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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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6,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bought a couple front shocks for my '89 and was wondering if anyone else had experience with changing them out. Looks easy enough but the FSM calls for some fancy GM tool that I don't have.....

Anyone else ever tackle these?
 

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1993 Fleetwood Brougham V4P
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437 Posts
I just did it on my 93, should be similar.

That tool you're looking at is probably the Strut top Socket. It's a special shape socket that holds the strut in place so you can back the nut off of it. I like doing things the right way so I hunted down the tool, and boy was it a hunt - the guy at the GM parts counter was friendly and bought one for me the next time the SnapOn truck came by their shop. That's the only place I could find that had it.

A lot of people do without the socket. They use vice grips to hold onto the strut for installation. Removal they take a big breaker bar and just snap the strut rod in two. I ended up having to do that on the right side anyway since I was dumb and stripped the strut top, even with my fancy socket :lol:
 

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2014 ELR
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9,920 Posts
Put a deep socket on the top shock nut. Attach a long extension. Bend back and forth, and the shaft will break. Remove shock from the bottom.
 

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94 Fleetwood Brougham
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7,534 Posts
+1 on this. Else an Air Impact often can break them free. Electric, not a chance.

My only other way was to install a couple pair of vice grips on the shock shaft and tighten to insane torque. Then I could get them loose on the top.

IF you can, Edelbrock has the IAS Monotube shocks for $30 each for the B/C/D cars, 71-96. Check Edelbrock.com. I put a pair on the back of my Suburban, LOVE them!

http://store.edelbrock.com/330431991-96impala71-96caprice71-77gmfullsizepassengercarsfront.aspx (Nevermind, looks like they are out of stock now, crap)

Put a deep socket on the top shock nut. Attach a long extension. Bend back and forth, and the shaft will break. Remove shock from the bottom.
 

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1989 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance|2018 Chevy Colorado Z71
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6,421 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well job all done. The ones I took out were shamefully bad, some cheap ones that looked pretty old. I compressed both of them when they came out, several hours later they're still compressed. Hahaha. My new ones (Gabriel Ultras) ride really nice. Did 50 on a rough stretch of road and felt virtually nothing.

Cadillac ride baby.....
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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4,416 Posts
Dopestar, could we get a followup on how you like your Gabriel Ultra shocks? I'm getting ready to do front shocks on my '79 CDV, and while I realize this is an old thread, it's still the most informative one I've been able to sift from the rubble of unsearchable old threads on here.

Right now I'm running very old Monroe sensa-tracs. I need better damping & road grip, but don't want a harsh ride, wondered how yours work for you?

-Ben
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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4,416 Posts
I had it in my favorites. I put threads with useful info in my favorites since I can never find them again.
 

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2014 ELR
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I don't think Dope is here anymore. If you can afford it, try a set of Bilsteins on the front. They really make a difference. You might want to go for the "heavy duty" instead of the "sport" ones. I have those on my DD blue caprice wagon, while I use sports on the summer wagon and the SS. LMK if you need part numbers.
 

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95 FWB 81SDV 96 FWB 94 Fleetwood
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1,533 Posts
A few years back I put a new set of Gabriel gas shocks on the front of my 95 Fleetwood when I first got it... About a thousand miles later I found out it needed a lower A frame because of damage... Well when I disconnected the shock it had no gas charge left.. The other side was the same thing.. I won't use Gabriel gas shocks again.. I love there air shocks... But like Jay says, if you want to feel the difference use Bilsteins in the front..
 

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1980 FBC
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3,139 Posts
I don't think Dope is here anymore. If you can afford it, try a set of Bilsteins on the front. They really make a difference. You might want to go for the "heavy duty" instead of the "sport" ones. I have those on my DD blue caprice wagon, while I use sports on the summer wagon and the SS. LMK if you need part numbers.
He might be back again. Look at me. I was gone for a looong time.
 
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