: Rear shocks



Johnny Kaka
05-18-13, 07:05 PM
Hello again everyone. I need to swap the rear shocks on my '90 Brougham. I live in a neighborhood where the roads are atrocious, and the hill sare steep. I was thinking about buying these guys:

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/Gabriel-Load-Carrier-Shock-Strut-Rear/1990-Cadillac-Fleetwood-Brougham/_/N-igi82Z8oxxx?itemIdentifier=101022_6880_7413_

Would anyone recommend them? Or not?

Is there a set that anyone could recommend? I was going to go with the basic shock, but the previous owner disconnected the electronic leveling system. I thought I'd keep it disco'd and put in a stronger shock. Bad idea or good?
Thanks in advance!

csbuckn
05-18-13, 07:08 PM
I'd get the air adjustable shocks and route the air line to the back bumper with a schrader valve. That way you can adjust the ride height and stiffness to you liking.

Johnny Kaka
05-18-13, 11:46 PM
The hi-Jackers? Is that a difficult install? I'm not too experienced, never swapped shocks before. But I might be interested in those, if it's not too complicated.

cadillac kevin
05-18-13, 11:58 PM
The hi-Jackers? Is that a difficult install? I'm not too experienced, never swapped shocks before. But I might be interested in those, if it's not too complicated.

I installed air shocks on my safari van...they're not too hard to plumb up. I've also removed shocks from junkyard B/C bodies....not that hard unless the shocks are rusted in place (in which case, bust out the sawzall)

csbuckn
05-19-13, 12:33 AM
Not the hijackers, a set for a cadillac or caprice of the same year. I'd search for 90 caprice air shocks and see whats out there. Install isnt too bad as long as you can get in tight, awkward spaces.

turbojimmy
05-19-13, 07:27 AM
Do yourself a favor and get Gabriels. The "Delco" air shocks you get these days are Gabriels painted blue. The air line kits are all compatible with Gabriels. My brother made the mistake of putting Monroes on his BRMW and is having a helluva time getting them to seal up because the o-rings are smaller on the Monroes. I think the lines might be a bit smaller too.

Johnny Kaka
05-19-13, 01:27 PM
The reason I'm partial to the load carriers is because I use the trunk for a lot of things. I haul a lot of wood to my house for burning, and I've moved some heavy equipment for people. The back might be a little jacked up, but I don't see that being an issue.

csbuckn
05-19-13, 02:07 PM
The regular air shocks will work perfect for you then. I've used them for many years and they get pretty stiff when you put enough air in them, probably perfect for your needs. I've never used hijackers but they will probably be just fine, the name just sounds like an off road type of brand. If they have something that works for your car(able to sit at the right height without a load), then they will probably work just fine for you.

Fleetwood472
05-19-13, 08:03 PM
Personally I'd recommend the Monroes. The Gabriels are garbage and wear out fast. I burned through 2 sets of them. I love the Monroes. The delcos are just gabriels in a delco box and are not the original delcos that came on these cars. Another thing is the gabriels are made in venezuela. The Monroes are still made in the good ole USA. I've never had any problems with the o-rings like the other guy mentioned. I went with the Monroe MA751 Shock Kit. This is the same set that Napa carries and repackages under their name. Monroe also makes an air line adapter kit like the gabriels do to retrofit them to your air lines. The p/n of that kit is AK16.

jayoldschool
05-19-13, 09:31 PM
I bought Delcos from RockAuto for my wagon. They were black, not blue. They were terrible. I took them off after a few months and switched to Bilsteins.

Fleetwood472
05-19-13, 09:35 PM
Yup those were the gabriels. They're white in the gabriel box and painted black when put in the delco box. The ridequality definitely is not that good with them. Plus they come with a spring that comes with the kit that you have to put in the compressor. I think they use it to raise the minimum pressure from the factory pressure. I think they're the only brand that requires that spring. Where did you find the Bilstein's at? I might have to try them whenever I need new shocks.



I bought Delcos from RockAuto for my wagon. They were black, not blue. They were terrible. I took them off after a few months and switched to Bilsteins.

jayoldschool
05-19-13, 10:37 PM
I found them sitting on my parts shelf. I bought them awhile ago for my SS, and decided to use them on the wagon because I was sick of the ride.

turbojimmy
05-20-13, 06:36 AM
Yup those were the gabriels. They're white in the gabriel box and painted black when put in the delco box. The ridequality definitely is not that good with them. Plus they come with a spring that comes with the kit that you have to put in the compressor. I think they use it to raise the minimum pressure from the factory pressure. I think they're the only brand that requires that spring. Where did you find the Bilstein's at? I might have to try them whenever I need new shocks.

Oops they are black. Any brand "requires" the spring to raise the stock pressure. The aftermarket shocks require higher pressure to maintain the stock ride height. I still have the spring - I never installed it and the stock compressor works fine. The ride does suck with them, but I had assumed it was because they're air shocks not because of the brand. They're pumped up pretty high to maintain the stock ride height on my limo. More air = harsher ride. If my springs were in better shape they might feel better, dunno. As soon as I scrape the cash together I'm switching to air bags and "regular" shocks anyway. I'm hoping that switch will vastly improve the ride.

Johnny Kaka
05-20-13, 08:56 AM
Is this the right Monroe shock?
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_sensa-trac-passenger-car-shock-absorber-monroe_19710415-p?searchTerm=5802

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These are the Bilsteins that I found;
http://www.allshocks.com/bilstein/html/show_shocks.asp?make=%27CADILLAC%27&model=%27Brougham,%20DeVille,%20Fleetwood%27&year=%271990%27

Which one is better? I'd like to keep a nice smooth ride, but I want a good sturdy shock.

Fleetwood472
05-20-13, 09:21 AM
That's not true. Gabriels come with the spring in their kit because they require it. Monroes do not. I thought the same thing about ride height stiffness until I swapped out the gabriels in my fleetwood to Monroes. Monroes ride a lot nicer.



Oops they are black. Any brand "requires" the spring to raise the stock pressure. The aftermarket shocks require higher pressure to maintain the stock ride height. I still have the spring - I never installed it and the stock compressor works fine. The ride does suck with them, but I had assumed it was because they're air shocks not because of the brand. They're pumped up pretty high to maintain the stock ride height on my limo. More air = harsher ride. If my springs were in better shape they might feel better, dunno. As soon as I scrape the cash together I'm switching to air bags and "regular" shocks anyway. I'm hoping that switch will vastly improve the ride.

turbojimmy
05-20-13, 09:50 AM
That's not true. Gabriels come with the spring in their kit because they require it. Monroes do not. I thought the same thing about ride height stiffness until I swapped out the gabriels in my fleetwood to Monroes. Monroes ride a lot nicer.

I don't know what the stock pressures are, but my Gabriels required a little over 100 PSI to maintain the stock height. The Monroes on my brother's Roadmaster Wagon require about the same (it's lighter than the limo, but he likes it a bit higher than stock). The Monroes don't have a spring in their kit, or anything GM-specific for that matter because they're not marketed as OEM replacements like the Gabriels are. As OEM replacements, the kits are over-engineered IMO. As far as I know, there is no kit manufactured by or for Monroe for directly replacing stock shocks in ELC-equipped GM cars like the Gabriels (if there is one let me know because my brother could use one). My AC Delcos (Gabriels) came with a line kit, but the kit with the spring in it is ordered separately and has the correct sized tee for the factory lines. If your intention is to tap into the factory compressor system then you have to source your own parts for the Monroes - mainly that tee. It's NOT the tee with the Schrader valve - it has compression fittings on all 3 sides. My brother's is leaking because the Monroe lines are smaller than the stock lines. I tried to help him out with spare parts from my Gabriel kit, which is how we found out about the different sizes.

In any event, if you're just going to put air shocks on it with a Schrader valve then all of the above is moot. If you're going to use the stock ELC it gets a little more complicated.

Fleetwood472
05-20-13, 10:12 AM
The gabriels and monroes both use a T fitting because the factory shocks had one line run to the left shock and then had a jumper air line that ran from the 2nd port on the left shock over to the right shock. Not sure what you are getting at saying they don't have a kit for ELC vehicles. As I posted before in this thread that kit is AK16 which is compatible with ELC systems. They also have a shrader valve kit for a stand a lone system which is p/n AK64. The only reason for the kit for both the gabriels and monroes is because the shock bodies have threaded fittings and not the clip style fitting that the factory shocks used. On top of that they both have 1 port each vs the factory 2 port left shock and 1 port right shock. The line sizes are exactly the same. The o-ring setup is too. When I took out my old gabriels that were failing I unscrewed the T fitting that they came with and put 2 new o-rings on from the monroe kit then screwed the original cadillac line right onto the T-Fitting just as I did with the old Gabriels. Monroes oem replacements. Go to Rockauto or NAPA and you'll see that they are direct fit replacements. Gabriels use the T-Fitting just like the monroes. Go to Napa or Rockauto and you'll see that Monroes are listed as direct replacements. If you're using either with ELC how would it get complicated? You're just using a T-Fitting.

turbojimmy
05-20-13, 12:59 PM
The gabriels and monroes both use a T fitting because the factory shocks had one line run to the left shock and then had a jumper air line that ran from the 2nd port on the left shock over to the right shock. Not sure what you are getting at saying they don't have a kit for ELC vehicles. As I posted before in this thread that kit is AK16 which is compatible with ELC systems. They also have a shrader valve kit for a stand a lone system which is p/n AK64. The only reason for the kit for both the gabriels and monroes is because the shock bodies have threaded fittings and not the clip style fitting that the factory shocks used. On top of that they both have 1 port each vs the factory 2 port left shock and 1 port right shock. The line sizes are exactly the same. The o-ring setup is too. When I took out my old gabriels that were failing I unscrewed the T fitting that they came with and put 2 new o-rings on from the monroe kit then screwed the original cadillac line right onto the T-Fitting just as I did with the old Gabriels. Monroes oem replacements. Go to Rockauto or NAPA and you'll see that they are direct fit replacements. Gabriels use the T-Fitting just like the monroes. Go to Napa or Rockauto and you'll see that Monroes are listed as direct replacements. If you're using either with ELC how would it get complicated? You're just using a T-Fitting.

I'm aware of all of that. I've replaced the rear shocks on both my limos and now my brother's Roadmaster. The o-rings, lines and tees are different between the Delcos and the Monroes. Maybe he got the wrong kit? I don't know. He's having a hard time getting the right combination of parts to make it work with the ELC. He ordered a Monroe kit that had different line sizes and o-rings than the Gabriel hardware I had. They were also different from whatever the PO had installed. I'll have him check out the kits you've mentioned.

My point with the Monroe vs. Gabriel kits is that the Gabriel kits are over-engineered because they are offered by Delco as OEM replacements, hence the spring in the Gabriel kits. The pressure requirements of both shocks is the same so if the spring is required or not required for Gabriels, it would be required or not required for the Monroes. I guess my point is that I don't see the spring "requirement" as necessarily being a drawback to the Gabriels. I will agree, however, that my ride sucks after installing them on the '94. The '96 was fine so I'm not sure I'm ready to blame the shocks. When you use air shocks to prop up worn springs you're going to get a harsh ride.

purelux
05-21-13, 12:57 AM
The Gabriel/"ac delco" have a higher minimum pressure than the OEM or Monroe do thus requiring a spring. Also the point of air assist is to enable a soft ride but still be able to handle and ride properly when loaded.

turbojimmy
05-21-13, 07:27 AM
The spring is for the max pressure, not the min. It's to increase the maximum pressure the pump is capable of producing. Max pressure on the Gabriels is 200; 150 for the Monroes. The system doesn't measure pressure it measures height so if the pressure requirements of the shocks are different, the pump is simply going to run or vent until it's the correct height. That being said, if a shock requires less air to maintain the same height, the ride should theoretically be better. More air = harsher ride. I'll definitely try the Monroes next time around (if there is a next time).