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Chevy Camaro Air Ride Suspension - Hittin' Switches And Layin' Out

Air Ride Technologies suspension system for 4th Gen Camaros

By Dakota Wentz, Photography by Dakota Wentz

What's cooler than hittin' switches? Don't believe me, check this out. How many of you out there have office chairs that adjust up and down? Now how many of you have set the chair as high as it goes, and then pulled on the lever acting like you were in a Lo-Lo or a bagged car? Exactly, guilty as charged! It's just cool to hit switches, and that goes if you're in the in the car doing it, or just looking at a laid out car. On top of that there's still a handful of other benefits to running an air-bagged car. In the past bagged cars were seen as something totally for looks, not for performance or ride quality, but the truth is that an air-bagged car can be the full package and more, especially an Air Ride Technologies equipped 4th Gen Camaro.

When it comes to running an Air Ride Technologies system there are several benefits. For starters, you have the ability to adjust the ride height at any time with the flick of a button. And for any of you who have ever driven a lowered 4th Gen, then you know all about the turn to the left turn to the right routine when its time to pull into a driveway, or dip just to keep the Pinocchio like nose from scraping. With a little air those days are long gone. On the performance side of things, the bags perform above and beyond. With the option of running various air pressures the user is controlling the rate of the spring, which is crucial for fine tuning at a track day or autocross event. Taking things one step further the Camaro kit uses an Air Ride Technology AirStrut, a one-piece air bag and shock absorber setup. For even more fine tuning the AirStrut features a 12-way adjustable knob to control the stiffness of the shock absorber. That means the knob can adjust the AirStrut for ride quality or it can be bumped up for more aggressive driving. Speaking of ride quality, the air bags ride awesome. They don't bounce all over the place, yet they aren't too soft to where it feels like a floating '72 Caddy. When it comes to the Air Ride Technologies kit you really can't go wrong. They have spent time engineering the kit to include factors such as performance and ride quality, as opposed to just the convenient, and cool factor of an air bag system.

For the 4th Gen Camaros Air Ride Technologies has a complete system. Up front the AirStrut takes the place of the factory coilover setup. The AirStrut bolts right in using all the factory mounting points. In the back Air Ride has designed a simple bracket that mounts the F9000 air spring in place of the factory coil spring. The third part of the system is the compressor system. Air Ride offers several different systems; we decided to go with the new RidePro e 2 system. The RidePro e 2 system is an electronic compressor control system. The system features new voltage based air pressure sensors that electronically read bag pressures and air tank pressure. The system also features a ride-height-on-start function, which means when the vehicle is started the system will automatically raise the car to the highway ride height preset on the controller. The system has three user programmable one touch ride height presets, the second preset is the highway preset, that are accessed via the control panel. On top of that all of the wires feature plug-n-play weatherproof OEM style connectors.

At first thought one might think installing an air ride system would consist of a lot of slicing and dicing, but the truth is the Air Ride Technologies system is 100% bolt-in. In fact the front install is easier than putting in a set of drop springs! All you do is bolt the kit in, plug in a few wires, tap into an ignition wire and air the car up. Ideally, the kit can be installed in a day, but we'd have to say go ahead and slot in two days to do the install, and that's at most. For our install we headed out to Hot Rides by Dean in Moorpark, CA. Owner Dean Sears has been around since the start of the Air Ride craze, which made his shop the perfect candidate to ensure a clean, safe and long lasting install in our 4th Gen guinea pig.

By Dakota Wentz
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