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trifivefan 07-12-2006 08:46 AM

Do Air Bags give you body lean?
I am considering installing an Air Ride air bag system on the front end of my 40 ford. I have a mustang II front end with Heidts A arms and lowered spindles. I have new Bilstein shocks in the front and rear, but the 2 inch drop spindles did not give me the lowered stance that I am looking for in my rod. I was told to go to an Air Ride system that will allow me to lower the car while at shows. My question is by going this route should I expect more body lean while driving the car? Is this something that you sacrifice by installing air bags? Is there another way to lower the front end without going to air bags?


xntrik 07-12-2006 10:56 AM

I have a limited experience with bags, but in order to limit body lean you must have an isolated 4 bag system. Each bag must be check valved separately.

If not, the body roll will squeeze the air out of the outside bag and transfer it to the inside bag, increasing the body roll even more. (remember old air shocks hooked with a T ?)

Lowering can be also be accomplished with adjustable coil overs, adjustable spring pockets, shorter custom lowering springs (coils or leaves), leaf spring lowering blocks, or cutting the coils off your existing springs. It depends what system you have already, front and rear.

Simplicity 07-13-2006 06:25 AM

Make sure you have a "4 way system" or 2 valves per wheel.

cboy 07-13-2006 06:42 AM


Originally Posted by Simplicity
Make sure you have a "4 way system" or 2 valves per wheel.

Simplicity, did you mean two valves per axle or two vales per wheel? I don't think I understand two per wheel.

I have bags on my '32 pickup (you can see the install by looking at the first couple pages of my journal) with just two control valves, one for the front end and one for the rear. I don't notice any particular problem with roll but then I'm not doing any drifting either - just normal highway driving.

Kallie49 07-13-2006 12:11 PM


Simplicity, did you mean two valves per axle or two vales per wheel?
the two valves per axel will give your the roll you are refering too, two valves per wheel (total of 8 valves for a complete system) isolates each bag from the other thus eleminating the roll (two valves per wheel = one valve for intake and one valve for exhaust on each wheel). That said you can still use your sway bars on bags which will also decrease roll rate (but however will decrease your side to side action, more on that further). the other thing you can do with the 8 valve system is the front to back, side to side, and individual wheel control....I have a complete 8 valve system in my 49 and its awesome, the front, back, side to side (FBSS) is installed (a ten switch box) but I dont hardly ever use it, I do use the front to back (I can adjust my rake forward or tail drag) the only thing I use the side to side on is uneven freeways (levels your drive :thumbup: ) also the 8 valve system is (IMHO) safer as well, in the event that you do blow a bag you dont deflate your entire front end or back end (dangerous) most moderatly weighted vehicles will drive with no clearance issues with only one bag inflated in the front or back (I checked this on my truck just in case) letting the one bag carry you is not advised of course but will get you out of a jam. I love my bags, my darn truck used to rattle the teeth out of my head, now it rides like a caddy and while I put em on to get higher cause I was already LOW (I was having probs with speedbumps and inclined driveways.... :pain: ) I actually got 4 inches lower out of the deal as well and it looks wicked sitting on the ground.

One final Note, just because Air Ride is one of the industy leaders does not mean there are not other comperable companies out there that are just as good (if not better) and cost much less, In my search for a complete system I found that for what I wanted from air ride would have run me $2800 without shipping (complete bag system, tanks, compressors, fittings, line, electrical, driers and rear triangulated 4 link and all brackets) I found Fender Bender international ( and got everything listed for $1800 shipped with billet slam air specialties bags (as opposed to the firestones) and a bigger compressor than air ride had to offer. With air ride your paying for a name, I dont give a squat about a name I want good equipment for less money. (No I dont get paid to say that, just a happy customer)

Simplicity 07-14-2006 05:59 AM

Good post Kallie49. I work with most companies on a daily basis. AirRide tech is more money. But there service is very good. and there products are engineered so a person with very little knowledge (of pneumatics) can put it all together. Sure if you have more experience you can mix and match various components with great success and save money. But you do have to know what your buying. The almightly dollar is not the only consideration that should be made. There is a lot of "cheap" products out there that you could not pay me to put on my vehicle.

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