We’ve all had those moments in life that pop up unexpectedly and alter the direction that you were once traveling in; a metaphorical cow that has wandered into the street of life forcing you to take evasive action and derailed any normalcy that you might have become accustomed to. This cow will often manifest itself in the form of a phone call or email that may seem meaningless on the surface, but quite often this “thing” (or whatever it is) will set off a chain of events whose end result is a new path or a shifting of life’s gears. I’ve recently had such a cow show up in the form of an email and it set in motion something that I’ve needed to do for a while now, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to find the time or motivation to do so. This recent deviation from the norm has apparently decided that I should write a book.
That’s right; I’m finally going to write a book, but not just any book. It’s going to be one that focuses on suspension design and the unusual needs of an air adjustable suspension on a street-driven vehicle. The book will cover the very fundamentals of suspension at its simplest state; from the spring’s job of holding your vehicle off of the ground and why even the cheapest shock is important on up to theoretical points and how to use them in your future designs. I will cover how to pick the right ’bag for a specific application and explain the basic relationship between volume and pressure. Shock choices and placement will also be covered pretty extensively. I think a lot of people are expecting a giant how-to book from me, but I want to make this very clear, this book will not show you how to ’bag your truck. Instead it will be written with the idea of “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” The reason for this is two-fold: 1. If I simply tell you how to do it then you won’t learn anything beyond the specific numbers I give you, and you won’t really be able to carry the knowledge to the next vehicle. 2. There is no way that I can cover every vehicle in one book, nor do I care to do so. If I write the book in such a way that explains to you how to design your own suspension (even if it’s just a simple one) then you can apply that information toward almost any vehicle, and that opens up a lot of doors.
On the flip side, I’ve had quite a few suggestions of what subjects to cover and a few specifics keep popping up that absolutely will not be covered. Here is a list of those just in case you were wondering (or hoping): What the book will not cover is off-road suspension, as this is a subject that has far too many theories and possibilities and should be a book of its own (one that I am not qualified to write). It will not cover bodydrops as they have nothing to do with suspension and do not require a book to explain the theories and dynamic relationships of cutting the floor of your vehicle. Also I will not describe how to fix your two-link, reverse four-link, or any other improper design; the book will only focus on the right ways to design a suspension setup and why they work. And lastly (for now anyways), I will not tell you what material to fabricate with. This is a very intricate subject that is altered by the abilities of the individual fabricator. The better you get, the more you will realize that bigger isn’t always better.
For now, the book is very much in the preliminary stages. I have the introduction and a handful of chapters written, Brian Stupski of Problem Child Kustoms Studio is designing the cover, Johnny O has been helping me with layout and photography, and my very good friend Brianne Miller has the job of editing while still allowing my voice to come through in the read, which also means that it will be written just as I write here every month. In the future I am hoping to have the support of Bilstein and AccuAir as I feel that their input would be quite beneficial to the project. If anyone is interested in following the project, you can read my blog at AirSuspensionBook.com and be sure to ‘Like’ it on Facebook.
Oh, and I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive from the beginning, it really helps with a project of this size.