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Discussion Starter #1
Are the rear coil springs in a Caprice taller than in a Fleetwood? I have a 94 Fleetwood Brougham with the auto level air shock package and what the ID tag in the trunk calls out as soft suspension package. My factory compressor no longer works and I had changed out the factory air shocks for Monroe's but they were an older pair that I had in the garage for about 5 years which ended up dry rotting and breaking so I replaced them with some Gabriel hijackers. Now here I am not even 2,000 miles later and I've either blown and Airline or blown out one of the shocks, keep in mind I only run them around 60 PSI, and that's just so the rear end will sit at the level height it supposed to. So I'm not sure if either the springs are shorter or they're just worn the hell out, but the attached picture is how low the car sits right now because the shocks have no air in them.
 

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I think the coils were different from the factory. When I checked Rockauto both Moog and ACDelco rear coils were the same for D and B body. You have different front coils from the B body.


Are the rear coil springs in a Caprice taller than in a Fleetwood?
What they look like has nothing to do with the height the car rides at. It is a mix of length and weight on the spring that sets the height.
 

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Are the rear coil springs in a Caprice taller than in a Fleetwood?



As Z09 says, it doesn't matter. Sring rate is the important part.



the ID tag in the trunk calls out as soft suspension package. My factory compressor no longer works



Ok, that's FE1. FE1 is one car does not necessarily use the same spring as another car. It just means soft.



I had changed out the factory air shocks for Monroe's but they were an older pair that I had in the garage for about 5 years which ended up dry rotting


No, airshocks sitting on a shelf don't "rot" in 5 years.



I replaced them with some Gabriel hijackers.



Too bad. The best way to think of airsshocks is that they aren't really real shocks. They're air bladders to jack extra weight bearing or ht. into the ride without a lot of expensive actual performance valving or dampening thrown in.



Now here I am not even 2,000 miles later and I've either blown and Airline or blown out one of the shocks.


My guess is a line popped off, exhaust burnt a boot, or a leaking fitting or Schroeder valve.



..."(I ran them with enough pressure") just so the rear end will sit at the level height it supposed to.



The design called for the coils at rest to set the car at 1" or so less than correct riding ht., the the rest always made up with the auto level. The car will never set right without the air compressor working perfect. Our rigs are just very expensive Chevys. No GM compressors are supposed to work right after 20% of a century. For crissake the same compressor was used on '90's M/L and dustbuster vans.....



So I'm not sure if either the springs are shorter or they're just worn the hell out.


So yes, they're shorter than they're supposed to be to start with. And yes, they're worn out as hell after 20+ years.



...."the attached picture is how low the car sits right now because the shocks have no air in them.


Yah, perfectly normal. Here's the fix. Find someone you trust to sell you a set of sacked out old SS coils front and rear. Get rid of the air compressor. Get some real shocks. Monroe SS or Bilstein. Get some 'Airlift 1000' from Summit or Jegs. Use the heat shields. Put in 6-9#.


PS: To Z06'es another note good point that I take online application charts with a grain of saccharin. The rear coils on FWB and SS are no freakin' way close. AMHIK.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good luck.
Holy crap that was a serious explanatory reply LOL. In all honesty the only reason I put the air shocks on the first place was because the factory ones were long shot and my only plan was to use them to raise the back end up to make clean the White Walls easier at the carwash but I didn't realize just how saggy my stock Springs are. I was looking at the different Moog Springs that fit the D&B bodies D & B bodies and noticed a offer one that is a constant rate and one that is a variable rate but I honestly don't know what that means in terms of ride quality
 

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LOL back. The neat thing 'bout this form is all this has been covered (exhaustively? in-inexhaustibly? way a lot?) decades before. Search be the hidden Shangri-ra.



Autolevelor setup and airshocks bad -- bad . Real shocks and Airlifts good. Coils of your choice.


No freakin' way to get them whitewalls clean 'cept a dam floorjack and the skirts off. Or much simpler roll the car 2 ft. in tha middle of warshing it.
 

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No freakin' way to get them whitewalls clean 'cept a dam floorjack and the skirts off. Or much simpler roll the car 2 ft. in tha middle of warshing it.[/QUOTE]

Bob, I had to laugh. You don't know how close you are to speaking Baltimorian.:grin2: Warshing as in Warshington D.C. Wooder from the zinc. 95DoubleBubble lives just outside Baltimore. :laugh: I was raised several miles further south of him. I speak normal. No offence Phil.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No freakin' way to get them whitewalls clean 'cept a dam floorjack and the skirts off. Or much simpler roll the car 2 ft. in tha middle of warshing it.
Bob, I had to laugh. You don't know how close you are to speaking Baltimorian.:grin2: Warshing as in Warshington D.C. Wooder from the zinc. 95DoubleBubble lives just outside Baltimore. :laugh: I was raised several miles further south of him. I speak normal. No offence Phil.

Mark: Snowman-33[/QUOTE]

Yeah it can be annoying washing this Beast, right now I have a set of 215 75 on the car just because I needed tires in a pinch and they were the only size in stock with a white wall. With the hijackers I had it figured out that if I pop the skirt off and raise them to 140 PSI it was just clear enough that I could scrub them with the brush LOL. Of course if the Springs held the car up at the proper height I probably wouldn't need that much psi
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No freakin' way to get them whitewalls clean 'cept a dam floorjack and the skirts off. Or much simpler roll the car 2 ft. in tha middle of warshing it.
Bob, I had to laugh. You don't know how close you are to speaking Baltimorian.:grin2: Warshing as in Warshington D.C. Wooder from the zinc. 95DoubleBubble lives just outside Baltimore. :laugh: I was raised several miles further south of him. I speak normal. No offence Phil.

Mark: Snowman-33[/QUOTE]


None taken, I grew up in Glen Burnie, my maternal grandmother was from Severn so I am familar with things like "did you wursh your hands" and "go wrench that off in the zinc"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good luck.

They may not have been so much dry rotted but I bought them for my Caprice back in December '12 but never installed because I went with hydraulics in May '13, they sat in a tote on the back porch till I bought the Caddy in August '15 when the caprice was totaled by insurance company then the sat in the Caddy trunk until I installed them in April '17 ran at a constant 60-70 psi till one popped last month. I assumed dry rot as the rubber split and cracked the same way my factory 12 year old Town Car rear air springs did back in '05.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I think I'm gonna go with these ACDelco 45H3011 on rockauto for $52, details say 16.4" relaxed length and 12.8" compressed length.
For shocks if its just a bad line or fitting I will stick with the hijackers for now but if their bad then gonna go with either the Delco 53020 at $25 each
or the Gabriel 43049 load carrier at $75 for the pair.
 

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ACDELCO 45H3011 {#88913772} Professional; Sold In Pairs Rear; Variable
I was looking at the different Moog Springs that fit the D&B bodies D & B bodies and noticed a offer one that is a constant rate and one that is a variable rate but I honestly don't know what that means in terms of ride quality
I recommend you do some searching before buying.


I used the "load levelers" which I think are the variable on a Crown Vic. I hate them. I can not seem to find a shock that works well with them. If I understand correctly the variable springs have a couple of weaker coils to give a soft ride but if you add weight(trunk, people towing) they get firmer. I believe that my "wheel hop" is caused by the shock not being able to control this changing spring rate. My personal opinion.



PS: To Z09'es another note good point that I take online application charts with a grain of saccharin. The rear coils on FWB and SS are no freakin' way close.
AMHIK.


My main point was that aftermarket coils are made "one size fits all" and it can be hard to get "original fit"
I do not know why Rockauto does not list constant rate coils for the FWD. If you go to the Caprice listings there are many more choices that are also listed for the FWD. If you click on the manufacture's part number it will show you what other cars the part fits.


Between the air shock and the longer heavier car you will have to decide what works for you.
 

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Holy Autocorrect Batman!Zowngks! Boof!

....I do not know why Rockauto does not list constant rate coils for the FWD. If you go to the Caprice listings there are many more choices that are also listed for the FWD. ....


You totally got to be referrin' to FWB. Not those despicable early W-bodies and (surprisingly impressibility better performing and ok styled after only 10 stupitt years of last gen) Omegas.



.....I recommend you do some searching before buying.


"I'll take twelve hunnurt on 'Flair For The Obvious', Alex".

Only other point of interest is you get way better quality-price-edjukashun combing a JY for original old S#!T than thumbing a phone for new junk.
 

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Morning after Canada Day EH!

Only one spelling error and no correction.


Only other point of interest is you get way better quality-price-edjukashun combing a JY for original old S#!T than thumbing a phone for new junk.
Old springs are best left in the junk yard. They are a wear item and may be close to the breaking point.
 

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Ummm. I been around 60% of a century and ain't never heard of a broke coil. Plenty of broke leafs though. The 'wear item' part of SS coils makes JY preferred as far as "pre-settled" plus "good riding ht" plus "little firmer rate" than oem for FWB.
 

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For original poster: I just did what you're planning to do.​
I have a 95 FE1 FWB. Rear end had original soft springs, new control arms, recent set of ACDelco air shocks. The ACD air shocks have never controlled rebound very well at all, but they are more comfortable than the Monroe air shocks I tried one time. Threw those in the garbage after a week because of their cheap, harsh ride. The air compressor still works perfectly after 23 years, and I loved the self-leveling.​
But, it was all too floaty, wallowed/rolled in turns, had high pressure in the back to make up for sagging springs, and wasn’t so good for towing boats.​
This past weekend I put in the ACDelco 45H3011 variable springs. They are just re-labeled Moog CC621 springs (ACD label over the Moog label). I replaced the top and bottom rubber spring insulators, which were almost worn through (ACD 45G24083, 2 per box). I replaced the air shocks (and the recent front ACDs) with Bilsteins (24-015165 front, 24-015172 rear). I also added Airlift 1000 bags (60755), with the heat shields on the vertical part of the exhaust pipes and a fill valve in the license plate area.​

Results:​
The shop manual (p. 3-19) specifies standard ride height with full tank of gas at 10.3 inches front, 10.6 rear. Mine was almost dead-on before doing anything, but unhooking the air shocks dropped the rear more than two inches. After the new springs, shocks, insulators, and minimal air in the bags (4-5 psi), the rear ride height with a full tank was just under 12 inches. I didn’t want to cut coils since the ends of the springs wrap inward to fit around the mounting bosses on the body and axle.​
First impressions after some interstate, twisty roads, and lots of bumps:

Sure, I miss auto leveling, but this is a much better set-up. Less wallowing/rolling/floating at both ends, but still comfortable. Need to adjust the headlights up since the back is higher. The Bilsteins front and back are not cheap, but they definitely are worth the money—great control, but not harsh. The variable coils work fine with me and a tank of gas, but the real comfort/wheel hop test will be with a loaded car and a boat trailer on the back. If too stiff, I guess they can be changed for the constant rate ones listed under Caprice application at Rock auto. The Airlift bags—probably will be useful when towing, but not necessary for daily driver. I wish I could find a reliable way to modify the existing auto leveling system to work with the bags, but the min/max pressures are too high.

Tips:​
Remove the leveling sensor arm from the upper control arm (two 10mm wrenches) so it doesn’t damage the sensor when lowering the axle. Unplug the sensor wiring harness so it’ll never run. I chose to remove the sensor completely.​
Loosen all the control arm bolts (NOT fun, I know) to relieve tension on the axle to make spring removal/installation easier. Plus, the new springs will change the ride height, and you should re-torque the control arm bolts when the car’s on the ground (or ramps, which are much easier for access). That way the rubber bushings aren’t twisted at normal height, which reduces their life.​
If you add Airlift bags, get 4 hose clamps before starting—the ones they have with the heat shields are way too big to use. And, it’s much easier to put the airbags in the springs before putting the springs on the car.​
I supported the car with two sets of jack stands, wheel chocks in front, removed the old shocks, and left the big floor jack under the axle pumpkin but with no weight on it as back-up. So the axle was as low as it would go. Carefully used another floor jack to raise one side at a time at the shock mount to twist the opposite side lower so that spring could be removed. The original springs are soft, but relatively long (unloaded, they’re 3/4 inch higher than the new springs).​
Hope this helps.
 

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Ummm. I been around 60% of a century and ain't never heard of a broke coil.
You have something in common with some of the mechanics that have done pre purchase inspections on some of my cars. I have had three 20+year old cars that have had part (1/8 to 1/4) of the bottom loop broken off and sitting in the lower arm pocket. I thought this was a common rust belt issue.
Two of those cars were then sent for alignment and the "tech" changed the camber several degrees on one side without checking the coil. A service manager I trust (and found one of the breaks) says the end of the coil snapping off is not unusual.


I now factor in part of the cost of a used vehicle to be new coils, shocks, and common steering components. I take the vehicle apart once, pay for one alignment, and then enjoy that "new vehicle ride" for a long time without being "nickel and dimed" for one part failure after another.

Plenty of broke leafs though. The 'wear item' part of SS coils makes JY preferred as far as "pre-settled" plus "good riding ht" plus "little firmer rate" than oem for FWB.
Without factoring in the labor to remove JY springs I find Rockauto spring prices not a great deal more than the JY. As the JY cars are now on stands I cannot check ride height on the springs.


Constant compression and flexing weakens metal, maybe coils to a lesser extent but I would love to compare the Lb/inch of a new jobber spring against a 20+ year old Impala SS spring. I used a 3/4 ton Chevy truck at max weight for 2 1/2 years of oilfield use. (170000 miles)It was several inches lower than it's replacement. After accounting for different tires and other issues the dealer admitted we had sagged the springs.


I guess I should be happy that you (96 Black) think I am some thumb typing 16 year old. The unfortunate truth is I am fairly close to your age and have driven a lot of hard miles along the way.
 

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Hahaha Yep, I also don't know what I'd give to be thought of as a dumb 16-year old (again) when you think of all the perks that would come with that. But in all honesty I was not referring to your posting at all, but instead just random preaching about opportunities many young-uns coming up today are missing out on by not 'combing JYs' v. the default to instant Amazon gratification. Just the case of learning 12 unexpected things on top of the one thing you are hunting for - as it sounds you are well aware of.


On the broke coil thing sure an eye-opener. Now if it got clocked wrong I could see the extra stress. I've just never been around a car had been hurt bad enough for that to happen. Likely could come from never replacing a shock and too much repeat hypercompression.
 

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RCS505V from AutoZone for $59 is a variable rate spring that will give you the height you want and a better ride. Worst case scenario, you can say they didn't fit and return them!
 

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Ummm. I been around 60% of a century and ain't never heard of a broke coil. Plenty of broke leafs though. The 'wear item' part of SS coils makes JY preferred as far as "pre-settled" plus "good riding ht" plus "little firmer rate" than oem for FWB.



On the broke coil thing sure an eye-opener. Now if it got clocked wrong I could see the extra stress. I've just never been around a car had been hurt bad enough for that to happen. Likely could come from never replacing a shock and too much repeat hypercompression.
96Black


Here are some pictures of a front coil set with part of one bottom coil broken. Hard to see in the pocket but you can feel it. First thing I look for when a car is low on one side.
 

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Interesting - thanks for posting up. I recall you've come across this a few times on cars and good to know that it's one more potential failure spot. In addition to possibly being a rust belt issue, have you ever been able to track whether it could have been the coil getting misclocked? Only thinking of that in case this is a 'front coil only' problem. And I don't recall this ever being suggested by anyone in threads about all the possible causes of uneven ride ht.
 
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