1950 Chevy Suburban Buildup - Project Sublime

Part 3: Ride Tech Airbags

Bob Ryder
Sep 1, 2010
Photographers: Bob Ryder
Serious custom truck enthusiasts know that Ride Tech, previously known as Air Ride Technologies, has been the leading manufacturer and new product innovator of air suspension systems for many years. Ride Tech has recently introduced their latest innovation-the Shockwave Level PRO convoluted front and rolling sleeve rear air springs with internal or external height sensors. The Level PRO, when teamed up with the Ride PRO E3 system, gives you control with a 3/8-inch thick control panel that comes with backlit control buttons and an auto-dimming digital display. The small control panel can be mounted on the dash, hidden in the glovebox, or you can disconnect the mini USB connector and take the control panel with you. An electronic air suspension management ECU is the brain of the system, and works in conjunction with the air distribution block to continually calibrate weight compression and cross-load compensation automatically, enhancing both ride quality and handling performance. The ECU choreographs the pneumatic control system allowing you to refine your trucks pneumatic suspension with three preset ride height positions and a ride height on start feature.
Photo 2/19   |   1950 Chevy Suburban Buildup ride Tech Airbags
Ironworks Speed & Kustom in Bakersfield, California, has become the buildup home of "Sublime", and after making another trip up north, we got our fat-fendered '50 'Burban ready for a slammed suspension. The intentions for "Sublime's" profile is to create a hammered look by pancaking the roof, chopping the top, and sectioning the body through the doors. Combine this with the air suspension, and "Sublime's" wheels and tires will tuck deep into its fat fenders when laid out.
Photo 3/19   |   1950 Chevy Suburban Buildup rendering
We'll show you the mockup installation of the Ride Tech Shockwave front and rear air springs, merged with the Ride Tech Level PRO and Ride PRO E3 systems.
The initial vision that came to my mind when deciding to customize the '50 Chevy Suburban "Sublime" was to have it lay out in the weeds tucking its 22-inch wheels and tires. A static drop would be cool, but to achieve the ultimate "low as it can go" profile, the suspension had to be 'bagged. A Ride Tech air suspension system would be the answer to Sublime's needs. Jason Breed found the front billet aluminum Shockwave convoluted air springs had some clearance issues. The newly designed larger, dual adjustable knob located at the bottom of the shock housing interfered with the lower A-arm mounting cross member, not allowing the Shockwave to mount into the lower A-arm. Single adjustable front Shockwave with internal ride height sensor were substituted to cure the clearance issue. The rear rolling sleeve Shockwaves with internal ride height sensors and AirCans bolted right up. The Shockwave front and rear air springs were linked to the dual compressors, air tank and solenoid air valve manifold completing the system. Because this was a mockup installation of the Ride Tech system we were not able to drive and evaluate its ride and handling performance. Stay tuned.
Photo 19/19   |   This will give you an idea of the Ride Tech Ride PRO E3 system assembled, wired and hooked up.
Time Spent Working: 5 hours
Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate
Tools Needed:
1/4-inch Allen T-handle, 9/16-inch combination wrench, airline cutters, 1/2-inch combination wrench
Ride Tech RidePRO E3 System:
(2) SKW8005DA rear rolling sleeve Shockwaves with internal ride height sensors, AirCans
(2) SKW1004DA front convoluted Shockwaves with internal ride height sensors
(1) TANK5100 aluminum five-gallon air tank
(2) ARC5001 air compressors
(1) ARV4000 four-way Ride PRO air valve assembly
(1) CON8001 Ride PRO E3 ECU
(1) CON8002 Ride PRO E3 display control panel
(1) WIR3400 display control panel wiring harness
(1) WIR8060 air valve wiring harness
(1) WIR8460 air pressure sensor wiring harness
(1) WIR8160 main power/compressor wiring harness
(1) WIR8162 secondary compressor wiring harness (installed in WIR8160)
(1) WIR8360 ride height sensor wiring harness
(2) ARL2000 30 feet of 1/4-inch diam. DOT air line
(6) FIT4201 1/4-inch npt x 1/4-inch tube elbow fitting for air springs
(8) FIT4000 1/4-inch npt x 1/4-inch tube straight fittings for air valve and tank
(1) FIT7004 1/4-inch npt plug for extra tank port
Total: $4,900.00
(Price from Ride Tech does not include installation and also does not include sales tax)


Jasper, IN 47546
Ironworks Speed & Kustom
Bakersfield, CA 93308



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