97 Deville shock absorbers?
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, 97 Deville shock absorbers? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I recently bought a 1997 Deville D'Elegance. When I took it for a state inspection I was told that one ...
  1. #1
    JamesJ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    97 Deville shock absorbers?

    I recently bought a 1997 Deville D'Elegance. When I took it for a state inspection I was told that one of the rear shock absorbers was leaking and I would have to get that fixed before it would pass inspection (I didn't know they even looked at the shock absorbers). FWIW, they showed me the shock while the car was up on the rack and I could see that the lower half was "wet". Not dripping or anything. Just your basic thin film with road dirt in it. They said the only place they knew to get a replacement was from GM and one shock absorber was just over $1000. That was just for the shock, not for the labor or anything else. $1000 for a single shock absorber seems extreme, to put it mildly, but I assume they got the price right.

    So my question is, do I have any other options? I've tried searching the Web, including these forums, for some kind of replacement and have found references to some possibilities, like Arnott, but I can't tell if any of them will actually work with this car. I hate to spend $1000+ on a car I just bought, but if I have to I have to. But before that I'm going to at least try to find a cheaper alternative.

    For the record, I don't have any complaints about the ride. This is my first Cadillac so I don't know what's "normal", but it seems fine to me.

    So, what are my options? Thanks.

    James

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    powerglide's Avatar
    powerglide is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Hi James welcome to the forums.

    I didn't know that they check the shock for inspection either.....what state is this?

    Is this shop trying to make money by getting your to do some repairs through them?

    Maybe you can just wipe the shocks clean and goto another shop as long as there's nothing wrong with the ride.

    If you wanna replace them, go with aftermarket, since you don't want replace just one............many folks here seem to be happy with their Arnot's.

  4. #3
    JamesJ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Thanks for the welcome.

    The state is NC. One of the categories on the inspection is "steering mechanism" and apparently the rear shocks are part of that category, although I don't see much connection myself. <shrug>

    I can only assume the shop is not trying to fleece me. It's Procare, which is a chain, as opposed to just some local shop (if that makes any difference). And I do have some relationship with this shop (<chuckle> The most memorable part of my "relationship" with this particular shop is that my last car was stolen from there a while back, which is why I just bought this car).

    You know, I thought about just wiping the shock off, and as far as the inspection goes I might not have too much problem with that because the car is functioning fine as far as I can tell, but in the long run it's probably not a good idea. If there is something wrong with the shock, as there appears to be, it's probably better to get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

    And I've been trying to find something aftermarket, but without too much success, which is why I was posting here. I was hoping someone here with the same car might have already gone through this and could tell me something that they knew from personal experience would work.

    I've read about Arnott here and looked at their Web site and I can't tell if I can use them or not. They have two listings for 97 Devilles on their site, "base model" and Concours. Is my D'Elegance one of those? As I mentioned, this is my first Cadillac and I'm not familiar with the different models.

    And even if "base model", for example, will work, they have conflicting info on their Web site. On the page for the "Deville - 1997-1999 (Base Model Only)" shock kit, at the top it says:

    "Our suspension kits adapt to 1993 and later Cadillac models equipped with road-sensing suspension systems."

    Yet below that in the description of the only shock kit on that page it specifically says:

    "(For vehicles NOT equipped with Road Sensing Suspension.)"

    The emphasis on "NOT" is theirs.

    So which is it?

    Besides that, I don't know if this car even has "road-sensing suspension". I'm assuming it does based mainly on the price I was quoted for a new shock. OTOH, I've read references in these boards to people hearing some kind of compressor running that is apparently part of the system and I've never heard anything remotely like that in this car. When it's running the radio is usually on, so I might not hear it then (I don't know how loud it is), but I've also read that this system will run when the engine is off and I've never heard _any_ noise from the car (apart from door locks) when it was off. <shrug>

    Too many questions, not enough answers. Which, again, is why I'm here. :-)

    The good news is that I finally got around to checking some other local parts places yesterday and it looks like I can at least get something cheaper than $1000. I'd done most of my searching online and hadn't found anything available that sounded like a straightforward aftermarket replacement (as opposed to some kind of conversion kit). There were a couple things like the Arnotts that may or may not work, but the only thing I saw that even sounded like it might be a simple replacement wasn't available. It was described as a new part that wasn't being sold yet, which didn't do me a lot of good. I'd checked some local places and nobody had anything. They just didn't carry it and couldn't get it. But I did finally find a couple that did list something. Advance Auto (I'd forgotten about them) lists a Monroe (I think) for the D'Elegance for less than $400. It's supposed to be an air shock and the guy at the counter, who apparently works on/with air shocks, so he presumably knows something about them, seemed pretty confident it was the right part. Given the original quote of a little over $1000, I can live with just under $400. But I'd still like to hear if anybody has any other suggestions.

    Oh, and my impression is that it is OK to replace just one of these shocks. I know some things you're supposed to do in pairs, but from the little I've heard, that doesn't seem to be the case here. For one thing, the shop originally quoted me a price for one shock, and said nothing about replacing the other rear shock. And the guy at Advance said that it was OK to replace one since they're all independently adjusted. With regular shocks you'd want to replace both so you don't have one worn more than the other, making them uneven, but he said with air shocks that wasn't a problem.

    Thanks for the reply, and for reading through all this (assuming you actually did :-).

    James

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    powerglide's Avatar
    powerglide is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    ......yup James I read it!

    I think your D'elegance DID NOT have the active suspension so I am guessing it falls int he base-deville category (which IMHO is a good think as those active sus's become a serious expense as its fails)

    As for Arnott, I would try writing an email (or call em) with some of these questions and see what they say.

    I did not know it was 'ok' to just change one damper at a time.....somehow doesn't seem like a good idea....but what do I know.

    Monroe makes decent product so I think you would be ok with them as long as it really is the right part.

    Air compressor, is just a little thing that pumps air into a part in the rear suspension to raise the rear so the car is level going down the road (I never hear mine running either) but after I shut off the car, and a wait couple of minutes, I can hear a click and the rear starts to sink down a bit....i think the air is being released after shutdown.

    Try posting in the suspension section too!

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    Eric2203 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    All the DeVilles in 97 have an active suspension. But there are differences. The base model and the D'Elegance one have Road Sensing Suspension. The Concours has CVRSS where CV stands for Continuously Variable.

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    JamesJ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Thanks for the suggestions and additional info guys.

    I planned to contact Arnott, but also wanted to see what I could find out here, about their products or possible alternatives. I have sent an inquiry to Arnott asking if their kits will work on that car. We'll see what they say.

    I thought about also posting elsewhere, like in the Arnott section here, but didn't particularly want to start, and then have to follow, multiple threads. And some boards frown on cross-posting like that.

    James

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    powerglide's Avatar
    powerglide is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Cool. Lets us know what you find.
    Good luck

  9. #8
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    up2ng is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric2203
    All the DeVilles in 97 have an active suspension. But there are differences. The base model and the D'Elegance one have Road Sensing Suspension. The Concours has CVRSS where CV stands for Continuously Variable.
    Ummmm,...........Nope

    97 deville base model came with the run of the mill shock/strut combos (I own one). The D'elegance and Concours came with active CVRSS units (which is what he has) so get Arnott or Boston Suspension units to replace them with.
    You can really save yourself some money by doing the rears yourself, with hand tools you can replace them in about an hour (the rears are just shocks, 1 bolt through the bottom and a t-40 torx on the top) you don't need to align it either only after the fronts are done.

    If you want to double-check it just hit off & warmer and see if you have an RSS option.

  10. #9
    daddydg is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Will the Arnott shocks work on my 1998 base model Deville???

  11. #10
    ollie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1997 Deville D'Elegance 2008 DTS Lux II
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    Re: 97 Deville shock absorbers?

    Save yourself ome money, RockAuto.com has Monroe for less money then Advance Auto

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