How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville
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1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I need to lengthen the height sensor link by about 1/4". 1/2" is too much as you can see in ...
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    mtflight's Avatar
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    How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    I need to lengthen the height sensor link by about 1/4".

    1/2" is too much as you can see in the pic below.


    Note the rake. It feels like it has stadium seating, and the rear passengers probably feel like they are in the nosebleed section. I have no idea what this hyper-extended attitude does to tire wear!

    Here's the whole story...

    I needed replacement air ride shocks, and the originals are discontinued! So I purchased the AC Delco 504-123s, which turned out are modified Gabriel HiJacker 49228s with the OE-style air-line fitting. The 49228 comes with a new compressor dryer spring, that AC Delco does not supply.

    The 49228 has a larger capacity airbag inside. The new dryer spring provided by Gabriel with the 49228s is supposed to increase PSI in the system in order to better fill the larger bag.

    When the 49228s are marginally filled with air in an unloaded 00-05, they don't quite fill to the top with the initial compressor operation, leaving a millimeter or two, gap exposing the upper shaft in the area between the shock absorber 'can' and the shock absorber mount. The upper shaft I refer to is pictured below (extremely exposed due the rear of the car being in the air, and the shocks being deflated). The design literally has another shaft coming out of the top of what looked like a traditional shock absorber body. This is due, reportedly because the particular shock has a wide application, and to reduce internal friction it is designed with a 'traveling seal' built into the top, resulting in increased operating life.



    In an unloaded 00-05 Deville, the springs maintain ride height all on their own. In this unloaded condition, the compressor turns on minimally when the car is turned on and then never again. If the car is loaded with passengers or cargo, it drops BELOW ride height, and the height sensor triggers the RIM into turning the compressor on, until proper ride height is reattained.

    The problem
    I'm not heavy enough to affect ride height. Unfortunately this results in a marginal fill of air in the 49228 (meaning the 'cans' don't fill up enough to completely hide the upper shaft). Furthermore while idling on a road with a downward slope for a couple of minutes, such as when at a stop light, results in a shifting of weight toward the front struts, giving 'too high' a rear height, thereby triggering the exhaust valve solenoid to release air from the system, and subsequently lowering the air fill of the 49228 only increasing the probability of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The reason this is bad, is that when one goes over bumps, the suspension travels upwards, compressing the spring and shock absorber in the process. With minimal pressure inside the shock absorbers aren't filled to the top, leaving room for travel on the shaft of a couple of millimeters causing the 'can' to slam against the mount resulting in a 'thump' similar to what one would hear if one were driving with the trunk unlatched ( as it hits the striker off and on while going over bumps).

    Aside from deliberately loading the car with weight or becoming a sumo wrestler, another way to prevent these knocks, is to fill the rear shocks with a little more air--just enough to assist the springs a little. I think the easiest way to accomplish this is to trick the ride height sensor (1 on the image below) into sensing that the rear of the car sits lower than it actually does. This is done by increasing the length of the link between the lower control arm and the car body (3 on the image below).


    The way I increased the length of the link was by moving the pivot, that attaches it to the sensor arm, downward with the use of a pin (paper clip-like wire),an M6 bolt and two nuts (one matching the bolt and another mated to the pivot threads). All 3 at Lowes for $2.80 including tax.










    This resulted in a relatively small 1/2 inch or so. Unfortunately it is too much.



    So how would you increase the length of the link by 1/4" with basic tools? Your 2 cents are appreciated!

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by mtflight View Post
    So how would you increase the length of the link by 1/4" with basic tools? Your 2 cents are appreciated!
    Get another link rod - junkyard or wherever. Have a machine shop cut it in half and thread the cut ends to take a threaded ferrule - thus creating a turnbuckle - you could adjust length to your hearts' content..............use locknuts on the threads.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    Get another link rod - junkyard or wherever. Have a machine shop cut it in half and thread the cut ends to take a threaded ferrule - thus creating a turnbuckle - you could adjust length to your hearts' content..............use locknuts on the threads.
    Thanks Sub. I did all of this after dark last night, and I woke up with a ridiculously simple idea. It's almost silly how I didn't think about it... I can simply release some tension on the top bolt (in the sensor arm) and swing the pin I attached along with the pivot counterclockwise to be near parallel with the sensor arm. Basically I've created an adjustment arm, as in the Sevilles. Your idea is much more elegant and better quality, but this one I can do with a 10 mm socket as fast as I can remove the wheel or reverse into ramps. I'll resort to the turnbuckle down the line or if there's a failure. Thanks again for your input.

    I wonder why they didn't have an adjustment arm in the height sensor, as they did with the Seville.



    Here's how it sits this morning with the initial design. A bit high. I wonder what the ideal ride height should be? I've seen pictures of highly raked Devilles on automotive comparison websites?


    Note the one on the left looks higher (space between rear wheel and fender)


    Even the camber looks positive on the left (rear sits too high)

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    I hate to tell you this, but I really like the slight rake on my STS - of course, different breed of cat, but the rake doesn't seem to affect braking, stopping attitude, or cornering one bit - Magnetic Ride Control is FAST.

    Some experimentation with a junkyard sensor for your car - you could make the same sort of adjustable arm out of the stock setup - a pivot bolt and a bolt in an arched slot, ball end.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    I hate to tell you this, but I really like the slight rake on my STS
    After looking at the msn auto pics, it's kind of growing on me too. I didn't feel any consequences in handling either. The seat angle felt so different though--much better after tilting the seatback aft.

    How does the rake on mine look to you, vs yours? The ride is noticeably smoother with air assist vs riding on top of the springs sans it. The car handles much better with the new rear shocks vs with the blown stock ones--I thought the trade-off was a harsher ride. I'm glad I was wrong.

    what's the camber look like on your rear wheels?

    I could aim to level the ground clearance between the front and rear wheels, and it'd still have a slight rake from studying the pictures. What do you think?

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Personally, I like it...............here's a poor shot of mine in the driveway, but you can still see the rake. The rear wheels are straight up&down - essentially no camber.

    (Picture moved to albums - Community tab, Albums, the 2 with the red Seville as cover pix.)

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Dammit - another double post...........

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Nice sub. I used to have a crimson ETC. I can see the rake, but it would be great to have a side shot, to see the rake in reference to the ground level (and to see the ground clearance at the jack points on the frame, aft of the front, fore of the rear).

    I think I may adjust mine down just a pinch, focusing on the camber with a level tool.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Nice looking STS Sub! I like the rake that your Caddy has too! It is what I am hoping to get with my DTS as well.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Here is what the rake on my car looks like now.
    chEdrohM.jpeg mgW15DmC.jpeg

    These are both shots before starting her up. The shot that I took after starting it up did not come out but the rear raised up about 1-1.5cm. This is with an empty load.



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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    It looks like the rear and front fender wells are about the same distance from the ground, if not the rear a little lower (this is how mine sat before my adjustment). I'd try a 1/3" increase in the rod length, and see how you like it. I think you may find the rear smoothes out. When my rears shocks were set to be level with the springs, the rear of the car was very tight--not harsh, but not smooth either. The front of the car was soft. Then I replaced the fronts and raised the rear. The rear became softer. It's an interesting balance. Now I'm curious as to how it would've been without replacing the front struts.

    I had a CTS loaner (70 miles on the clock) yesterday and was surprised the wheelbase is only a couple of inches shorter, and narrower. The car was super tight, springs were probably variable rate because they didn't do a terrible job of absorbing small bumps--yet it was still bouncy. Mine can bottom out even with new shocks if I go over speed bumps too fast (I usually slow down to a crawl). I am pretty sure that's normal because a friend's DHS did it when it had <30K miles on it.

    The Gabriel Ultras are apparently softer than Monroe Sensatraks which in turn are softer than KYBs. I didn't want to lose the smooth ride.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    I think the Gabriels are a good match for DHS and Base models. The DHS and Base models do ride more plush than the DTS, since the DTS is tuned more for "sport" like an STS, but still rides smooth (as a Caddy should), hence a good match for the Monroes. Compared to my friends DHS, my car is more taught and controlled (especially when the ride control takes over) where his just rides like you are on a cloud. This is good info for those who have the different types of Devilles when it comes to replacing their shocks.

    Now that I have passive shocks in the rear, I can tell the difference between the fronts (active) and the backs during spirited driving.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Very interesting read! Nice job MTFlight, I had no idea the ride height arms on the Seville's were adjustable. I guess I never looked closely at them!

    Sub, I love your STS, I mean I love my SLS, but your STS just looks damn SHARP. I like your Deville, too MT.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    damn double post, here too! wth.

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    Re: How should I adjust the rear height sensor? '00-'05 DHS/Deville

    Quote Originally Posted by iametarq View Post
    Very interesting read! Nice job MTFlight, I had no idea the ride height arms on the Seville's were adjustable. I guess I never looked closely at them!

    Sub, I love your STS, I mean I love my SLS, but your STS just looks damn SHARP. I like your Deville, too MT.
    They are not really "adjustable". What MT has done is created a mod to make them adjustable.

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