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    Thread: My fear of curb cuts is nearly a thing of the past...

    1. 03-03-2008 08:54 PM #1
      Everybody else is doing it, I thought I post some pictures 'n stuff.

      I was getting sick of driving daily in my pile and having continuous problems with getting over the various curb cuts at my home and office (I can't even park in my own underground parking lot), amongst other things so I decide to try the air route out. I've managed to keep track of all my expenses thus far, I'm sure it will help out others considering going the air ride route. It ended up being quite more than I originally anticipated.

      This is the car I'm working with:


    2. 03-03-2008 09:11 PM #2
      I started off by ordering HPS Premium bags/struts. I've purchased the majority of my stuff from Kevin at ACC. He is local to me and has been extremely helpful

      5 gallon aluminum tank: $100
      SMC water trap: $39
      110/145 PSI pressure switch: $19
      7 switch rocker box: $90

      Viair 400c compressor: $189. After discussion with Kevin, I went with the 400c opposed to the 480c that seem highly popular here. The 400c has faster fill time, 30% cycle (if I remember correctly) vs. 100%. Apparently is known to have less issues and appeared to fit my intended use.

      Air line worked out to about $40. I'm running 3/8" to the front bags (even though the HPS bags come prepped with 1/4" NPT to 1/4" PTC fittings) and 1/4" to the rears.

      Kevin tossed some leads in for my front bags for free

      PTC fittings cost about $5-6 a piece. I'm using PTC fitting from the valves to the bags and between the tank and the water trap. All other fittings I managed to find elsewhere, I'll get to that later.

      Tire valve: $4. A great back-up in case the compressor fails. It will allow me to fill up the air tank using a conventional air pump at a gas station, etc.

      Last edited by dymer; 09-15-2010 at 10:37 AM.

    3. 03-03-2008 09:14 PM #3
      I waited for the HPS stuff to come in before I really did anything.... I panicked when I first saw the rear bags 'cause they looked different compared to picks of other HPS rear I had seen posted online. Looks like I have the Competition rears, they have a bracket that bolts tot he top mount and then to the underside or the rear frame rail. The bottom bolts up exactly like a typical coilover rear perch. Looks like this setup will help avoid some of the issues others are having with bags popping out of position.


    4. 03-03-2008 09:22 PM #4
      Started the trunk enclosure.... Didn't want to make things too complicated so I decided that the majority of the management crap would sit below a false floor with the tank on somewhat of a display above.

      Just used 2x3" lumber to make a frame and 1/4" plywood for the floor. I had to cut the floor into two pieces to fit it in the car, so the half that the tank is mounted to will be fastened to the frame, the half will serve as an access door.

      The rough pieces about to get wrapped:

      The finished product

      View with the access piece missing. My battery is already relocated to the trunk. I made a third piece to fit the bottom of the wheel well where the compressor, valves etc. will mount.


    5. 03-03-2008 09:34 PM #5
      For valves, I was torn between using a manifold block like the one made by ASCO, or going with individual valves. In the end I went with the latter. I like the idea of being able to easily swap out a single valve if necessary (the manifold is built in pairs).

      I bought 8 ASCO 3/8" brass valves. I forget what the cost was off the top of my head (I'll dig up the receipt later).

      For fittings, I actually wandered into an International truck supply place. I figured that if they service 18 wheeler air brakes, it was worth a shot. Ended up picking up the remainder of my brass fittings for about $35. This includes DOT crush fittings of various sizes for the air lines between the tank and the valves, all Ts, adapters and plugs. I didn't bother with PTC fittings between the tank and valves simply because of the added expense and that I figure I won't need to mess with them much after the initial installation.

      I drilled and tapped the 3/8" T so that a 1/8 NPT pressure sender can be installed between valve pairs:


    6. 03-03-2008 09:42 PM #6
      Valve assembly:

      Leader lines for the fronts:

      My original plan was to just mount the water trap directly off the tank, but then I realized that the tank was not tall enough and there would be no room to empty it. My plan is mount it down below. I am going to T off the line after the water trap for the pressure switch and the tank pressure sender. This should keep things a tad cleaner up top and I won't have to bring any wires up above the false floor.


    7. 03-03-2008 09:49 PM #7

    8. 03-03-2008 11:47 PM #8
      nice work,

      i think a few years back i tried buying your old fk cup kit, i ended up buying a new one and now im looking at going to air!


    9. Member CompressionIgnition's Avatar
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      03-04-2008 08:39 PM #9
      Bumping this thread for updates cause I wanna see a local(ish) install go down!!

      Cheers to you buddy, I was gonna buy your edition 1's awhile back.

      Car looks ****ing sick man! Im ape for the Tracers

      "Split your lungs with blood and thunder"

    10. Member Kevin@AAC's Avatar
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      03-04-2008 09:55 PM #10
      lots of good info here!
      *******www.airassisted.com*******
      Your #1 source for Air Suspension products, Open Saturdays 9-3pm EST

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      Its AirRide, it isnt perfect!

    11. 03-04-2008 10:39 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by wishihada18t »
      nice work,

      i think a few years back i tried buying your old fk cup kit, i ended up buying a new one and now im looking at going to air!

      I remember that.... That was some time ago!


      Quote, originally posted by CompressionIgnition »
      I was gonna buy your edition 1's awhile back.

      I was sad to see them go, but I'm extremely happy with what replaced them. I think the Tracers better suit the build


      I took a bit of a step back yesterday.... Took the car in for an emissions test and the tech managed to snap one of the mechanisms on top of my transmission and the head off one of my shifter cables Car is sitting outside my apartment idle until I can get replacement parts.


      Modified by dymer at 10:41 PM 3-4-2008


    12. 03-04-2008 11:08 PM #12
      if you get the air ride you should come down to windsor for border bash, id love to take a good look at the system.

    13. Member Supplicium's Avatar
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      03-06-2008 04:36 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by wishihada18t »
      if you get the air ride you should come down to windsor for border bash, id love to take a good look at the system.

      more info on the bash, i go to windsor quite a bit.


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      03-06-2008 05:45 PM #14
      super sweet

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      03-10-2008 10:06 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by dymer »


      I wanna just wanna tuck him in!


    16. Member Santi's Avatar
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      03-11-2008 03:06 AM #16
      your gonna besitting on the tires in all 4 corners. but it'll look pretty sick. looks good!
      Air by Santi | 561-723-9020 | AirbySanti@Yahoo.com | "It's an up & down kind of business"
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    17. 03-11-2008 07:48 AM #17
      Ya, I expected that... Doesn't really bother me, but I do plan to help the situation by swapping the 225/45 fronts to the back and putting a 205 up front. I still haven't even tested if the 9" front wheel will fit up front without interfering with the new strut.

      Haven't got anything done in the past week othe than fix the transmission. I need to order gauges this week and hope to have everything but the actual bags installed by the end of the upcoming weekend.


    18. 03-11-2008 07:55 AM #18
      Looking good, are those carlines you are rolling on?
      I`m doing the same thing as you with the tapping of the fitting to install the pressure sender.

    19. 03-11-2008 08:16 AM #19
      They're Tracers

      The brass is softer than I expected, it was pretty easy to tap the T


    20. 03-14-2008 08:03 PM #20
      Gauges c/w fittings arrived this afternoon... I was originally going to go with a digital monitoring system, but decided to start off with mechanical gauges. I kinda dig the look of them and figured if I use something like the Pressuryte sytem later on, then the digital monitoring has no real advantage over the mechanical as far as fine tuning to say a preferred ride height, etc.

      I still need 1/8" air line, hopefully I can locate some tomorrow.


    21. 03-15-2008 03:50 PM #21
      Valves ready to go

      Water trap and pressure switch assembled

      Relay

      Blue is ground, fused power from the battery and the other orange wire is the switched power that will come from up front. The two spades left over are for the devices to be powered, I'll end up just using one to run to the pressure switch and then on to the compressor.


    22. Senior Member tchristemac's Avatar
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      03-15-2008 04:30 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by ZakuII »

      I wanna just wanna tuck him in! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/embeer.gif" BORDER="0">



    23. Member CompressionIgnition's Avatar
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      03-15-2008 10:52 PM #23
      Diggin this thread, I have to say alot of my interest in these installs comes from the fact that so much of the supporting components could be jacked from the stores department or a dumpster at my work

      Good luck doode, after seeing comments from Kevin about driving airride in our winters, I cant help but slightly regret my B&G order!!!

      "Split your lungs with blood and thunder"

    24. 03-17-2008 12:06 PM #24

      The white 10ga wire runs from the relay to the pressure switch which in turn powers the compressor.

      The fused orange wire provide power from the battery which is already located in my spare tire well.

      The right side of the terminal strip is used for my switch 12V power. I have one 14ga wire providing switched 12V power from the front of the car to the terminal switch which then controls the relay and provides a 5A fused source for the switch box which controls/powers the valves.

      I used the left side of the terminal strip for grounds (blue).

      I spent a good portion of the day yesterday removing interior bits in order to run the switched power line, the four 1/8" air lines for the gauges and the switch box line from the trunk to the centre console. I have a couple pics on my other computer I'll post later.



    25. Member Kevin@AAC's Avatar
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      03-17-2008 02:38 PM #25
      any updates from the weekend?
      *******www.airassisted.com*******
      Your #1 source for Air Suspension products, Open Saturdays 9-3pm EST

      Instagram = Baggedranger Tag: Airassisted : Fullservice :
      Its AirRide, it isnt perfect!

    26. 03-17-2008 08:15 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by Kevin@AAC »
      any updates from the weekend?

      Pretty much completed the management portion of things to the point where it's just ready to toss in the car and make a couple connections. I need to mount the gauges, run the airlines under the car and install the actual bags themselves.

      I drilled a hole through the centre console near the e-brake and installed a rubber grommet. The switch box line comes through here and sits nicely in that change dish thing that the early MKIVs have.


    27. 03-19-2008 10:09 AM #27
      Last night out of boredom I decided to pull off the faceplate on my stereo, take it apart and paint it black to match the future gauge panel I have yet to fabricate. Turned out pretty well.

      Before

      After

      Kind of a crappy pic of where the switchbox comes out of the console


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      03-19-2008 12:40 PM #28
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      03-19-2008 03:18 PM #29
      Subscribed!
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    30. 03-22-2008 01:51 PM #30
      Bit of an update... Got a full day to work on it yesterday. Started out making a brush aluminum gauge panel and accidentally put a giant scratch down the face was it was nearly completed, so I'll have to make another one. Wasted a couple hours on that one

      Finished up the wiring... Tested all the connections, no problems.

      Decided to start with the rear bags. Quickly discovered that the bracket for the upper mount will did not fit well, both where it bolts to the mount and where is sits against the frame rail. Ended up cutting one side of the bracket off and using a file to widen the track on the mount to get it to sit flush. The large circumference of the upper mount doesn't fit 100% into the space it should as the frame rail bend towards the front of the car. The recess for the OEM mount fits very well.

      Rear right installed. I ended up rotating it after these pics so that the air fitting was on the outside and more accessible.


    31. 03-22-2008 02:00 PM #31
      I then decided to run the lines.... The passenger side was fairly easy. The driver side was a complete pain in the ass. I spent hours trying to find a decent route... The most difficult part for me was finding somewhere to cross the exhaust system. Ended up going up and over the heat shield where the lines came out of the spare tire well near the muffler. It was so tight I couldn't keep them far enough away and I'm still a little concerned about their proximity to the exhaust pipe. It was too tight to wrapped them in hose to better insulate them. I guess I'll just wait and see. I'd love to see where other MKIV owners ran their lines. Wasted an entire afternoon/evening on this... Didn't help I only had the car on jack stands in the garage.

      Installed the tank pressure gauge. The thing is pretty big but I like it. You can see it clearly by peering over your shoulder from the driver's seat. Turned the system on and the compressor fired up as expected, turned off at 145psi. Left the tank under pressure for an hour or two, no leaks. Tested the rear bags, the car appeared to raise/lower just fine.

      Moved to the front, ended up breaking the heads of a couple ratchets trying to get the top strut nut off. Gave up and went out and bought an impact gun, some quick connects and 25' feet of 1/4" air line. Added a quick connect fitting to the air tank. So now I'm running air tools off the car

      That's where I left it. Tomorrow I hope to get the fronts on.




      Modified by dymer at 2:03 PM 3-22-2008


    32. Member Kevin@AAC's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 02:01 PM #32
      be sure to check the distance between the gas filler and the bag. Picture angles can be tricky to tell.
      *******www.airassisted.com*******
      Your #1 source for Air Suspension products, Open Saturdays 9-3pm EST

      Instagram = Baggedranger Tag: Airassisted : Fullservice :
      Its AirRide, it isnt perfect!

    33. 03-22-2008 02:04 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by Kevin@AAC »
      be sure to check the distance between the gas filler and the bag. Picture angles can be tricky to tell.

      Both air lines for the passenger side ran under it, and I wrapped the lines in some 1/2" hose. I'll try and get some better pics tomorrow. You think that will be enough protection?


    34. 03-22-2008 02:06 PM #34
      Other than protecting the lines, I don't really see how you would keep the actual bag away from the filler.... It's even worse on the driver side with the exhaust. The exhaust sits about 1" away.

    35. Member Kevin@AAC's Avatar
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      03-22-2008 02:15 PM #35
      We wrap the exhaust with header tape. So we dont take any chances.
      *******www.airassisted.com*******
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