Following up last month's introduction to the '47-54 Chevy LevelPro system from Air Ride Technologies, which also included their tubular control arm conversion, this installment will cover the installation of the rear ShockWaves and ride-height sensors. Similar to the front, I had previously modified the rear suspension, incorporating a four-link setup that utilized standard convoluted airbags. This put me ahead of the game in some aspects, but dictated that I'd have to fabricate new lower mounts for the ShockWaves.
If you're starting from scratch-or even with a typical parallel leaf suspension-Air Ride can supply all the necessary brackets to facilitate the installation of their new LevelPro system. Either way, welding and minor fab-work will be involved, so if you happen to be a little wet behind the ears, you might want to enlist some experienced help, if at the very least to ensure decent welds and avoid any possible structural failure down the road. Along with lower mounts off the rearend housing, you'll need to incorporate an upper mount of some sort, which is usually easily accomplished with a single crossmember parallel to and just behind the rearend. This also strengthens the frame's rear portion, which loses a bit of rigidity once the rear leaf spring's mounts are removed.
When setting up ShockWaves, treat them just as you would any ordinary shock installation. Mount them within their range of travel (they should not over-extend), which is accomplished by first establishing your truck's desired ride height. Since the springs are built into the ShockWaves, you'll need to cycle the rearend up and down manually with a floorjack while the frame is supported by jackstands (or with the frame over the rearend, whichever's easiest). Don't locate them too close to exhaust tubing, and just as importantly, make absolutely sure the integral airbag does not come in contact with anything when inflated. Also, when determining mount locations, angling each shock inward (toward each other) is preferable; avoid angles that could pose any possible binding.
Obviously, Air Ride's LevelPro relies on an electronic control system for operation-we'll get to that as well as all the incidentals next month, as it's not your typical setup and requires a bit more information than a few simple photos could provide. Stay tuned.
Air Ride Technologies' ShockWaves are nothing new to the classic truck market-but their Le
ShockWaves are available in various configurations, from dual-adjustable convoluted 'bag t