GM Celebrity/Century/Ciera/6000 1982-1996 Repair Guide

Shock Absorbers



FWD Vehicles

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

If your vehicle is equipped with Electronic Ride Control (ERC) or super lift air shocks, you must bleed the system of air before disconnecting the hoses.

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Fig. Fig. 1: The super lift shock system and line routing. This system must be bled before disconnecting any lines

  1. Open the hatch or trunk lid, remove the trim cover if present, and remove the upper shock absorber nut.

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Fig. Fig. 2: Open the trunk or tailgate, then remove the shock absorber trim cover

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Fig. Fig. 3: Once the trim is removed, push the insulation aside and remove the shock nut cap. This will give you access to the upper shock nut

  1. Raise and support the car at a convenient working height if you desire. It is not necessary to remove the weight of the car from the shock absorbers, however, so you can leave the car on the ground if you prefer.
  3. If the car is equipped with ERC or the superlift shock absorbers, disconnect the air line.
  5. Remove the lower attaching bolt, then remove the shock.

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Fig. Fig. 4: Unfasten the lower attaching bolt, then remove the shock absorber

To install:
  1. If new shock absorbers are being installed, repeatedly compress them while inverted and extend them in their normal upright position. This will purge them of air.
  3. Insert the shock into position, then install the bolt and nut but do not tighten yet.
  5. If super lift shocks are being installed, then connect the air hose to the shocks.
  7. Lower the vehicle enough to guide the upper stud through the body opening, then install the upper nut loosely.
  9. Tighten the lower mount nut and bolt to 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm) for 1982-84 models, 38 ft. lbs. (51 Nm) for 1985-92 models, or 50 ft. lbs. (72 Nm) for 1993-96 models. Tighten the upper nut to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm) for 1982-83 models, 28 ft. lbs. (37 Nm) for 1984-92 models, or 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) for 1993-96 models.
  11. Replace the upper nut cap, then the inner trim piece. Lower the vehicle the rest of the way, then close the trunk/liftgate.
  13. Add air to the super lift shocks, approximately 80 kPa (12 psi), or see your owner's manual.
  15. In the case of the ERC system, it automatically levels itself when the vehicle is on the ground and the key is turned on.


Visually inspect the shock absorber. If there is evidence of leakage and the shock absorber is covered with oil, the shock is defective and should be replaced.

If there is no sign of excessive leakage (a small amount of weeping is normal) bounce the car at one corner by pressing down on the fender or bumper and releasing. When you have the car bouncing as much as you can, release the fender or bumper. The car should stop bouncing after the first rebound. If the bouncing continues past the center point of the bounce more than once, the shock absorbers are worn and should be replaced.