Aftermarket Air Suspension?

Henkka

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W124 coupe 1988, 2.3l
How much money would I be looking at spending when fitting an aftermarket air suspension system on my W124? Would the ride be as smooth as on normal springs? Any kits specifically made for W124 or am I better off buying items seperately, or an universal kit? Maintenance costs? Reliable during the winter (freezing here in northern Finland!)
 

Droverunner

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My only experience of an aftermarket system was on a Saab 99 Turbo. It was actually a Saab approved accessory and consisted of airbags that fitted inside the rear springs with tubing joined to a valve just inside the car . You set the pressure from a pump or air line according to load so a manual system but I have to say it was a superb and enhanced the car's ride and handling no end when carrying a load.
 

Snake Charmer

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Are you looking for a smoother ride or the ability to alter the ride height for looks?
My stepson and his friends are very much into air ride for lowering and stance etc. The only decent ride in any of his cars I have been in was an A4 estate he had and it was good, mainly as most of the time it was pumped up to nigh on normal ride height so the geometry was correct. Most of the others have just been awful.
 

mioba

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Never known it to be done to a W124. The stock system is very good. Why the need to change, whats wring with whats on.
 
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Henkka

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Are you looking for a smoother ride or the ability to alter the ride height for looks?
My stepson and his friends are very much into air ride for lowering and stance etc. The only decent ride in any of his cars I have been in was an A4 estate he had and it was good, mainly as most of the time it was pumped up to nigh on normal ride height so the geometry was correct. Most of the others have just been awful.
Smooth ride and height altering. W124 already has a smooth ride, but I’d like to alter the height and smoothness on the go.
 
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Henkka

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Never known it to be done to a W124. The stock system is very good. Why the need to change, whats wring with whats on.
You’re right, it is good. Always room for improvement though!
 

LostKiwi

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'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240 (RIP), 02 R230 SL500, 04 Smart Roadster Coupe, 11 R350CDi
Theoretically a properly set up air suspension installation should be slightly better riding than coils. The operative words here being properly set up.
The air bags need to be matched to the vehicle. Too small a volume will be unable to absorb the bumps, too large and it will be soft and wallow.

Is it really worth the time and money?

I used a system as above on my old Defender where there was an assister bag inside the coil spring. These allowed me to use softer coils but still be able to firm up the ride when carrying a load. It worked very well.
 

Droverunner

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>>>Smooth ride and height altering

Ahh you need to look for a mint1990s Citroen XM... they had that totally sorted.
 
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Henkka

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>>>Smooth ride and height altering

Ahh you need to look for a mint1990s Citroen XM... they had that totally sorted.
Very funny.
Looking for a smooth ride and height altering adapted to a W124, obviously.
 

malcolm210

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I’d change the suspension to a sportsline set-up which was a standard MB option, the ride will be lowered by 25mm with slightly stiffer spring ratings and thicker anti-roll bars, should be available off the shelf. It’s my one regret about S124 ownership I would have preferred the Sportsline option but so few were available at the time. The standard 124 set-up was way too soft for anything other than straight line progress but great on the motorway which I was doing a lot of at the time
 
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Henkka

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I’d change the suspension to a sportsline set-up which was a standard MB option, the ride will be lowered by 25mm with slightly stiffer spring ratings and thicker anti-roll bars, should be available off the shelf. It’s my one regret about S124 ownership I would have preferred the Sportsline option but so few were available at the time. The standard 124 set-up was way too soft for anything other than straight line progress but great on the motorway which I was doing a lot of at the time
The sportline looks nice to me, but I enjoy a softer ride. I quess I’ll stick to the standard setup.
 

Droverunner

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>>>Very funny

I wasn't trying to be funny.

My Viano has air rear suspension and a BMW 5-series estate before it the same. Great for enabling a decent ride unladen but still a good carrying capacity.

The Citroen system was the ultimate for a full front/rear system allowing a great ride and load carrying. So really I'm saying suspension that gives this total ability needs to be part of the car's core design not an add-on.
 

LostKiwi

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>>>Very funny

I wasn't trying to be funny.

My Viano has air rear suspension and a BMW 5-series estate before it the same. Great for enabling a decent ride unladen but still a good carrying capacity.

The Citroen system was the ultimate for a full front/rear system allowing a great ride and load carrying. So really I'm saying suspension that gives this total ability needs to be part of the car's core design not an add-on.
The XM is legendary and the Citroen system was the basis for SLS on the E class, ABC on the SL and S class and in its ultimate incarnation the Magic Body Control system of the S class.
 

00slk

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A friend of my keeps trying to sell me his XM, funny thing is I kind of bought it in 2019 but haven't paid for it yet. He still keeps reminding me though :rolleyes:
 

Droverunner

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If it's anything like sound and a runner don't lose the chance.

I have to confess to being a bit of an old hydropneumatic Citroen guy in a previous life. Owned DS, three CX, GS, GSA, two Xantias and several BX. The DS and CXs were lifetime motoring highlights.

My DS took the central hydraulic system idea to the extreme powering suspension, brakes, power steering and also a brilliant hydraulic operation manual clutch. So so clever.
 

brandwooddixon

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Did they ever fit air suspension to the estate version, if so could that be used?
I suspect that it would be an expensive exercise both in time and money.
 
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Henkka

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Did they ever fit air suspension to the estate version, if so could that be used?
I suspect that it would be an expensive exercise both in time and money.
Only in the rear.
 

LostKiwi

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As above hydraulic and based on the Citroen system discussed earlier.
2 X gas spheres, hydraulic rams (not shock absorbers), high pressure pump and a height regulating valve.
Simples :)
 

JBell

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The XM is legendary and the Citroen system was the basis for SLS on the E class, ABC on the SL and S class.

Also used by Bentley
 

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