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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so i'm tired of my wagon feeling like i'm a boat floating on the ocean on the expressway. i know stiffer shocks will help but what should i do about springs? i was thinking maybe some impala springs but i already tear the rear of my wagon up on inclines with stock springs so i know imps in the rear would make it worse. what are my options here? i don't wanna feel like i'm riding on a wooden board but i also don't wanna feel like i'm out on the ocean fishing in rough sea's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yea i'm not too concerned about lowering the car only because potholes here in philly are unforgiving. although i do hate to see a nasty wheel gap between some nice wheels and a nice paint job. thats a hard topic to finalize. for me maybe imps in the front though only because i also like a slightly raked stance. might have to run with front imp springs and bilstein shocks.

is you ride very bouncy on the eway with soft springs/stiff shocks? how does it handle? i know i have to upgrade the sway bar as well.
 

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Funny, I was thinking the same thing today as I was driving the wagon home and feeling every bump because I had over inflated the front tires. Unfortunately, a smooth ride in SE PA damn near requires a Rolls Royce. I love the performance feel of the stiff suspension in the Impala, but do not want that all the time in the wagon.

Instead, I was thinking about installing a selectable air suspension kit. It seems that there are some very impressive adjustable kits out there that can give you the best of both worlds. It probably isn't going to be cheap tho.
 

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HI,

I have Impala SS springs all around and have a pair of AIR LIFT Bag's in the rear springs. I can raise and lower the rear end.
I put the filler valve in the gas tank door. I am thinking about putting a air pressure gauge in the line so I can see where I have them filled and mount it in the left side rear window.
They like to be between 5 and 35 PSI max.
I will be putting the Bilstien shocks on soon.
I also have a early F-Body sway bar in front and a Hotchkis rear bar with BMR lower control arms.

I am also looking at adding an Impala SS steering box also.

I have Impala SS wheels and Kuhmo ASX tires and keep them at 32 PSI..

Good Luck!
 

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I'm running ImpSS springs in front, sedan tow pkg springs in the rear and bilstein shocks all around. currently riding on stock tires for a pretty firm but comfortable ride. I run Monroe SS shocks on my otherwise stock 9c1 and the Monroe's are much firmer. Might mellow a bit with the added weight of the wagon.

Sean
 

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Burnout,
I have a wagon that looks exactly like yours and I'm in the Philly area also. I did the following:
- 9C1 (cop) springs front & rear
- Bilstein Shocks front & rear
- New lower control arms (forgot the name brand)
- Heavy duty front and rear sway bar from B Body Performance
- Impala wheels and tires

If you plan on keeping the wagon for awhile these upgrades are worth their weight in gold! Also, if you do any of this save the original parts. Years from now if you decide to sell the wagon and can't get what you want for it, put the original parts back on, lower the price and sell the aftermarket parts. Just my 2 cents. Good Luck!

 

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^^^ Hey I remember seeing your wagon around a few times, it's clean as ****.

I know the wagon boatiness you're talking about, if I kept mine it would have Bilstein shocks on it, love them on both of my SS (I put the sports on my Imp, factory on the TBSS). After that I'd look into swaybars.
 

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To help solve the "boat at sea" feeling i did the following upgrades as parts went bad:

-Bilstein 1104/0929's
-Moog cargo coil rear springs
-Moog steering components
-Spohn rear lower control arms
-Airlift rear airbags
-front SS sway bar and rear Mercury Marauder bar, all with poly bushings/links
-i adjusted the steering box to tighten it up

The car rides GREAT now! next on the list are UMI rear upper control arms when i swap the rear end.

Good luck!
 

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It sounds like you really just want more shock control and perhaps roll control. Stiffer springs won't necessarily accomplish anything for you. I'd start with a really good shock upgrade and see how you like that. That will eliminate the floating problem. Just putting Bilsteins on my wagon made it feel completely different. No float at all. If I hit a dip or bump on the expressway or any road it stops in one motion. No bouncing or multiple occilations from one bump. A very steady ride. I connected my auto level control to some Air Lift bags in the springs when I eliminated the air shocks. Of course it still handled terribly with lots of body roll. UMI lower control arms in the rear with Hotchkis bars front and rear solved that problem. Better grip and more stability can also be had by 17" rims and performance tires. I did upgrade to 17" rims but my tires are an all season XL type tire rather than a performance tire. I think my next set of tires will be more performance oriented to reduce sidewall flex. I still need more load capacity so I'll probably go with 235/65R17 tires rather than the 245/60R17 tires I have now. The 235/65R17 size offer lots of options due to many suv's using them. There are even summer performance tire options with an XL rating.

Good luck. Start with shocks and see how that works. Don't go overboard all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Burnout,
I have a wagon that looks exactly like yours and I'm in the Philly area also. I did the following:
- 9C1 (cop) springs front & rear
- Bilstein Shocks front & rear
- New lower control arms (forgot the name brand)
- Heavy duty front and rear sway bar from B Body Performance
- Impala wheels and tires

If you plan on keeping the wagon for awhile these upgrades are worth their weight in gold! Also, if you do any of this save the original parts. Years from now if you decide to sell the wagon and can't get what you want for it, put the original parts back on, lower the price and sell the aftermarket parts. Just my 2 cents. Good Luck!

Your wagon is crazy clean. you just sold me on getting mines tinted. I'm gonna keep the gold when i get the rust fixed and it repainted but i might make it a shade darker. as far as the rear arms are yours aftermarket or stock replacements? with the 9c1 springs do you have issues with the back dragging on inclines? that is another thing that bothers me about lowering the rear.

It sounds like you really just want more shock control and perhaps roll control. Stiffer springs won't necessarily accomplish anything for you. I'd start with a really good shock upgrade and see how you like that. That will eliminate the floating problem. Just putting Bilsteins on my wagon made it feel completely different. No float at all. If I hit a dip or bump on the expressway or any road it stops in one motion. No bouncing or multiple occilations from one bump. A very steady ride. I connected my auto level control to some Air Lift bags in the springs when I eliminated the air shocks. Of course it still handled terribly with lots of body roll. UMI lower control arms in the rear with Hotchkis bars front and rear solved that problem. Better grip and more stability can also be had by 17" rims and performance tires. I did upgrade to 17" rims but my tires are an all season XL type tire rather than a performance tire. I think my next set of tires will be more performance oriented to reduce sidewall flex. I still need more load capacity so I'll probably go with 235/65R17 tires rather than the 245/60R17 tires I have now. The 235/65R17 size offer lots of options due to many suv's using them. There are even summer performance tire options with an XL rating.

Good luck. Start with shocks and see how that works. Don't go overboard all at once.
Lol its easy enough to just changed out the shocks so i'll try that. i put some monroe sensatracs(sp?) on the fronts when I first purchased it because the shocks on there were totally shot. The air shocks were removed and some blue Monroe shocks are on the rear but i am not sure of the model used. As far as being firm, which ones are better; Monroe SS or Bilsteins? Rather make this purchase once and see if that along with a front end rebuild will help a bit.
 

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Bilstein is the way to go if you only wanna do it once. I heard the Monroe SS are as stiff but not as fine tuned. One of those things not worth skimping on IMO.
 

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I have the Monroe SS shocks, stock springs, and Air Lifts in my '96 RMW. I am very happy with the ride. (I am looking into the CV rear bar mod for a little less roll in the rear.) My car still rides smoother than any of my wife's previous SUVs and at least as good as her '92 Caddy Seville.

I used to use KYB shocks until the Monroe SS's came out. The Monroe's are about as stiff as the KYB but more controlled. Supposedly the Bilsteins are better, but for the money I don't think that you can beat the Monroes. If you have the money to spend, get the Bilsteins. If not, get the Monroes. I think you will be happy either way. I would do shocks and Air Lifts and then see how you like it.

New trailing arms wouldn't hurt either. If money is an issue, you can get replacement 9C1 lower trailing arms from the recall kit for a good price. [Look up a '91 Caprice 9C1 for the recall info.] Atermarket rear arms are a good investment if budget permits.
 

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a pair of moog cc507 (about 1/4" lower than stock) in the rear and 5030 in the front cut 1/2 - 3/4 coil would get you what you want at a reasonable price.

You can also use cc505's in the back. They are stock ride height and firmer than the cc507.
 

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My two cents - do the Bilstein 1104/929 setup FIRST. Then decide if you want more from there. I was just at Wagonfest2010 and got to drive several different wagons of varying years and mileage. I will state categorically that the one with stock springs and Bilstein 1104/0929 shocks (with 138k on the clock) was by far the most controlled ride without any unnecessary harshness. Try that first.
 

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I have Monroe 'heavy duty' shocks and am happy with them... very stiff ride.

Also SS springs, with 1 coil cut off. No bounce, no float, corners like on rails.

I will probably swap SS springs with a slightly higher spring to raise it a bit. Probably Moog 5552. It's fine but scrapes the ground coming out of the driveway.
 
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