Go Back   LS1TECH > CHASSIS, SUSPENSION, APPEARANCE > Suspension & Brakes
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search

Suspension & Brakes
Springs | Shocks | Handling | Rotors
Sponsored by
Weld Racing

Welcome to LS1Tech.com!
Welcome to LS1Tech.com.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, join LS1Tech.com today!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-17-2007, 04:23 AM   #1
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default How To Air Bag Your 4th Gen for $600

I've been doing a lot of air bag research lately because I plan to do it to my car. No one here at LS1tech seems to have ever put together some basic plans or kits and laid everything out for people to understand what options they have.

First up is the $600 kit. This is just a basic Bare Bones setup that uses bags only with inflation valves to add air to them. 1/4” Tube Push To Connect Inflation Valve (Schrader valve) $5 ea.
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


You get 2 of the Universal Air Aero Sport bags that slip over your existing shocks for about $400.
Click the image to open in full size.
Note: This pic says rear, but this is the one we need. The front kit has strut bearings and adds $20 to the cost.

Installation stuff for these is described here:
http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=803631

Then you get a set of standard bags for the rear. I've heard from member Slammed1500 that the "Double Play" 2500 rear bags from Universal Air ride very nice. He had some Firestone 2500 and they rode badly in comparison. The Double Play are a bit more expensive at $90ea. but seem worth it. See post 21.

Click the image to open in full size.
They can be had in either 3/8 or 1/2 ports
3.25" Compressed
11.0" Extended
5.875" Diameter

To mount the rear bags you mainly need some generic circle plates like these:
Click the image to open in full size.
I think the top of the bag just needs a single stud screwed into the bag and a hole drilled into the top of the spring mount. This is just to keep the top of the bag centered so it doesn't rub against anything. I think on the lower bag mount you can use the circle plate and some scrap steel to mount the bag a little bit above the stock spring cup. This should give you room to bolt the bottom of the bag to the plate as well as run the air line into the bottom of the bag.

Here is a very custom bag mount that Slammed1500 did. Keep in mind his car is tubbed to set it down lower plus it looks like he flattened out the metal at the top spring mount. He also just replaced the lower spring mounts completely so it's not very relevant to most folks who want to simple rear bag mount, but it's the only pic I could find.
Click the image to open in full size.

Here is another mounting idea. The circle plate is set on top of the lower spring mount and another circle of metal is put under it and they bolt up right into the bag:
Click the image to open in full size.

Here's an A-body which has a similar rear end to ours. It's basically a raised circle plate which is what I have in my mind:
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I think I have a pretty simple idea that doesn't require cutting the raised lip on the lower mount as well as lets you mount the bag higher so that your ride height is in the proper range. I'll show some pics later on, but it's similar to the above raised circle plates.

The only welding consists of the lower rear and upper front mounts which is very minimal and can be done at a local muffler shop. You can stop there or for about $60 more you can add 2 dual needle gauges to monitor the pressure of all 4 corners.
Click the image to open in full size.
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-27-2007 at 04:07 AM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 04:31 AM   #2
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Now the Aero Sport bags are nice if you already have some Bilsteins or Konis and don't want to replace them. If you still have the stock shocks you may consider getting these AOS (AirOver Shock) units for $540 painted or $580 chromed.

Click the image to open in full size.

These should bolt in, but can max out at 7" in diameter. It's a tight fit so I'm not positive it would fit without rubbing. I don't know what shock they use, but it's probably better than the stock DeCarbons.

They can be prdered with a stud kit for the top:
Click the image to open in full size.

And a lower bar pin for the lower mount:
Click the image to open in full size.

OK, I got off the phone with Air Lift.
The max bag diameter is 7" when it's fully compressed.
Max PSI is 180.
Max load is 2200lb.
The shock is a high pressure twin tube design made by Rancho. The **** has 9 positions and effects both bump and rebound. Lower numbers are softer, higher numbers are firmer.

They have not tested them on our cars.
They are measured by the bottom of the threads on the stud to the center of the bottom eye.
Stock shock is about 21" extended, so with a 2" stud extension on the AOS shock, their longest model should be the one that fits.

I'm actually iffy on whether the AOS will fit properly.

You could always slip the Aero Sports on a set of Bilsteins. Those are really good shocks, ride nice and control body movement. They are cheaper than the Koni SA's. Cost $100ea. for the front's.
(Koni SA run $260ea)

So $540 for the Rancho units which might fit compared to the Bilstein Aero Sport combo for about $60 more. It requires a little bit of fab work, but I'm more confident it will fit and function properly.
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-17-2007 at 11:25 AM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 04:43 AM   #3
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

So either of the 2 kits above will get your car sitting on air pretty cheaply, but lets say you want to upgrade to a compressor setup so you can raise and lower your car on the fly. Here's a short list of some of the cheapest components that will accomplish this.

4 manual switches 1/8" lines $120
1 3 gallon chrome tank $50
1 Viair 380 compressor 200psi $184
1 pressure switch $20
100ft of 1/8 air line $13 or

Upgrade to:
8 3/8" electric valves $220 (instead of manual switches)
100ft of 3/8 air line $35

This adds up to $387. That just leaves the cost of the fittings. It will be somewhat slow to raise the car due to the 1/8 lines on the switches, but they are a lot cheaper than electric valves. Well, $100 cheaper. Maybe it would be worth it just for the larger lines. So lets say we upgrade to electric valves and 3/8 lines. You'll also need some toggle switches to control the valves and they run maybe 5 bucks each and you want 1 for each corner. So 4 would be about $20. That comes out to $529.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 04:56 AM   #4
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

I guess just to be fair and complete (as I can) I should mention Air Rides kit for our cars.
Front Shockwaves kit list price: $995
Click the image to open in full size.

Rear kit list price: $350
Click the image to open in full size.

Then their cheapest compressor/tank setup which has all the other parts you need plus a digital controller runs about $1500.
Click the image to open in full size.

So Air Ride will set you back about $2,845 by list price. Actual prices will be a bit cheaper, but not much. The good part is they bolt right in with no fab work.
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-19-2007 at 02:22 AM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 05:05 AM   #5
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Hope that helps you guys out.

Yellow Lambo on air.
http://www.universalairsuspension.co...sid=117&cid=17

Really cool video showing the before and after performance of a Dodge Magnum. It shows how much the handling improved with just the swap from steel springs to air springs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn8XKR4Q9CU

And to show some serious performance from an air setup, here is a vid of a drift car using it. It's a bit long and repetitive so you don't have to watch the whole thing.
http://www.universalairsuspension.co...DRIFTONAIR.wmv

This is what a TA looks like with the air bags at their low position.
I really love the stance an air assisited vehicle can get when parked. Ragtop Rat's car.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2007, 06:08 AM   #6
TECH Regular
Garage is empty, add now
 
Zeke34's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 5
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Surprise, Az
Posts: 494
Default

Nice write up, I've always pondered about running an air suspension on my car but never really found anyone who sold kits for our cars. I'm definitely gonna subscribe to this thread for updates and ideas. Thanks for sharing this info with us...
__________________
01 NBM WS6 ASC #4352
Zeke34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2007, 02:26 AM   #7
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

I talk a lot more about the Aero Sport bags in the thread named: Air Ride
Using YOUR Front Shocks for $350

There's a lot more pics and info as I figured out whether or not these would work.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2007, 03:23 PM   #8
TECH Junkie
Garage is empty, add now
 
z28bryan's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 7
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 3,948
Default

So the kit doesn't seem to cost much. It looks like the compressor and tank that costs a lot. Does 600 include the compressor and tank or do you need it?
z28bryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2007, 03:37 PM   #9
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

$600 is just the 4 bags plus gauges and inflation valves. You'd need access to a compressor of some kind to initially air the bags up. Either a home compressor or a shop compressor. Once you have them aired up they should stay that way.

You can get cheap 12v compressors for like 30 bucks such as this 300psi unit.
Click the image to open in full size.

It's really slow, but it will get the car up in the air. You can then carry it with you just in case. This is what I plan to do initially. I'm going to slowly piece my setup together.

Once you get a tank you should also get the solenoids and switches to give yourself control over the system. That's what takes it to the next level, being able to drop the car when parked or lift it for a steep driveway then bring it back down to ride height. That's the awesome part.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2007, 03:46 PM   #10
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Walmart has this 230psi unit for $40.
Click the image to open in full size.

So if we include a cheap compressor I guess I should have said the kit is $640.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2007, 11:35 PM   #11
TECH Regular
Garage is empty, add now
 
borninatransam's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 4
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: GSO
Posts: 483
Send a message via AIM to borninatransam
Default

man im not trying to put you down, but these threads are getting useless. the demand is not here for air bags on an fbody. the people who want to do it, already know how to and what to get.
borninatransam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 12:23 AM   #12
Staging Lane
Garage is empty, add now
 
sporty_drew's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 0
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by borninatransam View Post
man im not trying to put you down, but these threads are getting useless. the demand is not here for air bags on an fbody. the people who want to do it, already know how to and what to get.
I beg to differ, I myself have found these a tremendous help. Without Jason I would still be dreaming about doing this. Now with his help I myself will be on air since i didn't "know how to and what to get".

Thanks for your help Jason, I know there will be people that don't like this, but there will be people who will find this useful for years to come.
__________________
1998 Camaro
sporty_drew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 01:13 AM   #13
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by borninatransam View Post
man im not trying to put you down, but these threads are getting useless. the demand is not here for air bags on an fbody. the people who want to do it, already know how to and what to get.
Yeah, I disagree as well. I'm a long time member here (especially the suspension area here as well as on LS1.com before it took a crap) and I never found any usefull info on air bag stuff. I know of maybe 4 cars total that have them. 3 have the easy to install Shockwaves and one guy used a regular bag and mounted the shock to the side. That's it.

Your right in that I don't think there is a high demand for it right now, but that's true for most things. You have to create a demand. You have to tell people, "Yes, you can do that if you want and here's why you want it". It's like with home computers or the internet. Back in the day there was no demand for them either, but look at us now. People know about them and their benefits. We have to create a product and them tell people why they need it. It's basic marketing strategy.

Everyone pretty much agrees the stock cars don't ride very nicely and are a little too tall. What if an air bag system would let you easily choose your ride height, make the car ride smoother and as a bonus, handle better? I'm sure the majority of the owners here would be interested in that. If I can get people to understand that, the demand for air springs would increase. You see my point?

Also, I'm not into mini trucks or anything like that so I just never knew much about air systems either. No one here talks about it. I just had to learn myself from other sites. I started off looking for a setup for my own car, but hopefully I can help some other folks out as well.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 01:21 AM   #14
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

I'm also in the process of slipping a independant rear suspension in my car. That's something I doubt there is very little demand for now, but what if I said it will be using a posi Ford 8.8 all aluminum diff with 3.73's that is much stronger than the stock 10 bolt? What if I said the average shade tree mechanic could do it in their driveway in a weekend? What if I said it will make the car handle better and ride smoother? Then what if I said it can be done for about half the cost of an aftermarket solid axle?

You see, now there is interest. Later on, demand will follow.

BTW, I'm not trying to sale anything here and I don't work for any of the companies I mention. I'm just trying to help the community that I am a part of.
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-21-2007 at 05:01 AM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2007, 05:01 AM   #15
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

I think if we can get some videos of the car riding low and them lifting to go up a steep driveway and then dropping back down like it's no big deal, people will say "Hey, that's awesome. I want to be able to do that as well". Air suspensions can be very practical, we just don't see videos of the practical side. All we see is dancing and bouncing cars.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2007, 03:16 AM   #16
11 Second Club
Garage is empty, add now
 
jetlag's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 32
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Southaven, MS (near Memphis, TN)
Posts: 3,680
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonWW View Post
I've heard from member Slammed1500 that the "Double Play" 2500 rear bags from Universal Air ride very nice. He had some Firestone 2500 and they rode badly in comparison. The Double Play are a bit more expensive at $90ea. but seem worth it.

Click the image to open in full size.

They can be had in either 3/8 or 1/2 ports
3.25" Compressed
11.0" Extended
5.875" Diameter

Based on his car these bags will need to be spaced up about 1 to 2 inches which is perfect to give you enough space for a 90* air fitting.
I have some Slam Specialties bags I was going to use for my truck, but changed my mind... They are only 2.9" compressed, 6" diameter, and 10" extended.. if anyone wants to buy them..they are brand new $135 for 2
__________________
-Matt
jetlag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2007, 03:50 AM   #17
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

I'm trying to piece together all the parts I would need for the 4 bags and the mounting brackets plus some fittings and inflation valves. So far it seems to require 3 different online stores to get the best prices on these parts.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2007, 11:42 PM   #18
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Article from Super Chevy installing air ride on a 4th gen.
http://www.superchevy.com/technical/...ion/index.html

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's an article on a 3rd gen. Front suspension is different, but rear and all the other stuff is the same. Pretty cool:
http://www.superchevy.com/technical/...ion/index.html
Click the image to open in full size.

Another article on a sweet 3rd gen.
http://www.gmhightechperformance.com...ure/index.html
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-25-2007 at 11:52 PM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2007, 12:03 AM   #19
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Just some notes for myself on controllers.

Click the image to open in full size.
Dakota Digital 2-1/16" Round Air Ride Control w/ 5 400 psi sender $550.
__________________
I've left the building.
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2007, 12:15 AM   #20
TECH Senior Member
1999 Pontiac Trans Am
My Garage
 
JasonWW's Avatar
 
Trader Rating: 2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hou. TX.
Posts: 6,813
Default

Dos and don'ts for setting up air springs.
http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/...ide/index.html

A nice little page that outlines how an air system works:
http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/fastbag101.htm#valves
__________________
I've left the building.

Last edited by JasonWW; 12-27-2007 at 03:17 AM..
JasonWW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2007, 12:15 AM
LS1Tech
Pontiac Firebird




Paid Advertisement
Reply

Tags
1991, 4th, aero, air, bag, bags, camaro, gen, kits, lowering, ride, sport, suspension, tubbed, universal


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 AC1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertising - Terms of Service - Privacy Statement - JOBS
Emails & Contact Details