It seems like only yesterday I was updating my '75 Cheyenne with what at the time was basically the only major solution to overcome the '73-87 C-10's suspension shortcomings: Air Ride Technologies' StrongArms and their parallel four-link. Time sure does fly-not only has that truck been finished for quite a while, but Air Ride's already introduced a totally new suspension system for these trucks. Better yet, their AirBar four-link and redesigned StrongArm kits are completely bolt-on. Yep, you heard that right-no welding whatsoever! While I may have taken the early boat (instead of missing it altogether) on this one, at least I can pass along these developments to the rest of the late-model C-10 enthusiasts out there-including '63-72 owners, as the kit applies to these trucks, too.
Starting from the front, which we'll be covering this month, Air Ride's Strong- Arms are, for the most part, basically the same as they were when the first batch was produced. However, as you will notice, there have been a couple of major improvements, features that affect both the ease of installation as well as the performance results-both important to the end-user. Along with an updated sway bar with Heim-joint ends (initially, this wasn't an option), the newly configured control arms are equipped with "inverted" shock mounts-in other words, the mounts point up, not down, which greatly improves ground clearance, not to mention reduces the chances of grinding them down to nubs (like I did, carelessly) or worse, breaking them off. The relocated mounts still offer a full-length shock, so don't worry about the lessened travel those little "shorty" units provide.
Beyond the shock improvements, Air Ride furthered the development of the C-10 front suspension in the sway bar department. Back when air suspension was still relatively new-before any kits were available-sway bars were rarely, if ever, considered for use. Well, anyone who's ever driven a vehicle without one will tell you what kind of ride to expect, and for most people today, that's just not acceptable. With the new MuscleBar and its unique PosiLink swivel-type end links, the only reason to go without is an extreme case of laziness. Unlike the standard-issue links we're all used to (you know, the biscuit style) that easily bind up when the suspension is lowered, or even prevent you from mounting the sway bar to begin with, the swivel ends make it possible to run a functional sway bar. In the end, that goes a long way toward achieving the best handling possible.
With all the advantages of Air Ride's latest incarnation of the C-10 StrongArm kit, let's see how it goes together. Next month we'll visit the bolt-on AirBar system, which I'm anxious to see.
Unlike today, where you can buy a lowered and custom-wheeled pickup truck brand-new off th
The StrongArm air suspension system includes upper and lower tubular control arms, bolt-on
A popular option on the StrongArm system is the MuscleBar sway bar. It is a 1 1/4-inch-dia