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 Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks

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stydel311
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:42 pm

I've noticed going over bumps with the rear end causes it to start vibrating and sometimes the rear end will "fish tale" I guess. I also noticed if you are on the brakes and hit a bump the wheels will do their usually "vibrate" and then I can feel the abs ticking in the pedal like one or both of the wheels have lost speed (contact with the road). I jacked the back up and pushed and pulled on either side of the wheel and everything felt tight, so while I was in there I greased the front and back end and rotate tires. Still does the same thing. The car has 140,000 miles on it and I'm guessing the shocks are original. They don't leak but they look pretty crusty where the bag overlaps the shock tube. I'm going to replace them tomorrow with the Monroe replacements (MA822) and hopefully the bottom two bolts on each side come out easily (sprayed them this afternoon with penetrating oil). What exactly is the issue with the o-rings in the connector? I'm having my dad bring a couple home that look to be the same size, otherwise I can run back to the parts store and get the line kit, which they do have in stock.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:59 pm

stydel311 wrote:
What exactly is the issue with the o-rings in the connector?

They corrode themselves to the shock body, making it damn near impossible to get them out without damaging the line itself. The shitty part about it all is that you have to buy an entire line kit and use literally 4 pieces out of it. The rest of the kit ends up being garbage. I keep every spare air line end that I replace or don't need. Any time I have to splice into a line (because of the line being stuck in the shock), I just cut the end off, and use a 1/8" Compression fitting to patch a new connector on. No sense in replacing all the lines.....

So, if you have to purchase a line kit, just buy yourself two 1/8" Compression fittings to go along with it, then cut and paste.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:19 pm

Abaddon wrote:

stydel311 wrote:
What exactly is the issue with the o-rings in the connector?


They corrode themselves to the shock body, making it damn near impossible to get them out without damaging the line itself. The shitty part about it all is that you have to buy an entire line kit and use literally 4 pieces out of it. The rest of the kit ends up being garbage. I keep every spare air line end that I replace or don't need. Any time I have to splice into a line (because of the line being stuck in the shock), I just cut the end off, and use a 1/8" Compression fitting to patch a new connector on. No sense in replacing all the lines.....

So, if you have to purchase a line kit, just buy yourself two 1/8" Compression fittings to go along with it, then cut and paste.
So most likely it will do this. Just cut the old elbow off a couple inches down, then use a new end from the kit, cut it off a few inches down and use the compression fitting to connect the new elbow's few inches of line to the existing airline in the car?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:34 pm

stydel311 wrote:
So most likely it will do this. Just cut the old elbow off a couple inches down, then use a new end from the kit, cut it off a few inches down and use the compression fitting to connect the new elbow's few inches of line to the existing airline in the car?

Bingo.
If you have to do this, make sure you use a pick or something of that nature to make sure the end of the line isn't crimped once you cut it. It may take a little effort to get those little compression rings on the line. They're definitely a tight fit.....and don't forget to put the caps on first!!! (I've done it a million times dunce )
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:37 pm

Abaddon wrote:



stydel311 wrote:
So most likely it will do this. Just cut the old elbow off a couple inches down, then use a new end from the kit, cut it off a few inches down and use the compression fitting to connect the new elbow's few inches of line to the existing airline in the car?




Bingo.
If you have to do this, make sure you use a pick or something of that nature to make sure the end of the line isn't crimped once you cut it. It may take a little effort to get those little compression rings on the line. They're definitely a tight fit.....and don't forget to put the caps on first!!! (I've done it a million times dunce )


Could I skip doing the compression fitting and replace the entire line with the new elbow and the length of tubing that it's on? Also I'd rather not make 12 trips to the stores so I'm going to buy 4 bolts, lock nuts, and washers because even though I sprayed them with penetrating oil I'm guessing the spring clips or bolts will break at the base. Do you know what size bolt I should get?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:38 pm

Got them replaced. Easiest shocks I've ever installed, any other time the bolts were destroyed being removed. Definitely glade I went ahead and bought bolts and lock nuts. One clip cracked when I was tightening it and one fell to pieces when I was loosening it. I was extremely careful removing the plastic elbows and reused them, they came off relatively easy and I could see both o rings were still there and looked like they were in good shape. No bubbling when sprayed with soapy water and the compressor runs for 3 or 4 seconds and doesn't run again unless I sit on the trunk opening and lower the back end. I'll return the compression fittings and tubing kit and keep an eye on them for a while. Back end is much tighter now and the swerving problem on bumps is gone.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:35 pm

AA wrote:
Thanks to Jack the R for the write-up. As simple as his instructions were, they were enough. I did not even need to reference the shop manual. Job took 2 hours, but could have been done in one.

I would loosen the top nut (in the trunk) before loosening the bottom bolts, though. This prevents the shock from twisting in the mount. I would also remove air lines first, so they do not bend or break from twisting or dropping the shock during disassembly. So for me, the order was:

1) Lift rear of car.
2) Disconnect air lines.
3) Remove top nut.
4) Remove two bottom bolts.
5) Remove shock.
6) Replace hardware.
7) Install new shock.
8) Tighten bottom bolts.
9) Tighten top nut.
10) Reconnect air lines.
11) Lower car.

Car rides nice with the Monroes. Not a giant difference, but less boating on the hills and in the dips. And the bumps feel better, of course. At 140k miles, it just feels better not having the originals on there. I should credit the OEMs though... never failed, still working well for being 9 years old.

Somehow we both forgot to mention what the various nuts and bolts get torqued too. I must have known way back when, but I've got no clue now.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:04 am

Abaddon wrote:

stydel311 wrote:
So most likely it will do this. Just cut the old elbow off a couple inches down, then use a new end from the kit, cut it off a few inches down and use the compression fitting to connect the new elbow's few inches of line to the existing airline in the car?


Bingo.
If you have to do this, make sure you use a pick or something of that nature to make sure the end of the line isn't crimped once you cut it. It may take a little effort to get those little compression rings on the line. They're definitely a tight fit.....and don't forget to put the caps on first!!! (I've done it a million times dunce )

When I've installed those lines (I am on my 4th set of rear shocks - KYBs this time they are great) I've put a little tune up grease (polysiloxane) on the shock's air fitting nipple. Just a dab size of a grain of rice on a finger then wipe onto the nipple to leave a film. When it's time to switch the lines come off no problem.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:08 am

stydel311 wrote:

Abaddon wrote:




stydel311 wrote:
So most likely it will do this. Just cut the old elbow off a couple inches down, then use a new end from the kit, cut it off a few inches down and use the compression fitting to connect the new elbow's few inches of line to the existing airline in the car?





Bingo.
If you have to do this, make sure you use a pick or something of that nature to make sure the end of the line isn't crimped once you cut it. It may take a little effort to get those little compression rings on the line. They're definitely a tight fit.....and don't forget to put the caps on first!!! (I've done it a million times dunce )


Could I skip doing the compression fitting and replace the entire line with the new elbow and the length of tubing that it's on? Also I'd rather not make 12 trips to the stores so I'm going to buy 4 bolts, lock nuts, and washers because even though I sprayed them with penetrating oil I'm guessing the spring clips or bolts will break at the base. Do you know what size bolt I should get?

you are absolutely right about the spring clips breaking. Last 2 shock changes I just bought clips and bolts, to get the old ones off I merely tightened the bolts until thy or the clips broke... I had even tried anti-seize on those bolts when I installed, didnt really help for removal. I told my dad they are "sacrificial."
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:54 pm

I tried installing Monroe MA822's today - something ain't right.  I have the shock bolted into the shock mount at top, and the shock is about a 1/4 inch too short to reach the arm at the bottom.  I can get the bottom bolts in, and could possibly pull the shock down by tightening the bolts, but I'm sure that shouldn't be necessary.  I'd think the shock would have more travel in it than the suspension, and be easy to pull down that last bit. What gives?

Also, I recall pulling the fuse for the compressor when installing the Ranchos.  I've looked at the fuse box in the driver's side of the dash, and under the rear seat, but I don't see it.  Where did it get off to puzzled
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:23 pm

I was just doing the shocks on our '86 GS the other day, Jack, and it did the same thing. The rear springs will push the control arms past the point where the shocks will. Now, I grant you the shocks on the Century aren't air shocks, but it's the same thing.

Do you have the car jacked up elsewhere underneath the car? You'll probably have to get a second jack and raise the control arm a little to make up for the space.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:48 pm

Jack the R wrote:
I tried installing Monroe MA822's today - something ain't right.  I have the shock bolted into the shock mount at top, and the shock is about a 1/4 inch too short to reach the arm at the bottom.  I can get the bottom bolts in, and could possibly pull the shock down by tightening the bolts, but I'm sure that shouldn't be necessary.  I'd think the shock would have more travel in it than the suspension, and be easy to pull down that last bit.  What gives?

Also, I recall pulling the fuse for the compressor when installing the Ranchos.  I've looked at the fuse box in the driver's side of the dash, and under the rear seat, but I don't see it.  Where did it get off to puzzled
When you are facing the back seat with it removed it should be in the left fuse box (there are 2). I recall mine being green, don't remember what amperage. Not sure if the colors correspond to the amperage either.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:33 am

Z-type - O.K., maybe I was confused because the Ranchos had more than enough travel to reach. If all is well I'll jack the rear suspension up and get'r'done.

stydel311 - The passenger side fuse box? What is it labelled as? I didn't see anything obvious like "air compressor."
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:20 am

I think it's labeled 'ELC', for Electronic Level Control. I think lol. I removed mine so long ago I don't remember.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:32 pm

I put the shocks on, but one of the air lines wasn't snapping on good, so I still don't have the levelling system hooked up. The box the ma8222's came in says "air line not required**, so I took the Riv out for a test drive. The ride is great but the rear is noticeably softer than with the Ranchos, and it's especially noticeable when accelerating from a stop. I'd rather have the Ranchos if they'd last, but it looks like they're only good for a few thousand miles on the Riv, or Rancho has a massive quality control problem. I'm guessing the former, as incredible as it is to believe the Riv can dish out more abuse than an F-250 off road.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:01 pm

Jack the R wrote:
I put the shocks on, but one of the air lines wasn't snapping on good, so I still don't have the levelling system hooked up.  The box the ma8222's came in says "air line not required**, so I took the Riv out for a test drive.  The ride is great but the rear is noticeably softer than with the Ranchos, and it's especially noticeable when accelerating from a stop.  I'd rather have the Ranchos if they'd last, but it looks like they're only good for a few thousand miles on the Riv, or Rancho has a massive quality control problem.  I'm guessing the former, as incredible as it is to believe the Riv can dish out more abuse than an F-250 off road.  

I think you may be mistaken.

"air line not required" on the MA-822s means the air line on the car from factory will work and you do not have to buy a replacement air line kit. With the Gabriel HiJackers you *do* have to buy a replacement air line kit because the fitting on the shock is different. You can use the kit to modify the stock lines, or replace the stock lines with the kit lines.

POINT IS the MA-822s **do** need air to work. Without the air, the car won't maintain proper attitude while you are toting a load of any consequence.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:38 pm

albertj wrote:


Jack the R wrote:
I put the shocks on, but one of the air lines wasn't snapping on good, so I still don't have the levelling system hooked up.  The box the ma8222's came in says "air line not required**, so I took the Riv out for a test drive.  The ride is great but the rear is noticeably softer than with the Ranchos, and it's especially noticeable when accelerating from a stop.  I'd rather have the Ranchos if they'd last, but it looks like they're only good for a few thousand miles on the Riv, or Rancho has a massive quality control problem.  I'm guessing the former, as incredible as it is to believe the Riv can dish out more abuse than an F-250 off road.  



I think you may be mistaken.

"air line not required" on the MA-822s means the air line on the car from factory will work and you do not have to buy a replacement air line kit.  With the Gabriel HiJackers you *do* have to buy a replacement air line kit because the fitting on the shock is different.  You can use the kit to modify the stock lines, or replace the stock lines with the kit lines.  

POINT IS the MA-822s **do** need air to work. Without the air, the car won't maintain proper attitude while you are toting a load of any consequence.

Albertj


Hmmm - well, I ordered replacement air lines earlier.  The car's ride height looks the same with the spare tire and a jack in the back.  I don't plan to carry anything else for a few days.  It drove fine, the shocks were dampening the motion of the springs like they're supposed to.  Do you think I should wait until I get the compressor hooked up and working to drive it again?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:56 pm

I personally think you should wait. Driving like that really 'shouldn't' damage anything for just a few miles but they function many times better when there's some air supporting them.

I put a manual fill valve on mine instead of using the air compressor level system and I can change my ride height, or load strength with just a few PSI adjustment. Handles way better too.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:40 am

Bummer. I wanna drive my Riv!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:16 pm

Mine hasnt worked for some time now and the car still drives fine. Never really cared to check why the compressor doesnt work because the only noticable change was that the car rides at a better looking height..


Last edited by th3fr4nchi5e on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:03 pm

Huh. That was unexpected.

When I backed my Riv into the garage after my test drive I got a brand new "ruuurnt" sound from the driver's side shock area. I haven't touched it since then though. I'd hate to think I damaged my new shocks with one test drive.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:45 pm

You should be able to tell if they require air lines. There are inlets on the outside (upper) portion of the tube. These are threaded for the line connection, and in theory if capped off and sealed, like with a valve stem cap, the shocks should work fine. If open, it could let out the air under compression, and introduce dirt and moisture over time, obviously not good for them.


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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:46 pm

Is the system working?  If it is, you should hear the compressor run for 3-5 seconds shortly after you start the engine.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:28 pm

AA - They've got the connection for the air lines. They came with tight fitting caps on the nipples which I put back on when I wasn't able to get the passenger side compressor line to stay on.

Larry70GS - I believe I pulled the fuse for the compressor when I put the Ranchos on. I haven't put it back in yet (or found where it is again :\ )
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Rear Self-leveling Air Shocks   Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:13 pm

Jack the R wrote:


Larry70GS - I believe I pulled the fuse for the compressor when I put the Ranchos on.  I haven't put it back in yet (or found where it is again :\ )

The ELC fuse is under the rear seat in the RH rear junction block. It is marked ELC, I believe it is a big 30A fuse. There is a fuse diagram under the junction block cover.

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