Quality fittings are essential on air suspension

You can buy the best air suspension kit, quality airline, a top spec compressor and a sophisticated controller but none of that will matter if you don't also buy quality fittings. Low quality fittings cause leaks and leaks make the whole system unreliable and potentially dangerous.  If you buy your parts from us, you can be assured that we only supply products that we would (and do!) install on our own vehicles. Whether it's compressors or tank fittings: if we haven't tested it ourselves, we don't sell it!

Airbags should hold pressure for months, just like tyres. If they don't then you have a problem. Finding where exactly the leak is can be frustrating and time consuming, especially if you didn't install the air suspension yourself or bought the vehicle with airride already on.

Here's what you need to know when looking for fittings:

  1. Price. Our fittings start from £7.50 a piece. If someone is selling fittings much cheaper, you got to ask a few questions... Are they selling in bulk? Is there a handling charge and expensive shipping? Are the fittings sent from China and will take weeks to arrive? Or is it simply because they're low quality fittings?
  2. Measurements. Fittings should ideally be measured with a digital calliper. British Standard Pipe (NPT), a commonly used set of technical standards, can be a minefield when trying to source air suspension fittings. We've had customers ordering wrong size fittings because they measured the outside of the thread when they should have measured the inside thread. Yes, NPT can be awkward...
  3. Size. We get a lot of enquiries about fittings where customers don't provide sizes. There is no universal pack of fittings that will suit all installations. Therefore we really need to know whether the fitting you require is straight or 90 degree, male or female NPT and what size airline it's for.
  4. Sealants. Only liquid thread sealant should be used. Do not use tape - you can read more about this in a previous post. PTC (Push to Connect) fittings should seal as soon as airline is connected and not require anything else to secure it. We once had a supplier who suggested using superglue. Ehm... No. Just buy fittings elsewhere and buy quality.

Of course, if you buy the air suspension kit and one of our air management packs we will sort out the fittings for you!

If you're putting together your own kit or need replacement parts then a selection of fittings is AVAILABLE HERE.

If you cannot see what you need, call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK



Various air suspension fittings on blue background
Posted by Phil


It is back! We know a lot of you have been waiting for this year's AirLift Performance Black Friday sale - many products are now up to 20% off! They won't get any cheaper so if you've been thinking about equipping your car with ALP gear, now is the time to order.

As usual, sales prices cannot be used with any other offer and the sale ends 04/12/2023. A very long Black Friday indeed...

Please contact the office for prices by emailing to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK or call us on 0800 772 0315.

Posted by Christine


Compressors are among our bestselling products. With so many available on the market we try to keep things simple and only stock one manufacturer: Viair, a trusted and iconic brand. We do have a selection of their products on our website but it's mainly for display purposes. Most of the time we use and recommend the same model: VIAIR 444C.

It's a solid aluminium compressor with a sealed non return valve and braided hose. You won't see any plastic parts that are so common on cheap emergency tyre inflators maskerading as air suspension compressors.

100% duty cycle at 100 PSI and 200 PSI max offers great value for money. Please note that it does not come with an on/off button and requires an external pressure switch. At £238 it is not much more expensive than lower specs, although it is a bit bigger and heavier. Unless you're restricted for space we recommend using 444C when installing/replacing a compressor. As one of our all-time favourite products it's almost always in stock. Other Viair compressors are not but can usually be obtained within 3-5 days.

Sometimes we get asked whether we can supply other manufacturer compressors and the answer is No. If you want a specific compressor by a specific manufacturer you're better off ordering directly with them even if it means paying customs fees. If you do need to replace a compressor and are unsure what to choose simply provide us with the tech specs and we'll do our best to assist.

Any questions? Call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK.

Posted by Christine

Air suspension setup: cars

Nissan 370Z shown lowered outside AirRide
3P digital controller pack shown installed in the boot
3P remote hidden dashboard installation

We understand that choosing air suspension parts for your car can feel overwhelming at times so we've put together this short guide.

What kit should I choose?

This will depend on the vehicle in question. Some cars will have several kits available, others only one. And then there are cars with no bolt on kits available that will require universal parts. Our kits are primarily for lowering the car.  If that's not what you're looking to achieve - get in touch!

If you want to lower your car and there is a choice between a kit from AirLift Performance, TA Technix and AirRide Gold then...

AirLift Performance uses the biggest bags and their 'Performance' kits have 30 level adjustable damping. The 'Slam' kits do what their name suggests.

TA Technix uses small bags and their kits are great for slamming the car to the ground, but they're not very adjustable.

AirRide Gold kits use bigger bags than TA Technix, have 36 way adjustable damping but they're still sporty kits.

AirRide Custom kits are available for a selection of vehicles. They will lower your car but are built with comfort and ride quality in mind. These kits mainly use Universal Air bags and do not include shock absorbers.

Once you've picked the kit for your car, the next question customers ask is...

Do I need air management?

The short answer is: yes, you do. Air management is sold separately, it is not included in the car kits. Our car kits are bags and brackets and, with some kits, also shock absorbers.

Without a compressor, a tank and a controller you would rely on Schrader valves. This solution works well on motorhomes and other heavy vehicles that simply need lifting up but not on cars.  One of the main advantages of air suspension is adjustability: to be able to adjust height and pressure on the go, at the touch of a button. Cars will need regular adjustment to adapt for weight fluctuations (cargo, passengers) and road surface/condition. Having to stop to inflate/deflate the bags via Schrader valves is not very convenient.

What air management should I choose?

Front and rear kits require a 4 circuit management where each corner is separate. Anything else is neither safe nor road legal.

Our air management of choice is the 3P DIGITAL CONTROLLER PACK. It is easy to install, easy to use and what we fit to our own vehicles. Because there are only a few wires to connect going for the 3P pack saves you money on labour costs.

Choosing a compressor and a tank can be confusing because there are so many options available but we've got you sorted. Our compressor of choice is always the VIAIR 444C as it's excellent value for money. Customers sometimes ask whether they need to install 2 compressors in case one fails. With a reputable brand like Viair you don't have to worry about it and one compressor is enough.

Air tank wise, our default choice is the 2.5 GALLON TANK but we can supply smaller or bigger tanks if necessary.

Any questions? Call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

Posted by Christine

Summer Hours

It is summer (despite the rain and the wind!) and that means staff holidays.

Our Sales Office will be closed between 1st August - 17th August 2023. You will still be able to call and leave a message to our call centre staff who then forward them to us. Calls and emails will take a bit longer to answer.

Our workshop (manufacturing and installations) will be run by skeleton staff. As much as we like visitors, we won't be able to do inspections or repairs that have not been booked in advance.

Orders for in stock items will be processed but might take longer to dispatch. New orders for manufactured items will not be processed until our return on 16th August.

If you require technical assistance for a product you are fitting then please email us at ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK using the subject ‘Technical’. Emails will be monitored sporadically and those relating to your technical enquiries will have priority.

We thank customers for their support and business, and hope you are getting to enjoy your motorhomes, vans and cars this summer.

Sardegna beach
Posted by Christine

What does bolt-on kit actually mean?

Front of Shiny Black Mercedes on Air Suspension
4 part full air suspension kit
front air suspension fitted to car

Like most air suspension specialist we sell a lot of kits, and we also sell a lot of bags. On occasion a customer will come back to us and say that they have a hole in their bag because it touched on something. Most customers are sensible, viewing it as an expensive learning experience and realise this is not a warranty issue. All manufacturers state clearly that it is the absolute responsibility of the installer to ensure that at no time can the airbag ever touch or even come close to metalwork. The result of not checking or taking action to avoid this is inevitable - a hole in your bag.

What can you do to avoid this?

Put simply - most kits require a clear 1 inch gap around the bag to be guaranteed never to touch. This is because when you go over a bump the pressure in the bag increases dramatically for a short period of time and this will make the bag wider for a short time. So even if it is clear when static it may not be under driving conditions. Secondly on front suspensions with McPherson struts you will find that they turn - sometimes not through the angles you would predict, which can make the situation worse.

If you have the clearance then you wont have a problem. Again its quite simple - bits of metal that could touch may need to be removed. On the Jaguar kits you can simply pack out the anti roll bar with washers for more clearance. Rear driveshaft's and gators can also be an issue - sometimes smaller diameter gators are available or the kit must be adjusted to clear. At speed gators get larger too!

How can this happen on a bolt-on kit?

A bolt on kit just means the kit bolts onto the vehicle - as opposed to a weld-on or fabricated/universal kit which will need a lot of work. It does not mean that the bags cannot touch, or that you don't have to do any work to make them clear or that you can close your eyes and never verify all is good. Wheels are bolt on, but when you modify a car and fit larger or smaller wheels it is down to the installer to ensure they don't catch on the arches when going over bumps or turning corners - that's what bolt-on means. You should not need to fabricate or modify the kit to fit, but you may well have to modify the car for it to fit - same as wide wheels/tyres.

Some of the kits we sell for older vehicles - such as Mercedes from 1960's to 2000's, The Jaguar XJ40/X300/X308 kit, Classic Mini and Ducato front struts all have very tight clearances. Some need small parts of the chassis to be cut away or a redundant bumpstop perches to be removed. All are bolt-on kits. Most modern vehicles have different suspension and its far less likely to be an issue, although some Hondas require the front arms to be shaved a little.

So what can you take away from this note - if it touches it will fail. Its not a matter that "it will be ok" - it will never be ok - more a matter of when not if.

Any questions? Call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

Posted by Phil

Air suspensions are not all the same

Here at AirRide we only sell parts that we would install on our own vehicles: high quality and built to last. Our kits are premium products which is reflected in the price. Every now and then we receive calls asking why our load supports kits are £700 for bags, brackets and Schrader valves when they've seen much cheaper products elsewhere. The very short answer is: because quality costs money!

We use some of the highest specification bags on the general market because many of our customers have motorhomes. Motorhomes are not vans, and need very different kits due to being heavily loaded all their life. We use 160 psi rated bags on most kits which have more laminations and thicker rubber than any we have seen available. They are also tested to an incredible 1000 psi for leaks - most of the bags used in the counterfeit kits explode (really they do) at significantly lower pressures.

A proper air suspension grade compressor alone costs about £240 yet we’ve seen cheap kits that include an “all metal” (plastic emergency tyre inflators in reality) compressor designed for use once or twice a year – suspension compressors are designed for daily/weekly use.

Hint:- If a compressor has crocodile clips, or a cigarette lighter plug on it, then it's certainly not a suspension grade compressor!!

Any real air suspension compressor is never, ever connected to the lighter plug, and will require a relay as it draws a lot of power.

Then there are unbranded or counterfeit airbags, usually coming from China or Eastern Europe from other companies (particularly eBay). eBay sellers also fraudulently claim “VOSA” compliance – which is both false and non existent, plus “4000 Kg” capacity which is also totally untrue, and unsupported by basic mathematics. Poorly designed or counterfeit brackets can actually damage your vehicle given the loads that are involved in air suspension and heavy motorhomes. We only supply proper suspension grade compressors, proper genuine highest quality and highest specification air bags/springs, and 6mm thick steel brackets with proper braces and supports. We replace a lot of the low quality eBay kits for proper specification kits – so please be aware that all air suspension is not the same and if you buy cheap, you can often buy twice, which clearly is not cheaper!



Ducato rear kit laid out on blue background
Viair 444C on blue background
Posted by Phil

Thread sealant

AirRide thread sealant pictured outside

Just as you need the right bags and brackets for the job you also need the right sealant. Do not use tape to install air suspension or to fix air leaks. For some reason plumbers PTFE thread seal seems to work adequately on water pipes but does not ever work well on air suspension systems. Additionally it invalidates the warranties on most electronic controllers. Only use liquid thread sealant.

Thread sealant, as the name suggests, is for use on metal threads. It's easy to use and highly reliable. With an operating temperature between -50°C to +150°C  and a maximum operating pressure of 250 PSI, it can be used on most installations, and almost all air suspension systems we see.

This can also be used on bead seal bags, but quality bags such as the Boss ones we supply can be assembled dry and wont leak up to about 750psi (safe working pressure 160 psi). This NOT for direct use on the plastic pipe (polyurethane or nylon) as it will damage it. Neither should you use superglue/CA glue as we have heard one supplier recommend. If you need to use superglue on a PTC (Push to Connect) fitting then you need to change supplier. Quality fittings do cost a little bit more but leaks make the system unuseable. So which is more expensive?

The thread sealant is AVAILABLE HERE. Free mainland UK delivery!

Any questions? Call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

Posted by Christine

Replacement airbags

One of the most common enquiries we have is for replacement airbags. In an ideal world, the original supplier/purchaser/installer would take a note of the part number and preserve it for future use. In real life, very few people do that. Vehicles get sold, part numbers wear out or are not clear to start with, and suppliers products evolve. The only sure way to identify, for instance, a Firestone bag is by the W number, which is written... wait for it... on a paper label on top of the airbag! The chance of that surviving for years under a vehicle is, as you've probably guessed, pretty close to zero.

Firestone bags do have other numbers printed on them but these are mould numbers and are used on dozens of bags, and so of limited help.

There are about 10 000 airbags in common use today so if no part number is available, customers would need to send us photos  of an airbag with height and width measurements. Alternatively, customers are welcome to post us a bag and we'll try and match it. Please note that if the bags are really old there is a chance that the airbags have either been discontinued or the manufacturer is no longer in business. In that case we'll try to come up with an alternative solution.

For popular vehicles, such as 1990s Sprinters or leaf spring Ducatos, we have replacement kits available meaning that both bags and brackets can be changed to bring things up to modern standards.

So if you need replacement bags for any application the first thing is to shoot us some photos and dimensions, and failing that post us a bag and we will do our best to assist.


Airbag examples on blue background
Posted by Christine

AirRide away

Orange car on a ramp

Our workshop and sales office will be closed between March 27 - April 10. This is due to staff going away to work on location for a TV project. The job involves a vehicle for which there is no existing air suspension solution and we're really looking forward to this challenge. That's all we're allowed to say about it, sorry! We hope we'll be able to share more details about the build in near future.

Orders placed via our website during this time will not be dispatched. Made to order kits will be dispatched once manufactured after Easter.

If you call us on 0800 772 0315 whilst we are away our call centre staff will take a message.  Please provide your name, telephone number, vehicle make, model, year and brief details of what sort of air suspension you are looking for. The call-backs will be very limited so customers are encouraged to email us at ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK instead. We endeavour to reply to your query within 48 hours, but cannot guarantee this.  If you are trying to install our products and require technical assistance then please put ‘Technical’ in the subject line.

Since we will come back shortly before Easter and AirRide is closed on bank holidays, we will re-open at 10 AM on Tue, April 11. We'd like to wish you all a Happy Easter and see you in a few weeks!

Posted by Christine

Universal kits

If it has suspension it can likely be fitted with air suspension! We offer over 1200 car kits and hundreds of van, pickup and motorhome kits - the biggest AirRide range anywhere - however, we get enquiries nearly every week for air suspension solutions for vehicles that don't have bolt on kits available.

For example...

Vauxhall Cavalier

1950s Chevy 3100

Suzuki Jimny

Honda Acty

1973 Ford Thunderbird

1978 Rolls Royce Shadow

Austin Maxi

1986 Leyland Tiger

As in everything, whether a vehicle will have a kit developed for it depends on supply and demand. It costs thousands to develop a kit and it can only be done if the manufacturer believes that there is a market for it. Luckily, we are a manufacturer ourselves and can make custom kits in our Norwich workshop. Price depends on the amount of work involved and customer requirements.

Alternatively, we can supply universal parts for customers who will do the installation themselves. Here we would like to make it clear that universal parts are not like an Oodie where one size fits most. Universal parts won't magically bolt onto the vehicle in question. They will require cutting, welding and grinding by the customer in order to fit. Each kit is put together following provision of vehicle details and will include all the components that we would use if the vehicle came to us for an installation. How close this gets you will vary from vehicle to vehicle but is usually around 70-90%.

For more information and quotes please call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to  ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

Four link Suspension Universal suspension Kit
Posted by Christine

OEM air suspension repairs

Although our primary work is conversions, as an air suspension specialist we regularly work on all sorts of air suspension. For instance, this S212 came to our workshop to replace some OEM air suspension parts.

We have a penchant for Mercs, Land Rovers and Bentleys here at AirRide so we have a wealth of knowledge about factory air suspension on these vehicles although, of course, we service other vehicles too.

We can help with:

  • diagnostics
  • maintenance
  • sourcing parts
  • repairs

Our workshop is in Norwich, Norfolk - not to be confused with Northwich, Chesire as we seem to come up on air suspension specialist searches in the North East!

Unless we are super busy in the workshop or away doing film/TV/custom work, we can normally inspect your vehicle at short notice or even on the same day. Please note that OEM parts are not held in stock so customers would either need to leave the vehicle here or come back when the parts have arrived.

Need more information? Please call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to  ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

Posted by Christine

Masters of Air

Got a Renault Master? Whether it's a commercial vehicle (left) or a camper (right), we have a range of air suspension solutions available depending on your requirements. We also do diagnostics and repairs in our Norwich workshop.


If you need to lift a sagging vehicle, check out our load support kits. Using the toughest bags from Boss Air, they are ideal for heavily loaded vans:

For X70 Master, Movano & Interstar (1998-2010) CLICK HERE

For X62 FWD & RWD Master, Movano & NV400 (2010-) CLICK HERE

Commonly used on: campers and motorhomes. Also used on: commercial vehicles that don't need lowering, but need support for existing suspension.


Need a rear kit that can lift and lower ?  Check out our

Renault Master/Movano Ultimate Rear Kit | AirRide (2010 – current) HERE

Commonly used on: ambulances, museum transit vehicles, aviation transport vehicles, wheelchair access vehicles. Also used on: recovery trucks, motorhomes, campers that need to be as close to the ground as possible for loading/unloading.


Interested in front air suspension?

Check out our custom made struts HERE.

Usually it is the rear kit that makes the most difference, however, each vehicle is different! Also, customers who need their vehicle as low as possible will benefit from front and rear air suspension.


All products are available with various air management options to suit your needs: from basic Schrader valves to sophisticated automated on board.

Need more information? Please call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to  ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

White Renault Master Luton van and camper vans outside AirRide
Smith Removals Renault Master parked outside AirRide with staff of both companies chatting
Posted by Christine

AirRide Custom T5/T6 kit

The AirRide Custom for VW T5/T6 is one of our very best selling kits having been in production for an amazing 18 years in various evolutions! If you're looking for a comfy ride and want the option to lower the vehicle... you've found it!

Although not the absolute lowest vehicle possible this is the best kit in terms of robustness and comfort. The AirRide Custom uses some of the highest spec bags on the market. Loading is easier for sure and it has been used by lots of builders and plumbers wanting nice looking vehicle but also vehicles which can go to rough sites where roads may not have been finalised yet.

We've added some photos of a recent installation: our customer wanted to lower his T5 camper without compromising on comfort. After weighing the pros and cons of 3H (height +pressure) vs 3P (pressure only), he chose 3P. The 3P computer controller pack is our most popular air suspension management option. It is easy to use, allows to save up to 5 pre-set heights, making it so much more convenient to adjust pressure on the go. It is also the easiest and therefore lowest cost air management option to install. With only a few wires to connect, 3P saves you money on labour and maintenance costs as it reduces the chance of an air leak.

In terms of where to install air management parts, each VW Transporter is different so this is always discussed with the customer to find out their needs. Because space is usually premium, the bulk of our installations are hidden installations meaning the compressor, controller and tank don't take up any space inside the cab but are instead tucked away under the vehicle.

The AirRide Custom kit is available HERE.

Need more information? Please call us on 0800 772 0315 or send an email to  ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK


Lowered light blue VW Transporter T5 outside AirRide
Close up of a rear AirRide Custom double convoluted bag installed on a VW T5
AirLift Performance 3P wired controller shown on the driver's seat in a VW T5
Posted by Christine

Essen Motor Show 2022

AirRide staff are freshly back from the Essen Motor Show in Germany, which took place last week. It was a huge event and we're thrilled to have been there! Hundreds of eye candies in the form of custom vehicles, classic cars, trucks, bikes - we still got aching necks from all that looking around, lol! Apart from looking at beautiful cars, we also did a lot of networking and checked out air suspension solutions from competitors.

Apparently we made about 1500 photos in the last week, some of which you can see here, and we will also be sharing our faves on Instagram. Given how busy AirRide normally is, we really appreciated the chance to spend a week away from the Norwich workshop and attend a motor show. When a business trip feels like a holiday you know you're doing a job you love!

Apollo Intensa Emozion on display at Essen Motor Show 2022
Ford Ranger
Purple Aston Martin displayed at Essen Motor Show 2022
Lowered Mercedes W124
Purple Lamborghini displayed at Essen Motor Show 2022
Lowered Mercedes W126
Posted by Christine