Open Source Your Air Ride Suspension

Air ride suspensions have several advantages over typical arrangements, but retrofitting a system to a vehicle that didn’t come with it can get pricey fast, especially if you want to go beyond the basics. The Open Source Air Suspension Management Controller aims to give people a fully customizable system without the expense or limitations of commercial units.

The project started as an upgrade to a basic commercial system, so it assumes that you’re bringing your own “bags, tank, compressor, tubing and fittings.” The current board uses an Arduino Nano, but the next revision based on the ESP32 will allow for a wider feature set.

With a Bluetooth connection and Android app, you can control your ride height from a phone or integrated Android head unit. Currently, the app shows the pressure readings from all four corners and has controls for increasing or decreasing the pressure or airing all the way up or down to a given set point.

Want to know how air suspensions work? How about this LEGO model? If you want a suspension with active tuning for your bike, how about this Arduino-powered mod?

8 thoughts on “Open Source Your Air Ride Suspension

  1. Air ride is just a _bad_ idea. Narrow exceptions for load hauling trucks with delicate cargo.

    Unless you’re the one selling parts and new cars (when the POS is uneconomical to repair at six years old) then air ride is great and will soon be on all models.

    Avoid it like a car with electronic door latches, CVT, DCT transexuals (correct word is banned).
    Also BMW turbos in the engine’s valley.
    Just say: ‘Hell no, are you crazy? A water cooled German car? Just insane!’

    Only blithering, status symbol obsessed, customers buy those money pits.
    These are all incredibly dumb ideas for street cars.

    I personally have replaced a financially challenged friends airbags with standard struts from the junkyard. Yeah springs. Thank dog it was a Lincoln, hence useless BS was just bolted onto a Ford.

    1. The correct word is “transmissions”, genius. The one you were trying to use *should* be banned even in an automotive context, along with people who insist on saying “dizzy” instead of “distributor.” Use words.

      Also, I only replaced the bags once on my Grand Marquis, and I owned it from new until 200K miles / 20 years. Self leveling was amazing; I put a fully dressed big block chevelle in the trunk, and loaded it with a half ton of concrete another time. Wait a few seconds, and the car levels out & rides just like there wasn’t a thousand extra pounds in the trunk. People who don’t like the air suspension in the Panther platform are mostly just too impoverished to afford hundred dollar bags instead of thirty dollar springs.

      1. Yeah, a number of years ago they actually recommended I consider aftermarket airbags to level my jeep instead of mounting a different set of leafs, and it was a fairly similar price although I chose to just go with the latter option. I don’t in principle object to the idea of air especially in anything that gets a lot of weight in the back. Leveling is worthwhile on its own, and in some vehicles I suspect if you don’t have air, they’ll probably put you on economy ride height all the time instead of only at speed.

    2. That’s a lot of hate targeted at the wrong thing. If you don’t like the hobby then sure, but obviously this is useful for many various applications of air suspension whether you like it or not. If you think air suspension is so useless then idk man, go tell your friends not to install it?

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