So you spend all the money on getting your ride nice and level and looking 100% and then you go and install a rear drawer, air compressor, 105Ah battery and all your recovery gear for a good time.
You then realise that your ride is no longer sitting level. This, in my case, affects my forward facing anti collision radar with the rear left sitting about 10 to 20mm lower.
The easiest, cheapest and most sensible thing to do is get a pair of Airbags fitted in the rear. A quick google located Airbags made by Airbag Man. What was even more of a bonus was that they were located about 20 minutes from home.
I drove down and asked for a quote and was surprised how cheap they were. Now you know me, I love a bargain and quickly did a google search and could not come up with a cheaper price than they were in store, which was sub $300 at the time.
Now, this is where my stupidity came into play. I only bought the airbag kit without the high pressure sleeves, because at the time I was only planning to use them to level the back. Don’t be like me for reasons you will see, make sure you buy the high pressure sleeves, they are only around $75 ish more.
Now I intended to fit these myself. I asked if they fitted them and they don’t however they recommended UV4x4 in Brendale as they fit a lot of theirs.
Long story short – for the Pajero Sport you need to remove the inner spring bump stop and then widen the top hole to accommodate the air line. I removed the spring however I did not have a drill long enough so decided to head to UV4x4 to have them installed.
I booked in and later that week had them installed minus the bracket for the air fitting for inflating. I wanted to fit these so that I was happy with their location and could access them easily.
It cost me just over $200 to have them fitted at UV4X4, money well spent.
I went home and found a good place for the valves (in the diesel filler). Well that was until I worked out it was double skinned.
I ended up drilling two holes and used a bolt to pull the two skins close enough to fit the air valves. Although it was a bit of a pain to install, I know that I now have easy access to the valves when I need to and I do not have to be worried about ripping them out when 4wding. I applied some paint to the bare metal and I was all done.
I am sure that there are plenty of spots you could easily install them.
Once fully installed I aired up the right, to the minimum pressure of 5psi and aired up the left to 12psi. This now gave me a level vehicle again, it was that simple. I took the Sport for a spin and could hardly feel any difference in the suspension. For some reason I was thinking it would be hard as a rock, but it wasn’t.
Now, remember what I said, don’t be cheap and buy the high pressure sleeves…. Without the sleeves you can only inflate the bags to 20 psi. (This is for the Pajero Sport – this could have changed at the time of writing this so please check your fitting instructions if you install them).
Two reasons made me regret that I did not install the high pressure sleeves. One – due to the material of the bags I got a squeaking noise when I entered and exited the vehicle, which was being caused by the movement of the spring on the bag. Secondly I purchased a trailer which I was not planning on doing and therefore I needed to inflate to around 20psi and wanted to make sure I would have no chance of damaging the bag.
I rushed back to the shop and picked up the high pressure selves. The air bags mould to your spring so you really only have a window of about two weeks to add the sleeves before it makes it difficult or impossible (I don’t know, I’m not the expert).
I thought I would try and sneak the high pressure sleeves over the bag whilst it was still in the spring. I was told it was possible but it was not easy and therefore not recommended. Challenge accepted. I jacked up the vehicle, removed all the air, blocked the air from getting back in and proceeded to slowly work the sleeve over the air bag.
It took me about an hour per side and could have been avoided if I just had purchased the sleeves in the first place!! But as you can see, it was doable.
End Result – No squeaking and I can now inflate to double the psi I could without them. Not to mention it was no extra for fitting if I had of had them fitted in the first place.
Since fitting the Airbags, I have been off road plenty of times and have had no issues at all with getting maximum flex.
The best part is, no matter what load you have, uneven, caravan or camper trailer, you can always level your load.