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Customs Air Bags: The Case For And Against

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Apr 18, 2018.

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  1. Customs with bags are kinda like hot rods with T-5 transmissions.
    Neither is "correct" according to a hardcore purist point of view, but they make an otherwise traditional car more functional.
  2. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,983

    anthony myrick

    I like em.......but I have no use for em on a 'hot rod'
    I dont come here looking for the latest info on bags but I have enjoyed threads that have info on bagging old style IFS like shoeboxes, mercs and gm products. I dont plan to "lay frame" for my merc build, but I live in the sticks and adjustability is important.
    we replaced the factory bags on a 58 Buick with newer ones and added the height sensors, rides like a dream.
    thats a higher tech system that again I dont expect to see info here.
    as far as safety, lots of big trucks and some Bonneville racers are very dangerous I guess

    rumor has it, evidence of bagged chariots was lost when Julius Caeser burned the Library of Alexandria
  3. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,520

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Laid frames have ZERO stance.Period.
    Pist-n-Broke, jvo, catdad49 and 8 others like this.
  4. apenglish64
    Joined: Apr 22, 2014
    Posts: 133


    So from what I'm understanding there should be a balance. The debate between traditional vs. new can and will go on for ages I'm certain. One thing I can't wrap my head around is all the comments on how lame/dumb/wrong/"the car looks broken" because of bags and being too low.

    Are you the same people who complain about radials? Are you the same people who complain about allllll the details that aren't literally taken out of 1962? If so, I can begin to understand.

    But it reminds me of how much I cringe every time I see some fool on the internet or even in real life walk up to a lowered car and say "how do ya even drive it like that?!" I have zero problem with a classic laying frame, and I have a suspicion that there's more behind those comments than meets the eye. Oh and I understand the attached pictures are not real... at least not until I build one.

    The question becomes: What is this arbitrary idea of one car being low enough and another being too low? and who decided?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    jkbrubaker and anthony myrick like this.
  5. ebfabman
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 695


    IMG_5585.JPG Yeah, so I've put this hunk a steel on here too many times. But I just want to say it rides as smooth and comfortable as ANY vehicle I've EVER driven or ridden in. I've been in a few. Mercs look great low, but for me its drivability. Getting it in and out of driveways and on and off the lift. Without bags, it would not be possible. All I'd have is a great big trophy to stare at in the garage and not much else.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  6. I recently made a trade. My ‘49 Olds 98 mild custom for a ‘31 RPU. The Olds had to have them. Gas tank was hitting. Weird thing is the RPU has air bags in the rear. Since it’s not really a HAMB type car I won’t show the work, but rest assured that the bags have to go. Replaced by coil overs.
  7. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590



    Perfect in all ways.
    williebill, catdad49, Stogy and 6 others like this.
  8. XXL__
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,051


    Came here to make a similar comment... there are 2 reasons I adjust the bags on my one car that has them-- 1) a corner has leaked down a little since I last drove it, and 2) I need to get a jack under it. I don't raise it up and down at events, or driving down the street so people can hear the valves whistle, or any of that other stuff. And Imguess there's a 3rd occasional reason... this morning, I would have been pushing a dead raccoon down the street for miles if I hadn't have been able to quickly grow about 3" of height on the fly.

    The point? The car's stance is its stance. The bags provide genuine functionality/serviceability not related to that stance.
    Stooge, build4#2, Sparked and 4 others like this.
  9. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,806


    Bias or radial bags?
    scotty t, jvo, Stogy and 10 others like this.
  10. Good answer Ryan.... and your reasons for not liking them are pretty much identical to mine. But they can have their place.

    All this talk made me think about a car from my past. When I was still in high school, a neighbor of a friend was always wheeling and dealing modified cars. He acquired a '41 Ford coupe that to my teen-age eyes was the very epitome of cool; early Olds powered, chopped, black-on-black paint/interior, wide whites with real chrome reversed wheels, and lowered to the max. I wanted that car bad, and started scheming on how to get it. After I figured a possible way to get it, I asked for a test drive....

    Now days it would be a totally traditional car, but it was undrivable on all but the smoothest, flattest roads. It bottomed out on almost any driveway, and the only vehicle I ever owned that rode worse was a '54 Chev PU I had that rode so hard that on logging roads parts would fly off (lost both headlight rings that way). The PU rode better than the coupe did on paved roads. Now I have no idea how it was lowered, I looked under the car and spotted a dropped axle but in those days I didn't always know what I was looking at, but it was obvious even to me it wasn't right. My budget wouldn't allow any additional mods/repairs after I bought it, so I very reluctantly passed on it and he sold it to someone else. I often wonder what happened to that car....

    If I were building a clone of that car now, it would need bags, pure and simple.

    As a side note, the guy offered me a '48 Ford 2-dr sedan instead (and for much less money; $500 !!). Raked, flatty with aluminum heads and 2 carbs, very nice full roll-and-pleat interior, red wheels/wide whites, in grey primer. But the hopped-up flatty didn't even have the power of my mother's bone-stock 312-powered '56 Fairlane coupe, so being the power-mad teen that I was, I passed on that too....
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    anthony myrick and pat59 like this.
  11. And I'll repeat my suggestion that the guys that want to fully discuss bags move over to the social forums and open one dedicated to just that. Somebody will have to step up and moderate it, but you won't be offending any traditionalists that way. That's where the Jag IFS/IRS swaps went; out of sight, out of mind....
    GreenMonster48 likes this.
  12. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,627

    from Michigan

    Great move!!!....;)
  13. Don't the social forums appear on the HAMB forum? Just not the other two forums right?
  14. Nope, you have to go to the social forums. They don't appear anywhere else.
  15. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,208


    I am currently building a bagged car. I am doing it because I had never done one before, and I love learning new things. I am also doing it because with my family and my gear in it, it became almost undriveable at the static drop it was previously. It might have worked ok in Texas, but Missouri roads were not so kind. I have learned that bagging a car correctly is no simple task for a newcomer. It has been a fun challenge, except when it suckso_O I hope I get it right. I don't plan to lay frame if that helps.

    I have not posted a build thread or blasted it all over because it is not a HAMB inspired build. Simple really. Somebody wrote some rules... I'm trying to follow them.
    belair and Chili Phil like this.
  16. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,718

    from Oregon

    LOL, and on and on it goes .:D:p
  17. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,619

    from oregon

    So class, what have we learned this week?
  18. Just to be clear Ryan, Air Bags are here (on the H.A.M.B.) to stay? I'm good with that not that it matters. I'm also not into them but I know how to just move on. No comment needed.
    The Wizzard
    steinauge likes this.
  19. Bags are good. Mmk? Bags are Shhhhh! Mmk? :)
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,111

    from So Cal

    Don't ask, don't tell. If you see pictures of bags, please ignore them. If you have bags on your car, please don't do a thread specifically on the bags. Don't start a thread asking for help or advice on bags. But if you happen to see them in some pics don't get your panties in a twist either.
  21. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,993


    My old Merc, no bags.


    Yes, it drug, no I didn't care. But, the guy who bought it raised it up two inches. Maybe I should have used bags.....

    belair, Okie Pete, catdad49 and 4 others like this.
  22. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,718

    from Oregon

    That is right slick Abone .:cool:
  23. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    As a (traditionalist) i'n not offended, I see that comment regularly. Nothing wrong with bags, it's that 90% of users do it for shock value and to lay the car on the ground. To use them to help springs, or by them selves to adjust height for, as mentioned driveways, rough roads etc. is great.
    belair, kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  24. As long as the vehicle still maintains "profile" then I'm ok with it. Laying frame isn't profile.
    catdad49 and Pist-n-Broke like this.
  25. don daddyo
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 229

    don daddyo

    I think school ain't finish many of you are under the age of 50?...So now let the youngsters speak there are so many with a Kustom kulture and Hot rod Kulture...we will get probably more dud into bags,then you think, like this guy who me destroy my car...sorry but that car look amazing.and many many more like this kid are around ,and we ask ourself if the hot rod and custom kulture will live some more years...I say YES ,cause I believe so...For myself I have a 51 Ford Vic Custom under construction,also have a 29 Roadster Ford and also have many others before ,under construction...bags are for me like strait axles and juices brake, 4 bangers are for...HOT ROD AND KUSTOM CARS will NEVER DIE...
    Macstoy likes this.
  26. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Okie Pete likes this.
  27. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,953


    Had bags on all corners when originally built and then went back to coils all round and then with air shocks in rear to work with coils and then back to bags in rear only. Gets a pretty good ride on the highway(at about 4-5 inches ride height), sometimes a little rough on corrugated roads. But when parked drop a little to still show bottom of rear whitewalls. Couldn't get it on my hoist without being able to lift to max. My avatar shows it with all bags.
    Gene Winfield liked it at Sydney last year!! Gene Winfield Award.jpg
  28. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,983

    anthony myrick

    Dang. I never really noticed those cars are so much lower in the adds than what was delivered to the dealer
    Special Ed and Stogy like this.
  29. mgermca
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 228


    Attached Files:

  30. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,215


    I'd rather have a car that rides so rough that it bruises my kidneys, scrapes the pavement regularly, causing structural issues, but looks really cool going down the road, on the trailer, to the car show.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
    belair, Special Ed, BJR and 1 other person like this.
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