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Thread: Mk1 Air Ride

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
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    224

    Mk1 Air Ride

    So after doing a couple of shows with my caddy last year, i have decided to take it back off the road for an update.

    I have removed the engine again, so that i can notch the front chassis legs, and we all know what that means.........Air Ride !

    I have done some research into this and found some real shoddy rear set up's, so decided to make my own one like everyone else. However, after contacting a place that supply Air Lift components, we decided to work together on making a prototype rear end which will be a bolt on system. Once its been fitted and proven that it all works and is good, the guy will then sell them as a kit for all you lucky people.
    Its a fairly simple system which will use a Watts Link. This will allow the caddy to drop at the rear without any sideways movement you get with a Panhard rod set up, and since there is no drive to the rear end, a 4 link set up is a bit over the top. So this Watts Link set up should be really good.

    Up front we will be running the bolt on Air Lift Mk1 golf struts, and using the Air Lift 3P management.

    Like i said, iv'e started notching the front chassis and finishing it in a 'rubberising' underseal type product from Wurth, its really good as it acts as a sealer/stone chip/sound deadening material.

    Anyway, here's some pics of the work so far, will be collecting the front struts and management this week so updates to follow.

    Drill notching.jpgnotching tape.jpgfront notch 1.jpgsteering rack.jpg

    So i hope this will be of help/inspiring/entertaining for everyone (when i say entertaining, i mean i hope you can all laugh at me when i screw something up)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Bognor
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    472
    Looking forward to seeing more on this ! keep us posted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    had another pretty good evening on it last night, re-fitted the new steering rack as i forgot to put the gaiter on the column, fitted the new track rods to the rack, secured all the brake pipes and fuel lines back where they were before i started cutting, fitted the new lower wish bones with poly bushes and fitted to the caddy (making sure they had plenty of free travel).
    Im trying to document the whole thing with video as i go, as iv'e not seen anything on youtube regarding the fitment/installation of air ride onto a caddy, so hopefully when this rear end is manufactured and 'off the shelf', everyone can benefit from it all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    worthing
    Posts
    4,227
    are you in windlesham as in just up from worthing? or another windlesham? looking good though, that notch looks spot on. i'm curious, what's the blue tape for?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    Im in Windlesham near Woking, not really near the coast though.

    The blue masking tape was just for me to measure 3 times to only have to cut once. Its easier to draw lines and mark for drill holes on the tape rather than the metal itself.

    Got all the gear linkage fitted this evening, nothing too special, but i am definitely picking the struts and management up tomorrow lunch time, so will have pics of that for you all tomorrow.

    I am so excited !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    So the Airlift components turned up yesterday.
    I have to say, although its all very very expensive, the quality of the parts is incredible (as you'd like to expect). It's true what they say, you get what you pay for.

    So i slaved one of the front struts in place to see where i want to run the hoses. Decided that running them inside the engine bay was unnecessary, so put the engine back in. I will attack the fitment of the airlift air ride system over the next week or so, then its just a case of waiting for the rear end.

    I spoke to the guy who is manufacturing the rear end yesterday, he is struggling to find one part he needs to be able to mill down, so i think its still a way off yet, but will keep you all posted.

    airlift struts.jpgairlift strut & caddy.jpgairlift man.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    in wiffy viral quarantine
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    14,687
    Good for you taking this on.l looking forward to watching it progress

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
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    224
    Thanks 13
    Im hoping by summer it will all be fitted, with all the R&D done so it can be ready for everyone to benefit from a bolt on kit.

    Fingers crossed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Arundel
    Posts
    244
    Hi Russell ,
    I will be running the same front air suspension and as you said the quality is well worth the money.
    it'll be interesting to see how your fab guy sets up the rear. I'm set up to copy the eurowise kit at the moment etc but I do like the Idea of the WATTs linkage instead of the panhard set-up.
    what's your main reason for going down this route? I'm used to the panhard set up as we use this on my mates race car so have a little more understanding of it.

    regards

    Michael
    Last edited by Mike.F; 02-03-2017 at 12:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
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    224
    Hi Mike
    With a panhard rod you get slight movement side to side when using air ride due to the amount of travel, so for instance, when all the way down you'd probably have the L/H rear wheel touching the inner wheel arch, and the R/H rear wheel about 5,6 or 7mm away from its respective wheel arch.


    After speaking to the guy, he suggested a watts link, which when thinking about it makes perfect sense and actually less complicated than a 4 link set up (especially the way he has mounted the whole thing in the CAD drawings). I will put the CAD drawings on here at some point but need to see if he wants to Patent it before i do so.

    Hope this helps

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    a friend of mine brought this in today for me to borrow over the next few days..........cracking paint here we come !! Fingers crossed heat will minimize the damage.......

    arch roller.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    After getting the Caddy running and up to temperature, making sure there was no air locks in the cooling system, i made a start on mounting the air lift stuff.

    I'm mounting the tank, Manifold and compressor under the rear bed. I mocked it all up and made some brackets and started dry fitting it.

    I also looked at the loom and came to the conclusion that it will run the back of the fuse box, not directly to the battery, so it should neaten things up a bit more too.

    Dry fir tank.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
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    224
    Got busier with the mounting of the components again last night. I need to put strengthening corners on the brackets to triangulate the 90 degree bends, but as a mock up, it proves it works.

    rear mounted.jpgrear mounted3.jpg

    Time to take it all off now, clean up the underneath, rubberise it all then re mount.
    also fitted the front struts for the final time last night.
    front mounted.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    in wiffy viral quarantine
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    Good progress

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
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    224
    caliper.jpg

    caliper on a drum....too much ? I think they should fit under 15's

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    in wiffy viral quarantine
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    I want to build maclarens

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    No you dont

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    After careful consideration, i decided to narrow the beam. I'm only doing this because a previous owner welded on drop plates (so that added about 18/20mm to the rear track straight away) and just to free up a bit more room in the arches. I figured if i wanted to widen the track after its all together, i'll just use wheel spacers.
    So i cut 2 inches out of the middle (to gain 1 inch either side), and am now in the process of relocating the spring mount brackets and the damper mounts.

    rear beam cut.jpg

    rear beam cut1.jpg

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Windlesham
    Posts
    224
    All welded back on. Just need to neaten up the random cuts then powder coat.

    rear beam finish.jpgrear beam finish 1.jpgrear beam finish 2.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    1,230
    Nice work!!!! Your flying along!
    We cut the end plates off and narrowed each side of the axle when we did my mates mk1 then just surface ground the plates flat and welded them back on.
    Last edited by tontoe; 15-03-2017 at 06:37 AM.
    Life is just a game we play!!

    My build http://www.vwcaddy.com/showthread.ph...er-cover-caddy

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