From day trips, to towing duties and expedition style trips; if you are anything like us the rear load in your four wheel drive is anything but constant. Which for us meant it took a few tweaks to get our Cruiser performing just how we wanted.
At the beginning of our build we were offered 400, 600 or 800 kilogram constant rear leaf packs. We started with the 400kg knowing that with the ARB setup it is easy to add a leaf if needed. By the end of our build our Cruiser was slightly off level, empty, so the guys added an extra leaf to make it a 600kg constant load setup.
With moderate loads this was ample, but with full remote touring loads we were starting to sit a bit back heavy. Aside from not quite being level, through the bigger bumps the back end just felt like it needed a bit of additional support.
Our Cruiser went really well on it’s first big trip out into the Simpson, but we knew we wanted to tweak the suspension for future trips. While the 800kg leaf packs would likely have done the job for remote trips, they would have been less comfortable the rest of the time.
Instead we opted to install Airbag Man Rear Air Suspension. The kit we’ve installed is known as a helper kit. It’s designed to work together with the leaf pack. Rather than constant support, like a heavier pack would offer, it’s variable. So by tuning the air pressure it’s possible to adjust the suspension to best suit different loads.
The mounting components are heavy duty, and the airbags themselves are truck grade tough. Airbag Man suspensions are a common vehicle upgrade, and they are also becomingly increasingly common in a range of off-road camper trailers and caravans.
While our mechanic fitted our kit, it’s designed as a relatively DIY installed. The airbags themselves bolt in, and then it was a simple process of running the air hoses to a convenient location.
All of our rear cables sit between the rear bar and tow bar; out of the way if we scrape. We’ve fitted the air outlets to our airbags here too, our bar even had two factory holes to suit.
At light weights we’ve had a minimal 15PSI in each airbag, and when we were fully loaded during our most recent trip 25PSI seemed to have our Cruiser sitting level.
The maximum recommended pressure is 50PSI, so it’s nice to be achieving great results at moderate pressures. We have a full ARB GVM upgrade, and these airbags will likely work best in combination with a quality suspension.
As well as sitting level fully loaded, our Cruiser was definitely a little less soft through the bumps. The ride didn’t seem to be harsher either.
For lighter loads we have been lowering the pressure in the airbags to ensure the vehicle stays level. On tougher tracks this helps with flex too. We look forward to hooking up and testing out how it goes with a tow load.