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Technical Old Time Coil Spring Air Bags?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by leon bee, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    I just signed up in that other part, here's my first question: I have a 53 Buick Roadmaster pickup truck. She's gonna be a little low in the rear when I put something back there to haul. Decades ago, I had some air bags: thick black rubber with a valve stem came out the side. Worked good.

    I've googled all around. I see air bags- they all look like they have an air fitting right in the middle of one end, can't see how that would work for me. Would air shocks be a good place to look? This car had those old knee action shocks which I lost years ago and kinda scabbed in some tube shocks. (Times was hard back then, no money or tools). Anyone have any advice I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
     
  2. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 7,582

    mr.chevrolet
    Member

    you better post some pics of that!
     
  3. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,900

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Try "Air-Lift" brand when you search - they were the maker of the good ones.
     
    gimpyshotrods and loudbang like this.
  4. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,998

    BJR
    Member

    Love to see pictures of your Roadmaster pickup!
     

  5. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    A little shy because I've already posted pics on a couple other forums. And she ain't too good looking yet:
     

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  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,029

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    dare to be different
     
  7. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    It would look better with those rear doors filled in. But they open, and that's where you put your stuff down under the bed: toolbox, guitar, jugs of water, etc. You can reach back from the front and lock em.

    I been doing more air bag googling, haven't figgered anything out yet.
     
  8. lodaddyo
    Joined: May 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,202

    lodaddyo
    Member

    Neat pickup. What about these? They go inside the coil spring.
    image.jpeg
     
  9. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    That up there above is what I've found. But I don't understand the air tube and fitting arrangement. Looks like line goes straight in from top or bottom. Maybe a 90 fitting, but I got no room there, it's where the spring bolts are, dead center top and bottom. Unless that little black spacer looking deal gives you a whole bunch of room?
     
  10. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,308

    Toqwik
    Member

    Weld up those doors, move the rear about 8" forward and watch people try to figure out what it is. The stance looks good so why not air shocks. Haul something, air them up. Gonna cruise, let me out. Cool car! Love your mastercamino!


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Let me ask a different question: has anybody had ahold of those red bags who could tell me a little something about the air line plumbing?
     
  12. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,699

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Cool project. Consider filling in the doors and then cut in a small lower door to access that storage area; like on an RV, except make them blend in with the body.
     
  13. Air Lift still makes helper bags in many configurations. I plan on using them in an upcoming project. Contact them or a company like Summit Racing. They should be able to supply you with what you want.

    Air shocks work too.
     
  14. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,277

    upspirate
    Member

    Air shocks would be easy.....but make sure the shock mounts are secure.
    I put airshocks on my 36 truck at the Nats one year (year of the flood) and when I drove it, the added stress broke the crappy welds on the crossmember the P/O had popcorn welded in.
    The rod & repair shop at the nats welded the crossmember back in and no problem.
    Air up when you need the boost, let out when empty
     
  15. gearheadbill
    Joined: Oct 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,312

    gearheadbill
    Member

    I know this is almost sacrilegious but I'm curious anyway. Anyone ever tried air suspension (read as airbag, air spring, air shock etc.) on the FRONT of a beam-axle car; replacing the transverse spring with the air components? It's OK; I'm bracing myself for the scorn headed my way.
     
  16. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,359

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes. My Model A has hidden bags, and an I-beam
     
  17. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 580

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Thanks, guys. I believe I'll study the air shocks.
     
  18. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,312

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Heres my story on old time air bags. My Dad bought a new 55 Buick Special and had airbags installed when new as he planned a trip out west with the car loaded pretty heavy. They were the ones with the air valve on each bag. Fast forward to 67 when I got the car as my first legal driver. I had it on the rack at my auto shop tech school trying to figure out how to rig duals on it when some numnut put the air to one of the old air bags-BOOM!!! Damed near blew the car off the rack, scared the shit out of all of us and I slammed said numnut in the face and broke his nose. Turned out all it cost me for three days out of school was one old rotten air bag.
     
  19. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 666

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    >>>Weld up those doors>>>It would look better with those rear doors filled in. >>>

    This gives me a problem.
    And the only solution.
    Is to leave it a more door!

    2x4.jpg
     
  20. I ran air shocks on the Pusher (my ol C-10) primarily for launch control. Mine ran forward of the axle and I could preload at the strip. But they had secondary benefits in that I could load the hell out of it and haul some chit. We hauled an old shop compressor up north one time that ol pig was so heavy tat we ended up with the shocks aired to the max. We ended up hauling an entire A (in pieces) back on that trip. That is what they are actually for is load control.


    There have been several cars here on the HAMB over the years that have used air front suspension. There is even a pretty fancy Barris truck that used bags and coils on the front. I read an article about the design and building of the truck and Barris said that he used coils just so he could use bags (show points :( )

    f0d2fcb7a5dd11931fd8839c5127c481.jpg

    personally if I was going to bag one in the front I would either set it up with coils and bags or just use a main leaf for a locator and bags. But I am way lazier then the Gimp. His front suspension is super trick ( as is the whole damned car/truck)
     
    upspirate likes this.
  21. I've installed about 2,000,000 [approx] of those red bags in city snow plows to keep the front ends up. The plumbing is part of the kit and it consists of black plastic lines from each bag to a common black plastic fitting with a schrader valve in it like a tire valve. Takes a regular air chuck to fill. Put the fill-fitting anywhere that's convenient for you to reach with the air chuck. I know guys used one of them in the R. rear of coil spring cars to preload that corner when drag racing . I seldom had problems with them. The most common problem I had was guys running them deflated and the constant movement would wear a hole in the side wall. Even that was uncommon.
     
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,359

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have had good luck adding all manner of valve stem extenders to them, to get them to where they can be filled easily, too. The BIG truck supply houses have more than you can imagine for this.

    Just remember to use liquid thread sealant on the threads, and to take out the inner valve core.
     
  23. gearheadbill
    Joined: Oct 11, 2002
    Posts: 1,312

    gearheadbill
    Member

    You guys are full of good info. Thanks
     

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