1999 SLS Rear Shock Swap: Guide

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Cadillac Tech Tips - How to fix it Discussion, 1999 SLS Rear Shock Swap: Guide in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Hey all, this is just a simple guide I'm gonna put up for swapping the rear shocks out. My car ...
  1. #1
    jed2009's Avatar
    jed2009 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1999 Seville SLS
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    1999 SLS Rear Shock Swap: Guide

    Hey all, this is just a simple guide I'm gonna put up for swapping the rear shocks out. My car is a 99 Seville SLS. I swapped the OEM shocks with new Monroe shocks due to the OEM boots constantly leaking air. Thanks to Basscatt for a lot of help/info leading up to my swap.

    I tried to post this in the guides/how-to section but was not allowed access.

    What you'll need:
    - Floor Jack
    - Lug Wrench (optional)
    - Jack Stand (optional)
    - Tab Popper (optional)
    - Ratchet
    - 10 MM Socket
    - 13 MM Socket (situational)
    - 15 MM Socket
    - 50 Torx Bit
    - Plyers
    - PB Blaster / Penetratin' Lube
    - Bench Vise (situational)
    - SawzAll w/ metal cut blades (situational)
    - Vise Grips (situational)
    - Hammer (situational)

    Parts list:
    - 2x Monroe MA822 Shock Absorbers
    - 2x 4.7K Ohm 1/2 W 5% Carbon Resistors #271-1124 Radio Shack
    - 4x Replacement clips (optional)

    0) Spray the clamps and 3 bolts with PB blaster or penetratin' lube at least an hour or two (or longer) before going to work.

    1) Begin by jacking the car up w/ the Floor Jack. If you want to take the wheels off to make it easier on yourself, loosen up the lugs with the Lug Wrench first. Feel free to place a Jack Stand if you find it necessary.

    2) Open the trunk. You will find some tabs to pop using the Tab Popper; then remove/pull away the carpet that hides the hull of the car. Do this, revealing the top of the shock. Remove the plastic covers and you're ready to roll.

    3) Remove the air line coming out of the top half of the shock. Use your fingers or Plyers to remove the little pin (this might be the hardest dang part). Next, get underneath your car. You will see a sensor line running from the bottom of the shock, up the cars suspension, and into the actual sensor. Unplug the sensor, use the Plyers to unpop the line brackets, and your shock is ready to be unbolted.

    4) This is where the Resistors come in handy. I have not done this part (waiting to get resistors), but the jist of it is simple. Basscatt makes it easy to understand. Take a single resistor and bend it into a U shape. Insert each of the ends into the sensor plugs and you're set. Tape the bugger up and forget about it. He also mentions a more professional way that involves soldering a resistor into the old plug, heat-wrapping it, plugging it in and then covering it. Your choice.

    5) Now you're ready to unbolt. It's preference which way you go first, but I prefer to loosen the bottoms with the 10 MM Socket and Ratchet to about 90% loose. If your clips are spinning and giving you hell, clamp them down with Vise Grips as soon as you start noticing. This should preserve them. I discovered it was a good idea to just have 4 new clips.

    6) Go to the top and use the 15 MM Socket to unscrew the ONE nut (there are three nuts, two for the mount and one for the shock). In my case, the bolt would NOT unscrew (the shock would just spin). --- IF YOUR BOLT DOES NOT UNSCREW - You can either A) Use a 50 Torx bit to keep the shock screw in place, and use a 15 MM wrench to unscrew the bolt or B) Completely unscrew the mounting nuts with the 13 MM socket. If you went with this option, see below. ---

    7) Go back to the bottom and finish off your 10 MM bolts. The shock is now ready to come out!

    8) From here, if everything worked, place your new shocks back in the way they came out. If it came with washers, etc. make sure and use them (don't forget!) Also, use the proper left or right side (depending on if they have one or not). You may need to use another Jack to bring up your suspension arm if the shock isn't long enough after extending it. Use your 10 and 15 MM sockets to do the work, and tighten them bad boys up. Be careful if you're using your stock clips, and if you've got new ones, good on ya. Don't forget to hook the air line back up.

    9) Double check that everything is secure, then drop the car down. Dont forget to put your wheel back on before you do this Start the car, let them babies fill up with fresh air, and enjoy the new ride!

    --- If you went with option B above, here's what you have to do. Take the shock to a Bench Vise and clamp it down. Fire up your SawzAll with metal cutting blade. Make two incisions in the washer, one directily above and one directly below the nut. Cut close to but not all the way through. Now take your hammer and pound the washer back flat so you can access the stubborn bolt/screw at a 90* angle. Use your SawzAll to cut through the bolt. Once it's cut off you can remove the metal/rubber mount, mount it back up, and go back to step 8! ---

    Well, there you have it. I had replaced shocks once before on a 68 Mustang, and this was basically the same even with the huge age difference. With the added inconvenience of cutting, it only took about two and a half hours to do.

    Hopefully this guide helps someone out! Let me know if there are any questions.

    basscatt likes this.

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  3. #2
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): 2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS's, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Re: 1999 Seville SLS Rear Shock Swap: Guide

    good write-up

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