: Auto Level Control???



bigbluebrougham
01-05-07, 03:58 PM
My car sits pretty low in the rear end. As far as I know, there is a compressor in the lower driver's side front of my car, hidden underneath a bunch of stuff, and my car has air shocks in the rear. I don't think my compressor has ran since the day I bought the car. I know they are quiet, but I used to own a 1989 Olds 98 with the Auto Level option, and you cold faintly hear the compressor. About a month ago, I took a road trip to Sioux Falls, SD to pick up my brother-in-law who came back from Iraq. He had a ton of luggage in the car and I was seating six people in the car. My car didn"t level out and I KNOW I had more then the required 300 pounds of luggage in the trunk and with six averaged sized people in the car, there was more than enough weight in the car to have the level control in full force. It didn't. Anyone have any ideas? I have a FSM, but wanted to get everyone's opinoins before delving into a quest that I may not want to do (just replace with regular shocks, i.e. Bilsteins). Thanks in advance! :)

BBB

ReagansRollsRoyce
01-05-07, 08:23 PM
My car sits pretty low in the rear end. As far as I know, there is a compressor in the lower driver's side front of my car, hidden underneath a bunch of stuff, and my car has air shocks in the rear. I don't think my compressor has ran since the day I bought the car. I know they are quiet, but I used to own a 1989 Olds 98 with the Auto Level option, and you cold faintly hear the compressor. About a month ago, I took a road trip to Sioux Falls, SD to pick up my brother-in-law who came back from Iraq. He had a ton of luggage in the car and I was seating six people in the car. My car didn"t level out and I KNOW I had more then the required 300 pounds of luggage in the trunk and with six averaged sized people in the car, there was more than enough weight in the car to have the level control in full force. It didn't. Anyone have any ideas? I have a FSM, but wanted to get everyone's opinoins before delving into a quest that I may not want to do (just replace with regular shocks, i.e. Bilsteins). Thanks in advance! :)

BBB

Just a layman but it sounds like its not operating. I recently replaced my compressor, the level control now adjusts mainly at warmup and on steeper hills or when a big load is added.

Before I had it replaced, it flipped on and off constantly and the rear end got progressively lower as the year went on. It's back at normal level now.

So I wonder if yours is even hooked up?

brougham
01-05-07, 10:58 PM
If its always low your springs are worn out the auto leveling is only to make the car level when theres a lot of stuff in the back.

codewize
01-06-07, 01:04 AM
Not true. The level ride has ride height sensors between the rear axle and the body. Regardless of spring quality the level ride is supposed to maintain a certain distance between the axle and the body of the car.

If that's not happening it's most likely the compressor. Check the fuses and connections first but the compressors do go bad. There should also be a light on the dash to tell you when it's running. If you've never seen that light then it's never worked.


If its always low your springs are worn out the auto leveling is only to make the car level when theres a lot of stuff in the back.

brougham
01-06-07, 01:37 AM
Not true. The level ride has ride height sensors between the rear axle and the body. Regardless of spring quality the level ride is supposed to maintain a certain distance between the axle and the body of the car.

If that's not happening it's most likely the compressor. Check the fuses and connections first but the compressors do go bad. There should also be a light on the dash to tell you when it's running. If you've never seen that light then it's never worked.

Yeah thats how it works. But it isnt supposed to hold up the car its only supposed to make it level. You should be able to completely disconnect it and the car should still be level unless theres something in the back. If it doesnt theres something else wrong.

96Fleetwood
01-06-07, 07:23 AM
An inexpensive alternative is to put Caprice 9C1 springs in the rear with some good shocks (Monroe SS, Gabriel Super Duty, Bilstein).

90Brougham350
01-06-07, 09:38 AM
Yup, I went with Bilsteins all around and heavy-duty towing springs in the rear, now it sits very nicely!

codewize
01-06-07, 11:05 AM
Right. If the system isn't working the car should sit level with no load. If it's sagging then, yes the springs could be to blame.

Although now that I think about it, when the level ride broke in my 93 Brougham the car sagged also. The shocks were leaking and the level ride kept coming on but the car sagged quite a bit in the rear. Once I replaced the shocks it was fine again.

Maybe these cars do rely on the shocks to hold some of the weight.




Yeah thats how it works. But it isnt supposed to hold up the car its only supposed to make it level. You should be able to completely disconnect it and the car should still be level unless theres something in the back. If it doesnt theres something else wrong.

brougham
01-06-07, 09:02 PM
How much did it sag? Maybe yours are worn out a bit too? Even people with Cadillacs that are a few yeras old seem to have problems with the springs being worn sometimes so there are probably quite a few Broughams and Fleetwoods around with worn out springs but because of how the level ride works they dont know it? Theres quite a few posts around about that problem.

codewize
01-07-07, 12:11 AM
Hmm maybe you're right. It didn't drag ass or anything, but I could tell by looking it that it didn't look quite right. This was probably at 75k or so. I had the shocks replaced with GM parts for $300 at a private mechanic.


How much did it sag? Maybe yours are worn out a bit too? Even people with Cadillacs that are a few yeras old seem to have problems with the springs being worn sometimes so there are probably quite a few Broughams and Fleetwoods around with worn out springs but because of how the level ride works they dont know it? Theres quite a few posts around about that problem.

BluEyes
01-07-07, 12:43 AM
I've always read that air shocks are supposed to have some minimum pressure to keep the rubber air seals from binding. I know the FSM for my '70 mentions a minimum pressure in the system, so it would seem that the shocks support some of the cars weight normally. I don't think it should look like there is a body in the trunk though...

The Ape Man
01-07-07, 08:44 AM
The way to tell would be to look up original spring part numbers and see if Cadillac used lighter springs for the level ride cars. This would have to be a GM parts source and not aftermarket one size fits all.

BCs71
01-08-07, 01:42 PM
Maybe these cars do rely on the shocks to hold some of the weight.

Very true. The late model Fleetwoods actually do rely heavily on the shocks, and not so much the springs.

Anyone with a working level ride system can test this. Pull the fuse and airline outlet from the compressor and let the car sit for a few days. The rear end will sag.

bigbluebrougham
01-08-07, 01:58 PM
What is the RPO code for the Auto Level Control...G67? Do all Fleetwoods from 93-96 have this? I was also wondering, my shocks are pretty bad and I would like to keep the Auto Level Feature on my car, so, what shocks does anyone recommend? Factory Stock? AC Delco? Monroe?

brougham
01-08-07, 02:36 PM
Very true. The late model Fleetwoods actually do rely heavily on the shocks, and not so much the springs.

Anyone with a working level ride system can test this. Pull the fuse and airline outlet from the compressor and let the car sit for a few days. The rear end will sag.

If thats the case theres a lot of Fleetwoods around with bad springs. Thats not what the level ride is for or how it works.

BCs71
01-09-07, 02:07 PM
If thats the case theres a lot of Fleetwoods around with bad springs. Thats not what the level ride is for or how it works.
While most passenger cars use coil springs that are there primarily to hold the weight of the car, and the gas shocks do VERY little if none at all of the load carrying, the 93-6 Fleetwood is different.

Instead of the springs handling 100% of the load, the FW softy springs are very weak and handle a much lower percentage of the load carrying cababilities and instead transfer the responsibility to the air shocks. I don't know what the percentages are, but I bet 50% or more of the load carrying is dependent on the shocks. This is the reason why the car WILL sag PURPOSELY with an inoperable load leveling system.
I guess the reason "why" it was designed this way is all for the purposes of "the Cadillac ride" and to adjust to various loads (i.e., towing).

brougham
01-09-07, 05:51 PM
While most passenger cars use coil springs that are there primarily to hold the weight of the car, and the gas shocks do VERY little if none at all of the load carrying, the 93-6 Fleetwood is different.

Instead of the springs handling 100% of the load, the FW softy springs are very weak and handle a much lower percentage of the load carrying cababilities and instead transfer the responsibility to the air shocks. I don't know what the percentages are, but I bet 50% or more of the load carrying is dependent on the shocks. This is the reason why the car WILL sag PURPOSELY with an inoperable load leveling system.
I guess the reason "why" it was designed this way is all for the purposes of "the Cadillac ride" and to adjust to various loads (i.e., towing).

It wasnt desinged that way at all. They dont have anything to do with holding the car up like that. They werent designed to and like I keep on saying if they do do that it can do damage to them and to the car. There are people on here who have disconnected the whole system before because of problems and they didnt have problems with the back of the car sagging. There are other people who have had problems with it and when they replaced the springs guess what- it didnt sag anymore!! Do a search for level ride and you will find a lot of posts that say how it works and what its supposed to do and what kind of damage can happen if its not used properly.

BCs71
01-10-07, 01:17 PM
It wasnt desinged that way at all. They dont have anything to do with holding the car up like that. They werent designed to and like I keep on saying if they do do that it can do damage to them and to the car. There are people on here who have disconnected the whole system before because of problems and they didnt have problems with the back of the car sagging. There are other people who have had problems with it and when they replaced the springs guess what- it didnt sag anymore!! Do a search for level ride and you will find a lot of posts that say how it works and what its supposed to do and what kind of damage can happen if its not used properly.

I rely on firsthand knowledge and experiences with my own car and not experiences of other peoples' cars. Because then it is just heresay.

Those who have replaced the coil springs likely did so to get a firmer ride and accomplished this with aftermarket springs, which are much stiffer than the waaaaaay soft stock 93-6 springs. That is likely why a disabled level ride system along with aftermarket springs stopped the rear from sagging. Just to reiterate, I am referring only to 93-6 woods because I have never owned an earlier Caddy.

But, I will not get in a pissing match. You have your opinion and I have mine of how "it was designed".

Cheers :canttalk:

brougham
01-10-07, 06:45 PM
I rely on firsthand knowledge and experiences with my own car and not experiences of other peoples' cars. Because then it is just heresay.

Those who have replaced the coil springs likely did so to get a firmer ride and accomplished this with aftermarket springs, which are much stiffer than the waaaaaay soft stock 93-6 springs. That is likely why a disabled level ride system along with aftermarket springs stopped the rear from sagging. Just to reiterate, I am referring only to 93-6 woods because I have never owned an earlier Caddy.

But, I will not get in a pissing match. You have your opinion and I have mine of how "it was designed".

Cheers :canttalk:


Im just going on how the level ride system works and what problems other people had. These cars are all 11-14 years old. You cant expect them to be like new still. Your experience is on a 14 year old car. Just because it sags when you disconnect the level ride doesnt mean its supposed to. Probably a lot of people who changed their springs did it because their old ones were worn out and they just wanted to fix their car. One of the people who gave information in those old posts actually dealt with these cars when they were new thats how he knew what to tell people. I dont care what anybody does with their car. Its probably easier to just take it to a spring shop and get them to deal with it.

bigbluebrougham
01-11-07, 08:29 AM
Okay...anyone know where to get new shocks then? Springs? All I am trying to do is fix to factory stock, not a corner carver. It handles well now for what I do. The only racing I will be doing is in a straight line for a 1/4 mile, maybe a little longer to see what my car can do after the speed limiter is removed. Thanks for the great posts. :)

BBB

BCs71
01-11-07, 01:39 PM
Okay...anyone know where to get new shocks then? Springs? All I am trying to do is fix to factory stock, not a corner carver. It handles well now for what I do. The only racing I will be doing is in a straight line for a 1/4 mile, maybe a little longer to see what my car can do after the speed limiter is removed. Thanks for the great posts. :)

BBB


I'll sell you my stock springs. But if you listen to what brougham says, then mine are just old and saggy. :crybaby: :bigroll:
95K miles on them. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with them -- I ditched them in favor of better handling and lower springs.

bigbluebrougham
01-11-07, 03:08 PM
I'll sell you my stock springs. But if you listen to what brougham says, then mine are just old and saggy. :crybaby: :bigroll:
95K miles on them. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with them -- I ditched them in favor of better handling and lower springs.

LOL! :) My car has just turned over 154k so it might need new ones, or ones with fewer miles. FE1 or FE2?

BBB

brougham
01-11-07, 06:55 PM
Chances are any used springs are about as good as what you already have. Just get new ones. Any good parts store should have the stuff you need.

BCs71
01-12-07, 01:59 PM
Fe1 - Soft Ride

bigbluebrougham
01-12-07, 03:41 PM
BCs71,

I think I am going to get some severe duty Taxi/Police Shocks from NAPA and try those first. As much as I like the "Cadillac" ride, I think it is too much of a hassle, unless I can get the compressor from my old Olds to work. If it is a simple plug 'n play I will do that, if not, I am going to get those shocks and find some 9C1 springs. Thanks for the offer!

BBB

BluEyes
01-15-07, 03:32 AM
Checked in my '70 FSM. It states that 8-15 psi is maintained in the air shocks at all times to minimize boot friction. This pressure would also be carrying some load. The manual also states that to check rear standing height, the air shocks must be disconnected. So, I would say that the rear should sag a bit if the auto level went out.

Rear standing height and springrate are both somewhat lower for auto leveling cars, but I would attribute this mainly to the auto leveling being present to keep that height when the trunk is loaded. ie: the non-leveling cars had stiffer rear sprngs and a higher rear ride so that they wouldn't drag when you pack the trunk full.

But there is also no way the factory intended the shocks to be carrying anything like 50% of the rear weight when the car is unloaded. The shock connections simply could not hold up to that kind of loading over the life of the car. If the shocks were holding 1/2 the rear weight when unloaded, think what they would be carrying when you load the car up with six people and luggage. You'd be looking easily at over 75% of the rear weight being on the shocks! At that point, why even have springs? And more importantly - look at the shock mount. Does it look like it can handle that kind of weight over every pothole for 200K-plus miles?

BCs71
01-15-07, 02:18 PM
BCs71,

I think I am going to get some severe duty Taxi/Police Shocks from NAPA and try those first. As much as I like the "Cadillac" ride, I think it is too much of a hassle, unless I can get the compressor from my old Olds to work. If it is a simple plug 'n play I will do that, if not, I am going to get those shocks and find some 9C1 springs. Thanks for the offer!

BBB

^^^ Honestly, for my uses with my car, that would be the way I would go as well.
I already have different springs under my vehicle for cosmetic and handling purposes since the Caddy ride deosn't fit my vision for how my car should handle (performance is my goal).
Right now my level ride keeps the rear bumper & tailpipes from dragging up my steep driveway approach.
Somewhere in the future I plan to add "better" shocks for handling, gas charged. Then the level ride compressor will be hooked up to air bags (load carrying kind). The bags are only $66 and were great addition to my Caprice so I could get in my driveway when carrying loads or pulling a trailer without dragging.

bigbluebrougham
01-16-07, 11:57 AM
^^^ Honestly, for my uses with my car, that would be the way I would go as well.
I already have different springs under my vehicle for cosmetic and handling purposes since the Caddy ride deosn't fit my vision for how my car should handle (performance is my goal).
Right now my level ride keeps the rear bumper & tailpipes from dragging up my steep driveway approach.
Somewhere in the future I plan to add "better" shocks for handling, gas charged. Then the level ride compressor will be hooked up to air bags (load carrying kind). The bags are only $66 and were great addition to my Caprice so I could get in my driveway when carrying loads or pulling a trailer without dragging.

Where in the world can you find bags that cheap?!? If I would have known that I would have bought them a long time ago! Where can you buy them? I think that sounds great since I plan on hauling a trailer with my car on a rare occasion or two every year. I am going to Sturgis this year for the rally and my friend is going to drive my car with the trailer hooked up and my wife and I and her family are all riding bikes out to Sturgis. Let me know!

BBB

BCs71
01-16-07, 02:47 PM
Where in the world can you find bags that cheap?!? If I would have known that I would have bought them a long time ago! Where can you buy them? I think that sounds great since I plan on hauling a trailer with my car on a rare occasion or two every year. I am going to Sturgis this year for the rally and my friend is going to drive my car with the trailer hooked up and my wife and I and her family are all riding bikes out to Sturgis. Let me know!

BBB

They went up in price since I bought mine 1 year ago, but still only $69 before shipping. Mine was $66 shipped last year.

https://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productitem_10001_10002_743886_-1_30142

DaveSmed
01-24-07, 03:30 AM
Checked in my '70 FSM. It states that 8-15 psi is maintained in the air shocks at all times to minimize boot friction. This pressure would also be carrying some load. The manual also states that to check rear standing height, the air shocks must be disconnected. So, I would say that the rear should sag a bit if the auto level went out.

Rear standing height and springrate are both somewhat lower for auto leveling cars, but I would attribute this mainly to the auto leveling being present to keep that height when the trunk is loaded. ie: the non-leveling cars had stiffer rear sprngs and a higher rear ride so that they wouldn't drag when you pack the trunk full.

But there is also no way the factory intended the shocks to be carrying anything like 50% of the rear weight when the car is unloaded. The shock connections simply could not hold up to that kind of loading over the life of the car. If the shocks were holding 1/2 the rear weight when unloaded, think what they would be carrying when you load the car up with six people and luggage. You'd be looking easily at over 75% of the rear weight being on the shocks! At that point, why even have springs? And more importantly - look at the shock mount. Does it look like it can handle that kind of weight over every pothole for 200K-plus miles?

You pretty much nailed it.

Oh and the reason your supposed to disconnect the air shocks is so you can tell if you have saggy springs that the auto-levelling is compensating for. The springs ARE supposed to hold all of the weight of the car, but were borderline too soft for the application for the reasons mentioned- if theres an abnormal load, the shocks will "help". They probably should have been a little stiffer at the acrifice of ride because as also mentioned almost every older cad will drop a bit without the auto-levelling functioning.