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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting closer to putting airbags on my car and was wondering something.

If I was to buy the RMS strut bar, would it be able to go the extreme angle of the airbag being emptied, or would I be better off trying to find a tubular LCA or use one off a GM A-body?

I want to run a 18 or 20" rim. I am also planning on using the RMS tubular UCA's to give plenty of room for the airbag.

thankyou for any help
Mike
 
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These parts will go lower than the stock stuff, easily. If you remove the bumpstops, the lower control arm will hit the frame before my parts run out of travel... The upper balljoint comes close though - I make sure the arms allow full wheel travel in the stock suspension with no bumpstops, but if you notch the rail and need more in one direction, I can do that on request. For instance, if you'll be running 4" lower than stock almost all the time, I could change the balljoint angle a few degrees so things are more in line at your lower height.

One thing's for sure - the airbag that fits in the stock shock mounts will not hold the car up by itself - the torsion bar MUST be used to support the car - the small diameter shockwave is only used as a ride-height adjustment(and a bit better ride quality) - most of the load is still on the t-bar, so any lower control arm mods must be done to allow the t-bar....unless you're really doing some modifications under there.... what are you working on there? :) Let me know if you need any info on the air stuff - I have lots of it here...

What do you have on the car in the picture? Judging by it's location in the picture, it appears you have a way to raise, and move it around...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the car in the picture is just a photo shop of my car. it is what I hope it will look like.
I am going to use a torsion bar delete kit from suicidedoors.com. it mounts an actual airbag to the frame and LCA. The shock will be relocated using thier shock relocation kit to a good spot on the frame. I think the airshocks from air ride tech are overpriced considering I can bag the whole front of my truck for the same cost of 2 shockwaves.
an upper bag plate will be welded to the frame in the best spot when the suspension is layed out. the best way to do this is mount the spindle and use a jack to push the suspension up where you want it, put the bag in and mark where the plate needs to be welded to the frame, and where the lower plate welds to the LCA. the bag needs to be in a place where it will not rub and where a shock can be mounted on the side of it. the whole inner fender will be removed and the stock shock mounts will be removed as well. The inner fenders will be replaced with trailer fenders so the tires dont rub.
I plan on using "Slam Specialties 1600 lbs" bags all the way around. I am going to mount my rear bags on the rear bars for a smoother ride. my rear shocks will be mounted at an angle so I can drive with a side down without hurting anything. after looking at many cars, I am going to leave the slant six in my car, the only thing that I might run into clearence problems with a /6 is the valve cover, but I doubt it. with a v8 the tires might hit the headers, but I am still unsure.

Before I order the UCA and strut bars, I should measure to see if I should adjust the angle for a lower ride hieght? I know with the bag full it will sit higher then stock, and it should go all the way to the ground when empty, at least the k-member in the front. I dont know if I am going z the front of the frame just yet. I want to see where it sits after is been baged. I might be able to grind down enough the k-member and weld on supports to make it stronger, but just not sit as far down.

I will try and get some drawings or pictures of what I am going to use and do. My 4-door in the picture looks good that low, doesnt it ;D
thanks for the answers,
Mike
 
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Oh.. I thought you were sticking a little closer to stock :)

You an disregard my clearance warnings - it'll be alot worse than that LOL

My uppers mimic the stock balljoint angle, so just check to see if that one bottoms out. If it's too close for comfort, I can tilt the BJ's down a little so they don't bottom out when you're all the way down. Don't worry about alignment with the stock one - I also take care of that, so just check to make sure the stud doesn't bind and the rest is cake.


....yea, it does look pretty neat like that.. Although I'm upset that I didn't catch the chopped pic, Thought it was real :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
awesome, I have to clean my garage before my car can go into it and start to be torn apart. I am hoping that there is room for my exhuast and driveshaft or I will have to channel the floor, but I will deal with that when I get there.

thanks,
Mike
 
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drgas.com has the exhaust you'll want. I'm going to run the flat pipe from the headers back to make sure there are no scraping issues. I'm not going remotely that low, but my goal is to run a lower height all the time(3" lower than stock), so I'm taking lots of precautions because of the local roads - lots of nasty RR crossings, ect that I have to drive over. My rockers will be around 6" off the ground, which is getting pretty low for the undercarriage. That's about the lowest I can run with the stock driveshaft and tunnel - and at that, I can't have any pinion snubber at all - not even the stock one. But I also have 28" rear tires and 26" fronts, so if you run like 25's all the way around, you'll be lower than that by default without any troubles - you may not have to go too crazy if you're only going a couple inches more than that. Then again, the last 10% of the look usually requires the last 90% of the work :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the exhuast link, one of my mini-truck friends said they were going to use nascar exhuast, but they didnt say where to get it.

I plan to run an 18-20" rim I am not sure if a 20" would look good on it, but I am hoping to stay around 22-24" tire.
when you say that is the lowest you can with your driveshaft, will it hit if you go lower? do you think I will have to notch the floor for the driveline, I would like to lay as much as possible on the ground, bolt some trailer balls on the rear bumper and drag them.

thanks again for the link,
Mike
 
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Well, 6" was about the lowest ride height. I have the rockers at 8" right now, and that works without any modifications. The 6" ride height gets me into clearancing the wheelwells, ect. I believe the rockers were about 4" off the ground when the driveshaft hits the tunnel at the rear ujoint.  Over the winter I'm going to redo the car so I'll know exactly how it all works out. I'm only going as low as feasible without any major mods - basically I want to see how far I can take things with what I'd consider home-shop stuff. No technical measuring or precision or cosmetic welding. I think at that level I'll be able to manage the 6" ride height and a 4" height empty, but it'll be based on turning radius. When I work out the "normal" ride height, it will have to allow full turning radius. Right now with stock fenders, I can just barely squeeze a 7" rocker height and still turn the wheels. At 6", I think I'll manage with just trimming the inner lip of the fenders without touching the skin.

If I used 24" tires, I could probably have the rockers at 5" without any work at all. My bigger tires are a clearance issue down that low, but I want to hang onto the muscle car look, so smaller tires are out. If I moved the track width in to the stock width, I'd have it easier in the front, but then the shockwaves won't fit, and I'd lose the bolt-on status.

...It's definitely requiring a little strategy to get the perfect recipe worked out for a low ride and keep the "simple" install methods.

Another point is that at the 6" rocker height, the k-frame is only about 3.5" off the ground, and my TTI headers are about the same. These items aren't too big of a deal because they're between the wheels. The header collectors might be a small issue, but the k frame won't bottom on the road - perhaps if you're driving on a crown or something, but normal interstate driving should be just fine. I am going to make a special oil pan to keep it tucked up tight so the frame is lower. I've already driven the car with the front at that height and couldn't bottom the current milodon pan anywhere - it's only 2.5" off the ground. It makes me nervous knowing it's down there, but it didn't hit anywhere.

I also was just thinking about the Poison Dart. That car was really low, and during transport to Carlisle last year, the tires were hitting the top of the inner fenders while it was bouncing - you seem to have the problem figured out, but I'm keeping the stock inners, so I have to worry about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh ok, so most of your clearence issues are the inner fenders, but the driveline also. So if I plan to lay it on the ground, I should expect to notch the floor for the driveline? I forgot that the alterktion has a little bit wider track up front. do you see any problem with the stock gas tank, mine sits behind the axle, so the 4-link wont interfere, but I am worried about it scraping sitting down low, I am thinking I might have to go a cell in the trunk.
I am kind of worried about my oilpan, thats the only downside to keeping the /6 is no one makes a performance oil pan to tuck it up above the k-member, I know V8's are more popular and more people make stuff for em, but I figured my car is going to be so unique, it would be awesome to run a built /6 when everyone expects a V8. I am going to see if I can fit the exhuast over the axle and full drop to put duals out the back, but thats not important if I cant.

I understand trying to keep it simple for your sake cuase you can ultimatly sell a kit once you figure it all out, which would be awesome to see more mopars with air ride.

it sounds like where you want your ride hieght is where I want my normal hieght, about 6 inches away from the ground, there will be a few times I drive it lower, showin off, but I dont want to eat up my tires. I am not too worried about a muscle car look, cuase the 4 doors dont really look like muscle cars, they have that classic car look like from the early 60's. I want to have the suspension set up for a larger tire so in the winter and I can throw the stock tires on if I have to drive it.

When I test the limits of the balljoints and suspension, should I swap it to the big bolt pattern first, or should it matter. I have small pattern drum brakes up front, I will upgrading to larger disk, but will it make a difference if I test it with the stock stuff on?

hopefully I can get my garage clean so I can start, the more I talk about it, the more excited I get. I have 2 cars and 2 trucks and have plans for all of them, but the rest of my vehicles can wait cuase they all run a drive, where the valiant is just sitting, and I have owned it longer, so it deserves to be spoiled for awhile.

I really appreciate all the help your giving me, I am only 19 and by no means a professional, but I have skill and the ability to pick things up pretty quick, the few months I was in welding class, my teacher was very impressed by my welds, I learned how to do body work myself, and I learned mechanics from my father. People around here think kids are just all talk, but if someone would give me a chance to work in there shop, I am sure they would not be dissapointed. Most people see that i dropped out of highschool my senior year, but what they dont see is I am finishing my highschool at a local college. its just really awsome that you are willing to help people, and I really appreciate it.
thanks,
Mike
 
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Just some food for thought. You could mount the air bag on top of the upper control arm I did that on an 4wd Escalade and it seemed to work well. Ther isnt much room on the front of a valiant for the bags. You could also use an air and hydrolic system. Use a hydrolic cylinder up front and you have a sealed system with the same size cylinder in the trunk. Mount an airbag on the cylinder in the trunk. When you air up the bag in the trunk it will push on the cylinder in the trunk and cause the cylinder in the front to lift the car. The hydrolic cylinders are a lot smaller than the bags.
 
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I've been thinking about that, but with the shockwaves instead.  You have to be sure there was absolutely no air in the hyd. lines, which could be difficult without any sort of accumulator/reservoir, the lines would have to be big enough to not restrict motion, which might be tough because smaller cylinders usually have smaller ports, and could it be done with single acting cylinders...

If singles were used, you'd have to fill the system so one cylinder was fully open while the other was fully closed, which might be tough to do in the car - they typically have a sprung return which would be hard to hold open while filling.  Double acting would be easier to fill, but twice the plumbing....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
are you talking like a cantilever system?

mounting the bag on the UCA would be ok, just have to make sure the tire wont hit the bracket for the bag, but a 2600lb bag should be small enough to fit, they fit on mazdas and toyotas, even little datsun 510's.
-Mike
 
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Well, the cylinder idea is to put a hyd. cylinder in the suspension, and connect it via hoses to a similar cylinder in the trunk - when one cylinder moves, so does the one in the trunk - the one in the trunk is attached to a frame of some kind on one end and to an air bag on the other - basically giving you remote springs.

I'm just trying to think how you could fill that system up with hyd. fluid without having a reservoir to bleed off air. I think it'd be a pretty messy ordeal.

I was looking at mine, and I think alot of floor mods would be required to get it low enough to scrap the gas tank.....
 
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I cant remember how I got the air out of the hydrolic system its been like 10 years since I had to do a system that way. I was using that setup on some imports before they started making all the bagover stuts.

The import trucks have a lot more room than your valiant. I have an old set of firestone 2600lb bags I held up to my 71 dart last night and they dont look like they will fit. You may need to use a smaller bag but I am sure you can get something to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
what bag would you recomend. I was planning on notching the front of the subframe and boxing it in to make room for the bag, like cutting a circle out of the side of the frame, but if there isnt enough room, I dont want to order the bags, 2600 would work for the back wouldnt they. the main reason I wanted to go with the 2600's is the mad lift that mini trucks get with them, I mainly want adjustability. would sleeve bags work up front, or are they not as good as the regular bags?

thats good about the gas tank, I really didnt want to move a cell to my trunk cuase I want room for a nice system too, the air system will take up some room and leave enough room to put in a sound system and still have a little of the trunk to use.

thanks,
mike
 
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The 2600lb bags will fit on the back I would order 1 set of them and see what you come up with on the front. If you get them to fit order another set. I wouldnt use sleeve bags on the front but a standard 2500lb bag will give you plenty of lift and they are usually at least an inch smaller in diameter.

A unibody car frame is different than a truck frame make sure you really reinforce everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks, I was wondering how much smaller a 2500 bag was, but it actually sounds better for the front anyway.

as for reinforcement, I am going to weld in frame connecters and was going to see if I could triangulate them with a notch for the driveshaft and exhuast. I am unsure as what to do to stregthen the back, but I was thinking after the bag mounts were in and I got the front suspension moving, adding a bar from the front of the frame, next to the bumper mount, to the firewall and welding that in, like people with cages do, but I am unsure if that would even work.
if you have any ideas as of what else I should do or change, please let me know.
thanks,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well, I was going to wait on starting this till I finished bagging my mazda, but my sister wants me to finish my car and drive her and her boyfriend to prom in june. I am going to put a smallblock in it for now, if thats not enough, ill swap a bigblock in, but,

do you think it would be possible for me to get the suspension done so it is running and driving before june.

I would like to go with a 9" and use bill's uca and strut rod up front. Hopefully when I put the frame conectors on, they will cover most of the rear frame and give me a nice spot to weld the 4 link in.

she told me she dont care what the interior looks like as long as it looked and sounded good. so I need it to be low and I need it to have that muscle car rumble.

do you think its possible to get it done?
thanks,
Mike
 
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