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Tech:  Hydraulics | Wire Wheels | Car Audio

Red's kit
Click the image for a basic installation diagram

Go to top of sectionSuspension

Suspension/Cylinder InstallationCylinder installation will vary from vehicle to vehicle. The following diagrams from
How To Build A Lowrider and Lowrider Magazine are only some of the methods that can be used for installation of cylinders in a few common vehicle suspensions.

Solid axle suspensions
A-arm suspensions
Torsion bar suspensions
Leaf spring suspensions
Strut suspensions
Chain Bridge/Coil-Over

Go to top of sectionBatteries

Trojan batterySeries 31 (or Group 31) batteries are the most commonly used on lowrider hydraulic systems. These batteries weigh from 60 to 70 pounds each. Generally, commercial starter's are preferrred over deep cycle's because of their higher CCA's. A deep cycle battery will last longer because it has more reserve capacity and take more charges but it won't let your setup perform as quickly as it could with starter batteries. Below are numerous diagrams for battery setups on hydraulic systems. With multiple batteries wired up in various configurations, you can come up with hundreds of ways to hook up the electrical system for your pumps. These are some of the most common methods.

2 pumps, 4 batteries, 2 banks (24 volts)
2 pumps, 4 batteries, 1 bank (48 volts)
2 pumps, 6 batteries, 2 banks (36 volts)
2 pumps, 6 batteries, 1 bank (72 volts)
2 pumps, 8 batteries, 2 banks (48 volts)
2 pumps, 10 batteries, 2 banks (60 volts)

3 pumps, 4 batteries, 1 bank (48 volts)
3 pumps, 6 batteries, 3 banks (24 volts)
3 pumps, 8 batteries, 2 banks (48 volts)
3 pumps, 10 batteries, 2 banks (60 volts)

4 pumps, 6 batteries, 2 banks (36 volts)
4 pumps, 6 batteries, 1 bank (72 volts)
4 pumps, 8 batteries, 2 banks (48 volts)
4 pumps, 10 batteries, 2 banks (60 volts)
4 pumps, 12 batteries, 2 banks (72 volts)
4 pumps, 16 batteries, 4 banks (48 volts)

Go to top of sectionSwitches

SwitchesTake a look at the following diagrams to see how the switches for the hydraulics can be wired.

8 switches for 2 pumps with 4 dumps
8 switches for 3 pumps with 4 dumps
8 switches for 4 pumps with 4 dumps
10 switches for 2 pumps with 4 dumps
10 switches for 4 pumps with 4 dumps

Go to top of sectionPlumbing

PlumbingThis section outlines some basic information relating to the plumbing hookup of a hydraulic system.

Oil flow with 2 dumps
Oil flow with accumulators

Go to top of sectionAccumulators

AccumulatorAccumulators are often used on strut cars. They help control vibrations by allowing a small amount of hydraulic fluid to be stored in their chamber when under pressure and then quickly evacuate it again with the force of a nitrogen charge. Take a look at the illustration to see exactly how they work.

Click here for common problems and questions
Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions
Ask questions in the hydraulics forum

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Wire Wheels

Go to top of sectionWire Wheel Installation

Chrome AdapterRefer to Dayton's knock-off wheel installation guide for step-by-step instructions on installing wire wheels. Remember to use a lubricant on the adapter and cap threads. It's recommend you use a high quality lubricant grease with the ability to hold up under extreme temperatures.

Lead Hammers: Before and AfterIt's important to only use a soft lead hammer to insure wheels are tightened properly. Using a rubber mallet will take the gold plating right off any adapter, won't get the knock-offs as tight as a lead hammer and can be dangerous because of kick-back! The picture is of lead hammers, before and after being used to knock some wheels on and off a few times. Knock-off CapsRegardless of the care taken, your spinners will probably take some abuse over time.

Go to top of sectionWheel Offset

Wheel OffsetWhen choosing wheels, one aspect that is often overlooked is the offset because people are too concerned with the diameter size (13's or dubs!?). It is very important to select the correct offset for your car. Most wire wheel companies have three different offsets to choose from -- positive, standard and reverse. Reverse wheels will give the true OG deep dish look. Positive offset wheels should be used on front wheel drive cars and standard offset need to be used on cars where reverse wheels won't tuck under the fenders.

Go to top of sectionTires

TiresIn the past, 520-13 size bias ply tires were used on lowriders. These are often referred to as 520's or 5.20's. Bias-ply tires, however, have a poor life span and safety issues at higher speeds. Now, regular radial tires are used most often. To keep that traditional skinny tread look, P155/80R13 tires are normally used on 13" wheels and P175/70R14 size tires are usually put on 14" wheels.

Go to top of sectionNegative Camber

Negative CamberWhen you lower a car an extreme amount, the wheels will tilt inward. This is described as "negative camber". For some vehicles, you can find camber correction kits. However, these kits are usually only available for imports and you'll be hard pressed to find an aftermarket bolt on kit for a typical Chevy. You'll need to get creative to fix the camber or just live with it and be prepared to replace tires a little more often. When hydraulics are installed on a car sometimes the front upper a-arms are extended to reduce this butterfly effect.

Ask questions in the wheels forum

Head Unit basics, amps, subs, and speakers.

Nakamichi Head UnitWhen choosing a head unit some things to look for is the power output and the number of pre-amp outputs. If you'll be amping all of your speakers, you'll probably want 3 sets of pre-amp outputs so you can control the speaker fade front to back and even hook up your subwoofers to be controlled separately. If all of your speakers will not be hooked up to an amp, try and pick a head unit with at least 25 watts per channel.

McIntosh Amplifier
To get your system loud the amplifier needs lots of power. Quality and stability is also very important because when the music gets loud, clean sound at high levels is very important.

Audiobahn Subwoofer
With the right combination of amplifier and subwoofer you'll be getting hard hitting bass. It's important to get the right subwoofers for your car. If you're limited in space, you'll need to pick subs that work with small enclosures. Of course, the bottom line is to pick subs that vibrate something good. The ladies love it.

Polk Full Range Speakers
Just slammin' the bass so that your car can be heard a half mile away isn't enough. You'll want some high quality mid and high range speakers to hear the music above the thump.

Visit the car audio forum on LayItLow

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