1999 Devile Rear Low
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, 1999 Devile Rear Low in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; The rear of my 1999 Deville is low. When I start the car, the compressor goes on and the car ...
  1. #1
    RomoRock3r is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    1999 Devile Rear Low

    The rear of my 1999 Deville is low. When I start the car, the compressor goes on and the car levels. When I have no loads in the trunk, the car stays level. I park the car and a week later the rear is low again. It's worse when I have cargo in the trunk. When I go out for a weekend trip with the trunk loaded, the car starts out as level but after 30 mins goes all the way low. Going over bumps is a nightmare. If I stop the car and restart the engine, the car levels itself with the load. However it will go back down going back on the road.

    Clearly I have a leak somewhere. Could just the air lines be bad? If the car is able to level itself at the start, does that mean the shocks themselves still hold air? How hard is it to replace the air lines? I also know there is a level sensor by the LR wheel. How easy is it to unscrew the lever sensor arm?

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  3. #2
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    Quote Originally Posted by RomoRock3r View Post
    The rear of my 1999 Deville is low. When I start the car, the compressor goes on and the car levels. When I have no loads in the trunk, the car stays level. I park the car and a week later the rear is low again. It's worse when I have cargo in the trunk. When I go out for a weekend trip with the trunk loaded, the car starts out as level but after 30 mins goes all the way low. Going over bumps is a nightmare. If I stop the car and restart the engine, the car levels itself with the load. However it will go back down going back on the road.

    Clearly I have a leak somewhere. Could just the air lines be bad? If the car is able to level itself at the start, does that mean the shocks themselves still hold air? How hard is it to replace the air lines? I also know there is a level sensor by the LR wheel. How easy is it to unscrew the lever sensor arm?
    =========================
    Could just the air lines be bad?
    air lines are probably the LEAST likely culprit -

    dry rotted air bladders -
    or failed exhaust solenoid in the compressor
    are much more common causes -

    keep in mind - all the air bladders do is raise the rear body of the car -
    to proper ride height -
    the oil-filled shock is still the thing that controls the bounce of the coil spring -

    try this -

    locate - and disconnect the connecting rod
    between the ride height sensor and the chassis -

    with the ignition ON - engine/lights/radio etc OFF -

    push the rod UP -
    this will simulate a sagging rear end -
    and SHOULD start the compressor -

    you should be able to feel the bladder inflate -

    the bladders can take up to 120 PSI -
    but just run the compressor until the bladder is VERY FIRM -

    the rear of the car should be NOTICEABLY high -

    now move the connecting rod DOWN
    just until the compressor shuts off -

    this simulates the proper ride height has been reached -

    the last part is to pull the rod down even more -

    this will simulate a high rear end -
    and should open the exhaust solenoid -
    thus releasing air from the bladders -

    you should easily hear the hiss -
    and the rear should drop fairly quickly -

    ---------------------
    either the system works properly - or not -

    --------------------
    now - to check for leaks -

    re-inflate the air bladders -

    listen for leaks -

    another aid is a spray bottle full of a mixture of 1 part dishwashing soap -
    to 16 parts warm water -

    spray the mixture all over the bladders and lines -
    you may see large bubbles forming -
    OR - particularly on the bladders -
    leaks might show up like shaving cream -

    of you don't see the problem -
    start suspecting the compressor assembly -

    the compressor is mounted inside the rear quarter panel -
    behind the rear wheel -

  4. #3
    rodnok01's Avatar
    rodnok01 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    You have a leak. In the FSM it makes reference to computer shutting off ELC compressor if it runs for more than 4 or 5 minutes until the ignition is cycled. It does this to protect the ELC from overheating and damage. I am not sure if the computer is keeping a running total or if it is a per time run, I think it is running total myself.
    I had this issue a month ago and found a leaky O ring connection(I also have bad shock-another story) and after a very bumpy section of 2 lane highway the car was sitting on the axle. Only happened when trunk was full of goodies. Mine was sitting so low I though something had broken, restarted car and it was fine for another half hr to hr. Fixed leak and went away.

  5. #4
    bigm57ict's Avatar
    bigm57ict is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    You need new springs.

    If the rear is sagging with no load in the trunk, your car should sit level without any assistance from the ELC.
    Yes, there are issues with the ELC that need addressed and if it were working properly, it would compensate for your worn springs.

    My ELC has been inoperative for several years now and my car only sags when I put a lot of weight in the trunk.
    Your car is not like a Lincoln, which depends on the air suspension to hold the car up. The ELC is only there to allow your car to have that soft, Cadillac ride, yet still be able to carry a heavy load when needed.

  6. #5
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    ........... and, if he has a load in the trunk the rear slowly sags and does not raise - so something is also wrong with the height sensor system.

  7. #6
    rodnok01's Avatar
    rodnok01 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    ........... and, if he has a load in the trunk the rear slowly sags and does not raise - so something is also wrong with the height sensor system.
    I thought that too sub and checked mine first and it operated normally(even after car running for an hr plus) so I chalked up to a fluke. Then it happened again so I looked for leak and in FSM for guidance and came to conclusion after running so long it gets cut off until next ign cycle. Now that I have leak fixed it's back to normal. My springs are in good shape and didn't have any issue before shock change either.

  8. #7
    RomoRock3r is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Well the car does go up when there is a load it's just that it doesn't stay like that. Is there a clearer picture available of how to disconnect the rod to the lever sensor?

  9. #8
    rodnok01's Avatar
    rodnok01 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Left rear wheel opening, the ends have a plastic end cap, it's a 2 step process to get off. There is a small latch on the cap that hold it together(like a wiring harness clip almost), after you get the clip undone you can pop the end off the metal ball stud on the a frame. Look at the end carefully and you will see how to do it.
    Next time I do it(probably tomorrow) I'll get a pic.

  10. #9
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    Basically the same way you replace a hood, tailgate, or truck cap rear glass gas strut.
    Attached Images

  11. #10
    RomoRock3r is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    Thanks for the help. Right now I'm looking at replacing the rear springs. How hard of a job is it? Do you need a spring compressor? Reading around it seems you remove bolts near the lower control arm, then you lower the control arm and the spring comes out.

    Rock auto has the MOOG 81086 for around $50. Is this a good fit?

  12. #11
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 1999 Devile Rear Low

    Quote Originally Posted by RomoRock3r View Post
    Thanks for the help. Right now I'm looking at replacing the rear springs. How hard of a job is it? Do you need a spring compressor? Reading around it seems you remove bolts near the lower control arm, then you lower the control arm and the spring comes out.

    Rock auto has the MOOG 81086 for around $50. Is this a good fit?
    --------------------------------
    Rock auto has the MOOG 81086 for around $50.
    PLUS $18 shipping = $68

    here they are $51.63 + $8.95 shipping = $60.58 -
    http://www.partsgeek.com/svsvzxb-cad...set.html?fp=pp

    Is this a good fit?

    YES - providing you actually need new springs -

    the springs by themselves - are designed to maintain proper ride-height -
    with the back seat and trunk empty -

    the ELC - Electronic Level Control system -
    will maintain proper ride-height -
    WITH a full load in the back seat and trunk -

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