Air Lift FAQ

When properly installed, air suspension can provide many years of trouble free service. Today’s technology and materials have allowed even OEM manufactures to offer their cars with air suspension options, while the trucking industry rides millions of miles every year almost exclusively on air. We use similar products and technology to build our suspension kits. In addition, Air Lift torture tests all of its major components in-house on industry exclusive test equipment to ensure every aspect of reliability. And before a new kit hits the streets, we take it to the track and show it no mercy, allowing us to pinpoint any weaknesses. This comprehensive approach along with our unlimited 1 year warranty means you are getting the best made air suspension kits in the industry!

Most certainly yes! While winter does provide some unique challenges to driving, some simple maintenance on your air system can make cold climate motoring a non-event. One thing about being based in Lansing, MI, we see PLENTY of cold, snowy weather! As a matter of fact, there are a few of us that take advantage of the weather to indulge in some …ahem… sideways driving and even ice racing with our bagged cars.

Overall, the only maintenance is to regularly drain the air tank to reduce the amount of water circulating through the system. We offer in-line water traps that can aide in this activity, while also significantly reducing the amount of water that gets in the system in the first place. In any case, draining the system once a month is a good rule of thumb and only takes a minute. For those of us in the northern climates, keeping your system dry is key to trouble-free running in the winter.

Like many things in life…it depends. The biggest factor is the labor rate of your shop. And how custom you want the control system components mounted. A basic installation of most kits will take a competent shop 8-10 hours. For the most part, the suspension components mount just like their OEM counterparts. It is the compressor/tank/manifold/wiring/air line configuration that can alter the time required to install. Do you want a one-of-a-kind trunk kit with polished wood flooring etc? Well, the sky is the limit, or, maybe your wallet…

Slam Series air suspension kits are designed to give you a slammed stance without the harsh ride quality of lowered coils. A Slam Series strut or shock features fixed damping, tuned for that specific vehicle, or our 9-level adjustable damping. In most cases, the struts bolt directly in place of the OEM equipment and come complete with our patented, noise-reducing upper mount for a quiet ride.

Performance Series air suspension kits are the ultimate suspension choice for your ride. All applications feature lightweight monotube shocks/struts with 30-level adjustable damping. Adjustable camber plates are integrated into most struts for perfect alignment or wheel fitment and are engineered with high quality spherical bearing upper mounts**, providing instant damper response and precise steering feel.

Another great feature is that the Performance Series shocks/struts have threaded bodies with adjustable mounts; this allows you to alter the factory set heights to better suit your situation without sacrificing suspension travel. As with the Slam Series kits, Air Lift Performance provides everything needed for easy installation. And while everyone loves the way their car looks laid out on the ground, these Performance Series kits are best enjoyed while in motion! The huge range of damping, mated with our progressive rate air springs, allows you to have a comfortable ride on the highway. And with the twist of the damping knob, you have a track-ready suspension poised to cut a fast lap.

Kits are designed for DIY people to easily and correctly install all the components if they follow our comprehensive instruction manuals. Anyone that can wire a stereo and swap suspension components has the required skills to complete a basic installation in their driveway over a weekend. However, some kits require frame modifications or welding where metal fabrication is necessary. This is NOT an area where a first-timer should learn those skills!

Analog refers to the “old school” systems that use a switch box in the cabin that sends high current DC signal to electrically operated solenoid valves that control air entering and exiting the air springs. The amount of air pressure is controlled by the amount of time the user activates the switch. This technology was/is often found on mini trucks and hot rods because the large valves allow a large volume of air to move quickly.

Manual refers to a system that incorporates four cockpit mounted “paddle valves” that mechanically switch air flow from the tank in-to or out-of the air springs. This cost-effective system has very simple electrical connections, and is the most lightweight of the three types. It also includes two dual-needle air pressure gauges to monitor and set pressures. If simplicity and low cost is high on your list of requirements, this is your system.

Digital management brings to the game a whole level of sophistication and features. As the name suggests, there is an ECU that uses digital intelligence in the form of an algorithm to quickly and accurately move your suspension to the desired setting with no driver involvement besides pressing a button. Our Autopilot V2 system includes a compact manifold unit that contains the ECU, all the valves, and pressure sensors that monitor and activate the suspension, along with an OEM level wiring harness that only requires 3 wires to be connected to the vehicle. The interface for this hardware is a cockpit mounted controller that provides 8 unique user programmable presets. For the most convenience and flexibility, this is the system to have.

In the automotive aftermarket, there are 3 common size air lines: 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”. The most commonly used size tends to be 1/4” because it is the easiest to rout through the vehicle. Some people like the car to move from one position to the next faster than 1/4” can do (based on the flow rate and air spring volume/pressure requirements) so they tend to choose 3/8”. The crowd that likes 1/2” will choose that size because they want the body to spring up very quickly when a valve is activated. Installing ½” lines can be the equivalent of wrestling an anaconda…

A water trap, as the name suggests, is a device that traps water and keeps it from circulating around the air system. Where does the water come from you ask? If you remember your science class in school, air contains a lot of evaporated water, especially on humid days. This water gets squeezed out of the air when it gets compressed into the tank by the compressor. Adding a water trap helps keep this water from entering the manifold where, in winter, it can potentially cause freezing. And if you have a steel air tank, then you can reduce the tendency of the tank to rust on the inside by keeping the water out. Bottom line: a water trap is a good investment for keeping your system dry and functioning in all seasons.

BC Racing FAQ

Our ready to install, out of the box coilover kits provide moderate drop and comfortable ride while still increasing roll resistance and overall handling. Our extreme drop kit gives approximately 1” more drop than our standard kit, and sometimes (but not always) includes stiffer spring rates.

One thing that sets BC Racing apart from our competitors is that we offer custom options with our kits. When spring rates are changed we also valve the damper to match the spring rate. For extreme low we use shorter springs, shorter dampers, or both depending on the build.

Custom springs rates should only be used when you have already experimented with our standard spring rates of if your build requires stiffer spring rates for other reasons such as; certain track conditions, other supporting mods, or aggressive wheel setup in order to minimize rubbing.

Yes, all BC Racing Coilover kits come with 4 coilovers, one for each corner of the car. Not all BC Racing Coilover kits come with top mounts so some kits will require the use of OEM top mounts.

You can go up 2kg or down 2kg in spring rate. Exceeding 2kg in variation requires a damper valving change.

Once you add your coilovers to the cart, navigate to the notes while checking out. In the note section specify your desiered spring rate.

Our standard kits are approximately 1” below OEM ride height at max high, and approximately 2.5-3” below OEM ride height at max low. Extreme drop kits are approximately 2” below OEM ride height at max high, and are approximately 4” below OEM ride height at max low, depending on the coilover kit.

Custom rates should only be used in very specific circumstances such as track only vehicles which have much different weight distribution, very large low tread wear tires, trying to add, or reduce a certain handling characteristic, or for very tight fender to lip fitment.

BC Racing coilover kits are spec’d out of the box for a moderate drop, and just above mid-range damping. These are good all around settings, but are completely adjustable by the end user to support his or her end goal. Pre-load is already set out of the box.

The highest spring rates available will vary depending on the vehicle. The highest spring rate you can receive with BC is 18k. Above that will require Swift Springs upgrade.

BC Racing off-the-shelf kits use 15-20% stiffer springs and 20-30% stiffer damper valving than OEM suspension. The reason for this is our suspension units are shorter to allow for the lowering capability as well as a broad adjustment range.

Lock rings, top nuts, spanner wrenches etc. vary from kit to kit depending on the vehicle. To ensure the right size/spec for your chassis, please text 262-317-9498 or e-mail our sales department at sales@functionwerks.com

End links are generally required when the sway bar mounts to the shock body. The sway bar mounting tab is generally much lower than the OEM mounting tab which requires the use of a shorter end-link. We include end-links in all kits that require them. If we do not include them they are not necessary.

This type of damper gets its name from the single wall pressure tube where the piston and the oil do their thing to create damping force. Since the exterior wall of the damper body is in direct contact with the internal oil, these dampers stay cooler and more effective when pushed hard on track or rough road. Another feature to this design is lighter component weight when compared to other styles, thus reducing the unsprung mass of the suspension. These two benefits are why monotubes can be found on the vast majority of racecars as well as all of Air Lift Performance Series kits.

Custom kits require a 3-6 week lead-time to be built. We are the leader in custom coilover kits and have a very fast turn around time compared to other coilover companies.

BC Racing Coilovers are designed with track use in mind. Off-the-shelf kits are tuned for a happy medium between street and track, but can be customized for heavy track use on a track-prepped vehicle.

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