Air Ride Suspension on a 72 Ranchero

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by stabmasterarson, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. stabmasterarson

    stabmasterarson In Second Gear

    Messages:
    33
    Hey everyone,

    I completed my Air Ride Suspension last summer with much help from everyone on this site. As promised I would like to post some pics of my project. If you have any suggestions on how to improve it or if you notice anything I've missed please let me know. I would never call myself a mechanic I'm just someone who likes to tinker with things so there's lots I don't know.

    compressors.jpg
    I mounted my compressors on the rear frame rail behind the bumper. I have two viair 440 compressors. I have them wired to a solenoid that's controlled by a switch in the cab. the compressors come on at 120psi and off at 140psi.
    tanks.jpg

    I installed 2 tanks one 3 gal and one 2 gal. I have 8 solenoid valves, up and down for each wheel.
    tank location.jpg I installed the tanks behind the seats in that little cubby-hole. I had to drill holes and run 1/2" air hose to each wheel and 1 to each compressor. (my little helper is double checking my work)
    bag mounts.jpg I had a welder weld me up some bag mounts to this spec.
    rear bags.jpg
    Here's a pic of the rear bag installed before I installed the rear shocks. I had to get longer shocks that would accommodate the full travel of the bag.
    front bags.jpg
    Here's a pic of the front bags. I had to cut the bottom bag mount on an angle so the air bag would sit in the same position as the old stock spring. This was before I trimmed the top spring pocket. You have to install the air bag, do a little test drive and then examine the bag for signs of rubbing. No rubbing is acceptable whatsoever. There was a little rubbing so that meant trimming the very bottom of the spring pocket. I had to remove the shock that was located inside the stock spring. I read mixed things on the internet, some saying that front shocks were absolutely necessary and dangerous to drive without them to some saying that the are not required. I am not one to take a chance on safety especially on something like control of my vehicle, but I have to say after driving it without front shocks for sometime and testing different situations, I don't think I'm going to bother. I do think I might go to a bigger front bag because it struggles to lift the front of my heavy Ranchero. But the ride is very comfortable!

    I hope this helps someone else thinking of putting an air ride system in or at the very least I hope some find it interesting. If there's a way to add videos I can upload a video of my Ranchero going up and down.
     
    HuevosRanchero likes this.
  2. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    9,540
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Very cool. If you only plan for boulevard cruising, that system will do very nicely. As far as the front shock question goes, find an empty parking lot that's large enough for getting up to road speed, and run your ride through some sharp turns at speed. You're looking for any front wheel hopping; if it happens at 30-35 MPH, you definitely need shocks.
     
  3. stabmasterarson

    stabmasterarson In Second Gear

    Messages:
    33
    Thanks! I'll definitely perform that test. Over speed bumps it settles right away it doesn't keep bouncing or anything and I've taken it on the highway without problems. The customer service tech at universal air (they make the air bags) said it's pretty common to not run front shocks but I just want to be safe.
     
  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    9,540
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    Yeah, it's when the unexpected happens that you don't want problems.
     

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