View Full Version : Air shocks

05/08/2005, 09:21 AM
I have air shocks on my GT/CS. I can put air into them and 6 hours later the air has leaked out. It has been that way since I got it. I put air in them 4 days ago and it has`nt leaked out. It has done this before. The temperature here in Minnesota has been pretty much the same so I don`t think that would do it, so why do they hold air sometimes and sometimes they don`t? Is there anyway to repair the leak? Can a person put "Fix a Flat" in them? I know it might sound like a dumb idea but I had to ask. Rhonda

05/08/2005, 12:23 PM
My 67 had air shocks, never had a problem like that.

My only recommendation would be to check the pressure when you fill them. When you know they are leaking again, get a spray bottle of soapy water and spray all the fittings and seals from the valve stems along the tubing to the shocks. If you have a small leak it will make bubbles. Spray inside the end of the stem also.
A little freshwater from your hose will quickly clean any left over soap.
Same as you would do to check you gas system in your home. (just wouldn't use the hose to clean it up.. lol)

05/08/2005, 12:25 PM
air shocks are nothing but trouble. Replace with KYB gas shocks and never worry about them again.

05/08/2005, 01:16 PM
True, air shocks are a PITA and they usually ride like a truck but they offer one thing that no one has been able to duplicate. They let you easily adjust the height of the rear of the car to achieve the perfect stance. Not too high, and not too low, just right. Even if you have a couple 250 pound drinking buddies in the back seat you can just add some air the shocks and you're still looking good. 8)

05/08/2005, 01:55 PM
True, air shocks are a PITA and they usually ride like a truck but they offer one thing that no one has been able to duplicate. They let you easily adjust the height of the rear of the car to achieve the perfect stance. Not too high, and not too low, just right. Even if you have a couple 250 pound drinking buddies in the back seat you can just add some air the shocks and you're still looking good. 8)

here is the bad part of your scenario:

With 2 Bubba's in the back and the air lets go on the freeway you will have horrible tire rubbing. This should shread your rear tires and maybe even do some damage to the quarter panel. Been there done that(without the 2 Bubbas)............once.

05/08/2005, 03:26 PM
I wouldn't put fix a flat in but the soap and water trick will work. The offending leak is probably in one of the fittings. I'd make sure they are all tight first. By the way, are you using one air valve or two? If using one with a "T" to both shocks, the air will move from your low side shock to the high side in a corner, accentuating body roll. Put in another valve and the air will stay put and if one is leaking, you've eliminated half the stuff to check.

05/08/2005, 03:57 PM
I had air shocks, too from about 1977-82. What a pain! Speed bumps are killer!

One time my car "fell" down in the back, 'cause the exhaust burned through the neoprene hose!! AAHH!! I think they make air shock replacement hose kits?? THe soap idea is a great one. Try it.

I know why you used them--like me--to get the ride height back up to a fairly normal position. Stock (or KYB, etc.,) shocks won't help.

The bottom line (no pun) is to get some replacement rear leaf springs. It's an all-afternoon job, but well worth it. Worn springs are kinda dangerous, because it makes the car drive funny, like a three-legged dog.

The extended rear shackle idea isn't any better, and I find it looking kinda tacky.

my two bits.

Paul N.

05/09/2005, 10:52 AM
I'm certainly not saying the air shocks are perfect. Shoot we've listed a number of problems with them in the earlier posts. And I will not have them on any of my future cars, but they have their place in the world. For a 17 year old high school kid with a beat up old California Special, very little cash, and a friend with a 18' ski boat, they were the perfect solution. Hoop up the boat, add some air, some ice, and some, refreshments and we were set for the weekend. A yellow and white ski boat hooked up to a Highland Green GT/CS is a pretty picture. But I digress......

And, yet I had problems with them just like everyone else has problems with them. The first day out I lost air (tail pipe) and sliced both brand new tires. An hour rolling the inner edges of the wheel arches took cars of any future air losses, but of course that was like closing the barn door after horse got out because I never lost air again for the next 10 years.

Ouch, the horse analogy brings up a painful memory. My old GT/CS and I had a close encounter of the big brown horse kind once. Dark road, dark brown horse, weak old Mustang headlights. The horse was smack dab in the center of the road. Swerved left but not quite far enough. Broke the windshield, tore off the drivers side mirror and the scoop, and wrinkled the whole left side of the car. The horse just walked away.

Found the horse and the horse's owner the next day. The horse's owner just built a new fence the day before and he couldn't figure out how the horse broke through it so easily. He nailed the horizontal boards to the OUTSIDE of the posts instead of the inside.

05/09/2005, 11:15 AM
I never had any problems with the air shocks on my Mustang. That was back in 77. Mine had separate hoses also.
Using technology of today, my opinion is also go with some nice KYB or similar shocks and use new springs to adjust your ride hieght.
I have been looking at the Edelbrock IAS series shocks.
The jury is still out as to me using the original springs or not. They did not appear to be bad and the car sat level (side to side) and did not sag.

05/09/2005, 08:03 PM
Rhonda, do us all a favor and go into your garage and gather up all the fix-a-flat that you have and take it directly to the trash can.. They really shouldn't sell that stuff and it certainly doesn't belong inside of a tire, let alone air shocks.. Hope I didn't offend anyone, god that was fun...

05/09/2005, 08:16 PM
LMAO, Ok I will. :D Rhonda

05/09/2005, 08:20 PM
I should be ashamed, but I'll bite.. What is LMAO.. Geez, I'm a computer guy, I oughta be up on these acronyms...

05/09/2005, 08:23 PM
Never mind.. I woke up... too funny...

05/09/2005, 08:26 PM

05/09/2005, 10:24 PM
Rhonda, do us all a favor and go into your garage and gather up all the fix-a-flat that you have and take it directly to the trash can.. They really shouldn't sell that stuff and it certainly doesn't belong inside of a tire, let alone air shocks.. Hope I didn't offend anyone, god that was fun...

No offense taken but I have several cans around and I'm keeping them. Both my ATV's have cans in the soft bags (don't want to be stranded in the Rockies) and after taking my riding lawnmower tire in to be repaired 3 times at the local tire store and finding it flat again the next time I went to mow I filled it up with Fix a Flat and it hasn't been flat now for 2 years. The stuff has its place, however air shocks isn't one of them. And tires stores hate it if they have to take apart a Fix a Flat tire...oh well, fix it right the first time and I won't fill it with Fix a Flat. ::)


05/11/2005, 07:52 PM
My mistake, Rhonda, whatever you do, don't throw that out, please send all of your fix a flat to hook... LMAO big time...

05/11/2005, 08:17 PM
I`ll see what I got to send. ;)

PB gtcs
05/12/2005, 10:36 AM
Here are my two cents worth on Air Shocks. The rear shock towers (not the correct term, but where the shocks hook to the rear underside of the body) on our car were badly cracked and broken when we began our restore. To the point we had to rebuild them completely with fabricated material. We spoke to previous owner who said he had air shocks to raise up the rear so he could put wide tires on the car. He hit some really big bumps and broke the area where the shocks connect. He said that today, he would not do that afraid those air shocks would come up through the rear floor.

As you know, that is just under the rear seat. Now, no one here said they were going to really jack the car up, but we would be very concerned putting air shocks on a car with age that may have some rust or cracks where the shocks attach to the car. My advice is to be careful and not put too much air in the shocks that would not allow them to have some travel. Otherwise, dont put anyone you really care about in the back seat. They may be wearing an air shock in an area where the sun dont shine if an unsuspecting speed bump were to present itself.

Sorry for the long post.


05/12/2005, 01:29 PM
Wow, thanks for the information Brian. Sounds like it could make for a serious problem. The air finally went out of my shocks last night after 6 days and driving it in the rain yesterday. If I don`t keep air in them it sounds like it is bottoming out. They are a pain. I`m gonna have them yanked out of there first chance I get. I`m getting tired of people thinking I`m crazy when I pull up to the gas station air hose and crawl under the back end to put air in them. Its right under the back bumper by the tail pipe. I guess being a female they think I don`t know where to put air in the tires. I had some guy try to tell me I was putting air in the wrong place for the tires, Geez. Rhonda

05/12/2005, 03:16 PM
I had some guy try to tell me I was putting air in the wrong place for the tires,

05/12/2005, 08:35 PM
My 2 Cents,
I just installed air shocks on the rear as well. It turns out that you can adjust them by pumping air. Yeah they make the car look good but they totally suck! I installed them, added air and took the car for a ride and found out that they bounce way too much. I've since ordered a new pair of Edelbrock hipro shocks and I am waiting to install them. My reccomendation si to either buy edelbrocks or KYB. If you have any questions just ask me, I have so much more to say about this. Just trying to keep it short.


05/12/2005, 09:20 PM
Ok , thanks for the info Cesar. I`ll keep you in mind if I have any more questions. It`ll still be a month or so before I can replace them. Rhonda

05/13/2005, 05:38 AM
Rhonda, add my vote to those who suggest checking the valve for the leak. The reason being that we just resolved an air conditioning problem at my house (after a year of trying) by replacing the valve stem. The system held a charge and refused to leak when the testing equipment was on it so everyone kept telling me everything was fine. Finally a tech purposly overloaded the system with Freon, took off the equipment and heard the valve leaking. Seems there is a little tiny O'ring in there that can twist and leak. It's almost always he simplest thing that fails.

If you haven't replaced the valve yet try that first. You may want to also consider adding hose clamps to all your lines if they don't already have them. If those 2 things don't fix the problem, and you don't have any hose damage, you probably have a bad shock.

Are your rear springs ok or do they sag without the support from the air shocks?

05/13/2005, 05:56 AM
OK, let me get this streight - Air Shocks suck and seems everybody is trashing them. I've had Gabriel High Jackers on both my cars and have had no problems. I run seperate lines to each shock so I can level the car out and I haven't lost any air yet. I check pressures weekly just to be safe. As for running the line, the biggest problem I've found that most people do is run the plastic line right next to the exhaust exposed on the frame rail and use the little plastic holddown clips and expect it to work - NOT. I've also seen folks put the valves right next to the exhaust - bad idea. You've got to protect the lines and the valves from heat. I ran my lines through my rear frame rail (it takes a little fishing to get the line through but, the lines are protected from outside elements (rocks, heat and anything else that can be thrown up and cut the line). As for my valves, I brought the line up inside the trunk and put the valves in the rear section of the trunk latch (one line on each side) and that keeps folks from playing with the valves.
That's just my 2 cents.


05/13/2005, 06:10 AM
Yeah Arlie, if theres no air in the shocks then she sags pretty bad. I am gonna see about getting the valve stem checked or replaced first. It has only one and the shocks both lose air at the same time. (Stupid question coming up) What would the hose clamps do?
I wonder, they just opened a Super Walmart store in Marshall, Mn. a few weeks ago. It has a tire center. Maybe they could check it for me. Rhonda

05/13/2005, 06:36 AM
The hose clamps are just to make sure the hoses are securely attached to the fittings. After all these years I don't remember how air shock fittings work but I think they were a little iffy. Maybe they are better now.

Don, it looks like you and I are the only supporters of air shocks. New springs and good shocks are the best solution for most situations but if that option isn't feasible air shocks are a great alternative. Plus you get that cool Hi-Jacker decal for the window! Isn't it a rabbit on steroids or something similar?

Doesn't any company make a T-valve with backflow resistors? All it would take is a little rubber diaphram inside each side of the "T".

05/13/2005, 07:31 AM
You can count me on the list of air shock users. My car has had air shocks on it since the early 80's. No problems what so ever short of long cold winters it will lose air but were talking subzero weather and the car patiently waiting for spring under a car cover in the garage. Fill the shocks in the spring and I never have to worry all summer.


05/22/2005, 04:28 AM
OK, I'm probably going to get laughed off the site now, but let me throw one in here.

I have a set of Spring shocks in the back of mine. When I first saw them on there I thought, humph? I took them off expecting to see the back end droop, but no. So, why would anyone install spring shocks if the rear springs were still in good shape? I figure some previous owner must have been trying to fit a set of H60-15's or something back in the day. I put the shocks back on fully expecting to replace them with a set of KYB's or something cool like that. Funny thing, I really kinda like them. They give me the perfect ride height, weight transfer to the back end is great. I can put a Bubba or Bubbette or two (Bubbette being the proper term for one of Hooks girlfriends :D oh no he didn't!! I'm sure to pay for that one later) in the back if need be. I don't know... I never see them around and they just aren't popular, I guess. When they wear out I will get something sexy, but in the meantime, spring me!

One other thing, I don't think they put as much pressure on the body where it mounts. Not as stiff.

05/22/2005, 07:27 AM
Speaking of air shocks and additional springs. I recently came across this one. A dealer installed auxiliary air spring assembley reportedly installed on 65-70 Mustangs. Anybody ever seen one of these?

Also back to an old item, I would think that as long as you didn't overdo your pressure and try to get the ass end of your car above 15" wide tires or something, you wouldn't overstress the rear upper mounting points.

05/23/2005, 09:55 AM
I wonder if that was a towing package?

05/23/2005, 11:49 AM
I wonder if that was a towing package?

Bingo! While in high school, the parents of a young lady I knew traveled to MI in the summer of 68 and bought a brand new Mustang and that was one of the items they had installed so they could pull a small travel trailer back with them to California. They also had the old style trailer hitch setup that bolted right to your bumper. At the time I never realized exactly what all that stuff was for.

Don 8)