Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

I just have a few basic questions about my Deville.

First, the air ride. I have the usual Cadillac sag that every Cadillac on the planet has. That's not uncommon. However, I don't believe my system is completely shot. My light doesn't stay on 24/7 and the motor isn't working 24/7 then either. When I have a few people in my car (over 2) the car seems to ride extremely rough. Like the air ride always snaps up and down instead of going gently. When I go over a speedbump, BAM! It's weird. Lately, after I turn off my car, the air ride motor starts running. It's up there, bzzzzzzzzzzz. I just don't want my battery to die from that thing running for 4 hours while I'm in school. It's un-nescessary for it to run anyway seeing as how it doesn't really work anyway. I surely am not spending several hundred dollars t oeither fix the air ride (way more than a few hundred) or just replacing it with a regular suspension. Can I just unplug the air ride motor? I don't know anything about air ride. I got the car about 4 months ago. It was like this when I got it. Will it just bounce around constantly or what?

Next, my windows. My windows all still work. That's a plus. However, they're extremely slow. I'm a valet, so I drive many of these chassis cars (Old's, Cadillacs, etc) and I know the windows aren't supposed to fly up...but man. Especially after I got my subs, the windows just drag. I plan on getting a capacitor very soon to aid in my battery not sucking the life from my lights. Will this aid in my windows as well, or is this just something i have t odeal with? I have to only do one window at a time so it doesn't die. lol. I don't want to blow the window motors...

Lastly, I finally got a Haynes manual yesterday for my Cadillac. Before that, I could only find ones for the 80's Fleets. It annoyed me. In there, it shows a '91 (I think) DeVille on the front. That car shows an OEM front upper strut bar. Mine doesn't have that. I'm sure it's something they started after a certain point. Did that make a big difference in overall handling or feel? My dads monte SS had the same thing. 2000-2003 SS's had an upper strut bar. My dads '04 doesn't. I don't know why GM would do something liek that. A strut bar price would be nothing to a company like that, especially if it makes it handle better. I know that upper strut bars elimintae alor of chassis flex, but since my car is already that old, I doubt the strut bar could do anything since it's flexed like that for so long. If I could find one could I even install it? We put one on my friends CRX and it was no problem...but you never know.

Thanks!!

:alchi:
 

·
Registered
1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
Joined
·
10,429 Posts
1. My air ride suspension seems to be working well still and I don't know that much about it so I can't help you with that.

2. It seems to be common for many GM cars of our era to have slow moving windows. I think they are operating the way they were designed. You just have to plan ahead when you want to roll them up or down. (lol)

3. By front upper strut bar are you refering to a cross brace at the top of the strut towers? I'm not sure how much you would gain from adding one at this point as you have already mentioned. I wouldn't think it would matter much unless you were to modify the rest of the suspension to handle better.

I would strongly suggest that you get yourself an OEM manual though. The Haynes manual, as you have aleady discovered, covers a range of years and may not have all the correct information specific to your car. An OEM manual will have more complete and accurate information and covers only 1989 Devilles and Fleetwoods. I got mine from www.helminc.com last year for $40.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
61 looks and Kev is the only one who knows anything about DeVilles? I doubt it. These questions aren't rocket science. More input would be swell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Dude, it sounds like you have a leak, either on the lines, a fitting, or the shock itself. Does the air ride EVER inflate all the way? you're a bit vauge here. If it does inflate all the way then your compressor and electronics are probably in order. best thing to do would be let it pump up then listen for leaks, if you hear none, i would just about put the farm on it that you need new shocks, if you hear a leak, trace where it it, could be a leaky line, or fitting or even on the comprresor housing. Yes you can buy shocks (struts technically cause of how they bot to the knuckle and controll camber angle) that work with or without your air. Since you seem a bit po, you may just want to go passive as in no air, but the choice is up to you, and no, not all cadillacs sag, my 91 deville sits just fine with its air ride.


-The Cadillac Rancher
 

·
Registered
13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
If the air ride isn't working, I don't see a problem in unplugging the pump. A buddy of mine has a 91, and we unplugged his because it was running for a while after the car was turned off. It didn't seem to be helping when it was on. He has those low profile tires on there anyway, so his ride is always rougher than what I am used to.

About your windows...do they roll up any faster with your radio off? Obviously, they need juice to go up. If you are bumping your system, you are taking away that useable power from the window motors.Does stepping on the gas while putting the window up help any? Also remember that the window operating mechanisms/tracks over time get dirty and cause more friction making them slower. The cogs at the window motor could be dirty also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I didn't say that every Cadillac sags. Almost ever '89 style DeVille I've ever seen has had at least a little bit of sag.

Having said that, no, I don't believe my pump is working 100% by any means. When I took it to my dealership the other week, they had the car up on the hoist. The car was pumped up just fine after they let it off. As in, ifter they put the car back on the ground, it sat level. However, as soon as I hit a hill and the car tried to level it's self, the car began to sag. In other words, the pump works, but air just doesn't stay in the "airbags" or whatever. But if I completely unplugged the motor, would the motor not run then I'm assuming? lol. So the "car is leveling" light will not come on anymore? Will the car just bounce around now, or what? I mean, when I hit a bump, it only bounces a few times. I've seen some air ride cars like that that bounce 3 or 4 times. Should I try it and see how it goes? Just unplug the connector from the back (or whatever) of the unit and call it a day? Or is there more involved?

For the windows. I know what you're talking about for the gassing. I'm a valet, and I have to do that alot...but no it's not that. The windows never were fast at all, but after I got the subs they're even slower still. When I get my battery capacitor, that will reduce/eliminate the light dimming and such, but will that also help with the windows, like the windows not using whatever power is left?

Sorry if you don't understand my descriptions... It's kinda hard to explain what's going on in my head...

;)
 

·
Registered
13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
Getting the cap will probably help some. I imagine the biggest culprit is the aging window components. If you have time someday, pull a door panel off and check them out.

On my buddy's 91, we just disconnected a plug at the pump. That was it. If if causes any problems like too much bounce, just plug it back in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
caddy windows, at least in those years were never fast to begin with.
cap will help speed them up, but they won't zip up and down quickly.

you might try jacking up the car and tracing the air lines from the pump
to the rear bags to see if its a broken line or connection. if its the bags themselve them replacement or let it sag is your options.
you can replace the bags or use the non-air ride struts and just disconnect the pump.

hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
93 Sedan Deville 4.9
Joined
·
208 Posts
Take A Bottle Of Soapy Water & Spray Up Your,compressor & Lines & Rear Air Bags. If Theres A Leak You'll Find It Fast. If Your Car Overly Bounces After Hills & Bumps It's Probably Worn Out Shocks. Roll Your Windows All The Way Down & Spray Some White Lithium Grease Down The Window Tracks. It's Helped Mine As Age & Grime Get Down Into The Tracks. Give These A Try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
#1backyard mechanic said:
Roll Your Windows All The Way Down & Spray Some White Lithium Grease Down The Window Tracks. It's Helped Mine As Age & Grime Get Down Into The Tracks. Give These A Try.
My '89 Coupe has the infamous slow windows problem as well. I need to use some lithium grease to tackle my frozen rear wheel covers any way but I'm just hoping using it down the window tracks isn't going to result in an awful mess of greasy windows. :eek: ( cleaning can be more involved than one might originally expect) Shall we give a few shots in the corners of the tracks ? I'll probably be able to try this out this weekend.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
Joined
·
6,796 Posts
cruella89deville said:
I didn't say that every Cadillac sags. Almost ever '89 style DeVille I've ever seen has had at least a little bit of sag.

Having said that, no, I don't believe my pump is working 100% by any means. When I took it to my dealership the other week, they had the car up on the hoist. The car was pumped up just fine after they let it off. As in, ifter they put the car back on the ground, it sat level. However, as soon as I hit a hill and the car tried to level it's self, the car began to sag. In other words, the pump works, but air just doesn't stay in the "airbags" or whatever. But if I completely unplugged the motor, would the motor not run then I'm assuming? lol. So the "car is leveling" light will not come on anymore? Will the car just bounce around now, or what? I mean, when I hit a bump, it only bounces a few times. I've seen some air ride cars like that that bounce 3 or 4 times. Should I try it and see how it goes? Just unplug the connector from the back (or whatever) of the unit and call it a day? Or is there more involved?

For the windows. I know what you're talking about for the gassing. I'm a valet, and I have to do that alot...but no it's not that. The windows never were fast at all, but after I got the subs they're even slower still. When I get my battery capacitor, that will reduce/eliminate the light dimming and such, but will that also help with the windows, like the windows not using whatever power is left?

Sorry if you don't understand my descriptions... It's kinda hard to explain what's going on in my head...

;)

You did. You said that every Cadillac on the planet does. But for the compressor just unplug it and see what happens. Someone before said if the back of the car sags it's because the springs are worn out and it's not because there's something wrong with the automatic leveling. So that's probably more what your problem is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm just gonna leave that whole every Cadillac thing alone...

So my problem is probably the springs? WTF. The car is leveling light doesn't stay on all the time, just when it's on hills and stuff like it should. But it still sags in the back, however it doesn't overly bounce around. Air ride is a pain in my butt crack. For real. This is rediculous. Every problem isn't just striaght forward. Everything could be one or a combination of a billion things. Bah.I just don't know why this car has t obe so complicated.
 

·
Registered
1989 Sedan DeVille is now just a fond memory ....
Joined
·
10,429 Posts
Everyone stop and take a few cleansing breaths here........ ah.... that's better. We're all friends here... it's all good. Our purpose here is to help if we can.

Cruella89deville, our cars are complicated, it's true. They were designed to satisfy a sophisticated taste. When they work well they are great. When things start to go wrong it's a pain in the butt for sure but most things can be taken care of one way or the other.

It is possible that the springs in cars of our vintage might have weakened and sagged if they were subjected to great amounts of weight in the back and/or extreem temperature changes i.e. freezing winters and boiling summers. If you were to disconnect the air lines to the rear struts on a level surface and note a sag in the cars' stance then you can expect that the springs have indeed sagged from fatigue.

As far as the air system is concerned, #1backyard mechanic had an excellent suggestion with the soapy water to find air leaks.

Our suspensions are soft. They are going to "bounce" around more than cars with average or sport suspension. I went from my 88 Mustang LX with Eibach springs and sway bars to my stock DeVille, talk about a difference! It took me a little getting used to the slow recovery rate of the luxury suspension. The Mustang rides like a gocart while the DeVille "floats" along! :histeric:

Bottom line is, take one step at a time.
1. Disconnect the power to the compressor and then the lines to the rear struts to see if the springs are sagged.
2. Reconnect the air lines and power to compressor and check for leaks in the air system with the soapy water.

If both of these items seem fine then we'll have to think of another source for your problem. As I've said before, I don't know too much about the air ride systems but it seems to me that there must be a check valve somewhere in the lines to keep air in the struts, perhaps one or more of these check valves are wearing out allowing air to escape the struts?

Hang in there guy. Let us know how you do with these things.
 

·
Registered
1989 Fleetwood FWD / 2000 ETC / 2000 STS / 2006 STS V-8 1SF RWD
Joined
·
475 Posts
Hello...

Cars get old and parts wear out.
What's the problem?

Go to Sears:
front strut part #02894643 $120 (I replaced mine in 1999)
rear strut part #02894644 $120 (I replaced mine in 2000)

Yes, the windows are slow...
Keep in mind these cars were designed when the average owner's age was much older than it is these days.
"Don't wanna scare Grandpa with fast windows!"

These solutions have satisfied me.
Post back your solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
No, no, no, no, no. Who in here has ever replaced worn struts on a car and noticed an increase in ride height?? anyone??? yes they do have a small effect on ride height. K, so now that we agree that even regualr shocks (struts) effect ride height, now lets apply that to the "load leveling" shocks (strusts) we have here, that are not only shocks but the kind that can raise the car some to overcome a load. If these cant hold pressue (air) they are as good as compeltely blown shocks and woudl but especially contribute to low ride height/poor ride. If the compressor was non functional, but atleast the shocks/system held a nominal ammount of air pressure you would have normal ride height. Believe me, if you could just rig it up and hook up a regular valvestem up to it, and get out a basket ball pump, you would be amazed what a few pumps could do. lets not make this more comlicated, you need shocks(struts) i promise this will cure what ail's this. and if you don't think so then you are lieing or are retarded. I know you want a work/don't work switch answer but its gonna take some cash. at the very least get some junkyard buick/olds non air struts for the rear and watch your ride height go up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well...when my dad was out in the car today (I had the Mustang becasue it was homecomming), he had to unplug the motor because it wouldn't turn off. So when I returned to the car at the end of the street to bring it back up to the house the rear end was completely sagged. It looked really funny. haha. So we'll see how that goes. Based on the logic that when something is wrong wit hthe air ride, the light stays on 24/7. So, if mine is unplugged, the light should still say on 24/7...correct? Tell me about a change though. My first car was a '93 Honda Accord EX coupe with a 5 speed. I did a few things t oit and man was that a fun car. Pretty quick, but it handled very well for a FWD. The suspension was very stiff. So upon driving my Deville at ANY speed, it was very different. lol. Especially considering that the other cars I was considering was an '85 Monte Carlo SS, '86 Fiero GT, '87 Trans Am, and an '87 Camaro Z28...yeah...it was a bit of a different car. lol.

Basically...my gameplan is to just use the car through the winter, then come spring get a new car. So if any of you guys will be looking for a parts car... ;) I just don't have any more money to put into this car. I lucked out with my Honda. I hardly had to put anything into it. This car made up for it. I certainly am not blaming GM or Cadillac. I will certainly buy another Cadillac in the future. but, for now, I need a car that I don't need to worry about. So...lol. But I'll probably try some of these ideas and see what happens...

Thanks guys! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Eldyfig said:
Good attitude. I see where you are coming from.
:cool2:




Well today, my dad wanted to plug the motor back in. He said that he didn't want it to sag if it didn't need to. Whatever. lol. So I popped the hood, he plugged it in, and I turned the car on. We jacked the back of the car u pto relieve all the pressure so it could pump all the way up. If we left it down, it probably wouldn't've jacked up becasue of the leak or whatever. So it's riding level now, so we'll see how long that lasts.

However, we did notice something when we were jacking it up. The passenger side wheel and tire when jacked up, stayed at the normal "level" or reasonably straight angle, but the drivers side wheel and tire was almost fully angled. It was angled noticibly more than the other. So I'd have to assume the problem with the suspension is comming from that side...correct? If there is always someone on that side (driver), the most weight would obviously be on that side. So it makes sense I suppose. But I'd like the get a basic idea as to narrowing down the problem before I take it to the shop so the shop cost is minimal. I'm assuming a leak on the drivers side...but again, I know nothing about air ride.

:hmm:
 

·
Registered
1994 Sedan Deville
Joined
·
2,146 Posts
I say just replace the system with new air struts. They'll run about 300-400 installed at a local shop. You can also incorporate an onboard compressor or have them setup to accept air from a valve like your tires do. My 93 Deville had the second setup and it cost me 379 installed and I could raise and lower the rear as I pleased. That might be a viable solution. About the windows, try getting a bigger amp battery or an Optima. Also the window motor may be going bad or partially seizing up. Removing the door panel like mentioned earlier and looking at the motor and tracking as you roll up/down the window will give you a good idea of what's going on. Hope this helps you.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top