Changed my front shocks today
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  • 2 Post By turbojimmy
RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Changed my front shocks today in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I wanted to follow-up on a post I put up a few months ago, but when I search on my ...
  1. #1
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Changed my front shocks today

    I wanted to follow-up on a post I put up a few months ago, but when I search on my name in this forum it says I have no posts. I think there's something goofy with the search.

    Anyway, back then I asked how to get the shocks out because you can't get at the stem or the nut because the upper control arm is in the way. The advice was to break the tops off by rocking a socket and extension back and forth until it snaps.

    Not wanting to employ the aforementioned gorilla method yet, I bought a Lisle-brand tool. It has a socket the fits over the top of the shock stem and another socket that goes over the stem and onto the 9/16" shock nut. On the left side, the tool succeeded only in rounding off the top of the stem so the tool wouldn't work anymore. On the right side, it bit so hard that the stem snapped off in the tool rendering it trash.

    I did try the socket-extension thing. I was able to bend the shock but not break it.

    So, after the appropriate amount of cursing and kicking inanimate objects, I got to looking at it. Turns out a Dremel will fit in there. I have a Dremel with the "remote" extension and the quick-release cut-off attachment. I was able to hack most of the way through the nut and stem with it and just snap off the top with an extension and socket.

    The left shock was totally dead - oil had leaked out of it and there was no damping whatsoever. The right shock seemed to be decent. I put 2 new Delco shocks in it. It rides awesome now.

    I came across 2 disturbing things while I had the front wheels off. First, the Autozone "gold" brake pads that I put on 5,000 miles ago are shot. Right down to the metal. And before you say "well, it's a limo", the brakes are limo-specific so they should hold up. The back brakes are fine, so I know that's not the cause of the front premature wear. They're just junk. And they're supposed to be "dustless" but the wheels are always caked in brake dust. I guess I'll have to try a different brand.

    #2 is that the body mount behind the right front wheel is rotted away. Not completely, but about 1/4 of it. The inner fender was damaged and allowing crap to get tossed up in there. I have a "new" inner fender pan to install that should protect whats left of that mount.

    So, if you're changing the shocks I wouldn't bother with the special tool if the car is old (and they all are now) and/or the shocks are original. Just snap the tops off of them and be done with it.
    talismandave and talismandave like this.

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  3. #2
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
    Cadillacboy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    It is very to hear good news from you , I had our rear shocked replaced too . The car rides very nice since then but I think these cars aren't the best riding cars on the planet lol

  4. #3
    durrk johnson's Avatar
    durrk johnson is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    two both of you guys, What shocks did you go with? And do you still have air-ride?

  5. #4
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    AC Delco , and yes I do have air ride too

  6. #5
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    I used Delcos on the front and rear, too.

  7. #6
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    I have the same problem. No quick search for posts I have started or posted to anymore. Just shows last post. PITA

  8. #7
    BIGREECE's Avatar
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    I went to the cadillac dealer to order rear leveling shocks and they are NOT the original shock, even though the parts manager said that is what the GM catalog
    had available. The stock rear shocks for the fleetwood have 2 air valves on the top of the shock on the driver rear side and 1 on the passenger. Since I opened
    the package they came in they want credit me for it, I've searched in these forums about putting a t-split off the driver side to make it work. Every mechanic I talk to even my own says it's the wrong shock, why would GM not make the correct shock for the air leveling system? I've got a set of brand new AC Delco rear shocks I have to figure out who can modify them to work! GM part # is ACD#504-110, GM#19178430, My rear shocks are still good, I'll wait to install the new ones when I find an absolute remedy, Thanks.

  9. #8
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    The original style rear shocks are no longer available. What they sold you is correct, however there is an additional valve kit with a "t" to split the compressor line and run it to each shock.

  10. #9
    BIGREECE's Avatar
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    Thanks Turbo, the shocks came with some hoses and hardware, just need to find someone to install, I have not the tools nor the knowledge how to do properly.
    Damn discontinued original parts, I think they must have aftermarket shocks available, was in a hurry and went to the dealership

  11. #10
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    There are aftermarket shocks available, but the consensus here is that if you're going to retain the stock auto leveling system, the Delcos are the way to go to maintain ride quality. You just need the kit with the "t". Rock Auto sold it separately, I think. There's a few posts with the part number out there somewhere, but the search function appears to be fubar'd.

  12. #11
    BIGREECE's Avatar
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    Exactly, I have replaced everything so far with original parts, Front rotors, brake pads, water pump, Hankook mileage plus II tires, front gas shocks, lubed chassis, oil/air/fuel filter, rear diff seal, rear diff grease and alignment. Rear shocks and I will be done for the moment, I love this car

  13. #12
    csbuckn is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    I was wondering if you were gonna snap the tops off because the procedure was new to me but it has now worked for 6 front shocks now. I have to do it again soon and I dont think I'm gonna have any problem. You would have to bend it back and forth a couple times, turn the shock, bend some more, turn the shock, bend some more...etc. Take about two minutes of turning and bending. Dremel is a good way also. What a pain the shocks are.

  14. #13
    turbojimmy's Avatar
    turbojimmy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Changed my front shocks today

    They are a pain, but the break-the-top-off method worked pretty well. I put Never Seez on the nuts this time. It works pretty well. Hopefully next time they have to be changed, the nuts will come off like they should.

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