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Technical AIR SHOCKS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, May 12, 2019.

  1. Back when I was in my teen's I had air shocks on my Falcon, my GTO and my '65 Dodge Van but haven't used them in many years, anyone using them on a custom or a hot rod? HRP
  2. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,705

    from Indy

    got them on my 57 Chevy wagon
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and Deuces like this.
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,272


    I had them on an OT Jeep Cherokee a couple of years ago. Used them to raise the ass end up when using a receiver hitch cargo rack hauling loads of firewood for camping. They were the real deal, Gabriel Hijackers.
    3W JOHN, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  4. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 16,690

    from Michigan

    Had those on my Camaros and Novas....
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  5. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 174


    Hadn’t used them since mid 60’s. Had them on my 55’ Chevy Sedan. Can’t believe I rode around with the butt end that high.
    Rich S., irishsteve, 3W JOHN and 3 others like this.
  6. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 859

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Actually I have them on the 51 merc along with a trailer hitch! lol Larry
    3W JOHN, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  7. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 504


    If I had a nickel for every pair of Gabriel HiJackers I installed when I worked at a more-or-less speed shop back in the early 70's......well, I'd have a lot of nickles.:rolleyes:

  8. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,396

    from oregon

    Gabriel HiJackers, there's a blast from the past.
  9. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 738

    from kansas

    Years ago on my 66 GTO. Don't think it was legal to own a 60`s goat without air shocks back in the day.
  10. Have them on my 51' Merc as well. Work great
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,396

    from oregon

    My 65 El Camino had factory air shocks.
    jnaki, 3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and 2 others like this.
  12. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,862


    Had them on my 36 Chev p/ rubbed on fenders when hitting bumps while towing my pop-up trailer on the way to Louisville NSRA nats to be in the flood.
    Bought some up there and installed them with the help of MSRA tools at the rod repair shop.Cured the rubbing when loaded
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and Deuces like this.
  13. deadbeat
    Joined: May 3, 2006
    Posts: 454


    Got them on my wife's 63 Thunderbird. Helps when there is a tank full of gas and a trunk full gear on a road trip,,cheers
  14. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,269

    from SW Wyoming

    I was changing tags on my Firebird when I noticed a Schrader valve hidden up under the bumper. Went straight to the Texaco and put some air in and whoosh! Instant up in the rear a couple inches, and we was cruizin in style, baby :) I was glad I had them when I ran 60 series tires. Have not run a set in years, after a while I figured out that not all shock mounting points were happy supporting the car.
  15. If you had air shocks and Cragar SS mags back then you pretty much had it made.:D;)
  16. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,386

    Kiwi 4d

    Yes had these in our 57 they were useful when we had all seats occupied and towing a camper . Only downer was ( Ok 2 downers) if you were on the road somewhere and needed more air no gas station Air outlets went over 35lb , i think we ran 60lb. Then they did not handle that nice.
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  17. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,420

    from oregon

    On my Lincoln , the wife's 54 Belair ,and our 62 Galaxie. Surpringly they are still only about 60 bucks
    Deuces, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,224


    Air shocks, what a concept. The first time they were on a factory vehicle was in 1964-65 when the first generation newer, El Camino body style came into play. The rear shocks and springs were ok, but the minute anyone put things in the back, the front raised up, while the back pickup bed sank. Stiffer springs still sagged with any weight. It was disheartening to see the front end raised up when "stuff" was added to the bed. Once that was done, a trip to the neighborhood gas station was the next step. Then when the air was added to the interior valve, the heavy load in the bed raised up to make the El Camino level for normal driving. But, how much air was going in?

    Back then, there were no home air compressors or if there were, they were too expensive. So, with the impending weight coming up, an early trip to the gas station for air was tried. Many times, after putting in the allowed amount of air, the 65 El Camino with the empty bed looked like a stink bug ready for action. Placing things in the back neutralized the level. But, if it was two motorcycles, it was difficult to drive up a ramp or push it in place on the driveway. The desert trips with two dirt racing bikes made us pick a spot for unloading. The air was still in the shocks, so, we had to find a slight dip or hill rise to make it easier to ride onto the back after the grueling races.


    from an earlier post
    Unless you already have one, here is a small winter project for your 64-65 model. Ever since I got involved in desert motorcycle racing after our drag racing episodes, there was a need for a gauge to see the level of air in those “air shocks” that came from the factory.
    It was difficult to measure how much was put in, as those gas station pumps were never accurate. An accurate air pressure gauge was necessary. It is installed under the teeny package tray behind the seats. The only thing that shows on top of the tray (when the seat is in the normal position) is the valve +cap. There were countless times that I was asked which factory option ordering number it was and/or if they could get the part from any Chevy dealer.

    Once you have the air gauge, this project should not take you that long. A snowed-in/rainy day should give you enough time to make the installation. It sure saved me countless times filling in and letting out the air for the best ride in any situations for the El Camino.


    I am not sure where they still sell them, but any gauge could be adapted. Here is another thread on new air pressure gauges. If you do not have the air bag pumps and tank installed, this is a "gauge only" install for the stock air shocks. Back in 1965, it worked like a charm and was very handy.
    Cosmo49, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,535


    In the day I had 3 different 68 GTO's and every one of them had air shocks on the rear from the factory. It was cool back then to air them up and have the ass end up in the air
  20. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,898


    Couldn’t run L60’s without them...unless you cut the 1/4ers.
    Deuces, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,971


    Put 'em on my '69 SS Chevelle, it was mandatory, '69Z still has 'em too. Factory units were on the '71 El Camino.
    Gabriel musta sold several million sets of Hi-Jackers in the day...
    Deuces, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,535


    Gabriel had to make a fortune back then selling hijackers!
  23. It was cool to hide the fill valve using a license plate hole. My dad had a '51 Ford and that had 2 fill valves for some reason. They were inside the car, in the vertical portion of the rear floor pans.
    upspirate, Deuces, 3W JOHN and 2 others like this.
  24. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 621


    I thought everyone had them. Didn't we all use them on something sometime? Had to use them when running the N50's. I use the modern airbags on my truck when the 5th wheel is hooked up now. Time changes things.....
  25. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,461

    from Ok

    Had a Ford wagon in 74 that had factory air shocks along with an air pump to fill them when the rear sagged and tripped the fill switch. Pretty cool.
  26. I have them on the back of my 52 Dodge Coronet. Car has 3" drop blocks and sagged stock springs so it sits pretty low. I keep 30psi in the shocks for normal driving. I bump that up when I'm going on a long trip with a bunch of camping gear in the car.
    Deuces, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  27. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,420

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Had them on my 70 Chevelle, part of my “day two” mods to fit the J70 Mickey Thompson’s on the Cragar SS’s , bad ass look 49 years ago!
    Deuces, 3W JOHN, slowmotion and 2 others like this.
  28. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,971


    Damn!, It was that long ago, wasn't it...!
  29. Sssshhhh, don't tell anybody but I have them on my roadster rearend.
    They're for a VW Beetle, so they're valved for a lightweight car.
    I've got a fairly light transverse spring, and use them when the trunk is loaded heavy to get the ride height back.
    Worked perfectly since '87. Rides nice with or without inflation.
    RICH B, Deuces, 3W JOHN and 3 others like this.
  30. ...........................Secret's safe with me.:D;)
    Deuces, 3W JOHN, i.rant and 2 others like this.

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