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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I did a search but couldn't find anything conclusive. Especially since most people seem to no run Monroe's.

My shocks are shot. Car is pretty bouncy and I can even see them leaking a bit. So I want to install new ones.

I want to run Monroe shocks because of the lifetime warranty but my car is lowered and I want to make sure I get the right shocks.

How can I measure the drop? Any way to tell if the springs are worn out?

Front is on belltech drop spindles (I believe its a 2" drop) and the rear is on lowering springs but I dont know the brand or how far the drop is, for now lets just assume it's 2" or 3" but some of the drop may be due to wear.

The rear springs fall out when lifting the car. What is the best way to prevent this?

I think my rubber pads the go between the spring and the mounts are also missing. Where can I find replacements?

I think I can run standard length shocks for the Front since its on lowered spindles but I assume I will need different shocks in the back?

I would like air shocks if possible since I plan to install a rather heavy subwoofer, extra battery and a few amps that I will carry around all the time, plus whatever additional loads I may carry. I may eventually install an on-board compressor and tank to adjust them on the fly inside the car.

I am open to the air lift setup but still need shocks that will work with this setup as well.

Part numbers for the correct front and rear Monroe shocks, rear Monroe air shocks, rubber spring pads, air lift kit, and anything else I may need are greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
 

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I did a search but couldn't find anything conclusive.
.....
I want to run Monroe shocks because of the lifetime warranty but my car is lowered and I want to make sure I get the right shocks.
Explain for everyone if the car is doing ok now and not bending or breaking stuff, why not simply take the model you are currently running and crossover to the same specs of another preferred brand. There are detail travel and size spec tables for the different models of all the major names - usually on the manufacturers website.

How can I measure the drop? Any way to tell if the springs are worn out?
Pretty straightforward I should think. Get it on ramps if easier to see, but just eyeball the remaining shaft play at rest v. extra distance to the bumpstop to be safe from bottoming out. The brand, age and spec of the coils you have might give indication of how "worn out" they are. If they are not broken and give the ride feel and look you like (discounting the shock issue), then there is little reason to change for no reason. Unless already clear, shocks have zero affect on ride ht., except if gas-charged, and if so then only a 1/2" for a couple months til they settle.

The rear springs fall out when lifting the car. What is the best way to prevent this?
LOL You hafta go a whole 3 dozen threads down to get to this:
https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/1316830-rear-axle-limit-straps-no-spring-fall-out.html

I think my rubber pads the go between the spring and the mounts are also missing. Where can I find replacements?
Go to most any carpart site and type, "coil spring isolator" or similar.

I think I can run standard length shocks for the Front since its on lowered spindles but I assume I will need different shocks in the back?
Why are you assuming that? What are you not telling us about the back? You sure don't want a shock travel purposely shorter just to act as a coil "faller out preventer". Use the seatbelt or other welded or bolted fixes in that linked thread.

I would like air shocks if possible since I plan to install a rather heavy subwoofer, extra battery and a few amps that I will carry around all the time, plus whatever additional loads I may carry. I may eventually install an on-board compressor and tank to adjust them on the fly inside the car.
You really totally don't want "airshocks". Use real shocks in combo with Airlift bladders. You can hook them to any compressor you wish.

I am open to the air lift setup but still need shocks that will work with this setup as well.

Part numbers for the correct front and rear Monroe shocks, rear Monroe air shocks, rubber spring pads, air lift kit, and anything else I may need are greatly appreciated!
The probability is between none to zero that anyone else is running your exact setup. It'd be poor investment just gobbling up whatever part nos. get lobbed over the web to you without doing every bit as much back-checking to confirm everything as if you just started now on real research yourself. IMO you risk damage and/or unsafe performance "buying blind" on even well-meaning intentions of others.


It may sound like being contrary for no purpose, but your post jumped off the paper as one of those areas - brakes, suspension, tires, blah blah - where there ain't no one alive I trust more than myself for me's and my family's safety. :: rants off ::
 

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The Only Thing Left -

Part numbers for the correct front and rear Monroe shocks, rear Monroe air shocks, rubber spring pads, air lift kit, and anything else I may need are greatly appreciated!


As it sounds like the brand is unknown, the Airlift part number will be determined by coil dia. x ht. which only you can measure. I used the fitment selector found either on the speed shop's mailorder site or on the AirLift site to confirm the same part no. used by many others for an oem SS coils. But, those will most assuredly not be right for yours.
 

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I run the Monroe Severe Service Shocks on the Front with Eibach Pro Drop Springs and GM 5/8" Spindles without issue. Maybe contact Beltech to see what they may recommend?

Edit - The spring isolators, Energy Suspension makes them in a Poly. Pretty sure they are the same on early cars like the Monte Carlos and bet you places like Pep Boys or other local shops may have or get the ES Pieces. I run them on both the Top and Bottom of the Rear Springs. On the Fronts, pretty sure ES makes those as well. If you want GM in Poly....check my "5/8" Ball Joint" thread for the Part # (think it was for a truck) in for the front springs.

https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/351769-my-5-8-bj-install-pics-tips-part-s.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Explain for everyone if the car is doing ok now and not bending or breaking stuff, why not simply take the model you are currently running and crossover to the same specs of another preferred brand. There are detail travel and size spec tables for the different models of all the major names - usually on the manufacturers website.

The car is not bad but I bought it used already lowered. It seems the current shocks are ok. I will take your advice and see if Monroe has any of the same or similar specs


How can I measure the drop? Any way to tell if the springs are worn out?
Pretty straightforward I should think. Get it on ramps if easier to see, but just eyeball the remaining shaft play at rest v. extra distance to the bumpstop to be safe from bottoming out. The brand, age and spec of the coils you have might give indication of how "worn out" they are. If they are not broken and give the ride feel and look you like (discounting the shock issue), then there is little reason to change for no reason. Unless already clear, shocks have zero affect on ride ht., except if gas-charged, and if so then only a 1/2" for a couple months til they settle.

Sounds easy enough

The rear springs fall out when lifting the car. What is the best way to prevent this?
LOL You hafta go a whole 3 dozen threads down to get to this:
https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/1316830-rear-axle-limit-straps-no-spring-fall-out.html

I did end up finding that thread later. Not sure I like the straps but I do like the idea of construcion adhesive

I think my rubber pads the go between the spring and the mounts are also missing. Where can I find replacements?
Go to most any carpart site and type, "coil spring isolator" or similar.
Thank you! I was not sure what they were called and was having trouble finding them

I think I can run standard length shocks for the Front since its on lowered spindles but I assume I will need different shocks in the back?
Why are you assuming that? What are you not telling us about the back? You sure don't want a shock travel purposely shorter just to act as a coil "faller out preventer". Use the seatbelt or other welded or bolted fixes in that linked thread.

I meant to mention then back is at least a 2" drop and since it doesn't use lowering spindles I assume the shocks need to be shorter to compensate properly. But since the current shocks presumably worked well at some point I will just try to find the same kind in monroes

I would like air shocks if possible since I plan to install a rather heavy subwoofer, extra battery and a few amps that I will carry around all the time, plus whatever additional loads I may carry. I may eventually install an on-board compressor and tank to adjust them on the fly inside the car.
You really totally don't want "airshocks". Use real shocks in combo with Airlift bladders. You can hook them to any compressor you wish.
My 79 Z28 has air shocks and they seem to work well but the airlift kit doesnt seem too expensive anyways

I am open to the air lift setup but still need shocks that will work with this setup as well.

Part numbers for the correct front and rear Monroe shocks, rear Monroe air shocks, rubber spring pads, air lift kit, and anything else I may need are greatly appreciated!
The probability is between none to zero that anyone else is running your exact setup. It'd be poor investment just gobbling up whatever part nos. get lobbed over the web to you without doing every bit as much back-checking to confirm everything as if you just started now on real research yourself. IMO you risk damage and/or unsafe performance "buying blind" on even well-meaning intentions of others.


Good point. I will just do what I said earlier and get my current shocks in Monroe's or whatever is closest. Hopefully I can find the info on the current shocks.

It may sound like being contrary for no purpose, but your post jumped off the paper as one of those areas - brakes, suspension, tires, blah blah - where there ain't no one alive I trust more than myself for me's and my family's safety. :: rants off ::

Not a problem! You were very helpful! Tbh I'm just learning suspension stuff so any help is appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As it sounds like the brand is unknown, the Airlift part number will be determined by coil dia. x ht. which only you can measure. I used the fitment selector found either on the speed shop's mailorder site or on the AirLift site to confirm the same part no. used by many others for an oem SS coils. But, those will most assuredly not be right for yours.
Thank you! I will meausure when I get a chance. Having sudden engine issues now so gotta take care of those first.

I run the Monroe Severe Service Shocks on the Front with Eibach Pro Drop Springs and GM 5/8" Spindles without issue. Maybe contact Beltech to see what they may recommend?

Edit - The spring isolators, Energy Suspension makes them in a Poly. Pretty sure they are the same on early cars like the Monte Carlos and bet you places like Pep Boys or other local shops may have or get the ES Pieces. I run them on both the Top and Bottom of the Rear Springs. On the Fronts, pretty sure ES makes those as well. If you want GM in Poly....check my "5/8" Ball Joint" thread for the Part # (think it was for a truck) in for the front springs.

https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/351769-my-5-8-bj-install-pics-tips-part-s.html
Certainly belltech will recommend the drop 2 shocks or their other models lol but thanks for the advice and the info on the spring isolators amd the thread! I will certainly check this out
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I couldn't find monroe fronts with police spec so I went with the KYB 344081 up front. Supposedly these are the police package spec and 30% more damping than the KYB 343127 according to kyb.

In the back I went with monroe 5802's. These are about half an inch shorter that the stock length 5955's. The rear shocks i removed were stock length but i suppose the half inch shorter length will be better than nothing for my lowered vehicle.

The ride is si much better but still some side to side shimmying in the back, especially when going over bumps at an angle. Not sure if that's normal but the bounce is basically gone.

Now time for airlift and new spring isolaters in the rear 🙂 Just gotta measure my springs in the compressed state. Thanks to everyone for the help!

-Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just an update. The monroes are not very good in my car. Not sure if its the OE spectrum line or because they are not short enough, but the rear end is still quite bouncy. Gonna try some KYBs (343157, 2" shorter than stock) out back and see if they have better rebound characteristics.
 

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.....The monroes are not very good in my car. Not sure if its the OE spectrum line ......

I would have defaulted to anything in an "OE" range as lagging with use with aftermarket performance coils as your BellTechs, - or even stock Impala SS coils. Most all guys going Monroe use the Severe Service line. Reportedly near-approaching the performance of the more expensive Bilsteins. They are notable difference (more solid) on my FWB v. the 5-year old Monroes (didn't know model) that the previous owner had installed. And this is with the softest FE1 coils.
 

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Monroe Severe Service Shock Dampers PERFORM very admirably as compared to the sporty 1104/0929 Bilsteins, but the MSS are a bit rougher.


If you're one of the 1%ers who prefers the 1516/1517 Bilsteins, the MSS will not suffice.
 

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I had Monroe Severe Service shocks on my '96 RMW. I got them because multiple people sung their praises. They sucked.

High-speed compression damping (how quickly the shock moves when you hit a bump) was too stiff, meaning that ride quality was rough.

Additionally, low-speed compression damping (how quickly the shock moves when going over undulations in the road or around corners) was too soft, meaning that handling was loose and sloppy.

Those shocks were literally the worst of both worlds--terrible comfort, and terrible handling. The RMW was basically almost all stock--even stock-height springs. Lowered springs would have made the Monroes feel even worse as there would be even less travel for them to work with.

My current '94 Caprice wagon has Bilsteins on it. Not sure which ones as they were installed by the PO, but I have put ~45K on the car and have been impressed by both the handling and the comfort of the Bilsteins. They're more expensive, but without a doubt in my opinion, worth it.
 

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Lol I think we're all in violent agreement here. hahah The takeaway for those without experience with either option (or even better with both) is at least there's the power of choice. Bilsteins look to be a north of $300 nowadays, and those will be an automatic redo on the Impala SS if ever called for. The Monroe SS on my Cady were $120, and provide well in excess of "half" the performance for that car as the price difference would otherwise indicate. Truth be told since the Bilsteins are now officially 20 years old, I was going to swap them to my current FWB when I updated that one's entire suspension, and then treat the garage queen to a new round of Bilsteins. Buuuuuutt the hex top of one was completely rotted off (WTF) and so it'll remain until I just saw it off for junk. (And yes I tried PB and an air wrench) The problem if you can call it that is those are such good quality they are still doing quite well despite their age.


For the OP if the new "OE" style Monroes you got just won't do, then you can at least upgrade to better SS model, or pick between the 'stiff' or 'little bit softer' versions of Bilstein. Search to your own satisfaction, but important to know there's 2 versions. One is the 'original cop spec', designed for harder bound when going airborne during a chase, and the other 'slightly' tamer. That's only the cliffs, there's much more to read about their differences.


And don't feel bad, guys tried KYB as an alternate to Bilstein, and even pricier Koni and HAL. I tried some new fronts for my old FWB when still running oem airshocks in the rear. But I got the wrong model (?monotube, ?twin valve, blah blah IDR) and ended up just giving them to a friend. And then got Bilsteins all around. Because I put in a set of oem SS coils and bars.
 

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I love the MSS shocks. Had them on my previous wagon that was stock height and my current wagon that is lowered with zero complaints.

Of course my wagon is stock with over 200k on it and I drive it accordingly. I’ll dump it and buy something made to corner if I ever feel the need to do that while driving to work. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replies everyone!

Got the KYB 343157's in the back (what a pain it is to do the rears!) and they still feel bouncy, especially when pushing on the rear but they feel better when driving compared to the monroe OE spectrum. Think I'll just keep em. They're the same price as the OE spectrum monroes and have a lifetime warranty but it doesn't cover wear out like the monroes did.

The KYB's in the front felt great right away. Guess it's because it's dropped with spindles in the front and shorter springs in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ughh I just found out that the air lifters will not work to actively raise or lower the car and that I should have gotten the air shocks after all. The air shocks probably would have fixed the ride quality the first time too rather than dealing with multiple sets of bouncy shocks. I know everyone here seems to hate air shocks for some reason but I have them on my `79 Z28 and really like them. Neither car corners well anyways. I should have gone with my gut, now I got $100 into 4 shocks that are just going to end up sitting around after I get the air shocks lol
 

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.... ....

.....I know everyone here seems to hate air shocks for some reason ....
1.) 'Airshocks' apply a majority of emphasis on the 'air' part, and not so much on the 'shock' or valving part, - at least for the money you are spending for them. It didn't take alot to figure out decades ago how a set of Meremont or Gabiel airshocks for jacking up the ass with L60-15s cost only $50 (including both sides and even the airhose kit if lucky), while two good quality upgrade aftermarket Monroes were at least $30. They're gonna be great when new, and they're gonna be great for blu-hairs, soccer moms and dads hauling stuff in the wagon. Not so great after some time, and not so great for performance driving.
2.) The top shock mount is not the engineered location to carry a vehicle's full suspension load; that's the coil's job. Autolevelor systems --> in conjunction with their oem-engineered original coils <-- provided only the last 1" - 1 1/2" of lift to maintain consistent ride ht. depending on how many FOFs are riding in back.

I mentioned there is probably no one with your exact same setup, or even the same vision of what you're looking to change. The cost of a couple sets of regular replacement shocks (NOT new Konis or even Bilsteins for instance) is not a high price to pay for the learning curve you've gotten so far. And you made a good point to always follow your gut, but I'd add only AFTER sucking all the search possible that there is out there (and free) from others first.

I'd be looking to get that 'air lifter' system back to working correctly before spending any other $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
1.) 'Airshocks' apply a majority of emphasis on the 'air' part, and not so much on the 'shock' or valving part, - at least for the money you are spending for them. It didn't take alot to figure out decades ago how a set of Meremont or Gabiel airshocks for jacking up the ass with L60-15s cost only $50 (including both sides and even the airhose kit if lucky), while two good quality upgrade aftermarket Monroes were at least $30. They're gonna be great when new, and they're gonna be great for blu-hairs, soccer moms and dads hauling stuff in the wagon. Not so great after some time, and not so great for performance driving.
2.) The top shock mount is not the engineered location to carry a vehicle's full suspension load; that's the coil's job. Autolevelor systems --> in conjunction with their oem-engineered original coils <-- provided only the last 1" - 1 1/2" of lift to maintain consistent ride ht. depending on how many FOFs are riding in back.

I mentioned there is probably no one with your exact same setup, or even the same vision of what you're looking to change. The cost of a couple sets of regular replacement shocks (NOT new Konis or even Bilsteins for instance) is not a high price to pay for the learning curve you've gotten so far. And you made a good point to always follow your gut, but I'd add only AFTER sucking all the search possible that there is out there (and free) from others first.

I'd be looking to get that 'air lifter' system back to working correctly before spending any other $$$.
I didn't think about the weight that would be put on the shock mounts! That is a great point. The way the rears are I could see never being able to get the top bolts out if the mount got bent from too much weight

As for the ride quality im not really enjoying it with normal shocks anyways so I have nothing to lose and I don't really do performance driving besides straight line stuff.

I agree that the knowledge I've gained is valuable but the time and patience it takes to do the rear shocks is quite high lol.

I don't have airlift yet, but I read that it won't actually raise or lower the vehicle but will only increase the spring rate, keeping the ride height "normal" with an increased load. I also couldn't find a single video demonstrating the ride height with and without air in the bladders. I want to be able to raise the back end because I like how the rake looks sometimes, and other times I like the squat. But after your point about the weight, I may just get longer springs in the rear.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Ok. If we're BOTH referring to Airlift 1000 bladders, then they will in fact raise the rear. In both my old and new FWBs just a few #s above 0 would rake it a fat inch from level. I recall another 4" with alot more pressure. Sure, that looks stupid but I would "fillerup" when planning to overload the trunk or use my utility trailer. Wait a week or so and I'll have fixed mine by then. They went to simply not holding air a few months back. I initially spent alot of time on dressing the hoses and putting in the heat shields, so it may be as simple as a hose popped off. If you haven't gotten the 1000s yet then the perfect fix may just be to invest the $100 and combine that with those KYBs you're almost happy with already. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok. If we're BOTH referring to Airlift 1000 bladders, then they will in fact raise the rear. In both my old and new FWBs just a few #s above 0 would rake it a fat inch from level. I recall another 4" with alot more pressure. Sure, that looks stupid but I would "fillerup" when planning to overload the trunk or use my utility trailer. Wait a week or so and I'll have fixed mine by then. They went to simply not holding air a few months back. I initially spent alot of time on dressing the hoses and putting in the heat shields, so it may be as simple as a hose popped off. If you haven't gotten the 1000s yet then the perfect fix may just be to invest the $100 and combine that with those KYBs you're almost happy with already.
Yes I'm referring to the airlift 1000's. After thinking about it and reading that they won't, it makes sense to me that they wouldn't lift the car unless it was loaded down causing more squat. The tech I was messaging with had me measure my spring height which is at most 8" from seat to seat and he recommended a bladder that was 7.5" long. In this case I cant see how the car would raise much, especially not 4"

What length bladders do you have and what is the length of the your spring at normal ride height?

I imagine that getting longer bladders relative to the spring at normal ride height will allow to raise and lower the vehicle but they recommended going too small than too big. I suppose I could always make some spacers to put between the bladders and the seats to give me some lift capability?

I would love to see yours in action when you get them back up and running. I might buy them before you get yours fixed though since I have some free time these days to actually work on my car.

And yes the KYBs aren't perfect but they're better than the monroes. Oddly they both bounce the same amount when pushing down on the trunk lid but the ride feels noticeably different between them.
 

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The main lifting with air bags comes more from the bag wedging between the coils, not actually pushing on the ends of the spring

Their real purpose is to maintain ride height when you load the car, not so much jack it up.

My car is moderately lowered and i use bags that are speced for the jeep TJ.

They have been in there for 18 years connected to the factory leveling system.
 
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