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Homebrew Air Ride? Anyone done it?

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

  1. Rodicus
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 26


    Thanks a lot, that definitely helps with what I'm trying to do. I want to understand the system on a theoretical level. Of course in reality, results may differ...
  2. 51Gringo
    Joined: Jul 22, 2006
    Posts: 652

    from Nor Cal

    AirRide is expensive, but you do get what you pay for in some respect. I've pieced many systems for many customers in the past to save money, but the last three customers went all the way with AirRide technologies, and I have to say, the quality, performance, and easy people to deal with was worth every penny...and a breeze to install.

    Although, I recommend using check valves, which are not supplied with the kits.
    My 2 cents,
  3. thirty7slammed
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 886

    from earth

    PM Kustombuilder here on the HAMB and get yourself a kit from him... Great deals and excellent service.

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by briancustoms [​IMG]
    I also stay away from DOT lines cause they are a pain to route due to kinking. I use regular old shop air hose and the good barbed fittings with either the brass or plastic collar, you can run big pressure that way without even using hose clamps, been building suspensions like that for years without any of the problems with DOT line. Get all your fittings at Home Depot or Lowe's, they have anything you could need.

    Hunh? are you driving this mess on the street?

    This is for you briancustoms, wouldn't gonna say anything and be nice but: gotta agree with zman dot means department of transportation they are the lines that all the over the road trucks, dump trucks, charter buses, ect. use for thier air systems. Sears has got some good deals on rubber washer hoses this week, check it out. As far as the bags,I use ART, had great luck so far.
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  4. dekker
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 2

    from ontario

    has anyone setup bags with a watts link in the rear end? If so I`d love to see some pictures.

    After I finish sorting through all the information in this post (wich was very very helpful!) I`ll be baggin my 63 monterey!
  5. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    from Novi, MI

    never done it but i've seen it done. i don't see any reason it would'nt work if you do it right. maybe a GOOGLE search for "Watts Link" will net some results. i'm certain "air ride" or Air bags" will get you more crap than you care to look at. lol
  6. Briancustoms is just one of those backwoods idiots that probably thinks iron pipe is just as safe as chromoly tubing for a roll cage.
  7. and of course you can buy iron pipe from home depot and lowes
  8. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    from Novi, MI

    come on. lets play nice. lets TRY not to ruin a good thread with soap opera drama. i know it's hard. i have a tough time bitting my tongue at times too.
  9. I don't think I've ever started a thread that ended up containing such good info. Thanks for all the input.

    It's obvious to me that Kustombuilder knows his shit. If I were going to buy a system I'd be calling him for sure. Sounds like his, new with a warranty, isn't much more than a pieced together kit.

    On my Nova wagon I don't want to get into the rear suspension. I just wanted to do the front end. I've bought a pair of droped spindles though & will probably just cut a coil. I think that will get me where I want to be. Not sure it would be worth the cost to get a couple more inches out of it. We'll see...

    Thanks guys!

  10. bubbletopbuick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 107

    from Indy

    If your Monroe pump has a cut off switch (or the tank does) try adjusting its setting, and you should get some more psi in the tank. I had the same prob. with my compressors.
  11. Excellent info!
  12. Anyone have info one modifying a belt drivin air pump to work?
  13. briancustoms
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 51


    Daily driven, 5 years and 100,000+ miles using the same original air fittings and hose. The only air line failure i have had was because I undid an adel clamp used to route a line up to a front bag and forgot to hook it back up and the line touched something hot and melted (would have happened to DOT line). Doing 50mph and it burst, I was able to safely and calmly pull to the shoulder, cut out the melted section and splice it back together and was on the road in five minutes.

    I know what DOT lines are, I install air brake setups pretty regularly on heavy equipment trailers where I work. I'm not a moron, I was hesitant to run the line I run too, but a salesman at the Parker store where I was getting all my fittings and air supplies recommended the type of line I use and showed me the tests he did on it. Sometimes people think outside of the box, and that's when other options are introduced. Nobody jumped all down bad71burb's throat when he said he was running hydraulic hose, that's not DOT approved either.

    The people you need to worry most about are those that think since they found a great deal on a no name welder at a pawn shop that they are suddenly professional welders. Air management really hasn't changed much over the last decade or so and is pretty reliable as long as you don't go trying to modify the internals of your compressor or something. It's the people that think sheetmetal will be strong enough to build bag brackets out of it as long as you gusset it enough, those are the backwoods idiots to worry about.


    I'm sorry my attempt to open up discussion for new options has brought out the immature name calling, I was just trying to show an out of the box option that is possible.
  14. bubbletopbuick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 107

    from Indy

    I did read somewhere on the hamb, someone using the car's a/c compressor. I never heard of that but sounds like a good idea. Don't know how it would compare to the compressor(s) in the trunk.
  15. bshepherd
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 130

    from michigan

    you can use the old style york a/c compressors. They have an operating pressure of around 180 psi (r-12) and are about 8-9 cfm. You can also use the newer screw style(r-134) but you nead to change the pressure relief valve to hold more pressure. We are going to use a york on our 40 pontiac. Brandon
  16. halfcockedcustoms
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 640


    wow lots of good info
  17. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    from Slow lane

    I'll try to revive this thread w/ a question, if nobody replies i'll just drop KB a pm:).
    So, my plan is to bag my european unibody Ford. The front is a K member style
    front that looks a lot like that of a 54ish chevy, its kinda easy to do if you take a quick look at it,
    but when you start tearin into it you realize it aint!

    The coil spring is 5" O.D., on the lower arm side this is not much of an issue as a 6" bag
    can be adapted, but on the k member is a problem! A 6" wouldnt fit, unless the K memb
    is notched, but then again ,it would weaken it badly in my opinion.
    The question is: i only have to rise a 2.0 liter ford banger, souped up alright, but still
    a small engine, and the whole car weights just over 1200 kgs, its like less than 1 and 1/2 ton.
    Lets say its as big as a 61 falcon.
    Can i run 5" bags? or they will be too weak to support the whole front?

    The rear is a 4 link, it has coils sittin on the trailing arms goin to the frame
    and shocks on the axles to the frame.
    I was thinkin the best option was to bridge the car
    dumping the rear fake subframe and going w/ a rear clip.
    I could just mount bags were the coils are now, but the top seat of the
    coils is 5" again, and i cant notch it unless i want to relocate either the
    lower trailing arms or the top (differential to frame), as they both pivot
    on the frame pretty close to the coil upper seat.-
    The designer of this unibody subframe should be jailed IMO!!!!! for life!:mad:
    What do you say about 5inchers all round?

    Or is it better to notch front e rear and reinforce the notched parts
    hard core? it sounds to me like a solution to a messt up job:eek::confused:!
    Hope to get sum feed back on this.
    Thanx to all, bonez
  18. KaiserKruiser
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 84


    I made everything but the airbags on my car.
    I used the original rear end and front a arms.
    Notched the frame and i run the leaf springs upside down.
    I installed the bags in the original spot where the coils were.
    Ran galvanized pipe throughout the car and have ball vavles instead of silenoids.
    It works great on my car.
  19. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    from Slow lane

    This doesnt help much w/ my issues but im dead curious....
    what are ball valves? any pictures?
    how do they work? are they as reliable as solenoids?
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,642

    Jalopy Joker

    KaiserKruiser-sounds like you have not read all of the posts on this thread, especially about D.O.T. lines. This thread covers a lot of stuff not usually posted, because bags are not cool to many.
  21. stewscoupe1929
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 69


    Here's my set up thats on my 29 ford sedan.. it works really well and is hiden. It lays body and the max height on it is about 7 inches..

    Attached Files:

  22. lowmater_tn
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 83


    other bags out there are slams, dominators, firestone, conti-tech like the slams the best never had a problem with them...also remember the bigger bag you can use the better ride quaility the spring ratio is better and takes less air to fill them..i have been drving on air for 2 and 1/2 years without a problem a good setup taking your time goes a long way and gives you a better ride quaility also
  23. jbs10
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 31

    from newport ky

    this a helpful thred would like see some more
  24. 32 for me
    Joined: Dec 7, 2005
    Posts: 154

    32 for me
    from SO. CAL.

    Here is how I did it in my truck, just make some cups to hold the bags then mounted the compressor and air tank and solenoids under my bed in that little compartment. It's all hidden behind the tailgate but easily accessible.

    Attached Files:

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