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Discussion Starter #1
Hey just wonderin' if anyone has installed airbags on a 66 T-Bird. If so, what type of mods are necessary? How much cutting?
 

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Does a 66 T-bird have coils or leafs in the rear ??

Coils would make things a LOT easier ;)
 

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leafs... i've talked to a few people... they said air ride technologies.. has a good kit for up front... the rear is a different story... you have to find a new way to route your exhaust because it runs too close to the leafs and the air bags, burst from the heat... I haven't looked any further into it than that though... ( One guy used air shocks on the rear of his thunderbird...)
 

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I knew that 66 Ford full size Fords were on coils but I remembered vaguely the Birds being on leafs ... :smash:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about just doin' the front?

Is there any advantage or disadvantage to just doing the front and leaving the rear with leafs? If that's no good, how hard is it to re-route the exhaust? I was planning to replace it anyway. Could I use headers and functional side pipes?
 

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I think finding headers might be a problem for your tbird... there is only one set that works, and i don't know the name of the company that makes them. rerouting the exhaust... if you don't want it out the original spots it should be doable. out the original spots, I'm not sure. (i haven't crawled under my car to see where my exhaust could be rerouted to, in order to make it come out the original exits). as for the other question... I don't know if there are any advantages/disadvantages. I just wanted to install airbags for "cool" appeal, not for practicallity, and that is why i haven't done it yet.
 

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You can also take out the leaf springs and do a three link,
all you do is fab up some trailing arm with a leaf spring bushing in the end
and it will bolt up just as your leaf springs do.Then make a panhard bar that
goes from the center of the rear end to the frame.This bar keeps the rear end from walking side to side.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
3 link

Never really fabbed anything before but would love to try. Can you be more specific about what is involved and how the bags work into it?
 

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You would make rear end brackets to weld to the rear end.
Then make som upper brakets that weld to the frame.
The bag rides between the two.
 

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leaf spring bracket on left is one mounting point
leaf spring bracket on right is one mounting point
frame bracket is one mounting point
=three links to the frame
 

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spoketruth said:
I was asking a genuine question. Is there some reason I shouldn't do this?
I am an Old Fart and have not yet come to appreciate air-ride other than OEM on LINCOLNS.

With the cost of modifying the rear suspension and the cost of the kit, it seems to be a big waste of money (IMO).

What are you trying to accomplish with the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
66 bird

Im tryin to create a cool low-budget hot rod t-bird that I can drive fairly frequently. When I started I had minimalist aspirations but the more I get into it the more I wan't all the cool new stuff. Im still swayin back and forth though.
 

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It would look B-I-T-C-H-E-N to drive in someplace and sit it on the ground... :thumbup:

The trouble is the stock rear suspension. The leaf has to go. You can bag a leaf spring but she won't squat beyond what the spring is allowed to collapse.

This is the rear suspension design from a 58 BIRD (sans shocks). It was origionally designed for OEM AIR-RIDE so copying fabricating from this design should keep you out of trouble (additionally, there has to be a bag manufacturer that has a similiar kit for a leaf spring application one would think).



Fabricate tubular lower control arms to pivot in the origional front leaf spring pivot and attach to the housing at the origional spring mounting pad. The design shows one upper control arm, but I would fashion two (adjustable) so pinion angle can be adjusted easily. Panhard bar and maybe a custom sway bar to keep handling tight. You would have to fashion on the lower control arm a mount for the bag and also on the frame.

I think this would be cheaper to fabricate over a full blow four-link.



Food for thought... :thumbup:

Can anyone explain to me why a reserve tank is used in the aftermarket design(s) whereas FORD design uses a compressor with air bags controlled by a control modue and fill/vent solenoids?

Seems to me much easier to use the FORD system... :confused:
 
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