DIY air suspension experiment with basketballs
YouTube: Garage 54

Gearheads Replace Springs With Basketballs for DIY Experiment


We love all DIY projects, whether they're practical or not. This particular DIY experiment from the team over at Garage 54 might be good for a goof, but we can't say that we recommend it for your commuter vehicle. Or any vehicle, really.

It's a DIY air suspension system, and it's about as reliable as you'd expect something like that to be. What do the guys in this video use for their air suspension system? A basketball. Weirdly enough, it does actually work. Well, briefly. And, apparently, it's a pretty smooth ride while it lasts. But, to really get into why this is a bad idea, we'll first give you a refresher on what exactly an air suspension system is.

What Is Air Suspension?

A suspension system keeps your car in...suspension. What that actually means is that it keeps your car's platform and wheels separate so that the wheels can maneuver over obstacles without affecting the ride.


Many suspension systems work with a coil spring, but an air suspension system uses an airbag to create an air spring. These are some of the best systems, since they allow for a naturally smooth ride as the air compresses when passing over an obstacle.

With the right suspension parts, you can also use an air suspension system to affect your ride's height by increasing the size of the airbag. For this, you'd need a control system, height sensors, and an air lift.

Without the suspension system, your car would grind against its own axles and never be able to achieve the speeds we have in cars today. And, if it gave out in an unpredictable way at high speeds, it could be catastrophic. Obviously, this is not a product you'd ever want to DIY!

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The Basketball Air Suspension System

Apparently, the Garage 54 guys were sitting around thinking about what an air suspension system really was. And, in truth, it's just a bag of air. From there, it was really only a matter of time until these jokers thought to put a somewhat similar airbag in the same spot.

They built a mount for the "air suspension system" by welding a few plates together for the basketball to sit in. Then, they put all the DIY suspension components in the vehicle, lowered the platform, and finally filled the basketball using an air compressor and air tank. They drove it around for a while, and apparently, the DIY air suspension kit does wonders for the car's ride quality and even makes it a smoother ride overall.

And, voila, you've got yourself a DIY shock absorber air suspension kit! However, as soon as they hit a pothole, the pressure becomes too much and the DIY airbag pops. Good luck towing home the aftermath! Next time you're looking to save a buck, just go for a nice aftermarket air ride suspension or OEM Leaf Springs system!

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