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Right Shocks for 96 Caprice Sport Sedan Ride

416 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ls1caprice

Finally ready to take the plunge and get new shocks on the old beast B4U, 114k miles '96 Caprice. I have been following the 2009 great suspension post and the car has "The heavy duty suspension used on cars with the towing package, HD suspension package." (V92 Trailering pkg) I would like to take it back to the feel the car had when new and owned by my father. (A one family car).

So, I have been looking at the Monroe severe service versus the "soft" Bilsteins, at least that is what the 2009 post seem to suggest would be good. Since it is about 15 years later, I thought I would check back in. I can get the part numbers (unless they have changed) from that post, and are starting to price them.

I have some neighbor friends that do autocross rally racing and have a lift in their garage. They have said that they would help me install them, along with the lower ball joints that are also needed. They suggest that the Bilsteins are their choice. Updated Thoughts?

Cruiser Bill, Oregon
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My B4U rides nice and firm with the Monroe Severe's. Nice price also. I think they are still made in USA also.
Otoh, I really like the Bilsteins--great damping, not harsh, feel like they're worth what they cost.
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So far a split decision. I had some time this morning so I dropped by my local auto store that Monroe showed as a dealer and the counter guy said that he had not heard of the "severe service" ones for a few years. He had all kinds of pnuematic inflatables, but I told him I would check with Monroe and see what they could tell me.

The internet site shows the severe service ones, but does not list them for my car. It also shows something called the Magnum severe service mentioning it is police cars, taxis, and hard service vehicles. Also, the Magnum picture looks like it has a square mounting bracket on the top. Will post when I talk to an actual Monroe person tomorrow. Haven't started shopping the Bilsteins yet.

Cruiser Bill
I put the bilsteins on my wagon and have been happy with them. Good ride and feels like good control. Was a noticeable improvement over what I took off which looked like 185k stockers in the front and some kind of air shock in the rear that had been installed to replace the factory load level function.
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They must have added the 'Magnum' for marketing. They use to be yellow when I had them, but the description reads like the originals.
They're pretty firm, but not as harsh as the sport bilstein's if you have very rough roads. I'd put them in between the 'sport' bilstein's and the softer bilstein's.

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Also, if you want as original as possible ride, then the ac-delco professional shock would be it. I'm running these on the 91 for a while now. You want the police/taxi versions to match the B4U suspension. 530-175 for the front, 530-20 for the rear. They are actual gabriel ultra's G63375 and 69724 with the ac delco sticker and part number on them. Same shocks, get which ever is cheeper if going that route.

All great information. Now another option back to Original EquipmentThe Monroe guy recommended an OE-Spectrum, even after explaining that it had the sport suspension. He said the Magnum were for police cars or taxis. So, I asked him to see what Monroe has for the '96 Impala- again came up with the OE Spectrum, but with different part numbers. The impala shock is a little longer, I told him my Monroe dealer didn't carry the Severe Service shock. He said I could get them on line from Summit Racing online, as they don't do any retail sales.

I don't drive on a lot of bumpy roads, but it seems the chuck holes are getting worse. I was always considering the "soft" Bilsteins, so the thinking goes on, but I would know what I was getting, ride wise, with the Ac/Delco line. Thanks everyone. I will post when I sort out my options. Also the substitution/ price tip is always appreciated.
Shock Bolt Kits | KDS Performance
Bilstein sports with hd front & wagon variable rate rear springs I could roll over anything. Currently running sports with 700lb fronts and 200lb rear and slightly harsher in rear but I corner way better. Used same 9c1 bars
Thought about getting Koni but got more important things to do for summer
Monroe OE spectrum are soft ride wimpy shocks compared to SS Monroe's. If you want factory style B4U ride get the Severe Service. I have cars with both styles of the Monroe shocks listed above.
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Part numbers for the Monroe Severe Service from my notes:
550013 x 2 (rear)
550012 x 2 (front)

24-015165 (B46-1516) x2 (front)
I don't have the part number for the rears in my notes for some reason. Sorry.

I personally like Bilsteins for a civilian car (wagons and sedans). I prefer the Monroe SS on my 9C1s but I've used Bilsteins on those as well.

I definitely didn't like the Monroe SS shocks on my wagon. Possibly my own expectations of what each car is. When I get into one of my 9C1s or Impala SS, I want something stiff and sporty (as much as a B-Body can be).

When I get into my wagon or a plain civvy B-Body, I want something more soft and quiet.

I struggled to get used to my 2011 Caprice PPV -- as it's stiff, sporty, and rides like a strut unibody car. Ewww. But handles like it's on rails on turns. So there's that.
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Too bad Tokico is no longer around!
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