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 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 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.

38 Replies to “Classic 1966 Amazon Volvo 122S Lowered on Air Bags – photos, video, and more!”

  1. Alias Villarreal says:

    Thank you so much for this post!!! im about to buy a Volvo 122 and ive been looking every where for info about an air ride suspension setup! I ask, what size airbags did you use?

  2. Alias Villarreal says:

    Thank you so much!!! I’ve been stuck on how I’m going to do the front bags for a long time! I have a question, how did you work around the Panhard bar?

  3. I posted a few photos above … let me know if that answers the question. I don’t recall there being anything really to work around. In the back we’re just replacing the springs with new mounts and then the bags.

  4. They are Slam Specialties RE6 Airbags. They are a little bit firm… you might check around to see if there are softer options out there. But at the inflation I drive at, which is about 1/2 normal ride height with springs in, it is still very hard. Any lower and it does glide a bit better, but any speed bumps are guaranteed frame scrapers. Not good.

  5. Any chance you’d share the build and code for the arduino air controller?

  6. Sure! I’ll send to your email.

  7. Francisco Frias says:

    Hello. I love this project as it is exactly what I’m working on. I am trying to set up programmed ride heights at the press of a button. So far I’ve been able to get the preset working with height sensors, but I’m having trouble getting it to work at the push of a button. Any chance I can get your codes to play around with?

  8. No problem – I’ll email you shortly. What height sensors are you using? It’s been on my list of things to investigate. … currently when my car is perfectly level the pressure in the bags is different, so I’m a little concerned with how it will react in an emergency and I’m keeping the bag pressures even across the left and right side while I drive.

  9. Davis Belcher says:

    Hey thanks for posting been looking for info for a while. i have a few questions if i could contact you by email?

  10. Sure – I’ll PM you.

  11. Hi Joey

    This is a great project! Could I get a copy of the code you use for the arduino also ?

    What relay board is that ? It looks like it could do a lot.
    I’ve been reading everything I can about air ride and arduino controlling them.


  12. Wessel Renken says:

    Hey man, today I destroyed my transmission support on the road by driving static.
    I really need to get mine on air to avoid speedbumps etc. (welcome to Holland)
    The only information I can’t find about air on a Amazon is how to mount the bags on the original mounts.
    Is there a possibility for you to send me more info/pictures about it?

  13. Oh man! Sorry to hear about the transmission. There is no way that I’m aware of to mount bags without custom mounts fabricated. The front you will need to create a top and bottom plate (and fabricate a new mount for the absorber). In the rear you will need to cut out the entire spring mount on top and fabricate a top plate (mine has a flange that bolts into the side of the frame) and a bottom plate with something like a ring clamp to go around the axle. If you are really keen, I can connect you with a guy here in Malaysia who might be able to fab the mounts – but you’ll need some capability on your end to hack and weld the bits in.

  14. Wessel Renken says:

    Thanks for the info!
    If he could make some drawings or something would be awesome too, i can build anything from metal at my work. I just basicly need to know how the mounts are made for the airbags (the mounts for the absorber won’t be a problem)

  15. Hi Joey

    I am really intrigue with your amazon, really superb. Hands off to you and the people whom work on the amazon. Great work brother.

    If you dont mind, could you guide me in getting the Air Ride install on to mine and you have to let me know how you got the rims onto your amazon. those are some bad-ass looking rims. Were they for 4×4 incorporated to amazon.

    I hope you can help on this plz.

    Thank you


  16. Hey,
    Great project! I’m planning on building airride for my project too. Care to share the Arduino code with me too?
    Big thanks!

  17. Car looks ace! I bagged my combi a couple of years ago. Looking at tyre options for my standard combi wheels. Interested in what size tyres you’re running? Guessing you’ve got standard 4j wheels?

  18. stijn op de beeck says:

    these are slam speciaties re6 baggs in the front and the rear? i’m thinking of ordering the same system as you have but on the photo of the “air ride kit” it seems that there are 2 smaller en 2 bigger bags?
    the car looks nice!! hoping to have the same result 🙂

  19. Both front and rear are the same size. They are all RE6 bags. Best of luck!

  20. I think that’s right – I’d have to look at the spec on the Volvo. These GT rims were originally made for a Jeep 4×4.

  21. No problem, I’ll send by email.

  22. Not sure if I can help you much – my best advice is to find someone who’s done it before in your area and work with them. Thanks for the props! Good luck! … and yes, the rims were originally for a Jeep 4×4.

  23. Nice project, can you maybe send an copy of the code.

    I would like to do also arduino build but i am not Good at coding.

  24. Can you assist on where to get full set air ride control for honda accord sv4 model which I am using for car show purposes only.

  25. No idea on the Honda… Keep googling, I’m sure the answer is out there.

  26. It takes a bit of trial and error, but Arduino is fairly easy to code after you get some practice. I strongly suggest if you are an absolute beginner with no experience with Arduino that you DON’T use an Arduino and wire this up yourself. Your life and other’s lives are at stake here…

  27. How much did the entire setup cost (US) Not including labor, just parts.
    Understand your using 2 RE6 kits.
    Wanting to see if I go static would be cheaper or spend the money on air.
    If you can email me your setup I’d highly appreciate it.

  28. I found the old listing: … So about AUD$2200, which should be around USD$1800 not including the mounts which were custom fabricated. The complete list of parts are still on the link.

  29. Joey
    I built a 51 Chevy truck on bags and have been trying to get a Arduino coded to work but just cant figure out what i’m doing wrong! any chance you will share yours so I can look and see what i do have wrong!! BTW nice ride you have there and the great work you have done!!

  30. hey Dave – just sent the code to you in email. Let me know how it goes.

  31. Wondering if you can shoot me the code for the controller? Also, do you have a setup diagram drawn up for the components by chance?
    This would be going in a 145 wagon. Would just like something nice for the car.


  32. Awesome setup! I’ve got a ’65 122s Wagon with a B20 in the US since about 2006, chopped the top 4″ around 2010, and have always wanted to install air ride on it, I’ve just finished installing air ride on my 2006 Yamaha Morphous scooter, and it makes me see it much more easier than I previously thought! Thanks for the bag size reference!!

    Mind sharing the code with me also?

    Thanks! google>tegboi 122s

  33. Clarence Joseph Sales says:

    Hi Joey! That was a good read. I am planning upgrade my manual system to arduino based system. Is it possible to use pressure sensors or height sensors to make 3 presets? I really have no idea on how to build an arduino system. Any inputs from you will be a big help. Thanks!

  34. I considered using pressure and height sensors for a while to do exactly that. I was thinking of using a potentiometer for the height sensor,… but then figured a pressure sensor would be easier. I experimented around with a few when i was just learning and planned to just make a T off the current pressure gauges but never got around to it. If you haven’t played with an Arduino yet, the best place to start is by learning to control relays like theses:

  35. Steven Banales says:

    Where did you get the vent shades for the front windows? Are they made for a different vehicle and if so what vehicle make and model?

  36. They came with the car when I bought it years ago… I wish I could help.

  37. Is there any way that I could get the code for this? I’ve been messing with arduinos for a few months, and have been trying to implement one for my air ride. I’d really like to base it off of pressure transducers, but I really like your remote keychain idea. Perhaps I’d try that and just make a seperate digital pressure gauge with an OLED or LCD Display.

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