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 Ride height ....

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dreww
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PostSubject: car not level   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:57 am

since things seem to never all be fixed on this car, I figured I would take a look at what it costs/takes to fix this problem.
I read on another board about a guy saying his car sags a little on the right, about 1inch or so. Mine does the same thing. Someone responded saying they think its the "bushings". Does this sound correct.

BTW, I despise suspension work and dont know alot about it but am learning since both my cars are old and their suspensions are beginning to fail (especially the one on the 4,000lb. buick boat). So bear with me and please explain in novice terms.

Im also interested in the sway/strut bars you guys are using. Does anyone have one for a 96 and is it worth it? I HATE how this car handles. Looks like the front strut STS bar mod is pretty easy.
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96RivSCMI
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:18 am

I've got a front STB and I know Mr. Riv has one... I think this is the best bang for the buck mod you can do for handling. You can look around:
http://rivperformance.editboard.com/suspension-handling-f6/write-up-installing-a-front-strut-tower-brace-t109-0.htm
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98RIV7777
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:58 am

Ya Ive been wanting to get one but cant find them around me anywhere
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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:21 pm

the dealership can get you one, or gmpartsdirect
both are about the same $$ with shipping and all factored in.

my suspension doesnt sag, but it seems to get softer by the day. i have a ton of speed bumps in my complex and even though i take them slow, going over them daily for a year has its toll. my KYB's are fairly new, and the springs seem to be firm when i bounce on the front, but there is a lot of body lean and lack of suspension feel. the STB made a big difference, but the car still isnt where i want it to be.
so i am thinking my only option left is to replace the strut top mounts and bushings. mine have cracks at the top, but i dont know if that means they are bad or not. also i have poly sway bar links, but that didnt make any noticeable difference.

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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:33 pm

Ive heard the PAU touring suspension is a pretty decent handling setup. I wonder how similar the suspension setup is to ours design wise and how many components could be swapped ( i.e springs and stuts , sway bars , etc). Hmmmm......
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Jason
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:39 pm

it handles fairly poorly. If you search through my posts you'll see the springs and swaybars could be swapped out but it would not be worth your time.
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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:42 pm

Jason wrote:
it handles fairly poorly. If you search through my posts you'll see the springs and swaybars could be swapped out but it would not be worth your time.


i thought i read one review online where it said the gran touring suspension was much stiffer , but i could be wrong. What about the bonneville? I would think pontiac would have something better handling than us...but maybe not.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:35 pm

I added the addco f/r sways, plus the caddy STB and I think mine handles... much better (but it's no corvette, believe me). It does lean in the corners, but not nearly as much. I think most of the lean is coming from the air shocks in the back now. Also, I think the ride is stiffer, but not too stiff. It still has some give to soak up bumps n stuff. I can push it hard through an offramp with a much bigger smile than before.
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:40 pm

I have the STB ordered now. It was right at $35.00 delivered from GMParts Direct.
The last part I checked it would have been the exact same price to get the dealer to order for me. So I just let them deliver.

Bert tavis
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'96reese
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:09 am

if your car is sagging then i would just to check out your air shocks to make sure they are not leaking. also check out and make sure the air compressor works(its located on the passenger rear lower control arm). make sure your height sensor link is not broken( its located on the driver rear lower control arm). also check the fuses under the back seat if the compressor is not kickin on.
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dreww
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:29 am

'96reese wrote:
if your car is sagging then i would just to check out your air shocks to make sure they are not leaking. also check out and make sure the air compressor works(its located on the passenger rear lower control arm). make sure your height sensor link is not broken( its located on the driver rear lower control arm). also check the fuses under the back seat if the compressor is not kickin on.

well, its leaning to the right so it couldnt be just the rear air shocks. its not my shocks though, I replaced them less than a year ago. The pump has already been replaced with an aftermarket one. The leveling sensor was removed to. I just manually turn on my airpump and fill my shocks to about 50psi before I drive off.
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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:31 am

Do you park on even surfaces? I know my last car leaned to one side after a while of parking half on my street and half on my lawn. I'm afraid of it happening to the riv.
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dreww
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:33 am

TonySmooth89 wrote:
Do you park on even surfaces? I know my last car leaned to one side after a while of parking half on my street and half on my lawn. I'm afraid of it happening to the riv.

lol, yes. It sits in my level garage 99% of the time.
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mr riviera
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PostSubject: Ride height ....   Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:32 pm

HI , id like to know your ride height to the center top of the rear bumper . Im tryin to find out if and how bad im sagging, if ya wanna ill take the front too ...
Thanks
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'96reese
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:17 am

if you're sagging you might wanna change out your shocks. the actual process of measuring your curb hieght is redundent. if you put wieght in the back of your car and the the shocks dont raise up but you hear the air pump kick on then you want to look at your air shocks to check for leaks, cracks, or tears in the rubber. if those are fine then you have to check out your air lines. there are 3 rubber vaccum hoses that come off the air pump itself and connect to the plastic air line and then that single air line branches off to 2 seperate air lines for each shock. there are rubber o-rings that attach to the hard plastic air line, and there are 2 rubber orings that go in each shock. you have to check those to make sure they are not dried up and cracked. if those are fine then look at you ride hieght sensor. make sure the mechanical arm that is attach to the sensor is bolted to the lower control arm. again make sure that sensor is not broke if so go to a junkyard and steal one or go to the dealer and pay out the ass. spray the part that bolts to the control arm with sum wd40 or pb blaster. now that arm is adjustable, you can raise the ride hieght of the vehicle by 1.25" i think. thats what i did. i took it to its highest setting.

as long as you have about 2-3" between the top of your tire and the chrome fender trim you are okay. now you have to measure this in a str8 line of course.
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mr riviera
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:27 am

Reese , thanks ... i knew all that ... id still like the # though lol
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okiedrifter
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:28 pm

im having the exact oppposate problem, i just put on new shocks, and my height is WAY up there, is there a way to turn the controll off and just let the coil springs do their job? i let the air out this morning by unhooking the line and its fine as of right now, but it took a couple days the last time, so any ideas?
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:37 pm

I think you can check the control arm that tells the air pump to turn on - it's located on the rear driver side axle. The arm senses ride height and may be broken, disconnected, or in need of adjustment.

You can also disconnect/remove the air pump and swap the lines with a manual air fitting to pump to your desired ride height.

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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:54 pm

You shouldn't run the air shocks with no air in them at all. It will eventually ruin them. (quite quickly from what I've read)
There is a minimum amount of air pressure specified for those shocks. I forget what it is at the moment.
You really need to adjust the control arm or find out if the control system isn't working properly.
If you choose to disable the on-board system do as AA suggested, completely disconnect the shocks from the cars air ride system (remove the proper relay from under the back seat) and hook up to an independent air supply that you can adjust with compressed air.
At least have a minimum of 10 - 15 psi in my opinion to keep from ruining the new shocks.
I personally prefer to have the stock system working properly and adjusted properly, then you don't have to anything - it's automatic.
AA tows with his so I can see the need to manually adjust the level of the car under those circumstances.
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97 park ave
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PostSubject: Re: Ride height ....   Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:36 pm

i wouldnt go under 25psi on delco rear shocks, but IIRC the paper that came with the shocks said either 15 or 20psi for min and 50 for max. i have 35psi in mine right now with a comfy ride and minimal sag when launching.
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