DIY Installation: Air Suspension Control Valve
The suspension system is given the special task of keeping the ride quality satisfying regardless of the road conditions, vehicle's weight, and of the extra load that it carries. But the conventional suspensions offer limited tuning ability which is supposed to help achieve improved handling and ride quality even with a modified height. Many car owners are into customization, and altering to air suspension system is at height. If you are among them, learning how to replace and install air suspension parts, such as the control valve, will be of great value.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Mounting height blocks
- Jack supports
- Tire blocks
Step 1: Choose a working area with levelled surface, and secure the vehicle by choking its wheels. This should prevent the vehicle from moving and keeping it fixed when lifted.
Step 2: Block the axle or suspension system to the desired ride height. This height refers to that at the center of the axle to the bottom of the frame. Proper ride height for the suspension is indicated in the suspension.
Step 3: Be sure to find the right orientation of the lever as against the drive bearing cap. There is an alignment notch on the drive bearing cap that will help locate the drive cap after the lever is installed to the cap slot.
Step 4: Before securing the lever, check whether it rotates to reach both the FILL and EXH indicated on the body of the HCV or air or Height Control Valve. Make sure that it rotates in both directions freely as you move the lever. After which, connect the lever to the drive mechanism using a 1/4-inch tapping screw, and then torque to 50-55 lbs. Do not over-torque in order to keep the integrity of the fitting.
Step 5: To install the air suspension control valve, insert the t-bolts into the mounting slots of the control valve and into the mounting bracket or the vehicle's frame itself. Place the nuts and tighten to the right torque of 60-80 lbs.
Step 6: It's now time to install the vertical linkage to the control valve and lower mounting bracket. Cut the lower end of the rod according to the configurations necessary; fasten accordingly.
Step 7: Position the air suspension control valve in the center before tightening the p-connector or the lower linkage connection.
Step 8: Redirect the air lines with the use of 90 degree PTC elbows through the ports. Make sure that the lines are connected to the correct ports. Also prevent the air lines from rubbing against the other HCV components.
Step 9: Air up. Test for leaks. And then remove the mounting height blocks.
Step 10: The newly installed air suspension control valve must fully function, so check it. Manually rotate the lever to 20 to 30 degrees towards FILL. Notice if the valve exhausts upon releasing the lever. Also see if it returned to the pre-set mounting height. Do the same as with the EXH. Adjust as necessary.
Step 11: Check for linkage binding or interference. Also make sure that the wheels do not interfere with the air suspension control valve as you fully steer.