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'05 Escalade
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
SUV has 150k on the clock. Riding rough. Looking at changing out shocks.
Seems the best path forward is to install a conversion kit and do away with the air shocks. Was hoping for some insight. Have read that you need to install bypass electronics, OR you can just pull a fuse to avoid errors on the dash.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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1,336 Posts
I swapped all my active/air shocks for Bilstein HD passive shocks and could not be happier. However, the ride will be stiffer and not ride as smooth as the stock shocks. Handling will be much improved in the rear if you also swap out the soft stock rear springs for heavy duty rear springs to match the passive shocks. I am using Moog heavy duty rear springs. My Cadillac does ride like a Z71 package Tahoe, but it very stable with excellent body control around corners.

I just removed the RTD fuse located in the fuse box under the hood to avoid getting the "service suspension" error message. You just have to unplug the negative battery before pulling the fuse and then reconnect the battery with the fuse still removed and you should not get an service air ride message with passive shocks. I have done the fuse trick two years ago and the error message still has not appeared with my Bilsteins shocks.
 

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'05 Escalade
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Cool deal carguy75. That was the insight I was hoping for. I can hear a click at the compressor, but it doesn't run....and the existing air shocks are probably shot anyway.

I may reach back at a later date to ask about some of the other updates you have made to your ride
 

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2004 ESV
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817 Posts
Another vote here for the bilstein HD shocks. The ride will be much more like the Z71 tahoe/suburban, but all 4 shocks can be purchased for around the price of a single aftermarket air ride compatible shock. Plus if the compressor needs to be replaced, that's another expense.

The front install will probably give you the most trouble, as the top nut on the shock will probably be seized on there pretty good, even if you don't live in a rust belt state. I had to use an impact wrench to get the nut off. But that was my only complication.

I should replace the rear springs as the back rides a little bit floaty, but it's not bad.
 

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I swapped all my active/air shocks for Bilstein HD passive shocks and could not be happier. However, the ride will be stiffer and not ride as smooth as the stock shocks. Handling will be much improved in the rear if you also swap out the soft stock rear springs for heavy duty rear springs to match the passive shocks. I am using Moog heavy duty rear springs. My Cadillac does ride like a Z71 package Tahoe, but it very stable with excellent body control around corners.

I just removed the RTD fuse located in the fuse box under the hood to avoid getting the "service suspension" error message. You just have to unplug the negative battery before pulling the fuse and then reconnect the battery with the fuse still removed and you should not get an service air ride message with passive shocks. I have done the fuse trick two years ago and the error message still has not appeared with my Bilsteins shocks.
I just removed the neg cable and pulled the fuse on a 2002 and it didn't work.
The light came on right after start up.
With the fuse in the light stays off until I take off. At about 12mph I hear a pump run for about 2 seconds and then again for 6-7 and as soon as it turns off the light pops on ans stays until next restart.
The pump sound is longer on first drive of day.
Seems to be only one short run later on and sometimes I don't think it even comes on if it hasn't been sitting long.
 

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SUV has 150k on the clock. Riding rough. Looking at changing out shocks.
Seems the best path forward is to install a conversion kit and do away with the air shocks. Was hoping for some insight. Have read that you need to install bypass electronics, OR you can just pull a fuse to avoid errors on the dash.
I would keep the air shocks. I think they ride smoother and when your towing/hauling something it inflates the shocks so the car is still level and comfy. I had the same kind of car with regular shocks and they ride rougher. Why bother having to get adapters and having to work around the system so it doesn’t display an error. Dorman air shocks replacement are wonderful or GM’s are also wonderful.
 

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2006 Escalade AWD w/DiabloSport tuner,Jet Performance throttle body/MAF,Airaid MIT
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1,336 Posts
I just removed the neg cable and pulled the fuse on a 2002 and it didn't work.
The light came on right after start up.
With the fuse in the light stays off until I take off. At about 12mph I hear a pump run for about 2 seconds and then again for 6-7 and as soon as it turns off the light pops on ans stays until next restart.
The pump sound is longer on first drive of day.
Seems to be only one short run later on and sometimes I don't think it even comes on if it hasn't been sitting long.
Interesting. The RTD fuse removal trick works for my 2006.

You may have to leave the battery disconnected for a while(over 10 mintues) to clear the old codes from memory and then reconnect the battery without the RTD fuse. I left my battery cable disconnected while I swapped the shocks so it was disconnected for a while(hours) before I reconnected the battery.
 

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2004 ESV
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817 Posts
Air shocks don't last nearly as long as gas shocks. You have to do the same process to install air shocks as regular shocks. No additional labor. Plus, all 4 Bilstein gas shocks can be purchased for the price of one air shock.

If you want to keep air ride, keep it. But it's less reliable, and more costly. Yes you lose some ride quality, but for my purposes the trade off was acceptable. For me, keeping the air ride was a lose-lose proposition.
 

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2005 Escalade 6.0L 2WD, 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited CRD
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3,731 Posts
I replaced the air shocks and installed a new compressor from Arnott 7 years and 80k miles ago. I've been very happy with them.
 
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