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Floating Around Somewhere
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I've stepped into the realm of air suspension on the box,where should I
set the ride height to get the best results from a wheel alignment? Should I be
as close to stock height as possible? Or where the car rides the best during the
work commute? Any possible camber issues - good or bad?
 

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Correct. You set your alignment at ride height. This height can be different for everyone.

These are the criteria you should use to determine ride height (in order of priority):

DRIVABILITY You need to be able to drive the car without issue. This means being able to hit normal bumps in the road without rubbing. It also means enough tire clearance to turn lock to lock without hitting your fenders.

RIDE QUALITY Most air suspension designs will have a "sweet spot" for ride quality. A lot of factors contribute to this, but you'll usually know it when you feel it. And it is a little different for everyone.

LOOKS No one wants to put on an air suspension just to drive around "locked up" at stock height all the time. This is why you see a lot of guys driving around "Cali Style," or "64'd." These terms are referring to raising the front to clear the tires and dropping the rear as low as possible while maintaining drivability.

Usually the "ride height" you choose ends up as a compromise of these three factors. I would definitely give more weight to drivability than anything else though. I mean, if you can't drive it... What's the point?
 

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Floating Around Somewhere
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow -- I haven't had the time to get this thing aligned since the install and it's only been a month and I just took a look at the front tires and their baked. It looks like I went to burnout contest and won. Damm these tires aren't even a year old. Well thats what I get for screwing the pooch and not doing it right after the install. Live and learn I guess.
 

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Yup you can sure rip some rubber off if the alignment isn't right. Set the suspension to the height you intend to drive at normally. Measure the height from the ground to the top of the wheel opening at all 4 wheels (write it down). Take it and have it aligned at this measurement....be sure to check the measurement when the technician thinks it is aligned (it may ahve changed due to his adjustments of the camber and toe in (if it is off reset the height again, remeasure to be sure and have the alignment tech readjust then measure again) ( repeat as needed until the suspension is aligned and the measurements are what you wanted). This might cost more than a regular alignement but it is worth the effort. The tricky part is that in order to be in alignment when driving you must be at the chosen height. The does not mean at the same air pressure. Air pressure varies widely with temperature so it isn't a good indicator. Unless you have something like the Air- Ride technologies Level Pro system that I just installed http://www.airride.com/productinfo/levelpro.asp (was spendy but very nice) if you want to be sure you are driving in alignment I would say you had better keep a measuring tape in the car and measure it every day. Pressure based leveling systems don't really do much for you because they do not account for temperature...they are not much better than your eye and certainly not as good as a measuring stick.
 

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Floating Around Somewhere
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Other than the tire wear, how are you liking your bagged ride? I really want to get it done on my ride!
Funny that you ask. It rides differently or feels differently everyday. If I was to take my wife in it right now she would hate it. Sometime on some roads it's better than the springs I took out, on others it's not. Then the next day it feels different again. If your married or have a girl friend, does she like the ride now that you have lowered yours? Or does she give you the "look" like WTF have you done? I've seen that "look" with just the springs, but now with the bags -- Holy crap -- I'll never hear the end of it. "Your not taking me on any road trip with this thing"!!

But then I'm still in my infancy with this whole air bag thing, and haven't quite sorted it out. I will, but it take me time. If you want a test ride sometime just pm me and we'll hook up. I live right over by Randode.
 

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The air ride I installed on an xB over the weekend rides great once I played with the damping adjustments and got the alignment right. (proper alignment made a VERY BIG difference) Feels about the same as the goldlines that were there before. Ride is very height sensitive. Pressure seems to be of less issue than height in the morning when it is chilly the level pro system places the ride at ride height and the pressures are somewhat low (dense air) later in the day when it is warmer, after resetting the ride height, the ride is the same at ride height but the system pressures are higher (air is less dense). This system is air-lift easy street struts and bags with Air-Ride level Pro controls. At Air-Lift's recommended damper setting of 3 it was quite bouncy, at 9 it was not bouncy but a touch firm, at 6 it seems very good. I will have to play with it a little more there may be a very sweet spot somewhere near 6 on the damper setting. The ride height I am selecting is at roughly %50 of the front struts extension. Changing the rear bag settings doesn't seem to effect the ride as much as the front strut settings.
 

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proper alignment will help your car ride alot nicer if you havent had it aligned at all.

In the short time I rode on Airlift's junk, I noticed their dampeners were very inconsistent but this was also when 90% of their struts were defective out of the box. How they perform now, I couldnt tell you.
 

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My struts seem to be ok but then they only been in there for like 250 miles so far. The Air Ride Tech. leveling system is wokring great.
 

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yeah, there's times to be cheap and times to not be cheap. this time being cheap cost you more money now that you need new tires AND an alignment. The more parts you get for an alignment will allow for a better alignment. i.e. camber bolts/ plates. plates were handy if you have agressive offset rims.
 

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Floating Around Somewhere
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As far as being "cheap" that's not the issue. And everyone "has" a "budget" that they have to work within. It's more like time management and I have alot going on right now and I surely didn't expect the tires to have worn this quickly but they did.
 
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