In the past, the custom truck scene has been all about building the best looking ride for the shows. That was then, this is now. Instead of just "Sittin' Pretty" under a shady tree, custom truck enthusiasts want more out of their haulers. The pro-touring and performance trend is invading the custom truck world. After the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association introduced showgoers to their autocross competition a couple of years ago, we have seen truck builders transforming their rides into lateral g-Machines. Now when you peer under the hood, the engine bling has been replaced with serious horsepower components that make a statement. The truck’s lowered stance isn’t just about curbside appeal, but about function meeting form. Things builders are now paying attention to include: acceleration, braking, and cornering.

When lowering your truck, whether it is a static or airbag drop, it is always critical to obtain the correct front and rear suspension geometry. When removing the factory front suspension pickup points and mounting brackets from the factory framerails, it becomes more crucial to obtain the correct pickup points to create accurate toe, caster, camber and Ackerman. The rear suspension is just as critical as the front. The rear axlehousing, third member, pinion gearshaft, and driveshaft must be in line with the transmission and engine crankshaft. The driveshaft universal joints will correct any slight misalignment between the driveline components to the transmission and crankshaft. Also, it is very important that the rearend is in alignment with the front suspension. A linked rearend should be laterally located with a watts-link or panhard bar eliminating any lateral movement while cornering.

To guarantee a flawless pneumatic suspension transformation that will improve both the driving and handling performance of a '74 Chevy C10, we contacted KP Components (KP). KP has been a leading aftermarket manufacturer of sport truck suspension for more than a decade. KP's popular bolt-on front DropMember independent front suspension (IFS) and unique bolt-on cantilever four-link, with Watt’s link rear suspension systems have been proven winners in the sport truck world. KP Components’ bolt-on front DropMember air suspension and rear cantilever air suspension are the answer to improve your truck’s driving and handling performance.

The crew at Eightball Customs in Placentia, California, performed the installation of the KP front DropMember, with Layarm lower and upper control arms, 3-inch drop spindles, Slam Specialties convoluted airbags, VariShock shock absorbers. The KP cantilever four-link airbagged rear suspension allowed optimum compression suspension travel by installing the KP bolt-on frame step notch kit. Follow along as Eightball Customs' Martin Lange utilizes his wrenchin' skills to install the KP front and rear airbag suspension systems.

Highs:

  • High-quality engineered front and rear suspension systems
  • Airbagged suspension allows for ultimate stance
  • Improved ride quality
  • Improved handling performance
  • Simple installation
Lows:
  • Drilling many holes
  • Removing factory front and rear suspension mounting brackets and suspension pickup points

Your Questions Answered
Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate
Time Spent Working: 16 hours
Tools Needed: Electric drill motor with assorted drill bits; 1/2-inch, 9/16-inch, 5/8-inch, and 7/16-inch. Assorted wrenches, sockets, ratchet, and die grinder with cut off wheel.
Parts Used:
KP front DropMember FCB-C41 $1,199.00
KP Layarm bag lower control arms kit LCA-C4BDM / KP Layarm upper control arms UCA-C51 $1,087.00
KP 3-inch drop spindles DOS-C52-3 $269.00 pr.
VariShock front shock absorber (double adjustable)$460.00 pr.
VariShock rear shock absorber (double adjustable) $496.00 pr.
KP bolt-on frame step notch SNBO-C51 $339.00
KP CBO-C51 / KP bolt-on four-link 4LBO –C51 $1,269.00
Slam Specialties Air Bags (7-inch double-convoluted 200 psi) set of four $300.00
Total: $5,419.00
(Prices from KP Components, VariShock, Slam Specialties, do not include tax, shipping, or installation)

From the Driver Seat
At this point in the build, we were unable to drive the C10 to evaluate the suspension performance. After completion of the build, we will be driving and evaluating the C10’s handling. If the front and rear suspension perform as good as they look, it will be a kick in the butt to drive.

SOURCE
Eightball Rods And Choppers
1055 Ortega Way #D
Placentia
CA  92807
714-630-8188
www.eightballrodsandchoppers.com
KP Components
www.kpcomponents.com
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