Lowering a car with airbags, any issues?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by W4SIM, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. W4SIM

    W4SIM Banned

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    Hello all

    Looking at getting either a S55 (W220) or an E55 (W211) and was wondering if there would be any undue pressure put on the airbags if i lowered it with a module?

    Also, can anyone point out any sources for these modules? Is there any other method to lower them?

    Thanks. :thumb:
     
  2. Alps

    Alps MB Club Veteran

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    use lowering links, fairly cheap at about £120
     
  3. OP
    OP
    W4SIM

    W4SIM Banned

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    Found lowering links on ebay, at £120 they do seem reasonable.

    Just out of interest, it shows in your signature as your car being "STAR Lowered", is that something you get programmed at a dealership so the car sits lower?
     
  4. Mactech

    Mactech Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Unless you get the car very low and it sits on the mechanical bumpstops inside the air struts, then the suspension should come to no harm. Obviously if you travel fully loaded over seriously rough terain then the possibility of reaching the bumpstops is higher.
    There are 3 methods to lower an airmatic car, and in each case you are modifying the electrical signal sent to the strut.
    1. Lowering module. Programable to some degree and just interups the signal from the ride height sensors so the car will sit lower.
    2. Adustable links. The shorter or longer links 'fools' the Airmatic ECU into thinking the car is higher than it is. A really cost effective way to do the job, but you do just move the range of adjustment available on the interior airmatic control up or down, you can't increase it.
    3. Star Adjustment. There is a limited range that Star can adjust the height electronically. However, finding a willing operator with the right skills can be tricky;)

    The easily adjustable (and modification reversable:)) links I have used with success.
     
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  5. Alps

    Alps MB Club Veteran

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    W4sim, i think mactech summed it up nicely, dealership will not lower it for you, but a willing and knowing independent would. links are the easiest and quickest , also like mactech said reversable fairly quickly.

    lowering modules are v. expensive for what they do.
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    W4SIM

    W4SIM Banned

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    Thanks to both you chaps for that lovely bit of info, it seems quite a bit easier than i thought it would be actually. I think Droplinks will be the way forward, and as im pretty handy with tools, i think im going to put them in myself aswell.

    Although Mactech's post answers the question beautifully i was just thinking of it from a stress point of view as im not 100% sure how well these airbags take to it. Let me explain.

    If you imagine the car going from its highest to its lowest and then back to its highest again as a press-up you'll see where im coming from. If the car is at its highest then thats the equivalent of you having your arms fully extended, and when its at its lowest thats like resting on the floor on your chest. Both of these positions dont put too much stress on your arms. But i dont want the "lowering it with droplinks" aspect to be the equivalent of holding yourself half way through a press-up, your arms will be under a lot of stress and will give out sooner than if you were at your lowest or your highest position.I dont want the airbags to be under constant stress for nothing. If that made any sense to anyone :crazy:
     
  7. OP
    OP
    W4SIM

    W4SIM Banned

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    Also, just wondering how much the ride quality is compromised on air suspension cars?

    I know very well how it works on normal springs and shockers.
     
  8. Mactech

    Mactech Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It's only the drop link levers and wishbones which will change angle. If you follow your press up anaolgy;), then the air strut is a telescope between your nose and the ground wih a big rubber bumpstop to give some compliance if it should get too close to the ground! It will be under no more stress and the ride remains the same unless you constantly hit the bumpstops. The spring and damping rates are pretty linear through the strut travel. :)
     
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  9. shorty

    shorty Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I was also wondering about this potential problem with lowering my car . I have fitted 18 inch CLS wheels to it and I think a slight drop of about 10 to 15 mm would be the finishing touch . I have access to Star and I can adjust ride hight with it , but Im worried i will damage or prematurely ware the air bags . Also will it change the goemertary of the suspension , as I ave only had 4 wheel alignment done .
     
  10. Alps

    Alps MB Club Veteran

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    10-15 mm can be done with STAR, geometry is advisable after tho
     

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