GM Cadillac Deville_Fleetwood_ELD_Seville 1990-1998

Shock Absorbers

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Catera
  1. Open the rear door and move the rear seat backs forward to allow access to the upper shock absorber mount.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rubber protective cap from the shock absorber tower.
  4.  
  5. Remove the upper shock absorber mount nut, the mounting washer, and the mounting grommet.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the vehicle securely.
  8.  
  9. Detach the Automatic Level Control (ALC) air line connection from the shock absorber.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower shock absorber mount bolt and extract the shock.
  12.  

To install:



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Fig. Remove the Automatic level control (ALC) connection from the shock absorber



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Fig. This is the lower shock absorber mounting bolt



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Fig. Remove the protective cap to expose the mounting nut

  1. Remove the shipping plug from the air line (tubing) port if installing a new shock absorber.
  2.  
  3. Lower the vehicle to allow access to the shock absorber tower through the rear seats.
  4.  
  5. Attach the lower rubber mounting grommet and attach the washer to the shock absorber.
  6.  
  7. Install the shock absorber into the shock absorber tower.
  8.  
  9. Install the upper rubber mounting washer.
  10.  
  11. Push the grommet onto the shock stud.
  12.  
  13. Hold the shock absorber in place with one hand, while reaching inside the vehicle with the other hand to start the shock absorber mount nut.
    1. Tighten the upper shock absorber mount nut to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm). Install the rubber protective cap to the shock absorber tower.
    2.  

  14.  
  15. Place the rear seats back to their proper position.
  16.  
  17. Raise and safely support the vehicle securely.
  18.  
  19. Support the lower control arm to allow for installation of the lower shock absorber mount bolt if necessary.
  20.  
  21. Install the lower shock absorber mount bolt to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Install the ALC air line connection to the shock absorber. Lower the vehicle
  24.  

Deville and Fleetwood

CAUTION
The control arm must be supported with a suitable jack to prevent the coil spring from forcing the control arm downward, causing component damage and possible bodily injury.


WARNING
To prevent ball joint damage, the knuckle must be restrained after the strut-to-knuckle bolts have been removed.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the trunk side cover.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the electronic level control air line from the strut as follows:
    1. Clean the connector and surrounding area to prevent dirt from entering the system.
    2.  
    3. Squeeze the spring clip to release the connector.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. If equipped, detach the Computer Command Ride electrical connector.
  10.  
  11. Remove the strut tower mounting nuts from inside the trunk.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolts, washers and nuts from the knuckle and stabilizer bar bracket and remove the strut.
  14.  

To install:



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Fig. Air line fittings



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Fig. Air strut installation-1990-91 Deville and Fleetwood



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Fig. Air strut installation-1992-93 Deville and Fleetwood

  1. Position the strut in the vehicle and install the upper mounting nuts.
  2.  


NOTE
If equipped with Computer Command Ride, make sure the strut wiring is upright and centered on the strut mount when positioning the strut. After the strut is installed, make sure the wiring is upright and clear of the spacer plate to tower interface.

  1. Install the strut-to-knuckle and stabilizer bar bracket bolts, washers and nuts. On 1992-93 vehicles, the bolts must be installed in the direction shown in Fig. 54.
  2.  
  3. Moisten the air line O-rings with petroleum jelly or equivalent lubricant, and push the air line and connector fully into the fitting.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with Computer Command Ride, attach the electrical connector to the harness.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the strut tower mounting nuts to 19 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) and the strut-to-knuckle nuts to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the trunk side cover.
  10.  
  11. Lightly pressurize the electronic level control system by momentarily grounding the compressor test lead in the engine compartment. This must be done before lowering the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle. Check the rear wheel alignment.
  14.  

1990-92 Eldorado and Seville
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with 4.6L engine, detach the shock absorber electrical connector from the rear suspension support.
  6.  
  7. Support the lower control arm with a suitable jack to relieve the spring load.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shock absorber lower mounting nut and bolt.
  10.  
  11. If equipped with 4.9L engine, detach the electrical connector from the top of the shock absorber.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the air line from the shock absorber as follows:
    1. Clean the connector and surrounding area to prevent dirt from entering the system.
    2.  
    3. Rotate the spring clip 90° to release the connector lock and pull the connector from the fitting.
    4.  

  14.  
  15. Remove the upper mounting nut, retainer, and insulator. Compress the shock absorber by hand and remove it through the upper control arm.
  16.  

To install:



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Fig. Shock absorber installation-Eldorado and Seville

  1. Inspect the upper and lower shock absorber insulators for cuts, cracks, tears or other damage and replace as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Position the top of the shock absorber with the insulator attached in the suspension support. Install the upper shock absorber insulator, retainer, and nut.
  4.  
  5. Moisten the air line O-rings with petroleum jelly or equivalent lubricant, rotate the spring retainer to the engaged position and push the air line and connector fully into the fitting.
  6.  
  7. Install the shock absorber lower mounting nut and bolt. Tighten the upper shock absorber nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm) and the lower shock absorber nut to 75 ft. lbs. (102 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Attach the electrical connector at the top of the shock absorber, if equipped with 4.9L engine. Attach the shock absorber electrical connector to the rear suspension support, if equipped with 4.6L engine.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle.
  12.  

1993-98 Eldorado and Seville
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the electronic level control height sensor link if removing the left strut.
  6.  
  7. Install 2 lug nuts to hold the rotor on the hub and bearing assembly.
  8.  
  9. If equipped with a stabilizer bar, remove the mounting bolt at the strut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the rear brake caliper as follows:
    1. Loosen the parking brake cable at the adjuster.
    2.  

  12.  



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Fig. Strut installation-Eldorado and Seville



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Fig. Detaching the Computer Command Ride electrical connector

  1. Lift up on the end of the cable spring to free the end of the cable from the lever.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bolt and washer attaching the cable support bracket to the caliper.
  4.  
  5. Remove the caliper mounting bracket bolts and suspend the caliper in the wheelwell with wire. Do not disconnect the brake hose or allow the caliper to hang by the brake hose.
  6.  

  1. Loosen, but do not remove, the knuckle pivot bolt on the outer end of the control arm. Support the outer end of the control arm with a suitable jack or jackstand to slightly compress the spring.
  2.  


CAUTION
The jack/jackstand must be strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle. It must also be securely positioned or personal injury may result.

  1. If equipped, detach the Computer Command Ride electrical connector at the top of the strut.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the air line from the strut as follows:
    1. Clean the connector and surrounding area to prevent dirt from entering the system.
    2.  
    3. Rotate the spring clip 90° to release the connector lock and pull the connector from the fitting.
    4.  

  4.  
  5. Remove the upper strut rod cap, mounting nut, retainer, and insulator. Slowly lower the jack or remove the jackstand to relieve the spring pressure.
  6.  
  7. Compress the strut by hand and remove the lower insulator. Rotate the strut and knuckle assembly outward by pivoting on the knuckle pivot bolt.
  8.  
  9. Remove the knuckle pinch bolt and remove the strut from the knuckle.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Inspect the upper and lower strut insulators for cuts, cracks, tears or other damage and replace as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Position the strut so it is fully seated in the knuckle with the tang on the strut bottomed in the knuckle slot. Install the knuckle pinch bolt and tighten to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the lower insulator on the strut and position the strut rod in the suspension support.
  6.  
  7. Position a jack or jackstand under the outer end of the lower control arm to slightly compress the spring.
  8.  


CAUTION
The jack/jackstand must be strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle. It must also be securely positioned or personal injury may result.

  1. Install the upper strut insulator, retainer, and nut. Tighten the upper strut nut to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm) and the knuckle pivot bolt to 59 ft. (80 Nm). Remove the jack or jackstand.
  2.  
  3. Moisten the air line O-rings with petroleum jelly or equivalent lubricant, rotate the spring retainer to the engaged position and push the air line and connector fully into the fitting.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, attach the Computer Command Ride electrical connector of the top of the strut.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with a stabilizer bar, install the mounting bolt and tighten to 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the caliper with new mounting bracket bolts. Tighten the mounting bracket bolts to 83 ft. lbs. (113 Nm). Install the parking brake cable support bracket and tighten the bolt to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Lift up on the end of the cable spring clip and work the end of the parking brake cable into the notch on the lever. Adjust the parking brake.
  12.  
  13. If installing the left strut, connect the electronic level control height sensor link.
  14.  
  15. Remove the 2 lug nuts that were installed to retain the rotor.
  16.  
  17. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle.
  18.  

TESTING



The purpose of the shock absorber is simply to limit the motion of the spring during compression and rebound cycles. If the vehicle is not equipped with these motion dampers, the up and down motion would multiply until the vehicle was alternately trying to leap off the ground and to pound itself into the pavement.

Contrary to popular rumor, the shocks do not affect the ride height of the vehicle. This is controlled by other suspension components such as springs and tires. Worn shock absorbers can affect handling; if the front of the vehicle is rising or falling excessively, the "footprint" of the tires changes on the pavement and steering is affected.

The simplest test of the shock absorber is simply push down on one corner of the unladen vehicle and release it. Observe the motion of the body as it is released. In most cases, it will come up beyond it original rest position, dip back below it and settle quickly to rest. This shows that the damper is controlling the spring action. Any tendency to excessive pitch (up-and-down) motion or failure to return to rest within 2-3 cycles is a sign of poor function within the shock absorber. Oil-filled shocks may have a light film of oil around the seal, resulting from normal breathing and air exchange. This should NOT be taken as a sign of failure, but any sign of thick or running oil definitely indicates failure. Gas filled shocks may also show some film at the shaft; if the gas has leaked out, the shock will have almost no resistance to motion.



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Fig. When fluid is seeping out of the shock absorber, it's time to replace it

While each shock absorber can be replaced individually, it is recommended that they be changed as a pair (both front or both rear) to maintain equal response on both sides of the vehicle. Chances are quite good that if one has failed, its mate is weak also.

Air-adjustable shock absorbers should be stroked before testing. When stored horizontally, an air pocket can form in the pressure chamber. An air pocket can also form when the shock is off the vehicle if it is not continuously held with the top end up.

To remove air from the pressure chamber, extend the shock absorber in a vertical position with the top end up, then collapse the shock absorber in a vertical position with the top end down. Repeat this procedure 5 times to make sure the air is purged from the pressure chamber.

Test the shock absorber as follows:

  1. Clamp the shock absorber in a vise with the shock absorber upright, top end up. Do not clamp on the reservoir tube.
  2.  
  3. Pump the shock absorber by hand at various rates of speed and note the resistance.
  4.  
  5. Rebound resistance normally is stronger than compression resistance by about 2 to 1. The resistance should be smooth and constant for each stroking rate.
  6.  
  7. Compare the shock absorber with one that is known to be good.
  8.  
  9. It is normal to hear a hissing noise from the shock absorber. The following symptoms are abnormal and indicate replacement is necessary:
    1. A skip or lag at reversal near mid-stroke.
    2.  
    3. A seize, except at either extreme end of travel.
    4.  
    5. A noise, such as a grunt or squeal, after completing one full stroke in both directions.
    6.  
    7. A clicking noise at fast reversal.
    8.  

  10.  

 
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