The time has come, for products to fit as they were intended to. - Pete Skiba, Airkewld CEO
What is a #PRObuilt product and why would I need it? Great question. Answer: Professionally built and assembled product/s, in which every facet of the assembly is meticulously detailed, broken in, and sealed for the best possible user experience.
#PRObuilt products from Airkewld, have been around for about 9 years. But the desire for them to be at the forefront of the industry has been a lifetime goal. If you have been in the industry for awhile, as I have, you have grown tired of the products that do not fit, the finish is bad and you need to just deal with feel and construction. Let's go back to the early 80's with my dad and I, purchasing a engine tin set for an engine build. You have to test fit everything, notch here, grind there, elongate a few holes, tweak this, then paint it and still deal with a few issues. You strived for 100% but you got to about 90%. The entire industry is full of parts and components that need this prep to make things work. I am so over it and I know you feel the same way. I would like to go over a few of our #PRObuilt products to get a better understanding of why we do it and why you might need it.
Sure, you can open up your new steering box, throw it on your beam and say you installed a new steering box. Do you remember how sticky and gooey it was? Remember the oil in the bag it was sent in? Did you even think about why it was like that? These steering boxes have been sitting in a steel container for months as they travel from Brazil to the states. The grease breaks down, seeps past the seals and where the top meets the case. Guess where all that seepage is going? On your beam and your floor. Are you ok with that? Some might be, most won't. But you can deal with it or you find a product that has dealt with it. The PROBuilt Steering Box is that product in which remedies each aspect and has a few other perks. The PRO's completely disassemble a NEW box. The PRO's remove the broken down grease and oil from the assembly. The PRO's machine and tap the top of the box to accept grease zerks to properly fill and maintain the box with out any mess. The PRO's lube the seals, reassemble the clean box and seal the top to the bottom and allow the glue to dry. The PRO's gently wash the assembly and then use a high quality satin black paint and apply three coats for a nice even finish and assemble with sexy stainless steel hardware to create an amazing looking steering box that will not leak and is easy to fill. Does that check any boxes for you? Doesn't that sound amazing? I hope your head is bobbing up and down because it should. The industry had not had a bolt on solution for this, ever. Check it out here.
Completely stoked, I get to drop my ride... finally. You do your research and find out that Airkewld's drop spindles are the finest on the market. You purchase them, and you can not install them. Why? Because you need to disassemble your current set. The spindle assembly has a carrier, that is assembled with king pins and link pins. As much as I would love to tell you it is as easy as pressing them apart, (if you have a press), and pressing the new ones together, 1 out of 10 will be passable enough to do that. That is 90% of the spindles out there. Most of the time, a maintenance schedule of proper greasing and adjusting was never followed and the king pins and link pins will have slop and are worn. Guess what? You now need to purchase new king pins and link pins. You get those and now you need to press them in, ream them..., wait, you have VW reamer right? See where this is going? It can be frustrating if you are unaware of what you need to do. We haven't even got into the thrust and break in yet. The PRO's step in and provides a bolt on solution that uses the same spindles, OEM carriers, German Link Pins along with German King Pins. The PRO's bead blast the carriers and check them for wear and straightness. The PRO's continue by pressing in the king pin bushings and ream them with the proper tool to OE spec. If you go with the powder coat option, they are finished in a sexy satin black powder coat and are ready for assembly. This is where the PRO's really shine. The PRO's have created a few tools to dial in the proper thrust and feel, when all these parts come together. If this is not done, the steering wheel will not return to center. I can bet that most who do this job, have ever even thought of this, it is more of a slap this together kind of installation. The PRO's care about each facet of the product to ensure you have a painless installation. Does #PRObuilt sound like it checks all the boxes for you? It should. Learn more about these spindles here.
Your ball joints are worn. The boots are cracked or missing and you have slop in the joints. It is time to tackle this job. Purchase new ball joints right? Sure. Are you going to purchase Chinese versions or German versions? How are you going to get the old ones out and the new ones in? Don't have a press and the dies to do the job safely and correctly? Did you line up the ball joints correctly so they can articulate nicely? Maybe a machine shop can press them in. Have they done this before? There might be a problem, as technique, finesse and know-how matter here. Install them and wonder why the suspension does not cycle or return to center on the steering wheel. This is not a happy outcome. How about a bolt on solution with broken in German Ball Joints pressed in powder coated OE control arms? Yes sir! The PRO's make this happen weekly. The PRO's start with OE control arms that are checked for straightness, chemically stripped, blasted and powder coated. The PRO's then emory cloth polish the bearing surfaces for a nice smooth finish. Meyle German Ball Joints are expertly pressed into the arms. After this process, the PRO's check the thrust on the joints. Wait, what? Kind of sounded like it was done already and for most shops, that is where it stops. When the joint is pressed in, it compresses the outer shell into the delrin cup inside and around the ball of the joint. This creates a tough moving joint that needs to break in before it will allow the steering wheel to return to center after turning. The PRO's have created yet another tool to properly check the pressure needed to turn the joint. If it takes more pressure than the PRO's want, another tool is used to break in the joint. It is checked again and once it passes our tests, do we can ship them to our clients or use them in our #PRObuiltBeams. So you have to choose a possible frustrating undertaking of proper installation of ball joints or purchasing a set of PRObuilt Arms that go right on and work perfectly. Which one sounds better? More info here.
Let's go back 7 years ago, the PRO's decided that now was a time to give what many had been asking for. An Ultimate Beam(UB), assembled with built spindles, our shocks, BAD Series Brakes installed so that they can just bolt it on and move forward with their project. For those of you that have attempted, succeeded or failed to do this, we understand. You can look at a Chilton or Haynes manual for days. You can scour the forums and ask anyone who will listen, how to do this or that. That takes time. You also have to question whom you are getting that information from and is it specifically applicable to what you are doing. You will purchase tools that you will use once, you will have many emails, phone calls and drive many miles to get each part that you thought you did not need. This was many of us, the first time. The PRO's have listened. Let's dive into the PRO's process of making a PRObuilt Beam. We start with US made and smelted DOM tubing, that is laser cut by a CNC tube laser to the exact dimensions we call for. The UB uprights are CNC bent and feature and exact replica of the factory body mounts. The brackets through out the beam are CNC laser cut to exact dimensions that will give you the best fit, finish and versatility. The beam is built on a US made jig table that is leveled to perfection and mig welded by our CEO and founder, Pete Skiba. To date, Airkewld has made 18,750 beams that follow this protocol. Once the UB has had a bath in Satin Black powder coat, it is thoroughly cleaned and assembled, lubing all moving parts for ease in adjustment. The delrin bushings are pressed in sandwiching the sexy UB emblems to the side plates. The PRO's call on VW of Mexico/Brazil to furnish our new torsion leaves. The PRO's have created a jig to properly mark, align and machine factory style grub screw indentions and trim them with a liquid cool band saw. With some models, the ends of the torsions are painted red to allow a bit of detail when viewing the beam through the control arms, that now feature an Airkewld star capped onto the ends. A beautiful touch. We test fit the arms into the beam, lubing both the bearing surfaces and the delrin bushing itself. The PRO's have created a tool to make sure the feel is consistent every time and that the arm can articulate as it was intended. We create the perfect feel by polishing the bearing surface of the arm until it meets our intended feel. For Ball Joint models, the newly pressed in German ball joints are also broken in to give the perfect feel and steering wheel cycling to center. The PRO's then install PRObuilt Drop Spindles for early model applications, (unless specified differently). They can even install your drop spindles from your current disc brake kit at a discount. The PRO's expertly build them with only the best parts in the industry to ensure you will be WoWed with the fit, finish and detail. Later model applications use an imported set of spindles that are expertly coated in Satin Black powder coat, with a set of lowered camber eccentrics, to give you the best versatility in adjustment. We learned about the process of making a PROBuilt Steering Box and how that makes the world of difference. The PRO's take this very seriously. The PRO's use German tie rod ends in our brand new tie rods. Threads are lubed making adjustments easy. Installing a premium steering dampener on every beam we offer, gives you the perfect feel in which some have never even felt before. The entire PRObuilt Beam uses stainless steel or cadmium plated hardware and is used with anti-sieze and Loctite where needed. Control arm to bushings cavities are pre-filled with grease, king pins and link pins are lubed, aligned and ready to cycle. The adjustments of lifting and lowering the front end are easy, fluid and precise. But what about ride quality? Aaaaahhhh, yes. You have a choice and Airkewld is the first to give this to you. The PRO's can build you the Ultimate Beam, the best you can get as well as the most versatile. Now, you have a choice in ride quality.
Gas Shocks, Oil Shocks and Adjustable Shocks.
Gas shocks are going to give you a stiffer feel, ideal for someone whom is looking for a predetermined ride setting that will allow for an all around great handling aspect. Oil shocks will give you the smoothest ride quality, allowing the PRObuilt Arms to cycle in the Ultimate Beam with ease. But, the Ultimate driving experience can be had with an Adjustable Shock. Tune your ride, the way you want, not predetermined by the manufacture or swayed by a slick salesman. If you want to achieve the best ride for YOU, Adjustable Shocks are ideal for you. The PRObuilt Beam is the only beam you should be considering when trying to check each box as being done right. Couple that, with a team that cares about every facet of the build, you bet you will get what you pay for. What allows this amazing art piece to be installed is a quality installation kit. Beautiful ARP Stainless Steel beam bolts, quality rubber body mount pads, and the crowing jewel, the Airkewld Stainless Steel Inspection plate with SS hardware and seal.
Want a set of BAD Series Brakesinstalled? You bet we can do that as well and the #PRObuilt experience get's even better there. Pressing in the bearing races, packing of the German bearings, installing the rotor assembly and centering the calipers for the ideal and perfect fit, the PRO's make this easy.
The shipping process is an art of it's own. The PRO's custom fabricate a pallet to suspend the beam on. It is wrapped in plastic to keep dust and debris off of it and is housed in a custom, double corrugated box. It is shipped by R&L Carriers using a concierge service that includes tracking, delivery appointments, lift gate service and dropping off your PRObuilt Beam in your garage. Are you WoW'd yet?