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Old 04-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
OPEN ROAD TUNING
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Default AirLift Performance GC/GD Performance Air Suspension



The age old question of looks versus handling. It's a question (and debate in most cases) that has plagued the aftermarket community for years. There are so many schools of thought on handling and performance versus looks and styling. Words such as stance and fitment are so overused that it now makes most of us cringe. The majority of us love a well put together car and in that 'well put together car', there is usually some sort of suspension tweaking or altering that has been performed. Before we get ahead of ourselves, we'd like to set something straight on our end. This thread is not meant to push products or sell anything. That is the antithesis of what we're after. We're trying to put to rest the rumors, misconceptions and false truths about air suspension. We also are trying to give a bit of 'insider information' about the progression and evolution that air suspension systems have made over the last decade. While at one point, we would agree that air suspension was more about looks than anything else, that's hardly the case these days. The amount of research, design, technology, etc. that goes into (some) air suspensions is beyond that of your normal coilover suspension. And air suspensions handle as well as, if not better than coilovers. Yes, we said it.

Not long ago, we had the pleasure of spending time with AirLift Company. We took a full tour of their facility as well as spent time going over their 550 AWHP STI which is currently riding on their new Performance air ride system.



AirLift's 05 STI is sporting 9.5" wheels wrapped in 265/35/18 tires with zero stretching. The car was previously on RaceComp KW V3's.




RC KW V3's weighing in at 14.605lbs





AirLift Performance Front Struts weighing in at 11.865lbs

That's a total of 2.74lbs per front corner!



RC KW V3 rears weighing in at 14.450lbs




AirLift Performance Rear Struts weighing in at 12.455lbs

Total weight savings of 1.995lbs per rear corner.

Total combined weight savings: 9.47lbs



Front Camber plates [included with each strut]



Making excellent use of the rear camber plates!

The AirLift Performance Series Struts are built on Custom BC Racing Coilovers. Each set of Performance Series Struts for the Subaru GC/GD platform is both height adjustable via the fully threaded body but is also height adjustable via the air spring. The struts are 30 way dampening adjustable via the adjustment knob on top of each of the struts (the rears have remote adjusters for convenience). Realistically, you could have your car Cadillac plush during the week and canyon carving stiff on the weekends. Another plus of the AirLift struts is that they are not assembled using normal coil spring rates. The struts are revalved specifically for the use of an air spring. This is because air springs do not function like regular metal coil springs. Things such as spring rate, deflection, etc. are much different and must be compensated for when building an air suspension.



Here's the car all back together and on the ground. We had a chance to ride in this car and it was beyond impressive. Probably one of the best handling cars we've ever ridden in!

We welcome any questions, comments, responses, etc. We realize that air suspension is not everybody's cup of tea and we're not here to turn atheists into believers. We're just trying to create a good discussion and help people further their knowledge outside of proverbial box.

If you'd rather speak to someone directly regarding these suspensions, feel free to contact us:

Andrew@openroadtuning.com or Corey@openroadtuning.com

877.404.4264 // www.openroadtuning.com
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Last edited by OPEN ROAD TUNING; 04-08-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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is this in the wrong forum???
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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I don't believe so, sir.

Sending you a PM now.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #5
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Vendor Announcement forum would be more proper. Though you'll get a lot of good questions on these I'm sure. (minus the random "how low can I go?" ones or will I need camber bolts too? Or will this wear my tires out faster? Or should I get an alignment afterwards?...)
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:51 AM   #6
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http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...13339577248903

so this is a slammer suspension setup......or performance????

how can ya have any performance without any suspension travel

or is it just a more 'comfortable' slammer setup than riding around on the bumpstops??

im kinna confused here
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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These are designed for performance and function from what Airlift says. I had the pleasure to see this car in person...WOW is all I can say! I took a ride with them and it can perform yet look great laid out on the ground for meets.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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On the "performance" side of the coin, meaning improved handling, how do you address the aligment changes?
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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yeah..then there's that..how ya gonna adjust toe when you adjust ride height???

it really isnt possible for one suspension to be a slammer AND a performance suspension without being able to adjust the toe at the same time

unless you dont care about buying tires every couple weeks, I guess
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Pretty sure this is for those in the "don't care" category...
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:43 PM   #11
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has BC racing damper... not sure if want.

for the record, i think the scraping along the ground look... looks ridiculous.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
On the "performance" side of the coin, meaning improved handling, how do you address the aligment changes?
The alignment changes are handled various ways. For most people, you setup your car for daily driving and your alignment performed at your daily driving height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
yeah..then there's that..how ya gonna adjust toe when you adjust ride height???

it really isnt possible for one suspension to be a slammer AND a performance suspension without being able to adjust the toe at the same time

unless you dont care about buying tires every couple weeks, I guess
Toe issues are something you will face with any drastic change in suspension geometry. Doesn't matter if it's air ride or coilovers.

This suspension can indeed handle and be one that 'lays out' at the end of the day. It's form and function at it's finest. AirLift took the STI to the track this past weekend and placed 5th out of 60 cars that entered. They also saw 1.4g's out of the STI on full tread street tires. They are working on compiling the video footage so that we can share it with the community.

While I'd like to agree with the tire comment, I can't. I've put close to 100k miles on air suspension across multiple vehicles and haven't noticed excessive tire wear at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
Pretty sure this is for those in the "don't care" category...
Why is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicious_fishes View Post
has BC racing damper... not sure if want.

for the record, i think the scraping along the ground look... looks ridiculous.
That's the beauty of a fully adjustable suspension. You can set it exactly where you want. There is no right or wrong place for the suspension to be set.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #13
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Praxis system was also air bags too.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by strohausii View Post
Praxis system was also air bags too.
now sure many people remember those blast from the past for sure.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPEN ROAD TUNING View Post
The alignment changes are handled various ways. For most people, you setup your car for daily driving and your alignment performed at your daily driving height.
So you're saying that the alignment will only be accurate at one height and any changes in ride height without resetting the alignment are just for the parking lot? How does the suspension return to the exact height that you aligned it to?

Quote:
Toe issues are something you will face with any drastic change in suspension geometry. Doesn't matter if it's air ride or coilovers.
Of course but his point was you can't change the ride height on a coilover at the touch of a button. Love to see some tests showing the accuracy of the alignment after coming back from "laying out".

Last edited by 04furesterXT; 04-11-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
How does the suspension return to the exact height that you aligned it to?
Lot of air setups use programable electronic controllers.

I.e. presets.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #17
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Touting the weight savings yet completely ignoring the fact that you need an air tank and compressor in your trunk for this to work as designed... And if you run air suspension without that you are wasting your time, you might as well run REAL, yep REAL suspension.

Stop trying to push this for what it isn't.

Will the car drive ok? Sure. Can it be slammed? Absolutely. Would I want this if a actually raced my car and drove it how a WRX/STi should be driven? Hell no
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St0k3d View Post
Touting the weight savings yet completely ignoring the fact that you need an air tank and compressor in your trunk for this to work as designed... And if you run air suspension without that you are wasting your time, you might as well run REAL, yep REAL suspension.

Stop trying to push this for what it isn't.

Will the car drive ok? Sure. Can it be slammed? Absolutely. Would I want this if a actually raced my car and drove it how a WRX/STi should be driven? Hell no
Well, it's interesting that you bring up the weight savings as the actual weight savings of the suspension... The compressor, tank, fittings, etc. is sprung weight where as the suspension is unsprung weight. Big difference between the two.

I don't think we're pushing this suspension for what it isn't, not in the least. We're trying to have an educated discussion about the difference between what you call a 'real suspension' and 'air suspension'. It's merely two different views on the matter.

Last weekend AirLift took their STI to Gingerman raceway and put down a track time of 1:43.1 on Toyo 265 full tread street tires. They placed fifth out of sixty cars using 'real suspension'.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
So you're saying that the alignment will only be accurate at one height and any changes in ride height without resetting the alignment are just for the parking lot? How does the suspension return to the exact height that you aligned it to?



Of course but his point was you can't change the ride height on a coilover at the touch of a button. Love to see some tests showing the accuracy of the alignment after coming back from "laying out".
Did you miss these questions?
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #20
OPEN ROAD TUNING
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
Did you miss these questions?
Yes, sorry about that!

So you're saying that the alignment will only be accurate at one height and any changes in ride height without resetting the alignment are just for the parking lot? How does the suspension return to the exact height that you aligned it to?

Correct, the alignment will be most accurate at one height. And, for most people the height that it is aligned at is their normal driving height.

As far as accuracy going from fully aired out to ride height, it's incredibly accurate. Thus, consistency and staying with in your alignment specs is not an issue!
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:42 PM   #21
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Im curious about ride quality. I know you aren't making a kit for my car yet but for future reference... I daily drive me car 99% of the time, it'll see the track the rest. I chose not to do anything to the suspension because I just came from a Camaro with aftermarket racing suspension which with every new piece the ride quality plummeted and Im not looking to repeat those mistakes again (reason I didnt get an sti).

How would you categorize the ride quality of a "performance" air system? Better, worse or the same as stock? I would have three settings, one stock or slightly raised height, one lowered some and one close to slammed. I would daily drive and align the car for the lowered setting. Would it be as stiff as a coilover setting or closer to stock?

Would you recommend getting other suspension pieces to compliment your air system?

To help your consumers and to have some information for skeptics, it may help to put some vibration meters in the car to compare to stock and to the typical race setups.

Thanks for the help. I would hope the work your doing can break through some of the stereotypes the majority seem to have here.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPEN ROAD TUNING View Post
They also saw 1.4g's out of the STI on full tread street tires.

No they didn't.

Also, videos of street racing (like, for example, drifting on a clearly occupied public road) are seriously frowned upon and generally get people banned. Your a vendor, so you're pushing the limits pretty hard there. Just sayin'.



That said, I dig air suspension (and if it can go up, then even better). It's pretty neat stuff.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #23
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bump, still hoping to get my questions answered
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:46 PM   #24
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so how much will this set up cost?
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPEN ROAD TUNING View Post
Last weekend AirLift took their STI to Gingerman raceway and put down a track time of 1:43.1 on Toyo 265 full tread street tires. They placed fifth out of sixty cars using 'real suspension'.
is that good? google indicates a spec miata can go 1:39ish.

Was this nasa tt or just a track day?
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