Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey guys... So my rear shocks are completely fried, even though they were replaced a couple years ago, they never ...
  1. #1
    hadesnuggz's Avatar
    hadesnuggz is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Hey guys...

    So my rear shocks are completely fried, even though they were replaced a couple years ago, they never held air (manual fill) and now, riding in my car feels like riding in a carriage. And when i go over bumps, car teeters front and back like a teeter-totter and its very unsafe. I am on the freeway and hit one small bump in the cement and teh rear of my car hops up and my car bumps and skids.

    How difficult s it to replace the rear shocks sand do a conversion to regular shocks?

    What shocks would be best for this heavy car which would permit a comfortable and stable ride? I am beginning to think my sway bar is broken or something as my car flys just bobbs up and down like boat in water.

    Also, there is no way to just replace factory, as the compressors fried and they have really crappy monroe manual fill socks that failed within the first year. Now teh shocks can even hold air and are toast.

    I was thinking of going with the ACDELCO Part # 5193.

    Would they be able to be used?

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  3. #2
    Cadillacboy's Avatar
    Cadillacboy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    I had mine shocks replaced too , I searched my thread for you to help you and came up with this :
    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...-replaced.html

    I went with A/C Delco , it was around $150 or so as far as I remember .I don't have part # though .I remember they had to make some modifications to get the shocks fitted , they are variety of shocks made by AC Delco

  4. #3
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Delcos aren't great anymore, they're made outside US/Canada now. I only got a few months out of my last pair before one failed due to a bad weld. They got replaced with Bilsteins.

    You've heard this advice before for the front end... buy Bilstein. Even better, put in new springs WITH a set of Bilsteins. You can stay at stock height, but increase spring rate if you like. Benefit will be increased cargo capacity, and less porpoising.

  5. #4
    cadillacmike68's Avatar
    cadillacmike68 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Does Bilstein make air shocks that work with the Fleetwood's Level Control??

  6. #5
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is offline GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    No, you would have to use bags in the springs.

  7. #6
    Maine88Brougham's Avatar
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    Sorry for thread jacking but would the same apply for a 88 fwb? My shocks are worn out in the rear but I'd like to keep the leveling system

  8. #7
    hadesnuggz's Avatar
    hadesnuggz is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    I have Bilstein for the front. But they don't seem to be working too well. Especially with the malfunctioning air shocks in the rear. It backs my car rock back and forth. I figured if I got something closer to OEM that the ride quality would go back to normal. because at the moment it's a rough mess.

    Do you think my springs are fried as well? I have been riding this way for a year now, just attempting to pump my rear shocks up a couple times a week with my airpump. But they dont seem to be able to hold air.

  9. #8
    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Someone with the service manual will help you with the springs. Normally, there is an accepted ride height listed - usually in the form of a distance between the top of the tire and the fender lip, with the ELC system empty. If the ride height is acceptable, the springs are fine. If it's low, they need replaced.

  10. #9
    shrike77 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    I concur with Jay,
    Bilsteins for the later Caprices, they are progressive and work better with stock height.
    Springs are too soft on these cars and even if you go Bilsteins the springs won't make for a nice ride.
    I would go with springs rated at least 180 lbs/in at the back and at least 450 at the front.
    I have 186 at the back and 550 (now they are cut so they are probably 610, but did not drive it since they were cut) at the front on my 1987 and we have very bad streets.
    I love the ride, I don't think they are too harsh.
    I know people in areas with good roads are using 750 lbs/in springs at the front and they love them.
    If you keep your stock springs they are too soft for the car, heavier springs does not necessarily make for a harsh ride, it will be firmer and better controlled.

    ----------

    By the way, don't buy used springs from an Impala or whatever car. I bought used springs from a B4U package Caprice (they are supposed to have the same rate as Impala springs but sit higher). They sucked as bad as the stock springs. Maybe I was sold something else, I'll never know but I won't do that mistake again.
    Buying used springs is a bad idea unless they are aftermarkets and have low miles.

  11. #10
    cadillacmike68's Avatar
    cadillacmike68 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Service manual pages 3-18 & 3-19 has the trim height specs. There are 6 measurement pounts. You can't measure it accurately unless the ALC is functioning. You also have to have the correct tire size (235/70-R15).

    You can use aftermarket rear air shocks w/o the ALC, but you have to have the lines connected and brought to a fitting (perhaps under the rear bumper) where you can add or remove air. They should NOT be connected to a non-working CLS compressor & sensor.

    Springs for Fleetwwods are not as stong / stiff, because the air shhocks are supposed to take part of the vehicle load.

    If you know your front springs are good, you can use aftermarket rear air shocks (and springs if necessary) and fill thenm to the point where the rear height from the bottom edge of the lower rocker molding to the ground is 0.4 inch higher. Do this with a full fuel tank and nothing in the trunk xcept the spare & jack equipment. The manual also says to put the front seats all the way back.

    Obviously it needs to be on a level surface!

    I have rear airs on my 1968 (It never had ALC) with the valve on the rear frame crossmember behind the bumper. I have a small compessor in the trunk that I can use to adjust it and keep the tires filled. I have one of those compressors in all my cars. You can get them anywhere.

    If you can't or won't get the ALC fixed, the next best thing is correct OEM rear springs with air shocks that you can inflate or deflate as required for load changes. They should not lose air on their own.

  12. #11
    hadesnuggz's Avatar
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    I have a manual fill setup with the Monroe Air Shocks.

    The fill inlet is connected behind the license plate, the problem is that there is a leak in th elines or the shocks themselves, and the shocks will not hold air for longer than a day.

    i would like to just convert to regular shocks if possible.

  13. #12
    c5cruiser's Avatar
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    I recently replaced all four shocks (Monroe) and air compressor with dryer which I bought through Suncore.
    All in all it cost about $500.

    http://www.suncoreindustries.com/CAD...compressor.htm

  14. #13
    cadillacmike68's Avatar
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    Quote Originally Posted by hadesnuggz View Post
    I have a manual fill setup with the Monroe Air Shocks.

    The fill inlet is connected behind the license plate, the problem is that there is a leak in th elines or the shocks themselves, and the shocks will not hold air for longer than a day.

    i would like to just convert to regular shocks if possible.
    You will probably not like the resultant ride quality. The lines are cheaper than the shocks, have them checked or replaced.

  15. #14
    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Rear shock conversion for 96 FWB? How to?

    If you do regular shocks you need to change the springs too. If the stock ones are still good they should be able to hold the the car at the proper ride height or close too it but like cadillacmike said they they're not as strong as normal springs because they expect the air shocks to be doing part of the work.
    Just fix the leak. It should drive close to what it would with the original shocks unless you have more load in the car, in which case it should just need more air to level it out again.

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