An airbag is a vehicle occupant restraint system using a bag designed to inflate extremely rapidly, then quickly deflate during a collision. It consists of the airbag cushion, a flexible fabric bag, inflation module and impact sensor. The purpose of the airbag is to provide the occupants a soft cushioning and restraint during a crash event.
When your car hits something, sensors in your car tell the computer that there’s been an impact. The computer activates a small explosion that fills the bag with nitrogen gas. The bag inflates almost instantly—in about 30 milliseconds—so it can protect you before your body has time to move forward. The force of this inflation is enough to break any windows around you, so don’t worry if you hear glass breaking as the airbags deploy.
Airbags usually come in pairs, one for the driver and one for the front seat passenger. In some cars, side-impact airbags are also included. These are mounted in the sides of the seats or doors and protect from side impacts or rollovers. A rollover sensor can determine when such an accident is likely to occur and then activate side-curtain airbags to provide added protection for occupants.
Air Ride Suspension Kit
A fully equipped air ride suspension kit allows you to lower your car up to eight inches below the factory height. Such kits are available for most cars and trucks. Lowering your car is easier than ever with airbag suspension kits. No more messing around with lowering springs and torsion bars.
The airbags are made of heavy-duty reinforced rubber designed to last a lifetime without any maintenance required. The compressor is mounted in the trunk and can be upgraded if you desire more power or pressure. All kits include high quality DOT-approved braided stainless-steel lines, fittings, switches, etc.
Air Lift Performance Suspension Kits and Control Panels
When it comes to the suspension of your vehicle, there are many things to consider. Whether you are going for a smooth, comfortable ride, and excellent handling, or a more aggressive look and stance, Air Lift Performance has the air suspension products that you need.
The practical air suspension kits feature adjustable height struts and shocks which give you the ability to slam your vehicle all the way down to the ground, giving an extremely low stance, or raise it up any amount with the push of a button in order to clear speed bumps or steep driveways.
The kits come with everything that is needed for installation; two air struts with integrated shock, two springs, an air compressor system which mounts inconspicuously inside your trunk or cargo area, brackets, fasteners and all the necessary wiring and lines.
The kit can be installed at home in about 6-8 hours, depending on your experience with mechanical work. A control panel contains valves that control the flow of compressed air from the tank into each wheel, then back out again when the desired pressure is reached.
Suspension and Chassis
Airbags are most commonly used in conjunction with a leaf spring suspension. This type of air ride suspension kit is found on many trucks, vans, and SUVs, but airbags can be used with almost any kind of suspension. In the case of a leaf spring, the airbag is inserted between the axle and the leaf spring.
The factory bump stop (a rubber pad that prevents excessive up-travel) is removed to make room for the airbag. However, there are several companies that manufacture an airbag-specific bump stop that can be installed to prevent excessive up-travel when the vehicle bottoms out.
Most vehicles equipped with a coil over or torsion bar front suspension use airbags in a slightly different configuration. In this case, the airbag is sandwiched between the frame rail and mounting bracket for the shock absorber. The airbag replaces the factory bump stop, and its internal design allows for both compression and rebound control.
Some early vehicles used struts instead of conventional shock absorbers. While strut suspensions are still common today, they’re not ideally suited for use with traditional airbags because they don’t have an upper mounting bracket or enough room inside to house an airbag. However, some manufacturers have developed special struts with two-stage valving that can be used in conjunction with airbags to achieve a high level of performance.
Single-ply bags offer an inexpensive option to the classic steel leaf spring. They consist of a single layer of rubber inside a fabric bag that can support between 1,500 and 4,500 pounds. The main benefit of this type of bag is that it offers a smoother ride than a leaf spring does, but depending on what you’re hauling, you might need more than one to get the job done. That’s where the double-ply airbag comes in.
Double-ply airbags are made using two layers of rubber material inside a nylon fabric casing and can support up to 6,000 pounds each. This makes them much stronger than single-ply bags, and they won’t need to be replaced as often either. Single-ply bags may last only 10 years, while double-plies can last up to 20 years or more.