Note: You can learn about hydraulics kit for cars from this article.
Certainly, lowrider cars were born by necessity. In the past, Latino communities in the United States didn’t have enough money to buy new cars. Therefore, they had to opt for old cars as a means of transportation.
During the 60’s, many Mexican Americans used to modify their cars so the chassis was closer to the ground. Doing this helped them reach higher speeds without the car becoming unstable.
However, this new trend among Latino drivers also increased the incidence of traffic accidents in the United States. Therefore, people with modified cars began to be fined during those years.
But, Mexican Americans refused to give up their passion for modifying cars and added hydraulic pumps and pistons to the suspension system to automatically adjust the car’s height.
That way, if the police stopped them on the road, they could immediately adjust the car’s height to the level allowed by law. And that’s the short story of lowrider cars.
However, in this article, you’ll learn more than history. You’ll know in detail how these engineering wonders work and how some of these cars are capable of bouncing like a basketball without being damaged.
What is Car Hydraulics Kit?
A hydraulics kit for cars is a set of parts necessary to convert a normal car into a lowrider. In the early 60’s, when lowriders fever started, people had to create their own hydraulics kit for cars with aircraft cylinders, valves and pumps.
At that time, many people had no money to take their cars to the mechanic’s workshops and made such modifications. So, most of the owners of low riders were also their own mechanics.
The size and capacity of the aircraft pieces were too much for a car. Therefore, it was necessary to install extra batteries in the car to operate the system.
However, despite using several batteries at the same time, lowriders’ hydraulic system tended to consume stored energy too quickly. So, it was necessary to recharge the batteries frequently to keep the car running.
Seeing that lowriders were increasingly famous, many auto parts manufacturers began distributing their own hydraulics kits. People used to call them “trays” at that time.
Most of lowriders use oil as hydraulic fluid. A pump supplies oil to several hydraulic cylinders to drive their pistons. The pistons are attached to metal arms joined to the vehicle chassis. So, the higher the piston speed, the car jumps higher.
Currently, lowriders are exhibited at car shows in different parts of the world. In the United States, there are competitions where the car with the best hydraulic system wins.
Hydraulics Kit for Car List
Depending on the performance and the manufacturer, the contents of each hydraulics kit may vary. However, most of them retain some common elements. These are:
- High-pressure hoses.
- Check valve.
- Stainless steel fittings.
- Hydraulic cylinders.
- Switch box.
Below you’ll know in detail what each piece included in the kit is used for.
Hydraulics Kit for Cars
A pump is a device that serves to drive a certain hydraulic fluid. In the case of lowriders, pumps propel oil into the cylinders.
Lowriders use positive displacement pumps powered by electric power. In this case, the current passing through a coil moves a rotor attached to an impeller. Then, the impeller drives the fluid as it spins.
High-Pressure hoses are flexible conduits through which the fluid passes. Usually, these hoses combine interleaved layers of vinyl and wire mesh. Vinyl is heat resistant, while wire mesh is resistant to shear and flexion.
Usually, high-pressure hoses have threaded heads at both ends. That way, they fit better with other system elements, preventing oil leakages.
A check valve is a hydraulic accessory that prevents the return of hydraulic fluid. To achieve this, it uses an internal gate that only opens in one direction. So, if the pump stops working, the fluid remains static in the same position.
In the case of lowriders, check valves prevent the oil from returning to the pump.
Stainless Steel Fittings
Depending on the types, fittings have different purposes. They can change the direction of flow, divide the flow in several directions and vary the cross-section. More common are elbows, tees, wyes and reductions.
Hydraulic cylinders are devices that convert pressure into motion. To operate, they need to be connected to a pump that supplies high-pressure hydraulic fluid. The fluid pushes a piston attached to an arm that drives a mechanical part.
Hydraulic cylinders attached to the chassis make the car jump. Depending on the configuration of the cylinders, the car can move in different ways.
Solenoids are valves that control fluid flow. They’re activated with electric current. Therefore, they’re more practical than conventional valves because you don’t need to open or close them manually. In lowriders, solenoids are very important because they allow you to control the hydraulic system using a switch box.
A switch box is literally a box with several built-in switches. Each switch can control a certain piston or several at the same time to make the car move in different ways. They can use cables or remote control to activate the hydraulic system.
Certainly, if you want to transform your car into a low rider, you need a hydraulics kit. The parts inside a hydraulics kit may vary depending on the functions they add to the car. For example, some serve to lift the car. Others can make them jump in one or two directions.
So, it’s up to you to choose the best hydraulics kit according to your requirements. If you don’t have experience as a mechanic, it’s better to let a professional do the work for you.