Air Suspension FAQ
What is the difference between manual and fast bags?
The difference is in the valves. Manual kits use manual pneumatic switches. These switches are slower than electric valves. Manual valves include the gauge, switch, and valve together. This requires the air line to be plumed directly to the switch. The switch assembly would need to be mounted in a place that would allow air to exit the system and all the hoses to be plumed. Air is release direct from the switch.
Electric valves or fast bag valves use electric switches and gauges. The valves can be mounted in any location. The switches and gauges can then be mounted in a suitable location and only need the wires ran from the electric valve. Electric valves can also be used with a remote control, Playstation style controller, or 10-switch pre-wired box allowing for seesaw, all up, all down, etc., with a flip of the switch.
What are air struts or strut bags?
Most front wheel drive cars use McPherson struts. Most struts are a combination shock and coil spring. Air struts are the same except the coil spring has been replaced with an air bag. This allows the McPherson strut equipped car to have the capabilities of the air bag suspension.
Are air bag suspension reliable?
Yes. If installed and maintained properly, an air bag suspension system will last as long as any other suspension component.
I heard strut bags can twist and bust. Is this true?
While it is true that early strut bag systems where not very good, today's air struts are much better. The new air strut systems will turn with the strut assembly and not bind up.
What do the air bags replace?
On most vehicles the air bags completely replace the springs and shocks. Some vehicles can still use their shocks.
What are air cylinders or air rods?
Air cylinders where designed for vehicles that may not have a place large enough to mounts an air bag. Hondas need to use air cylinders because the strut tower is not wide enough to use an air bag.
How is the ride quality?
It depends on your vehicle. If you are using really low profile tires or no shocks, you could have a rough ride. Most ride problems are from not having enough air in the bags. If the ride quality is poor, just put more air in the bag.
Air cylinders will ride rough. If you have air cylinders and are experience a rough ride, install a set of air accumulators. That will help your ride.
What are air accumulators and how do they work?
The problem with air cylinders is that they do not have any give like bags. When you hit a bump the air has no place to go. Air accumulators give the air a place to go. When you hit a bump, the air goes from the cylinder to the accumulator. The air then returns from the accumulator back into the cylinder when you are driving normal. This allows the accumulator to give a smoother ride.
Can I install this kit myself?
Although most do-it-yourselfers can do this, KMW Performance highly recommends that you have a professional shop do the work.
Can you provide installation instructions?
No. These kits are designed to be install by a professional, therefore no instructions are included.
If I try to install this myself, can you provide technical support?
Yes. Although we can provide technical support, keep in mind that it will be limited. There are too many variables for us to provide accurate technical support. That is the number one reason why you should have a professional install them.
Do you do installs?
No. KMW Performance does not have resources to do installations yet.
Do you know where I can have them installed?
Check with body shops, suspension shops, or hot rod shops. Most of these will have experience installing them.
How much modification is needed to install?
It depends on the kit. Air struts and air cylinders are mostly bolt-on. Other brackets will need to be welded on. If you are not sure, please contact us.