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Old 11-24-2009, 10:35 PM
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Default Adjustable shocks... via hydraulic?

Ok, spinning a little off Yaughns' post below about airbags, I thought I would torture myself a little by trying to find remotely adjustable shock absorbers that were hydraulic. I thought that since I'd probably have a hydraulic system in the car for the canopy anyway, why not T off of that to power a raise/lower system for the car for those ugly speed bumps and trailer ramps. Hydraulics would be smoother in the rise and fall, and maybe a little more reliable than airbags. So... doing some quicky net searching turned up, at least for me, only one system that will do that. And it's made for Ferrari. And it's a whopping $12,800 . I really can't find anything on nydro adjustable shocks... everything seems to be airbags for adjustment, but I can't believe that there is nothing out there outside of the Baja truck shocks (somehow I don't think a 28" shock will fit...).

Anyone come across anything like that in their travels?
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:09 AM
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I spent a lot of time, a whole lot of time actually, looking for the exact same thing for the exact same reasons. Unfortunately, no luck...

I did start to wonder if a creative builder could fabricate something using an adjustable shock mounting point and a hydraulic cylinder. I had a few designs but nothing formal. Anyway, that's just a thought I had...
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:42 AM
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wouldn't it be easier to get a company that already makes them for something else,say large machinery, make them for cars?
i mean they would already know everything that is need they could just switch it to cars.
i dont think it would be that hard.
or would it be really easy to make yourself an not need the large company to make?
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:37 AM
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STC, I'm not sure if this is what you were hinting at or not, but I've often wondered if I could just buy an adjustable front beam but, where the "set bolts" go, I would fabricate bolts/arms that could be moved up or down that little tiny bit necessary to cause a change in ride height. I was picturing a short, stout, short-throw, very durable jack screw or linear actuator. There isn't very much room right there at the front surface of the front beam, so I was considering making a short, strong linkage so that I could maybe place the actuator somewhere else very close by. I figured that a jack screw MIGHT be better than a hydraulic cylinder in such usage because 1) it doesn't need to operate very quickly to cause a big effect at the wheels and 2) whatever actuator you use in that location will take a constant beating. A big jack screw wouldn't tend to drift or change height.

(I realize that this is a different discussion than using hydraulics out at the wheels.)

This wouldn't be an easy fabrication, and there are a lot of unknowns. But it's tempting to find a way to dynamically change the front suspension right there at the adjuster locations rather than at the wheels.

That said, IF we can find a source for front air shocks again, that is a much, much easier solution than hydraulics or a jack screw.

Ever since you said you couldn't find a current source for front air shocks at JCWhitney, I've been going crazy trying to find a new source. You're right, they don't show up through JCWhitney anymore. Hmmm.

I'm pretty sure that the original product was part of the Gabriel Hijacker line. But a Google search for that seems to be a big circle jerk back into JCWhitney's site but still doesn't produce any relevant hits.

I did find a complete front air cylinder system (rather than air BAGS, which I just don't like for some reason) on AirKewld's website. As with most of their products, the "good" is that you get a quality products that you can be reasonably certain will will work well, and the "bad" is that his parts are custom made form a small shop, so they're more expensive.

Front air shocks from AirKewld:

That link doesn't immediately go to the exact product I was talking about. You have to scroll down a little. The one I'm talking about is currently at $475, but it does include some extra modifications that are supposed to preserve steering geometry a little better. If I were upgrading any of my cars right now, I'd be tempted to get one of those front air kits from AirKewld PLUS one of the little compressor/tank systems from JCWhitney.

Adjustable shock systems from JCWhitney

The cheapest system starts at $99. There is a really cool wireless system for about $400.

Getting back to the issue of finding a new source for just the front air shocks... Although I'm having trouble finding any source that's marketting themselves to Bug guys, it shouldn't be too difficult to just find a generic one that would work. There's nothing exotic about it's shape or design. We'd just need to find an Air shock with an eyelet on the bottom and a stud on the top that ends up being the right length and travel. The fact that Pete from AirKewld has already found one confirms that they are out there. Unfortunately, understandably, Pete isn't sharing his secret source on that one.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:48 AM
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A quick search at Napa Auto parts online NAPA Online

Then type in air shocks,

Theres lots to choose from.

Add in a cheap 12volt air tire pump, controlled on a toggle with a release valve, and youve got your on demand system.

But pneudraulics are expensive (pneumatic/hydraulic systems) Their used on Aircraft.

Last edited by ydeardorff; 11-25-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:02 AM
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Good tip on the Napa site.

Rears are part number: NS MA803

Fronts don't come up with a vehicle search, but they have several that look like they'd be a good fit.

Prices are about $85 a pair
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:45 AM
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The only thing I would recommend, (unless I was just very unlucky) would be to upgrade the hoses they give you with them.
They tend to leak.
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