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Bagged '07 Honda Element SC
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow Element-ers,

First off, I have to admit, I easily get 80% of all my Element related questions answered here on the forums. However, when it came time to bag my recently acquired 2007 SC, I was surprised to find only a couple of very surface level threads (still great info though!). Now, this is not a "write-up" as there are several different routes to installing air suspension on an Element. But, this will be a thread of some of the things I learned and the things I struggled with through the install. Please note, I provided all of the labor myself, this was quite literally a backyard install... no shop, no lift, no specialty tools required.

So without further ado, let me rattle off some specifications. My Element is a 2007 SC with approx. 80,000 miles and was 100% stock when I began this journey. I am now running on D2 Racing USA air struts, an Accuair E-level hight based management system, an Airlift Performance 3S manifold, twin Viair 440C compressors, and a Seamless Tanks 6 gallon air tank. I am also running a Gibson Performance stainless exhaust (yes, I had to do this for the suspension setup, I'll explain later) and some Rotiform Gloss Silver CVT wheels (20x8.5+45 wrapped in 245/40r20 tires).

Well this is the finished product, I'll get into the details in this thread. Also, thanks for reading!

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Bagged '07 Honda Element SC
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Discussion Starter #2
So, the biggest issue I had, which hopefully isn't an issue much longer for the community, was a global pandemic most of you probably heard about... This caused serious supply chain issues, and also lead to me having to re-work this system a couple times because of suppliers going out of business. Originally I had ordered and installed Accuair's flagship ENDO-CVT to accompany the E-level kit, and LOVED it. However, with Accuair going out of business due to COVID-19, I had to pull the ENDO-CVT out and replace it with my new setup.

The current setup, which I am extremely happy with is a set of twin Viair 440C compressors mounted on isolators in the spare tire well feeding a 6.5 gallon tank (I'll explain this setup in my next post), that then feed into an Airlift Performance 3S manifold. The 3S manifold receives 12v inputs to control each corner from my Accuair E-Level management system.

This helped me to retain all of my interior cargo space. Below are photos of both the cargo area With the spare tire cover installed and removed. I am running a 2 gauge power and ground cable to keep this system isolated from the rest of the vehicle electronics. In the exposed photo you can see the manifold with outputs to each air strut in the top center and the Accuair E-level ECU (Electronic Control Unit) on the right side.

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Bagged '07 Honda Element SC
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Discussion Starter #3
The Accuair E-level kit has a touchpad controller mounted in the center console that I can use to control each corner independently or select between three pre-defined ride heights. I may eventually build a permanent mount for this controller, but I haven't found a good spot for it. The USB cable that connects the controller is run through the dashboard and under the passenger's side carpet to the ECU in the spare tire well. This probably the easiest part of the install, taking only about 30 minutes. It is super easy to use and very intuitive, not-to-mention my passengers get a kick out of playing with the settings while at a light or in a parking lot at a car show.

(Also, please excuse the dusty photos, I live in a desert and I did this install during our windy season)

IMG_5507.jpeg
 

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Bagged '07 Honda Element SC
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Discussion Starter #4
The air struts themselves install just like the conventional OEM struts, so I won't go into detail on that. If you have questions about that install, check out some of the awesome treads about strut replacement.

The BIG challenge with installing the air suspension came when trying to figure out how to make the wheels and tires tuck under the fenders and body panels.

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I removed the plastic exterior body panels and trimmed the plastic that swoops inward toward the inner fender. Then I had to use a grinder to remove approx. 2.5-3" from the rear inner fender to clear the rear tires, and a rubber mallet and fulcrum to roll the front inner fenders. When doing test fitting, I learned we had to pull the front fenders too, we used a piece of schedule 40 PVC pipe to force the inner fender to "pull" out away from the body.

This is a photo from the test-fitting of the wheels and tires:

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(also, that's my Dad, he's the official hand model for this project!)
 

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I don-t have any photos from routing the air lines. It was a fairly straightforward process. Simply route the lines up and away from moving parts and sources of heat. As part of the Accuair E-Level kit, we had to install four corner height sensors. The lower part of the sensor linkage has to bolt to the control arm, and the sensor itself must bolt to the Element's body. This took a couple tries, but eventually, this is the setup I settled on. It works great and is far away from any moving or spinning parts. The sensors have a four-conductor wire that runs back to the spare tire well to the Accuair ECU.

Front (shown in the "aired-out" position):
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Rear (shown in the "aired-out" position):
IMG_0236.png
 

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As for the Seamless Tanks 6 gallon tank, I installed that under the vehicle where the AWD Elements would have a driveshaft and rear differential. To make space for the mounts and tank, I had to install a smaller muffler and bend the exhaust heat shield towards the right side of the vehicle. I opted for the Gibson Performance stainless steel exhaust because I prefer it's sound over other 'off-the-shelf' exhaust systems. The tank sits plenty high enough to be out of the way of road debris and/or those pesky speed bumps. The Tank is approx. 8" in diameter and sits about 2" above the OEM fuel tank skid bar. The tank is fed through a 1/4" DOT air line though an auto-draining air/water separator (mounted above the rear sub-frame where the AWD diff. would be). The tank drain is off the front side of the tank, so it is not shown in this photo. The tank and its mounts are aluminum so I don't have to worry about rust if I ever get snow in the desert...

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The last step was to pick up some wheels and tires to really complete the look for the bagged SC. I used the fitment calculators from Fitment Industries. Once I found the set, style, and specs I liked, I got on the phone with Bag Riders (the company I got the air suspension from - 10/10 would recommend) and ordered these Rotiform CVT's in Gloss Silver 20" x 8.5" +45 offset. Then wrapped them in some Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 2 245/45r20 tires from Discount Tire Co. I am not running any spacers or shims, just some simple tucked fitment as shown in the first post of this thread.

Also, you got me... I did borrow a garage to change out the wheels and tires, it was 100+ degrees that day, I didn't want to be in the sun...

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Bagged '07 Honda Element SC
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Discussion Starter #11
I've said it once & I'll say it again, this car looks amazing both lifted with all terrains and on air with low pros. I love it man!
Thank you! I couldn't agree more, I used to have a lifted '05 EX and now my girlfriend has an '06 EX on a 3.5" lift! They are awesome little vehicles.
 

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Looks really cool.
Do you have a picture of the E in the highest and suspension setting?
 
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highest an lowest
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looks really cool.
Do you have a picture of the E in the highest and suspension setting?
I had to sneak away and take a few pictures...

This is the highest setting, I have plenty of clearance for debris, speed bumps, etc:

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However, I normally drive around at this height, about 1/2" clearance on the front tires from the body/fender, and plenty of travel in the rear:

1.jpeg
 

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Even the highest setting looks lower. The main thing is that you can drive over anything.
Impractical, but the parking position looks the best.(y)
How long did the conversion take?
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Even the highest setting looks lower. The main thing is that you can drive over anything.
Impractical, but the parking position looks the best.(y)
How long did the conversion take?
The highest setting is about 2" lower than stock, but it seems to function alright. It definitely isn't practical, you're 100% right about that. Also, thank you for the complements. The whole conversion from stock to bagged took about three FULL days, plus one afternoon to swap out the wheels and adjust height presets.
 

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Thanks for sharing. Looks like you put in a lot of work. That is one of the cleanest SC's I have seen over the years. Love the color. I had a lot of custom exhaust fabrication from header to cat back completed recently. I now understand how hard it is to snake through the suspension down there. Looks like your setup would be impossible with an AWD. Love the color of your E btw.
 

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Thanks for sharing. Looks like you put in a lot of work. That is one of the cleanest SC's I have seen over the years. Love the color. I had a lot of custom exhaust fabrication from header to cat back completed recently. I now understand how hard it is to snake through the suspension down there. Looks like your setup would be impossible with an AWD. Love the color of your E btw.
Thank you, that means a lot! I think someone could accomplish a similar setup on an AWD Element if they used 2x Seamless Tanks 4" diameter 2 gallon tanks mounted under the passenger side to the right of the catalytic converter.

Somewhere like the area shown here:

element underside.jpg
 
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