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  #1  
Old 11-23-2007, 07:35 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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Default 1962 Thunderbird air bagged

Just got my bagged '62 hardtop back from the chassis shop, I'm really pleased with the way it sits. The car almost has its sills on the ground at rest, and with the bags fully inflated it's 1/2" lower than factory ride height.
I haven't driven it, apart from on and off a tow truck, as it isn't legal (no lights etc). Hopefully it'll ride and handle okay.
The front is Air Ride shockwaves mounted down through the a-arm to get it low, the rear is Air Over Leaf with fabricated forward control arms to prevent leaf spring wrap up. It runs one tank, two Viair compressors and SMC 1/2" valves and lines from suicidedoors.com. I did most of it in my home garage, except for the fabricating the arms and brackets, modifying the rear shock mounts and all the welding.
There's a few more weekends worth of panel and paint, then I'll piece it back together. The doorhandles and badges have been shaved.
There's a big show here in Kumeu mid January, I'd really like it done for that.
I'll post a few more pics once there's more progress.
Cheers
Alistair
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2007, 10:15 PM
Texas Landau Texas Landau is offline
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Man, that is slick! If I had not just done all my suspension las year, I would do that, too! I did cut one coil off of the front springs, and I really like the way it looks. I just have to be carefull where I drive it!

Randy

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  #3  
Old 11-25-2007, 03:18 PM
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dgs dgs is offline
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That's real nice. I can't wait to see it complete. Air bags are on my list of "wouldn't that be cool", but it's long down the list. Not likely for some time.

BTW - I've seen a fair number of custom birds at the annual Good Guys nationals here in Columbus OH, most of them Bullet Birds. Check out my T'bird gallery (or my main gallery page with several galleries of photos from Good Guys).

This orange one was one of the nicest. (and the pictures don't capture the beautiful, subtile shades of orange paint fades):


Check out how 'tall' that Camaro looks in comparison.

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  #4  
Old 11-26-2007, 03:13 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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DGS, thanks for the links to your galleries, very cool. I love that tangerine '63, I think it's buily by Rick Dore? I've seen it in a few magazines and books on customs. Mine won't be anywhere near as good as that, and don'yt know if I could bring myself to chop the top (:
Texas landau, your '63 Bird's good looking, sits very nice, awesome wheel choice - really suits the car. Paint looks mint, have you had the car long?
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2007, 06:36 PM
Texas Landau Texas Landau is offline
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Thanks! I can't wait to see yours when it is done!

I've had the car since 2004; it was my father's. It was repainted the original color back in 1984, but the car has always been garage kept. The interior is all original. headliner to carpet, dash to package tray, and it is in very good condition although it is starting to show it's age.

I think that tangerine bird is awesome! I love that color with the white interior. I saw that blue roadster 10-12 years back in a magazine, and I always loved the windshield treatment on that car.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2007, 09:52 AM
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6TB1RD 6TB1RD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrolhead View Post
The front is Air Ride shockwaves mounted down through the a-arm to get it low, the rear is Air Over Leaf with fabricated forward control arms to prevent leaf spring wrap up. It runs one tank, two Viair compressors and SMC 1/2" valves and lines from suicidedoors.com. I did most of it in my home garage, except for the fabricating the arms and brackets, modifying the rear shock mounts and all the welding.
Alistair
Petrolhead:
She's going to look real sharp when done

Any chances of getting pictures of the mods. to the rear. I too have been thanking of bagging my '60 and would like to see how the rear is set up. I know the front is pretty straight forward but converting rear Leaf's is more work.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2007, 04:13 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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Hi 6TB1RD

No problem at all to post some pics, thanks for asking. I'll be crawling around under it in the next few days and will take some detail shots. This is the only one I have and is work in progress - the control arm mounting brackets have yet to be gussetted. We only used one leaf, and a lowering block to get it down in the weeds. The leaf basically locates the rear end, and the air bags take the weight of the car.
Cheers, Alistair
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2007, 05:43 PM
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6TB1RD 6TB1RD is offline
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Default Nice

Nice:
Thanks for the picture can't wait so see more, that set up I would of never thought.

Can't wait to here how she rides
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2008, 04:52 PM
El Guapo El Guapo is offline
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Petrol can you post more pix of you bagging your 62?
And 6tbird did you ever bag your bird?
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2008, 07:31 PM
Petrolhead Petrolhead is offline
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Hi El Guapo

The panel and paint turned into much more of a major, have stripped all the body back to bare steel and two-pack epoxied, repaired the dings and primed. It's still not painted and I haven't got back into the air bags since my last post and haven't taken any more pics sorry.

Here are some photos I have on file, showing a few of the components.

The tank is mounted up under the parcel shelf so I haven't lost too much trunk space. I mounted two sets of solenoids (valves) on the tank, and the other two sets are bolted to the trunk floor in front of the tank. it's a really tight fit, but keeps the installation looking clean (you can't see the solenoids) and compact.

There are eight solenoids - one for up, one for down, for each corner.

It's all working now, I made a switch panel to replace the ashtray (didn't want to chop up the interior). It's panel steel bent to shape , was quite involved as the ash tray receptacle also doubles as the latch mount for the console lid etc etc. I covered the panel in thin high density foam, had some vinyl sprayed to match the interior, and covered it with that. Worked out okay. The switches are momentary on - off - on, so one switch does each corner of the car - pull the switch up and that corner goes up, push it down and it lowers. This is called a four-way system, which is preferable to a two-way which allows air to move from left to right wheels on the same axle - and upsets ride and handling.

I did the wiring, it's not hard and there are some good diagrams on the Net. I used a solenoid to start the compressors. The compressors come on at 110psi and switch off at 150. A pressure switch is mounted in the top of the tank.

I''ll put the pics up in separate posts, not sure if it makes a difference in download speed, hopefully it does.

I got all the parts from suicidedoors.com, exceptionally good company, nothing was a problem and very quick emails with advice etc. It's important when dealing with a company on the other side of the world. Good gear too: SMC valves, Viair compressors etc. Also got my shaved doorhandle kit off them, but made my own shaved trunk lock set-up.

Hope this helps, don't hestitate to ask if there's any info you need.

Cheers

Alistair
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File Type: jpg trunk.JPG (116.4 KB, 339 views)
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