Can I put the air assisted shocks in the back of my '88 5th?

8v-of-fury

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Not necessarily to tow anything (although I'd like a hitch on it eventually..) but when I have my own fat ass plus 3 other people she's well loaded down lol. The leafs are pretty soft, so I imagine it is really the only way aside from stronger leaf springs to be able to have the rear end handle more weight.

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Mikes5thAve

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If your leaf springs are original it would be worth looking at replacing them or finding a shop to add a leaf especially if it's a regular occurrence.
The top shock mount is sheet metal and not made to take a heavy load. But people have used air springs with no problems before.
 

Sub03

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I've been using those air shocks in my Aspen for a couple of years now, and I'm more than pleased with how they're holding up.

The Aspen's rear was sagging a bit, so with stock front end height I was looking too raise it an inch or so without breaking my budget. I'm running 55 psi pressure in them which gives the rear kind of a solid feeling compared to the old shocks.
I also used some exhaust wrapping around the pipe at the axle bend to protect the boot a little.

I know the right way is replacing or rearching the leafs, but it's really hard to get this done here in Norway unless I take a second mortgage. I know of a five leaf setup from a parted out wagon, so maybe next spring...
 

Sub03

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Found a truckshop in Oslo (about two hours from here) which makes leaf springs. But with the high hourly rates here, ordering new ones from the states will be cheaper.
 

Duke5A

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Air shocks are going to make your car ride like shit. Don't do it.
 

Duke5A

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Found a truckshop in Oslo (about two hours from here) which makes leaf springs. But with the high hourly rates here, ordering new ones from the states will be cheaper.

You can have leaf springs re-arched if you can't get new. I had this done and it turned out pretty good. Either that or build your own leaf pack reusing the existing main leaf and whatever else you can that isn't worn out from other vehicles.
 

Sub03

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Air shocks are going to make your car ride like shit. Don't do it.
Agreed. Avoid air shocks.
Could you guys please say something about how the air shocks makes the ride so crappy?

As I said my air shocks was a temporary fix for my saggy rear, but you know how it is with temporary things when they work out OK....
When I say it did work out OK it was compared with the old shocks, probably the original ones.:eek:

Maybe I should quit goofing arond and just replace the leafs. Then again the Aspen is kind of a sunday/nice weather car. Never sees any hard cornering. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
 

volare 77

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Air shocks may not be the thing to do nowadays but when I was a kid Gabriel HiJackers were one of the first things other then mag wheels that went on the car. Mostly used for tire clearance back then.
 

Duke5A

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Air shocks may not be the thing to do nowadays but when I was a kid Gabriel HiJackers were one of the first things other then mag wheels that went on the car. Mostly used for tire clearance back then.

Uncle Tony had a video recently talking about HiJackers and slotted mags. I was born in the wrong decade.
 

Rustyroger

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I had the rear springs on my Fifth Avenue refurbished, brought the ride height back to original and gave a much improved ride. I was advised that the shock mountings aren't up to dealing with a sustained load, and as the shocks are at an angle to the suspension direction of travel air shocks wouldn't help much.

Roger.
 
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8v-of-fury

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I did take a closer look under the old girl, and she is limping hard to the drivers side. I dunno if that is because of the leaf or the torsion on that side though. That must look super accentuated with my 300lb ass in the drivers seat. lol

I know it needs shackle bushings too, so i guess the leaves should just come out and be re worked. I also want to get some KYB gas adjusts under it as all four are blown right out lol
 

Hayzoos

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I use the half leaf type of helper spring. They bolt on easier than replacing shocks. I start with one set mounted front of the axle. They have three settings based on a rivet in one of two holes or left out. I start with the middle setting. If I need more to bring the ride height up, I'll put a set behind the axle. I then adjust the torsion bars if needed to level it all the way around.

When doing this, watch the pinion angle. It should be straight to the drive shaft.

Keep in mind this is also not really fixing the problem. I think it is better than air shocks for this suspension design.
 

Ele115

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New springs and bushings are not expensive at all. That stuff wears out
 

8v-of-fury

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I haven't seen any from a Canadian supplier yet that I would consider inexpensive, but I will keep looking.
 
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If the springs on your car are weak, you can get a good set from a salvage yard, or buy them new at a whole bunch of places on the web. As far as air shocks are concerned, I run them on every vehicle I have. I love the firmness they give to the feel in the wheel, and they give the vehicle just the right amount of rake with the slight amount of lift in the rear, which, in my book, unless your going to do some slalom racing, gives a nice handling feature. Anyone who tells you not to put air shocks on your car because it will ruin the ride, just simply doesn't know what they're talking about.
 

Magnum Aspen

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I ordered new custom leaf springs from Firm Feel for my Aspen in January. They included bushings. Firm feel also sell other suspension goodies too. They were 675 USD. It was about the same as having the springs re-arched including labor and shipping.
 
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