Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I have a 2001 standard Deville. The rear shocks need replacement. What are my options? Do I spend the Big ...
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    totpkg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    I have a 2001 standard Deville. The rear shocks need replacement. What are my options? Do I spend the Big $$ to replace the OEM shocks with OEM or is there a better alternative/modification I can do? I would think that the sensors and pump are in good condition, but those of you with much more experience than I do ... does this system tend to have the trickle down effect on related parts/replacements??

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    HoUsToN_DeViLlE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    I just replaced my rear struts about a month ago. I found my ac delco replacements for 159 on the net think the grand total was like 180 with tax and shipping. I can send you the site if you want.

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    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    i can offer you a good price on OEM parts
    pm me your VIN if you're interested
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
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    jmf1964 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    just did my 2004, used AC Delco 504-547, I've seen them for as low as $50 on ebay. If your car has the FE1 rpo code (soft ride suspension) then these are the correct part, I'm pretty sure the 01 would use the same part.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    I just installed Monroe MA822's on my 02 Deville 2 days ago. Rockauto and some other places have these for less than $60 a pair. I have only driven it once so far but I think they ride great, and you cannot beat the price. If you search on this forum, you'll see that the AC Delcos come with the upper mount, but someone commented that the rubber seemed stiffer than the original, and that they thought it stiffened the ride. The Monroe does not come with the upper mount, so I reused the original. Also, the original air line connects right up to the Monroes.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    If you were to call AC Delco, they'd tell you that there are two replacements for FE1: 504-123, and 504-547. They told me the first was the recommended choice, and 504-547 is not as high quality. This is not true, as apparently the folks that answer their catalog line are simply looking at a book and have NO IDEA what they speak. Both are the same shock absorber, manufactured by Gabriel. The difference is what comes with each one, and the price.



    504-123 (pictured above) comes with new shock mounts and is supposed to be a direct fit but Domino1968 and myself had issues in that there was a lot of noise coming from the rear of the car. After consulting with Gabriel techs over the phone (AC Delco does not offer ANY tech support for consumers), they tell you that the problem is their shocks require more air than the original equipment, so one needs to replace a spring inside the dryer.



    504-547 (pic above) is the same shock absorber, but comes with airline kit and the spring that goes inside the dryer that allows the correct amount of air to fill the shock absorber. This kit also costs less, and makes more sense from the standpoint of what you get, if you reuse the shock absorber mounts.

    So the big FAIL for ACDelco is in not letting the consumer know that the shocks are not a direct-fit as purported. They require modding the dryer with a new spring and it is not provided in the more expensive shock (which is the same one, but supplies the rubber mounts). Very, very frustrating learning experience.

    The Monroes are less expensive and come without the hassle of replacing the dryer spring. Make sure your air lines are good before you go this route (one of my lines was damaged). It's very likely that Gabriel is the OE supplier for FE1 struts too, though so consider that if you replace the front struts of your base Deville or DHS. See my "school of hard knocks" learning experience here: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...co-shocks.html

    See Domino1968's install info here http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...k-install.html

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    hmm, we've never experienced this 'noise coming from the rear of the car' that you talk about when installing the OEM (504-123)

    and correct me if i'm wrong, but the 504-547 shocks have a threaded fitting for the air line, while the 504-123 has the OEM style clip-on fittings, right?

    we've installed both parts on various cars over the years and the only thing we do differently when installing the 504-547 kit is to splice the air lines with a compression fitting so to add the screw on caps in that kit in place of the OEM snap style ends
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by rippypartsmaster View Post
    hmm, we've never experienced this 'noise coming from the rear of the car' that you talk about when installing the OEM (504-123)

    and correct me if i'm wrong, but the 504-547 shocks have a threaded fitting for the air line, while the 504-123 has the OEM style clip-on fittings, right?

    we've installed both parts on various cars over the years and the only thing we do differently when installing the 504-547 kit is to splice the air lines with a compression fitting so to add the screw on caps in that kit in place of the OEM snap style ends
    The noise is from the "can" not being all the way up (inflated). Gabriel said the can should be all the way up, all the time and this should happen with 20 psi or so. The situation happens usually when the car is unloaded (no extra weight in the back seat or in the trunk). The shock absorber ends up moving up and hitting the bumper at the top, sounding like there's a loose jack in the trunk.

    When there is weight in the back, and the system must raise the rear end, then the "cans" go all the way up and lift the car. At that point there is no noise, and the rear end of the car raises to remain level. The diagnosis from Gabriel is that the spring inside the dryer should be changed to one they provide with their Hijackers or in this case comes with the 504-547. The 504-123 does have the direct-fit airline fitting for the OE.. it just snaps in, and then there's the clip. Sometimes the noise isn't as noticeable (radio on, etc), but once you know what's going on you look for it and usually find it.

    Another way to recreate the noise is to get in the empty car, then load the rear end... as the compressor pumps them the cans expand to the top, and at that point they "snap" into place, making the same noise. I'll see if I can take a video of it since it's perfectly visible from the wheel well.

    I would rather say this is an isolated incident, and I got a defective set, but that's the same thing Domino said happened to his. He thought they had a leak and got Monroes.

    I did get a new dryer, so it's possible that the spring inside it is too stiff or too soft (not sure what the difference between the original spring is and the one supplied by Gabriel in the kit, because I haven't had them side by side to compare). I'm getting the Gabriels soon and will attempt opening the dryer to replace the spring. As I said the Gabriel tech folks were the ones to tell me the problem is the spring because they require more air.

    I'm going to talk to the guys at Suncore in FL that refurbish the driers to see if they can tell me how to open my drier to replace said spring.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    Something's fishy: If the car is unloaded and at its normal attitude and you place added weight in the rear seat or trunk, the shocks/boots compress. The ELC senses this and restores the shock to its unloaded height, no more. If the shock inflated completely - all the way up - the car would sit with exaggerated rake and, yes, you would have bumping noises from the overextended shock.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville


    I get what you mean, Sub, but this shock absorber design is different. Here's a pic that Domino took of the 504-123 when it was installed in his car (he since replaced them with Monroes, after concluding the shocks must have a leak bc of the noises). The design is very different than the one that the OE (In the original factory shocks, you can see the rubber boot at the bottom, and there is NO SHAFT that comes out from the top of the shock absorber body).

    In these, there's a shaft on top that hides when the shock is fully inflated. In the picture above, it's completely deflated, exposing the whole shaft. The bottom part is more like what a common shock absorber looks like. This bottom part is what I meant by "can."

    When it's inflated, the shaft should disappear into the "can." When unloaded and the compressor comes on initially, the can rises and stops about 1/2-1" short of the top. This leaves a 1" gap for which the "can" travels up and down with varying road conditions. When the can strikes the top, it sounds like there's a thump.

    If the car gets loaded to the point where the rear is lower, then the height sensor turns on the compressor and THEN, the can rises, completely hiding the shaft, and sometimes one can hear the "pop" when it goes all the way to the top, hitting the bumper and continuing to rise the car to level. At that point there are no more noises because the air fills the chamber completely and there is no more shaft exposed.

    The 00-05 does not ever have an exaggerated rake, but it does sit nice and tall in the rear. I can "trick" the shocks into filling up to the top by cycling the ignition and commanding the compressor to fill again. This causes a "pop" sound when the cans rise to the top, hitting the top bumper. At this point the car won't make those noises anymore. This fix lasts a couple of days or so.

    The explanation by the Gabriel tech guys is that the air chamber in the shock requires at least 20 psi to expand all the way to the top (hiding the top shaft in the process). Replacing the spring inside the drier changes the tension in the drier somehow increasing the fill psi. Gabriel knew this would be the case with the GM self-leveling suspensions, thus they provide the spring in their brand-name kit, and they also supply this spring with instructions for the 504-547 (that costs less than the 504-123 that I got that comes without spring or airlines, but has the new mounts attached).

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    +1
    MTFlight has given an EXCELLENT description of using ACDelcos as replacements. I too went through all of this and finally went with the MA822s as Bigtone has commented on and do not have any complaints.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    I still question why GM or Cadillac would purposely design a suspension that caused objectionable thumping noises when operating properly.

    I just tried the KEY:ON/KEY:OFF sequence 6 times waiting 1 minute between tries. Each time the ELC system proves out (in my car) the exhaust valve then opens to restore the rear to proper height: you CAN NOT create an artificial rake in my system, and it will NOT extend to the point of "pop".........maybe the F55 suspension units are different.

    FWIW I went to our local Southern States last Wednesday and loaded four 60# bags of sand into the trunk - garden "Honey, do" - the whole thing worked perfectly and the rear leveled to where it always sits.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    I still question why GM or Cadillac would purposely design a suspension that caused objectionable thumping noises when operating properly.
    Edit: The original part is no longer available. The replacement is different than what came in the car. I found a post through a search on the forum that mentions it. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...available.html

    I don't think it was intentional. The reason for this problem is probably that the replacement part, is not the original equipment. Possibly this is due to bankruptcy or problems with OE design? IDK. At least they provide the spring that's necessary for the replacement on one of the kits. They dropped the ball with the other one, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409
    I just tried the KEY:ON/KEY:OFF sequence 6 times waiting 1 minute between tries. Each time the ELC system proves out (in my car) the exhaust valve then opens to restore the rear to proper height: you CAN NOT create an artificial rake in my system, and it will NOT extend to the point of "pop".........maybe the F55 suspension units are different.
    Yes, I also cannot create an artificial rake because of the exhaust valve. I can sit in the trunk and wait until the compressor kicks on, it raises me perfectly, and then when I jump off I do indeed also hear the compressor exhaust. The residual air pressure is sometimes enough to keep the cans inflated to the top (alas sometimes it's not, and the cans sit about an 1" or 2" from the top, making noise when going over small bumps.


    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409
    FWIW I went to our local Southern States last Wednesday and loaded four 60# bags of sand into the trunk - garden "Honey, do" - the whole thing worked perfectly and the rear leveled to where it always sits.
    Similarly, I had 3 folks in the car during a lunch at work on Friday and the car leveled off nicely like yours, and I could barely feel the difference vs. unloaded (except that there was no noise at all because the "cans" were pressurized to the top, supporting the extra weight). whereas with the old blown shocks the car would've handled freakishly with a weighed back seat.

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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    If a picture tells a thousand words, how many words does a video tell? Turn up your speakers so you can hear the air compressor going, and the eventual "pop" on the second video.

    Here is the shock absorber (left rear), seconds after key-on, descriptions are below each video.

    [YOUTUBE]kaKq9ZFc66g[/YOUTUBE]
    You can see that the compressor comes on and "partially" fills the shock absorber, as you can see it rising, as it almost hides the upper shaft. But it doesn't go all the way to the top. This "gap" is what makes the noise when going over bumps.

    Immediately following the initial key-on, I keyed-off, then keyed-on again, commanding the compressor to pump pressure again. You can see in the video below, how the additional air pressure fills the shock absorber even more.



    [YOUTUBE]HJCNTh4DhA0[/YOUTUBE]

    Notice that there is a loud "pop" where the shock absorber fully fills with air (thanks to a second initial compressor pressurization), and it strikes the built-in stop at the top. According to the manufacturer, Gabriel, they should always be all the way to the top. Note that this pressurization that happens at startup does NOT affect ride height, because the 00-05 Deville/DHS is level when empty, without any air-lift assist. It is only when it has additional weight that the ride-height sensor, notices the lowered rear, and commands the compressor to run until it detects it is at level.


    CONCLUSION.

    If OE is preferred, they don't make the original part anymore. But if the AC Delco branding matters go with the 504-547 and replace the dryer spring, lines etc that come with the kit. You'll have to purchase rear shock-absorber mounts if yours are worn (unfortunately I discarded my old shocks and threw away the mounts with it, because I purchased the 504-123, else I would've probably reused them). You can also get the Gabriel HiJackers (exactly the same kit and air-lift shock absorber, for cheaper), or the Monroes which require no modification at all, and do not have this extra shaft at the top that makes the noises (they cost even less than the Gabriels).

    If you get the 504-123 you will have the same shock absorber with a direct-fit air line connector (as the Monroes!), BUT it won't have the spring that goes inside the dryer. You may have the noises coming from the trunk and the useful life of it may be shortened.

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    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: Rear Suspension/Shocks 2001 Deville

    these ACDeclco "additional usage" or "selldown" shocks have been available for a long time... way before the bankruptcy
    (just fyi)
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
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