If you are looking to lower your vehicle, you may be wondering about the cost of installing a hydraulic system in a car. This is not an easy modification to make, so it is important that you consider the option carefully. In some states, modifications may not even be legal.
In this article, we cover the cost of hydraulics in a vehicle. We also show you all the parts that will be used and evaluate if they can damage the car.
The cost of putting hydraulics in a car
A basic hydraulic system for your car can cost you around $600. However, if you’re looking for something high-tech, you could easily spend $1,000 or more. Additionally, you need to think about the cost of installation, which could be $75 to $150 more per hour.
Turning your car into a lowrider means you can lower it or raise it quickly. With some hydraulic systems, you can also jump, skip, and bounce the car. If you’ve ever seen cars dancing at shows, this is a good image of what lowriders can do.
To achieve this look and function, you must install a number of parts. The more components you need, the more money you will spend. For this reason, some people choose to install a basic kit to get started. Although the cost is much lower with these kits, the functionality will not be the same. You really do get what you pay for in this situation. It might be better to save your money and get the kit and professional installation your vehicle deserves.
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Car Hydraulic System Parts
Strut replaces automotive OEM spring and damper setup. These cylinders must be installed to fully customize the setup.
These cylinders are filled with hydraulic fluid that allows the car to be raised or lowered. If the jacks are emptied, the car can roll lower on the ground.
Hydraulic pumps are the key to the lowering system. With heavy-duty pumps installed, you get the power needed to raise or lower your vehicle.
Some systems use two pumps, while others have four. The more pumps the system has, the more you will pay for the kit. However, more pumps also mean that the response rate is much faster.
To use a hydraulic system in a vehicle, it is not necessary to have springs. You can lower your vehicle without using springs.
However, you can choose to add springs to the vehicle. Although it is an additional expense, the springs absorb more impact to create a smoother ride.
4. Fluid lines
The hydraulic system contains several strong hoses that transmit fluid. All pipes are fixed with metal connectors.
These connectors must be strong and durable, as a lot of pressure flows through the lines. If a leak occurs, the high-pressure fluid will spray profusely, causing a total disaster.
5. Electronic components
You can’t use a standard hydraulic system and expect it to dance or bounce to the music. If you want this level of capability, you’ll need a sophisticated electrical system. You also need to think about how you are going to fuel this. Many hydraulic suspension systems run on multiple batteries, even ten or more at a time. Additionally, these batteries must be connected to heavy-duty alternators and cables.
You can’t expect the average hydraulic suspension to run on your standard 12 volt system. There’s a lot more power to produce, so you’ll need something closer to 24 volts or more.
The average hydraulic system will not contain a large number of electronic components, so the cost can be kept lower. Still, you won’t get the advanced effects with these basic systems like you would with a system running a lot of electronics.
So when you consider cost, you should not only consider the number of parts needed and the price of those parts, but you should also think about the amount of labor required for all of those parts. If you can install them yourself, you could save a lot of money.
If you are looking for parts for a custom hydraulic system, you can start searching CoolCars to find the necessary parts.
Is hydraulics bad for your car?
Before long, the hydraulic system can begin to wear down the vehicle’s suspension. It can also damage the car’s chassis. The newest technology and proper installation help protect your vehicle from damage.
Additionally, you want to consider the handling of the vehicle after installing the hydraulic system. The journey may become harder and more difficult to handle. If you are not prepared for this, the trip could become dangerous for you, so it is something you should consider.
Advantages of hydraulic suspension
1. Firmer ride
Are you tired of the soft, squishy ride your car offers? With a hydraulic system, you can create a firmer feel that you may find more comfortable.
With the upgraded suspension, you can modify the ride for firmer. However, there are also options that relax the hydraulic system slightly to provide the best of both worlds.
2. Fast reaction time
When you compare a hydraulic system to your standard coil springs, you see a much faster reaction time. When driving over a speed bump, the vehicle’s response will be more instantaneous.
The suspension’s hydraulic fluid is adjusted to handle any shock you feel. If you have an adjustable suspension, you can change your reaction speed.
3. Fully customizable
There is a hydraulic suspension for every wish. You can customize the settings to best suit your needs.
Have the shocks adjusted to a certain height where they will sit. Otherwise, you can get as complicated as you want, with special effects and a unique style that’s sure to turn heads.
Disadvantages of hydraulic suspension
You should be prepared to spend a good amount of money on the hydraulic system. Don’t be confused thinking that the expense is only when you buy and install it.
You must also take into account the cost of maintaining and repairing the system in the future. Additionally, it is difficult to find technicians who work on these suspensions.
2. Leaks are common
You may face bigger problems with the hydraulic system than with the standard suspension. Because of all the pressure and lines installed, you may notice frequent leaks.
It is not difficult to detect these leaks, especially since the liquid is sprayed at high pressure. However, repairs can be expensive and overwhelming.
3. Crazier ride
Ride quality is part of the pros and cons. Yes, you get a firmer ride with the hydraulic suspension, which some people want.
However, the ride can also become bumpier for the same reasons. If you install a set of high-quality shocks or springs, you may be able to alleviate some of the harshness, but it will cost you more.
Are hydraulic systems legal?
Some states have strict laws against the use of hydraulic systems. You should do your own research before making any changes to your vehicle, but here are some states endowed with unique laws.
The height of your vehicle’s headlights should be between 24 and 54 inches above the ground. Additionally, the taillights must be between 15 and 72 inches from the ground. With that in mind, you also need to know the required height of the rear reflector, which ranges from 15 to 60 inches off the ground.
Many of the other lighting systems are also regulated. You should check the Texas website to make sure your vehicle is still compatible.
New York State has regulations regarding the maximum height of your vehicle. A height of 13’1″ cannot be exceeded.
However, the restriction is not specified for the range or minimum frame height. You also want to check your vehicle’s weight limits to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
Like Texas, Florida has height requirements for headlights. All headlights should be between 24 and 54 inches off the ground. The interesting thing is that there are no regulations on the height of the rear lights.
Florida also requires a maximum bumper height. However, the measurement depends on the weight of your vehicle, so you should check the guide on the government website to see how it applies to your vehicle. Some exceptions are included, such as hot rods, older vehicles, and new cars.
This state may have some of the most restrictive laws in place. We encourage you to read the government website to ensure you comply.
The most important law is that no vehicle can have a ride height or chassis that has been raised more than five inches. However, aftermarket lifts and lowering kits are allowed.