: '95 Fleetwood Ride....



JTraik
08-13-09, 02:22 AM
'95 FWB 72k

I am pretty sure my shocks have seen better days however I have no frame of reference to determine for sure if they are actually bad. I have only driven the car 5000 miles in the two years I have owned it and I have gone through everything in the entire car to make sure it is in top working order, the suspension was the next project. I bought the car and drove it for sometime until learning the air pump for the rear shocks had a blown fuse, installed new fuse and the leveling system has been working excellent ever since, shocks hold air very well. I have noticed on the occasions that I have had the vehicle on the lift that there seems to be a oily residue on one of the shocks which would indicate blown I am pretty sure. However the rest of the shocks are quite dry.

By rocking the front and back bumpers the vehicle will oscillate a few times before it comes to a rest, and it is VERY easy to push the car up and down, much more than I ever remember in my 9c1 ( I do understand the significant suspension difference between the two, but they seem VASTLY different from each other) . The vehicle does not oscillate freely as if there was no shock dampening at all but again it will do it a few times before it comes to a stop.

As for driving it is very thuddy over rough road but again does not constantly rock after encountering a bump/dip. Turning corners is only enjoyable at very slow speeds and if there is any bumps rounding the corner its kind of unpleasant.

If they are blown I was looking to get all AC-Delco OEM stuff, assuming that it will give a responsive ride without sacrificing much of the cushy Cadillac feel that I have been so accustomed to over smooth road.

Your input as to how bad you think my shocks may actually be is greatly appreciated. Because again I really have no understanding as to what everything SHOULD be feeling like. And if you have any suggestions on other shocks that would give me the ride I am looking for, that would be awesome. I just figured that I couldnt go wrong with OEM type shocks however I do understand there is a bit of adapting that has to be done to utilize newer air shocks with the air pump lines.

Thanks much,

- Jeff

jey
08-13-09, 11:09 AM
If it oscillates a few times your shocks are blown. I've always been taught the "bounce test" - shove hard down on a corner of the car and if it bounces up and down more than 2 times then you definitely need new shocks. Another way is to drive over a speedbump - if it bounces up and down more than 2 times after the bump your shocks are worn.

That said, this is not a very scientific test - my car passed the "bounce test" but my wife (who is more sensitive than I) definitely felt like the car bounced and wallowed more than a car should. So I changed out the shocks and wow it feels like a new car now!

It's such an easy procedure on these cars too! (Not like the coil-over-strut things that these modern small cars have)

JTraik
08-13-09, 04:12 PM
Jey, Yes the car oscillates about 2 times but it does wallow very much so over large dips and bumps.

You seem to be happy with your new shocks, what ones did you throw in there? What sort of ride do they give you?

Thanks

jey
08-13-09, 05:38 PM
I got the Bilstein B46-1140 shocks. The ride is great - the "cushyness" of the Cadillac ride is mostly in the low spring rate and high profile tires, I think if you just swap the shocks it won't ruin the ride at all - the shocks just do their job (which is to dampen the return action of the springs) really well, like a new car. You go over a speedbump, and the front end dips down when it comes off the bump and the spring cushions the "fall", and it comes right back up to the normal position. Nice and clean, like a good couch when you sit down. Not a trampoline.

JTraik
08-13-09, 06:29 PM
I got the Bilstein B46-1140 shocks. The ride is great - the "cushyness" of the Cadillac ride is mostly in the low spring rate and high profile tires, I think if you just swap the shocks it won't ruin the ride at all - the shocks just do their job (which is to dampen the return action of the springs) really well, like a new car. You go over a speedbump, and the front end dips down when it comes off the bump and the spring cushions the "fall", and it comes right back up to the normal position. Nice and clean, like a good couch when you sit down. Not a trampoline.

The low spring rates in the Fleetwood were to be used in conjunction with the leveling shocks as both the spring and air systems compensate each other to give the vehicle proper ride height... Did you swap out the springs?

jey
08-13-09, 07:25 PM
No I kept the springs and level ride system completely intact. I just swapped the front struts. The difference between the front and back are now noticeable though - the back is way sloppier than the front :lol:

JTraik
08-13-09, 08:59 PM
No I kept the springs and level ride system completely intact. I just swapped the front struts. The difference between the front and back are now noticeable though - the back is way sloppier than the front :lol:

OOOHH sorry I thought those were rear shocks you gave me numbers for. Yeah, I am looking for some dampening continuity lol.

jayoldschool
08-13-09, 09:14 PM
To get the best of both worlds, use Air Lift bags in the rear springs, connected to the stock level ride system, and go with Bilsteins in the back, too! ;)

robb257731
08-14-09, 02:06 PM
I just replaced the front & rear shocks on my 91 Brougham, and trust me, you'll definitely notice a difference. When I bought the car I knew it had a broken rear shock. I thought it rode really well despite the broken shock, but once I put 4 new ones on, it rides like a different car....still cushy, but definitely firm.

Aron9000
08-14-09, 04:27 PM
I just replaced the front & rear shocks on my 91 Brougham, and trust me, you'll definitely notice a difference. When I bought the car I knew it had a broken rear shock. I thought it rode really well despite the broken shock, but once I put 4 new ones on, it rides like a different car....still cushy, but definitely firm.

The 90-92 cars with the 5.7 V8 have a significantly stiffer suspension than the 5.0 V8 cars, they were designed for towing. My car has fairly new shocks on it, and it does have some semblance of handling to it, you can push it way past the speed limit on a curvy road and still feel safe.

MT-ED
08-14-09, 09:16 PM
My '91 Brougham's rear shocks are both leaking and the back is REAL easy to push down. The front end is jiggly too and doesn't pass the bounce test. Everything you describe in your initial post Jeff is how my car feels. I just ordered some new alloy wheels for it and I'm getting the guy to price me up some Monroes as they sell those. He's going to quote for conventionals or with air levelling for the rear. Anyone got experience with the Monroes? I'd like to get the shocks done next week if possible.

Martin.

Aron9000
08-14-09, 09:50 PM
If you swap to convetional shocks on the rear, you need to replace the springs, the factory springs are way too soft to be used with normal struts. A set of base Caprice(non 9c1) or Roadmaster springs will work great and still ride nice.

jey
08-16-09, 02:51 PM
The 90-92 cars with the 5.7 V8 have a significantly stiffer suspension than the 5.0 V8 cars, they were designed for towing. My car has fairly new shocks on it, and it does have some semblance of handling to it, you can push it way past the speed limit on a curvy road and still feel safe.

That reminds me - my car does have the V4P towing package and the FE2 suspension, which might explain why I didn't feel like there much increase in harshness when I switched to the Bilsteins. I guess it all comes down to personal taste - I like good handling cars and I don't know if I'd like the feel of the soft FE1 package. Even with the FE2 everyone gets in the car and is like wow what a smooth ride, so that's good enough for me.