i wear no pants
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Lou, MO
What I Drive: '11 OBP WRX Sedan
FF Reputation: 104
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (23
Originally Posted by mikebontoft
Nope... pretty sure you broke it.
Originally Posted by Paladin
you broke it. sorry best. but stance isnt my thing. its nice work, but you broke it.
Not sure how much experience you guys have with air. It's far from broke. That is a joke. The car is more poised, more nimble, and all around more comfortable. I sacrificed nothing in going to air and I was on probably the best coilover set up you can do to the GVH Subarus. It was set up for comfort and autox and did a great job on the KW V3s. However it left a lot to be desired. This bridged the gap in every way. I did a lengthy write up on NASIOC comparing all the suspensions I've had. From stock, to budget coils, to high end custom built coils, to the air. It's below in quotes. The thing that people hate on is that I can air the car completely out. Well if I shown pics at my ride height you honestly would have NEVER known it was on air, even if you drove it. I actually did a test on a guy that has AST4100 coilovers locally on his STI. I let him drive my car and he was convinced I had some insane coilover set up.
So I've been asked a few times how does the ride compare to coilovers. Obviously this is subjective. SO TAKE IT FOR WHAT YOU WILL.
I've owned my car since new. It's gone through 4 suspension set ups.
2. ISC N1 Coilovers
3. KW V3s Coilovers (swift springs, MSI camber plates)
4. Airlift V2 air suspension
For the most part everything has stayed the same. It's always had an ALK, pretty much every bushing, endlinks, etc. I've autocrossed on every set up until the V2 (next one is Sept 8th, and I'll be running) and I daily my car, so I have a pretty good feeling of how the car reacts to things.
I will give 4 different catagories: Ride comfortablility, daily drivability, adjustability, track worthyness. I'll rate each set up.
1. Ride comfortability - hands down the Air Lift set up wins here. It's leaps and bounds ahead of everything. Including the KWV3s, which until about 2 months ago I was honestly convinced were the best suspension you could buy for under 3k, and I have no doubt that for coilovers only that is true. But, the Air Lift set up is far better. It soaks things up better, there is less road noise (significantly less), it does not feel like it is shattering your spine when you hit a dip or a bump. I drive about 12.5 miles to and from work every day, and I know my route well, on the KWs I would purposely drive in certain lanes because I knew if I hit a dip it would hurt, no matter the speed. It would send a jolt through the chassis. Not so with the AL (Air Lift) kit, it soaks everything right up. I spent about 3 weeks driving over dips, divets, inperfections in the road to make sure it wasn't just a placebo affect, it wasn't. It literally was the most comfortable suspension I'd ever had in a lowered car. FWIW my pressures are 42F, 58R and 19 clicks of dampening. My KWs were stock front springs, 400lb swifts, 2/3 stiff front and rear and 3 sweeps of rebound. It is still a lowered car and still acts like one, it does scrape if my angles are off and blah blah. The rankings here are:
1. AirLift V2 - awesome comfort A++
2. KW V3 - good comfort B+
3. Stock - meh B-
4. ISC N1 - absolutely garbage F
2. Daily driveability - This is a big factor for me, since my car is a daily driver. I take my kids in it, I use my vehicle. I love my car and bought it to drive. The one thing that I really loved about the KWs was the fact that I knew exactly how they reacted when hitting a bump or a divet. The car would react the EXACT same every time. It was insanely predictable. It was really great. I had a fear that going to air I would lose that. It was actually my 2nd biggest fear in making the leap. That the car wouldn't be stable. I was wrong. I've had the car well into the same speeds I had the KWs and it is the same. It reacts the same at speed and around corners that the KWs do. It is simple to operate, the V2 module has presets, I can do everything I would have done to coils under the car from the comfort of my seat. There is no extra crap I need to do, I have a water trap and yes there is some maintenance with air you need to do monthly. However, I would always clean my KWs once a month anyway because of road grime and so it's no more work than I was already doing. The compressor does come on, but not often, and only if you're airing up and down a lot. I lost little to no trunk space (yes I did lose some) and it's not a huge deal what I did lose. That being said, sometimes it is annoying at 5am when you leave for work to hear the compressor start for 30 seconds, but you do get used to it and I got the larger compressor so it fills quite a bit faster than the base kit. I can take all the turns and on ramps at the same speeds I would have with the KW V3s and so I don't feel like I've sacrificed anything in going to air over traditional coilovers.
1. AirLift V2 - so nice to drive with A
2. KW V3s - characteristics were great A
3. Stock - meh C
4. ISC N1 - made so much noise and was so harsh and crappy F
3. Adjustability - Do I really need to do this one, it's air, I can literally adjust my pressure and put my car at whatever height I want. My drive height is the same as my KW V3 height. The ONLY thing my KWs had over the AL kit is the compression adjustment. I still would prefer for a daily driver to have the height adjustability over compression.
1. AirLift V2 - it's air, it'll do anything A
2. KW V3s - a lot of adjustment for coilovers B+
3. ISC N1 - still just garbage coilovers F (only here because of height and dampening)
4. Stock - meh C
4. Track worthiness - Make no bones about it, my KWs were awesome on an autocross track, absolutely amazing. Honestly it is hard for me to believe that the AL kit will be as good. They made no extra noise, were quiet, responsive, and amazing all the time. Obviously I haven't taken the AL kit to autocross yet (Sept 8th), but I have driven on them long enough to give a decent comparison. They react and respond the same way as KWs, all my entrance and exit speeds on corners I take on a daily basis are the same, I don't feel the need to compensate for the suspension in any way. I will wait to give a full evaluation until that time.
3. Stock - it did it's job, wasn't as good as expected C+
4. ISC N1 - absolutely rubbage, these coils are just garbage, made so much noise after an autocross I was convinced I'd blown them up - F
Overall I love my AirLift kit, after having it on the car I seriously doubt if I'll ever go back to coilovers again. The ability alone to put my car at a suitable height to go over a speed bump and then right back down is incredible. The tech in these has come a long way, it's not just about slamming the car as low as you can go anymore, they're definitely worthy of driving daily, tracking, and being a workhorse as much as coilovers are.
Notes: Between the KW V3s and AL kit nothing changed, same wheels and tires 18x9 Advan RG-D w 265/35/18 Nitto NT05. Same brakes and all.
remember that building a car shouldn’t come from parts it should come from deep inside your soul. let the car speak for all the emotions, memories and experiences youve made and the car will take a life of its own. truth over fame.