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Thread: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

  1. #1
    weberja is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2002 Cadillac Escalade
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    Unhappy Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    I just found out that both my rear shocks and compressor are bad (shocking news! and very expensive). Can these shocks be replaced with conventional non air ride shocks like from a Chevy Tahoe?


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    TheCaddyKidd's Avatar
    TheCaddyKidd is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    If I recall correctly it can be done.. I even believe there was a company that someone posted about that come with adapaters so that the system will think everything is working and you will not get any warning lights.. Give me a few and I will check..

  4. #3
    mikedyk43's Avatar
    mikedyk43 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by weberja View Post
    I just found out that both my rear shocks and compressor are bad (shocking news! and very expensive). Can these shocks be replaced with conventional non air ride shocks like from a Chevy Tahoe?
    Here is a link that has replacement suspension for your Escalade:

    http://www.strutmasters.com/cadillac...parts-s/43.htm

  5. #4
    weberja is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    Thanks for the information. It seems like a good way to go as the system would probably become more problematic as the car ages.

  6. #5
    zogg is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    I really like the air suspension, but it is expensive to repair. However, that's why I bought an Escalade instead of a Tahoe. I found replacement Monroe air shocks for under $250 each and a rebuilt compressor for $200. I do some towing with my Escalade and I like having the level and stable ride. I used to own a couple of Lincoln town cars with rear air suspension. I know lots of folks swapped in non-air ride springs for about $300. I replaced the air springs with Firestone units for $190 and never complained like the guys who did the swap.

    I can't see buying a $70,000 vehicle and being cheap on a repair that negates the ride quality.....

  7. #6
    escalade718 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    I have Bilstein HD Front #F4-BE5-6500-H0 and Bilstein HD BE5-E380-H0 in the rear. They ride is the same as the air shocks, but I can't the "service stability system" Light to go off! They handle well and the ride is smooth! Try them! way cheaper than Air shocks! I didn't have to replace the springs at all. It was an direct bolt. They were replaced about this time last year and I haven't had a problem so far....
    Last edited by escalade718; 02-08-12 at 05:25 PM.

  8. #7
    William01's Avatar
    William01 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    You can put gas shocks on it as a direct fit from a non air ride Tahoe. I was going to do it that way, until I thought about it. Itz a Cadillac, I have to repair it that way. I paid 475 for both shocks which is more than gas would be but way less than what the dealer wants or even most auto parts stores for the specialty monroe air shock replacements. I took apart the compressor and re-soldered the wires and cleaned it up real good put back together and fired right up. Changed them myself in about an hour maybe. Straight forward repair.

  9. #8
    slowstang305 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    My truck is converted and works just fine. Less issues that way. Fortunately it was already done when I bought the truck used so I wont be able to answer much questions. If you guys need any pics of the shocks or part numbers just let me know.

  10. #9
    4dzone is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    I'm doing the conversion tomorrow in my home garage. I've got an 02 Escalade 4x2 with 156k miles. I discovered my entire system is shot. Compressor bad, rear shocks bad, probably have a leak too. I'm converting from the stock air ride to Bilstein HD Front #F4-BE5-6500-H0 and Bilstein HD BE5-E380-H0 in the rear. I don't ever do any towing but I do load up the car maybe 3-4 times a year for family trips. I'll repost as soon as I finish up.

  11. #10
    AirDoc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    I've been searching many threads on this same subject as I'm about to do the same on an Escalade i'm buying next week.

    The only thing I can't find in the threads is the Part Number of some Z71 Rear Springs - I plan on towing a bit and want some good support.

    Anyone know by chance?

  12. #11
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    Re: Air Ride Suspension - Can it be converted to conventional shocks?

    To get the "service ride control" light to go off, take the connectors that went to the rear shocks and install a 2 ohm resistor with one leg touching each terminal to bypass it and turn the light off.

    Or buy a fancy plug-n-pay unit to do the same thing.

    Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/cadillac/6...#ixzz3lv7aa1Bo


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