: 93 Fleetwood rear air shocks



Mark 78 Coupe
09-14-11, 07:41 PM
My 93 Fleetwood still has the factory rear air shocks, with the compressor. The car just turned 80,000 miles, and I am wondering if ( and when ) they start to leak, if anyone has experience with a replacement non air shock that works, and still provides a nice ride. A specific brand, and price, if you have it would be appreciated. Thanks!!

turbojimmy
09-14-11, 07:59 PM
The factory ones are still available and relatively inexpensive. If they're not leaking oil, I'd leave them alone.

Mark 78 Coupe
09-16-11, 12:02 PM
Anyone else besides turbo jimmy have any thoughts? I have heard that eventually the compressor will die, and was wondering if anyone has replaced the factory shocks with a non-air shock, and what the results were. Anybody?? Thanks!!

csbuckn
09-16-11, 12:30 PM
I heard that the springs are softer and made to be setup with air shocks, and that putting non air shocks with the springs would make it sag and run too soft. But that's what I heard and I don't know for sure. My suggestion would be to buy air shocks and mount the fill valve behind the bumper, that way you can fill and release air based on your preferences.

outsider
09-16-11, 12:50 PM
^ Right, what he said. That seems to be the most common practice and I'm 99% sure my 95 has it set up that way.

SDCaddyLacky
09-16-11, 01:46 PM
Thats what I did, I replaced my leaky rear air shocks with the manual setup. Because my level sensor was bad, including the rotted out arm that has the little ball on it, I bypassed the air compressor. Now all I have to do is go to a gas station and fill up the shocks to my preference. I don't have to worry about any electrical issues or a failed compressor anymore, and it's great.

Personally since I have the Monroe Max Air shocks, I wish I would of gone the stock route since these rear shocks are very stiff.

turbojimmy
09-16-11, 03:28 PM
^ Right, what he said. That seems to be the most common practice and I'm 99% sure my 95 has it set up that way.

^What he said, and what he said. Without air shocks, the car will be dragging ass everywhere. Not becoming of a stately car like the Fleetwood. If your compressor works, and all you need is shocks, why not just do stock shocks? If the compressor or sensor go bad in the future, deal with it then. They may last forever.

jayoldschool
09-16-11, 06:39 PM
Good advice from all.

digital1021
09-16-11, 07:07 PM
In my experience the shocks will fail long before the compressor... Of course YMMV. The first time I replaced the rear air shocks I went with the Monroe air shocks, from NAPA. These are almost exactly like the factory units, with the air bag exposed. After they failed two years later, I replaced them with Gabriel air shocks from Advanced Auto. These have an internal air bag, and actually seem to ride better than the Monroe shocks.

They do make passive replacement shocks that come with a helper spring attached.

As for cost, the passive replacements run about $80-90 per shock, while both the Monroe and Gabriel air shocks are about $60 per pair, and include replacement lines and fittings. Additionally, while you can setup the air shocks separate of the level control, they are compatible with the factory system. So there is a cost advantage to keeping the air shocks/level control.

~ Matt

Mark 78 Coupe
09-17-11, 12:03 PM
Wow, thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions!! Here's hoping the compressor continues to work, and not leak. Since it is a Florida car, it has zero rust on the underside, so I am hopeful that everything will continue to work well in the future. Thanks again.:)

turbojimmy
09-17-11, 01:11 PM
Wow, thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions!! Here's hoping the compressor continues to work, and not leak. Since it is a Florida car, it has zero rust on the underside, so I am hopeful that everything will continue to work well in the future. Thanks again.:)

The Delco replacement shocks appear to be "regular" air shocks (unlike the factory arrangement with an in and out on the left shock and just an "in" on the right shock). They come with a line kit. If the compressor fails, you can just re-route the lines and add a Schrader valve to pump them up.

brougham
09-17-11, 02:37 PM
The springs might be weaker then normal but should still be able to hold the car up unless there's a heavy load in it. If it doesn't they're worn out. The compressors almost never break it's usually a line or the shocks themselves.

Cadillacboy
09-17-11, 05:59 PM
We have bad shocks , they leak but compressor runs fine . Your shocks held up pretty well because my dad's ride were broken at only 53K kilometers

turbojimmy
09-19-11, 01:26 PM
Just a word to the wise.....

When you order the GM 504511 shocks, they come in a pair and are listed as replacements for the stock shocks. These are oil-filled shocks with air bags in them, like stock, but only have one fitting on each shock. The factory arrangement has 2 fittings on the left and one on the right. The second fitting on the left shock feeds the right shock. All this needs re-plumbed. The 504511 does come with a line kit, but it's a kit that sets you up with a standard air-shock setup with a schrader valve. This is nice, but if you want to retain the factory compressor you will also need the GM 141248 kit. Or, if you're resourceful, you just need to come up with a "T" fitting to plumb the air line from the pump to both new shocks. I'm anal about this stuff, so I ordered the kit. In the meantime, I've got 120 PSI in the shocks and the car sits up really nice. Rear shocks made a HUGE difference. I'm doing the fronts later this week. Waiting on tools....

The job just plain sucks. Getting up at the nuts at the top of the shocks is ridiculous. How much effort would it have been to weld the nuts to the frame during assembly? Did GM not envision anyone ever replacing the shock absorbers? I'm not looking forward to crawling back under there to install the line kit once it arrives.

pompste
09-22-11, 08:48 AM
Anyone else besides turbo jimmy have any thoughts? I have heard that eventually the compressor will die, and was wondering if anyone has replaced the factory shocks with a non-air shock, and what the results were. Anybody?? Thanks!!

I had "passive" non-air rear shocks installed on both my Sedan Deville`s within the past 3 years and they work great---even with the existing springs.Ride height is exactly the same as with the original air shocks also.Had to replace the original air shocks as they developed oil leaks,and i did`nt have the deep pockets to get air shocks.It also sounds great to "not" hear those air pumps working too.Both air pumps still worked great.
The ride is just a bit firmer in the rear,not much, on my '95 with the passive shocks.On my '78 i notice no difference in ride at all with the passives.The '78 has a longer wheelbase than the '95 so that might account for it.

hadesnuggz
09-22-11, 10:10 AM
Dont get Monroe Max Air. they suck. And I'm pretty sur eone is already leaking even though I got them replaced in winter.

turbojimmy
09-22-11, 10:46 AM
I had "passive" non-air rear shocks installed on both my Sedan Deville`s within the past 3 years and they work great---even with the existing springs.Ride height is exactly the same as with the original air shocks also.

Hmmm...maybe my springs are shot in the back? Mine sits down pretty close to the bump stops without the air shocks. Could be because it's a limo, too, I guess.

turbojimmy
09-22-11, 02:12 PM
So my GM 141248 line kit came in today. After reading some posts here, I think I know what to do with it (no instructions came with it). But one thing bothers me: what the heck is the big spring for? Some other application? It's been asked here before but I didn't find an answer.

TomN.
03-09-13, 06:11 PM
Having problems with the top bolts on my '96 Fleetwood Brougham right now. Any suggestions?




The job just plain sucks. Getting up at the nuts at the top of the shocks is ridiculous. How much effort would it have been to weld the nuts to the frame during assembly? Did GM not envision anyone ever replacing the shock absorbers? I'm not looking forward to crawling back under there to install the line kit once it arrives.

jayoldschool
03-09-13, 11:14 PM
Long skinny arms help. Along with a nice box wrench, and a 3/8 drive socket with at least 18" of extensions. Install them with the bolts upside down, it's easier.

mygpascaddy
03-10-13, 01:00 AM
Also something to know for deciding to replace the shocks to non air ride. If you have a leak fix it as soon as possible because that's really the only time the compressor goes bad, when it constantly runs. Normal run time isn't enough to wear it down even after 20 years. If it's not broke don't fix it imo. But hey if you don't want the compressor anymore I'll pay shipping :)