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Discussion Starter #1
chewblekka

Since you've done the full airstrut retrofit, I'd like to pick your brain on an idea......

If I'm not completely wrong, air springs exist that will just "hopefully" slide over my existing gas struts.
I'm only interested in the rears to allow me to eliminate rear squat when towing. If the OEM air springs can fit the regular gas struts, I'm hoping I can replace my steel springs and have a more crude system (instead of the fully integrated air suspension). I realize that I wouldn't have full adjustability or dampening control like with the real thing..... but I could potentially just drive around with 30psi(or whatever) in the springs during normal use, and then I'd bump them up to 50psi or whatever when I'm towing.

Or do the air struts only slide over the corresponding OEM "air" struts?
 

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chewblekka

Since you've done the full airstrut retrofit, I'd like to pick your brain on an idea......

If I'm not completely wrong, air springs exist that will just "hopefully" slide over my existing gas struts.
I'm only interested in the rears to allow me to eliminate rear squat when towing. If the OEM air springs can fit the regular gas struts, I'm hoping I can replace my steel springs and have a more crude system (instead of the fully integrated air suspension). I realize that I wouldn't have full adjustability or dampening control like with the real thing..... but I could potentially just drive around with 30psi(or whatever) in the springs during normal use, and then I'd bump them up to 50psi or whatever when I'm towing.

Or do the air struts only slide over the corresponding OEM "air" struts?



Only fit over air struts





regards
Drag
 

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I don't think you can fit the OEM springs over non-OEM shocks, they seal onto the shock body. It's possible that I'm wrong, it's happened once before ;)

You could run the complete rear bag assemblies and run a small compressor, but then you'd need to control the damping. No current is full hard, 1800mA is full soft. I suppose you could run a resistor and small rheostat somewhere so you could control on the fly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is full hard silly stiff compared to the steel springs? You had stiffer than me steel springs since you started off with an Rline if I recall... Do you see massive difference? I will have to entertain the idea of running just the rear air shock as a complete unit I guess. There are all sorts of options in terms of small compressors and related controls (even wireless) but it's starting to sound like I wouldn't end up much cheaper butchering 1/2 truck this way and having a 1/2 ziptied solution vs doing a full blown retro like you and having everything working as it should be...... Crap. Rear air struts would work so much better than these BS WD hitches.
 

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Full hard is like no shock movement at all. Very stiff.
 

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I don't think you can fit the OEM springs over non-OEM shocks, they seal onto the shock body. It's possible that I'm wrong, it's happened once before ;)

You could run the complete rear bag assemblies and run a small compressor, but then you'd need to control the damping. No current is full hard, 1800mA is full soft. I suppose you could run a resistor and small rheostat somewhere so you could control on the fly.
This is always an option, I was looking into this when I was thinking about using an adruino or something similar to control it.

Decided just to do the entire AS swap like Chewy. :grin2:

Scored some Cayenne rears on E-Bay with less than 10k miles, and a brand new set of Bilstein B4 fronts again on E-Bay for 1/2 price.

The changed how to dynamic dampening works on the shocks/ struts. and luckily it's linear this time. The first revision was a mess. It all current controlled, so it's a PITA to control.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info boyz.... looks like I'll have to do some shopping to see what I can grab. This seems like a viable solution to address the squat.
 

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Universal Air carries OEM type bags as well as custom designs
I've seen bags that go inside the standard springs with a hole down the middle for the strut..

I've seen them with 1, 2 and 3 bags for various lift sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Universal Air carries OEM type bags as well as custom designs
I've seen bags that go inside the standard springs with a hole down the middle for the strut..

I've seen them with 1, 2 and 3 bags for various lift sizes.
You should perhaps look at our suspension design before providing suggestions
 

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You should perhaps look at our suspension design before providing suggestions
Thank you for pointing that out for me.

When you said, "If I'm not completely wrong, air springs exist that will just "hopefully" slide over my existing gas struts.", it certainly seemed as though the items I mentioned should work.

You apparently didn't mean air springs that would slide over your struts and fit within your coil springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You apparently didn't mean air springs that would slide over your struts and fit within your coil springs.
Actually, I meant exactly what I said, and those who know Touaregs understood it as it was meant to be.
Here's some visuals to help you out.
 

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Monroe makes a Monroe Load Adjusting shock that does what you want. I doubt that they offer anything that would fit. The odds are not favorable.

You are looking for a rear shock system with an adjustable air bag, instead of a shock spring combo.

Your current idea is a go other then controlling the adjustable shock damping of the OEM shocks.

I would contact these guys www.arnottindustries.com and see if they have any ideas. They specialize in air bag systems.

They sell air bags that will work with the factory system. If Arnott could hook you up with a regular shock that would fit into the vehicle and work with any one of the air bags they sell, the problem of controlling the adjustable shock dampening would be solved.

As you have stated, airing up the bags is not that complicated.

ie: Arnott might have an idea if there is something easy to cobble together that would fit a Touareg/Q7/Cayenne rear end.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Based on the info thus far, looks like OEM rear air struts (electronic dampening gas shock + air bag) is the way to go. Then adding whatever compressor solution for inflating/deflating and a simple rheostat to adjust the dampening. I'd basically only need two settings. One for regular driving and one for towing. Unlike the full OEM system, it would be quite primitive and not adjust on the fly or automatically compensate for anything.
 

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Here is the constant current supply I was planning to use to drive the dampening valve.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JKG57T4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I imagine one supply can drive both valves wired in series so they will both have the same current. Current would be set by a pot on the circuit board, or you could wire up a dash mounted pot to adjust the current.

I wouldn't use an Arduino to control the airgbag solenoids, I'd get an actual PLC that is designed for industrial use (ruggedized, with screw terminals). The Siemens LOGO PLCs run on 12-24vdc, and are programmed with the keypad and Lcd on the device itself, no software to buy or install. You can change the value of variables and constants without needing a laptop. I'd use 6ED1052-1MD08-0BA0 which has 8 digital inputs (4 of them can be used as analog inputs), and 4 digital outputs (L-up, L-down, R-up, R-down solenoids). I'm using one to control a heat exchanger I built for our travel trailer
https://www.ebay.com/itm/6ED1052-1MD08-0BA0-Siemens-LOGO-12-24RC-PLC-12-24V-DC-RELAY-8-DI-4AI-4-DO/151823995717?epid=2255559797&hash=item23596a5345:g:qb4AAOSwg2FbXVTb

Expansion IO modules, touchscreen HMIs and PC Programming software are also available, but I think a basic leveling system can be done with just the 8in4out PLC. I would definitely use two VW Factory analog pots for ride height measurement. This would allow for changing ride height on the fly. If you wanted to go cheap, you could do two prox switches with overlapping flags for each side. If ride height is perfect you would see both prox switches on (11). Too low (01), too high (10), (00) = fault.


Based on the info thus far, looks like OEM rear air struts (electronic dampening gas shock + air bag) is the way to go. Then adding whatever compressor solution for inflating/deflating and a simple rheostat to adjust the dampening. I'd basically only need two settings. One for regular driving and one for towing. Unlike the full OEM system, it would be quite primitive and not adjust on the fly or automatically compensate for anything.
 

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Joining the discussion...

Here is the constant current supply I was planning to use to drive the dampening valve.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JKG57T4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I imagine one supply can drive both valves wired in series so they will both have the same current. Current would be set by a pot on the circuit board, or you could wire up a dash mounted pot to adjust the current.

I wouldn't use an Arduino to control the airgbag solenoids, I'd get an actual PLC that is designed for industrial use (ruggedized, with screw terminals). The Siemens LOGO PLCs run on 12-24vdc, and are programmed with the keypad and Lcd on the device itself, no software to buy or install. You can change the value of variables and constants without needing a laptop. I'd use 6ED1052-1MD08-0BA0 which has 8 digital inputs (4 of them can be used as analog inputs), and 4 digital outputs (L-up, L-down, R-up, R-down solenoids). I'm using one to control a heat exchanger I built for our travel trailer
https://www.ebay.com/itm/6ED1052-1MD08-0BA0-Siemens-LOGO-12-24RC-PLC-12-24V-DC-RELAY-8-DI-4AI-4-DO/151823995717?epid=2255559797&hash=item23596a5345:g:qb4AAOSwg2FbXVTb

Expansion IO modules, touchscreen HMIs and PC Programming software are also available, but I think a basic leveling system can be done with just the 8in4out PLC. I would definitely use two VW Factory analog pots for ride height measurement. This would allow for changing ride height on the fly. If you wanted to go cheap, you could do two prox switches with overlapping flags for each side. If ride height is perfect you would see both prox switches on (11). Too low (01), too high (10), (00) = fault.
I'm glad someone else knows what a PLC is and how to program them.

You need current control for the the struts, not voltage control.
Using the analog signal from retrofitted factory level sensors instead of digital prox switches would definitely be the way to go.
 

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The power supply I linked does voltage and current control, Ive used them to control current for driving LEDs, charging batteries...

Are the factory level sensors simply a resistance pot? (not LVDT/Hall effect)



I'm glad someone else knows what a PLC is and how to program them.

You need current control for the the struts, not voltage control.
Using the analog signal from retrofitted factory level sensors instead of digital prox switches would definitely be the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I believe you guys are thinking about a much more automated systems than what I'm considering...... I basically just want to be able to supply some current to the struts to "unlock" them from the fail safe of 0A....... maybe not full soft, so let's assume 1A would be some "normal" dampening. The "bags" would be on the same air line and not independent, as I'd want them inflated at the same pressures to equally eliminate the squat caused by the trailer. No automation desired.... a simple pressure regulator or equivalent to allow inflation\deflation....... I'm not looking for on-the-fly tuning or fancy automated self leveling stuff.... my current steel suspension doesn't have any of that either LOL

Am I overlooking something here? Are there pressure solenoids or other such things integrated into the strut assemblies?
 
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