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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here familiar with their setup for Escalades? My friend who runs a automotive shop down here in Hawaii quoted me around $3500 installed for mines. Gonna meet with him Saturday and go more into details about it. I currently have 24's with a 2/3 drop but I'm still not content with the small gap that's still there. It's minimal, but it's still noticable for me. Anyways, here's a few pics. Opinions / recommendations welcome..
 

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Maybe lower it more?? I wouldn't throw airride on just to have a cleaner lower truck. I ride about an inch from tire to wheel well fenders, thats with my airbags. Airbags can be a pain in the anal cavity sometimes and will always be taking a large chunk of change out of your pocket, especially if its your daily driver. Basically - a lot of maitenance is involved.

Good luck...

By the way, very nice looking truck!!!
 

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I agree with the above, not to mention your ride quality is going to suffer greatly. Take the amount your ride suffered when you lowered it and put the 24's on and times it by two and you get the ride with bags, esp on a bigger truck.

I had 3 different set-ups with my Tahoe and it never got better, just about the same every time I changed it. I know everyone with bags thinks their ride "is better than stock," but I can assure you it is not. My advice would be to ditch the bags idea altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the input! i was gonna switch to a 3/5 drop but i assumed it would give me problems down the line since the 2/3 drop rides kinda crappy already:helpless: . synergetic, what do you mean about "always taking a chunk out of my pocket?". what kind of maintenance is involved?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
cadnathan said:
I agree with the above, not to mention your ride quality is going to suffer greatly. Take the amount your ride suffered when you lowered it and put the 24's on and times it by two and you get the ride with bags, esp on a bigger truck.

I had 3 different set-ups with my Tahoe and it never got better, just about the same every time I changed it. I know everyone with bags thinks their ride "is better than stock," but I can assure you it is not. My advice would be to ditch the bags idea altogether.
did you bag your tahoe? what kind of setups did you have?
 

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2003 DENALI bagged on 26's.. 2008 GS350 murdered
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from what I understood ART does not make a kit for our trucks. At least the front setup. The rear is basically the same as any GM P/U. Air ride can be a great thing if it is installed properly and you use a lot of the necessary equipment to ensure a comfortable ride. You can't just slap in a B.S. AIM kit and expect it to ride as smooth as stock. I have had many vehicles bagged and canned. It you spend some time to tweak them out to your specific vehicles and needs. You will find that air ride is great and can truly provide a "better than stock ride." IMHO I can not see a 3/5 drop riding smoother than bags. 3/5 seems very floaty and slappy ride due to the poor geometry that you will be causing by slamming the truck so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Illnali, I actually didn't want to go with a 3/5 drop. Just weighing my options. Since my whip is a 2wd, I believe that there is front and rear setup for mines. The model is called "shockwave". I know that I won't achieve the stock feel but with the airbags, I just wanted to lower the ride when parked (low enough where my hand can't slide inside) & raise it for normal driving conditions. Would this setup feel better than my 2/3 drop though?
 

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Well, like ive said in other posts, I have the first airbagged AWD full size SUV ever. If you look under my truck, you will probably sh*t when you've seen how clean and smart the whole set up is. They left the AWD which is hard to believe, ABS, and much more. A lot of fabrication was involved, including cutting a large peice of the chassis. Because of all this, my Escalade will never drive like an Escalade suppose to drive. Not to mention a lot of rocking since your sitting on air. You rock back and forth on the freeway if the back is not at a perfect height. You won't want to go over 60-70ish too. Along with the crappy ride, a lot of maitenance comes. Thats when you'll need a lot of money, even after you've spent the money to have the bags installed. You'll see that your ball joints will start going out, its hard on the brakes and hard on pretty much everything because you have to imagine that the car wasn't built to be jumping to different levels/heights so a lot of parts will come loose or out of their fittings. Because of the bags, ive had a few ABS lines snap on my brakes, we finally added a larger slack to the line. Just keep aware a lot of parts will brake, not to mention you'll be replacing those bags periodically which is around $500 for the bags and installation, if you can't do it yourself. Your air compressors will go out every once in awhile. They'll (compressors) also go out in the rain because it sucks in the water; sometimes it drys up and sometimes its just straight up fried. You'll have airlines that will come out of place just from all the rocking and movement.

To debate with ILLNALI, in my opinion, a 3/5 drop would ride smoother and save you a lot more money. Just keep it slammed unless your thinking about showing the truck, then bag that machine.
 

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jahngga said:
Illnali, I actually didn't want to go with a 3/5 drop. Just weighing my options. Since my whip is a 2wd, I believe that there is front and rear setup for mines. The model is called "shockwave". I know that I won't achieve the stock feel but with the airbags, I just wanted to lower the ride when parked (low enough where my hand can't slide inside) & raise it for normal driving conditions. Would this setup feel better than my 2/3 drop though?
That switch box also won't give you a precise level. For example, if you hit the switch to lift both fronts, one side may go up an inch higher than the other. In that case, you'll have to jump out of the truck and check the height to make sure its even before you drive. Otherwise, you're going to go through a lottt of 24" tires!!! Ive gone through a lot, especially in the front. If the front is too high, the tires will wear on the side and crack the rubber open to the point where you're seeing the white metal underneath. However, the rest of the tire has about 90% rubber left. That sucks the most!!
 

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Not to mention, airbags eat up your battery. You'll need to have to compressor switch turned on everytime you get in the truck and it needs to be turned off everytime you get out. If you forget and leave it on with the alternator not active, you're going to kill the sh*t out of your battery and you'll be getting jumped before that thing moves anywhere. It can't be towed either. Towing companies do not two airbagged vehicles, atleast up here in California they don't!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Synergetic, wow - I see what you mean about a lot of maintenance & money involved. I guess it isn't worth it for the long haul. I called Mcgaughy's tech and they didn't advise the 3/5 drop with 24's:bomb: . So, I guess I'm at point A again. Also, Airride is supposedly all bolt-on parts (no cutting involved). You still think I'll end up with the same problems you're having?
 

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I have the 3/5 drop, and I think that it rides ok, nothing like stock but pretty good. I have also heard don right the bag set-up will ride better than a static drop. I think synergetic has alot of problems with his set-up b/c he still has his AWD still installed. but that just my guess go the GM forums that have a lot more information over there.
http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/ check out the street section
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ItsAdam1 said:
I have the 3/5 drop, and I think that it rides ok, nothing like stock but pretty good. I have also heard don right the bag set-up will ride better than a static drop. I think synergetic has alot of problems with his set-up b/c he still has his AWD still installed. but that just my guess go the GM forums that have a lot more information over there.
http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/ check out the street section
Adam, what rim size do you have? What problems have you experienced, if any? Also, didn't you have a 2/3 before?
 

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ItsAdam1 said:
I have the 3/5 drop, and I think that it rides ok, nothing like stock but pretty good. I have also heard don right the bag set-up will ride better than a static drop. I think synergetic has alot of problems with his set-up b/c he still has his AWD still installed. but that just my guess go the GM forums that have a lot more information over there.
http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/ check out the street section
I agree with ItsAdam about the 3/5 drop. My truck was not built to be driven daily. You'll have a lot of problems if you use your Escalade daily. But my truck doesn't have problems, its good as new!! Because she sits in the garage. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Synergetic said:
I agree with ItsAdam about the 3/5 drop. My truck was not built to be driven daily. You'll have a lot of problems if you use your Escalade daily. But my truck doesn't have problems, its good as new!! Because she sits in the garage. :thumbsup:
I don't drive mines daily either. Mostly weekends, but I surely don't want all these parts breaking down on me. You know of any people that have had these problems as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just called my Caddi dealer about warranty issues. He advised not to airbag my Lac as it would void my warranty. I asked him if it would void just the suspension warranty or the the entire thing but he wasn't sure. He just said to not do it. Oh well, so much for options.:(
 

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I never had the 2/3 just 3/5. One problem I had was that it would sway side to side alot. But I got rid of that when I got my new tires. I am runngin 22x9's with 285-40-22's There is some one on the GM forums that has a tahoe with 24's and the DJM 3/5 drop. Looks good, but I don't know how it rides tho.
 

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Synergetic - Do not get it twisted I respect your opinion, and input more than most members on this board. Maybe I want to bag my truck so bad that I do not want to listen to reason...Honestly I always thought your truck was slammed not bagged. I would love to see some pics of your setup and the actual suspension components, and what had to be done to retain the AWD.
However I think that some of you problems that you had or are having are just some small tweaks, that can drastically improve your ride quality and overall thoughts about air suspension

1 - good quality compressors - 100% duty cycle viaair and air zenith
2 - check valves on the tank, less air escapes...also less pressure for the compressors to fight to fill = less overall work for the compressors and more longevity or compressor life and air in the tank
3 - run only brass or nickel plated compression fittings - push-ins are trash and leak
4 - run steel braided air lines - stronger to the elements, and less changes in pressure, when you are in different climates
5 - use a moderate sized tank
6 - ditch the hydraulics switch box, or PS controller.. and get a digital gauge and switches from Air Ride Tech. You will be able "feather" the switch to and quickly learn the perfect sweet spot for the vehicle everytime you drive your truck.
7 - Most important you also need some good valves no bigger than 1/2"
8 - flow controls and speed control mufflers - to regulate the speed that you raise and lower the truck. This will drastically improve how smooth it operates. No more abrubt popping, banging, or sudden movements.

Also if you are really picky you can run only a front and back setup instead of 4 corners you will have less camber and tire wear issues, if you have the exact same size air line for the splitter, they will always go up evenly.

Until I learned some of the tricks I too felt bitter about air suspension. Now I think it is great and want to bag any vehicle I get my hands on. I am even trying to figure a way to bag my M3. :bonkers:


Swaying issues should be solved after you find the perfect sweet spot and front and rear sway bars.

Ball joints wearing out is gonna definatley going to happen on bags or a 3/5 drop, I think mine are starting to wear on my Mcgaughy's 2/3 already.

I would love to hear from ONBAGZ? on this matter....
 

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Wow i am DISGUSTED to hear the story Synergetic talked about. Ive bagged Two AWD trucks and they have never had anything near a complaint. I dont know when you had your 2002 done or who did it, but i can show you pics of the set-ups ive done. The most recent was a 2005 Escalade EXT on 26's that I bagged and left the AWD in place b/c its not possible to take it out, and it rides better than it did with the stock suspension. Both the customer and I have driven it and driven it hard. Weve put the air suspension to the test at shows and has not had ONE complaint. Not one broken line, not one ripped abs sensor and not one leak. With the set-up I did you can drive the truck at stock height and get a nice firm ride, or lower it to a nice 3 inch drop all around and ride nice and comfortable, and for parking lot cruising drive it totally aired out without any rubbing on 26's(of course no hard turns). The main reason for AIR is to get the nice ride. NOT ROCKING like you complain about. All the kits I install come with digital pressure monitors so you dont have to jump out of the car and see the height your at you look at the gauge and lift or drop accordingly. No kit should break and any parts or blow any bags. I cant believe you would even think that is normal!!! Water getting sucked into compressors??? any good compressor will come with a filter that can be remotely mounted in a COOL DRY AREA. It just has to be installed the right way. The only maintenance ever necessary with a properly engineered set-up should be draining the water seperators and greasing any fittings for ball joints and tie rods. Its ludicrous that you cant drive the truck any way you couldnt have driven it stock. If you wanna drive over 75 mph why shouldnt you. My customers have driven way faster than that and Ive seen them driving them on the way to shows. Each and every wire and hose should be fixed in place so they dont come loose. I think you had a horrible installation done. If done right the job will last a very long time and work perfectly. Almost every customer of mine uses the cars for everyday use. They want it done right and get it done right. If anyone wants to ask questions Please do b/c this is not the reputation air suspension should get. Ill stick up for it as much as i can.
 
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