C10 Air Suspension - What You Need To Know

The C10 truck is a staple in the car community and is about as American as apple pie. While a fully restored Chevy C10 is a prized possession, those who take it a step further and modify them can make them a head-turning vehicle. One of the most popular suspension modifications for the C10 is air ride suspension. Air suspension allows you to lower a Chevrolet C10 to the ground if build correctly. Today, we are going to look at C10 air suspension and what you need to build your C10 air suspension kit

C10 Air Suspension - AccuAir

What Is A C10 Truck?

The C10 truck is a Chevrolet truck produced between 1960-1987 and features a 2wd drivetrain and a 1/2 ton chassis. The "C" in C10 means that the truck has a 2 wheel drive drivetrain. The "10" in C10 means that the truck is a half-ton. When the C10 production seized, all models of the GMC full-sized trucks were referred to as the GMC Sierra.

The Chevrolet C10 pickup truck had three generations:

  • 1960-1966
  • 1967-1972
  • 1973-1987

C10 Suspension Types

When modifying your C10 truck's suspension, there are a few different routes you can go, depending on the goals you have in mind. You can choose from lowering kits, coil-overs, and air suspension to give your truck a great new look. Each suspension type will have its pros and cons, so let's dive in and look at the benefits of each and why airbags will give you the most versatile solution.

Lowering Kits

The cheapest and easiest way to lower a C10 is with a pre-fabricated lowering kit. A C10 lowering kit is going to be offered in many different sizes with various kit components. Most kits will include a combination of the following: drop spindles, lowered leaf springs and shocks, lowering springs, rear shackles/hangers, and a flip kit.

While lowering kits are great for budgets and can help give your truck a great, lowered look, you will be limited to one ride height. This may be great for those who are wanting a specific look, but for most C10 owners who install lowering kits, there is always the desire to go lower.


A C10 Coilover conversion is one of the more complicated installs, but it can be used to upgrade your classic truck's suspension to handle like a dream. Coilovers are designed with performance in mind and can allow you to dial in the perfect stance on your truck. However, you will have to adjust each coilover manually and ensure each Coilover is in the correct position for the right ride height. 

Coilovers for C10s are good for those who want to race their truck or use it to do some auto-x events. The performance benefits of coilovers are what make the conversion kits so appealing for racers. These kits are not as popular as lowering kits or air suspension, mainly due to the lack of performance-driven C10 owners who are looking to race their trucks.

Air Suspension

Last, but certainly not least is air suspension. C10 air suspension kits are one of the most popular suspension systems for these trucks as they allow you to adjust the height of your C10 at the touch of a button. Not to mention, a C10 that is laying frame is just downright cool. 

Bagging a C10 is going to be an involved process and it is something that is best left to a professional, but the results are worth it. Air suspension allows your C10 to get everything you ever wanted in a suspension system, all in one kit. The ride quality you get from air suspension is unmatched while you get the functionality of adjusting your ride height at the push of a button. Air suspension is perfect for those who want to have the ability to fine-tune their ride height easily.

C10 Air Suspension Parts List

At AccuAir, we make it easy to piece together the perfect air suspension system for your C10. Below is a list of all of the components you will need to bag your C10 truck.

  1. Air Compressor

    At the heart of any air suspension system is the air compressor. We at AccuAir offer Viair compressors to give you the highest-quality air suspension compressors on the market.  
  2. Air Tank

    When choosing an air suspension air tank, you are going to want to take into consideration how much air you want to store and what type of room you have. The most common air tanks are going to be offered in 3 and 5 gallon configurations.
  3. Air Lines

    Air lines are needed in every air suspension kit to carry air from the air tank to the air shocks. These air lines are made from high-quality materials and are DOT approved to give you years of reliability. 
  4. Valve Manifold

    The valve manifold in an air suspension system is responsible for distributing the air in your system by receiving an electronic signal from the management system. Each time you make an adjustment to your air system, a switch opens to let air in or out of each strut, controlling how high or low your vehicle is. Manifolds are available in 2 or 4 corner units, depending if you have a rear only or 4 corner setup.
  5. Air Struts/Shocks

    In order to get your suspension converted to air, you are going to need to ditch those factory springs, struts, and shocks and install air struts. Air struts look similar to popular MacPhearson strut setups, but instead of metal springs, they will feature air springs. These are rubber bladders that inflate and deflate to raise and lower your vehicle. While most of your air suspension system is going to be universal, when choosing an air strut, you will need to find a kit that is specific to your specific C10. The air shocks will mount in the same location, so you will not have to do any custom fabrication.
  6. Air Management System

    An air suspension management system is needed to control your air suspension. The management system allows for quick and easy adjustment of your air struts and can be purchased in a variety of different setups. AccuAir manufactures the highest-quality air suspension management systems that allow for some of the most technologically advanced features such as Bluetooth control and even in-app metrics of your air struts and air tank capacity.
  7. Water Traps/Filters

    Due to the nature of air suspension setups, compressed air can cause moisture buildup in your air tank and air lines. In order to prevent this, it is recommended to install a water trap or water filter. Moisture buildup in air suspension tanks can cause rust from the inside out on lesser quality air tanks. AccuAir's ENDO tanks are made to resist corrosion and protect against rust. Installing a water trap or filter is cheap insurance to ensure your air lines stay free of water and moisture, especially for those who live in areas where temperatures get below freezing.
  8. Ride Height Sensors

    While not necessary for an operating air suspension system, ride height sensors will make your life a lot easier when airing out or airing up, so you may want to add it to your wishlist. Ride height sensors measure exactly where your vehicle is in relation to the ground, giving you real-time metrics on how high or low your vehicle is. This also allows for you to pre-set heights for one-touch air outs and air ups. This eliminates the need to constantly pulse your system to get to your desired height. You can also choose a pressure switch system that relys on pressure settings for adjusting ride height. 

Preparing A C10 For Air Suspension

To install an air ride kit on your C10 truck, you are going to need to ensure that your chassis is ready. Many companies offer a bolt-in kit for the front and rear of the C10 truck which will include parts such as new control arms, a new k-member, crossmember, and a notch kit. Notch kits are essential for laying a frame in a C10 due to the axle housing/rear end needing clearance once the frame is lowered. Frame notches can be bolted in or welded in, depending on your preference. If you are piecing together a kit, you will also need to make sure you have a solid mounting surface for the airbag brackets and shock mounts.

Should I Bag My C10?

Bagging your C10 is a great suspension choice for those who are wanting the versatility of raising and lowering their truck at the push of a button. With air suspension, you can easily raise and lower your C10 to get the perfect stance for your truck. You will also get the benefit of the comfortable ride quality that air suspension brings.

C10 Air Management Kits From AccuAir

AccuAir is your leading source for air suspension management kits for C10 trucks. With a full selection of air suspension tanks, air struts, air suspension management, compressors, and more, you can easily piece together your C10 air suspension kit. Got questions about bagging your C10? Fill out our online contact form to talk to an air suspension expert. 


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