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

Motor Show 5th-11th Dec 2022

The AirRide Sales Office will be running a limited service due to staff attending the Essen Motor Show. You can still call and leave messages but its unlikely that either sales or technical staff will return your call until 12th December 2022.

You are welcome to call or to send your request by email to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK

As always its best to leave details of your name, telephone number, vehicle make, model, year and brief details of what sort of air suspension you are looking for. This will enable us to ensure the best person to deal with your enquiries calls you back.

Posted by Phil

Load support for Isuzu D Max

One of our recent installations... This flat back DMax is used for transporting equine supplies. It left our workshop equipped with a Boss bag load support kit + Premium On Board Air.

Why we use Boss? Boss bags are the toughest ones we know of, having been tested in the harsh conditions of the Australian Outback. They're great for heavy vehicles, superb for towing and are our go-to bags for pick-ups, vans and motorhomes.

Why fit air to a Pick-up? We supply kits for a lot of pickups for the same reasons they are fitted to vans and motorhomes - stability, towing, ground clearance, adjustability, handling and ride comfort under load. All are vastly improved which is why we deal with so many farmers, tree surgeons, gardeners, builders and renewable energy suppliers. If you have a pickup and notice how much worse itr rides under load then give us a call and see how air might help you.

For D-Max (2012-2020) Rear Kit CLICK HERE

For Isuzu D-Max 2021+ Rear Kit CLICK HERE

The D Max kits are among our best selling ones. We try to keep them in stock but please speak to us before ordering if it is urgent.

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

2021+ Isuzu D Max outside AiRide
Boss Air Suspension kit installed by AirRide shown on a 2021+ Isuzu Dmax
Flat bed on a 2021+ DMax
Posted by Christine

Air suspension for Defender

Our pride and joy - the coil spring Land Rover kit! It fits the classic Range Rover, Land Rover Defender (90 and 110 etc) and Discovery I and II and is a full-conversion kit, for the front and back of the vehicle. To be clear, we are proud of all of our high quality air suspension products but there is something special about this kit which was honed to perfection here in Norwich over a course of several years. The result is stunning!

Our kit uses the toughest air springs on the market from Boss Air Suspension. We've seen competitor kits with reversible sleeve bags that can give a nice ride but they are very low specification and delicate. The bags we use are designed for abuse, and simply refuse to fail. They are tested to 1000 psi and 750psi in test procedures and don’t rupture at those levels. They are not usually damaged by over inflation and the rubber from which they are made is around 4 time the thickness of the competitor bags. The maximum in service pressure of our bags is 160psi, which is 60 psi higher than standard reversible sleeve bags. Given that you need to use 100 psi to fully lift the vehicle this means the bags are at 100% and at 200% if you drive at that pressure! Our bags have a massive safety margin and can lift the vehicle at well over double its usual weight (beyond its legal capacity).

Even things like air fittings that we use are of superior quality generally being made of metal for all but the collars and seals for the unions. After 20 years in this business we know what works and what is reliable and those are the components we use on our vehicles, on our installations and in our kits.

Our kit is a simple bolt on conversion, fully reversible, and the kit could be transferred to another vehicle if ever needed.

When it comes to air management we continue to use only the best. We use aluminium tanks which are lighter, do not rust and have a max working pressure of 200 psi. By comparision, some competitors use steel tanks, which have a maximum capacity of 150psi, and according to the manufacturer should be replaced every 2 years. The compressor is Viair 444C, an entirely metal heavy duty 100% duty cycle at 100 psi, and max pressure 200 psi robust full time suspension compressor. Beware of  competitor kits that use a low specification 12% or 15% duty cycle compressor with some plastic parts - it won't last!

To check out the kit CLICK HERE.

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

Lifted 1997 Defender parked sideways outside AirRide workshop
Close up of a lfited front air suspension on a 1997 Defender
Lowered 1997 Defender shown parked outside AirRide
Posted by Christine

Please use our Freephone number

Icon for traditional Phone

Customers are reminded to use the 0800 772 0315 phone number at the top of each page and on each email. If we have called you on another number and you do not call the 0800 number there is a very good chance that you wont get through! Our company includes a sales and marketing office, a workshop, several stores, a manufacturing facility and a small call centre - each location has its own phone numbers which you may have been called from. For your own sake please use the 0800 number which is free and always has staff available during office hours Monday to Friday to take your call and/or advise.

We always aim to return your call within 2 working days, usually 1 working day, and often within a few minutes or hours. You are also welcome to send an email with your number requesting a call-back. In this case please send a short note on your email including your vehicle make and model, age and air suspension requirements to ensure the correct person calls you.

Technical advisers may call you back if your enquiry is more technical in nature, but you should always call the 0800 number to make contact. Its free from all UK landlines and mobiles.

Posted by Phil

AirLift Performance Price Increase

First, we would like to thank all our existing customers for choosing us. We are a small, family owned business so your support is very important to us and it allows us to pour money into our local economy by creating jobs, doing R&D and keeping manufacturing alive in the UK, as well as offering products by all the best quality suppliers in the air suspension industry.

As a company, we strive to offer great products at fair prices and provide value for money all year round. For this reason, we try to absorb price increases before passing them onto our customers. However, there are times when it is not possible and we have to increase our prices.

This is one of those occasions. Due to unprecedented cost increase on raw materials and a weak pound against the dollar, the cost price for AirLift Performance products has gone up very significantly. New substantially increased prices will be effective from 29/07/2022.

Our bestselling ALP product is the 3P, which is normally sold in a pack with a compressor and a tank. It is our most popular air management choice, loved by both mechanics and customers because it is easy to fit, easy to use and with less chance for an air leak unlike more complex air management solutions, such as the manual paddle controller or solenoid packs.

Therefore, if you have been looking at any ALP products on our website we advise you to order now to beat the price increase!

Get in touch by emailing to ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK 

Air Lift Performance
Posted by Christine