Seems like only yesterday that all you needed to manage an airbag system was a set of manual valves, some 3/8-inch line, and a basic tank/compressor setup. Well, looking back, I guess that was quite some time ago, as air management systems have come a long way since then.

Today, short of having their own personal valet, modern ride height (air management) controls can be programmed to do pretty much everything. For some people, myself included, that can be fairly daunting, as the more something can do, the more potential it has for something to go wrong! Well, not always—take, for example, AccuAir’s latest: the eXo e-Level package. While it may look overwhelming to those of you who, like me, don’t like anything with the word “computer” attached to it—computers included—in this case, looks are deceiving. For all intents and purposes, the eXo system is by far one of the most user-friendly you’re going find on the market—and it works, just like it’s supposed to.

And above and beyond the functionality of the eXo e-Level system, it’s about as easy to install as some of the more basic kits, especially considering that AccuAir designed this system to all be assembled “on” the air tank, resulting in a tidy package that goes together like a puzzle. The compressors can be mounted in a variety of configurations according to your vehicle’s particular requirements, which really helps if your quarters are tight, if you know what I mean. About the only part that can be considered difficult by any means is the mounting of the ride height sensors, as they’re one of the most crucial components in the kit, and if they’re not set up correctly, your system won’t perform correctly.

Along with the AccuAir system, for the actual parts to be controlled, I elected to use VariShock QuickSet 2 ShockWaves from Chris Alston for the front suspension; the rear will use Alston’s adjustable VariShocks along with a set of dual-convoluted Firestone air springs. Why VariShock? Well, simply put, an air spring suspension is dependent on the very two things that make up its name to begin with: the “air” that flows through it (which we’ve already established management for), and the “springs” that support it. But there’s also one more equally crucial component: shocks. While the air just needs to be controlled and contained properly, the shocks and the springs are a bit more important, and should be given serious consideration, as they are what determines the quality of your vehicle’s ride—or lack thereof, depending on what you choose to go with. Cheap shocks are just that, “cheap”. You get what you pay for, and in this case, the less you pay, the less you get. I realize times are tough, and we’re all doing what we can to save wherever and whenever possible. But when it comes to certain parts, it doesn’t pay to cut corners, literally, and these are parts you want to invest in, as they can make the difference between a high-quality ride and a crappy ride—which do you ultimately want?

The shock absorbers beneath your car, regardless of whether it’s a ’32 roadster or a ’47 Fleetline, should be considered one of the most important components—right up there next to your brakes and steering. While the safety factor isn’t nearly as vital as that of the other two, the performance aspect is, and if you’ve ever done a comparison between auto parts store shelf brand versus a higher end shock, such as Alston’s VariShocks, then you know what I’m talking about. If not, take my word for it—they’re worth the extra dough, especially if you like to drive your car … a lot.

OK, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the story, shall we?

SOURCE
AccuAir Suspension
Grover Beach
CA
877-247-3696
www.accuairsuspension.com
Jimenez Bros.Customs
951-781-1268
www.jimenezbroscustoms.com
XS Power Batteries
7501 Strawberry Plains Pike
Knoxville
TN  37924
888-497-7693
www.4xspower.com
Chris Alston's Chassisworks
8661 Younger Creek Drive
Sacramento
CA  95828
916-388-0288
www.cachassisworks.com