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History Air cylinders/Early lowriders Set ups

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bonez, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    HI guys, i just been readin today on a J.Fishbeck post on the Lowriders thread, that he did use air cylinders to slam Mullins Rivi back in 1970:eek:.
    This said, and considering im buildin a car trying to be as accurate as possible to that period of time
    this could be a good choice.
    Until now i only vaguely considered hydros due to trunk space , and thought that bags even if (kinda) not available
    back then where the way to go.
    Now this comes up and a new window opens.
    I also wonder if back then there was a source for cheap "used/recycled" cylinders like the aircraft hydros, army supply.:cool:

    I'd like to know if it was a popular alternative to hydros, how it works, who pioneered the use and as much info as it can be written!:D
    Of course It would be nice to keep it as much of an history lesson as possible to keep in track w/ the "mission" of this forum.
    But i also think that not being a popular argument any info is welcome.
    Thanx for the help.
  2. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,866

    51 mercules

    I just got back from the Fishbeck's.They told me the air cylinders were made in a shop in Rialto called Bradley's.They also made custom wheels.They would drop the car a total of six inches when air was added.The top was mounted to a staionary bracket and the bottom to the a-arm,shocks were still used.If you broke an airline the car would raise to its normal height unlike airbags.They told me you could use a spare tire in the trunk for an airsource or airtank.
  3. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    C'mon guys, i cant believe no-one knows crap about this!
    Im really anxious to know more!
    Right now im sinkin the coils in the body/floor to drop 4 inches
    the old school way, but next stop will be either bags,lifts or this
    if i can gather any info!
  4. 58 Delpala
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 334

    58 Delpala
    from NC

    Air bags have been around since 1934. Ford and Goodyear built a car in 34 for one of the Auto Shows that had a complete Air Bag setup as you would see it today (without todays technology) but it never had a chance because the said the cost for the system would be over $2000.00. They were also used a lot in the 50's-70 in Europe in some of the higher end cars and I think Rover was one as was Peugout. Then when the Big Rig Trailor makers started using them thats when it got the attention of customizers. As for those air Cylinders. I remember seeing articles about how someone was using hydro cylinders and converting them to run on air back in the 60's and using them with the spare tire air supply system. On that setup it was basically like using the Air Shocks in that it was really only used to help level a car out when the springs got weak.

    I am interested in knowing more about this setup from Fishbeck, when it started, how it was used, how it was installed, and anything else out there on it.
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  5. I know that they would use the cylinders from PORT-o-POWERS I think Bill Hines was the first to do that. You can get alot of good info from a movie called "History of hydraulics" by Lowrider magazine and yes they did use army aircraft surplus parts cylinders from the landing gears and such.
  6. I think he's talking about AIR cylinders though, not hydraulics.

    I'm curious about what 51 mercules said about Fishbeck's cylinders. The only raised when air was added? If you had a leak your car raised back up? I'm super confused, could some one explain this a little more?
  7. Ron Aguirre's X Sonic 56 Corvette was the Very First Car With Hydraulics.. He was from Rialto if I'm right. My Dad seen The X Sonic, raise up to clear the wood they had propped up on the curb, to get the cars onto the Football field for the car show at the Eisnehower(?) High School. The Bradley twins were from Rialto, California. They built a 1960 T Bird with AIR Cylinders in 1966. Dad & Uncle put a Air Cylinder system on the Rivi in 67. They had been back from Vietnam for just a little while at that point!
    Unsprung weight is the reason they haven't been an option for recent advancements. Air bags are so much lighter. But it's still interesting what they did. It must have been in the air switch selector, however it was plumbed, to make it react unconventionaly,the way it did.

    Attached Files:

  8. They pressured up a 7up tank in the trunk, w/ a 3 way switch from a Heavy Truck(thats all I know about the switch) I am going to ask how the cylinders were fastened. I'll let you know, when I know!
  9. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    Port-o-powers ah? I'll look into that, or is juice cylinders you talkin about?
    As for the aircraft landing gear i know,
    infact i was askin if there was an equivalent source of cylinders as there was for lifts in aircraft equip.

    I've been googlin a bit and seems like nowadays Air Cyls and VeeDubs go
    a lot togheter, might be cause they have torsion arms and the cylinders
    only compensate for whats already doin all the suspension work?:confused:

    ^^^^ Fishbeck:Is that what you meant w/ the unsprung weight thing?^^^^
  10. The way they attached the Air Cylinder, is much in the same way you would change over to "coil over shocks" with eye-lets on both ends. If you're familiar with the bracket that converts conventional coil springs to "Coil Over Shocks" on the lower A Arm(control arm, what "you" may call it.) I know they were popular on the 55 - 57 chevys.
    Unsprung weight :
    In a ground vehicle with a suspension, the unsprung weight (or, more properly, the unsprung mass) is the mass of the suspension, wheels or tracks (as applicable), and other components directly connected to them, rather than supported by the suspension. (The mass of the body and other components supported by the suspension is the sprung mass.) Unsprung weight includes the mass of components such as the wheel axles, wheel bearings, tires, and a portion of the weight of driveshafts, springs, shock absorbers, and suspension links. If the vehicle's brakes are mounted outboard (i.e., within the wheel), their weight is also part of the unsprung weight.
    Long story short, the lighter the suspension parts the better the performance. A springs job isn't to hold the car up, but to keep the tire pushed down onto the road. So the the heavier the Unsprung mass is, the slower it returns to the roads in bumpy situations.
    Plus rubber is cheaper to mass produce when it comes down to business!

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