Installing Lowrider Hydraulics

by Ezmeralda Lee

Introduction

Lowriders can be any car, truck, bicycle or motorbike that has been adjusted to sit lower to the ground than stock cars. Lowriders originated in East Los Angeles' Latino culture. The trend eventually caught on and is now an international sensation that spans many different cultures.

Hydraulics

Lowriders sit very low to the ground, so driving over speed bumps or on gravel roads presents a problem. To remedy this, a hydraulic lift kit allows the driver to set the height of the low-rider. Hydraulic kits are also responsible for helping lowriders in what is called "hopping." Some systems can lift cars as high as six feet off the ground. When the kits first made an appearance, they had one hydraulic pump that was used in driving all four wheels at once. Nowadays, you can find many vehicles using four pumps. The more power your system has, the more hopping it can do. The kits affect the suspension of the vehicle. The suspension's coil springs, along with the pistons, help absorb the road's imperfections.

Installing the Hydraulics

Purchase a hydraulics kit according to what you want your car to look like and to do. Make sure your vehicle will be legal after the installaion; read up on your state laws about vehicle regulations. Make sure you also know how much power your system will need and how much energy your battery has. Before the kit can be placed into the car's suspension, you have to put in a pair of bump stops. These are designed to make the ride smoother. Purchase a pump after welding the hydraulic bump stops to the coil springs. Make sure you have some basic knowledge about hydraulic kits before you purchase a pump. A good website for basic kits is coolcars.org, where you can learn about the different types of pumps and which one would suit your needs best (see Resources).  Each pump works with different speeds, horsepower, temperatures, oil flow and weights. Make sure your pump is suitable for your kit. If the pump pushes more oil out than the kit can use, it will damage the kit. The main purpose of the pump is to keep the oil flowing through the pistons in the kit. The pump heads are installed to help maintain the right amount of oil pressure being pushed through the cylinders with the pistons. An accumulator is installed to soak or absorb up the shock of the kit. You may want to talk to a mechanic who is familiar with lowriders, as this is not a job for a novice.

About the Author

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