For several years, there have been two options to adjust the ride height of your vehicle on the fly – hydraulics and airbags. Both have their strong and weak points, their supporters and detractors. With a little help from a friend, the geniuses at Mittler Bros Machine and Tool have combined the best of hydraulic ride height control with the ride comfort and feel of coilovers. They call this Hydroshox.
Hydraulics give you the instant control over lifting and lowering that airbags can’t give due to air compressor lag. However, they give a pretty harsh ride without the improved control hot rodders and racers get from performance suspensions. They also require a large amount of space for the compressor, valves and actuators.
Unless airbags are at their fullest, they give a spongy “smooshy” ride compared to a good set of shocks/coilovers. Airbag setups also take the hit of requiring large amounts of space for the compressor and other controls required; plus, lifting the suspension has lag because even with a holding tank the system requires the impetus of the compressor.
Mike Mittler posted recently that a friend of the company came to them with an idea for a suspension system that combines the ride comfort and control of coilovers with the ride height control of a hydraulic suspension. The Mittler Bros Design and Engineering Department got to work converting the idea into a workable product they could send to the machine shop and production floor.
The end result is what they call Hydroshox. There’s a coilover with three inches of shock travel to give you ride comfort and control. There’s also a 2 7/8 inch nickel plated CNC machined hydraulic chamber that gives four to five inches (depending on model purchased) of ride height adjustment (see photo above) with the speed and precision of hydraulics. Although Hydroshox does take the space requirement hit for the pump and reservoir, these are smaller and lighter than most in the price range. Additionally, the efficiency built into the pump design means a huge space doesn’t have to be set aside for batteries.