1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi all, I have a 1996 Eldorado ESC/Base with 130,000 on the clock, FE1 suspension. When I took it in ...
  1. #1
    17Car is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Hi all,
    I have a 1996 Eldorado ESC/Base with 130,000 on the clock, FE1 suspension. When I took it in for inspection a few months ago, which was at a different shop than where I normally go due to circumstances, they informed me that the rear chocks were in need of replacing. I took a look at them myself, and there is a very small amount of an oily substance directly below the rubber boot on each shock. The boots themselves are cracked, but do not seem to be ruptured at any point. The air leveling suspension does not leak and works as it is supposed to. Bouncing the rear of the car when its is parked does not result in the "bouncieness" you would expect from bad shocks, but it is an active suspension so Im not sure how accurate that test is. It does not seem very bouncy or loose in the rear when on the road as well. I do have a small clunk sound coming from the suspension occasionaly when driving, but that sounds like its coming from the front and could be any number of things.
    So is there a good way of testing these to see if they really are in need of replacement, or is the shop just trying to get me to shell out for new suspension parts?
    If they do need replaced I will probably go to the passive shocks and install them myself..
    Thanks

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    N*Caddy's Avatar
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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    You said you have ESC/Base that pretty much means you likely have passive suspension.
    Do you have F45 code on the RPO sticker or not?
    You need to establish that before going any further.
    Other than the F45 code you can tell if is active or not by:
    1. Checking if you have 1 height sensor to each wheel
    2. Checking if you have a cable connected to each strut/shock
    3. Checking if you have RSS module, this is done either by removing the trunk liner (the one covering the rear shelf and the bask seat rest, or by running the diagnose mode and looking of you have RSS menu or not.

    Either way active struts/shocks are ~$700 each, passive struts/shocks are between $30 to $150 each.
    You have a '96 and that year uses 1-year only struts/shocks.
    There is no aftermarket support for active struts/shocks for your year, is either OEM active or you go passive aftermarket.

    To test active suspension you need to test drive it. With the car stationary the solenoids are fully open so bouncing the car up and down as you do to test conventional struts will return false worn struts feel.

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by 17Car View Post
    Hi all,
    I have a 1996 Eldorado ESC/Base with 130,000 on the clock, FE1 suspension. When I took it in for inspection a few months ago, which was at a different shop than where I normally go due to circumstances, they informed me that the rear chocks were in need of replacing. I took a look at them myself, and there is a very small amount of an oily substance directly below the rubber boot on each shock. The boots themselves are cracked, but do not seem to be ruptured at any point. The air leveling suspension does not leak and works as it is supposed to. Bouncing the rear of the car when its is parked does not result in the "bouncieness" you would expect from bad shocks, but it is an active suspension so Im not sure how accurate that test is. It does not seem very bouncy or loose in the rear when on the road as well. I do have a small clunk sound coming from the suspension occasionaly when driving, but that sounds like its coming from the front and could be any number of things.
    So is there a good way of testing these to see if they really are in need of replacement, or is the shop just trying to get me to shell out for new suspension parts?
    If they do need replaced I will probably go to the passive shocks and install them myself..
    Thanks
    --------------------------------------------
    there is a very small amount of an oily substance
    directly below the rubber boot on each shock.

    the seals are leaking - so you WILL need new shocks -

    the best replacement would be the Monroe 40046 -
    they are a direct-fit -

    the best price today is $108.61 with free shipping -
    http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-40046-R...s=monroe+40046

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    17Car is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by N*Caddy View Post
    You said you have ESC/Base that pretty much means you likely have passive suspension.
    Do you have F45 code on the RPO sticker or not?
    You need to establish that before going any further.
    Other than the F45 code you can tell if is active or not by:
    1. Checking if you have 1 height sensor to each wheel
    2. Checking if you have a cable connected to each strut/shock
    3. Checking if you have RSS module, this is done either by removing the trunk liner (the one covering the rear shelf and the bask seat rest, or by running the diagnose mode and looking of you have RSS menu or not.
    F45 is not on the RPO sticker, only FE1, which according to rockauto is still an active strut. The car also has a height sensor on each wheel and cables connecting each strut/shock. It does have the RSS menu, in fact its the only code its throwing right now, RSS 0027 which is for one of the rear sensors I believe. So most likely active then.
    Hopefully the passive shocks wont be too much of a difference.

    ----------

    Also, if its a good idea to do the front ones as well while I'm replacing parts, (I will also be putting in new tie-rod ends and ball joints up front, so now would be the time to do so) Would this set work for the 96?
    http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-90008-F...do+front+strut
    It does not look like it has a plug for the computer, so I assume I would have to wire this one with a resistor to keep it happy..
    Thanks again!

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    F45 is RSS/CVRSS.


    FE1 refers to the springs (soft ride), nothing to do with passive or active struts.

    FE1 and no F45 = ESC - No active suspension.

    The "cables" you're seeing must be the ELC air lines.

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Like MoistCabbage said FE1/FE3 and F45/F55 are totally different things.

    F45 = CVRSS (or RSS for '96 and older vehicles)
    F55 = Magnaride ('02+ Vehicles)

    FE1 - Soft springs
    FE3 - Sport springs
    FE1 also implies small diameter sway bar.
    There are 3 thickness levels for the sway bar, FE1 has the thin one of the 3, FE3 has the one of the 2 thicker ones.

    Come to think of, I have the thicker one and it snapped on me (tight turn), I wonder how do the other 2 work (drive straight only)?!

    Even between FE1 or FE3 cars there are different spring specifications depending on the options equipping the vehicle.

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by 17Car View Post
    F45 is not on the RPO sticker, only FE1, which according to rockauto is still an active strut. The car also has a height sensor on each wheel and cables connecting each strut/shock. It does have the RSS menu, in fact its the only code its throwing right now, RSS 0027 which is for one of the rear sensors I believe. So most likely active then.
    Hopefully the passive shocks wont be too much of a difference.

    ----------

    Also, if its a good idea to do the front ones as well while I'm replacing parts, (I will also be putting in new tie-rod ends and ball joints up front, so now would be the time to do so) Would this set work for the 96?
    http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-90008-F...do+front+strut
    It does not look like it has a plug for the computer, so I assume I would have to wire this one with a resistor to keep it happy..
    Thanks again!
    ----------------------------
    YES - the 90008 KIT is an EXCELLENT choice -
    just be sure to line the spring and spring seats up properly -

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    But wouldn't in this case (non - F45) AcDelco passive struts be relatively similar price?

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by N*Caddy View Post
    But wouldn't in this case (non - F45) AcDelco passive struts be relatively similar price?
    --------------------
    I don't see an ACDelco - passive strut for a 96 Eldo even listed -

    so - I guess not -

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    I have seen a '96 STS once downgraded to passive suspension using the AcDeclo struts (basically the exact same OEM struts used in the non F45 cars). It must be available somewhere (dealer, ebay, carpartkings), I see nothing on rockauto though.
    The passive struts have a big white logo "AcDelco" on the side.

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by N*Caddy View Post
    I have seen a '96 STS once downgraded to passive suspension using the AcDeclo struts (basically the exact same OEM struts used in the non F45 cars). It must be available somewhere (dealer, ebay, carpartkings), I see nothing on rockauto though.
    The passive struts have a big white logo "AcDelco" on the side.
    --------------------------------------
    I see nothing on rockauto though.
    and that's what I found with several other searches -
    no passive strut replacement number for Eldos -

    I suppose you could spend a lot more time
    cross referencing every application from the Monroe -
    to find a similar passive Delco -

    personally - I would be just as happy -
    no make that even happier with the passive Monroe -
    that was made for the car -

  13. #12
    17Car is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Hmm, well I'll have to look around and see if I can get the Delco's at a similar price. However, my first instinct would be to go with the Monroe kit for the front. I am going to do the rears first, as they are definitely bad though, so we shall see what the car feels like after those get replaced. I ordered the Monroes for the rear, should be here tomorrow. I also ordered upper and lower knuckle bushings for the rear as well as they look about shot. Hopefully they wont be too stubborn to remove Will try to get at least the shocks in Friday night.

    ----------

    Oh, and another quick question, for the non F45 suspension, is there an air line or something that goes into the front strut? The fronts on my car have a tubeish looking thing going into a protrusion off the back of the strut body, about 3/4 of the way down...

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    Re: 1996 Eldorado rear shocks worn out?

    Quote Originally Posted by 17Car View Post
    Hmm, well I'll have to look around and see if I can get the Delco's at a similar price. However, my first instinct would be to go with the Monroe kit for the front. I am going to do the rears first, as they are definitely bad though, so we shall see what the car feels like after those get replaced. I ordered the Monroes for the rear, should be here tomorrow. I also ordered upper and lower knuckle bushings for the rear as well as they look about shot. Hopefully they wont be too stubborn to remove Will try to get at least the shocks in Friday night.

    ----------

    Oh, and another quick question, for the non F45 suspension, is there an air line or something that goes into the front strut? The fronts on my car have a tubeish looking thing going into a protrusion off the back of the strut body, about 3/4 of the way down...
    --------------------------
    the air connection is for Automatic Level Control - on the rear only -

    no air in the front struts - that must be the wiring harness -

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