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 Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks

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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:23 pm

I had Firestone remount my directional tires when rotating, crossing both front and rears. Amazingly, they did so at no extra charge. It's truly necessary to do this when you frequently drive the car into turns very hard, as the outside tread gets eaten away over time. I was just surprised they honored my request with no hassle!

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'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:23 pm

I get free rotations too, where I bought the tires. Hadn't thought about having them do it and remount tires. I don't really push it very hard in the turns, so I may not have the uneven wear problem, will have to watch the tread.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:50 am

Yeah, keep an eye on the outside edges. I know my boss's 350Z tire rotation required remounting because it came with directionals from the factory.

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'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:22 pm

UPDATE: My temporary duct tape fix remained on for longer than expected. The result was eventually it started leaking, unbeknown to me. The air pump that inflates the shocks must've began running more frequently, and eventually burnt out. Big bummer...

So, for a time, the rear end of my car was sagging, which was no fun. Yesterday, I installed the replacement air lines I received from ShockWarehouse (link) and bypassed the pump with an air fill fitting.

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'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


Last edited by AA on Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:52 pm

AA when you installed your monroes,were they really tight an bumpy for a little bit?? mine were but i think there settling down...i went from bouncy,to feeling like i had no absorbtion..
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:11 pm

Not really. I noticed a firmer ride, bit not too bumpy. Most of all, I noticed a decreased tendency to boat on the expressway. See my initial reaction 10 posts up ^^^

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'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:02 pm

I put Monroes on the rear last night after having 135k on the originals that were leaking. The Monroes are really firm to me. Maybe I was just use to squishy shocks. lol I'm glad I didn't do the F250 mod if they are firmer than the air shocks. This was by far the easiest set of shocks I've ever put on a car. Thanks for the tips Aaron. Struts are next!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:14 pm

Second look...I think I may be riding a little high in the back. Is there anyway to adjust them?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:52 pm

Update: I found Dave's post about his riding too high and he uncapped the air lines from the shocks and excess air came out. That seems to have fixed mine too. Hopefully, they won't air back up...not sure what all that's about. dunno
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:41 pm

I think it's an initial install thing.

Also, I thought my monroes were a bit stiff for the first month or so, then they went back to 'nice'. Not too soft, not too harsh.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:52 pm

Jack, mine have been fine since releasing the air after installation. I suspect the linkages may have been hanging up when I first let the rear back down to the floor, resulting in overinflation. Just a wild guess... I also agree that the new shocks are plenty firm, I won't be doing the Rancho's swap.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:45 am

looking for a regular rear shock for my 95 rivera my air ride doesnt work and would like a shock that i could just bolt up there and forget about the whole air ride thing does anyone have any input and or part #s
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:22 pm

so what psi do you guys run them at? i like the way it feels at 50 or 60psi but the back end sits up soo high. reverse rake it cool...sometimes. i tried letting all the air out at the fill valve and then pumped it back up, but there is still a lot of fender gap. would it make a difference to let the air out directly at the shock vs the fill cap?

paulie710- see the first 2 pages of this thread. the monroe shocks are direct replacement and you can remove the air ride and fill them yourself.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:51 pm

Hey Paulie - when you say air ride is busted do you mean the compressor does not work or the switch is not turning the compressor on or what?

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:31 pm

I'm guessing he doesn't know. It's hard to diagnose without checking the sensor, wires, pump, and air lines. And I think he's asking for a shock that doesn't use air at all, an ordinary gas shock.

I prefer 40 psi. Perfect ride height , imo.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:47 am

albertj wrote:
Hey Paulie - when you say air ride is busted do you mean the compressor does not work or the switch is not turning the compressor on or what?

Albertj
no i keeps blowing the fuse
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:08 pm

OK Paulie. I am just guessing here, but it sounds like maybe other work done on your car in the past messed the wires somehow (if hte fuse pops immediately), or you have a short in a dirty connector (fuse pops after some seconds). Also make sure the fuse is the right one and the previous owner (PO) did not stick in a too small one. Your owners manual will show the fuse and its correct value.

Depending on conditon you might need new air shocks. For instance the old ones are leaking so compressor free-runs and blows fuse after a while - the hint is that oil is leaking through the casing on the smaller cylinder. To check this, on a dry day spray some window cleaner on the shock to clean it off real good, then dry it. Drive a bit then go have another look at the shocks. If they appear to have wetted, they are leaking. And if the smaller shock tube is swollen, they are bad or going bad.

I would heed what Aaron wrote about sensor, wires.

Also I read somewhere else that for this problem you might need a new air drier for the compressor you have (bad airflow, air compressor load gets too high and blows fuse) but I can not confirm that.

You probly want to keep the air ride, if only because of the way the Riv is sprung. The Rancho shocks will work OK for normal but with a car full of people and a trunk full of stuff they will drag a** and you are likely going to want that air ride. The air ride compensates for the Riv's otherwise soft springs, when the car is heavily loaded. And modifying the Ranchos to fit is a PITA, you have to burn the bushings out the bottom and if you screw up you'll risk popping the shock. Search this site for a write up about doing the Ranchos replacement.

The trick is to fix the air ride yourself. You can get the compressor and such fairly priced from Ed Morad (search this forum to find his link) and the air shocks fairly priced from RockAuto.com. Or to really cheap out you could also get a set of working used air shocks from Morad...

As for me, I bought OE Delcos from RockAuto, around $100 the pair IIRC, and was happy. Another lister bought closeouts from them, but they arrived damaged & he complained, they di not want them back so they worked out a refund. And you could phone AutoZone and CarQuest for prices on GAbriel or Monroe air shocks, they may have a deal for you aorund $60 - $80 the pair... However, the OE Delcos from RockAuto.com will come with new mounts (that's like $80 saved right there). Check the pictures on their site - the ones pictured with mounts already on, come that way. They are NOS (new old stock).

For my money, I'd fix it. Unlike Lincolns and Citroens, the Riv's air ride is pretty simple and for whatever reason if you shop around the parts are not that pricey. Once working again it won't be a PITA for a very long time especially with new shocks.

The trick is, I think, that the air shocks on the Riv are a relatively easy do-it-yourself replacement. devil like anything else the devil is in the details but since there are not too many details in repairing the air ride versus putting in Ranchos there is not much devil, either.

Nice if those of you who've installed Ranchos would comment further.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:17 pm

Paulie: I note a deafening silence from teh Rancho crowd. But then again it's only been 2 days.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:45 am

Hello all, I replaced the drivers side shock and mount today. I had the lifetime replacement from autozone on some Gabriels. The shock busted through the mount on the driver side and was rattling around. When I initially replaced them a couple of years ago I noticed that the metal tube in the middle of the mount wasn't looking too good and finally gave out a few years later. I went to Ray Buick here in Chicago and ordered the mount for the passenger side as well today. The ride on the driver side is great after the replacement. I do notice some noise on the Pass side and I'm looking forward to replacing the mount and shock tomorrow night. I manually fill them since the sensor is broken for the ELC.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:22 pm

albertj wrote:
Paulie: I note a deafening silence from teh Rancho crowd. But then again it's only been 2 days.

Albertj

I'm the guy who wrote the Rancho write-up, and my silence is more rolleyes than sad I'm tired of trying to "defend" the Rancho mod. If it's too much work, don't do it. If your car is primarily a people and junk hauler, keep the air ride. I've never had more than one passenger and the Ranchos suit me fine. I wish I could put them in the front too.

I believe ewolfe was planning an air bag setup to replace the rear springs, to cure his slapping problem. IIRC Camlifter had one on his Riv and offered to fab them for us, at one point, if enough of us wanted them. Those two guys had or have two of the hottest Rivs I know of.

I didn't burn anything out of the Ranchos. IIRC I pressed the crosspin or maybe a tube out of them with a vise and socket head. I think I cut the crosspin out of the old airshocks. There was never any danger of damaging the Ranchos.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:24 pm

That was helpful. I read another Rancho mod story involving burning out the bushings. I apologize for the misunderstanding, hope you forgive me.

That said, maybe Paulie could refer back to your writeup?

Albertj

PS regarding the fronts I was told once that the factory struts (NOT the factory replacement struts, they are not the same just like the factory replacement antenna is not the same as the original) could take inserts. If that is really true (I have no way to verify) then maybe with a set of factory struts (maybe Ed Morad?!?) you could put in appropriate inserts?
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PostSubject: Replacing rear shocks = no air seal   Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:55 am

I finally decided to replace my rear shocks. Aside from the fact that they looked like this> Photobucket
they would leak oil out the air side if I let air out and they kind of liked to bounce more than they should.

Replacement went smoothely with the exception of the air fitting on the shocks. Basically, the shock its self has a nipple with no threads or anything which has a small port inside. The outter fitting just kind of half holds the vinyl hose in place so it can just chill in the port and is retained by a very sloppishly situated clip that fits into a groove on the nipple. Oh, there was two small o-rings sitting in the nipple, around the circumference of the port too. How this ever sealed in the first place, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Anyway, as I kind of figured would happen, I can't get the stupid things to seal air. By miracle, the left one seems to seal fairly well, as long as it's not disturbed by so much as a gust of wind. With the right, I wasn't so lucky. It leaks out any air that I try to put into it. Anyone come across this problem?

My only ideas are to see if there are any replacement fitting parts like the ones I have or I may try using a rubber hose that will fit around the whole nipple and adapt it to couple with the existing vinyl hose.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:38 am

Same thing happened to me. See my posts starting on page 2 of this thread.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:18 am

The fittings on my original air lines also seemed to fit too loosely to hold air, but I have zero leakage issues since last summer's Monroes went on.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:50 pm

I'm ordering that Monroe AK29 kit through work so I'll get it put on tomorrow evening, most likely. Looks like the price on those is pretty consistantly below 8 bucks now.

I'll probably attempt the tape idea Aaron suggested to get me by today and tomorrow. The instructions say that they should have at least ~30psi in them while operating so I need to do something if I'm going to drive it.
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