Looking for the best way to soup up your ride? Then, suspension kits should be high up your shopping list. These can be used on their own or in combination with other upgrades, like heavy-duty wheel bearings, especially if you’re looking for a bit of off-roading fun in a dedicated ute or 4WD.
But what type of suspension upgrade works best? This is down to personal preference and generally goes along the lines of better overall handling, or a plusher ride. Coilovers, for instance, perform better on the track or at higher speeds, but lack the overall comfort a full-on air suspension kit on all four wheels offers. Mind, airs bags (or air bellows) work with clever management systems to adjust the ride on their own or with a simple click of a switch in the dash.
And this helps in several cases, such as reducing rear axle squat with the ute loaded to the brim, or taming your ride for increased off-roading agility. The benefits are even more obvious in luxury and performance cars, where air suspension feels like you’re gliding over potholes and uneven roads at speed.
Why Have Air Suspension?
Kits based around air bags have major advantages over traditional suspension setups. First, is the height adjustability that can be changed from slammed to riding on stilts within a matter of seconds, even while you’re driving. Ute and 4WD owners will find this particularly useful, as they can have the vehicle set up for the tarmac or the trails without even getting out of the car.
Configurations allow for better handling when attempting technical terrain, with air compensating for minor or major undulation and ruts. And for work purposes, air bags fitted to the back axle level out the vehicle, so there’s better traction through all four wheels, and more responsive steering.
Related benefits for all types of cars are the lower vibrations and noise coming through the cabin (read: increased comfort), reduced wear to other car components, such as the steering and linkages, and tyres that will last longer due to better weight distribution. Drivers also see lower fuel use.
With this in mind, not all air suspension kits are created equal. Since air bags replace springs, you’ll want them made of durable materials that can handle different loads and driving conditions and bags that gel well with other system parts, particularly the shocks. All this needs to be weighed against the specific characteristics of what you’re fitting them to. Universal kits may be adequate for milder use but will fall short in more demanding situations.
Choosing the right kit then is key, and no one Down Under does air kits better than suspension specialist Boss. They have customised and calibrated packages, including their homegrown Boss air bag range. The good part is that parts and air suspension kits can be installed on virtually all cars driven and sold in Australia. You’ll be saving money in the long run by shying away from inferior imports that just can’t handle typical Aussie driving conditions.
How Boss Does It Better
Local quality is hard to pass by. Air bags made by Boss are some of the toughest out there. The company has its own production facilities, backed by years of R&D and experience in producing products tailored to Aussie cars. Their air bags are made using strengthened natural rubber, reinforced in multiple points with steel wire cord and use durable zinc-plated steel end caps to ensure a secure fit with the rest of the car.
The company is meticulous during every production phase, to ensure the highest quality and outright strength. Boss promises burst pressures of up to 600psi at each wheel, so no matter how heavy the vehicle (with everything you have loaded) or where you’re going, you’ll have no issues whatsoever. Even the recommended top limit of 480 psi means three times the weight of a fully loaded large 4WD.
Suspension kits and airbags come in different configurations and for different purposes. Depending on the car you have, Boss offers both convoluted bags in stacked setups of either two or three bags, and in varying widths and heights to suit each vehicle, as well as rolled types in shorter and thinner layouts used in street and track cars. Buyers will also find load-assist kits designed specifically for utes and heavy-duty work purposes. All are pre-assembled and supplied with the right mounting hardware (top mounts) and ports to allow them to inflate or deflate when fitted with the rest of the Boss air bag suspension range of compressors, tanks, plumbing, and management systems.
Bags can be purchased on their own, and ready for installation (either as a DIY job or at the shop) or if you need a complete system and have different needs, consider getting them as part of a complete package. This ensures parts that are suited for the vehicle and calibrated to work perfectly with each other. You’ll also be saving some cash in the process.