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    Thread: DIY: Airlift 1000 for Lowered Car (or how to adjust rear height in seconds with coilovers)

    1. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-16-2010 09:10 PM #1
      This is not the usual mod you found out here where being LOWER is the PRIMARY GOAL

      This mod will allow your car to be lowered on spring/coilover while carrying heavy weight in the back (camping trip / towing a trailer / etc...)

      Before this mod, I would always spin the rear perch up max manually when camping, that would take me a good 1/2 hour and sometimes would barely be enough to prevent the tire from rubbing.

      After this mod, it would just be a matter of inflating the tubes to a higher PSI, I haven't tested the airlift 1000 with the trunk full but I can tell already that it will support more weight without rubbing tires.

      So here are few reasons why you would be doing this with your lowered car:

      1- You often carry heavy weight in the trunk
      2- You tow a trailer
      3- You raise your car every winter (with airlift you'll do the job in half the time)
      4- Your suspension is saggy in the rear resulting in rubbing tires, Airlift should make it a little stiffer and prevent that

      Let's get to work !

      1: First thing is to contact the AIRLIFT manufacturer to find out what kit will work with your stance and coilover/springs. You'll have to tell them the inside diameter and height of the coil at ride height (installed as the car sits in the driveway; no additional cargo/passengers): http://www.airliftcompany.com/contact.php
      I got Raceland coilovers, The inner diameter of the spring UNCOMPRESSED is 3.5in and the coil height with the car seating on a flat surface (not jacked) is 3.5in from the top of the perch (cut as shown in the picture below) to the rubber part at the top of the spring. I gave them those measurement and was told to get the Airlift 1000 kit 80754 which needs 5.5 inches in heigh in the compressed spring.

      2: you purchased your kit, next we need to cut the perch to make enough room for the bag inside the compressed spring unless you don't use the perch at all of course (I had to try a few cuts to avoid affecting my stance, the less you cut the higher your car will be at the lowest PSI).




      3: Now we need to insert the bag inside the spring, using your knee, compress the bag and slide in using a stick to force it inside, don't be shy here, you'll have push hard, here is the final result



      4: Drill a hole above the spring to route the air line to the bags



      5: Now connect the airlines to the bags and couplers, it's all explained in the manual and is very easy to do. You also have the option to run the lines separably using two air-valve (without coupler), doing so will isolate the bags resulting in more stable cornering, see comments posted down below for more info.




      6: connect the air line to the inflation valve (choose your favorite spot, I liked this one for being hidden and easy to access). Airlift provide everything, you just need your tools




      7: Test the setup by inflating it (lowest PSI while driving for my airlift kit is 5 and highest is 35, your kit might be different)



      8: Protect the air line with plastic wire loom and zip ties



      9: Enjoy (shown below is airlift @ 35psi)


      and here is the car seating with 5 PSI



      10: If the stance is is ****ed up at the lowest PSI, remove the lower red protector if the perch surface is flat (like the pic below, so it doesn't damage the bag), that way the bag will have more room inside the spring


      Last edited by kilimats; 12-16-2010 at 03:11 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    2. Member
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      10-16-2010 09:37 PM #2
      you crazy man. droppin your rear axle without unclipping your abs sensor cable. just plain dangerous.

      love the ride and the point of functionality that you will not sacrifice.
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    3. Banned gxblade's Avatar
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      10-16-2010 09:39 PM #3
      Cutting racelands and using el cheapo bags has be concerned more than the whole ABS wire issue

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      10-16-2010 09:44 PM #4
      he only cut the rear perches, not the coils themselves. the bags sure look cheap but the company seems legit, and because the springs are still in there the bags are never lifting the whole weight. also if one DID blow because they're linked both sides would go down. not saying it wouldn't be scary as all heck and you might damage your muffler on your way down . . .
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    5. Banned gxblade's Avatar
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      10-16-2010 09:46 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLaughingMan View Post
      he only cut the rear perches, not the coils themselves. the bags sure look cheap but the company seems legit, and because the springs are still in there the bags are never lifting the whole weight. also if one DID blow because they're linked both sides would go down. not saying it wouldn't be scary as all heck and you might damage your muffler on your way down . . .
      I know. I just think this whole concept of seeing how cheap you can accomplish low suspension is not a good idea. There is a point where you start doing stuff so dumb that you are asking for something to happen.

    6. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-16-2010 09:52 PM #6
      Ya, I realized after that the abs cable was stretched, I was lucky this time, lesson learned

      And yes, if one bag fail or if the air lines get ****ed, the car would drop, I don't see how it would damage anything though, just tire rubbing I guess (unless i got a massive trailer behind lol)

      About the bag quality, it is VERY sturdy, no worry there, It will last
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    7. Member White Jetta's Avatar
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      Why don't you take a seat over there
      10-16-2010 10:42 PM #7
      Dude, this is simply an incredibly brilliant idea. And the install of the lines and air valve is as close to an OEM setup as any i've seen
      Sent on a Post-It by way of carrier pigeon

    8. Member Greg_J's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 02:26 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by White Jetta View Post
      Dude, this is simply an incredibly brilliant idea. And the install of the lines and air valve is as close to an OEM setup as any i've seen
      this is needed for wagon owners...

      this is what i had to do with my cupkit if i wanted to carry stuff around without scraping my hitch:

      Quote Originally Posted by ennui_delphian View Post
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      10-17-2010 08:52 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Greg_J View Post
      this is needed for wagon owners...

      this is what i had to do with my cupkit if i wanted to carry stuff around without scraping my hitch:

      this looks like the best way to break a spring i've ever seen. did you put a chunk of aluminum or something in the spring itself to prevent full compression? that must be making all sorts of very localized forces on the spring.
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    10. 10-17-2010 11:44 AM #10
      measurements aired up and down?

    11. 10-17-2010 11:55 AM #11
      This idea seems great, the only thing that worries me is that since both bags are running in the same line, the air might tend to shift from one bag to the other when cornering. Similar to running one valve front just the fronts when doing air ride.

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      10-17-2010 11:57 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Frag View Post
      This idea seems great, the only thing that worries me is that since both bags are running in the same line, the air might tend to shift from one bag to the other when cornering. Similar to running one valve front just the fronts when doing air ride.
      but he's doing this on a solid rear axle. there'd be much less shifting than would occur in the independent front suspension on these cars.
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    13. 10-17-2010 12:01 PM #13
      If there is body roll, there is a tendency for it to happen.

    14. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 12:03 PM #14
      ^ I'll take the measurement today

      About the cornering thing, good point there. the Airlift kit comes with a second valve, so you can keep the air lines separated like shown in the picture below. Here is the other guy setup using OEM springs: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=110896

      I used one airvalve for mine to reduce the inflation/deflation time and ensure both suspension have the exact same psi, maybe not a good idea. I'll contact the manufacture to ask them if what you say is true

      EDIT: got a response from them, here is it

      This can and will certainly happen to some extent; however it is minimal and is not a typical complaint we get or a cause of any issues. It is a matter of personal preference, but unless your load is fairly uneven on a regular basis from right to left I don’t think this change is necessary.


      Last edited by kilimats; 10-18-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    15. 10-17-2010 01:55 PM #15
      **** a measurement. does this lift the car at all? the pictures arent very clear

    16. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 01:57 PM #16
      ^ haha, yes it does. But keep in mind that the idea is to keep the stance the same with a heavy load, not create gaps

      @ 5 psi, i can put one finger in the gap

      @ 35psi, the whole hand as pictured

      I'll take measurements anyway and update first post with better pictures
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    17. 10-17-2010 02:02 PM #17
      word can i use the same **** without perches? it would be cool to use my backseat sometimes.

    18. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 02:04 PM #18
      If you meant taking the screwing perch support off, then yes. That way you could go lower too by grinding the perch even more
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    19. 10-17-2010 02:08 PM #19
      i dont have any of that. i just put the raceland spring in where the oem spring was and lowered my jack.

    20. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 02:11 PM #20
      ^ That should work too i guess, I always thought that running without perch was CRAZY ! but the OEM spring don't use perch so im stupid

      Just make sure to do step #1, contact the manufacture to find out the kit that fit your setup
      Last edited by kilimats; 10-17-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    21. 10-17-2010 02:25 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by kilimats View Post
      ^ That should work too i guess, I always thought that running without perch was CRAZY ! but the OEM spring don't use perch so im stupid
      yeah common sense > vortex knowledge every time.


      Quote Originally Posted by kilimats View Post
      Just make sure to do step #1, contact the manufacture to find out the kit that fit your setup
      however, this time im going to trust the internet and buy the same ones you got. if they dont work im blaming you.

    22. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-17-2010 02:38 PM #22
      ^ blame urself for not following the DIY
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

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      10-17-2010 06:33 PM #23

    24. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-18-2010 08:53 AM #24
      got a response from the manufacture regarding the cornering air pressure issue mentioned above, here is their reply:

      This can and will certainly happen to some extent; however it is minimal and is not a typical complaint we get or a cause of any issues. It is a matter of personal preference, but unless your load is fairly uneven on a regular basis from right to left I don’t think this change is necessary.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    25. 10-18-2010 10:07 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by kilimats View Post
      got a response from the manufacture regarding the cornering air pressure issue mentioned above, here is their reply:
      Just keep a eye on it, if it happens too often or too drastically, you know what to do.

    26. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      10-18-2010 10:42 AM #26
      ^ true enough, I've updated the first post. But I doubt I'll have problems. Our cars don't carry crazy loads even trunk/rack maxed out, should be OK
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    27. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      12-16-2010 03:12 PM #27
      First post updated with more info.

      I swapped my wheel the other day and checked the airlift bag condition, barely any scratches, this thing will last a LONG time

      I also compared the ride comfort at 35psi and 5psi. It definitely makes the rear stiffer, good for achieving perfect stance without rubbing tires
      Last edited by kilimats; 12-16-2010 at 03:18 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

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      08-19-2011 09:39 AM #28
      Im assuming these wont work if i wanted to put them in my ultimos and sit at 23 ftg?
      Quote Originally Posted by ventoCL View Post
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    29. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 10:52 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by DuB fresh View Post
      Im assuming these wont work if i wanted to put them in my ultimos and sit at 23 ftg?
      you' ll find out by doing step 1 on the DIY
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    30. Member jun_1.8T's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 12:28 PM #30
      i really want to do this to my car as i sometimes use it for family trips. i got racelands right now too without the rear perch so i guess i could get the same kit as you. just have a few questions though....do i need to put in the protector peice if i dont have any perches? did it ever leak air on you? and will i have my original stance when it is at its lowest setting of 5psi?

      thanks in advance for the help.

    31. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 02:07 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by jun_1.8T View Post
      i really want to do this to my car as i sometimes use it for family trips. i got racelands right now too without the rear perch so i guess i could get the same kit as you. just have a few questions though....do i need to put in the protector peice if i dont have any perches? did it ever leak air on you? and will i have my original stance when it is at its lowest setting of 5psi?

      thanks in advance for the help.
      If you remove the protector piece within the spring, the bag won't support your car as much when fully inflated, I recall trying without and the car would barely lift when inflating it. Best route for you is to keep the proctector without the perch, that should work pretty good
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    32. Member jun_1.8T's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 02:32 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by kilimats View Post
      If you remove the protector piece within the spring, the bag won't support your car as much when fully inflated, I recall trying without and the car would barely lift when inflating it. Best route for you is to keep the proctector without the perch, that should work pretty good
      thanks...but at 5psi do i keep my original stance?

    33. Moderator kilimats's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 03:24 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by jun_1.8T View Post
      thanks...but at 5psi do i keep my original stance?
      You will if the bag is not too compressed vertically in the spring, with my raceland spring, the airlift bag was not putting pressure on the upper and lower mount while at 5psi. so your stance will just be as low if that's what you worried about
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      Quote Originally Posted by dele
      The guys on coils can pull off their own Airless pride thread cos they clearly are the underdogs in the air/static debate, kinda like the equality movement for women.

    34. Member jun_1.8T's Avatar
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      08-19-2011 05:42 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by kilimats View Post
      You will if the bag is not too compressed vertically in the spring, with my raceland spring, the airlift bag was not putting pressure on the upper and lower mount while at 5psi. so your stance will just be as low if that's what you worried about
      Thanks a lot.

    35. 10-03-2011 10:54 AM #35
      Ordered my set, gonna try this. 80754 is the smallest bag they make (5inx3.5in).
      Thanks!
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