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1970 Sedan deVille hardtop
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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, shock question for cheapskates here.
I'm looking at Monroe Sensa-tracs or AC Delco shocks for my '70 SDV. Obviously I want to keep the Cadillac-worthy ride, but maybe with just a touch of a more modern ride. I know they're both basically stock replacements, but all shocks aren't made the same.
Anyone have experience with these shocks in a big vehicle like ours? I have sensa-tracs in my Camaro and have liked the ride, but I have no idea how it'd be on a car 2000# heavier!
 

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94 Fleetwood Brougham
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Take a look and see if you can fit the 9C1 Cop Car shocks on. The 71-96 front and rear suspensions are VERY similar. The 70 may share shocks too. But being Cadillac, they had their own engineering teams then, may have had an exclusive shock for Cadillac.

Honestly, I put a set of Gabriel Ultra's on my FW (9C1, cop car) and am very pleased with them, far more than I expected to be. Take a look at them. Never ever get the cheapest shock, most are one step off of junk. And always pump the shock in the store before you purchase them. I had one locked up in the out position once.

Don't hesitate to pull each shock and examine it and see if you think it will fit. I do it often, and they are often very helpful. Later in the evening is best, don't do it during the peak of business.
 

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1970 Sedan deVille hardtop
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Discussion Starter #3
the sensa-trac isn't the bottom of the line, middle or upper or so. The Delcos are just listed as AC Delco shocks, only ones of that brand, but they are the OE brand, so I figured they should be decent.
I was thinking cheap as in not Bilstiens or top-line stuff where one shock costs as much as a whole set of something else!

I'll have to look into other possibilities, that's a good suggestion. You're right about the suspensions changing in '71, but maybe if I can find shock measurements on someones website I can see if they will physically interchange.
 

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1970 Sedan deVille hardtop
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, just checked Monroes site. No deal with the Impala shocks in the front. Lower mounting type is completley different, and none of their other "Severe Service" shocks seem like they'd work out front either. Didn't bother looking for the rear after that.

Are you sure the Impala 9C1 shocks will work with a '71-'76 bigblock Caddy? I found '70-'76 Caddies all having the same front shock, and the lower mount won't work unless you want to go through pressing bushings out and stuff.
 

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94 Fleetwood Brougham
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Not 100% sure, but I did some digging on some other suspension parts (spindles mainly) and they showed up from 71-96 (non ABS) as the same.

So there is a good potential the shocks will work. I'll do some more checking.
 

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Well, as for LCA, it is showing 1970-1976 as having the same LCA.

1970-1976 Cadillac big cars all share lower arms.
Seems that the arms are Cadillac unique.

1970-1976 shocks are the same for Cadillac.

1977-1996 B/D bodies all share, but they are not the same as the 1970-1976 Cadillac big car shocks.

I would have to compare them to see the specific differences. They might work, but there is a reason there is a different P/N too.
 

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1970 Sedan deVille hardtop
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Discussion Starter #7
Spindles maybe. Check the lower a-arm though. The BB Caddies used a lower a-arm setup similar to early Novas with an adjustable strut rod to locate the end of the controll arm, as opposed to the full a-frame that Chevy used by then.
Specifically, the Monroe catalog showed the Impy shocks having a lower plate with two holes in it that bolt it to the lower arm. My Caddy at least has a horizontal steel tube that runs through the lower bushing on the shock. There is a single long bolt that goes through the sides of the lower arm and that tube to hold the bottom in.
The only way I can think to adapt the 9C1 shock would be to bang out the crossbar that it has and replace that with the tube for the Cadillac.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guess you were posting while I was typing...
http://www.monroe.com/catalog_lookup/ocl_miscappinfo.asp This has links to all the Monroe shock tech info.
I think it might be possible with some modification to the lower mount, but it is potentially a fair amount of money on a part that I couldn't return if I modifyed it.
The travel doesn't quite agree though. The compressed height on the Caddy stocker is taller than the Impy shock. Have to measure my suspension and see just where I would be at full compression. Bottoming out the shock before the suspension could lead to some very bad things happening I think.
 

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Front suspension was very similar from 1962 to 1976. This design used steering linkage behind the crossmember. That concept goes back in time to where cars were expected to maybe hit something in the road. The steering linkage was protected behind the crossmember. The upper balljoints on these front ends swivels for alignment adjustment.
'77 to '96 shares nothing with the older front end.
 

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Was it a unique to Cadillac suspension? Different than the rest of the B/C cars at GM?
 

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1970 Sedan deVille hardtop
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Discussion Starter #11
As far as I have seen, yes. I just looked through my '65-'72 Domestic car Chiltons manual and didn't see any other GM's with the same setup. Cadillac also has its own unique alignment procedures different from any other car listed. There was much less parts-sharing going on with Caddy back then.
 
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