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Homebrew Air Ride? Anyone done it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Harrison, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. pan-dragger
    Joined: Sep 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,187

    pan-dragger
    Member

    look at gaugemagazine.com. i've used several of the kits, and indvidual parts they selland have never had a problem. good prices, and nice quality. just bagged my dad's 50 business coupe using parts from them, great service and good prices.
     
  2. briancustoms
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 51

    briancustoms
    Member


    NO CLAUSE OR LIABILITY PAPERWORK OF ANYKIND WILL HOLD UP IN COURT!ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE IS SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED.[/QUOTE]

    So are gun manufacturers getting sued every time people are killed using one of their products? My girlfriend is a lawyer and said that clause will hold up.
     
  3. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    Your girlfriend is not much a lawyer if she told you that. :eek: You have admitted on a public forum that you are aware that they do not meet DOT standards. Now all it's gonna take is someone to get hurt. Their "good" lawyer to dig this up and you're done. You are well aware that what you are doing and I really hope the stuff you do stays off the streets. You really have no clue.
     
  4. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC


    NO CLAUSE OR LIABILITY PAPERWORK OF ANYKIND WILL HOLD UP IN COURT!ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE IS SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED.[/QUOTE]

    Yep and this thread will show that he knew. That is what they call negligence.
     
  5. MEDDLER1
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,590

    MEDDLER1
    Member

  6. aldixie
    Joined: May 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,642

    aldixie
    Member

    Mine is a 4 path with dual needle gauges and a seperate gauge for the tank.Individual control over each bag. Air ride technologies in the rear with a 4 bar setup. I've seen what happens with just a front and back setup, not safe at all.
     
  7. a.y1320
    Joined: Feb 3, 2008
    Posts: 117

    a.y1320
    Member

    I just put mine together. Nothing fancy, just a cheap rear suspension. WIP
     

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  8. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI



    the Dominators are a whole different animal. NOT the same bags in any way shape or form.
     
  9. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,501

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    It was my understanding that the Cadillac /Pontiac /Olds 50's Air set up was more likea tractor trailer set up air ride,,not a lift and drop kinda set up
     
  10. truckdude1
    Joined: Jan 26, 2009
    Posts: 221

    truckdude1
    Member

    I bought a truck with a home brewed system, the guy even made the airtank (he is a professional welder/fabricator and HAMBer). It seems to work well. Some of the parts came from www.airbagit.com which appears to offer an ala cart selection of parts. Wow, they even offer a Winnebago lowering kit, nothing cooler than a slammed 'Bago!
     
  11. KaiserKruiser
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 84

    KaiserKruiser
    Member

    I did what everyone said not to
    My kaiser has 4 bags i bought of ebay like 140
    I bought a compressor and the electrical to run it 250 off ebay.
    I used galvanized pipe not cheap but im a maintenance man i picked up on all kinds of jobs and use ball valves instead of selinoids.
    It works great and i havent had any problems yet.
    I also have home made notches and the leaf springs are turned upside down.
    No 4 link and i still lay frame.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. I love that valve and gauge set up. That's over the top!
     
  13. sergisbadass
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 25

    sergisbadass
    Member
    from Dallas TX

    ive ran the same slam bags on my car for over a year and have never had a problem i heard that they had a bad batch a few times but i guess it depends on the luck of the draw. i liked how they didnt balloon out like firestone bags did they go out then up. i didnt even have to put shocks in the front of my car just found the right pressure and it felt like a brand new caddy!

    hell i was even able to hope the front tires off the ground!!

    i got all my parts and stuff from suicide doors.
     
  14. BillyBobsSpeedShop
    Joined: Jan 6, 2008
    Posts: 522

    BillyBobsSpeedShop
    Member

    anyone near north carolina that is good at piecing and fabing a kit for a 1950 chevy truck? I havent got the first idea of how to do an airbag setup on my truck, and I dnt want to get hosed by this local shop, if so PM or let me know
     
  15. RalphyBoy161
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 915

    RalphyBoy161
    Member

    this is an awesome thread.I was thinking of putting bags on the sled.Thanks to everyone who contributed to this one.

    Ralphy
     
  16. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258

    wsdad
    Member

    I was thinking used Buick "bags" may be less than $70 from a junk yard and come complete with brackets and hoses and stuff.
     
  17. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI



    please don't take this personally and i mean no offense but i'm having a REALY tough time not screaming "YOUR AN IDIOT!". you NEED shocks!! PERIOD! i've been in vehicles and even driven vehicles that did not have front shocks (or had realy bad ones). it is NOT a safe situation. if might be fine going down the road at your "magical air pressure" but you WILL get into a situation one day where you have to make a panic move in traffic and/or hit a big pot hole and the front end WILL start to bounce out of control. it takes at least a couple seconds to recover from something like that and to get your front end to stop bouncing, and this is IF there is only one pot hole and not a string of them. and that is the time when some kid or other pedestrian will wonder into the road, or there will be other cars around and because your front end was bouncing just a little bit out of control (it does'nt take much) your going to hit someone or something all because you were too cheap and or lazy to install shocks.
    hey, i've done hundreds of air ride installs, i know that some cars are a bitch to fit shocks in once you bag them but i've ALWAYS found a way.
    if cars did'nt realy need shock absorbers do you think that every manufacturer of automobiles on the planet would be spending the money putting them on every single car that rolls off the end of the line???


    ...sorry for all the screaming and yelling but this is one of those times when i feel a little tough love is in order. i've been doing this shit too long and seen too many geniuses think they can reinvent the wheel only to have it end in disaster. you would'nt believe the crap that came into the suspension shop on the back of a wrecker or the cobble jobs i've had to fix since then that were'nt even safe to drive around the block let alone cross country.

    BE SMART. BE SAFE!
     
  18. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    i've got my 48 Chevy truck sitting on an S-10 Chassis right now. going to change it to a Dakota because it is a better fit. here is what i just suggested to a guy thinking of doing a Studebaker truck on bags. it's long winded but if your thinking of bagging a straight axle truck and don't know where to start it might be worth a couple minutes of your time:


    "on your truck it'll be a little more complicated than most. you might want to search out some tech stories on how other people have added bags to straight front axles. basicly you will have to add a 4 link (or something) to hold the front axle in place. the same in the rear. you have more options in the rear but basicly you need to have a way to locate the axles because you will be tossing out the leaf springs. i strongly suggest you start reading up on all types of air ride installations to familiarize yourself with how things work. just beware. there are ALOT of people out there with setups that are NOT safe or smart. try to use common sense and don't be afraid to ask questions. i'm willing to help with specific questions as they arise as well.
    now, if i was building your truck and wanted it bagged i would likely swap out the entire chassis for something with an independent front suspension. an S10 or a Dodge Dakota would be good examples. i've got an S10 chassis under my project 48 Chevy truck. the S10 track width is a little too narrow for the body though and there are issues with the steering box and radiator clearance. still, lots of guys have done the swap with decent results. i'm pretty picky so what i did was go out and buy a $300 Dodge Dakota. it has rack and pinion steering and the track width could'nt be better for this body. i will have to shorten the chassis a little bit in the middle and maybe take a little off the rear end but that is pretty simple stuff for me. if you have friends that can fabricate ask yourself (and them) if they are up for such a project before you jump in with both feet.
    i like things to look like they are supposed to be the way they are after i've modified them. thats why i don't like the way most people have done the S10 frame swap. it's not that they did'nt do a good enough job but you have to run a cross flow radiator and cut up the inner fender wells. i prefer things to look like they came from the factory that way. i don't want to see that stuff hacked up or have anything look out of place, even if it is under the hood.
    one thing to think about with the Dodge chassis is that you will probably still want to replace the rear end. i'm going to use a 10 bolt Camaro rear i have. the reason being that they do not make a U-joint to adapt the Chevy driveshaft to the Dakota rear end and the drive shaft diameters are VERY different making it difficult to just have the ends from each welded to a custom length shaft... there is alot to think about and do but if your up for it it'll be worth it in the end.
    here is a link for one idea for a straight axle front end on bags though this is meant for a much lighter vehicle than yours: http://www.cenpen.com/traditionalairorder.htm

    i hope i gave you enough to think about. LOL

    good luck and let me know if you need any advice along the way. start searchin the web, even mini-truck sites. lots of info out there, just be aware that not everything you see on the internet is a good idea.

    ALSO. for what it's worth my buddy Eric has a Stude (1950 i think) on an S10 chassis. it seems to me it fit pretty well. the S10 rear will hold up to some abuse and there are plenty of parts in the aftermarket to beef it up. Eric's name is StudeBoy on the HAMB. not sure how much he gets on here any more but it might be worth dropping him a line if you consider the S10 frame swap. he is NOT some crazy fabricator. just a regular guy with average skills doing what he can in his own garage with average tools and the help of some friends now and then. real nice guy. i'm sure he would be glad to give you any advice he can.
    i've picked up S10 chassis for $75-$100 before. that was a couple years back but you should be able to get one pretty cheap. maybe even free if you look hard enough and ask around. try Craigslist for starters."


    i'd like to also add that a MII front suspension could be one option though keep in mind that it was designed for a small car and not a truck. ElPolocko has made a business adapting Dodge Dakota front suspension to other chassis. he might have some advice (and maybe parts) for you if you PM him... also with the rack and pinion steering on the Dakota you can use the stock top/bottom tank radiator and will not have to cut the hell out of the inner fender wells... except maybe to clear the A-arms.

    bottom line. there are alot of options. i just hope that you will be smart and be safe about what you do. it's not just your life but the lives of those around you when you drive. this is your suspension we are talking about not some nick-nack you welded onto yer hood. "ok" welds are NOT good enough and half assed engineering is not going to cut it.
     
  19. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member


    Agreed - I have heard over and over that you don't need shocks with Slam Specialties bags. While they might ride better than Firestones or others without shocks, it still bounces when you hit a bump. I tried 'em without shocks and I am now going to go back and add shocks so it actually rides the way it should.
     
  20. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    a spring is a spring. they all need something to keep them from bouncing uncontrollably.
     
  21. jbs10
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 31

    jbs10
    Member
    from newport ky

    i have 51 truck w/a s10 frame i want ot air bag it but have no ideal ware to start. i all so have a tight budget. some pic help a lot to.
     
  22. Start with the spell checker and the search button.
     
  23. BrandonSilva
    Joined: Aug 5, 2008
    Posts: 170

    BrandonSilva
    Member

    wait it out and buy all the correct fittings,DOT hose,solenoid valves,ect. "homebrew" your brackets,bars,notch ect.


    ps: run shocks up front
     
  24. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    should be a ton of info on those trucks if you use the search. i mean a TON. search for "AD truck" that should bring up a days worth of crap to look at.
    when your ready for a kit or have specific questions drop me a line.
     
  25. What he said ^

    I'm very pleased with his customer service and the value can't be beat.

    Thanks again mang!:D
     
  26. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,931

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    And... what about water traps, desicants, etc? Why is it that no one talks about removing the water in air ride systems? Every time I run my shop air compressor I get a lot of water out the drain when I shut down?

    Isn't there a need for a petcock / drain on the tank? An inline water trap or refillable desicant on the lines before the solenoids?

    No worries about water in the bags? Gary
     
  27. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,838

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Kustombuilder, you seem to be the authority on bags, so I value your opinion. What seems to be the nicest riding bag? Where you not only have the ability to get it LOOOOW, but also to pop back up to get over bumps, change the tires, etc. and give you a good ride. What shocks do you recommend? The AirRide Shockwave bags look great, but are they worth the money. To me, if you're going to spend the money on a whole news suspension, I'd want to stop sacrificing ride to get stance.
     
  28. boostcaddy
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 43

    boostcaddy
    Member

    Ive had a hand full of cars on air ride and will say dont go cheap or half ass it. Suicidedoors.com and slam bags :)

    Here is a 62 caddy I bought that was already bagged. Lets just say I didnt make the drive home. I ended up having to re-bag the car. Yes its my fault for not looking the car over.

    Here are the before pics:
    Reason I didnt make it home
    [​IMG]
    Lower bag plate fell off (spot weld holding it on)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Suicide doors cups compared to homemade
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    A few pics after I re did the front:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Welded a long bolt in the cup and bolted it through the upper spring pocket so it doesnt float
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  29. boostcaddy
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 43

    boostcaddy
    Member

    inline water trap from the compressor before the air tank.
    heres a pic of my old 64 caddys set-up
    [​IMG]
     
  30. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,931

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Neat. How often do you have to drain it? Gary
     

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