Ford Transit is a very widespread truck in Russia . Many people choose it as an alternative to the Sprinter. At a cost "Transit" is less, and the characteristics of carrying capacity and comfort are at the same level. There are various modifications of these trucks - from minibuses to 20 cc vans and refrigerators. Usually, springs or springs are placed on the rear axle of the Transits. But many owners are replacing this suspension with a pneumatic one. What does it give? Consider in our article today.
Pneumatic is a type of suspension with which you can adjust the ride height. Such a system is widely used in commercial vehicles. Manufacturers are gradually moving away from archaic multi-leaf springs in favor of air cylinders.
Now all semi-trailers and heavy vehicles are equipped with such. As for small commercial vehicles (up to three tons and below), air suspension is less common here. The reason for this is a significant increase in the cost of the car - the system is much more complicated than helical springs and springs. How the air suspension works is described below.
This system consists of several elements:
- Air cylinders. They operate on the principle of springs and springs - they hold the weight of the car and partially dampen the vibrations. What pneumatic cylinders look like on “Transit”, you can see below. They are made from a thick piece of rubber. Inside is filled with high pressure air. Due to its elastic design, the pillow can change shape, thereby adjusting the clearance.
- Compressor. It is used to pump air into the receiver. The latter has a volume of 3 to 10 liters. When installing air suspension on a Ford Transit, it is recommended to use a 10-liter receiver. Usually it is located in the back or in the cab. Note that the budget air suspension installed on the Ford Transit may not include these elements (receivers). As for the compressor, it is the main component of the system. Without it, the work of the suspension is simply impossible. The unit works from a network of 12 volts and automatically turns off when a certain pressure is reached.
- Airways. On them, air moves under pressure from the compressor to the actuators.
- Electronic sensors. Track the position and tilt of the car body in real time. Thus, the cylinders can be pumped up at some point, making the car more stable on the road. These sensors interact with the control unit. But such electronics are rarely installed on commercial vehicles. More often it is the lot of business and premium cars.
What is relevant receiver?
Choosing a complete set of air suspension on the Ford Transit, you should not save on this element. The device allows you to store air under pressure for a long time. If you need to raise the car, air from the receiver quickly (within 4-5 seconds) replenishes the chamber of the air tank. The latter becomes harder, and clearance increases. In the absence of a receiver, air will be pumped directly into the pillows. But it is very long and harmful to the compressor. With frequent use, it can simply burn out.
How does Ford Transit behave in air suspension? Responses of owners claim that the installation of pillows can eliminate the consequences of overloading the car. These are side rolls, spring breakdowns and suspension breakdowns. Regarding the latter factor, the balloon acts as a buffer, preventing the frame from touching the root leaf of the spring.
What else do they say about the Ford Transit air suspension reviews? Also, the car becomes more comfortable. The pillow smoothly dampens vibrations and bumps when hitting bumps. For this reason, air suspension is often installed on a Ford Transit minibus.
Nevertheless, the main factor that pushes owners to install air suspension in Ford Transit is an increase in carrying capacity. And the cylinders, according to reviews, cope "perfectly" with this task. The load on the standard springs is minimal, but the clearance remains the same.
Why is the air suspension for the cargo and passenger Ford Transit and other modifications not delivered from the factory? One of the negative factors is low maintainability. In the event of a cylinder breakdown (and this is depressurization), it must be changed entirely. The compressor is also difficult to repair. And the system itself is not cheap. How much does it cost to install an air suspension on a Ford Transit? The price of the budget option starts at 20 thousand rubles. A complete set can be installed for 100 thousand.
Which one to choose?
For small commercial vehicles, often choose to install air suspension only on the rear axle.
As for the type, it is better to install a system with one circuit. You can put a double-circuit, but it makes no sense - say the reviews.
How do you install the air suspension on a Ford Transit with your own hands? Note that the installation does not need to completely redo the chassis. Consider the most popular option - mounting a single-circuit air suspension on a Ford Transit (the price of the kit is from 15 thousand rubles) on the rear axle. First, the cushion brackets are installed. The top is attached to the frame, the bottom - to the leaf spring.
During the work, it is necessary to make holes for the bolt connections of the brackets. Next, pneumatic cylinders are installed here. Hoses are connected to them. It is better to install the compressor with the receiver in the cabin. In the engine compartment, space is limited, and in the body (if it is a booth), it can be damaged. We connect solenoid valves to the unit and display the control panel on the front panel. On this installation of air suspension in the Ford Transit is completed. Tubes should be laid on the inside of the frame, securing them to the clamps.
We extend the resource
In order for the cylinders to serve for a long time (and this is half the cost of the entire set of the system), you need to know some rules for caring for them. The rubber coating of the pillows is very afraid of road reagents and dirt. Even small particles are able to act as an abrasive at the joints of parts of air bellows. In order for the pillows to serve for a long time and not lower, periodically they should be cleaned of dirt. And in the winter - treated with silicone.
With decreasing temperature, the rubber becomes hard and even in the absence of dirt begins to "eat" itself. Silicone will create a certain layer, which will provide free movement to the components of the air bag.
So, we found out what air suspension is, how and why it is installed on the Ford Transit. Judging by the reviews, many are satisfied with this choice. Air suspension improves the stability of the car on the road and increases the carrying capacity, which is especially important in commercial activities.