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Anyone retrofitted air suspension? Or done a custom airbag setup?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by selfbp, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. selfbp

    selfbp Member

    Aug 4, 2017
    East, TN
    While being overwhelmed of all the other features of the car during the ordering process, I kept telling myself that the Air Suspension wasn't that big of a deal. Long story short.. I am wrong.
    To the point; has anyone retrofitted the smart-air-suspension to a vehicle post-ordering process? I feel as if it could be done relatively easily as the harness should be the same and I would just need the struts, compressor, modules, and reprogramming -hoping Tesla would work with me as I know the stories of members getting the Service Centers to 'check' the BioWeapon Defense mode option in the car's internal settings and enable that.

    Or a more preferred method in terms of wallet and troubleshooting- adapting an AirRide or AirLift air suspension system to fit the vehicle. As those setups are more straightforward for someone of my skill.

    Thoughts?...other than "Trade it in and get a model with Air Suspension" as its not something I am going to even consider.

    Specifically looking for feedback from users who've had experience looking at the Model S struts and any experience with adapting air ride to vehicles.

    Looking forward to seeing what can be engineered!
  2. eschummer

    eschummer Member

    May 31, 2016
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm with you in wishing I had forked over the extra bucks for the air suspension. At the time I ordered mine the general consensus seemed to be that the air suspension is nice, but generally "softer" than the coils. My problem is that while I appreciate the perhaps perceptibly stiffer suspension feel around corners. the car has such low ground clearance that I inevitably scrape the protector rails every time I enter my garage. At this point I would give up a little cornering finesse for the adjustable ground clearance.

    However, examining the options, it would seem that the labor involved in changing out suspension components on all 4 corners, adding the compressor and control module and re-programming the car would cost quite a bit more than the difference in price to upgrade to a model that has the air suspension built in from the factory. If you are capable of performing the installation yourself, the equation might look different, but I wouldn't want to be without my favorite car for the length of time this sort of surgery might take.

    Just my $0.02 worth, YMMV...

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