Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: E36 Coupé and E46 Sedan on air with self-made air ride control system

  1. #1

    Default E36 Coupé and E46 Sedan on air with self-made air ride control system

    Hi everyone,

    I'm Matthias from Germany. I'm here on Stanceworks since almost 10 years, but didn't post so much. I just enjoy to watch your builds.

    I drive a 96' E36 320i. Nothing special and it's 99% just standing covered in the garage but I still love, because it was my first own car. My daily driver is a VW Golf MK5 Variant 2.0 TDI. And for having fun I have a BMW 130i.

    My E36 is nearly stock but in really good condition with M package and 17" Styling 5. The color is Madeira-Violett Metallic.

    When me and my brother 3 years ago build an airride suspension in his 2002' E46 325i Sedan, my plan was to put my E36 on air as well.

    I really like to develop stuff on my own and because my main profession is software developer, I decided to build my own airride suspension control with app control.

    The Build

    Let's begin with two old pictures on static suspension with the Styling 5
    I replaced the plastic center caps with custom made aluminium center caps





    In July 2018 finally my G.A.S. airride supsension arrived, so I could start in my garage to replace the static supsension. I was so excited on this day waiting for the delivery, that I checked every second the door camera







    Finally the build for the airride control could start. The base is an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 micro controller, which should control an accuair V4 valve block. The first prototype was looking like this.
    It was build for my brother's E46 together with a VIAIR 480cc compressor.



    For my brother's build we want to use original BMW buttons to control the airride. For the up/down button we took E39 door window buttons. And to control different driving heights we took ASC buttons. The first prototype was done in a box for shoes



    Later we sandblasted the ASC buttons and plotted new labels. Then we painted them again black and removed the stickers. This was the result:



    Because the first prototype of my air ride control looked really crazy, I decided to design my own PCB shield for the Arduino to save space and put the whole logic on one board. After 4 weeks of waiting, I received it from China:


    And after soldering the components:



    In my own build for my E36, I didn't use a VIAIR compressor. Instead I mounted two E39 Touring compressors which are so much more quiet! This is what it looks now:



    Because I didn't want to put any additional buttons, displays or anything in the original interior of my E36, I decided to solve everything with an app running on my outdated iPhone 6. Development startet...



    Unfortunately the Styling 5 rims didn't fit under the fenders with air-out system, so temporarily bought some Styling 162 from BMW E90 with 215/35 18 and the first test drive could start...









    I also made some little photo shooting together with my brother's E46 on 18" Styling 5 (also custom aluminium made center caps). On these pictures I had mounted some lip at the front. But I didn't like it, so it is removed right now...













    These were my first experiments with an Arduino Uno reading the values from original BMW xenon height sensors (it was filmed already in 2017):

    https://youtu.be/6VSQHg6o_Zw

    I can run my Arduino system either with the original BMW xenon height sensors + pressure sensors (as I did at my brother's E46) or with ONLY pressure sensors as I did at my E36.

    Here in Germany there is a rule that if the pressure in an airride system is too low or to high while driving, there must be some warning sound. So I implemented this feature in my app with the BMW typical sound from new models:

    https://youtu.be/ys5qd_fUAJA

    My latest feature in the app is to control the height mode by SIRI from my iPhone. I know this is not a real use case, but from a developer point of view, I really HAD TO DO THIS

    https://youtu.be/6aC6wudaCgI

    Additionally some video me and my brother filmed last year short before winter came. Over christmas I had finally the time to cut it. I hope you like it





    My plans for 2019:
    • definitely other rims: My Styling 5 or something else (2piece)
    • Class 2 spoiler
    • other exhause
    • Maybe (end of 2019) engine swap

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Love the DIY management and controller setups!
    Instagram: @Eurow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wyomissing, PA
    Posts
    4,190

    Default

    Wasnt so sure about the controller plans at first, but wow what a turn out both systems are. Very cool to use something like that rather than the off the shelf controller
    97 M3 GT2
    2018 SIERRA TOW RIG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Nice clean cars and loved the video, especially the intro!


    @cblock406

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Seacoast, NH
    Posts
    376

    Default

    This amount of low and the simple wheel choice is such a good look!

    I have a question though...

    I know EU owners in general are very strongly minded about going static and that they look down on air suspension. Is this more of a rumor here in NA? Is that something that people don't care as much about anymore? Just about everyone here in NA is on bags, but go back ~8 years ago and the static guys considered themselves best.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DUTCHswift View Post
    This amount of low and the simple wheel choice is such a good look!

    I have a question though...

    I know EU owners in general are very strongly minded about going static and that they look down on air suspension. Is this more of a rumor here in NA? Is that something that people don't care as much about anymore? Just about everyone here in NA is on bags, but go back ~8 years ago and the static guys considered themselves best.
    Hi,
    I can only answer you this question in relation to Germany. Here it's currently very strict to drive low with static suspension. There is an inofficial recommendation from TÜV, to have minimum 80mm space between car and ground. In police control they threat this "recommendation" as law, so you get big problems/fines. Even my E36 in the first pictures (which is in my eyes definitely not low) was "illegal" at that time.
    In general politics in Germany are right now really focused on car tuning. It's a "hot topic" at the moment and a lot of people see tuners as criminals, unfortunately

  7. #7

    Default

    I've always thought these wheels look shit on e36s but they actually look proper when tucked this much.
    Awesome work on the controller and app, vocal control may not be the most useful thing ever but I like the idea

    Quote Originally Posted by DUTCHswift View Post
    This amount of low and the simple wheel choice is such a good look!

    I have a question though...

    I know EU owners in general are very strongly minded about going static and that they look down on air suspension. Is this more of a rumor here in NA? Is that something that people don't care as much about anymore? Just about everyone here in NA is on bags, but go back ~8 years ago and the static guys considered themselves best.
    We still consider ourselves best

    FB: @DumbassCarCrew - IG: @fruttolo_dumbasscrew

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Seacoast, NH
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matze View Post
    Hi,
    I can only answer you this question in relation to Germany. Here it's currently very strict to drive low with static suspension. There is an inofficial recommendation from TÜV, to have minimum 80mm space between car and ground. In police control they threat this "recommendation" as law, so you get big problems/fines. Even my E36 in the first pictures (which is in my eyes definitely not low) was "illegal" at that time.
    In general politics in Germany are right now really focused on car tuning. It's a "hot topic" at the moment and a lot of people see tuners as criminals, unfortunately
    I am aware of the height restrictions as I've heard a handful of stories from people traveling to that part of the world on their way to Wörthersee, but thank you for the more detailed response.

    Maybe I need to rephrase the question...

    I'm more asking about the tuning car culture in the EU as a whole, when asking about static/bagged. Maybe this is question is more suited to someone in France or the UK, since they aren't effected by the height restriction as badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fruttolo View Post
    We still consider ourselves best
    I know you do, bub.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Very nice
    Facebook Sander Zuurbier
    Instagram sanderz28

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Awesome work mate! car looks great as well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Braselton, Ga
    Posts
    617

    Default

    This is super cool. I've used arduino for simple stuff on projects and wouldn't even know where to start on getting it to control the air ride. do you have gauges or is the arduino reading the pressure sensors too?

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTynosaur View Post
    This is super cool. I've used arduino for simple stuff on projects and wouldn't even know where to start on getting it to control the air ride. do you have gauges or is the arduino reading the pressure sensors too?
    Hi, thanks!
    On my E36 I have only installed 4 pressure sensors and with the values of these the Arduino is adjusting the height. On my brother's E46 we have 4 pressure sensors and the values of the xenon sensors to adjust the height (like Accuair), so it is more precise.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •