Back in the March issue, I ran through what it took to install the front half of RideTech’s StrongArm setup on my ’55 Chevy. Here it is June and I promised y’all that I’d follow up in April with the second part. So, here it is, albeit a few months late.

Naturally, once the front suspension was upgraded and lying low, I wanted to do the same to the back end of the ’55. I got the guys at RideTech on the horn and they recommended their AirBar kit, which consists of a pair of IS ShockWaves and a four-bar setup with a diagonal bar. The kit bolts directly to the chassis with the only welding being necessary on the rearend. For that end, I called up Currie Enterprise to see what they’d recommend for the project. Being that we’re dealing with a full-size car, Currie recommended a 9-inch Ford rear utilizing their Hot Rod housing, 31-spline axles, and a Truetrac third member. Since it’ll be going behind a Hurst Driveline Conversions’ Tremec five-speed trans, a 3.50:1 gear ratio was chosen to yield a nice highway cruising speed.

In addition to the AirBar kit, this month we’ll be installing the brains behind the RideTech setup, their AirPod system. The AirPod is a self-contained unit that features all the components that were previously mounted separately, making installation much quicker and easier, in addition to being pre-wired for their RidePro system. Pre-assembled and tested at the RideTech factory, each AirPod is designed as a simple plug-and-play unit. Coupled with the Internal Ride Height Sensor (IS) ShockWaves and the RidePro E2 electronic control unit (ECU) and controller, the entire system can be programmed with three height setting presets that will remain consistent regardless of load. So whether you’re rolling solo or if you’ve got your three fat cousins riding along, the ECU will adjust the air pressure in each shock to maintain the same ride height, making manual adjustments a thing of the past.

One thing we haven’t discussed much of however is how the performance side of things is affected by the RideTech system. Anyone who has any knowledge of performance suspension design can easily deduce from the oversized, tubular control arms and sway bay that we installed last month and the four-bar rear setup this month that the RideTech setup must have some advantages over the stock, spindly components. And indeed it does! Tubular control arms, sway bars, and four-link rear setups have been a staple in road racing and muscle car circles, but are something that is a fairly recent addition to the hot rodder’s vocabulary. Couple those components with the ability to fine-tune the valving of each ShockWave and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid recipe to turn that wallowing wreck into a canyon carver and one that looks good sitting still to boot!

SOURCE
Rocket Racing Wheels
P.O. Box 5347
Chattanooga
TN  37406
888-307-7525
http://www.rocketracingwheels.co
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Currie Enterprises
382 North Smith
Corona
CA  92880
714-528-6957
http://www.currieenterprises.com
Coker Tire
13187 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga
TN  37402
800-251-6336
http://www.cokertire.com
RideTech
350 S. St. Charles Street
Jasper
IN  47546
812-481-4787
http://www.ridetech.com
Inland Empire Driveline
4035 East Guasti Rd
Suite 301
Ontario
CA  91761
909-390-3030
http://www.iedls.com
Hurst Driveline Conversions
1340 Specialty Drive
Suite A
Vista
CA  92081
750-598-2244
www.hurst-drivelines.com
Summit Racing
Akron
OH
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
http://www.summitracing.com/