When it comes to air suspension and air management, there are two very big names in the game: Accuair and Air Lift Performance. But what's the difference between the two and which one is better? Well that's a whole thing, really. So let's take a moment to talk it through.
What is Air Management?
Both Accuair and Air Lift Performance deal with what's called air management. This concept refers to the hardware that you need to control your air suspension system. This includes tanks, compressors, valves and the like, and in the past decade has expanded to include automatic height adjustment systems, like the Accuair e-Level+ and Air Lift Performance 3H or 3P. Basically, if you have an air suspension on your custom car or truck, you need some kind of air management setup.
What makes Accuair different?
Back in the day, companies wanted to create some way to automatically lift and lower your vehicle with the touch of a button, usually remotely. The original concept was to use air pressure as their entry point, so these older systems would use an ECU to open valves and lift or lower the vehicle to a preset pressure. Thing is, those systems weren't super reliable and didn't work very well, so they never really took off.
Accuair stormed the scene years ago, and the original e-level changed the game. They used special height sensors instead of pressure to determine the height of the vehicle, which made it a much more accurate setup. Users could dial in their suspension to exactly where they wanted it to be, then save it as a preset. The system would automatically compensate for changes in weight, cargo in the bed and so on. These kits took air suspension from a niche industry to something an enthusiast could use on their daily driver.
Today, after a bit of a rocky 2020, Accuair is back in the game and going full-tilt. They sell a wide variety of air management products, from their Endo tanks to the e-Level+ and all sorts of cool other items. While they don't sell airbags or air struts, they do make everything you need to manage your setup.
What makes Air Lift Performance special?
Air Lift Performance hasn't exactly been sitting on the sidelines. They've been building custom air suspension parts for decades now, with its foundation starting after World War II in 1949. But the custom division came on the scene in the late 1990s. They focused on both making trucks low and everything handling better. It's the kind of company that wants you to build an autocrossing monster for the track, or a slammed fullsize pickup.
Air Lift Performance also sells a height adjustment kit, and it too involves height sensors. It's called the 3H system, and it works pretty great. The 3P is the same as the 3H, but it uses air pressure instead of height sensors, just like older kits. While this might seem like a step backwards, Air Lift Performance has really figured out how to make that setup work, so for those that want to go by pressure, they've got you covered.
OK, got it. So what's the difference?
When it comes to comparing Accuair and Air Lift Performance, there's one thing that stands out: Airbags. See, Air Lift Performance also manufactures and sells their own airbags and air struts. Accuair doesn't.
The other big difference is experience. Air Lift Performance has been around for decades longer than Accuair.
Now one would assume this means that Air Lift Performance is better than Accuair, and that's just not the case. They both make high quality products that function well in cars and trucks across the country. The parts they make are reliable, too.
Is one brand better than the other? Well that's highly subjective. Your opinion could be wildly different than your friend's. But for us here at the shop, we sell both equally. A lot of our customers love Accuair and stay loyal to their products. But we also have a large contingent of people that love their Air Lift Performance products.
Which side will you choose? That's up to you. Either way you'll get a quality product that will make your air management system run smoother.