View Full Version : Weird suspension issues with new to me 1987 Brougham d"Elegance

06-27-11, 03:51 PM
So my 1984 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance bit the dust. The 4100 blew and it is parked for now. I just bought a 1987 Brougham d'Elegance out of Southern California that was shipped to me. It's a one owner with 80k original miles. Owner passed away and it went through auction. I got it today and here is the scoop. Runs/shifts fantastic, ice cold a/c, everything seems to work. The ride is terrible though. It seems higher in the rear than my 1984 and it is not floaty/boaty like they are supposed to be. Every bump and road imperfection jars the whole car. It rides like a lifted offroad toy....not a Caddy. I feel every bump....like there is no give to the suspension. The level ride light is on and I can hear the compressor cycle, course the level ride light was always on in my 84. Any thoughts?

06-27-11, 04:57 PM
does it have the tow package? I know those have higher/harsher suspensions.

Some times when the level ride goes out or the air shock or air system leak they will replace them with adjustable air shocks and they may have too much air in them.

06-27-11, 05:16 PM
Yep, I bet it has air shocks in the rear and you will have to let the air out. If the shocks have no air lines going to them, you'll have to replace them(probably the best idea anyway). Either that or the height level sensor is bad.

06-28-11, 12:46 AM
Okay so I have some more information.... I had a friend drive it home from work for me as I had two cars today. When we left work the Caddy looked like it had hydraulics in the rear. The rear was sitting so high that I could see the entire undercarraige. When it was driven over bumps it would shake and skip violently and I should add the compressor was running non stop. We stopped to run an errand and the car was sitting normally? Drove it home 20 miles and the rear looked to be at normal stance and suspension seemed to be working. Started it up an hour later and the compressor kicked on and would not stop and raised the rear way up again-looks hilarious. So I disconnected the compressor and it sunk back down to a normal stance an hour later. So do you all think this would be a bad sensor? And no it doesn't have the tow package. Thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

06-28-11, 01:25 AM
I was going to suggest a non functioning exhaust valve, but if the compressor is running non stop at times, I'd suspect the height sensor.

06-28-11, 08:26 AM
yeah sounds like the height sensor is malfunctioning. not sure how safe it would be to drive it the way it is or if the system is capable of overfilling enough to damage it's self....but you may want to get it fixed ASAP

06-28-11, 08:37 AM
I'd pull the fuse for the compressor while it's at a "normal" height, until it's fixed.

06-28-11, 09:03 AM
I want to see a picture of it with the jacked rear end. LOL.

06-28-11, 11:45 AM
I left the compressor unplugged today and have an appointment at a shop at 2pm. I'll keep you posted.

06-29-11, 12:04 PM
Well that was a waste of time. The shop i made the appointment at for alignment check and "air suspension" check informs me that they wont work on air ride and to just bypass it after I get there. Then they say lower ball joints are bad and want $450 to replace with an alignment. I leave having them do nothing because they pissed me off about the air ride. So I go to another shop that I trust and they inspect it and say the ball joints look perfect and align it and balance tires. Lame because the car drives exactley the same, pulls to the right on highway and has a vibration in the front. Any ideas??

06-29-11, 02:02 PM
That sucks because if they did the alignment and it still does the same, they missed something. Too much stuff up front to pinpoint over the internet.

06-29-11, 03:14 PM
I always check for ball joints by:

Jack one of the front tires up... hold the tire at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions.
Try and move it back and forth with your hands in these positions.
It should be solid... yet if it clincks/clanks/moves... then you know.

Similar can be done for the terminals, by holding the tire at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions.

Not scientifically accurate, yet it always helps.

Other random stuff... any if the brakes are dragging?
Like passenger side caliper stuck "braking" the disc?

06-30-11, 05:02 PM
Okay well believe it or not I took it to the actual GM dealership today for the air ride...LOL. The service manager is a neighbor. They are 100% sure the ride height sensor is bad as you guys suggested. They can't get a new one so I will pull the one out of my 84...hopefully the same. Is it going to be a P.I.T.A. to get out of the 84?
P.S. brakes checked out good. After I get air ride sorted out I will deal with alignment. I will jack it up and check ball joints when I get home.