Automotive car products, Shock absorbers, Suspension

A guide to coil spring conversion

Coil spring conversion

The demand for vehicles with air suspension is steadily growing because of their beneficial features contributing to vehicle safety, stability and driving comfort.

There are also car owners who choose to remove the vehicle’s air suspension system and convert to traditional coil spring suspension. What could be the reason behind this choice? In this short article, Arnott will explain what the advantages and disadvantages are of converting a vehicle from air to coil suspension.

Advantages of conversion

While air suspension provides a smooth ride and load levelling, there are reasons why car owners prefer to remove their air suspension systems. The main drivers for this decision are usually cost of ownership and usage. For aging vehicles especially, the value of the vehicle and expected remaining time of ownership can play a key role in making the decision to install a coil conversion kit instead of repairing air suspension system defects.

Sometimes converting to coil springs is simply the least expensive option. Another reason to go for a coil conversion kit could be that the vehicle is going to be used in long road trips, safaris, or similar expedition trips where there is extreme weather or little possibility of an air suspension repair along the way. Converting from air to coil can be a viable option at that point because it eliminates rubber components and uses traditional steel coil springs in the suspension instead.

Image: Arnott Suspension

Disadvantages of conversion

Losing the beneficial characteristics of air suspension – additional safety, stability and comfort are clearly the biggest disadvantages of converting a vehicle from air to coil spring suspension. Customers who tow larger trailers or often carry large loads are advised to keep the air suspension system to maintain benefit of the automatic auto-leveling functionality.

Coil springs are designed to provide an excellent ride within certain boundaries. If a converted car carries heavy load, the springs will sag. Consequentially, the reduced suspension travel will affect the driving comfort (harsher ride, possibility of bottoming out), the balance of the car, and the reaction of the vehicle to steering inputs. Additionally, it affects wheel alignment eventually causing irregular tire tread wear.

Arnott’s coil conversion kits

For older vehicles or those with a multitude of air suspension system issues, Arnott offers coil spring conversion kits expertly designed to replace a vehicle’s failing air suspension components with traditional steel coil springs and matching struts and/or shocks.

All of Arnott’s coil springs conversion kits are made in the U.S. and are designed and road-tested to provide a smooth ride along with many years of trouble-free driving. These kits can be installed without special modifications to the vehicle. Many of Arnott’s kits include an Electronic Bypass Module (EBM), which is designed to eliminate suspension dashboard warning lights/fault codes.

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