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Old 02-21-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
00redse
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Air suspension progress

Hi All, I just wanted to post up a progress thread of getting the air suspension put into the blue Alero I bought from Richie. It had air suspension at one time, but it was removed and sold/parted before I bought the car. Honestly I'm pretty glad that it WAS removed, because I never would have bought the car when it had the 8-10k price range he wanted with the air ride. That, and I'd much rather do this myself so that I know how everything goes together and works.
I know I know, the car was bought, not built, lol but I'm gonna be doing projects on pretty much every aspect of this car, from this, to the motor/tuning, paint, stereo, etc. As any of you that know me, I tend to never leave things untouched. I don't regret buying this car one bit though.
Quite a few people asked me to post pics as I went along with things on the car, and the work that Richie put into the designing and planning of this car really speaks a lot. As I've been tearing into it, I keep finding cool little things that make me appreciate the car that much more. I'll try to post as many pics as I can, and I'll try to link all from photobucket so as not to suck up the bandwidth around here lol.

So, on to the start of the air suspension. I purchased used a set of easystreet air struts, 8 SMC 1/2" air valves, 2 viair 450 compressors, and a switchbox. These came from a member on gaownsersclub, JordanGT. Cool guy, and has been great to work with so far even when things went poorly. Poorly you say? lol, well let's just say that some of the stuff did not arrive in the best of shape. But all should still be fine, just taking things in stride.
If you've read this far, you're probably wanting some pics, so here we go.

This is where it starts.

I love opening this trunk lol

Start pulling stuff out.

little dusty, but these subs sound amazing

Once the weatherstripping is removed, the fiberglass cover piece can be squeezed and massaged out. Underneath is the speakerbox. I like how the handles were attatched to make it easier to work with.

The amp next to it was broken, but still left installed for looks, and another amp was behind the amprack powering the mids and highs. I took the amp in and got it fixed already, that's why it's sitting there

that's where the "now fixed" amp mounts. holes drilled through the mounting board to hide all the wires.


here's the spare tire well which will house all the valves for the air suspension. Also a pic left down there of some hottie car model with a note on the back. Richie you sly dog, lol I hope you got a piece of that one! hehe.

and another showing where the battery sits in there too. Lotsa wires! between the amps, subs, and all the lights that light up the amps and trunk, it took me a few to figure out just what went where. Adding another 20 to 30 wires in there for all the valves and pressure switches and stuff is gonna be fun.

So now we go in through the backseats and see what we're working with.

There's the other amp that was running the mids and highs. It will be removed shortly. Also you can see the "feet" for the air tank to sit on. This way it sits above the battery and creates space for all the terminals. And like I said, there's a lot of wiring back here.

So we move the amp aside and test fit the compressors.

one sits there, and one on the opposite side. Like a glove. The use of space in this trunk amazes me. Fitting all that goes in here and still making it look good when it's finished from the trunk or through the seats.

And here we have the dash. It didn't have a CD player when I got it, He wanted to keep his, so I bought one from a buddy that owns a shop here, and I was pleasantly surprised that the color scheme on the screen matches EXACTLY with the color scheme of the interior. The blue and the silver match so well, you'd have thought it was made for the car.

It's hard to get a good shot of it because of the glare. Here's another pic. You can see in this one the hole where the dakota digital quad air pressure gauge goes. I'm ordering one of those this weekend.

Love it or hate it, that shift knob stays. I wan't a huge fan of it when I saw pics, but it looks so good in person that it definitely won't be going anywhere.

The steering wheel is now this one instead of the billet one. I like it. I didn't fancy myself a billet steering wheel guy, but I'll bet it looked nice when he had it on there.

So here's the pile of uninstalled parts I'll be working with once the rest of the stuff comes in and gets squared away.

now here you can see one of the front air struts is definitely not looking quite right. There's no coming back for that one. It's fubar'd. Jordan is being a stand up guy about it though, and said he's gonna refund some money towards replacing it.

The switchbox.

Some damage to this as well. This looks like it just got busted in shipping, you can see a couple of the switches that don't line up right. They're broken, and the bottom side of the box is cracked up pretty good too. No biggie. Got another one of those coming too, and I might use the switch extenders off of this one.

The compressors and valves.

One of the leader hoses is broken, but that's getting replaced. Need filters too. They're quieter than I originally expected. Stoked on that. We'll see how it actually sounds when there's 2 of em running in the car though.

So, not a whole lot of install yet, I'm gonna try to fab up a board to sit in the spare tire well to mount the valves to. I'll try to make the wiring and air line as organized as possible.

Haven't decided wether to use regualr air line or braided stainless line for the air... Obviously braided ss lines will be durable and nicer looking, but i'm wondering if the cost outways the benefits. Does anyone have any input on this?

On order is still the replacement air strut, switchbox, and an air tank, plus the dakota digital gauge, and pressure switch, and some assorted stuff for the wiring. Should get the stuff soon. Still waiting on the final quote for everything.

As of now the car sits about like this.

Can't wait to have it sitting about like this though.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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looks good
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Quick question man what kind of wheel hub do u have on there with the momo
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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Good luck with everything brother. Ewww that front struts shaft is completely bent. I have extra parts here at my house. If you need any help or anything, hit me up.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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good to see the car is in good hands. should look sweet once its back on the ground, and not having all the stickers will definitely make it look even better. should put a billet wheel in it agian though.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heineck View Post
Quick question man what kind of wheel hub do u have on there with the momo

I believe it's just a momo hub. Richie put this one on when he sold the billet one. I think I have the box that the hub came in though if you're looking for a part number though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoopidAlero View Post
Good luck with everything brother. Ewww that front struts shaft is completely bent. I have extra parts here at my house. If you need any help or anything, hit me up.

Cool beans man. What kind of extra parts do you have?

and yea, that strut is fubar. Not to worry though. I've got a bunch of stuff on the way from www.kmwperformance.com Vince is a super nice and helpful guy, and their customer service is second to none. I heghly recommend them to anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankTheTank View Post
good to see the car is in good hands. should look sweet once its back on the ground, and not having all the stickers will definitely make it look even better. should put a billet wheel in it agian though.

Thanks. And I'm a pretty big fan of the momo wheel. Since Richie sold off most all the billet stuff, it kinda seems like it would be out of place. All the bezels for the dakota digital gauges are all brushed aluminum, and there's not much polished stuff on the inside.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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If u could pm me the part # thatd be cool
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:11 PM   #8
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MOMO hub k2401

Figued I'd post it here in case anyone else wants to know as well.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:11 PM   #9
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do you know if that hub is compatible with their quick release system...
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:16 PM   #10
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It's a momo hub, and from what I gather, their quick release will work on all of their hubs. But it does make the steering wheel sit about 3" closer to you.

back to the air suspension though lol

My patience is wearing thin lol. My order from KMW is scheduled to be here monday. I went ahead and got some standard air line for now. Vince, from KMW was nice enough to throw in 75ft for free.

I'll still need to go to the Parker Store for some fittings. JaredGT still hasn't gotten my money back to me, but he did assure me it's coming, and he's gonna be throwing in some misc. fittings as well.

Thinking about putting in check valves at each corner before the lift valves just as extra insurance. They're kinda pricey, but I've seen some decent deals for some 1/2" ones.

Also thinking about getting some speed reducers for the dump valves. Not sure how fast it's gonna drop with all 1/2" line and 1/2" valves, and I don't wanna go slamming sown on the AED kit and crack anything. I'm not sure if the lowest point of travel on the air struts is gonna bottom the kit out or not... I don't think it will, but I don't want to find out the hard way.

Tested all my valves today finally, and all went well there. Still working on a clean way to mount them in the spare tire well. Not a lot of room to work with, and I know there's gonna be even less when I have all the air line actually running back there, and the wiring for all the valves, AND the pressure sensors for the Dakota Digital Air Pressure Gauge.

Curious to see how the charging system is gonna handle the 2 compressors and the 2 amps for the stereo. There's an Optima blue top in there now already, but I'm thinking about looking into a high output alternator as well. I've heard stories of h.o. alts not putting out what they should at idle though. Anyone have a reccomendation for a good h.o. alternator?

SoooOOOooo. Monday I'll mount the air tank and compressors, run the air lines to the spare tire well, and see how I'll be able to mount the valves. hopefully I'll also have the time to put the Dakota Digital setup in there too.

Once everything is wired and plumbed, I'll jack the car up and put the air struts in. Then air it all up, move it into the driveway and lay it out. Really looking forward to this. Should be a lot of fun. I already know there's gonna be hiccups and extra trips to the hardware store, the parker store, etc. So I'm not gonna rush things. Gonna make sure I take my time, do everything right the first time, take lots of pics, and not do a monkey job on any of the little details.

oh and Just so all of you know, Easystreet has stopped producing air struts for the n-body. Actually the set I ordered from kmw was the last they had in stock, and they were unable to locate any others. So for anyone else wanting to go air, you're gonna have to fabricate a universal bag setup. Which from talking to someone about it, wouldn't be terribly hard, and you could make it go even lower than the production ones.

Anyways. Can't wait to get the rest of this stuff in and get started.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:35 AM   #11
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Got some goodies today! Too bad the UPS guy came so late and we/ve been getting so much rain here in Phoenix, or I would've actually gotten some work done.

got new front air struts, air tank, dakota digital quad air pressure gauge with senders, pressure switch, leader hose for one of my compressors, switchbox, air line, relays and relay holders.

I have a busy week ahead of me, so tomorow I hope to at least get the tank and compressors in the trunk, and get the compressors wired up.

I need a new alternator, as the one in the car has decided to take a crap on me. I'm looking to get a high output alt from Iraggi, granted it's going to actually benefit the setup. I need to know about the crank pulley diameter and stock idle speed first of all though.

Stoked that everything is coming together though.

on to the pics.








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Old 02-23-2010, 01:37 AM   #12
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nice!
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:57 AM   #13
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can i ask why u switched to a 10switch switchbox from richies 7switch one? they big one is always in the way and doesnt really do anything that the 7switch cant do

edit: NVM i forgot richie stripped the air ride out before he sold it
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:34 AM   #14
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Love that car...
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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I bring you updates

First, We have the compressors intstalled.

The relay for each compressor is just attetched to one of the mounting points for its compressor. Pretty simple to do the relays. I used this diagram for them from airridetalk.com


Next we have the tank with all of it's fittings attatched

On top we have a T with the pressure switch on the right (this tells the compressors when to come on and when to shut off so as not to overfill the tank or let it get empty), and the pressure sending unit for the dakota digital gauge on the left. The Dakota digital gauge will tell me the air pressure of each bag, and the pressure in the tank as well. So you'll see one of those pressure sending units on each of the valve sets as well.

Here we have the tank mounted. This is where it all starts looking like it's supposed to.




Now, some will notice that I'm using push-connect fittings. Thus, I've decided to not do the SS braided air lines. It was going to cost about 350 bucks to do those, and the benefits really didn't outweigh the cost, plus it's a lot easier to connect standard tubing to these than it is to twist the air line on to each valve in the tiny space of the spare tire well. Also, running the ss line like Richie used to have it meant running it inside the car, through the door sills, and there's already enough going through there. Vito from VTKustoms sealed the deal when I asked his opinion on it. He said his s-10 had standard tubing for the 7 year bagged life with no problem. So it was either spend the money for the ss line, PLUS fittings for it, or just use the line that KMW had thrown in for free when I bought the new front struts. The choice became quite simple.

Also... I don't know if I told you all about the bag setup that I'm now going to be using for the rear. And while I was at Vito's place, he pulled out a cutaway of one of the bags. Basically the exact bag I'll be using with half of the bag sut away to show the insides of it. So here it is


As you can see, it's a pretty normal looking bag except for the inside of it. There's basically a metal tube going down the middle of it. This way, it will slide right over a standard mcpherson strut. You must trim a few things on your strut to make the bag sit flush, and then it just slides right on. We will see how easy it actually is once they come in I'm sure it's not gonna be as simple as it seems.

I started looking around to find where else this style of bag is being used, and found that the LX crowd (dodge chargers/magnums/challengers/300's) have been using this with great results. Also the 350z/g35 guys. I found where they're coming from, and just like easystreet, it's cheaper to buy from a distributor than to go right to the source. But for those that want to learn more about this style of bag, go take a look at http://www.universalairsuspension.com/on-road/index.php

and I found a review on one of the 300c forums too http://www.300cforums.com/forums/sus...uspension.html

I also got the valves all ready to go with fittings and the pressure sending units all done up. Didn't snap any pics of those, but I will get some before I install them and during the process of wiring them up too.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:56 PM   #16
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Those are the same bags I have on my front. Not a fan... Takes a lot to fully air up, and doesn't have a lot of travel.

I would just go with the bolt ons.. but eh, your choice
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:53 AM   #17
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i dont see why you would change from a sleeve to a....bellow?
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:04 AM   #18
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This is why

I got a bad rear strut from the guy that sold me the original stuff. So I pretty much had to buy new front easystreets, and since easystreet no longer carrys or produces n-body air struts ( I bought the last front set I could find anywhere) There's no more rears left for sale. These actually go over your strut in place of the spring. These and some KYB AGX's should be sweeter than the easystreets. I've heard a lot of complaints with easystreets and popping sounds. Plus not being able to get replacement ones anymore, this seems like a sweet option. I'll keep you posted on how they work.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:09 AM   #19
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im actually waiting for jeremy to send me my new RMA'd front set from the warehouse ill have them thursday according to him so i dont know what your saying they dont make n-bodies anymore
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:01 PM   #20
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Old one blew out all the strut juice? Who needs strut juice! LOL!

I think my Buick's blown out and pissed that stuff all over on all but one so far. It's a bouncy ride :P
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