There are a number of ways a person may modify their vehicle, and cars with hydraulic features have been a coveted type of car for decades. One question that often arises is how much it costs to put hydraulics in a car. Today, we will cover that and more.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this question, as it will ultimately come down to what you want to get out of it. If we look at only the basics of hydraulic systems, you are looking at around $400 to $600. If you intend to go further with your vehicle’s hydraulics, you could wind up spending $1000 or even more.
Your vehicle will require 2-4 pumps, and that will run you $500 per pump. You will also require multiple car batteries. How much these costs will depend on whether you are looking for a standard car battery or a premium one.
A standard one will run you anywhere between $50 and $120, and a premium one runs between $90 and $200. Beyond the cost of the parts, unless you are a trained mechanic who has done this before, hiring a mechanic to do this job is a must. Be prepared to pay somewhere in the area of $80 and $100.
Do not try to cut costs by finding an offer that is too good to be true, as it likely is. You must also consider the cost of repair and upkeep, though this should come as no surprise to car owners.
How do hydraulic systems work?
Cars use a suspension system, which is used to support the car’s weight, as well as absorb shock from bumps in the road. It also aids in steering the car, with hydraulic actuators connected to each of the car’s wheels.
These actuators are tied to a compressor that pumps hydraulic fluid into the actuators. The force of this action causes the actuator to expand and, in turn, cause the wheels to rise.
These actuators use car batteries to function; the more car batteries used, the swifter the liquid is pumped. This then causes the car to rise higher than it would with fewer.
The hydraulic system is controlled by a control panel. This panel has switches that control each individual actuator.
These different controls allow you to be selective in which wheels are raised or lowered; you can raise or lower all four, just the front, just the back, just the side, and more.
It is not uncommon for someone to have a remote control for their Lowrider, especially if the vehicle is able to rise high enough that it becomes an unsafe vehicle as a result.
What goes into the design of a hydraulic system?
Your vehicle has a shock and spring system, which is meant to absorb impact. As part of installing the hydraulic system, this is removed and replaced with rams. The rams become filled with hydraulic fluid, which causes the car to rise.
Once they are emptied, the car then lowers. Despite springs not being necessary as part of the hydraulic system, they should also be incorporated, as they are invaluable for shock absorption.
What do hydraulic systems do for your vehicle?
A hydraulic system does not do anything to help your vehicle. These systems are meant for aesthetic value, as well as the political statement they make in some cases.
Lowriders often have a classic look to them, which is a large part of these vehicles’ appeal.
Can hydraulic systems create an unsafe vehicle?
When using a vehicle with a hydraulic system, it is important to understand that it is less about driving and more about the show—as such, getting appropriate ride skills are vital when it comes to the decision to add hydraulics to a car, making it safer for you and your vehicle.
Vehicles equipped with this system are harder to control than normal. As such, you should drive them fairly slow. Anything more than nine miles per hour could see you lose control of your vehicle.
No matter how fast your vehicle can go, much faster than that could prove dangerous to you, your car, and other people around you.
You must also be considerate of the strain this system puts on your vehicle. Vehicles are not indestructible, and the more you raise the wheels, the more strain may be put on them.
This is an inevitability of modifying your vehicle in such a way, so you should be prepared to deal with repair costs that come your way.
Should I consider a hydraulic suspension system?
While hydraulic systems have a tendency to cause wear and tear to your vehicle over time, hydraulic suspension systems are easily acquired but not so easily installed. As a result, you should hire a professional who can install it for you.
Not only is it safer, but it makes it far less likely that your vehicle will experience problems from the installation.
This type of suspension allows you to do a lot of rather showy things with your vehicle, even allowing your Lowrider to bounce and dance. However, suspension systems are not only for this kind of behavior.
The suspension system maximizes your vehicle’s performance, ensuring that any bumps in the road are better absorbed as a result.
What is the difference between a hydraulic suspension and air suspension?
Hydraulic suspensions are not the only type of suspension you can use, and it is not necessarily the best suspension system to use. Air suspension, for example, have their own advantages, as well as those who swear by them.
One of the key advantages of hydraulic suspension is that it provides a firmer ride. They also tend to be more reliable and responsive but are also more prone to leaks and bumpiness.
This means that you would have to pay more for repairs in the long term.
Meanwhile, air suspension systems use air springs to raise and lower your suspension, inflating and deflating them as needed. Air suspension allows for a smoother ride than hydraulic suspension, and if affordability is a concern, this is a better option.
They are both cheaper in the short run and in the long run as well, thanks to lower repair costs.
Why are hydraulic systems popular?
Hydraulic systems were actually popularized as a necessity for Mexican-American people in the Southern Californian area. They originally were nearly only ever found at car shows due to how expensive they were to install.
Vehicles in the community were often modified to ride low to the ground, which caught negative attention from the police. As these Lowriders became more popular, a backlash followed from the Californian government.
This manifested as an act that saw it illegal to operate any car which has any part that goes lower than the lowest part of the tires’ rims.
In order to avoid this, a man named Ron Aguirre devised a system that used hydraulic pumps to change the ride height using a switch system. This allowed drivers to raise their wheels to an appropriate level in order to avoid police scrutiny while still driving at a favorable ride height.
As a result, the Lowrider became even more of a coveted type of car, spreading to multiple communities across the United States and later to other countries such as Japan.
What cars work well as Lowriders?
There are multiple kinds of vehicles that have been popular choices for Lowriders at various points. Chevrolet vehicles are especially popular among fans of Lowriders, with one of the most popular models being the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
The 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS Coupe is another popular Lowrider model, with one of the key advantages being its naturally lowered stance. Other popular car models for Lowriders include Buick, Lincoln, Cadillac, and Pontiac.