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Old 04-23-2004, 10:14 PM
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Air Ride for S-10 or use other?

So what i am doing right now is the classic V8 Swap in an S-10 and accually the easy part is the whole engine swap itself. What i would like to know is what do people recomend for the suspension? Right now the stock system is kind of rough to me and what i would like is the ride of a caddy. I have heard that and air bag suspension system would do that. However if it will give me poor performance or handeling i would rather go with the coil spring and leaf instead. Also later i would like to move up to a 383 engine so will i have problems with the air bag system if i wanted to upgrade the rear end to something stronger or can i still get traction bars put on there. Right now i am looking at the system from Air ride technologies and they have a complete system that you bolt up underneath the back of the truck to replace the leaf springs.
This sounds like a good idea but I have heard only one person say something good about it and my father says i shouldn't mess with the whole thing and go with a block lowering kit for the back and dropped spindles in the front. He also said that the air bag system would mess with the alignment of the front of the truck. because the system is always moving up or down. I am not a person of the slam the truck down low to the ground as possible but i have seen the s-10 lowered and they do look very good dropped. Any recomondations on how low i should go?
thanks for all your input i will probably have more questions about this later Also i know there is a big price difference in both but i really only want to do this only once so i want to make the correct choice so if the air bag suspension system is the way to go i might want to fork the money.

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Old 04-27-2004, 02:45 PM
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It really depends on how much you want the ride to be like a caddy. With a static drop (springs, blocks, spindles), you are going to have a stiffer ride because that's what drop springs tend to do. They are stiffer for better performance, which in turn makes for more of a perfomance ride. Air bags on the other hand are more comfortable, and they adjust. I don't personally have any air bags, but I have talked to many people about the performance of them (we are currently installing a set on my bro's C-10). I've been told that with good shocks and sway bars, the body roll isn't bad at all, and the performance has actually improved through the corners. I beleive you are talking about the road grater (sp*) kit for the rear of your S-10. That's a good set up, and I've seen nothing but good things said about it.
FYI-For sway bars on your S-10, the blazers are great canidates. They are bigger than the stockers on your truck, and are direct bolt ons. You can also use the rear set up, unless you go with the road grater.
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:37 AM
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ok here ya go........ Putting a quality airspring kit in the front of that truck will greatly improve the ride quality AND the handling of the truck. A couple of things we need to keep in context is that an "airbag" is still a spring. It exhibits a progressive spring like just like a high performance coils spring too...... meaning the more it compresses the higher the spring rate increases. A properly designed air suspension is definitely going to handle awesome. The days of the addage that air suspensions dont handle are over. Another added benifit of adding an airspring in the front end is that they will compensate for any added weight in the front due to the V-8. As far as the alignment goes ....... thats easy......... You will have the front end aligned at the air pressure that you like to drive the truck at. Anytime that you return back to that pressure ( give or take a few pounds), your alignment is right back on. Manipulating the suspension height by increasing or decreasing the pressure will obviously change your alingment but when you get it back to your alignment pressure.... she is right back on the money. It is no different than a static suspension oscillating up and down from hitting bumps in the road.
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Old 04-30-2004, 01:28 PM
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I've got a 88' s10 w/ a v8, 18" rims all around lowered 3" and 4" inches...The ride in my truck is acually smoother than stock, looks GREAT and functions well as a daily driver (when necessary)...I am running a 2" spindle up front with a 1" coil, and a 4" leaf in the rear...I am extremely pleased with the ride, even with the 40 series tires, and have deciced against an air-ride for now...HOWEVER

The air ride will offer a much smoother ride than stock, and will not give away anything in the way of handling. The only thing is that the bolt on kits that you see advertised are a compromise, designed mainly for ease of installation and ride quality; not for planting big horsepower to the ground...If you look at these kits they use the fasteners for the rear differential cover as a mounting point...Not something I would trust to hold 450+ lb/ft of 383 torque!!!

If you do go air ride, I would suggest a custom four link setup for the rear that will handle the power and be adjustable for traction, and use the airsprings to suspend it...That way you could have the best of both worlds...Best of luck man!!!
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Old 05-01-2004, 06:12 AM
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I do not claim to be an exper in front suspension/steering. I have never owned anything with air bag suspension either. I do want to point out something that always concerned me about using those systems to lower a vehicle.

The suspension/steering are designed to work with the control arms at certain angles to the ground at normal ride (sitting still). I have seen many vehicles that were lowered with cut springs and such, that when aligned to specs, still would eat up tires. That is because the suspension spends more time at or near what was designed to be the extreme of the suspension travel.

My son has a Nissan pu. He lowered the front by adjusting the torsion bars. He then set the alignment to specs. I told him that he was not going to be able to keep tires on it that way. Since I am DAD, I don't know anything! I have only been working in the business off and on for over 30 years. He told me that the guys he works with at a local Ford dealership told him that since it was aligned to specs, it would not have an effect on his tire wear. He has since, eaten up the tires.

Personally, if I wanted to lower one, I would use the lowered spindles, and springs that keep the rest of the suspension where it was designed to be.

Just my opinion, as I am sure there will be some that disagree with me.
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