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Fancy That: My Time With AirREX & AccuAir

 

The past few months with my 2009 Audi A4 Quattro have been an adventure. I’ve taken her far, through international borders and near on my daily commute to work.  I have had the pleasure of meeting people who are fans of air ride, people who are on the fence and those that flat-out hate it.  I’ve listened to their opinions and personal stories and can relate in more ways than one with each one of these groups.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-001It might sound weird coming from someone who runs an air suspension website but when I first picked up my car I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the whole process of bagging it again. You see, I loved having a bagged car but I ditched my old GLI so that I would be able to own something that would be more useful to me in winter, and something that my fiancé would be able to handle with relative ease on a daily basis. I couldn’t afford for her to get a blowout on the highway or for her to be stuck somewhere not knowing how to lift the car up or down.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-003I had seen the development of AirREX over the past few months in our Forums and had talked to both Tyler Williams and Sam Mahmassani about their personal experiences. They both told me that AirREX air suspension is definitely a trackable suspension solution and that it handles just as well if not better than a lot of the traditional coilovers they were used to driving on.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-008Marshall and Paul from ForjWorks have been regulars of my forums ever since we launched and when they teamed up with Wing from MemoryFab to bring AirREX to North America I knew I had to have a sit down with the wifey to see if she was up to doing this with me. Needless to say, it was a go!airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-009I emailed Reno at AccuAir and told him I needed something that would be simple to use and run as issue free as possible. When the boxes filled with E-Level products started arriving, I started to think I was getting in over my head…airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-019Not to worry because what I soon realized was that the anodized blue AirREX struts I was holding in my hands were not so strange after all.  I took off to Strasse Autowerks to hijack a lift and began playing with the 12-way adjustable compression & rebound knobs.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-010After a few days the install was complete, but was my AirREX & AccuAir combo going to be as reliable and straightforward as I needed it to be? The answer is yes and no. You see the reality is that an air suspension system is only as good as the way it is installed, the better the seals and the more precise the sensors are lined up the more fool-proof the setup will be.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-005I was instantly blown away by how stiff and how well the bags handled. I found myself playing around with the dampening settings and the number of coils spun on the strut for a few days before I found something that worked for me. I was soon taking corners at high-speed and didn’t feel that much understeer, it was still present but it was easy to adjust for.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-015It was nice seeing me having fun but the real test came as soon as my girl took over. As soon as she started the car, the E-Level automatically raised the car to a preset ride height without even having to press a button. We spent the day driving around the city running errands and no matter how many bags of groceries or tools we jammed in the trunk or people we stuffed in the back seat, E-Level automatically had us covered. I was then and am still today blown away by the peace of mind I have whenever I get in the car.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-016I have to admit though that the road hasn’t been peachy.  It took a long time for us to tinker with the ride height sensors until they would stop throwing faults whenever I would have my car at an incline.  Vitali at Strasse Autowerks has had E-Level on his MK2 for years now and has experienced these issues before but he worked hard at tightening and adjusting everything until now I hardly ever get them.  Phew!airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-012airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-013All that was left now was a set of rollers to make the Audi pop.  Karim at Braelin Alloy dropped me a line and showed me a new set of 19×8.5″ ET35 cast wheels they were rocking called BR03.  They were offered in a staggered hella concave 19×10″ ET45 option as well but I love my fenders too much to play games that dangerous.airsociety-b8-audi-a4-bagged-airrex-accuair-elevel-braelin-br03-air-ride-suspension-011When all was said and done, I was happy, but most importantly my girl was happy.  Don’t forget that a properly installed air ride setup is worth just as much as the equipment itself.  I hope my story inspires other people on the edge to make the plunge and get their cars acquainted with kissing pavement.

Huge shout outs go to Marshall and Paul from ForjWorks and Wing from MemoryFab for being on the ball with my AirREX setup, and to Reno from AccuAir for giving outstanding customer service and support for this project. Karim at Braelin Alloy needs a shout out for hooking me up with wheels and tires for my ride before anyone else had them. A personal high five goes out to Dave Scarsini (AKA. Big Dave) for pumping out this incredible trunk setup in under a day’s time, and to Vitali from Strasse Autowerks for working hard at getting my setup just right.

Most importantly thanks to my wife for loving the game as much as I do (well maybe not as much but close enough!)

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