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Old 09-09-2003, 09:51 PM
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LowRider Hydraulics

Does anyone know anything about Lowrider Hydraulics?I have alot of questions about Hydraulics so if anyone knows ANYTHING please reply and then I will ask you what I need to know.Thanks

Keith

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Old 09-09-2003, 09:52 PM
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www.layitlow.com reading their forum had tought me alot
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Old 09-09-2003, 09:55 PM
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I used to install them as well as have them, whats your questions?

HK
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Old 09-09-2003, 10:12 PM
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LowRider Hydraulics

Hey Yall,

Ok I was wondering if I would be able to use the Stock Springs on the suspension when I install the hydraulics?
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:06 AM
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The springs on hydros are usually very very tiny springs on the bottom to help it not bottom out. I've never seen anyone use stock springs in an app, plus it would make it so your can wouldn't go low at all. Unless you chopped the crap out of them..
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:49 AM
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If this is your first project may I suggest that you go with air bags? This is what I plan on doing on my 69 XL. It will be even easier if you have an all coil spring suspension like I do.

The air bags will replace the coil springs. The only 'real' fabrication will be to relocate the front shocks that are often located inside of the coil.

Once the air bags are in, you just have to draw air lines to the bags, install the air tank, and hook up the compressor.

I am looking forward to a killer stance on the XL.
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Old 09-10-2003, 11:23 AM
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This brings me to a question I've always had, I'm no big fan of bouncing cars anyway but I digress. by changing the drive line angles so dramaticaly as air bags and hydraulics do don't you need to do some major mods to the drive-line?

Also what about rebound on hydraulics or air bags? Both have a very low dampening rate. How safe is it at driving speeds?

Regards
Mark
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:50 PM
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Well, even though you have hydro's or bags, you want to set everything up for a "driving height". That's where you want the cars stance to be when you drive, then from there, you set the angle, along with alignment. Hydro's don't have the luxory of air bags since there's no real suspension. So I don't know how "safe" they are on the street. Bags on the other hand are supposed to be the all around new thing. You get the ride height you want, along with ride quality. And if you spend enough money, you can get the hoppin and dancing system as well. Tony will be able to tell you further about the quality of air bags...
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Old 09-10-2003, 02:51 PM
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gt2betubbed is right on

The key to any suspension system is in the engineering. If you going to modify the stock engineering, you best know what you are doing and how it changes the characteristics of the stock system.

Make sure you understand concepts like ride height, compression, and rebound as you want to insure that you get the correct height, width, stoke, and load characteristics for the air bags.

What type of suspension does the car have now?
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Old 09-15-2003, 10:44 AM
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wow. it is nice to see some eduacted posts on this subject

Jag,
A typical air suspension will not travel any further then the OEM suspension is designed to travel on its own so geometry is generally uneffected. Like GT said....... when you isntall the system you are aiming for a "ride height" once everything is in and you have determined where she ridees the best then you will take the car down and have it aligned at ride height. This will ensure that the geometry of the front end is back in. In the rear, you will set your pinion/driveshaft angle for ride height as well. This will ensure that when you are up at driving height that your pinion angle and rear suspension geomtry is back on. Now when you are dealing with ladder bars, 2-links or leaf springs the rear set up will only ever be so good. Ideally you would set up using a three / four link suspension that will somewhat maintain good pinion angle with minor degree change. Also you mentioned dampening........ remember, an airbag is a spring and has no dampening properties so you have to run a shock or one of our Shockwaves........which is a modular unit and has a billet adjustable shock running through the center of an airspring. Similar to a coil-over.

The benifits of air over hydraulics are a no-brainer...... Airbags are a spring and offer a spring rate ( variable at that ) where hydralics do not. Hydraulics are often messy and extensive systems to hook up where airbags are not ( if designed right ). Now if you are wanting to build a hopper or a play only vehicle, juice will win everyday of the week. But if you are wanting an unparalleled ride quality and adjustability........ bags are it~! Like anything else though....... bags are not "magic pixie dust". If they are not installed right they can be unreliable and ride like crap. I fix " I dun it myself " kits everday..........
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:34 PM
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Lowrider

Try; ProHopper .com
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:46 PM
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what kind of car are these hydraulics going on ,this could be a big issue .coils are meant to be used on different vehicles .
you could change the coils off a car and the car could hop 30 inches ,and then change them and the car would hop 15 inches . coils are a big factor on lifted cars .
don't use stock coils , all they do is compress all the way when you lift the car up ,and your car will bottom out when hopping ,if you don't have the cash try using coils off a heavier stock Chevy truck ,go to a wrecking yard and get the thickest ones you could get .we used to use those kind of coils back when there were no 3 , 4 ton coils around ,yes hydraulics can be messy ,they could also be very clean ,and they give the frame alot of stress.
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Old 10-27-2003, 06:53 PM
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long ago in a decade far far away, i used to do hydraulics setups for side income. i was a true enigma.....i loved lowriders, but i wasn't a gangster. (haha). Unfortunately, lowriders have a real bad stigma placed on them due to the number of wanna-be ganstas (cholos) who drive them. of course, the other stigma is that 3 out of 4 lowrider hydraulic set-ups suck really bad. scrape together just enough cash to put them in and happiness is created. most of the time, thats what i had to work with.


sometimes, it was great because people actually had the cash to do it right. ( of course, sometimes those people were selling the product..)


hydraulic setups can be made to ride very well. im talking about 10-20% ride loss. again, this has to be done right. depending on the bracketry and angles, springs, and desired lo/hi ride height, the ride quality does not have to suffer very much.

now, just as certain motors are for racing only and such, certain hydro systems are only for show or for hopping. daily drivers or the occassional hopper can get away with losing only that 10-20% ride quality.

hydraulics are best used when ride height is with cylinders empty. now, you setup a car with 2" drop spindles and 2" drop springs and thats how you want to ride, then you can use hydros, no problem. the cylinder will raise the height by around 2-3" max because of the cup and the cylinder nut. trim maybe 1/2 to 1 full coil from the spring and that's it. raise it when you need to clear a steep driveway or to show off...and you can still externally mount a regular or lowered shock.


the rear is just as easy. of course, with both front or rear, you can also coil-over mount the cylinders as well. yes, coil-over. this is seen more in the rear, of course, but you can have a hydro setup that minimizes coil cut and still have full shocks in the rear.

hydraulics are really not that different than airbags are far as having to buy a ton of little pieces to go along with it. they both have disadvantages too. hoses or cylinders can leak. air lines can leak or bags can leak. (of course, a speeding piece of metal in the road flying underneath your car won't really hurt a cylinder, but will slice thru an airbag bigtime......)

overall, air bags will have an advantage in the overall ride quality dept. and concelament dept. hydraulics will usually offer more speed and hopping ability.


i guess i kept going....


anyway, to answer the above question:

"Ok I was wondering if I would be able to use the Stock Springs on the suspension when I install the hydraulics?"

Yes, you can, but you will need to cut the spring to adjust for the cylinder. also, if you are wanting to ride lower most of the time, best to get drop spindles plus some drop coils and drop shocks. the drop coils will have the tension differential built in. this will give you a better ride than stock springs.

Lets see, last note, don't try to fit some monster 10" cylinders in the front. use 6" or even 4" cylinders in front. 6"-8" in the back. yes, they make 10"-14" cylinders, but this is not a good thing because of the driveline issues that will happen. best to keep it simple.


good luck!!!

Last edited by ShamrockCustoms; 10-27-2003 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-29-2003, 01:02 PM
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Hey Shamrock, your post was very intelligent and informative. The one thing I have a question about is the ride quality part. I can understand the spring and empty cylinder making a pretty good ride, but wouldn't that mean that that would be as low as the car/truck can go? I'm asking because most hydro equiped cars like to "lay frame", if possible, so wouldn't that not allow it? Just a thought....
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Old 10-29-2003, 07:00 PM
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iv'e also lifted cars for a while ,and in my experience you could not get a good ride with a lifted car (hydraulics) .when a car is built there is a lot of testing with suspension ,weight,sway, travel and all kinds of other testing i do not know about. how can you think that you can only loose about 20% of ride quality using 3-4 ton coils these coils are very thick custom made coils ,they are made especially for hydraulics ,and what does angles and brackets have to do with the quality of suspension . on gm cars ,like regals ,impalas, you cut a hole in the shock tower remove the shock ,put a hydraulic cylinder in the hole and your shock is gone .the only way to put a shock back in the front is to make brackets one for the top ,next to the upper a arm ,on the frame ,
and one on the lower a arm ,for the shock to bolt on .
there is also another option ,accumulators , accumulators work like a shock they go on the pumps and are like a shock reservoir but are installed on the hydraulic hoses next to the pump . something like the shocks the monster trucks use ,they have a compressed reservoir next to the actual shock ,there are some kind of accumulators that you can switch on & off ,like when you want to hop you turn it off, and when you want to have a nice ride you turn them on .



shamrock does have a point about sucky setups , you cant expect someone to make a car get off ,hop ,dance ,or what ever it might be ,using a cheap old hydraulic set up.
dont get me wrong ,there are good used setups , but you cant tell just by looks .i would prefer a new set up instead
a good quality two pump set up is about $1600 complete with 8 battery's, not including installation .if you want 4 battery's then take out about $240. dont expect your car to fly with this kind of set up .
you will need marine deep cycle battery's since they could recharge many times ,
you can do most of the work yourself depending what kind of car you have ,you will be proud knowing that you did it yourself ,

if you need advice let me know


later

Last edited by hoss; 10-29-2003 at 07:22 PM.
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