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Thread: BMW e23, e24, e28 DIY Air Suspension Solutions

  1. #1

    Default BMW e23, e24, e28 DIY Air Suspension Solutions

    Bagging an old school BMW couldn't be easier. Why wait for offshore air suspension companies to build you over priced assemblies that take forever to receive and cost more because these certain models are not "popular enough." That being said, contact the good guys at Bag Riders and Airlift and they will set you up with the universal air suspension parts you need to tackle the job. I have no affiliation with them, but they had been most helpful in supplying me with everything I needed and came through quickly.

    My project is an e23. For the front you have two options. A UAS aerosport bag or an Airlift Lifestyles universal bags. Starting with the aerosport:

    I used Koni g60 corrado inserts. You can see the difference in length.



    The stock gland nuts hold the Koni well, but the outside diameter needs to be machined down in order for the aerosport bag to slip over.



    machined....




    Cut off the stock spring mount from the strut assembly and tack weld on the aerosport bag mount onto the strut. Since the spindle on these cars is attached to the strut, it is easy to design off the car. Mount the wheel on to the hub to see how low you can bring the bracket before it interferes with the tire. The collapsed bag length is 4" , so take that into account when deciding on the bag mount position so that it does not sit below the gland nut. If it does, you need to shorten the housings.



    When you are set with that, mount the insert into the strut housing. If you dont plan on shortening the housings, you will need to install a spacer inside the housing to raise up the insert as it is much shorter. You can get an idea of the length of the shaft at full collapse and fully lifted. There is enough travel between both extremes.



    Using a 1/8" or 1/4" steel plate, cut it and drill out the stud pattern for the top mount. A thrust bearing will be used to allow the assembly to twist just as the stock strut mounts do.



    Done.




    Second option for the front is the Airlift Lifestyles Universal Bellow bag.




    Same procedure as the aerosport bags applies when choosing the mounting height but this time you will need to cut the strut housings. After measuring how close the bag needed to be before interfering with the tire, I cut the housing leaving a small amount left on the spindle to act as a base for the bottom of the Airlift bag to rest on. This would also allow you get a general idea of the angle needed to clear the tire. Tack weld and adjust appropriately in order to achieve that angle. If you need more negative camber, that can be achieved with the strut mounts.







    Airlift supplies you with a top plate. Drill out the stud pattern and mount.




    The rear assembly for these cars couldn't be easier.

    Using Airlift Universal Lifestyles Universal sleeve bags, cut the eye mount off an old rear strut assembly. Again, Airlift supplies you with the top plate to act as the strut mount. Trim to the appropriate side and drill out stud pattern.
    Full shots of the completed car to come later with a build thread.




  2. #2
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    You make this sound way too easy, the same for an E24 then? What are the costs so far you've put in...

    I can't decide if I love you or **** you for making it so much easier to spend my money

  3. #3
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    ^lol

    i guess that would be **** for spending your money
    and love for your e24 getting stance

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
    You make this sound way too easy, the same for an E24 then? What are the costs so far you've put in...

    I can't decide if I love you or **** you for making it so much easier to spend my money
    haha. i'd have to say it is that easy. same setup for your car as well. these models all pretty much are all the same. the only thing that may differ is the strut mount stud pattern and possibly the height of where the front bag will sit. the bag setup cost me a bit over 1100 usd... less than a "good coilover" kit would and still much less than a prefabbed air setup would. air management will just be your personal preference on how much you want to spend...from a couple hundred to thousands.

  5. #5
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    I love this information. Can't wait until I can afford to do it.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, that is my exact argument, decent coils for these are in the 800+ bracket and I swear I could do a DIY air install for sub 1200 if I went with crappy management rather than some Accuair, but then save for that in the long run.

  7. #7
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    complete set of air struts for significantly less than half of what a pair of bagyards would cost. good stuff.
    Last edited by Francois Dillinger; 10-17-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  8. #8

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    you said it.... i didnt want to drop any names

  9. #9
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    i don't mind

    in strut tube, is there anything between the airlift strut and the bottom of the airlift strut? or is it welded to the spindle above the eyelet with the outer tube just for support?

  10. #10

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    if i correctly understand what you are asking, yes there is still a piece of the stock strut housing between the airlift strut. i should have taken a picture before it was welded on but essentially its the same deal with what Nic did with the Bav.
    Pic from Nic's setup.......




    the airlift strut itself sat on this portion and the outer tube as welded on the spindle and above the adjuster. you can still see the stock strut tube in the window for the adjuster.

    Last edited by NegativeCamber; 10-17-2011 at 03:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    ok, that's what i thought. can't wait to see the build thread!

  12. #12
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    I want to see the build thread, too. I love me some E23

  13. #13
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    IG:uvebeenrobd
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

  14. #14

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    car looks great man. were you able to lay out with your design?

  15. #15
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    Looks good so far Eric!

    - www.bagriders.com - Email us at: sales@bagriders.com -

    - Did you find a lower price? We Price Match! -

  16. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    NorCal
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    THANK YOU! This is uber helpful

  17. #17

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    Oh man, I was able to follow The Neek's Bavaria air build, but this helps my confidence that it is that easy.
    Ryan | flickr

  18. #18

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    thanks guys. you wont be dissapointed after your work. my car lays hard with the airlift setup all around. front crossmember and oil pan lays out flat on stock bubble tires....

    Last edited by NegativeCamber; 10-22-2011 at 12:28 AM.

  19. #19

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    lovin it Eric! Everything came out really awesome

  20. #20

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    thanks Dave. its coming along. slowly but surely.

  21. #21
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    Awesome.

    How is the height at full lift?

  22. #22

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    these bags have a nice stroke length. the range is about the same in your sig pic down to laying out.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Just saw this Eric. Great build. Happy that I could pave the way. I wish your aerosport setup had worked. We spent a good amount of time trading ideas on that.

    Mr. Belvedere

    I want to buy your single 4x100 Ronal Racing center

  24. #24

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    thanks Nic. Much appreciated on brainstorming with me on that aerosport setup. To those wondering, I probably could have made it lay on aerosports , but then would have had to use massive spacers for any wheel to be used, since the bag would essentially be behind the wheel.

    how the car sits....

    Last edited by NegativeCamber; 12-14-2011 at 02:28 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeCamber View Post
    thanks Nic. You did enlighten me on many aspects of the setup. Much appreciated. To those wondering, I probably could have made it lay on aerosports , but then would have had to use massive spacers for any wheel to be used, since the bag would essentially be behind the wheel.
    the UAS bag is that much bigger in diameter? im guessing these bags were designed to not expand?

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