Conversion Kits For Cars, Trucks, Vans, and SUVs
If you’re having issues with your active suspension, a conversion kit for your car, truck, van, or SUV might be just the answer you’re looking for. Rather than pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to repair your faulty air, electronic, hydraulic, or magnetic suspension, a conversion kit lets you install a much more reliable coilover suspension in its place—saving you loads of money, time, and stress in the process.
What is a suspension conversion kit?
A suspension conversion kit is a collection of components that allow you to convert your vehicle from its factory air suspension system to a standard coilover suspension system. These kits allow you to remove your car’s air springs, compressor, ride height sensors, and air lines—the most common sources of air suspension problems.
What’s inside a suspension conversion kit?
In their place, you’ll install sturdy, simple, time-tested mechanical components. Here’s what you’ll find in most suspension conversion kits:
Some kits also come with a suspension electronic bypass module. Also known as a “suspension warning light removal module,” this electronic component will turn off your car’s suspension warning light after you convert it.
When should you replace your active suspension?
Your car’s active suspension is a complex, interdependent system. That means that each component relies on the other components in the system functioning properly to work efficiently.
So while a small leak in one of your air springs might not seem like a big deal, it will cause your air compressor and the other air springs to work overtime. Even a small problem can lead to early failure of several suspension components.
That’s why it might make sense to go ahead and convert your air suspension to a non-air suspension once you first start noticing problems. Your suspension issues might start with a small, relatively inexpensive problem, but they certainly won’t end there. Once one component fails, more are sure to follow—eventually costing you thousands of dollars. Replacing your air, electronic, magnetic, or hydraulic suspension with a conversion kit early on can save you tons of money and lots of trips to the dealership.
Common active suspension problems
Problems are unfortunately all but inevitable with most active suspension systems. Because they employ computer-controlled components, moving parts, and components made of flexible plastics and rubber, these systems are simply prone to wearing out and failing.
Here are some of the most common problems found in active suspension systems:
Leaky air spring
Failing air dryer
Punctured air lines
Corroded ride height sensors
Leaking hydraulic suspension fluid
Malfunctioning suspension control module
Air strut won’t inflate
Worn out air compressor
Failed electromagnetic coils
Dry rotted air strut
But these are just a few of the most common issues. Active suspension systems, air ride or otherwise, are highly complex with lots of parts. That means problems can happen almost anywhere in the system.
How can you tell if your suspension is bad?
These days, cars equipped with an air ride have sophisticated monitoring systems that alert you when there’s a problem in the system with a warning light. This suspension warning light, however, often only comes on once the problem has gotten severe. By that point, you’re probably looking at major repairs.
Early warning signs of a broken air suspension
There are, however, a few things you can look for to spot active suspension issues before they become severe. Here are a few early warning signs of a bad suspension:
Sagging. If your vehicle sags down, this could indicate a suspension issue. The most common example is a car sagging down in the rear, but it can happen at any point.
Noisy compressor. You should barely hear your air compressor working—if at all. If you notice your suspension compressor operating loudly or its cycles taking a long time, you probably have an issue.
Bouncy ride. Active suspensions are designed to provide a smooth, cloud-like ride. If you’re bouncing around as you drive, you almost certainly have an air suspension issue.
Turn sway. A car with a bad air suspension can feel like the body is drifting, pulling, or swaying as it turns. This is not only uncomfortable, it’s potentially dangerous.
Long stop. Your brakes are a likely culprit if your car is taking a longer time to stop than it should. But if you know your brakes are in good shape, your suspension could be the problem.
How to use the bounce test to check for suspension problems
If you suspect a suspension problem but aren’t sure, there is a way you can investigate on your own. The “bounce test” is a simple method to check the condition of your struts. Here’s how it works:
Go to any corner of your vehicle and push down on the hood or bumper hard.
Watch to see how that corner springs back into place.
Repeat at each corner.
If the corner pops back up and settles immediately, the suspension at that corner is likely healthy. But if it takes a long time to rise up or bounces around a lot before settling, you likely have a problem. If you do notice this issue, it’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a repair shop for a closer look.
Active suspension repair vs. coilover conversion kit
Switching your active suspension system out with a conversion kit is a big decision for many people. And while the new struts and shocks that come in the conversion kit typically offer improved reliability and the peace of mind that comes with it, there are advantages to both systems.
Active suspension pros and cons
Conversion kit pros and cons
What you should look for in a suspension conversion kit
Conversion kits have exploded in popularity as more and more car owners learn about the affordable, reliable suspension solution. But as more companies enter the market, not all of them produce a high-quality product that will stand up to the job.
Here are some things you should look for—and demand—from a suspension conversion kit and its manufacturer:
Durable materials. It’s difficult to see the difference between cheap alloys and the right kind of steel, or between flimsy rubber bumpers and sturdy stops with just the right amount of give. That’s why some manufacturers cut costs with cheaper metals. Be sure the conversion kit you buy uses quality materials.
Quality control. Overseas manufacturers might make a quality product, but unless the company has a representative onsite, it’s hard to know. Companies like Strutmasters that make their kits in the USA can keep a close eye on the manufacturing process and the quality of their products.
Quality guarantees. A warranty is a sign that a company stands behind its products. Beware of companies that don’t offer one—or only offer a very short warranty with lots of qualifiers.
Customer support. Making a product is one thing. Helping customers get the most out of their suspension conversion kit and deal with issues is another. Make sure to go with a company that is there for their customers after the sale.
Just like its suspension conversion kits, Strutmasters has stood the test of time. Since 1999, Strutmasters has provided affordable, durable, easy-to-install suspension conversion kits to customers around the world. With top-shelf materials—from cold-wound steel springs right down to the nuts and bolts used to mount them—and helpful, professional customer service, Strutmasters is a leader in the suspension conversion kit industry for a reason.
You can use the tool above to find a kit for your vehicle or select your model from the list of our most popular kits below that. Or, you can always give one of our Suspension Experts a call at 866-597-2397 or use our live chat tool for help.