Mercedes Vito is a very popular minivan in Russia. This car is in demand primarily due to powerful and reliable engines, as well as a comfortable suspension. By default, the Vito is equipped with coil springs front and rear. As an option, the manufacturer could equip the minivan with an air suspension. But there are very few such modifications in Russia. Most of them already have suspension problems. But what if you want to get a minivan on pneuma, which originally came with clamps? There is only one way out. This is the installation of air suspension on the Mercedes Vito. It is possible to do it with your own hands. What does the air suspension give, how is it arranged and what feedback does it receive? Read about all this and more in our today's article.
So, what is "pneuma"? This is a type of suspension that involves the presence of air balloons.
They are elastic elements in the chassis and allow you to change the clearance depending on the volume of filled air. Cylinders are installed instead of springs, and in our case, helical springs.
Why is she so popular?
First of all, this suspension is popular due to its energy intensity. There are many opinions about this, but no matter how many levers are used in the chassis, air tanks absorb shocks more softly than springs (not to mention springs). What are the advantages of such a system? If it is a cargo "Vito", the installation of such a suspension will increase the carrying capacity of the machine. So, when fully loaded, the car will not sag as before.
The main component of any pneuma is air cylinders. Their other name is air springs. It is these parts that play the role of elastic elements in the suspension. Cylinders take on all the impact load. In addition, the car body itself is held on them. These air springs are made of dense multilayer rubber and are able to withstand enormous pressure. There is a metal spacer on the top and bottom of the pillow, thanks to which the part is attached to the body and suspension arms. This is a kind of platform for placing air springs. The cylinders themselves are cylindrical, but can change their height. Due to this, the vehicle clearance is adjusted.
Compressor. As noted in the reviews, it may not be included in the air suspension kit for the Vito. As a budget analogue, it is proposed to install swap nipples. What does a compressor do? This element inflates the cylinders. The unit is connected to the regular on-board network of the car. Also, the compressor has its own "cut-off". When a certain pressure is reached in the receivers (usually ten atmospheres), it automatically turns off.
What are receivers? These are hollow metal containers that contain compressed air. As noted in the reviews, a five-liter receiver is enough for the Mercedes Vito. It is not too big and is enough for several cycles of raising and lowering the body. The receiver and air suspension compressor of the Mercedes Vito can be connected together. Often, manufacturers supply ready-made compressors in which there is a receiver. It is very comfortable. If you are installing the air suspension on the Mercedes Vito with your own hands, you do not need to think about where and how to place these elements. It is enough to fix everything in the cabin (for example, under one of the seats).
The air suspension also includes various hoses, fittings and solenoid valves. The latter allow air to move through the system at the right time. And it all connects to one control panel. Usually it is fixed near the driver's seat.
What are the owners saying?
As noted in the reviews, the Vito air suspension kit is worth purchasing for several reasons. The first one ishigh running smoothness. With such a system, you can make the suspension travel even softer without changing the rubber profile. The second reason is good handling. No matter how much luggage you carry, the car will handle perfectly in corners. The suspension can be made rigid and soft - just adjust the pressure in the circuit. The third reason is the ability to adjust the clearance. For some, this makes it easier to overcome snow drifts, and someone puts such a suspension to attract attention. With fully deflated cushions and beautiful wheels, such a car looks very attractive.
At any time, the car can be "dropped" to the ground and returned to the transport position. The process of lifting the air springs does not take more than ten seconds. But this applies only to those systems where there is a compressor and a receiver, they say in the reviews. The air suspension kit on the Vito with a nipple and without a receiver forces the owner to carry a boost pump with him. Otherwise, do not change the chassis configuration. As they say in the reviews, it is better to take the air suspension kit on the Vito already with a compressor. Having overpaid for it once, you will not suffer from pumping the system through the nipple, especially in winter.
Air suspension is further divided into several types. So, there are:
- Single-loop system. This is the simplest and cheapest suspension scheme. In this case, two pillows are controlled from a single valve. A single-circuit system is installed only on the rear axle. Among the owners of "Vito" is the most popularoption. The car will not "goat" on the road when empty, while it handles well with a full load.
- Double-circuit. Such a system is placed on both axles of the car. What is the peculiarity of such a scheme? Here is a slightly different principle of operation of the air suspension. On "Vito" cylinders are placed for each wheel separately. But they are independently controlled in pairs. The driver can raise or lower separately only the two front or two rear airbags. The cost of such a system is about 2 times higher than the previous one.
- Four-circuit. This is the most complex and expensive air suspension scheme on the Vito. Its device assumes the presence of a complex control panel with a whole set of electromagnetic valves. Air supply is carried out from a receiver or the compressor directly. But if in the previous case two pillows were inflated at once, then here it is possible to control each air spring individually. The cost of the four-loop system is 50 percent higher than the previous one. But as noted in the reviews, the air suspension on the Vito of such a plan would be superfluous. For comfortable control, a two-circuit system is enough.
The price of the most budgetary air suspension for Vito is 34 thousand rubles. This is a single-circuit system with nipple pumping, without a receiver and a compressor. Package Included:
- Plastic tubes.
- Nipple adapters.
- Air balloons in the amount of two pieces.
- Rear axle mounting kit.
Additional offerinstallation of a compressor with solenoid valves and a receiver. This option costs about 25 thousand rubles. But as noted in the reviews, such an air suspension kit for the Vito Mercedes will be the most optimal.
As for the two-circuit system, it will be more expensive by 30 thousand rubles, excluding the receiver and compressor. Well, the price of a four-circuit suspension reaches one hundred thousand or more, depending on the brand of cylinders and other components.
Let's look at the characteristics of the air suspension on the Vito:
- Air springs are 11 centimeters in diameter.
- Operating pressure range - from three to eight atmospheres.
- The minimum allowable pressure is one atmosphere. If the system is operated with deflated bags, they will quickly become unusable, even if the air springs are made of hard and strong rubber.
- Permissible lifting force - one and a half tons per pneumatic element at a pressure of 10 atmospheres.
Typically, the suspension kit comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty.
How is the air suspension installed on the Vito? Process Description
This procedure can be done both independently and with the help of the hands of specialists. The main difference between mounting the air suspension on a Mercedes Benz Vito is that the pillows are the main elastic element, and not an auxiliary one, as on the Sprinter and other commercial cars. Here the air spring is installed in place of the factory coil springs. And in order for the part to fit tightly in the cup, special metalspacers. How the finished air suspension on the Mercedes Vito looks like, the reader can see in the photo below.
Thus, the cylinders are mounted between the lever and the side member of the body. Additionally, it is not necessary to strengthen the structure. Everything is installed at the factory. So, first of all, the Mercedes-Benz Vito is put on a lift or jacked up on a flat area. It is advisable to unscrew the lower shock absorber mount. This is necessary in order to remove the old spring. If it somehow does not lend itself, a special spring puller should be used. At the next stage, you can begin to install the air suspension on the Mercedes Vito. In the upper and lower parts, the metal spacer is fixed with a powerful bolt. It is necessary to strictly align the pillow so that there are no distortions. Only in this way will the suspension work properly on the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
Next, you can start laying air lines. Please note: for safety reasons, they must not intersect with the brake pipes. You can mount the lines on plastic ties. After that, connect the outputs to the solenoid valves and the compressor. You also need to lay the wiring to the control panel, which will be in the cabin.
How is the air suspension installed on the Mercedes-Benz Vito next?
Then you need to connect the compressor to the car's network. After that, you can start the system. The compressor pumps air into the receiver, after whichcylinders will be filled with oxygen. Depending on whether the solenoid valve is open or closed, we will lower or raise the suspension.
Installation without receiver and compressor
When choosing a budget system, you need to decide on the location of the swap nipples. They can be installed anywhere, such as under the passenger seat or at the bottom of the glove box. These nipples have the same shape as on a regular wheel. And pumping will be done through a 12-volt pump that runs on the cigarette lighter. The installation algorithm is identical. First, the old springs are removed, then the cylinders are mounted and fixed on both sides with bolts. Do not forget about the shock absorber.
We must fasten it back, otherwise the buildup will be colossal. After that, an air line is laid into the cabin. Using adapters and a T-shaped fitting, we connect both lines to a common terminal. So we will have a single nipple that simultaneously and evenly pumps up two pillows. This completes the installation of the air suspension. You can start operating.
Before you lower the car from the lift or jack, you need to check the tightness of the system. To do this, pump the cylinders up to ten atmospheres and prepare a soap solution. Using a brush, apply it to important joints. If there are bubbles, tighten the fittings even more. And so on until such breakdowns are completely absent in the system.
To newthe suspension has served as long as possible, it needs periodic maintenance. In anticipation of winter, it is recommended to wash off the dirt from the cylinders and treat the rubber with silicone grease. So the material will not be so hard at sub-zero temperatures and will not collapse from friction with itself.
It is the dirt that causes the etching of the pillows. It works as an abrasive, forming small damages, cracks and tears. Over time, they develop into holes through which air seeps out under pressure.
So, we found out what air suspension is and what are the advantages of installing it on a Mercedes Vito. As you can see, this is a very useful acquisition. But you need to choose the right system. You should not overpay by buying a four-circuit system for a hundred thousand. But you don’t need to save too much, otherwise one day you will simply get tired of pumping cylinders through the nipple. The best option is a single-circuit system with a complete set, which includes cylinders, valves, a receiver and a compressor.