Project 47, Chapter 7: To Bag? Or to Juice?

I’ll be blunt – I wanted this car low. Very low. As much as I enjoy a stock car, I found the stock suspension height “to be boring” as my good friend Jaime Trujillo from Belen, NM stated one time. These fat-fendered cars have attitude and what better way to bring that attitude out but to get them closer to the ground! Initially, when I purchased the Mustang II from TCI, it was equipped with air bags. I read the forums like there was no tomorrow. I enjoyed seeing the various suspension set ups and the creative ways builders were tucking everything tight to prevent a tremendous amount of sheet metal hacking. I was in the process of buying compressors, airlines, and the works until…

I won an online raffle on the Pro-Hopper Hydraulics website.

Hydraulics? On a bomb? Of all the pros and cons I heard about using hydraulics on a vintage car, I decided to go forward with it. I needed to find out for myself. Now, if I were to go with hydraulics, I’d have to change the game plan on the suspension set up. The debate about airbags or hydraulics has been going on for years and it still continues to this day. My personal opinion about the debate? Both have their place – I would go with either and enjoy it! Pictured below is the hydraulic set up I got from Pro Hopper – totally free (except for the $10 for the two raffle tickets) including shipping. I will always be grateful to Pro Hopper and the owner who opened the door to the hydraulic world. It’s been almost 7-years since I obtained the set-up and I still remember it like yesterday when I got the pumps, etc. I made a call to Pro-Hopper to personally thank them and I told them that this was going on a ’47 Chevy and that my friend and I were running an old car website.

Fast forward to 2012. “Juan, would you consider purchasing a set of three Adex dumps made by Andy”? my friend Jaime asked me. I said no, how come? I already have these nice Delta dumps. I was then “schooled” on aircraft hydraulics which I knew a little bit about. I began researching, asking questions, especially the history about them. A few months later, I was given the opportunity to purchase a set of Pesco 777 aircraft pumps along with “ZigZag slow down valves” and oxygen tanks. This was the old school way to raise and lower a vehicle. It’s a ’47 Chevy Fleetline…why not?! Besides, they look and sound so cool.

I set up the front with “coil under” configuration which meant that the coil spring was under the hydraulic cylinder. The coil springs are stock and I simply cut them in half for the front. It’s trial and error until I figure out ride height and ride performance. The front cylinders are 6-inch stroke purchased from Hoppos Hydraulics in Ontario, CA. The rear cylinders were originally 10-inch however, after advice given, I switched to 8-inch cylinders – also from Hoppos. Hoppos offers everything you need for your hydraulic or air bag set up (a future write up for Hoppos is pending). The rear spring configuration is coil over which means that the coil spring completely surrounds the cylinder. Coils are 250-lb rated and were purchased from Summit Racing.

The hydraulic set up is planned as such:

– (2) Pesco 777s
– (3) Republic Zig Zag Slow Down Valves (#8s)
– (4) Parker Accumulators
– (2) O2 Tanks Modified
– (3) Adex Dumps
– Anodized fittings
– Cloth covered wiring
– Plumbing to be hard-lined (Stainless Steel?)
– Shocks? (trial and error)

Below are some images of the aircraft hydraulic set-up. The Pesco pumps were restored by Jason Browning from JB Machine in North Carolina (tech article is featured here on I’d like to thank Carlos Trujillo for offering the aircraft set up as well. I want to make sure that they went to a good home. I’ll do a write up soon on the aircraft set up and how stuff is hooked up. More to come.



Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *