Best shock for a RMS? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 11:41 PM
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Hey guys I have a 96 RMS, and as any of you who saw my Dynomax intall pics can see, I need new shocks VERY badly. I have a few questions. When I hit a bump, it is rather harsh,rattles dash and what not (even more so than usual) which I assume is because the shocks are shot (someone please confirm that they will soften my ride up). Onto the next subject. After much research, I have settled onto a few choices. Since it is a daily driver, I don't need some crazy tight shock, just a good replacement. I have kinda settled on the Sensatracs, which I heard are crap when it comes to quality, Severe Service, which I heard are very good without a harsh ride, and the Bilsteins, which I may not be able to afford, but if they really are that much better, I may consider saving. Every opinion on ride quality has been from an Impy so far, so it's kinda like comparing apples to oranges when it comes to ride quality. So can anyone help me go in the right direction here? Or perhaps just some pointers. I don't need anything crazy, just a quality daily driver shock that will tighten up my handling a hair, but not lose my luxury ride. Also, can anyone tell me if I have the air suspension in back by looking at my Dynomax install post, there is a pic with my shock in it, I think there's a bag on it, but I don't see a fuse or a pump on my car. So any help will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post guys, I'm gonna got to bed.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:39 PM
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I've had good luck with the SensaTracs.

That said, I'd go with the Monroe SS. You can use Airlifts PN AIR-60755 $64.88 from Summit racing to keep the autolevel feature. You just have to modify the dryer spring to have a minimum pressure of 5PSI, rather than 15. Pump location is under in the left front fender, just ahead of the wheel well. If you don't want to do that, Monroe MaxAirs MA717 with the AK17 adapter work well with the Severe Service up front.
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 11:12 PM
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Anything else guys?
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 06:38 AM
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I'll be picking up the severe services today, thanks guys.
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 08:25 AM
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Let us know how it goes. Mine are on order through O'Riley's and should be in on Thursday.
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2004, 10:34 AM
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I just installed Monroe Severe Service shocks in my '96 Roadmaster Wagon (no load leveling). My impressions are these: these shocks are very close to ideal for this car, for everyday use. My original equipment shocks had lots of "float" built in. I make a trip from MA to CT on most weekends, and when I got tired of being tossed up and down like a Cessna 150 in a thunderstorm, I installed these shocks. No more float, but a very smooth and controlled ride. At first, they seemed to be a bit firm over some kinds of bumps, but after 500 miles or so, they have become milder. The best thing about these shocks is the handling. The car handles more like a big sports car than a luxury boat. You can really feel that the designers had police cars and taxi cabs in mind. If your car has load leveling, I would still install these shocks, and fit air bags to keep the load leveing function.

I never had Sensatracks on this car, but I did have them on a '76 Malibu. Overall, I was not happy with them. They provided a surprisingly good handling feel though. The car could corner like the Blues Mobile. The negative was that they had too much "float" built into them as well. On the highway, the car never seemed to cruise without up-and-down motions. I have heard other people comment that this was disconceting at high speed (my car was a winter beater, and did not like to go fast). The ride was not the smoothest either. I got them quite a while ago however, so they may have been improved. But I am sure they cannot beat the SS in our applications.

BTW, thanks to everyone for their input when I was doing my research. The SS shocks work as described, and I knew exactly what to expect.
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