I am looking to do the same thing skuce, to my wagon. I have a/c in my car, I just want it to drop to the ground and raise up when driving. I have a mig welder and home depo is like 5 min's away and so is CT and home hardware. can you help me, aswell. thanks Skuce.
Anyway Skuce, I am assuming you are asking about the A/C to use it for a compressor right??? I have read a lot of Offroading articls where guys use A/C compressors to run air tool and to inflate tires out in the middle of no where. But what does a Home Depot have to do with anything?? Do you have info on a home built Air ride Kit???? That would be awsome, I am much interested. I need something to give me a little lift when I am out with my friends offroading. I have two holes in my gas tank to prove I need more lift too. Also lower on the freeway would be nice. Better fuel economy, and better looks at the same time woo hoo.
The most expensive thing for air ride is the Bags or Cyls obviously.
Bags = $780 usd /4 www.universalairsuspension.com
Cyls = $410 usd /4 Shipped from "Section 6"
Cyls take more fabrication than the UniAir bags....so they bothe about even out.
As for everything else.....(cyls)
Ball/Socket top pivot = $89 usd/2 (a must!)
Hyme Joint = ~$32 usd/2 (for the rear or fab your own) - Showtime Hydraulics
3/8" SMC valves = $139 CDN/2 shipped - Team Pneumatik in Quebec
Home Depot for lots of compression fittings and copper lines (don't forget the inner sleeves)
Switches (momentary Toggles) $5 CDN each - Home Depot
Check valves and inline separators from "Princess Auto"
Lots of wire....Princess Auto or a Surplus store
Guages - APC or any hardware store (0-160 psi range)
Pipe Bender - Princess Auto.
Tank - Canadain Tire/Princess Auto or where ever.....just look @ the pressure ratings
You will have to make the top pivot bracket assembly from scratch with the ball/socket joint to take the stresses off the cyl itself or you will end up with a sheared piston rod (MIG and Drill press and tap/die set needed)
Same with the rear Hyme joint top bracket.
Lower brackets can be milled out on a lathe to go into the bottom of your old struts or you can weld up your own bottom brackets)
The reason I asked about the A/C is that you can use it as a compressor for running air. You'll need to re-do a bunch of the lines and get rid of your condensor and accumulator and pressure switch (it's set for 400 psi and over)
Get a pressure switch for a regular 120/240 volt compressor that is set (but can be adjusted) for on 100 and off 125 psi
That will be used to control the clutch on the A/C comp when your tank gets low.
Air bags are an easier setup since you can use your stock struts (modified....still need a MIG)
This is better for the "off roading" application where the cyls are good for show. But the bags do cost more unfortunatly
3 wheel can be done with air bags....but not all that well as Cyls with Spools can.
If you haven't ever really played with your suspension before.....the Bags would be the way to go. And it is possible to get a Full Air system going for under $1000 installed.
I had the option of doing it under that $1000.....but I went a bit further........
BTW....We run Sanden A/C comps on the Escorts.
That means they run a light oil spray into the air lines....hence the reason for the seperator after the check valve.
The valve is to take the pressure off the comp when its not running.
You will need to add a light, non detergent oil to the intake line of the comp from time to time from it being collected with the water in the seperator.