View Full Version : Air ride VS. Coilover ?????

09-22-2004, 04:10 PM
I was just wondering the pro's and cons of each. How do each perform, reliability, and price of both(parts as well as labour). Can air ride be run in winter? Are there any major drawbacks to either system? Also the legality issue of air ride, is it legal? and if so will my insurance go through the roof?

Any info would be greatly appreciated
Thanx in advance

09-22-2004, 04:26 PM
air ride? wtf
they are two systems for 2 completelly different purposes
air ride is for show only.
coilovers performance and show

cons of the coilover system, you cant lower or raise your car with a flip of a switch

cons of air ride, its expensive, makes your to handle like shit and you lose your trunk space.

09-22-2004, 04:30 PM
That is what i originally thought but I saw this show on speed channel(Autoweek) and they installed an air ride system in a G4 camaro and they were saying it handled a lot btr than stock. They also installed it on an f150 pick up and they were tracking it at higher speeds than they culd with the stock suspension. That is the only reason i am asking, as i was originally playing with the idea of getting coilovers.

09-22-2004, 07:27 PM
Paul if you get air ride suspension I can't be your friend anymore, in fact I might have to kill you, I'm not joking

09-22-2004, 07:32 PM

09-22-2004, 07:33 PM
That doesn't look like air ride :\ but you forgot to add that Air Ride makes you bounc like a mofo...

09-22-2004, 07:59 PM
Well i need something that will alow me to be near stock height for winter but i want to to be low for summer. i never considered air ride before, untill i saw that show and they were saying it gives you performance gains and at the same allowing you to raise and and lower at the touch of a button. So i guess my best bet is coilovers. The only thing i'm worried about is that i will still be too low for winter, because my car still needs to be driven in the winter. Any suggestions?
i'm just trying to evaluate the possibilities and open to any other suggestions or possibilities.

09-22-2004, 08:00 PM
just get coilovers, this thread is closed

09-22-2004, 08:02 PM
but on the highest setting how much lower is it than stock?

09-22-2004, 08:04 PM
some coilovers can give you almost 3" drop, your car would be slammed, Paul just get coilovers, trust me, for me I just want like a 1.5" drop, I can even drive with that height in the winter

09-22-2004, 08:14 PM
Yea i think that sounds like the best idea
thanks clarence

09-22-2004, 08:39 PM
no problem Paul
I'm still waiting for that guy Frank to respond, those FK coilovers he was advertising were dirt cheap

09-22-2004, 09:30 PM
air rides are sick!

09-22-2004, 09:37 PM
only for show, but for performance value there isn't any, actaully handling sucks with air ride suspension

09-22-2004, 09:40 PM
You guys have no idea what he is asking about. It's not the air ride seen in shows.

It's a system like the Bridgestone Praxis, see more info here: http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/suspension.jsp?make=Praxis&model=Adaptive+Perf+Susp+Sys&group=Adaptive+Perf+Susp+Sys

The general consensus I've seen with the system installed on Subies is that they ride extremely uncomfortably and are a nightmare to have installed properly. Once on, they rock on the track, but it doesn't sound like you live on a track anyways.

Get coilovers and learn how to use a wrench. It literally takes me 15 mins to adjust the height of my car all around.

09-22-2004, 09:42 PM
its not like he's turning his car into a track car ... and its not like you lose your handling by 12904124%. He'll still beable to turn on high speeds and plus how many 5 series you know that have air rides? Personally, I think you should go for it. Try something new. BMW owners are always doing the same old boring thing.

09-22-2004, 09:53 PM
Kal I'm not sure if you driven a car with air ride suspension very hard, there is a big difference in handling, the 540 doesn't handle that well as is already, putting the air ride on it would make it worse

09-22-2004, 09:57 PM
540 doesn't handle well? Damn, i have been hearing wrong for a long time lol. I thought the handling was still pretty decent for a big car.

09-22-2004, 09:59 PM
well yeah, it does handle well for a big car, but why make it worse when you can make it better right

09-22-2004, 10:02 PM
Have you read what I posted yet? The car will handle much, much better with such a system.

09-22-2004, 10:07 PM
I guess what i saw on TV was what Jay was talking about.
But Jay can you still lower and raise it at a flick of a switch?
and how expenesive is such a system?

09-22-2004, 10:09 PM
sorry Jay for some reason I didn't see your post, but I would still not get this type of system, MB has been using this kind of systems for years now, it has been nothing but trouble, don't know if the system you posted is that good or not

09-22-2004, 10:19 PM
I guess what i saw on TV was what Jay was talking about.
But Jay can you still lower and raise it at a flick of a switch?
and how expenesive is such a system?

It costs $4k USD, and it's highly unlikely you'll see a system for your car anyways. But yes, you can adjust the ride height remotely.

But for crying out loud, just get some H&R Coilovers (which are incredibly well built) for $1500USD and if you have to pay someone to adjust the height and corner weigh it.

09-22-2004, 10:21 PM
^^^^^ I totally agree, a basic suspension less problems

Jay where did you find coilovers for a 540, I couldn't find any on the H&R site?

09-22-2004, 10:40 PM
Turner has them: http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/subcategory_detail.asp?modelcode=E39&subcat_id=90

09-22-2004, 10:44 PM
thanks a lot Jay *th-up*

09-22-2004, 10:45 PM

It's an awesome setup, honestly. Way better than FK.

09-22-2004, 10:49 PM
I know it is, I didn't know H&R came out with them, Turner just recently got them as well, I always like H&R, Paul we should form some sort of group buy

09-22-2004, 11:10 PM
Paul we should form some sort of group buy

I doubt u'll get enough 540 guys to form a group buy.. why not order them together and save on shipping and duty

09-23-2004, 12:35 AM
What you see in that Civic and what most of you guys are talking about is hydraulics, which is a completely different system than air-ride. An air ride system is a suspension kit that uses an air pillow instead of shocks, but retains most suspension components. They are used because of their versatility and/or comfort, and are ideal for extreme drops (hence alot of pickup guys use an air-ride system). If you are going for a performance setup, 100% go with the coilovers, there is no better way to do it. However, air-ride gives you ride quality and ride height adjustments at the touch of a button.

09-23-2004, 12:44 AM
thank you Moe that's the best description yet *th-up*

09-23-2004, 12:45 AM
No problemo!

We gotta chill sometime again man

09-23-2004, 12:48 AM
of course, why don't you come out friday to the meets

09-23-2004, 02:00 AM
Yea Clarence i'd definitely be interested in what they could do with a group buy
keep me posted

And jay why would you choose the H&R over the FK'z?

09-23-2004, 09:34 PM

Don't even think about air ride ... just get coilovers they go from about 1.5" drop to 3" drop (have to roll the fenders in you have 265/19 or wider in the back).
FK - harsh ride
H&R - fairly new, haven't read/heard any reviews ... should be a good setup
KW Variant II or III - *th-up*

Here are some other options if you don't want it too low for the winter http://www.bmwdiy.info/suspension-survey/

I may be in on the group buy ... depending to the price

09-23-2004, 09:42 PM
I'll let other 540 owners know about this group buy, Alex know anyone else interested?