Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So what do you think is better? I hardly take my Rav4 off roading (once in a grand while, usually on the beach), so I want all the stability, etc

...yeah, I'm leaning more toward the airbags, but is there any drawbacks to having them installed? Not only in the Rav, but just any basic application (haven't even looked if I can install some on mine). What am I sacrificing if I went with airbags, other than large amounts of money.

Thanks all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Ahhh see, now this is a question I can handle, since I do custom airbag installs.

Well lets see, the main draw backs of having airbags are that you will lose some stability, since the bags will ALWAYS be softer than springs, unless you opt to get the cheaper air struts. Another big problem that you get when installing bags on a SUV, you cant go off-road without heavy-duty bags or struts, as the extra momvement and loads that happen when off roading put too much stress on normal bags, sometimes causing them to burst under pressure. Im pretty sure that normal bags will be fine for going onto the beach, but anything more than that I wouldnt reccommend. I mean, I install bags on trucks down here that go beach driving, havent really gotten many blown bags or anything, and those few were caused by user error.

But the upsides to airbags balance out the downs. As you said, you keep to the street a lot. You cant get a smoother ride than you can with airbags....it feels, like you riding on....um...air? lol You barely feel any bumps as the car just kinda floats over them. And with that, you dont have to worry about buying lowersprings or any big obstacles, since you can adjust the height up and down as you see fit. And if you get really high quality bags, some of them respond better than some track suspensions. Those systems offer more stiffness and softness adjustablitly, rather than ride height adjustment tho.

All in all, for what you want to do, id reccommend getting air struts instead of bags. They are cheaper, but you sacrafice a little bit of smoothness for durability. And with struts and 2 way valves, you can even set it up so you can lift a wheel off the ground, for like shows and stuff :wink:

But with springs, all you really get is a lower, more stable ride. Its WAY cheaper than an air suspension system, and its more reliable, as theres really nothing that can be broken. Its a fool-proof way to get a better ride and a lower, more aggressive stance. But you dont get ride height adjustability as you do with bags/struts, so your car is lowered permenatly. And this proves cumbersome with speed bumps, and going onto the beach, as the suspension will be easier to bottom out, and you car will be a lot lower.

Personally, I say jsut get a good set of lowering springs, and your good to go. You never have to think twice about it, you dont have to take care of them like bags, and you dont have to wait for your compressor to fil lthe bags when you start the car (which isnt an instant thing, if you think that. It takes a good 1-2 min for the compressor to fill the air tank, and then you have fill the bags, and then you can drive off. Because your suppose to empty your bags whenever you park your car, to take all the stress off of them. This sometimes causes problems, especially if you blow a compressor fuse or somethign, and you cant fill the bags.). The RAV4 drives better with a set of springs and some ARB's, Hey, thats the way im going. I had bags on the RAV4 at one point and time, but the novelty of it wore off after a while (and after days of being late to work because I had problems "geting my car off the ground" hahaha...)

But if you can get aroudn the downsides of the airbags, youll love em. Ive got customers that swear by them, and its usually the first thing they put on their ride when the get a new one.

And you can crazy with custome installs too. Heres a friend of mines Scion xB that I helped work on when he blew a bag on his way to a show (its funny, he broke down right infront of our shop...) http://www.minitruckinweb.com/features/0405mt_xb/ He loves them, maybe you will too. You could always try it out, then ebay itif you dont like it ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for all the info. I think I'll stay at the more cost efficient way and go with new shocks/struts and lowering springs. I did some pricing on bags and they're out of my price range. The main thing I was concerned about was bottoming out on my new exhaust pipe. I wasn't to concerned about it with my Civic, but I had adjustable springs on it.

....any coil overs available for the Rav?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Yeah, lots.

IF you want a full-out suspension, Tein makes a front/rear adjustable coilover suspension kit for the RAV4.

And there are a lot of comapies out there making lowering springs, ask around on the forums. As for shocks/struts, Echibach, K-mac, and some others all make them available for the RAV4, put it into google, youd be suprized with the results you find :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Any idea where online can I find these Tien coilovers? Thanks for your help in this matter, BTW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It says 2k2-2k4 models. Will it fit the 4.1's? In my case, a 97 5dr rav4?

Scratch that. Anyone know if there is another Toyota vehicle that has the same spring size as the Rav4? Or is the Rav4's spring setup unique to it's own?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
The Drifter,

I was thinking of bagging my ride too. I found this website that have a kit for the RAV4.

http://airbagit-madridbyrlsport.com/product.asp?returnURL=default.asp&ID=89376

Would really want to know your expertise. If you weren't so far, I would drive to your shop and have you work on it. Unfortunately, NY and FL is not just a state away.

My application is mainly low street riding and lift to clear speedbumps and NYC potholes.

Winter time, I would like to keep it higher to clear snowypath like what my Rav is doing now. would that be a bad thing? Since I don't want to lower it in the winter and would like to keep it lifted even when parked. I understand there's the possibility of freezing if I don't use a heat blower.

I really don't want to have a perminent stance and don't like to use elbow grease to adjust when I need to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Well see, theres one problem with that. Especially in cold or really hot weather, you need to empty the bags while your parked to take all the stress off of them. I said especially in extreme temps because the temps will make you run a higher risk of a blow out. One newer idea to copensate for that, that I didnt state above, was to use a large capacity tank, so that it will have air all the time. Then you can just lift and go, as long as you have enough pressure in the tank.

But yeah, an airbag system would be perfect for the application youd like to use it for. Airbag-it.com is a great resource for stuff, but personally I prefer to make my own kits so I can use different components and higher quality parts than in the kits. I first reccommed looking around NY for a local shop that does bag installs, and talk to them about what they can do for you.

Good luck ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
what size tank do you recommend? The kit comes with a 3 GL tank, is that enough? what's the largest tank possible to fit on the side component in the back. Left or right side is fine. I know there will be cutting, but at least it will be conseal. I also want the compressor in there too. Do you think the compressor could fit in there?

when you say parked... that's usually mean very long hours like overnight right? Leaving it up for an hour or 2 is fine right?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top