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Pearl is dragging ass. I have managed to "blow" umm well.. I guess an Airbag? Air shock? That's my problem right now. I don't know what system I have so I don't know parts to order to replace them. I have pics, but they are pretty graphic, viewer discretion IS advised. These are of one "Blown and one that whistles Dixie" and the what I am calling leveler box thingy.
 

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OK this looks like a good place to ask for some help.
Let me introduce you to Pearl. She's a good ole gal. I never take her where she can't go And she always gets me where I need to be.
But lately she's been draggin' ass so to speak.and now I need new parts for my rear suspension, but what system do I have so I can get the correct parts?
The first picture I call the level ride thingamajig. AKA......That's what I need you fine folks for.
And I read not Air Shocks, ok I'm safe in saying "air ride"? Please point me in the right direction on replacement parts for pearl.
And yes she could really use a belly washing. But I live on limerock roads and right now I'm helping with the censusso Pearl and I go in some pretty rough places.On the bright side some of the driveways have a center "hump" that brushes her underside' :rolleyes:
I have some pictures but WARNING, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
Screenshot (3).png Screenshot (4).png Screenshot (5).png Screenshot (6).png
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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NOTE: The two preceding posts have been moved to this thread from two old, dead threads. SUE, Welcome to CF !!!

Your 2003 SLS uses a standard passive coil spring front strut rear shock suspension with air bladders on the (rear) shocks for rear level control due to weight changes in the trunk or rear seat. The shock height is adjusted by height sensor(s) and a compressor air supply/vent system. It is NOT "air ride" - it's named Electronic Level Control (ELC).

The air bladders rot and blow out, the height sensor(s) wear out, the height sensor link rods break, the compressor seizes, the compressor control head seizes (supply/vent valve), air lines crack.

So, either you study upon the system and its maintenance and you attempt repairs - or take the car to a good local Mom&Pop shop and have them install the correct Monroe replacement level control shocks and the Monroe manual fill/vent kit (you use a tire pump or air line to manually adjust rear height), Or you rebuild the entire system for about $650 or so.

Parts in the appropriate Suspension section of www.rockauto.com.


ELC location diagram.png
ELC compressor system.png
ELC compressor exploded.png
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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Sub pretty much covered it all - 'cept for the part numbers -

the best choice for replacement shocks -
MONROE MA822 - $70 - for the pair - with free shipping -

now comes the hard stuff -
the ride height sensor MIGHT still work -
the air lines MIGHT be OK -
BUT the compressor is probably shot -

the cheapest and easiest way would be to install the MONROE AK29 -
manual-fill kit - $15 from Amazon -
then you simply inflate/deflate the air bladders manually - as the load in the back seat and/or trunk changes -
just like inflating a tire -
if the load doesn't change very often - this is a GREAT solution -

HOWEVER -
it CAN be an inconvenience IF the load DOES change quite often -

the cheapest - aftermarket - replacement compressor assembly runs around $115 -

an aftermarket ride height sensor runs around $250 -

a replacement factory air line kit runs around $130 -
 

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reduce the complexity, go with coil over shocks. Yes more money up front especially if you pay to have the conversion done but then you are done, no worries about all the other parts that could have issues. Later if you have to replace anything it is a shock or a spring. My system has lasted 9 years and 100000 miles with no signs of any issues. I know people are going to jump all over this suggestion but there are multiple solutions to this problem.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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reduce the complexity, go with coil over shocks. Yes more money up front especially if you pay to have the conversion done but then you are done, no worries about all the other parts that could have issues. Later if you have to replace anything it is a shock or a spring. My system has lasted 9 years and 100000 miles with no signs of any issues. I know people are going to jump all over this suggestion but there are multiple solutions to this problem.
====================
coil-over shocks are the WORST thing you could ever put onto a car -

noisy -

harsh riding -

MOST IMPORTANTLY -
the car will NEVER be at the proper ride height -
too high with no load in the back seat and/or trunk -
too low with people in the back seat and junk in the trunk -
 

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Most of what you wrote is untrue. Again there are multiple solutions to this issue, not just the one you propose. Please allow for this possibility.

What data do you have to support the claim that "the car will NEVER be at the proper ride height?" If you get the right spring it will.

There are millions of cars either built every year with coil/shock suspension that ride fine and can handle loads just fine.

If you had experience with noisy or harsh riding cars, I'm sorry to hear that but there are many that are not noisy or harsh including mine. It may be less compliant than an air system but to call it noisy and harsh is too extreme. It is not as if this old Cadillac air suspension is the best system ever invented.

Going to a coil/shock system eliminates all of the headaches associated with the air system. It has been great not to worry about some part failing.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Just FWIW for new Seville/Deville owners -

Our cars do NOT have any form of "air ride". They use the GM rear ELC (Electronic Level Control) shock absorbers with air bladder height control to compensate for extra weight in the rear seat or trunk. The front (struts) on the SLS are totally passive - both struts and shocks on the VIN Y cars are standard passive hydraulic suspension dampers for the coil spring system. The VIN 9 cars use a very different active suspension with the same rear ELC.

Done correctly, coilovers are a passable BandAid fix for a failed ELC or maybe even passive front struts/springs. The right way to do it is to repair it to original factory standards/parts. I believe you went through all this discussion about 6 or 7 months ago.

He runs a Deville suspension repair shop ................

Your 2004 SLS was probably built in or before December 2003 - the last of the Seville line.
 

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Fine, it is ELC with with air bladder height control in the rear. Normally I agree with repairing systems to original factory standards/parts if they are reliable. I would not argue that this was a reliable, well-engineered system. Hopefully the replacement parts are more reliable. I would argue that going to coils and shocks is more than just a band aid. You are making the conversion to get away from all of the issues associated with the factory system and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Frankly many Cadillac owners have left the brand completely because of various issues like this. Nothing wrong with keeping the car and implementing a solution that fits your individual circumstances better than staying with the original configuration. For example some drivers may want a lower maintenance system even if some degree of compliance is lost in the rear. There is a tradeoff but it is no the end of the world if your ride is a little different from what is produced under the OEM configuration.

Yes this has come up in the past and it need not be the case that the only answer is to keep repairing the original system. If you don't want to deal with the issues associated with the OEM system anymore there are other solutions.
 
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