View Full Version : Can I replace rear air shocks with gas shocks ?

03-04-09, 03:14 PM
Hello, my Escalade has problems keeping my boat and trailer level. She starts off okay, trailer tongue and bumper parallel to ground, but after about 30 minutes of driving, she sags and the compressor wont kick in unless I turn the key on and off. I figures its a compressor issue/shock leak/boat weight or any combination there of.

Anywho, I drives and boats up north alot, and would prefer old school shocks so if I run into trouble, its alot easier to deal with. I would hate to be chased by bears while trying to be Mr Science with my air shocks in northern Ontario.

Soooo, can I slip in a pair of heavy duty gas shocks in the rear without any major modification, or am I bound to work with the existing system built for Rodeo Drive :-)

Thanks much for any help...

03-09-09, 09:21 PM
You can run regular shock but two problems come in. 1. it has been know do drop the rear about .5"-1" by just switching shocks. 2. You disable the "air ride shocks" up front and in the rear of course with will kill the ride.....

I would recommend helper air bags that go in the center of the coil spring and you can air those up when you have the boat and remove the air when your unloaded. The bags I am talking about are from airlift company call helper bags.

03-10-09, 09:34 PM
Kool, I ordered the airbags today, $180 tax in Canadian. I really appreciate your reply, Cheers...

03-24-09, 06:45 PM
I have found the need for some air bags inside the rear coil springs of my 2002 Escalade.
I have a 20 foot race car trailer, and had to install a load leveling hitch to keep the Escalade body level. Just too much tongue weight.
I now have the need to haul an open auto trailer from Montana to Central Florida, and cannot use the load leveling hitch, as the trailer is a U-Haul rental. (Right now I am in Montana at my summer home that I am trying to sell).
I located a set of Firestone COIL-RITE air helper bags today at a local trailer and camper manufacturer. The price was right, and the installation cost was okay, so I bought them and they installed them for me.

When I picked the car up, I found that they had drilled two holes through the rear bumper cover, just a couple of inches from the left edge of the license plate!!!!! Now, both of the Schrader valves are sticking out of the rear bumper!! They never bothered to ask me if it was okay to drill through the bumper. What a beautiful cosmetic alteration!

I was pissed!!!!!

After tons of very heated and unkind words about the situation, the installers parentage, and more, the company finally agreed to replace the bumper cover with a new one from Caddy. They then issued a purchase order to a local custom body and paint shop that has done work for me in the past.

I took the PO over to my friend at his shop, who then ordered the new cover and wrote up an estimate to submit to the trailer and camper company. I won't mention the name of the company, as they are a national brand with a good reputation. They make a great camper, but they just have at least one dumb installer.
The total price for removing and replacing the bumper cover came to just under $600.00. The cover will be in tomorrow, and will be painted and installed in a couple of days.

Moral of the story....If you are going to have any aftermarket installations accomplished for you, even by the most reputable of companies, nothing should be left undiscussed. Beforehand, I should have specified that no holes would be drilled through the bumper.
I have $275.75 in the whole job, including the bags, installation, a new painted to match bumper cover, and a custom bracket to hold the Schrader valves. My end of the deal ended up being a pretty good one....not so good for the camper company. They lost a few hundred bucks.