: 1978 Cadillac - Level Ride

05-24-11, 10:37 AM
My '78 Fleetwood has the level ride equipped. In 2000 the car had an electrical short, but the mechanic traced it to the level ride pump. They disconnected the level ride pump and installed air ride shocks in it's place to give the car the lift in the back.

I would very much like to restore the level ride feature. I noticed in the engine compartment disconnected wiring harnesses to the level ride pump. I plan to replace all the fuses in the car as I get going. Besides figuring out how to hook back up the wiring harnesses and checking fuses, are there any issues I should watch out for? I'd imagine the equipment doesn't need repair since it hasn't been operating for years anyway. Am I jumping the gun?

If the air ride shocks are uninstalled, does that mean certian suspension components were swapped out, to disengage the level ride?

05-24-11, 11:09 AM
The shop should of only replaced the shocks so you should be able to just switch back to the correct ones and plug the line back in. You'll have to plug it all back together and see what happens before you'll know what needs to be fixed. What happened when it shorted out?

05-24-11, 12:49 PM
Yeah I guess there's really no harm in just plugging it back in and seeing what happens. To your point, I wont know the issues unless I plug it all back together. If shocks were taken out to allow for the disconnection of the level ride, then I might need to buy new ones I'd assume. I can't quite remember what happened when it shorted out. It may have been a battery drain that they sourced the problem to the level ride. I remember fuses constantly blowing as well.

05-24-11, 01:07 PM
You will probably need a new compressor. You can find them in any junk yard and Cadillac used the same compressor until at least '92. After that, just put in factory replacement shocks, which have an air valve.

05-24-11, 09:14 PM
Thanks a lot for the tip

05-25-11, 09:58 PM
1978 was the first year for the electric compressor in the Cadillac air ride system. The pump used in 1979 was different, but may still fit the mounts as a replacement. I have both, but have never compared them.
It may be a good idea to crawl uder the back of the car to check the condition of the air ride level sensor which is located on the back cross frame before going to all that trouble. If they left the old lines on the car, you may be able to get an adaptor which will allow you to use the air shocks already on the car.

05-25-11, 11:58 PM
Been quiet lately, but I am gonna sit along for this one...

05-17-12, 07:14 PM
I have been quiet. I haven't had the time or resources to start the restoration process. I have gotten the car started and removed all the sections of the rusted out exhaust and that's about all I've been able to do. Hopefully within the next few months I will be able to reunite with the car. I live in a different state than I am storing the car so that poses some challenges!

05-18-12, 09:35 AM
The shocks are the same; shouldn't have to change them. It's just a matter of hooking up the original air lines and figuring out what is wrong with the compressor. My Seville had the level ride bypassed to manual when I bought it and I have never bothered trying to fix it in 15 years. The only time I adjust it is when I go on a trip and load the trunk. I suppose if you are going to carry heavy people off and on it would be very very nice to have it pump up automatically and then to lower again when they exit the vehicle. It's not that complicated a system though; your choice, good luck.

06-02-12, 01:12 PM
You should just plug in the compressor & see what happens. It isn't going to hurt anything other than maybe popping the fuse again. If the fuse does pop again after all those years, it is probably pretty safe to assume the compressor is bad. When they replaced the shocks, I would hope they just left the original tubing there. You should be able to hook up the old tubing to the new shocks. You may need like a "T" fitting in the tubing to get air to both shocks depending if one of the old shocks had 2 ports to also feed the 2nd shock.