Monthly Archives: October 2015

Classic 1966 Amazon Volvo 122S Lowered on Air Bags – photos, video, and more!

A few people have been asking on the setup of my Volvo 122S Amazon so I thought I’d post it here.  In the end it was the nice guys at AirRide.com.au that were able to put a full kit together in one tidy box.  A word of warning, this isn’t an easy job and I didn’t do it myself – for that I had the awesome team at Heritage Garage in Malaysia do the work.  Ask for Sanjay!

Joey Caisse's Volvo Amazon 122S lowered on air bags

Volvo Amazon 122S lowered on air bags

Here’s a video of it in action.  The keychain remote goes up twice – once for ride height, second to the original Volvo 122S ride height, then all down.  There is still some work to do on the programming – you’ll notice the front starts up first, then the back, and then all movement ends together.  This is because the front is heavier and takes longer to rise.  The solenoids that control air supply are either on or off, there is no tuning the rate each bag goes up.  It’s something I’m working on in the programming of the electronic control (see below).

To start, here’s the kit:

Air Control System:

  • Viair 400C heavy duty compressor
  • Braided stainless steel comp hose with built in check valve
  • Accuair VU4 electric valve pack
  • Dual gauge control panel with rocker switches fully assembled
  • Compressor wiring plus 40A relay & circuit breaker
  • Gauge panel wiring with terminals & fuse
  • Compressor on / off automatic pressure switch
  • 5 Gal Accuair Air tank
  • High flow water & particle trap (Italian Made)
  • DOT approved 3/8″ airline as well as 1/8″ gauge line
  • One way check valve for valve block
  • All brass DOT approved straight and angled swivel push to connect fittings

The Airsprings :

Kit for Volvo 122S Amazon Air Bags

Kit for Volvo 122S Amazon Air Bags

Electronic Control:

All that above gets you up and down – but I’m 6’4″ and it just wasn’t as impressive as stepping out and having the car glide down to a resting position.  Every time you want the car to move you have to sit in the car and fiddle with 4 switches, which means a 4 finger salute and then tweaking up/down to get the pressure just right on each corner.

To solve this I built my own keychain remote:

  • Arduino Uno board
  • 8 Relay board
  • 4 button keychain remote w/receiver board
  • Lots of homework and experimentation!
Arduino control system for Volvo Amazon 122S Air Ride

Arduino control system for Volvo Amazon 122S Air Ride

Without this setup, the only way to go up and down is using the switches – which I’ve mounted here:

Mounting the air pressure gauges and switches

Mounting the air pressure gauges and switches

Mounting the air bags:

The bags were all custom mounted on fabricated mounts.  Again, Vijay at Heritage Garage did a great job here.  We moved the front shocks onto custom mounts right behind the bags. Here’s a few photos.

Volvo 122S Air Bag Front Mounts

Volvo 122S Air Bag Front Mounts

Another shot of the front

Another shot of the front

Rear mounts

Rear mounts

 

Here’s a few other shots of the trunk (not yet finished cleaning up yet!)

Viair compressor and controls in the trunk

Viair compressor and controls in the trunk

On the right side, you can see where I’ve wired in the relay switches right into the wiring harness of the Viair control.  These wires go up to the switches in the front, so I’m basically controlling the switch contacts using the Arduino to fire the relays/switches.  I can post the code I used, just message me if you are interested.  Possibly the subject of an Instructables.com post someday!

Lastly I wanted to make a shout out to Anthony who did the amazing paint work.  If you are in Malaysia looking to get your classic ride a FLAWLESS paint job, be sure to give him a call.  +60123161391.

Anthony the painter!

Anthony the painter!  Look at that SHINE!!!

More photos!

Side shot after I went from black steels to silver

Side shot after I went from black steels to silver

Side shot after I went from black steels to silver

Side shot after I went from black steels to silver

Right after paint - Anthony did an amazing job

Right after paint – Anthony did an amazing job

Volvo 122S Amazong @ The Blue Lagoon, Malaysia

Volvo 122S Amazong @ The Blue Lagoon, Malaysia

And one more special shout out to Joe @ Unicar Auto and team mechanic for the Kelab Volvo Klasik Malaysia (KVKM) for keeping me on the road.  He’s “The Man” in Malaysia for all classic Volvo needs!  Look him up!

Had a question from a reader, “how did you work around the Panhard bar?”  Here’s a few shots from the back.  Hope this helps.  I don’t recall having any issues!

1966 Volvo 122 Panhard Bar

Panhard bar behind the bags.

UPDATE: I had to have the lower control arms reinforced due to the leading front edge where the shock was mounted.

You can see where we relocated the shock mount.

Here we’ve repaired the crack and added reinforcements.

Here’s the reverse side of the reinforcement.

“Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which, in turn, will make you happier.” (Thanks Matti for sharing!)

A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you a happier person

Find happiness with these methods.