Does anyone have an air lift on their TJ?


Steel City 06

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I can definitely say I need it...

Drove for about 2000 freeway miles loaded with a moderate amount of equipment recently. The rear sagged so much I was bottoming out constantly. And I was getting flashed by oncoming drivers because my headlight aim was so off.

And I definitely plan to add more equipment than that...

So I'm very excited to see what kind of difference it makes.


I can definitely say I am glad I ditched the Antirock. The Swayloc makes the ride feel so much more planted at freeway speeds.

The last step in my payload kit will be adjustable shocks. I'll probably go with Fox reservoir shocks with the CD adjusters.
 

jscherb

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Elmira, NY
I've got Airlift 1000 kits in the rear of all 3 of my Jeeps. I first installed them in my pickup to increase load capacity. I regularly haul things in the pickup and needed the extra capacity.

FloridaLoad_zpsn2dxcapv.jpg


They worked so well in the pickup that I next installed them in the LJ. When I've got the RTT on top and the kitchen/fridge in the back plus all the extra gear for an overlanding trip the extra capacity is very helpful.

SafariRTT2.jpg


One thing I recommend is a pressure gauge - a gauge makes it easy to monitor the pressure; also makes it easier when you're filling the bags so you know what pressure you're filling them to. Also if there's a leak and the bags lose pressure they can spin in the springs, twisting and ruining the air hoses so it's good to keep an eye on the pressure.

GaugeInstalled_zpsvoq2xl7t.jpg
 
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Steel City 06

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So did you plumb yours through a tee?
I really like the idea of a built in gage. Wonder if I could get a 4-gage panel...

I'm doing my bag plumbing separately (no tees). Going to have a manifold with all four Schrader valves under the hood.

Doing them separately gives two advantages: reduced body roll and side-to-side control. The biggest disadvantage is likely going to be reduced flex. But I figure if I'm really flexing my Jeep I'm less likely to have it loaded to the maximum.
 

jscherb

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Feb 13, 2020
Messages
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Location
Elmira, NY
So did you plumb yours through a tee?
I really like the idea of a built in gage. Wonder if I could get a 4-gage panel...

I'm doing my bag plumbing separately (no tees). Going to have a manifold with all four Schrader valves under the hood.

Doing them separately gives two advantages: reduced body roll and side-to-side control. The biggest disadvantage is likely going to be reduced flex. But I figure if I'm really flexing my Jeep I'm less likely to have it loaded to the maximum.
On all 3 of my Jeeps both bags (I've only got them in the rear) are plumbed together with a tee. Across the three Jeeps I've put over 250,000 miles on the air bags, both on road and off road, with no loads and with loads like the roof top tent and fridge/kitchen off road, and I've never regretted plumbing them together. I've noticed no ill effects from plumbing them together and never felt the need to level one side differently from the other. At least for my use, plumbing the bags separately would be a lot of extra trouble for no perceptible gain.
 
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Steel City 06

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Got the fronts installed. More difficult because I have to use spring compressors to remove the springs, but again a straightforward install.
20200329_184425.jpg
20200329_184546.jpg

Also got the makeshift manifold completed
20200329_184601.jpg
 

Steel City 06

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To follow up to the airbag install and review, I had a really good chance to load them up the past couple of weeks. At one point, I had a very significant amount of weight on the car plus four adult passengers.

The airbags help greatly. Before the airbags, I would bottom out the rear constantly when loaded at a fraction of what I just did. With the airbags, I did not bottom out at all with the rear bags at 35 PSI and the fronts at 20.

I didn't adjust them during the trip, so when unloaded, it was a noticeably harsher ride, but felt very comfortable when loaded. (The harshness is quickly eliminated by depressurizing the bags.) When properly inflated to a corresponding PSI, the bags give an unloaded feeling ride at any load.

I did not use them to level side to side.


One thing to take note of that I initially did wrong:

If you want to use the full capability of the airbags, they must fill the entire coil spring. In the rear photos above, I left the upper bumpstop extension. This was a mistake I made, and resulted in poorer than expected performance of the airbag.

Upon replacing them with full height bags and deleting the bumpstop extensions, I measured a very significant increase in the restorative force provided by the airbags.

However, this does eliminate the spring retention capabilities of the bumpstop extension, and ultimately relies on the shock to limit travel. The RS5000X shock has a small integral jounce, so I can use that for rare hits. With proper airbag pressures, bottoming out can easily be minimized, even on the most brutal roads. You must also check that the springs will not pop out at full flex or droop. With my short arm Savvy kit and bolt in RS5000X shocks, this is not an issue for me. A mid/long arm with outboarded shocks might be a different story.

Based on my measurements, the rear bags, as a pair, will level for about 300 lbs of gear on the rear axle with the partial height bags. However, the full height bags restore on the order of about 700 lbs of gear in height. Weights were tested directly over the rear axle. In addition, the full height bags have a proportional increase in ride stiffness that reduces the odds of bottoming out.


Since I don't need much leveling capability in the front, I kept those partial height bags.