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Old 01-28-2008, 08:01 PM   #1
Roland07
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Bag Suspension + Performance: Discuss!

I would go with coil-overs, but all of the coil-over kits I've seen have an adjustment range of "way lower than I want" to "way lower than I think is sane." Plus, it'll be handy for some things to be able to have your Foci "stand up," for deep snow, water, mud, or just curb-hopping.

The opinion on these things seems polarized. Some people swear by it, and some say they hate it (although the latter usually don't give much reason.)

According to carbibles.com, in the Suspension Bible, Audi and BMW have been using bag suspension systems governed by electronic sensors to keep the ride consistent and fight bodyroll/squat and dive in their performance-oriented sedans. Air Ride Technologies offers an aftermarket system with the same capabilities.

I can't imagine why it is a bad idea; replacing steel springs with rubber and gas has got to do wonders for your road noise levels and ride quality. Also, having at a setting that's lowered an inch or two from stock will still achieve the goal of any lowered suspension system; lower center of gravity, proportionally speaking, wider stance.

I don't suppose varying spring rates are an option any more, but the damping of the higher quality units seems to be adjustable.

Bag Suspension + Performance: Discuss!


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Old 01-28-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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Air bags will = dry rot eventually.

Also the extra weight of an air compressor will not exactly be a light and small object. Although I have heard of a kit (not for the focus if I am correct) where each strut tower has its own compressor on top and they are all controlled by a 3 level switch.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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I'm sure there's some rubber treatment you can use to help with the dry rot issue. I might be wrong though. Any thoughts on that one?

The compressor/resivoir/control unit available through Air Ride Technologies weighs in at 27 pounds and is small enough to go in the trunk. It seems to be the highest quality unit I can find.

There seems to be lots of aftermarket support for this kind of mod, but many of them look cheap to me.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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I know on the expensive mercedes air bags inflate on either side of the suspension depending on which way you are turning, thats the car with the V12 engine, it also inflates a side of your seat too, i want to design a system like that one day

I think the reason some people hate coilovers is because of thier cost, they are a little more expensive that some other alternitives. Same with air bags. But i think that adjustment is a good idea for people who use thier car in all diffrent types of driving conditions, especially racing.

I saw an artical once about mustangs, there were five of them racing, three of them had something like 600hp and the other two had something like 400hp, the drivetrains were simular too(same gearing), but the 400hp cars dominated because there suspension was able to transfer the power to the ground a lot better than the 600 hp cars. I dont know what kind of suspension they were using but it proves the importance of the subject.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:26 PM   #5
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Another note: Air Ride Technologies offers the electronic control systems. They do the same thing; stiffen the outside shocks in a turn, and stiffen the front/back when appropriate to maintain a level body on launch and braking.

The whole system is controlled by a little console. I think I'd mount mine in the jewelcase box. Out of the way, and makes a real use of that annoying little thing.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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does it allow you tighten the suspension up if lets say you got 5 guys in the car that all weight over 200lbs, because when that happens my car bottoms out and rubs
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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ok let me chime in here. i have a bagged and body dropped for f150.



and alot of experience with air ride suspensions.

first off...
Quote:
Air bags will = dry rot eventually.
i have had the same air springs since 2001 and they have sat in the yard unprotected on the truck for months at the time without driving and none have dry rotted.

Quote:
Also the extra weight of an air compressor will not exactly be a light and small object.
a good/reliable/low cost air compressor to go with would be viair. they are excellent quality and can run mounted sideways, upside down, or right side up. http://www.viaircorp.com/ one i reccommend is the 480c. and here are the specs on it

• 12-Volt
• Permanent Magnetic Motor
• Duty Cycle: 100% @ 100 PSI, 50% @ 200 PSI
• Max. Working Pressure: 200 PSI
• Amp Draw: 19 Amps
• Min. Ambient Temp: -40° F
• Max. Ambient Temp: 158° F
• Dimensions: 11.50” L x 4.30” W x 6.50” H
• Net Weight: 11.00 lbs.

it weighs 11lbs. they arent heavy by any means. its less than a foot long and less than 4.5 inches wide and only a little over a half a foot tall. so they dont take up much space at all. and this compressor will easily fill a 5 gallon tank in just a few minutes to 200psi.

i would bag my car over coilovers anyday. and i wouldnt use air ride tech. they make good stuff but its not the best and its outrageous priced. visit http://www.suicidedoors.com for any air management needs. they make a completely bolt in kit for your focus with 9 way dampening fully asjustable air struts http://suicidedoors.com/00-04FordFocusComboKit.php this kit drops the front and rear 4 inches from stock and will lift it way higher than stock to get over those big obstacles. dont let people talk you out of it if your interested. when done right with quality parts you will not be dissapointed. my truck rides better than a cadillac and it lays the rocker panels on the asphalt. if you have any questions just ask ill be glad to help.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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The site says it's load-leveling, and it'll keep all the corners of your car the same height for different cargo/passenger loads. The best monitoring/control system is advertised for performance vehicles and heavy vehicles that tow or see a lot of cargo changes.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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does it allow you tighten the suspension up if lets say you got 5 guys in the car that all weight over 200lbs, because when that happens my car bottoms out and rubs
you can lift 5 200lb guys higher than your car sits stock now.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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its load leveling to YOUR specifications. you dont like how low it is tap the switch and pick it up. too high for you? tap the switch and lower it all the way to the ground if you like.
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