Assessing the AiRock
During an off-highway test, we found that the 4-inch AiRock-equipped Jeep articulated well throughout the entire range of the suspension travel, and it needed very little air-spring adjustment to navigate most obstacles. Nonetheless, the luxury of having increased ground clearance at the touch of a button was most welcome when encountering large rocks in the center of the trail. The most impressive test of the system's capabilities was on a steep off-camber sidehill that generated a bit of pucker factor as the TJ tilted significantly to the driver's side. To counter this, we simply increased the pressure in the driver-side bags and decreased the pressure in the passenger-side bags to considerably level the vehicle. Voila! Pucker factor gone.
You may be wondering how many more degrees of off-camber terrain this will allow you to traverse without flopping over, as compared to a coil-sprung vehicle, and we wondered the same thing. As you can imagine, the engineers at Off Road Only are hesitant to try to quantify this because terrain varies, every vehicle is equipped differently and driving styles vary by operator. You can see by the accompanying photos, though, that the difference between the AiRock-equipped vehicle and the non-AiRock-equipped vehicle is very impressive. It didn't take long to learn the ropes of manipulating the bags to force articulation, and the auxiliary air tank and center-mounted ICC allowed us to fill all four bags at one time without depleting the air supply.
What about on-road? Hey, if you're like us, you have to drive your Jeep daily and you don't want it to be a handful. We drove the 4-inch AiRock-equipped TJ, with antiroll bars attached (of course), at highway speeds, and felt that the vehicle's dynamics were much improved over those of a comparably lifted vehicle. It didn't exhibit body roll like we expected, and we felt that the air springs absorbed road bumps much better than coil springs to provide an amazingly smooth ride. All in all, its manners were quite pleasing, and though we looked, we could find no evil traits to gripe about.