Riding on air
Let me start by saying that we dont often get asked to carry out jobs like this, so when we were approached by a customer
who wanted air ride suspension installed on his T5.1 as well as a full interior camper conversion the boys in the
workshop were pretty excited. We all love/drive/build custom cars and vans so jumped at the chance to share our expertise and make their ideas a reality.
Ok so its not the cheapest option out there but in our opinion its the best for all out comfort while driving long
distance, on rough terraine, secluded beaches or even showing off a little in your local asda carpark, it also makes
getting under most height barriers a breeze.
To top it off you can even level up your van if your parked on a hill for a perfect nights sleep! No leveling blocks
The Kit we decided to use was the awesome Acuair E-level air management suspension kit paired up with bilstein based ABP
struts and bags from plush automotive, this kit works together so well and the ride quality is sublime.
So far the customer has travelled all around Spain and France and attended many festivals in their van and are delighted
with the ride, style and practicability of the vehicle.
We had a bit of a challenge as the customer wanted to retain as much interior space as possible and keep their full size
spare wheel so first up was to decide where to mount the hardware required (tank, Compressors, ECU, Valve block etc).
We mounted a seamless 5 gallon tank just forward of the spare wheel carrier
next we mounted the valve block, ecu, and water drain
The twin Viair 444 black compressors were mounted either side just rear of the shock mounts
Next up we ran all the air hoses and wiring to appropriate locations and then installed the front air struts and rear bags. The rear bump stop mounts require modification for the bags to sit correctly, We also fabricated up some front and rear brackets that the e-level sensors mounted to, these allow the van to maintain its ride height automatically regardless of the amount of weight in the van at any time
once we were happy with the layout and installation of all components we fabricated aluminium cover panel for the ecu area and some protective boxes for the compressors to prevent water and dirt ingress. The intake for the compressors was located inside the van so they only pull in clean dry air.
the van looked awesome once completed and although could have gone lower with further mods and different wheel and tyre combo it sat really well and more importantly was how the customer wanted it.
We also custom built an interior for the van that housed hot and cold rear shower system and running water, hob/sink, water heater, full electrics, bbq point, speakers, full leather retrim in a subtle anthracite shade with perforated centres plus lots more.