What is so bad about air shocks?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by ctchap70, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. ctchap70

    ctchap70 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Just curious but why do so many people dislike them? Charlton
  2. K5JMP

    K5JMP Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    evil handling tendancies...
    damage to the chassis...

    ...and spinal compression from potholes..lol:D
  3. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    atlanta, ga
    You my son have never had the "pleasure" of riding in a covered wagon!!

    You might as well WELD the rearend housing to the framerails.
    Just go ahead and use a bottle jack and push your upper shockmounts "up"....till they meet the package tray. :)
    you know..the tray that holds NO packages..
  4. hogg

    hogg Veteran Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    with normal hight and low air pressur they are fine.All El caminos came with them,no complants,Right amount air for the right weight, When using them for jacking up the rear is when the ride is becomes fun.
  5. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Waddell AZ
    I think he wanted to understand the issues not listen to rhetoric. :p

    Air shocks put load stresses where load stresses were never supposed to be. The result is broken parts because they were not engineered to support the car. The ride is harsh because they allow very little compression and at an extreme rate when they do. The severe stiffness of the rear suspension will allow the rear to hop on bumps and turns. Not a great handling characteristic. Back in the day all we had was shackles or air shocks to lift the rear end. Today there are a lot more options. You get the rhetoric about air shocks and lift shackles simply because some people have a hard time accepting someone else might have a different opinion.
  6. leafs_11

    leafs_11 BANNED

    Jun 24, 2009
    back i 83 i had a 72 mach 1 fastback,had airshocks thought it looked pretty cool on saturday night raised up,but rode like a tank.
  7. The Champ

    The Champ Veteran Member

    Sep 14, 2000
    All El Camino's did not come with air shocks from the factory. For instance - 1978 El Camino - the OE shock part number is an AC Delco 560-65 which is a gas charged shock.

    El Camino's are just GM "A" bodies with a pickup box grafted on. Not saying that their was never an air shock option, but they weren't standard equipment on all El Camino's.

    I think KD did a good job of explaining what is "bad" about air shocks. And other than being a cheap way to raise a car, there isn't anything good about them.
  8. twozs

    twozs Veteran Member

    Aug 5, 1999
    hopewell jct ny
    they were optional on my 86 442 from the factory . when you change the weight load from the spring pockets where its supposed to be , to the shock mounting points were its NOT supposed to be you will always have trouble
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  9. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    There is really nothing "Wrong" with air shocks.

    It is just that they are designed as a "Quick fix" for problems that should be handled in a better way. And they were designed many years ago when the suspension technology was not as advanced as it it now. The valving and performance of the shock, even when not aired up and extended is not as good as a standard modern gas charged shock.

    As KD stated, they are adding stress to the suspension, that is usually compromised already due to age, wear and tear, and the components need to be replaced. Air shocks are just a quick, cheap answer for many who do not know or don't want to go through the correct way to take care of the problem.
  10. High Country Z

    High Country Z Veteran Member

    I had an El Camino with air shocks and the thing handled fine. The idea behind the airshocks was to use them to level the car if you happened to have to much weight in the rear and the car was sagging, not to raise the rear higher than it would normally sit so you could stuff bigger tires in to the wheel wells.

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