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Old August 9th, 2016, 08:16 AM   #1
Shakezilla
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Default Air bags and tortion bars

Can anyone point me to a good article or some good information on using air bags and torsion bars? If I plan on having bags do I even need torsion bars?

I've got a chopped 65 bug and I am rebuilding the chassis and as I'm new to this whole thing I'm having some issues on how to put the rear suspension together.

If anyone has a build for reference that would be great, or pointing out some basics for me to research...any advice is welcomed.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 12:15 PM   #2
nshaddox
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

As far as I know most people do away with torsion bars when they go bags. Spring plates installed with stock rubber bushings, but no bars. You've gotta fab up some linkages though to pivot between the torsion tube and outer axle. Bag sits on linkages or if irs the swing arms.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #3
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Doesn't Airkewled do air suspension?
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Old August 10th, 2016, 09:08 AM   #4
toddgsanford
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

torsion bars are removed for air bag suspensions
look into Fab Shop 104 as he currently has a beam set up that includes spring shaped through rods that are retained with the original grub screws. some designs use a through rod that uses a retainer outside the control arm requiring a specially machined control arm. in the rear the torsion bars are removed and the bag mounts are mounted on the rear control arms and use an added brace between shock towers as the pivot. on swing axle they are slightly different. there is considerable debate regarding bags or shock style lift in front bags are much less expensive. a good resource for pieces and air ride controls is airbaggit.com Airkewld makes some nice stuff as well and has some good resources install instructions etc to help you get a better idea. not debating who is better have used all of these companies and always happy with what they have to offer. as far as controls go there are a bunch of high tech 2/4 station set ups I prefer a simple front and back only set up
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Old August 10th, 2016, 10:37 AM   #5
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

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Originally Posted by cretin View Post
Doesn't Airkewled do air suspension?


Yes, and they suck.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

One thing to think about is the support provided by the torsion bars besides providing spring force. They also help to keep things together at the outer end of the tube where the swing arm pivots. Simply having the hard rubber type bushings there with the bars removed isn't a great idea. Years ago, a friend with a swing arm sixty-three bug wanted to 'bag his bug.' We kept the bars in place, but ground off the inner end's splines so they rode like a bushing without providing any torsion, just support.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 04:12 PM   #7
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I hadn't heard anything bad about Airkewled, just that their shit is really expensive
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Old August 11th, 2016, 01:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

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Originally Posted by cretin View Post
I hadn't heard anything bad about Airkewled, just that their shit is really expensive
Yeah this I can confirm, I was looking at just getting a bagged chassis and came up on their product. It was like 25k for a fully loaded bagged chassis and got completely turned off to them.

Thanks everyone for the input, gives me a bunch to mull over.
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Old August 11th, 2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

I remember a lot of problems with the Airkewld swing arm bag kit.
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Old August 12th, 2016, 04:37 AM   #10
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You don't need torsion springs when you run bags I would recommend shocks to control rebound. Here are the only pictures I have of the bag set up I did on my swing Axle type 3 set up


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Old August 12th, 2016, 08:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

no torsions here, just the bushings in the torsion housings keeping everything lined up.

you can see the threaded end on the bag support, that's the shock mount.

someone also sells a plate with a heim joint on it that bolts to your spring plate if you want to do that. idk that it's necessary.
http://www.pacificcustoms.com/ac501361k.html
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File Type: jpg slambug222.jpg (99.6 KB, 44 views)
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Old August 12th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

k7 & lm; really slick looking work! Killer looking bug 'ta boot.
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Old August 15th, 2016, 08:45 AM   #13
Shakezilla
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

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Originally Posted by lunatic_magnet View Post
no torsions here, just the bushings in the torsion housings keeping everything lined up.
Thanks for the info, you using the inner and outer bushings? Got the bushings this past weekend and the guy told me to just use the outer, but didn't really give me any reason why.
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Old August 15th, 2016, 08:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

It's been a while since I've had a T-B suspension apart, but here goes. It seems to me that the inner 'bushing' sits into the outer forged end of the torsion bar tube. Which would mean that it would provide support.
Without it, the vertical and for-and-aft load would be on just the outer bushing. This bush is supported by the outer stamped steel bracket, held by the four bolts, which would be in 'shear,' or carrying the weight. I'd go with both bushings.
This is of course coming from a guy running leaf springs to support the V8 Single Cab's 9" Ford rear end. But, the front leaf spring mount utilizes part of the outer end of the T-B housing as an anchor point.
Thank you and good night...
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Old August 16th, 2016, 08:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

Many thanks everyone, got this one worked out (used both inner and outer bushings)...on to my next challenge :)
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Old August 19th, 2016, 10:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Air bags and tortion bars

sorry i didn't pop back in to reply to your question... yes both inner and outers :)
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