BMW luxury with the convenience of a hatchback – the BMW E36 Compact was, as its name suggests, designed as a compact alternative to the popular E36 3-series. Its “squished” look still divides opinions today, but there is one thing all enthusiasts can agree on about the E36 – it looks way better slammed to the ground!
While lowering a vehicle certainly increases its cool factor, there are other important factors worth considering. Do you really want to put up with the less-than-luxurious ride? Does the thought of your undercarriage scraping against speedbumps make you cringe?
Thankfully, Air Lift Performance has the perfect solution for your lowered-car worries. They have designed a suspension to not only lower your car, but also transform it into a smooth-riding, corner-slaying rocket, with the ability to clear almost any obstacle! At the push of a button, you can drop your E36 Compact 3.9” in the front and 5.6” on the rear. The end result is a killer stance and a greatly improved suspension performance, both achieved without sacrificing practicality.
Air Lift Performance achieves these results by using a smooth-riding, double-bellows air spring paired with a threaded-body, monotube strut in the front, and double-bellows bags with monotube shocks in the rear. With the struts each featuring a threaded-body, you to perfectly set up the vehicle by changing the position of the lower mount on the strut. Both set-ups provide 30 levels of damping adjustment to suit all of your driving needs – fully customizable from pillow soft, all the way to a stiff performance setup. Also included are bolt-in camber plates, made of T6061 red-anodized aluminum, which provide alignment-tuning capability and assist with wheel fitment.
The E36 Compact (1993-2000) threaded-body kit is available with a range of Air Lift Performance air-management options, including the innovative 3H height + pressure sensing system. Air Lift Performance used a state-of-the-art 32-bit processor and advanced height + pressure algorithms, then paired them with a full color controller, complete with built-in Bluetooth connectivity, in order to make 3H the most advanced air management system on the market.
Installation is simple with Air Lift Performance’s detailed instruction manuals. Anyone with the skill to wire a stereo and to swap suspension components can have their car on the ground in only a matter of hours. Basic hand tools are the only things necessary to complete the job. Keep in mind that if you are looking for the ultimate low look, some modifications and fabrication will be required.
Air Lift Performance tests the components of this kit to 1 million cycles (approximately 100,000 miles) on a hydraulic test rig at temperatures from -30°F to 150°F. This test lab work, coupled with thousands of miles of on-road testing, not to mention a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, gives you a kit that you know you can count on to handle whatever the road throws down.
Modifications Req. Front: None
Modifications Req. Rear: Minor trimming of coil spring locato