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Airbagging Question

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  • #16
    Aibagging Question

    I have been in contact with Ride Tech concerning the parts or units to use on a Squarebird for their Air Ride system. As Matt said, Ride Tech does not recommend mounting their system the way it is being done by Performance Car Craft. However, as has been noted, that company has done a number of these conversions with no problems. Ride Tech has yet to do one in their on shop on a Squarebird as far as I was able to ascertain. Here is what Rodney there had to say.

    "On the front they used a 1000 series shockwave. We don't recommend running the shockwaves bolted to the bottom of the control arm, You are supporting the car with 2 3/8" bolts. It looks like if they would have used a shorter shockwave they could have put it in right on top of the factory arm with minimal modifications. The rear isn't an air overleaf. It is a weld in parallel four link with 7000 series shockwaves. I hope this helps."

    So if you want to do this conversion using Ride Tech technology, you might talk with Rodney or one of the guys there regarding which shockwave unit to use up front, instead of the 1000 series unit. I also note that simplyconnected also has some concerns about how they mounted the front section. That might bear further looking into if anyone decides to go this route.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #17
      First, I do apologize for contradicting and I don't ever intend on starting flames, BUT I am genuinely fearful for the safety of you and your family, Matt. I wrote these comments in an open forum for everyone to constructively criticize, not for my benefit, but for yours. I hope this thread benefits all who consider customizing their carís suspension.

      Second, I appreciated over 110 pictures of this job. Without them, we could never see the intricacies of this setup.
      Originally posted by c4clewis View Post
      The panhard bar is hard to see in the pictures...
      Matt, can you get some clearer pictures of the panhard rod as it is installed?

      Originally posted by c4clewis View Post
      ...If you look at picture 110, it looks as though the machined piece that was welded to the A-arm allows the bottom of the airwave to sit on top of it, so that it is what the airwave actually sits on. The 2 bolts are just for the rebound of the shock (the pull up)...
      No, Matt... Picture 110 and 105 clearly show the bottom of a lower ball joint in the back. This picture is taken from below the lower "A" arm. It clearly shows two bolts pulling up the spring on a welded plate.

      Your new spring is pulling in the middle of a 'lever' (the "A" arm) and thousands of vibrations are realized over a one mile distance. This is a recipe for disaster because of three problems:
      The plate is welded to the bottom of your "A" arm,
      The bolts are grade-5, not grade-10,
      The spring is pulling down on that stack with thousands of pounds, equally counteracted by vibrating force.

      If the weld fatigues or causes stress cracks (usually at a weld), or if one bolt breaks, the spring will come crashing through and the "A" arm will collapse up into your wheel well.

      Welds can be 'stress relieved' by heat treating the whole part, then the grain structures become one piece of steel. But we never heat treat stampings because they warp terribly.

      One solution is to machine a cup-like perch that bolts to the top of your lower "A" arm, and extends down, so the spring can rest on top of it (or the bottom rod can go through it). The metal needs to be tough, like machine steel. Then, keep all heat far away.

      Finally, it's great that Ray, or anyone, calls for expert advice. Posting this job on our open forum is a great tool to avoid potential dangers, so we can safely enjoy our passion.

      If I am wrong about anything here, I will publicly eat all my words. I would much rather be safe than sorry. That's why I couldn't let this matter slide. - Dave Dare
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

      Comment


      • #18
        I will try and get some pictures of the panhard bar this week if I can get off work early enough on Wednesday to get out there and pick up my engine/transmission (it's a 2.5 hour drive).

        The pictures that have been taken are all done by Performance Car Craft themselves and I will receive them all on a disc once they are done. Hopefully, just another month or so!

        I have emailed Greg both to let him know the buzz here over the conversion and the concerns expressed. Knowing him, I should have his answer by COB Monday regarding the concerns.

        Comment


        • #19
          From Greg at Performance Car Craft
          Hey Matt hope all is well so you can feel better the pictures are for mock up only we are putting the shock on the top side and the bolts we use are for mock up we will be using grade 10 with lock nuts the thick plate we used was tapped.
          I'll try to get pictures of the panhard bar setup on Wednesday when I pick up my engine (if I can duck out of work early enough!).

          Comment


          • #20
            Sorry guys, I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the panhard setup when I picked up the engine last week. Last minute stuff at work kept me way late. I'll see what I can do though.

            Comment


            • #21
              Hard to see how they'd mount the shock from up top of the a-arm. With the stock set up, the shock is mounted from below like they have, but the shock isn't supporting the weight of the car, the spring is.

              With the air bags, the shock and spring are integral, right? That means the weight of that front end, and all the cornering and suspension loads, is supported by the welds on the a-arm and, ultimately, by those 2 bolts per side.

              No way I'd accept that. You've got the manufacturer of the parts they are using and other knowledgeable folks (I work as a mechanical engineer) telling you that isn't a good set up. Maybe once it's together we'll all go "Ohhhhh...." and it'll be fine, but it looks dubious to me.
              DGS (aka salguod)
              1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
              www.salguod.net

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              • #22
                Thanks?...

                Comment


                • #23
                  Matt, please read my #17 post carefully. Squarebirds.org, an open international forum, is here for the benefit of you and all our members.

                  We all want you to be happy, but safe. Catastrophic failure involving personal injury almost always goes to court. We want to avoid injury at all costs.

                  If Ridetech approves the quality of work on your car with their products, they should assume responsibility since they engineered the system. If they will not be responsible, you need to find out why not. Get it in writing.

                  This isn't about who is right, it's about protecting YOU from hidden danger resulting in injury.

                  Air suspension is usually found in the most expensive luxury/performance cars. Done properly on a Squarebird, the ride will improve dramatically. We're all excited to see that happen on your Thunderbird.
                  - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Picture of 4 link setup

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthew...en/5339506905/
                    Been awhile, but I got over to the shop and took a picture of the 4 link setup with the panhard bar location. It is out of the car and on the floor, but you can get the idea.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi all, The link to some great airbagging pics are not available anymore.
                      http://performancecarcraft.smugmug.c...13627939_22Ztu
                      says they are selling the company.
                      Too bad, as allot of members said the pics were great. Any way we could post those pics on the Squarebirds site?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Here is an update on Ride Tech and Performance Car Craft and air bagging. I need to update that information in the TRL.

                        Ridetech in Jasper, Ind 812-481-4704. I had worked out a system for my 60 using their air springs. My budget just hasn't agreed with the job yet but they make the absolute best products. Jim Miller ~ protourbird - September 4th, 2010.

                        That did not come to fruition for the Squarebird. The Ridetech website only shows airbag systems for the 1955-1957 & 1964-1966 Tbirds. They do not have anything for Squarebirds according to what Adam told me when I just talked with him a few minutes ago.

                        The Performance Car Craft website is no longer operational. http://www.performancecarcraft.com

                        Comments made by Matt Lewis ~ c4clewis were made back in 2010. Matt has not been on the Forum since May of last year. I have emailed him to see if he has any additional information on what he might have done in air bagging his Squarebird.

                        I have updated the TRL on this information. I left this Thread in it, but be aware that comments regarding Ride Tech and Performance Car Craft are no longer viable. RideTech does not have a set up for the Squarebird, and Performance Car Craft is out of business. In addition, I just spoke with John R Spring regarding any air bagging they do, or know of anyone doing and the answer was no, other than the two I listed above. They only do OEM stuff. If you know of anyone else who can do air bagging, please let us know...
                        Last edited by YellowRose; February 24, 2021, 04:45 PM.

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                        https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Classic Car Studio in St. Louis, MO put an air bag system and 4 link on a 59 convertible. I am sure it was all custom, more than likely they have all the information on how they did it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I just tried to call them, and had to leave them a message. Thanks for that information! I took a cruise through their website and it is really something to see. https://www.classiccarstudio.com

                            http://www.classiccarstudio.com/spee...custom-builds/

                            Under Restoration click on Custom Builds, and then scroll down under the Custom Build submission form to the pictures. Click on the very first one and go through those pix. Then just keep clicking on the right arrow and it will take you through all the other pix! I was amazed at the quality of the work, the beautiful custom interiors, the engine bay work and much more. You will probably enjoy seeing the beauty of these customizations.

                            You can also click on Projects & Builds and click on any picture there, and there are dozens of cars to view, many of them Sold... You can cruise through them seeing the customizations they did. I did not find that '59 Squarebird Convertible they are supposed to have restored or customized. But you will find some Babybirds, and a Bulletbird you can check out.
                            Last edited by YellowRose; February 25, 2021, 01:45 AM.

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                            https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              They have a show called Speed is the New Black on Motortrend Tv. If I ever win the lottery I would definitely have them build a car for me.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I spoke with Noah at Classic Car Studio, St. Louis, Mo

                                Components were bought from Air Ride, now known as Ride Tech. Recently bought out by Fox Factory Holding Corp. (FOXF)... But still doing business as Ride Tech. Classic Car Studio buy their components from them when they air bag a car or truck. These are the components they bought.

                                Air bags, controller, sensors, tank, pump (maybe hoses) then you or your mechanic have to do the modifications to the frame, control arms, install the components, hoses, etc.. They have a year backlog before they can take on another project.

                                Noah said that he does not know of any other companies who are selling kits or parts like these. But they were able to purchase those components and engineer their own design to airbag that 1959 Tbird convertible. Which, he has not listed on their website. I am going to ask him if there is a link we can view, like so many others, of the restoration/customization of that '59 Tbird...

                                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                                The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                                https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                                Comment

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