Untitled by Michael An, on Flickr

Pros:
-Great design. Nutsert allows bags to be screwed into place and stays in place
-Skinnier bag allows for clearance from sub frame and exhaust
-Heat wrap and heat shield provided to protect from exhaust

Cons:
-Bag may not work with Monroe shocks. There seemed to be too much room between bag and LCA when installing with Monroes so I switched to my BC Racing shocks.



[/url]Untitled by Michael An, on Flickr


Ride quality:
Taking the first test drive, everything felt great. Drove over all bumps I could see and no clunking sounds and the suspension was responsive. Took corners with no problems at all.

Paired with Autopilot V2:
The Air Lift Suspension paired with the Autopilot V2 management worked much better than dorbritz ever did. Presets were consistent and car could lift from aired out to a preset accurately.

Conclusion:

The rear kit from airlift is awesome. Guaranteed clearance and secure design.
The front, however, is a bit troublesome depending on what you want to do. If you’re looking to fit wide wheels, the Air Lift kit could cause some issues with bag clearance. Expect to find camber in other ways than the camber plates because those will cause the bag to rub strut tower.

Tip for installation:
-For the front strut towers, shave off the bolts and plastic fittings in the driver side and the plastic fender lining.
-Don’t try to adjust camber too much with the fronts.
-Lowering the fronts too much can cause bag clearance issues and possibly hitting the axel.
-When installing the nutsert for the rear bags, be careful when drilling. Using the 17/32 head as told by airlift could make the hole too big, causing the nutsert to slip in and out. Try using a 1/2 and griding the hole slowly bigger.
-Always check for clearance! Whether its tire to bag or bag to strut tower, always check for clearance! These double bellow bags and our compact car design sometimes just don’t go together.

Finished Product:

[/url]Untitled by Michael An, on Flickr


Ksport

Pending review

D2

Pending review

AirForce

Pending review

Airrex

Pending review

Dorbritz x Monroe

Pending review

Bag Over Coil

Pending review
 

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Nice write up John!

As far as the rubber used, does it differ depending on what company makes them or is it pretty much all the same grade? I'm currently in contact with a few companies about sponsorships but really not sure which route I want to do yet.

Seeing as you're 6 months in now, have you had ANY issues as far as leaks in hoses or bags?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice write up John!

As far as the rubber used, does it differ depending on what company makes them or is it pretty much all the same grade? I'm currently in contact with a few companies about sponsorships but really not sure which route I want to do yet.

Seeing as you're 6 months in now, have you had ANY issues as far as leaks in hoses or bags?
Also, would you mind posting what sort of tank/line setup would go best for our cars.
Most companies use the same bags, but if you had a choice and money was no issue I would recommend anything air lift, they have been making bags for just about everything since 1949. But I have heard nothing bad about the ksport or airrex bags and struts themselves.

Im going to add this in but a key part when installing bags is to use thread tape on all threaded fittings, also get a spray bottle and fill it with a soapy water solution, if you feel like your having a leak spray the soapy water, if bubbles start forming you have a leak. After the install you will tune little areas where you have leaks and such but after that I have had no leaks at all.

For our cars I am personally using 1/4 airline, a 3gallon tank, and a single 400c compressor (another part I need to add and talk about), the 1/4 works perfectly for our cars, I have yet to see that I would need more flow of air with a 3/8 lines but a good friend of mine, Mikey, is using 3/8 on his bagged fa5. Im currently in the process of switching to a 5 gallon tank due to the 3 gallon just not holding enough air for me to fully air up to highway height without my compressor kicking in.

My recommendation is 1/4 or 3/8 air line a 5 gallon tank and if your baller go dual 400c compressors, if your on a budget go with a single 400c. Management wise I would go with either analog Accuair, Accuair e-level, or Airlift.
 

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i'm on the dorbritz kit with e-level. dorbritz lays frame in the front and tucks rim in the rear. i'm in love with air, now i don't scrape lips or mess up my fenders/wheels… good investment if you're into "fitment"

i'm running 3/8" lines, x2 vair 400 compressors and a 5gal tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great info! :thumbsup:
Thanks man

i'm on the dorbritz kit with e-level. dorbritz lays frame in the front and tucks rim in the rear. i'm in love with air, now i don't scrape lips or mess up my fenders/wheels… good investment if you're into "fitment"

i'm running 3/8" lines, x2 vair 400 compressors and a 5gal tank.
I also just created a members on air section at the bottom of the first post and added you, I love the dorbritz kit. And air is one of those great investments where you just don't look back
 

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yea i wish more off the 8th community were into the stance/bags. i don't think they will sticky this thread just because nobody is interested in bags/stance on this site really...

but before i got bags this thread would have helped me out so much. i did all the learning/researching myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yea i wish more off the 8th community were into the stance/bags. i don't think they will sticky this thread just because nobody is interested in bags/stance on this site really...

but before i got bags this thread would have helped me out so much. i did all the learning/researching myself.

8th community should be more of learning about our cars and different paths to take, I wanted to make this guide cause it will help most people that are deeply interested in bags that either; 1. don't feel like researching them, or 2. Only know of full kits, not put together kits.
 

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haha makes me laugh that you said ksport doesn't go that low. well i guess we'll find out, but good work on building this thread. hopefully i will be on the list of name on top and get to see more trunk setup.

haha here is some teasers for you. :wink:





 

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Discussion Starter #19
haha makes me laugh that you said ksport doesn't go that low. well i guess we'll find out, but good work on building this thread. hopefully i will be on the list of name on top and get to see more trunk setup.

haha here is some teasers for you. :wink:

image


image


image
Just post, everything you have once you put it on and ill add your name,

and I have only "heard" that they don't go that low, I have only seen them in action once, but how the car was set up the lip of the wheel was on fender so it wasn't allowing it to go full frame low. Please let me know if you can frame out and such when you finally put them on so figure out if its actually true or just a rumor.

I love you thank you so much
 

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I believe thats just a rumor. A buddy of mine just got ksport and his 8th lays fram up feont and tucks some rim in the back. So the ksport should go just as low in the front and almost as low if not as low in the rear. I know the rear couldnt go any lower on my dorbritx kit because the reason it cant go any lower is the upper comtrol arms hit frame.

I think ksport struts are nice but the managment sucks i heard. I went woth accuir for management because its top of the line and uses ride height sensors. Comes woth a price though...

I would say the best thing about ksport is its more of a bolt on install then the doebritz kit i got.
 
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