Shocks (& Springs?) for 1993 Caprice Classic - Advice Needed - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Shocks (& Springs?) for 1993 Caprice Classic - Advice Needed

Hey All. I have a '93 CC Sedan. 83K on it now and it was kept in a garage for 54K of that. Overall the car is in excellent shape and I want to build it right. For starters, I'd like to upgrade the suspension, tires and steering components, and could use some advice in this regard.

I'm inclined to start with the shocks. The car has a little too much bounce, and seems to transmit bumps in the road more than it should. I also noticed that at highway speed, esp. on curves, the car seems to "skip" (doesn't feel like its grabbing the road that well) Obviously, this is a safety and performance issue that I need to address. The tires have some meat left but probably should be replaced soon as well. So my questions are:

1. Am I correct in thinking the shocks need to be replaced?

2. Is it necessary/advisable to do springs (or any other related components) at the same time?

3. Any brand recommendations on shocks?

I don't think I want to change the ride height at this time. (I may consider it in the future though) Basically, I still want the car to ride like a boat in a straight line, but I need better cornering performance. Also, I do plan to rebuild the steering with a kit at some point.

Thanks in advance for your help. I am new here, but it seems like a great group, and I look forward to contributing knowledge as I get more familiar with the ride.

PhillyUrb -- 1993 Caprice Classic 305 V8
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 11:11 AM
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Shocks (& Springs?) for 1993 Caprice Classic

Bilstein shocks are hard to beat. I purchased a set for under $300 (w/free-shipping) from http://eshocks.com

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyUrb View Post
Hey All. I have a '93 CC Sedan. 83K on it now and it was kept in a garage for 54K of that. Overall the car is in excellent shape and I want to build it right. For starters, I'd like to upgrade the suspension, tires and steering components, and could use some advice in this regard.

I'm inclined to start with the shocks. The car has a little too much bounce, and seems to transmit bumps in the road more than it should. I also noticed that at highway speed, esp. on curves, the car seems to "skip" (doesn't feel like its grabbing the road that well) Obviously, this is a safety and performance issue that I need to address. The tires have some meat left but probably should be replaced soon as well. So my questions are:

1. Am I correct in thinking the shocks need to be replaced?
Probably.
Bilsteins come in two flavors - linear, and progressive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Mueller
There are two different sets of Bilstein shocks available for the B-cars, including the Impala. Bilstein lists the shocks as different versions for the '77-'90 cars and the '91-96 cars, although these are completely interchangeable under most circumstances.

Here are the intended applications and Bilstein part numbers:

Application Front Rear Notes
'77-'90 B-car #1104 #0929 Bilstein only
'91-'96 B-car #1516 #1517 Same as Chevy SEO 8X3

The shocks they specify for the '91-'96 models were specifically developed to Chevy SEO 9C1 (police) platform engineering parameters, and are actually the same (except for cosmetics) as those sold through GM under the SEO 8X3 option on the 9C1 Caprice. They are all painted yellow, but the factory 8X3 versions have black boots and Delco-Bilstein stickers and a broadcast code sticker while the OEM Bilstein ones have blue boots and regular OEM Bilstein stickers. The OEM versions are much cheaper than the 8X3 versions purchased through GM!

The 1516/1517 shocks feature slightly firmer compression but also much looser rebound settings than the 1104/0929 shocks, which Chevy believes to help control the car better when it is going over large bumps, uneven roads,

or when it is coming down from being airborne.

The 1516/1517 shocks are also progressively damped, which means they have a variable rate that offers less resistance to light inputs, and much greater resistance to large inputs. This gives a more comfortable ride, especially over rough roads, and still offers greater control than the original factory shocks when the situation demands. Unfortunately the variable rate also makes them feel floaty during normal driving, especially when compared to the DeCarbon shocks that are standard on the Impala. The 1104/0929 shocks are a linear damped shock, and do indeed "feel" much firmer and offer more control, especially with lighter inputs.

Another issue is the 1517 rear shock was designed for 1" longer travel compared to the 0929 shock. This was also specifically at GM's request, primarily to facilitate tire changing on the '91-'92 Caprice 9C1 with the skirted rear wheel openings. Obviously on the '93 and up Caprice or the Impala which have radiused rear wheel openings, this is NOT an issue.

Here are the specifications on the Bilstein B-car shocks:

Bilstein B-car Front shocks:

P/N Rebound / Compression Notes
'77-'90 #1104 4275 / 1200 N/mm Linear rate
'91-'96 #1516 1100 / 1495 N/mm Progressive rate

Bilstein B-car Rear shocks:

P/N Rebound / Compression Notes
'77-'90 #0929 2135 / 1035 N/mm Linear rate
'91-'96 #1517 780 / 1040 N/mm Progressive rate, 1" longer travel

Bilstein commented that the 1516/1517 shocks are one of the only ones they have done where the compression rate is higher than the rebound. These were done specifically for Chevy at the SEO 9C1 platform engineer's request. This does give them more of a "built-in float" than the 1104/0929 shocks. It helps cushion an impact (high compression), but the light rebound makes the car feel somewhat floaty. These specs are in Newtons per mm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyUrb View Post
2. Is it necessary/advisable to do springs (or any other related components) at the same time?
If you're not happy with your current springs, yes.
If you are happy with your current springs, then no.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyUrb View Post
3. Any brand recommendations on shocks?
See above.
There are other options for the more hardcore, whose brand names I'm not aware of (guess why?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyUrb View Post
I don't think I want to change the ride height at this time. (I may consider it in the future though). Basically, I still want the car to ride like a boat in a straight line, but I need better cornering performance. Also, I do plan to rebuild the steering with a kit at some point.
If you want better cornering performance, upgrade your anti-sway bars.

I'm not dissatisfied with my BMR front swaybar, but if I'd known better, I'd've probably selected a lighter one.
Don't bother changing the rear swaybar til you're SURE you're not happy with it; ISSF members who regularly autocrossed their B-sedans found that the rear of the car is pretty close to properly sprung.

[At least one avant-garde ISSF member has found mind-blowing handling improvements by adding a 5th link to the rear suspension - as in, blowing the minds of other sports-car owners on the track - but this is beyond most of us.]

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

I appreciate all the helpful advice. Ultimately, I went with Monroe Sensatracs all the way around. They tightened the car right up and got rid of the nasty shudder every time I hit a pothole. For $130 I'm pretty happy with the results. Thanks again everyone.

PhillyUrb -- 1993 Caprice Classic 305 V8
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 02:25 PM
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I'm looking at shocks at autozone and they call out a shock for the cop/taxi and a different shock for the classic. Can I put cop shocks on my classic for a firmer ride? My front shocks are super worn out when you bounce the front it goes up and down a couple of times so anything will be better than what I have.

-Wolken
Current Stable
1991 Chevrolet Caprice: stock
2003 GMC K2500HD XCLB 3 pedal Dmax
1977 Chevrolet Concours: stock
1968 Chevrolet Camaro: Fast
1985 Chevrolet K10: 4" lift
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 06:27 PM
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You can put them on the front, but you should put a matched set on the rear so you do not get a weird ride.

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, Impala rims, Hydroboost, Recaros, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
1992 OCC now with 5.7 tbi, DEH P77DH
For a parts list, check https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulle...ion-parts.html
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 11:00 PM
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I got Hotchkis springs & koni Single Adjustables... 2000%+ better
:-)
Do Hotchkis springs & bilsteins... Do it right the first time!!!
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