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Old 12-23-2009, 21:14   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone make the switch to non air suspension?

My 98 Navigator floats along. While Im in the market for shocks, I ran across a non air suspension kit to convert it to shocks and springs. Anyone done this? I cant figure out whether to replace the air components or convert them. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and opions welcome. I have not been in a vehicle with a good air system.

Jake
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:43   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Anyone make the switch to non air suspension?

If you plan on owing the vehicle for a few more years, and the air suspension has grown problematic as far as maintenance goes (air leaks, etc), then a regular suspension system would be in your best interest, as the air suspension will only cause more problems as time goes on. There are a few manufacturers who offer kits. If you want a reasonable ride when loaded or unloaded, stick with Bilstein shocks. They're a great all around value.

If you want to keep the air system, be sure to set some money aside for possible problems to come, such as cracked or leaking air bag, broken/cracked/leaking air lines, burned out air compressor, etc. With it being a '98, some problems you may have come across already, but if not, expect them in the next few years. A new air bag kit (Firestone) will run a few hundred bucks, plus compressor and installation. If the current compressor still works, it might be a good idea to replace it now and get an air-bag package deal instead of spending more on it to replace it later. If your current air system isn't that far gone (perhaps just a leak), you can most likely get it repaired for around $100.

Depending on the cost and installation of the spring/shock system with installation, you have to decide which route you want to go. If you tow a lot, keeping the air setup might be in your interest, as you can better control trailer tongue weight and rear end vehicle sag. Helper springs can be added to keep the rear end level when towing/hauling as well, but ride quality will greatly diminish.
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