how hard would it be to use air bags in place of the coil springs? I yanked my ALC since it looks like it took a dump long ago and the vacuum lines to it were disconnected and plugged. So.. with out the air shocks in back teh rear tires are pretty tucked and the car has a reverse rake to it. I though about cutting a coil out of the front to level it out but though it might be kinda cool to run air bags and be able to pancake it when its parked
There's no reason you can't use airbags but if you do make sure it's done right. You have a heavy vehicle that's street driven and you need it to be safe and reliable. And of course reasonable ride and handling are a plus. Take it to a shop that knows what to do. Done right it can look trick and ride pretty good too.
Bags and hydros - kind of a personal preference thing. With hydros, you can actually build yourself a decent suspension that rides smooth using accumulators. Your hopping abilities will be hampered as the fluid moves a bit slower, but your ride will be a lot less jarring. In fact, there is a guy in BADASSofNE who just hooked his juicde '95 Fleetwood up with shocks at all 4 corners.
That said, bags are a lot cleaner (no fluid leaks) and a lot less work to run. You don't need all the frame reinforcement, you don't need to run 8 batteries (or even more for a heavy car like yours) in your trunk. The ride is pretty smooth, and you can run them with or without shocks. I'm bagging my ride soon, but like I said that's personal preference...not to say I don't want a juiced car some day too!!!
LMK if you would like more info on either and I can direct you to some links.
I prefer the hydro route...but I'm kinda old school. I will say though that if I modify the suspension on my 1991 Brougham it will probably be airbagged. Alot cleaner...less maintence but the cost is significantly more.
Hey Chris, glad to see you made it over! Like I said, I love 'em both. I think the type of suspension often is often just fitting to the car's style - like an older FW like yours is all about hydros - it's just the old school thang! I've seen the late model FWs like mine on both and somehow it works either way, but I'm set on going bags. TWIG, who posted in your guestbook, is a member of BADASSofNE and Twisted Stylez, and has his '95 juiced. NICE RIDE!!!
I can just picture a nasty hearse bagged on some 18's-20's. That would be a sick ride...and something I've always wanted to do.
BTW (sorry to ramble...), but are you heading to the GM Nationals in Carlisle, PA? I'll be there...!
*Looking forward to meeting more Caddy freaks in person!
Why does everyone say old cars need Hydros? Are you looking to vibrate the ever living shit out of 35+ year old car?! I've baged 2 of theses monsters. an 85 FW and my 95 FW. It's pretty straight foward install. Fabrication is pretty minimal if it's a basic setup. It's a lot more cost effective, a lot more comfortable, performs a lot better and a lot more RELIABLE. As long as the bag or lines don't rub anything the system will last quite a while. I've seen cars with over 140k miles on the bags that still work perfectly. I havn't seen a Hyro setup that hasn't leaked poped a line or blown out a cylinder last more then a year. Then there's the headache of charging the batteries, the initial cost, and the maintnece. If you're looking to put the car in compotetion then go dros. If it's a daily, bags. But like Badass said, it's personal preference. My 95 lays frame and has a total of 8 inches of travel, which corisponds to about 5 1/2- 6 inches of usable ride hight fully inflated. I wanted it low. BTW, it's stupid stiff completly full. I keep the bags around 120-140 psi depending on how much wieght is in the car and what kind of driving I'm doing. Either way the car rides about 3 inches off the ground with that much air. That's where I like it. I roll low untill the road gets bad and it's lay'n sparks every 5 feet. My 85 would raise back to stock hieght with that much air and had 12 inches of travle in the rear. The bumper was up to my thigh. I'm 6'1",not exactly a short guy. Different size bags, different style bags, different size mounting cups. They all regulate the amount of lift and drop.