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Old 10-21-2007, 01:23 PM
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'65 volvo 122s wagon - DIY air bag system?

i cant find kits made for it..

so im ready to do a DIY kit.. and was wondering if anyone else has put one together from scratch, from plumbing all the hardlines, wiring up the compressor pump, making brackets to mount the air bag to the chassis/suspension parts..

as parts run, this is what i can think of

4 bags
enough hardline to run from the location of the compressor/tank to each corner of the car
stainless steel lines to run from the hardline to the bags?
compressor pump/tank
diverter to seperate front air to rear air?
and what type of controller am i suppost to use?

thanks for any input..


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Old 10-22-2007, 10:34 AM
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You haven't found a universal kit?
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:39 AM
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You can go to someplace like truck spring dot com and order the parts that you need..You will have to fabricate the mounts for the airbags for your suspension as I am not aware of anyone who makes a kit for that car.

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Old 10-31-2007, 02:20 AM
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i see these ads for "plug & play" air suspension in magazines, " streetridepro.com " $1,795 already put together for a "complete" system..

that's as far as close to a universal setup i've found.. but it looks too much of a pile of an ad that i dont want to even go to their website. yet i do, and it still looks like crap..

so get bags from firestone, air compressor/tank, and i'll have to control the air going to each corner..

is there anywhere with some good reading where i can get more info about the works of an air ride setup?
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:50 AM
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Before you go hacking up your 122 (a.k.a. 'Amazon'), do a web search on Google for "Volvo Amazon Club".

This is a very popular model in northern Europe, and there are quite a few technical sites, clubs, etc. Somebody might have done this already and/or know where to get pre made kits.

Here's a site for a collector in Arizona that might provide some insight. I cut my teeth on a '67 122, so this picture makes me nostalgic...

http://cartype.com/page.cfm?id=2563&alph=all&dec=all

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
JMC
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 122s
i cant find kits made for it..

so im ready to do a DIY kit.. and was wondering if anyone else has put one together from scratch, from plumbing all the hardlines, wiring up the compressor pump, making brackets to mount the air bag to the chassis/suspension parts..

as parts run, this is what i can think of

4 bags
enough hardline to run from the location of the compressor/tank to each corner of the car
stainless steel lines to run from the hardline to the bags?
compressor pump/tank
diverter to seperate front air to rear air?
and what type of controller am i suppost to use?

thanks for any input..

I put an Air Ride Technologies [ART] kit in my 67 Chevy pickup. I went with an all included kit because I didn't know enough to know what all I needed.

I would suggest dealing with a reputable air systems company, there are alot of companys with large ads in the magazines that sell poor quality stuff. I suggest you contact ART or Suicide Doors, both are good and knowledgeable.

You will need to get your bags sized per the supplier, call them with what the car weighs at each corner. They will probably want to know the type of suspension is stock too, if you are replacing coils, leafs, or struts etc.

Once you have the bags you can start fabbing the mounts. The supplier may have some universal type top and bottom bag mounts that you can modify for your car. The two keys to mounting the bags are imo, 1) that the suspension doesn't bottom out on the bag when deflated, you want the suspension stops to hold the weight of the car not the bag itself, 2) mounted so that with the appropriate amount of air for ride height the car is at the height you want to drive. I would bet that if you called the supplier they would be open to you emailing them pictures of the stock suspension setup so that they could pick out the right mounts for you to start your install.

On the plumbing, the most common material for the lines is plastic airline, not sure if you mean metal lines when you say "hardlines". The push to close fittings with plastic DOT airline works very well. I tried to use a few compression fittings on my install, but ended up removing them because they leaked.

Also you will need to add "senders" to your list above. I am not sure that is the official term, but you need the part that reads the air pressure at each bag so that the controller knows what each bag is pressured at. There are lots of controllers available, from full computerized with ride height presets to fully manual toggle switches. Just make sure your senders work with your controller.

Ok, thats all I know... lol. Let me know if you have any more questions. I am no expert but have done it, maybe I can help...

Also, I would suggest you only consider a four corner setup, not a front/back system. If you go front/back you can have a handling problem in a corner where air from the outside front bag [high load] transfers air to the inside bag [low load]. This is obviously a bad thing for handling...

Last edited by BIGSKY; 10-31-2007 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Remembered more stuff.
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:40 AM
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ahh good tips on getting the correct bags for the ride, and "senders" make sense. along with going with a 4 corner vs. front & back.. wouldnt want my car's suspension to ride like a long balloon when you squeeze one end.. haha

i'll talk to my buddy so we can corner weigh the car, and i'll snap a couple of pictures of the suspension later at work, just incase i'll need them later..

how was the ART suspension setup on your '67 chevy pickup? was the kit everything you ended up needing? did you run into any problems?

thanks for the help fellas

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Old 11-01-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 122s
ahh good tips on getting the correct bags for the ride, and "senders" make sense. along with going with a 4 corner vs. front & back.. wouldnt want my car's suspension to ride like a long balloon when you squeeze one end.. haha

i'll talk to my buddy so we can corner weigh the car, and i'll snap a couple of pictures of the suspension later at work, just incase i'll need them later..

how was the ART suspension setup on your '67 chevy pickup? was the kit everything you ended up needing? did you run into any problems?

thanks for the help fellas

The ART setup on my pickup was very straight forward. Check out my gallery to see the build pictures. It was my first restoration and like I said first air ride install. The Chevy C-10 is simple vehicle to convert because stock it has four coils. The rear coils on mine were a bolt-in, the front required cutting a few things off the stock lower A-arms plus drilling for and bolting a top bag mount plate into the cross member. I ran the airlines inside the frame where possible and hung them with rubber coated clips. I installed my valves and senders under the hood, pulled the wiring into the glove box where I mounted my controller. The ART controller system I got [4700e1] is plug and play.

Since I bought my kit ART has come out with the Level Pro system that uses height sensors to reset ride height. My system uses air pressure to set the "ride height at start" and is not always close. If I park the truck and play with the suspension, then after I start it I have to fine tune the air settings to what I like to drive at. Apparently the BigRed valves are too fast for the controller ART supplies with this kit and it can't accurately predict how long to open the supply valves to each bag. Plus there is the variable of what pressure your tank is at, if its full at 150psi, then the bags will obviously fill quicker than if you played out a bunch of air and your tank is at a 100psi.

Overall I love it, people up here in the sticks have never seen a setup like this, so there are mixed reactions, but I don't care. Parking the truck laid out just makes me happy .

By the way, I have looked at the lines of that Volvo many times and think it would make a killer custom.

Last edited by BIGSKY; 11-01-2007 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Thought of more stuff again
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:55 AM
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my volvo has 4 coils also, so it shouldnt be as hard then either..

your setup looks good, nice location for the compressor & tank too.. any problems with wiring or rust or anything being left out in the bed?

any websites that you know of that sells bags & parts cheaper than others?
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