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Technical AIR SHOCKS

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

  1. I used air shocks on the front of my 1965 A-100 Dodge van to actually raise it back up after replaced the slant 6 with a 340 V8. HRP
    Deuces likes this.
  2. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,909


    I also installed a set on my brand new '73 GTO.
    It seemed to sit low in the rear, and I only used them to level the car or pumped up more when I towed something.
    I measured the rocker panels to make them level
    The car never handled as good with them, but not sure if it was because of a few inches higher, or the valving.
    Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  3. The air shocks actually help my GTO, I had a '67 and the suspension seems soft, the car had a great ride but more like a Cadillac and it tended to float arond at speed until I added the air shocks. HRP
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  4. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,909


    Could depend on the brand also....mine weren't Hi Jackers.....can't remember which brand but not the rabbit!
    Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  5. Mine were hi-jackers on the GTO and like you I remember using another brand on my Falcon but for the life of me I can't remember the name brand.

    Hopefully someone else will remember. HRP
    Deuces likes this.
  6. partssaloon
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 356


    They were probably Monroe Max-Air. I've had a set on my Falcon Ranchero for 311,000 miles now and they just started to leak. Guess it's time for new ones.
    1-8-2012 Side.JPG
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  7. That's a good looking Falcon. HRP
    partssaloon likes this.
  8. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,058

    from Berry, AL

    I had a set of Hi Jackers on my ot 67 Mustang so I could run
    L60 15” tires. Kept about 40 lbs in them best I remember, just enough to give a couple of inches of fender clearance.
    Had a set on a 78 Yota pickup, aired them up when I pulled a trailer or hauled firewood.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  9. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,772

    from Alabama

    Da-umm! 49 years ago and 70'Chevelle just does not sound right.

    But it is.:oops:

    50 years ago is like when the Germans invaded Poland....Right?


    I used to do 1812 reenacting and I had kids ask us if we were Pilgrims and get this....
    Did we also do the '60s and 70s?o_O

    That question was asked at more than one location.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  10. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,300


    What he said!
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  11. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,955


    If you were down on bucks , we’d get red Delco’s with the bags on the outside; good for 90psi. Next would be Highjackers , good for 120psi. Then Hurst came out with 150 psi ones. This from just beyond the HAMB era...
  12. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,391



    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. We had to put the back wheels in the street gutter and the bed was then fairly level. Now, it was easy to ride up the ramp or push it up. 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

    View attachment 4281652
    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.
    View attachment 4281653

    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.[/QUOTE]

    The 1964-65 El Camino came with factory installed air shocks. (as previously stated) For 125k miles of driving all over the deserts, So Cal beaches, Baja Mexico dirt roads and local, snowy mountains, they held up well. Whatever we put in the back there was never any oil leaks or loss of air pressure. The only time I had some type of leak was the initial install of the gauge.

    Since I was known to be a "gorilla tightening" person, I gently tightened the nuts and fittings. After a liquid bubble soap test, I realized that (the inlet and outlet of the gauge) is where the air was leaking. Once tightened correctly, there was no air loss during that whole time period of owning the 1965 red El Camino.


    Chevrolet must have done something right with the factory air shock builds. (I found out that my El Camino was built on a Wednesday. Who knows when the shocks were made?) They were just good factory air shocks. With the air gauge, there was never the time of over filling the air with stuff in the back. When the air filled the shocks to make the El Camino bed level, that made for a smooth comfortable ride. When there was air in the shocks and the bed was empty, the car handling was a little sketchy.

    It is too bad they did not have compressed air tank set ups at the time. The bed had a foot well compartment hidden behind the cab window. That idea would have been handy when the El Camino was anywhere and there was a need for air for any heavy loads waiting.

    upload_2019-5-17_3-25-46.png With just a push of a button, it would have supplied instant leveling air, anywhere, anytime.
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 71

    The old blue Tudor runs them. Fitted in '79 when I built it, still has transverse spring with 4-bars...was a quick fix back then with 275/70 x 15" on the rear, run about 40psi normally and up to 90psi with a full tank of fuel (its a custom made 27 gallon tank that sits behind rear seat) 5 people and a caravan or trailer on the towbar. I must admit that we get a bit of body roll and exaggerated rake if too much pressure when lightly loaded. was always going to put one way valve in each side with a central blowup point, (so air would go equally to both ) to stop air going from side when cornering and help/stop the body roll.... then a valve in each side between one way valve and shocky to let them down or blow one side higher......Gabriels I think they are and still hold air....
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