Pushing Boundaries! Custom Air Suspension on a Lucid Air!

Keeping Creature Comforts, Even When Gas is Gone!

When it comes to the higher-end, more expensive electric vehicles, they usually come with upgraded suspension for optimal handling. For cars like this 2023 Lucid Air Touring owned by RJ Silva with Eye Kandy Designs, every option box was checked from the factory. RJ ordered this car to get the exact accessories he wanted, but one that didn’t come factory on the car was adjustable air suspension. While several of the Tesla electric vehicles have direct bolt-on air suspension, no one had attempted to swap out the stock Lucid suspension, which left RJ on the hunt to make it happen. RJ is no stranger to custom vehicles, as he has had past SEMA builds and works heavily in the aftermarket industry creating work for multiple companies. As soon as RJ took possession of the car, a plan to get the car as low as possible was set into motion. He reached out to Adam Madrigal at AMF Garage in Las Vegas to see if it was even possible to swap the factory suspension for air suspension. Once Adam was able to inspect the setup, they immediately started contacting companies to piece together the parts needed. At this point, the car had just acquired a SEMA ’23 booth spot and needed to have the suspension complete before the show, which was less than two months away. 

RJ got with Air Lift Performance and ordered the air management needed to control the new suspension height options. He started with two Viair 444 compressors (P/N: 44442 with a $350 retail), a 24-inch FLO air tank (P/N: 15224 with a $320 retail), an 18-inch FLO air tank (P/N: 15218 with a $305 retail) and the Air Lift 3P manifold (P/N: 27780 with a $1,595 retail). That handled the controlling of the suspension, so now for the fun part, trying to get the struts figured out. After a call to Universal Air, they said they would handle designing and cutting the correct strut mounts and front bags as well as the mounts for the rear bags and once they finalized it, it would be a standard kit they offer with a $1,876 retail price. Now that the suspension components were enroute, a new set of wheels and tires was needed to complete the desired look. For this, Vossen Wheels stepped in to provide the 22-inch HF-8 wheels and Lexani Tire supplied the 255/30-22 tires. Being this is the first bagged Lucid Air, a lot of measuring and double-checking specs was required to make sure all of this was going to work together.

With right at three weeks before the required SEMA debut, the car and all parts were dropped off with AMF Garage for Adam to tear the car apart, get measurements and take several factory parts to Universal Air for them to work their magic. While they were handling the machining work, Adam was getting the air management installed and all the required air lines and power harness installed to ensure the tight schedule would work. As you can see, this one-off designed suspension does what it is supposed to, lays the car out for shows and gives more clearance than factory when aired up. Once the car was finished and all fitment was confirmed, Universal Air now has the front struts and rear bag assemblies available for sale for your Lucid Air.

Follow along as we go through the install process, which included the prototyping for the kit that’s now on the market.

With all the air mangement parts laid out, a game plan could be made as far as mounting parts and running lines.
The Lucid Air is equipped with adaptive suspension, which was unplugged from the front struts before they could be removed.
The OEM front struts were removed and marked for the initial measurements for Universal Air to use to create the new air bag setup.
The factory height sensor arms were disconnected to allow the suspension to come apart but was reinstalled with the new suspension and still works controlling the damping like it did from the factory.
With the rear coil springs removed, you can see there is a pocket in the lower control arm where the spring sits with the lower spring cap. The rear doesn’t have struts like the front.
The upper rear spring plate had a centering hole where the factory spring cap sat. This was important when getting the exact measurements for the new rear air bag brackets.
The rear upper and lower spring caps have alignment pins that secure the springs to the car.
With the car apart, it was time to ensure the new wheel and tire fitment would work with no issues. The factory tire was a 245/35-21 so bumping up to a 22-inch wheel, a 255/30-22 was the closest to the factory diameter to keep all the car’s advanced sensors performing correctly with the new setup.

Universal Air machined upper and lower air bag mounts that include seals to slide over the factory front struts.
The rear was different and Universal Air made upper and lower machined brackets and bag spacers to go along with the new air bags.
With the new front and rear suspension components assembled, you can see where the front coil spring location now houses the air bag and the rear air bag assembly that replaces the rear springs.
The factory rear spring and mounting plate on the left compared to the new air suspension on the right.
The OEM parts that were removed from the stock front strut on the left vs the assembled air strut on the right. All mounting hardware fits in the factory locations just as it would stock.

Before any air pressure was added to the new suspension, the new 22-inch Vossen wheels were bolted up and jacked into location to check for clearance. When prototyping a suspension like this, double checking fitment like this is crucial.

The new front strut top plate has the same mounting holes as the factory one, which allows for direct fitment. The marked hole on each plate helped align the upper plate when reinstalling the front struts.

As soon as RJ took possession of the car, a plan to get the car as low as possible was set into motion.

The Lucid side skirts allow full access to run the air lines from the rear to the front so they can be connected to the Air Lift 3P manifold. It is recommended to use ¼-inch air line with this car due to limited space to run the lines.
To get better access to mounting points in the fender wells and under the car, the wheelwell liners and rear under carriage trays were removed. This not only allows for easier access, but once reinstalled, provides protection for the air lines.
When running air lines, keep them tucked away from any moving parts. The easiest thing to do is to run them alongside factory wiring or brake lines.
Once the air lines and the wiring harness was run to the front of the car, finding the perfect hole to route them through can be tough on a double insulated car like the Lucid Air. But with a pick, Adam made sure the hole he wanted to use would work.
The wiring harness and air lines were routed into the frunk, which provides plenty of room for the air management.
For the Lucid Air, the 12-volt power for the air management was tricky to find due to it not being like most vehicles, but the electric panel on the passenger side kick panel allowed for the perfect connection.

With the air management ready to go in and the hard parts installed, the air lines could be connected to the front struts and rear bags. Adam likes to run the four corners to shop ball valves and leave aired up overnight to check for leaks. This makes chasing down a leak once it’s 100% installed easier, because you can eliminate where it’s coming from with this one step.
The compressors, air tanks, and manifold mount were laid out on the mounting board to figure out the best fitment for all the parts. Once the locations were determined, the holes were drilled.
Tee nuts were placed into the bottom side of the holes to allow for not only easier assembly, but also easier repairs if needed down the road.
Once the air management plate was assembled, it was set into the frunk, wired, and connected to air lines.

The installed air management plate fit nicely into the frunk and has a clean, OEM+ look to it. The factory mid panel still fits and the frunk can still be used as intended from the factory.

Sources.

Eye Kandy Designs
702-287-6987
www.eyekandydesigns.com 

AMF Garage 702
702-860-8054
@amfgarage702

Air Lift Performance
800-248-0892
www.airliftperformance.com

Universal Air
800-864-2470
www.universalair.com 

Viair
949-585-0011
www.viaircorp.com

Vossen Wheels
888-463-7778
www.vossenwheels.com 

Lexani Tires
877-453-9264
www.lexanitires.com 

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