The sky is the limit on compressor systems. The main difference here is rise time and convenience. The faster you want your vehicle to come up the more compressors, the more pressure, and the more reservoir tanks you will need. A typical trucker who is not concerned with rise time will probably use a single compressor with a 2-gallon tank and a two-way controller. If you want that truck up in 2 seconds it will take a pair of 150-psi compressors, a pair of 3-gallon tanks and a four-way control system. Obviously this extra equipment will cost more money.
CT:Why would four-way control be an advantage?
BV: There are several reasons to control the air springs independently. Probably the biggest is to eliminate air transfer when cornering. In a two-way configuration the air springs are tied together from side to side. For example, when you negotiate a turn to the left, the vehicle will tend to lean to the right and place more load on the right hand suspension. The loaded right hand air spring will then start to transfer air to the unloaded left side air spring, thereby worsening the problem.
Another issue is the leaning vehicle. If everything is equal, meaning weight, frame level, and bushing resistance, then the truck will level. In the real world, however, driver weight, gas tank weight, and uneven suspension bushing resistance may combine to make the vehicle lean. Then, just as with a coilover, you have to "wedge" it level with a bit more air pressure on one side or one corner. These are very common problems, especially for top-heavy vehicles with polyurethane bushings and no sway bars.
A four-way control system will also offer a faster rise time because it will flow more air. And while 12-15 seconds may not seem like a long time, if you are sitting there with your finger on the switch it may seem like forever! The RidePro solenoid system, for example, also offers a simpler plug-in installation and a digital gauge option. When new products are developed, such as electronic leveling systems and remote controls, they will require the use of a 12-volt solenoid air valve.
Compressor systems are a basic, but misunderstood, part of any air ride system. These are some common mistakes that we see frequently:
1.Too small of power wire to compressor. The compressor will draw 18 amps at full pressure. If you don't use at least a 10-gauge wire you may see a voltage drop to the compressor and consequently burn it up.
2. Too small of reservoir tank-in general, the bigger the tank, the faster the car will come up.
3. Too much tank for one compressor-Rule two taken to the extreme. We try to use one compressor for every 3 gallons of tank capacity.
4. Using non-DOT airline tubing-DOT tubing is the same stuff used on air brakes on big trucks-it is rated for abrasion, temperature, and vibration. The tubing you buy at the industrial store for five-cents per foot is not-and will fail
5. Using non-DOT fittings-same reason as above.
6. Jagged cut on the tubing going into the fitting - If you don't have a clean square cut on the plastic tubing, it will not seal properly and you will have a leak.
7. Not using Teflon tape or paste on the fitting threads-just do it.
8. Kinking, smashing, cutting, melting, or other damage to the airline. The DOT tubing is sturdy stuff, but you do have to use some common sense. Keep it away from heat, sharp corners, and moving objects. Some customers insist on using hard lines in their system. That is fine as long as you keep the bends to a minimum and use large enough line. Remember, we need flow here, not just pressure.