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4 Reasons to Convert Your Car from Air to Coil Suspension

4-reasons-to-convert

Active air suspensions are comprised of many moving parts that need to be working properly in unison for the system to function correctly. Onboard sensors send information about the ride height of the vehicle to a small computer, which in turn uses that information to tell a pneumatic compressor how much pressurized air to generate. This air is pushed through air hoses and into air springs which use the pressure to regulate the ride height of the vehicle. This creates a smooth, pleasant, ride–as long as they’re working.

The main problem with an air suspension is that, like anything made of moving parts, they will eventually wear out. Given how complex they are, that means a guaranteed huge expense at some point in a vehicle’s life.

However, more and more vehicle owners are growing weary of these repairs and replacements and are choosing to convert their cars from air suspensions to a more classical, mechanical solution–a traditional coil over strut, known in the auto world as a “coilover” suspension. These replacements are mostly carried out using a conversion kit, the first commercially-available of which was made by the North Carolina-based company Strutmasters LLC. Since that company’s inception in 1999, the industry has grown from a single company with a small assortment of products to an entire industry, with replacement kits now available for hundreds of vehicle models.
So why has the popularity of these kits grown so much in such a short amount of time? As more and more people continue to convert to coilover suspension, here are just some of the reasons why:

 

1) All air suspensions fail eventually.

Given that they are made up of a number of moving parts, car owners need to accept the reality that their air suspension system will fail eventually. While that doesn’t mean they should just ditch their air suspensions right now, it’s worth considering whether it’s really worth replacing or repairing components once they start to fail. This is because once one part fails, the rest are not too far behind. This means that more expense and hassle is always going to be right around the corner once the air suspension failure starts.

 

 

2) Coil suspensions are a fraction of the price.

 


With everything interconnected from computers to electronic sensors to several mechanical components, air suspension require expensive parts and specialty tools to service them. This means a great deal of expense any time anything needs to be serviced or replaced. When owners consider that all air suspension-related expenses are likely to be ongoing for the remainder of the car’s lifetime, replacing an old suspension with one that is brand new makes a great deal of sense in the long run. This is especially true when you consider that a conversion kit will generally cost about the same for the entire car as a replacement for just one air spring.

 

3) Coil suspensions can be installed and serviced at home.

 


 
  Companies like Strutmasters design their conversion kits to be installed at home by the average DIYer. This means that most of the assembly is done before it reaches the customer, and that it is designed to be installed using tools most people already have at home. In fact, most of these kits can be installed in as little as one hour per wheel by anyone with a little mechanical proficiency.

 

4) Coil springs are simple and reliable.

 



 Compared to the complex network of electronics and plastic and rubber components, the simple, robust construction of coilover suspensions often makes people feel more confident in their ride. Once a car gets to the point where the suspension is starting to fail, that air suspension becomes a ticking time bomb that could ruin the next road trip or family vacation at any minute. By comparison, a brand new coilover suspension gives owners virtually nothing to worry about for quite some time. And even if something does wear out prematurely or break on the coilover suspension, repairing or replacing it is cheap and easy compared to an air suspension.

If your air suspension is starting to age, it might be worth considering ending the headache once and for all by switching your car over to a coil spring over strut suspension. Hundreds of thousands of car owners have already made chosen to convert, most to full satisfaction. Companies like Strutmasters now offer kits for almost every make of car in hundreds of models. Check to see if Strutmasters has a kit for your car by visiting the website or calling the hotline at (866) 684-6473.

SECOND YEAR IN A ROW MILLICAN TOPS QUALIFYING AND SETS TRACK RECORD AT U.S. NATIONALS

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Indianapolis, IN (September 4, 2017) – For the second year in a row, Clay Millican earned the No. 1 qualifying spot and set a Lucas Oil Raceway track record at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. He now has three of the top 10 quickest runs, in Top Fuel history.

 

On Saturday evening, Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to an elapsed time of 3.663 at 329.10 mph. This put him in the top qualifying spot, set the Top Fuel E.T. record at Lucas Oil Raceway and became the seventh fastest Top Fuel pass ever.

 

“My confidence is now at an all-time high. I know when I get in that race car it can run with anybody here, at any time, without a question. Our car is quick as anybody’s in the world right now,” Millican said. “This is a tune up David Grubnic has been working on for three years. This is his tune up, not somebody else’s he is massaging. Grubby never quits thinking and never sits still.”

 

On top of setting the record and qualifying No. 1, Millican made five clean passes that earned him 11 bonus points, which were critical to securing a spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. He attributes his recent success to his crew.

 

“It’s all about the people. We have all the right people in the right place. It starts with Doug and works its way down to the kids working on this car. They’re an amazing group of young guys,” Millican said. “Every Sunday night we get the crew together to talk about what went right, why we won and why we lost. They work so hard without the recognition they deserve. They are the ones that make this car go. We have a heck of a team. I’m more confident in this car than any other car I’ve driven in my life.”

 

Unfortunately, Millican made in early exit on race day. In the first round Millican came up against No. 16 qualifier, Kebin Kinsley. While Millican made a great pass of 3.756/323.97, Kinsley took the win on a holeshot running 3.813/318.02.

 

“It was a close race and I had a .077 reaction time, but Kebin had a .014 light. Hats off to him on a good run,” Millican said.

 

At the end of the day, Millican clinched the No.7 spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

 

Next up is the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 15 – 17, 2017. This is the first race in the Countdown, so points are reset and the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH team will start from the seventh position with six races to reach the number one spot.

  

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

5 Ways Your Worn Out Shocks Put You in Danger

Broken or worn-down shocks can cause serious road danger.

Driving on worn-out shocks and struts can be difficult and stressful–but did you know it can also be seriously dangerous? Your car’s suspension system is one of its most important safety features and its struts and shocks do a majority of the work of keeping you and your passengers safe.

Many people tend to think of deteriorated shocks as a comfort issue: a little extra bounce here, a few extra bumps there–but the reality is much more severe. Driving a car on shocks or struts no longer function as they are supposed to could put your safety in danger.

Here are five of the ways in which tired shocks and struts can be potentially dangerous:

 

1. It will take longer for you to stop.

The primary job of your car’s shocks is to absorb the force of the car against the road. One of the times this power is needed most is when the car is coming to a stop–especially a sudden or abrupt stop.

While the brakes put force on the wheels to stop them, the job of bringing the rest of your vehicle’s 2,000 – 3,000 pounds to a halt is given to the suspension. As one can imagine, this is no easy task.

When a car’s suspension system is performing as it is supposed to, this tremendous stopping ability can help motorists avoid most collisions. Modern safety systems save countless lives every day due to new materials, high-quality manufacturing and increasingly advanced engineering.

Poorly functioning shocks have a drastically reduced ability to absorb the force of a vehicle coming to a stop. Therefore, the stopping ability of that car is dramatically reduced and the vehicle will take more distance to come to a complete stop.

A study done by the RAC (Royal Automotive Club) showed that vehicles driving on 50% worn-out shocks took an average of 11.7% longer to stop than their fully-functional counterparts. At highways speeds that can be up to two car lengths, or easily the difference between safely avoiding a collision and risking serious injury.

2. You Can Lose Control During Acceleration

Rear-wheel drive cars generate a lot of torque when the car begins to accelerate. When a car’s suspension is functioning properly, the suspension absorbs this torque and redistributes it to the front wheels, allowing the car to accelerate evenly and safely. This can cause danger to the driver, passengers and others on the road.

Once a car’s shocks are bad, it loses the ability to effectively distribute that force throughout the car and the rear wheels are left doing most of the work. With the torque of acceleration unevenly stacked towards the rear of the car, the wheels of a car with malfunctioning struts can lose contact with the road. This is known as “acceleration squat.”

The loss of handling, especially when accelerating, can be a frightening and dangerous situation in any traffic conditions.

3. Your Handling Will Suffer

As part of  its jobs of maintaining balance and absorbing force, your car’s suspension plays the primary role in determining its handling ability.

A car’s suspension acts as sort of a middle man between the driver and the road, delivering feedback from each party to one another. It absorbs the stresses of the road and manages the instructions that the driver gives the car in terms of steering, acceleration and braking.

 

Due to this vital role, it should come as no surprise that a car driving on worn-out struts loses a great deal of of its handling ability. Not only is this a loss of comfort and driving pleasure, it seriously impacts a car and its driver’s ability to navigate traffic, respond to road hazards and avoid danger.

A car with reduced handling ability will not be able to respond as quickly to a need to change direction to avoid a potential collision or adverse road condition such as a pothole.

4. You Can Flip Over Much More Easily

Since the car’s suspension is tasked with keeping it balanced, it is especially important when it comes to turning.
The basic physics of a large, heavy object like a car turning a corner at high speeds means a tremendous amount of weight is shifted to one side of the car. Without a good suspension system, a car would flip or roll over easily in a turning situation.

As the struts on a car get older, drivers and passengers will notice that one side of the car might raise up higher than the other when the car turns at a higher speed. This is the beginning of what could quickly turn into a high-danger situation.

If left unattended, that raising of one side of the car will eventually turn into a rollover, once the suspension can no longer effectively redistribute the weight of a vehicle going into a turn.

5. You’re Much More Likely to Swerve

Few things on the highway are as scary as going into a swerve–when the driver loses control of the steering and the car weaves on the road.

Swerves can be caused by a number of external conditions–ice, wet surfaces, debris, and many more. However, unlike these types of external conditions, drivers can severely reduce the risk of a swerve by replacing their shocks and struts.

A car driving on deteriorated struts is more likely to lose contact with the road at one or more points. This loss of contact can cause the car to behave unpredictably and go into a swerving action without warning.

Worst of all, drivers often cause accidents in a swerving situation by over-correcting. This problem is made even worse by a car whose handling has been severely reduced by bad shocks.

Replacing your struts is essential to keeping you, your family and your car safe. It also doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Strutmasters air-to-spring conversion kits deliver a high-performance, long-lasting replacement for your car’s struts and shocks at a fraction of the manufacturer’s price.

Browse the Strutmasters website for your specific make and model or call one of our suspension replacement experts today at 866-627-3842.

EARLY EXIT AT SONOMA NATIONALS DOESN’T DISCOURAGE MILLICAN

Sonoma, CA (July 30, 2017) – Eliminations at the Toyota NHRA Nationals did not go the way Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance team had hoped. For only the third time this year, the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster was eliminated in the first round of eliminations.

 

Millican came into race day qualified No. 8 with an elapsed time of 3.744 at 328.54 mph.

 

“We came out of the gate like gangbusters with our 3.744 run on Friday,” Millican said. “But then we missed the tune up on the next run and went up in smoke.”

 

In Round One Millican faced No.9 qualifier, Terry McMillen. Right from the start, the tires of the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio went up in smoke. McMillen took the win: 3.785/323.74 to 10.446/79.43. This is the fifth time this year that Millican and McMillen faced each other with the win loss record now being 3-2.

 

“It’s very unusual for our car to smoke the tires four runs in a row,” confessed Millican. “But Grubby, (Crew Chief David Grubnic), has pinpointed what the problem is and we will have it fixed before our next race in Seattle.”

 

Next up for the Stringer Performance team is the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington at Pacific Raceways August 4 – 6, 2016.

 

“Overall it was a good weekend. We’re halfway thru the Western Swing and our team is on it. We’re headed for Seattle and we have a new look for our car we can’t wait to show everyone,” Millican said.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

MILLICAN DRIVES TO SONOMA WITH MOST CONSISTENT CAR ON TRACK

McLeansboro, IL (July 27, 2017) – Clay Millican is optimistic about the performance of his Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster heading towards the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals. He had possibly the most consistent race car on the track this past weekend and he wants to keep the streak going.

 

“We ran a 3.79 three times in a row. We were one of the only cars who made consistent passes all three days,” Millican said. “Friday, I actually turned off early twice. We had no smoking tire issues and we were on a roll until a parts break in the second round Sunday.”

 

Millican is also happy to be headed towards the second leg of the NHRA Western Swing. Racing in Sonoma means a return to more familiar territory when it comes to tuning the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio dragster.

 

“The high altitude of Denver was so tricky for everyone,” Millican said. “We’ll be back at sea level in Sonoma and back to what we are comfortable with.”

 

Millican will also be racing the Great Clips, Shark Week themed paint scheme this weekend. Shark Week airs thru Sunday, July 30 on the Discovery Channel.

 

Fans will be able to watch all the action from the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals live on FOX Sports 1 this weekend.

 

2017 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Schedule (Pacific Time)

Friday, July 28

5:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

8:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

Saturday, July 29

2:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

5:00 p.m. Top Fuel Dragster Qualifying

5:35 p.m. Nitro Funny Car Qualifying

Sunday, July 30

11:00 a.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

 

2017 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Television Coverage (Eastern Time)

Friday, July 28 – 11:00 p.m. Qualifying LIVE on FS1

Saturday, July 29 – 10:00 p.m. Qualifying on FS1

Sunday, July 30 – 4:00 p.m. Eliminations LIVE on FS1

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

Media Contact:

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

CONSISTENCY TAKES MILLICAN TO THE QUARTERFINALS IN DENVER

Denver, CO (July 23, 2017) – Clay Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to the quarterfinals at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, Colorado.

 

“Our intention was to sweep both mountains. We had a really solid and consistent race car in qualifying. This thing just kept going right down the race track,” Millican said. “Yesterday we went 3.79 twice. We went out there first round and this thing goes right down the race track and runs a third 3.79.”

 

Millican came into race day qualified No. 8 with an elapsed time of 3.795 at 309.77 mph. In Round One he faced off against No. 9 qualifier Bob Vandergriff Jr. Millican left the starting line first and kept the lead the entire race and won with a 3.798/315.19 to 3.866/311.99. Despite that time being the second fastest time of the round, Millican did not get lane choice going into second round.

 

Round Two, Millican faced Leah Pritchett. Millican had a slight advantage off the start, but the car shut off early after a problem in the engine and Pritchett took the win with a 3.817/320.28 to 3.927/254.47.

 

“We left the starting line first and we were ahead at half-track. Unfortunately, we broke. We hurt the car. But you know what. We have a really good race car. We’re bringing the Shark Week car to Sonoma and we’re just going to keep chomping at the competition,” Millican said.

 

Millican is currently No. 7 in the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series points standings in Top Fuel dragster. Next in the Western Swing for the Stringer Performance team is the Toyota NHRA Somona Nationals in Sonoma, California.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

Media Contacts:

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

MILLICAN PILOTING SPECIAL SHARK WEEK DRAGSTER IN WESTERN SWING

 

 

McLeansboro, IL (July 19, 2017) – This weekend at the 2017 MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, Clay Millican hopes to take a bite out of his competition in his Great Clips/Shark Week themed Top Fuel Dragster.

 

The special livery on the dragster highlights one of Stringer Performance’s title sponsors, Great Clips, and their support of the hugely popular Shark Week on the Discovery Channel airing July 23 to July 30.

 

“I’m excited to be piloting such a cool car. I’m going to channel the shark thinking: the only thing on a shark’s mind is eating. All that’s on my mind is winning,” Millican said. “It amazes me how many race fans get into Shark Week. I’ll admit I watch Discovery a lot. It has some of my favorite television shows.”

 

Millican heads into Denver locked in a tights points battle. He is currently in the No. 7 position, but only 22 points behind Brittany Force. He’s hoping the Western Swing can give him momentum to move ahead.

 

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to make the top 5. I am hoping that by the time we are finished with the Western Swing we will be No. 5,” Millican said. “It is so close right now. We just have to get a jump on Brittany and Kalitta.”

 

While coverage of qualifying at the MOPAR Mile-High Nationals will be on FS1 Friday night, this week fans will be able to watch final eliminations live on FOX NetworkSunday afternoon.

 

“It’s always awesome when we are featured on FOX network. That brings in new viewers who we hope turn into NHRA fans,” Millican said.

 

MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals Race Schedule (Mountain Time)

Friday, July 21

5:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 1

8:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 2

SaturdayJuly 22

4:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 3

7:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 4

SundayJuly 23

11:00 p.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

 

MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals TV Schedule (Eastern Time)

Friday, July 218:00 p.m. on FS1

SundayJuly 2312:30 a.m. on FS1

SundayJuly 233:00 p.m. LIVE on FOX-TV 

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

MILLICAN RACES TO THE SEMIFINALS AFTER LAST CHANCE QUALIFYING PASS

Joliet, IL (July 9, 2017) – Clay Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to the semifinals at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N. Qualifying for Millican was full of challenges and it came down to the wire.

 

On Friday, there were ignition problems that prevented the dragster from making a full pass down the race track. Millican was in the No.17 spot out of 17 Top Fuel dragsters. On Saturday during the third qualifying session, the car smoked the tires right off the starting line. Millican went into the fourth qualifying session not in the field. Crew Chief David Grubnic was confident he had a plan to get him qualified.

 

“Grubby tells me he had the dragster tuned to run a .78 or .80 and we would get ourselves qualified and not to worry about it. When I stand on the gas, at about 330 feet I had the biggest smile on my face! I thought: this thing ain’t running 3.80,” confessed Millican. And he was right. Millican ended up racing to an elapsed time of 3.739 at 325.22 mph and that put him in the No. 3 qualifying spot going into race day.

 

In Round One Millican raced Kyle Wurtzel. It was a close race, but Millican took home the win: 3.813/323.81 to 3.906/300.80. Round Two Millican came up against Shawn Langdon. Langdon had a slight starting line advantage but Millican captured the win: 3.888/314.61 to 3.909/309.91.

 

In the semifinals Millican came up against Antron Brown. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio dragster smoked the tires, while Brown had a clean pass. Brown won the round: 3.784/325.53 to 4.689/154.64.

 

“Antron put a whooping on us. The tires got loose on the car and he killed me on the tree,” Millican said. “But it was another semifinal finish for us and I’m proud of how hard my team worked this weekend.”

 

Millican leaves Joliet seventh in the Top Fuel 2017 National Championship Standings. The next race for the team is the 2017 Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, July 21 thru 23.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

 

Media Contact:

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969

2004-2010 Infiniti QX56 & Conversion Kit Technical Description


Introduction

With the introduction of the QX56, Japanese automaker Infiniti redefined just what the large luxury SUV could be. In stark contrast to its competitors like the Cadillac Escalade, the QX56 proved to be a versatile and surprisingly nimble vehicle that handled and behaved more like a mid-size SUV than its luxury-liner counterparts.

In the QX56, Infiniti was able to enter a rare corner of the market with a full-size—enormous, actually—SUV that provides as much joy behind the wheel as it does space for people and anything else one might want to pack in its roomy interior.

Performance and Tech

At 17 feet, 3 inches long, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a mast and sail atop this luxury behemoth. Instead, the QX56 is powered by a 5.6 liter V8 that pumps out 400 horsepower, an ample supply even for a vehicle that weighs in at 5,650 pounds.

The giant V8, based off Nissan’s popular Titan pickup platform, provides enough power to give the QX56 one of the highest towing capacities in its class at 8,900 pounds. It also contributes to perhaps the SUVs best quality—its ability to maneuver rather deftly in and out of traffic.

The QX56 employs a full-time four-wheel drive in its four-wheel drive models, which works together with a five-speed automatic transmission and an all-independent suspension, making it a very capable off-road vehicle as well.


Design

The design and flow of its vehicles has always been a selling point for Infiniti, a point that continues on with the QX56. Unlike others in its class, the QX56 features some rather aggressive, sporty styling that follows the Infiniti design philosophy of vehicles that look as sporty as they do luxurious. Soft curves and a number of featured horizontal lines make this enormous SUV look smaller than it actually is, which certainly appealed to people not ready to commit to the soccer-parent aesthetic.

The interior is where the design of this vehicle truly shines, both in terms of aesthetic appeal and productive use of space.

For starters, the second row rivals the first in terms of comfort and luxury, with a whopping 42 inches of legroom for second-row passengers. The car also features an actually spacious third row, a rarity even in larger SUVs.

The entire interior is bathed in high-grade, butter-soft leather worthy of the cockpit of a fine yacht. The wood and brushed aluminum accents throughout the vehicle provide a consistent, clean look that feels luxurious without making passengers feel perhaps a little underdressed.

The QX56 is stocked with nice, thoughtful luxury touches throughout. Some are expected—standard navigation system, a Bose 10-speaker stereo and dual-zone climate control. Others, such as the removable second-row center console, underbody skid plates and a reinforced roof rack, show Infiniti’s commitment to the “utility” part of this SUV.

Safety

As both a family and utility vehicle, the QX56 has a great deal to offer in the way of safety.

For starters, it employs vented ABS brakes that are linked to the vehicle’s traction and stability-control systems. By default, the QX56 starts off in four-wheel drive and slips into the more fuel-friendly rear-wheel drive if the weather permits and sticks in four-wheel mode in poor conditions.

The vehicle uses many such auto-detect features as added safety bonuses, such as the ring of side-impact and curtain airbags that deploy when the car reaches rollover angles, not simply upon impact. This is a feature that could potentially save many lives on and off the highway.

The QX56 also features a high-tech security system that automatically disables the vehicle if any intrusion or unwanted entry is detected.

Specific Information on Suspension System


The QX56 owes a great deal of its storied maneuverability to its advanced suspension system. Both front and rear suspensions are independent, auto-leveling air suspensions. These suspensions automatically adjust dampening on the rather impressive ground clearance of about 10 inches, give or take depending on whether the vehicle is in rear or four-wheel drive mode.

Potential Issues

In addition to its handling, the Infiniti QX56 is also notably mechanically sound. Long-term testing revealed few problems that were inherent to the vehicle and reported it to be mostly reliable even after its initial 30,000 miles.

However, as can be expected with a nearly three-ton vehicle, the auto-leveling air suspension proved to be one of the only problem areas consistent from one vehicle to the next. Whereas the compressor tended to be the culprit in the QX56’s cousin, the Nissan Armada, much of the suspension problems in this SUV can be traced to its front and rear control arms.

The suspension issues unfortunately tend to jump from a mild annoyance to an outright safety hazard rather quickly. Many owners reported steering wheel lock and extensive swaying issues, both predictable and problematic issues for a car that weighs 5,650 pounds unloaded. Given the vehicle’s size and tremendous engine power, this issue becomes very critical very quickly and cannot be left unattended.

Problems With Driving on Worn-Out Shocks

The first thing drivers will notice when driving on worn out shocks is a distinct change in the comfort of the ride of their vehicle. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is the first warning sign that the vehicle is starting to lose its capabilities. If this problem goes ignored it can very quickly spread to other parts of the suspension and the rest of the car.

Cars that are riding on a worn out suspension system will begin to experience the dreaded “nose dive.” This is when the car becomes unable to evenly distribute the stopping weight and as a result, the the back end of the car lifts up while the front end of the car dips down.

As one would suspect, nose-diving puts tremendous stress on the front brakes, causing a massive buildup of heat. This much heat will cause the brake pads to deteriorate rapidly, first causing a “spongy” feeling in the brake pedal. This problem will increase exponentially if left untreated, with constant excessive heat leading to a loss of function. Any increase in stopping distance can create a potentially dangerous or even fatal situation.

Cars that drive on worn-out struts will also experience abnormal tire wear and tear known as “cupping.” When a car’s struts are not working properly, even small bumps in the road will cause the wheels to lose contact with the road. This causes a “bouncing” action that significantly increases the effect the impact of small bumps and divots in the road, causing the tires to be cut and scraped. After even just a few hundred miles, the tires will likely need replacing.

Suspension systems are highly complex, interconnected systems. Once the shocks lose the ability to absorb stress from the road, other parts of the suspension are asked to pick up the slack. Bushings, stabilizer links, ball joints and CV joints are asked to take on more than their fair share once the shocks are no longer able to take the stress that they are supposed to.

As the suspension is also the primary determiner of its handling, a car driving on a worn-down suspension system will lose much of its ability to safely maneuver in and out of traffic. As this is one of the QX56’s selling points, this represents a significant loss of value and function.

But this is more than just an issue of value and comfort. A vehicle’s suspension system is one of its most important safety features. Research from independent groups has suggested that a car driving on worn out shocks requires up to 22 extra feet to stop when traveling at 70 mph. This is a difference that could potentially be fatal.

Making the Switch

Air suspension systems provide a wonderful amount of responsiveness and can truly be a dream to ride on—when they work.

Most studies have shown, however, that these air suspension systems lose most of their functionality after just 50,000 miles and start to show signs of deterioration at around 35,000 miles. This means that replacing these systems is a matter of “if” and not a matter of “when.” Replacing these systems with the manufacturer’s original system can cost thousands.


Fortunately, Strutmasters Inc. has developed a solution for this issue that is simple, robust and inexpensive. By converting a vehicle from air suspension to high-quality coil shocks, owners can replace their system for a fraction of the cost.

High-quality components means high-quality performance

Stronger Steel

Genuine Strutmasters conversion kits are made of chromoly tempered steel—the gold standard in almost every mechanical industry, celebrated for its ability to resist corrosion and its durability. Each strut is precision-ground and treated to reduce friction and cut down on wear and tear. Struts made with these high-quality materials have the ability to retain fluid and pressure longer than most of their competitors and as a result, provide a smooth ride for years to come.


Better Seals

Seals are one of the many areas in which some manufacturers look to cut production costs. These small pieces are often invisible without inspection and many people don’t give them a second thought. However, seals do the all-important job of keeping debris, dirt and other contaminants from entering the inside area of the struts. Cheaper seals break down quickly and will allow these contaminants to start pouring in, drastically increasing friction and quickly wearing down the struts themselves.

Strutmasters insists on using seals made only with the highest-quality advanced materials. As a result, these seals have the ability to block debris and hold fluids and gas charges for much longer than the competitors.


High-grade fluids

Hydraulic fluids, or grease, keep friction down inside the struts. While in use, struts and shocks get extremely hot during its compression and rebound cycles—the up-and-down movement of the strut. Over the course of 12,000 miles, the struts of a car will undergo 21 million of these cycles. Hydraulic fluids are essential to reducing the heat exchange between mechanical parts and preventing friction.

Just as is true with the seals, hydraulic grease is available at a number of different levels of quality for manufacturers to use. Also just like seals, cheaper grease breaks down much more quickly and easily, which can lead to rapid deterioration of the struts themselves.

Strutmasters, however, uses only the highest-grade lubricants available, ensuring long-lasting maximum performance.

All Charged Up

Strutmasters charges its shocks with pressurized nitrogen. This gas charge maximizes dampening capability and prevents what is known as “cavitation,” or the forming of air bubbles within the shocks.


No Bottoming Out

“Bottoming out” is the term for when the shaft of a strut plunges deep enough to hit the bottom of the valve. This bottoming out action puts excessive stress on the valve hardware and will greatly reduce the functionality and longevity of the struts.

Each Strutmasters kit uses an internal shaft spring and a bump stop made of high-quality durable rubber to prevent bottoming out.

Always in Tune


There are many factors involved in determining a car’s dampening needs. That’s why Strutmasters employs professionals to meticulously research the specific needs of each vehicle and determine the precise tuning needed. Then, advanced technology tuning equipment is used to tune the shocks on each kit to perfectly match its needs. With this precision tuning, drivers can expect a ride that is comparable or perhaps even preferable to the vehicle’s original ride.

Made with genuine Eibach springs

Few names are as celebrated in the shock and suspension industry as Eibach. The German company’s precision-manufactured springs offer enhanced cornering, improved stability and more direct handling than their competitors. Eibach springs are the preferred choice of auto racing professionals from the likes of F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, WRC, and CART.

That’s why Strutmasters uses only genuine Eibach springs in its conversion kits. If these springs hold up in the world’s most demanding driving scenarios, they’ll excel on the highway.


No “discount mounts”

With a car’s struts bearing the entire weight of the car, the hardware that mounts those struts to the car needs to be up to the task as well. Low-quality or poorly manufactured mounts can significantly reduce the functionality of the struts themselves, causing a loss handling, stopping power and longevity of the entire suspensions system.

Strutmasters uses mounts that feature a robust rubber piece that insulates the mount against the constant jostling of the strut. These mounts are built to withstand the rigors of just about any on or off-road situation, keeping both the mount and strut itself in pristine shape and providing the driver with maximum performance for years to come.

Bearing the load

Located just beneath the upper mount is a bearing plate, which serves as a steering pivot as the car’s wheels are turned. Accordingly, these bearing plates take on much of the load-bearing stress of the car when turning or cornering.

The strength of the bearings in the bearing plate are therefore critical to the proper functioning of the suspension system.

Many competitor kits use bearings made of synthetic materials such as plastic, which are poorly suited to the task. Ball bearings made from such cheap materials will become easily distorted and lose functionality very quickly.

Strutmasters instead uses robust ball-bearings made from solid steel in each one of its kits, guaranteeing a safe, smooth ride long into the future.

Better bushings for a better ride

Bushings are highly-important components that connect the strut to the rest of the suspension at the bottom of the strut assembly. Though small, these bushings essentially hold the system together at one of its most critical points, making them absolutely fundamental to a properly functioning, long-lasting suspension system.

Strutmasters employs bushings that are made with a high-quality rubber blend designed specifically the to ensure that the car stays properly aligned and that the suspension system functions properly.

Glide-Ride technology

Conversion kits need to be greater than the sum of their parts. Rather than several components functioning independently, Strutmasters engineers its kits to work together in harmony as a unit to ensure maximum performance. This “big picture” concept is known as Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride ® technology.

Glide Ride ® technology provides drivers with a low-cost replacement for their worn out struts that rivals or even exceeds the original ride quality of the vehicle.

Made in the USA for Quality Assurance

Strutmasters relies on its manufacturing partners to provide consistent, high-quality components. That’s just part of the reason why Strutmasters insists on working with American manufacturers. As a proud American company, Strutmasters understands that “Made in the USA” is about as good of a stamp of quality as one could ask for these days.

Though it may be a little more expensive, working with American manufacturers allows the company to create and nurture mutually beneficial relationships, creating smooth business transactions and ensuring simple, consistent communication and understanding throughout the process. Strutmasters’ partners are just a simple phone call away in the same country, speaking the same language with the same business customs.

Most importantly, sticking with domestic manufacturers means that Strutmasters keeps its and its customers’ dollars right here in the United States, continuing to help build a robust, bustling economy that benefits everyone.

Rigorous testing

Before any of its products hit the market, Strutmasters rigorously tests them for safety and performance. The company employs professional drivers to push each suspension kit to its limits to ensure that they are up to the rigors of the road.

Installation

Strutmasters kits also help customers save money on one of the biggest expenses—labor. These kits require absolutely no modifications to the vehicle, meaning the average competent DIYer can install them right in their driveway. Each kit is packaged with a straightforward installation guide and has corresponding training videos on the internet to help make for a smooth and painless installation.

For those without the tools or space to install it themselves, the simplicity and ease of these kits means less time in the shop, drastically reducing expensive labor costs.

Lifetime warranty

Strutmasters stands by the quality and workmanship of its products. That’s why every Strutmasters kit comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Even though a customer will likely never experience any issues with their kit if installed properly, this warranty should provide some peace of mind and a little insurance “just in case.”

Customer support

Many competitors stop service right after they’ve collected their funds, leaving customers on their own to figure out whatever issues they may have. Strutmasters understands that people are the heart and soul of every business. As such, the company employs a team of experienced professionals to answer any and all suspension-related questions and provide as much support as possible.

Strutmasters’ support team is at the ready during extended business hours to answer everything from specific information about an order to general advice about suspensions.