Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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talking medical-grade sensitivity with any of the components here. Pay attention to any voltage requirements, your grounding and wire routing to ensure proper operation, just like you would any other electrical component in a vehicle. Improper Front End Alignment Common sense makes a reappearance: Just how old is this vehicle? 30 years? 50 years? And you are replacing the suspension with a different system! The OE alignment specs are now a nice piece of nostalgia, but not of much other use. Don't use them as though they are gospel. Your suspension supplier should be able to supply you with recommendations for alignment specs. Keep that common sense out. I said recommendations. Use them as a guide, a place to start. But this is now officially the land of hot rodding, and more likely than not you'll be using your considerable personal knowledge on the subject to tweak it as needed. We all know, no two vehicles are ever exactly alike once we start customizing. RideTech says, if your suspension supplier does not have a specific recommendation for front-end alignment, try this: •Caster – 3- to 6-degrees positive •Camber – 1/2- to 1-degree negative •Toe – 1/8-inch toe-in Air Spring Clearance Last, but not least, is clearance for the air springs. Air springs cannot rub on anything, ever. Period. The air spring is weaker than any other component it may come into contact with. It is the air spring that will give way first. During installation, be very aware of this. Move, trim or modify anything as needed if you can't get your finger in between the air spring and any close items. And do this checking at ride height. Things change as we add weight to the suspension. You'd hate to get everything installed and then blow an air spring as you take the first turn out of the parking lot for the initial test drive. Add air suspension to your arsenal of offerings. Use quality components from reputable manufacturers, and employ your considerable common sense when designing and installing a system, and you will complete your installation with far more ease than you expected. Air suspensions offer an unmatched ability to fine-tune a suspension on the go for the ultimate in suspension performance. S. Kellie Colf is President of Colf Creative Resources in Akron, N.Y. She has been in the automotive aftermarket since 2001, serving on several SEMA Councils & Committees since 2005, and has been building and collecting cars since the age of 14. She was awarded Woman of the Year by the SEMA Businesswomen's Network in 2010. She can be reached at February 2014 PHBFEB_52-77.indd 63 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 63 1/6/14 11:49 AM

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