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I need airbag pressure input.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Moonglow2, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Moonglow2
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 657


    Hey Folks,

    I need some input on typical airbag pressure needed for a 3800 lb car. I took advice about which parts to order from a guy who did airbags at his home shop. Big mistake. He recommended (In retrospect I won't order anything from them in the future but that's another story.) Long story short, it seems to me it takes way too much air pressure to get the front of my 54 Chevy up to 3 inches of ground clearance without bottoming out on a hard dip. At that height I have to have 105-115 lbs of pressure in the bags and the ride is pretty stiff. I suspect the bags the guy recommended were for lighter mini-trucks since that was mainly what he dealt with. (18 mos later the part numbers I ordered are no longer listed on AIRBAGIT's web site so I can't verify specs.)

    What brands are you running on your 50's era ride and what pressure do you typically see at three inches of height? (Note: I am not interested in Shockwaves - just conventional double or triple convoluted bags.) I read a thread where Slam Specialties has good stuff but when I read their specs all they sell are for 1/2 inch lines. (Mine are 3/8 in.) I am not interested in bouncing my car I just want a comfortable ride at cruise speed. Talk to me.
  2. sinwagon
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 34

    from Sacramento

    OK, Here's the deal. That's a heavy car. It's going to take some pressure to lift it but there are a few things other than pressure that can be giving you issues.

    What size bag are you running? I would recommend a 2600lb bag if you can fit it. It will give you a better ride quality and more support.

    Where are your valves mounted? The closer to the bag the better. You can also get 1/2" valves and lines for the front and that'll help, too.

    Heavy car means more pressure. My old Lincoln took 200 PSI just to lift the front all the way in the front and about 60 in the rear. You might have to play around with the pressure to get it dialed.

    Slam Specialties bags give you an amazing ride quality. I use them on pretty much everything. True, they only make them in 1/2" port but it's real easy to get a 1/2" to 3/8" reducer. And just because it's 1/2" doesn't mean that you be hoppin your car. It takes alot to hop a car like that.

    Hit me up if you have any more questions or if I can get you a deal on some real airbag parts.
  3. monzadood
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,033


    sinwagon is right .
    if you give me the part number and brand of bag. i can get you the specs.
  4. Reds 29
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 436

    Reds 29

    We've got a bagged 67 Chevy pick-up, it's got a small block and is quite front heavy, and actual truck weight is about 3800 lb. We're using a kit from for ours. It's got 2600 lb. bags from Firestone, and 1/2" lines and valves. Ride height pressure is 75-80 lbs. on the front and 40 lb. in back. Sounds like you have the wrong bags. You may have mini-truck size bags. Another point is what is the installed height. If it takes a lot to get it up to a ride height and the ride is real stiff, you may need a bag with a little taller installed height and the heavier bag. We were warned about the place you got your stuff from, wish we could have helped you sooner. If I can be of further help pm me.
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  5. Salty
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,259

    from Florida

    I've done three vehicles with slam air specialty bags and I wont use any other bag out there. dont really have anything to add other than what the other blokes said (good advice I tell ya...)
  6. The diameter of the bag will influence the pressure you need.
  7. Gambino_Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 6,565

    Alliance Vendor

    it takes at least 120 or more psi to lift your car theres other facters in volved here i dont think its the bag thats the problem.the real differance in bag type is $$$$ lift and ride quality slams being the best then conti tecs then firestones last.with only 105 -115 psi all these bags would lift yer car about the same call me 408 561 5744 ill cut threw the bull shit for ya
  8. Glen
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,789


    Unless you compare the leverage and where the bag is mounted in relationship to the pivoit point the psi is irrevelant.

    My 48buick took 85 psi to ride at ride height in the front and 30 in the rear

    my 68 chevy pickup took 65 psi to ride at ride height in the rear because the bag was mounted way inside the pivot point.
  9. Moonglow2
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 657


    Thanks guys. I failed to mention that I am running a front clip from a 1976 Malibu and the air bags are installed with upper spacers that appear to be about 6 inches tall and mounted flush on the bottom where the coils once sat. All the valves, tank, and compressor are in the trunk. Shocks are KYBs using Air Ride Tech's shock mount kit. I realize there is geometry involved since the bags are inboard of the spindles and lift at the bag is multiplied at the spindle. Fully extended, the bags raise the car between 5 to 6 inches at 138 lbs. I just checked my invoice for the bags and they were rated at 2500lbs. That alone may a major contributor to the problem if I am reading you guys right. For those who sent me pm's thanks and I will be in touch as I work the problem.


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