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Air bags vs. coil springs in rear of 41 olds

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by olds vroom, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    I have a 1941 olds and the rear coil springs are just plain saggy. I would like the rear 3-4 inches higher . I'm considering putting in airbags in place of my coil springs and hooking them up the same as air shocks. Has anybody had any problems doing this? Also with airbags do I need shocks? FYI I have replaced the old lever shocks with piston shocks but no room for coil overs.
     
  2. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

  3. nevrdun
    Joined: Jul 8, 2007
    Posts: 22

    nevrdun
    Member
    from lombard,il

    I was having similar problems with my 62 Buick special. Coil springs sagging, needed about 2-3 " in height. In stead of replacing the springs I bought AIRLIFT air bags to go inside of the coil spring. AIRLIFT does not have a bag made for my car(or yours either) but I bought their universal bag(about 3" or 31/2" dia.) Had to remove the spring to get the bag to go inside the coil, but it worked real good. I think Summit had them.

    Norm
     
  4. nevrdun
    Joined: Jul 8, 2007
    Posts: 22

    nevrdun
    Member
    from lombard,il

    By the way, YES you do need shocks with the AIRLIFT bags

    Norm
     

  5. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    I tried that last year but it didn't seem to do anything for me
     
  6. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
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  7. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

  8. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 922

    Curt Six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a 1941 Buick. I've never looked under a '41 Olds, but I would guess they are similar chassis. My rear coil springs were about 7" in diameter, and I replaced them with Airlift D2500 airbags (part number 58343). They fit right into the spring pocket, and no other modifications were needed except making the mounting plates, which is simple. I run a small tank and compressor right above them in the tool kit well just behind the back seat. I am still running the lever shocks (and yes, you do need shocks with airbags as someone else already said).
    Curt
     
  9. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    Thanks curt six do need a tank and compressor ? I was planning on just running airlines back to the bumper like air shocks is that a bad idea?
     
  10. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
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  11. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    Does anybody have any instructions on how to do this?
     
  12. gold03
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 84

    gold03
    Member

    Hey Vroom, shoot some pictures and let us wee what you are working on. Most guys here frown on air bags.;)
     
  13. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1392340222.515659.jpg im not wild about airbags either but I'm looking at all my options I've already tried the balloons that go in the springs but didn't like the results.
     
  14. Rocket88
    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 911

    Rocket88
    Member

    Here's what I did on my 49, your 41 should be similar.
     

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  15. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 922

    Curt Six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The photo above is similar to my set up on my Buick. If your Olds is the same (rear coil springs/trailing arm-style suspension), you can do a little measuring to make sure the bags will fit in place of the coils. Then you drill a few holes to run the air lines directly above the bags to the compressor (and tank) in the trunk.

    I suppose you could run just off of the compressor without a tank, but I'm not sure why you'd want to. A small tank will hold enough air to add some air when you get in and out of tight spots. It all depends on how you want to use the suspension.

    My car has coil springs in front and airbags in the rear. I have the bags set up so that the car sits at the same height when I'm driving, parked, whatever. I just add a little air if I've got a couple people riding in the back seat or if I need to raise the rear to avoid ripping my bumper off (like getting in my steep driveway). Here's a shot of how it sits. Anyone who wants to "frown on it" can be my guest :)
     

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  16. bako48
    Joined: Apr 2, 2013
    Posts: 150

    bako48
    Member

    Run a 2500. Bag and just standard tube shocks. You can run the bags on Schrader valves. They look like ones yo air up tires. Just fill it where your happy and leave it.its just really what's your budget.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  17. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    Thanks Bako 48. That's most of what I wanted to know
     
  18. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
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    No we don't, newbie.:eek:
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    All you need do is figure out the distance between the spring pockets, when the car is as low as you would ever want it to go on suspension compression. In this case, probably the stock bump stops.

    take that measurement, and subtract out the compressed height of whatever bag that you plan to use. The remainder is the height that you need to make up in the mounts.

    These "bag cups" serve two purposes. In addition to filling up the extra space, they also mimic the shape of the end of the original coil spring, allowing the whole assembly to fit in where the coil was.

    Setups vary from vehicle to vehicle, but should end up looking something like this:
    [​IMG]
    How you get air into them is up to you. Mild(Schrader valves, single or separate, with separate providing more body roll control over a single), to wild(compressors, tank, solenoids, switches, self-leveling, etc.)

    And yes, shocks are a must. A good, gas charged tube shock will work wonders.
     
  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
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    If I remember correctly, the '41 Olds has rear coil springs that are full diameter at the top, and are pigtailed at the bottom (post-war they were, and I think that they were pre-war).

    If that is the case, the tube on the top cup would need to be made to match the full diameter of the spring, and the lower, much smaller, for that diameter.

    You can buy the plates for these cups, pre-made, from any number of vendors.

    For example: http://thorbros.com/catalog/bag-brackets/circle-plates

    The rest is tube. There are several online suppliers that can provide short lengths of DOM tubing, in the proper diameter and thickness for what you would need.

    https://www.metalsdepot.com/products/hrsteel2.phtml?page=rndtube&LimAcc=%20&aident=
    http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=283&step=2&top_cat=197
    http://thorbros.com/catalog/steel-tubing

    Or you can source it locally, if you have a supplier that can offer short lengths.

    Some shops use Schedule-40 pipe, but I prefer 1/8" wall DOM, for full-diameter cups, and thicker, by up to double, for pigtailed-end cups.
     
  21. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    one thing about using airbags and why you should use a compressor , never drive on them empty , it destroys the bag sides they are ment to have some air in them when they are empty they can pinch the material or cause rubbing and make holes , if anything carry a little portable one in the car and also put a gauge on the hoses to see how much pressure is in them .
     
  22. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 984

    olds vroom
    Member

    Are there any bags I should stay away from?
     
  23. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 922

    Curt Six
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    Maybe these...
     

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  24. Curt Six
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 922

    Curt Six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just kidding. Don't know what to tell you to stay away from. My experience has been good with the bags from Air Lift. I think any of the major companies will have a good product.
     
  25. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,927

    gimpyshotrods
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    Anything without a recognizable brand name.

    I have installed over a hundred bags from Slam Specialties. I like them because they have an internal bump stop, and don't balloon at all. I like the SS series. You should be good with an SS-7.
     
  26. Merc0Matic
    Joined: Apr 2, 2014
    Posts: 53

    Merc0Matic
    Member
    from california

    Has anybody had any experience with the firestone ride rite helper spring kits? Are they good or bad? I know nothing about them but I'm thinking about using them along with my leaf springs for my 52' mercury


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  27. rtp
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 200

    rtp
    Member

    On my 48 I needed to lift it 3" used springs from early 70 chevy wagon . Bolt in . Napa has them,you may have to order them. bolts in stock bolts and cups.No lines or tanks. always readyto go .
     

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