Earlier this month, Air Lift Performance announced an exciting new addition to their line of control systems: The 3S. The air ride community eagerly began to speculate about the features of Air Lift’s newest product. While some guesses were closer than others, we’re here to clear the air and provide you with all the need-to-know information along with our opinion of the new Air Lift Performance 3S which starts at the entry-level price point of just $699.

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we’ve seen on social media.

Should I upgrade from 3P/3H to 3S?
3S is an “entry level” control system in comparison to the 3P/3H, so that would be a downgrade!

What does the “S” stand for?!
The “S” stands for “Standalone” which is because the 3S Manifold/ECU does not require a wired controller to operate.

Does it have presets?
YES, it has time based presets, and this is what really separates the 3S from “classic” analog switchbox control systems, or standalone manifolds such as the AccuAir VX4.

Can I control it with my phone?
Yes, the 3S is bluetooth-ready which makes it the only standalone manifold available on the market that can be controlled with an Android or iPhone smartphone via the FREE Air Lift app.

What does the Controller look like?
At the starting price of $699, the 3S does NOT include a controller but as we explained in our last answer, it can be controlled via the free iPhone / Android app. That said, it is compatible with a variety of controllers such as: the Air Lift 3P/3H controller, the Air Lift AutoPilot V2 controller and any 12v switchbox controller such as well-known AVS brand 7-Switch Box. To explore the range of price points for various 3S packages, check out our 3S product page.

How does the 3S stack up against AccuAir SwitchSpeed
To make an honest comparison, let’s start by looking at the 3S manifold when paired with the optional 3P/3H controller which puts the package price at $899. AccuAir’s SwitchSpeed control system when paired with their VX4 manifold comes in at $915. While the two systems are extremely close in price, we’ve made the following table to help compare the major features.

So, should I buy the 3S?
No. Hear us out. Once you add the cost of an 8 Gauge Power Kit to power the compressor, a Relay Wiring Kit, a Pressure Switch Wiring Kit to control the compressor and a Dual Needle Gauge Combo Kit to keep track of air spring pressures, you’re looking at an additional $180 to complete the control system. This puts us at $1079 for the 3S and $1095 for SwitchSpeed, both of which are less than $200 shy of the Air Lift 3P System.

In our opinion, once you consider the enormous time saved on the install of a 3P plus the additional features (especially the far more useful pressure presets), we feel the small price difference is easily justified.