2003 LeSabre Limited - rear air bags blown - replace with MA822 or 90007C coil overs?

billbled

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Hey all,
The rear shock air bags on my 2003 LeSabre are blown. Anybody have real world experience installing the 90007C (coil over) shocks and getting away from air? Does the car still ride OK? Mine is a daily driver, no special loads - back and forth to work, around town and occasionally a 1-2 hour road trip.
Thanks for any tips - I'm just trying to decide whether to go back with air (MA822 + air compressor (likely)) or just ditch the air ride and do coil overs.
Cheers,
Bill
 

LARRY70GS

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98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
I have a friend with a 98 Riviera just like mine. He did the coil over conversion and loves the way the car rides. My 98 with close to 203,000 miles still has a functioning electronic level control, and I have the MA822. My car still rides great. The MA822's are a direct replacement for the stock air shocks, and they are very reasonably priced. The stock rear shocks eventually leak fluid, and need to be replaced. I am on my second pair of 822's. The first ones lasted at least 10 years.
 

Happycampers

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When the air shocks blew on my 2000 I bought a set of the 90007c and Well my opine is it rode like an old pick up truck , I now have the unity 65200c and they are reasonably priced at 89.99 for the set , eBay of course but way better than the 90007c , my advice is to do what I’m going to do on the next warm day is put some air shocks back on it , buy the airline kit that has the air fill fitting and put something like 14 psi in it and your good to go . Having 2 sets of springs , coil overs and coil springs on the back of a mid size car is well ridiculous at best .
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BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I have a friend with a 98 Riviera just like mine. He did the coil over conversion and loves the way the car rides. My 98 with close to 203,000 miles still has a functioning electronic level control, and I have the MA822. My car still rides great. The MA822's are a direct replacement for the stock air shocks, and they are very reasonably priced. The stock rear shocks eventually leak fluid, and need to be replaced. I am on my second pair of 822's. The first ones lasted at least 10 years.
did you change the pressure of the compressor filling from the 7 psi to the 14 or whatever the TSB calls for? Or stock pressure? The riviera benefits from less weight being placed over the rear despite the wheel base being the same so I imagine it ends up working better than my car with its fat ass full of heavy stuff showing its ugly face In such scenario lol.
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
When the air shocks blew on my 2000 I bought a set of the 90007c and Well my opine is it rode like an old pick up truck , I now have the unity 65200c and they are reasonably priced at 89.99 for the set , eBay of course but way better than the 90007c , my advice is to do what I’m going to do on the next warm day is put some air shocks back on it , buy the airline kit that has the air fill fitting and put something like 14 psi in it and your good to go . Having 2 sets of springs , coil overs and coil springs on the back of a mid size car is well ridiculous at best .
not necessarily. The setup the car is made with is yes designed to delegate ride height to the setting of the air part. So to mimmic the height and provide a good balance, you do have to sacrifice a little with the coil over which has to either just support more base weight period with the spring before its even dampening or just overall work with the rear coil on both sides to get it to the height and then dampen that point a little more aggressively so you cant quite mimmic the exact behavior, but those mounts are a huge important part and so are the coil springs and its isolators. If they are all spic and span, the coil overs work quite well given the fact of what they are trying to do. in my opinion either they suffer less life from that or the extreme use i put things through doesnt take prisoners anyway, but It was quite decent. The air shock, tho, is still a great option and you are right about it being rather nice. There is a kit from strut masters who puts the air part under the coil spring and the shock is also a coil over and their setup is interesting, I wish it were cheaper id like to try it out some day. But manual air fill is definitely a great option if the shocks are either ok and the system isnt working or you have both or are willing to do both because unless you frequently load down the rear with a lot of weight, you shouldnt have to touch it much. the important thing to note is that with that setup you need to be mindful that adding weight and pulling weight(such as things you always keep in, suddenly out, or always having rear passengers vs not anymore) will affect your alignment quite directly and the coil over wont be as perfect either but its at least more dynamic than manual air fill. If it doesnt bother you or the air hoses at gas stations are reliable and plenty(like around me) then hardly a burden!
 

LARRY70GS

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98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
did you change the pressure of the compressor filling from the 7 psi to the 14 or whatever the TSB calls for? Or stock pressure? The riviera benefits from less weight being placed over the rear despite the wheel base being the same so I imagine it ends up working better than my car with its fat ass full of heavy stuff showing its ugly face In such scenario lol.
I don't fix things that aren't broken. The fact is my ELC works as intended 23 years later. I doubt there is much if any difference between the weights of my Riviera and other similar GM cars
 

Happycampers

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I fix things before they break
Preventive maintenance : )
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LARRY70GS

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98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
When the air shocks blew on my 2000 I bought a set of the 90007c and Well my opine is it rode like an old pick up truck.
You're the only one I have heard that from.
I fix things before they break
Preventive maintenance : )
Preventative maintenance is something completely different. That's routine service like oil changes, tune up, brakes, etc. Not being a parts changer to fix a non existent problem.
 

Happycampers

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For me preventative maintenance is replacing things like timing chains , serpentine belts , and many other mechanical components that should be replaced regardless of condition at a specified mileage . Before they fall apart or break and many people choose to wait until they break and I’m not popooing anyone who chooses to do that .
 

LARRY70GS

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98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
For me preventative maintenance is replacing things like timing chains , serpentine belts , and many other mechanical components that should be replaced regardless of condition at a specified mileage . Before they fall apart or break and many people choose to wait until they break and I’m not popooing anyone who chooses to do that .
That is what I said. That's routine maintenance.
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billbled

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Thanks for all the replies! Right now today - I went on and got a set of 9007C's just to get the car back on the road. We'll see how it goes. I'm pretty sure the compressor is dead - no sound from it - but I haven't looked much on troubleshooting it.
At the moment I'm trying to find out which of the Monroe's is left or right. The numbers are P239R2D and P240R2D.
Anybody know if the 239 is left or right?
Just trying to make sure before I bolt things up. (Still searching these forums too)
Cheers,
Bill
 

billbled

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Their is no left or right, both shocks should be the same.
Thanks - was just curious about the different numbers on the shocks. The original air shocks are labelled L and R - and I thought the aftermarket would be as well. I guess maybe the left/right on the original air shocks was related to the position of the air line fitting?
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LARRY70GS

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Thanks - was just curious about the different numbers on the shocks. The original air shocks are labelled L and R - and I thought the aftermarket would be as well.
That might have something to do with the direction of the air connection, but you don't have that. Look at the two new shocks you have. Any discernible difference?
 

billbled

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That might have something to do with the direction of the air connection, but you don't have that. Look at the two new shocks you have. Any discernible difference?
Yeah - the angle of the bottom mount plate with the holes is slightly different - but I think that's just how they were pressed into the rubber bushing at the factory. I think you're correct about the direction of the air connection on the original air shocks - so I'm just going to line this up as best as I can and go with it. I really appreciate the replies and help here! Thanks!
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I don't fix things that aren't broken. The fact is my ELC works as intended 23 years later. I doubt there is much if any difference between the weights of my Riviera and other similar GM cars
Im saying that I am not thinking it wouldnt work, Im saying the weight over the rear would be different and the rear coils are also different(more aggresive) than most park avenues so that may also help. My auroras ELC still works, 22 years later. That one surprised me. My buick doesnt but I wasnt going to fix it since Jumping the motor wasnt giving any life and it needed shocks anyway etc etc. The next one will tho lol. (2000+ have Scan tool calibration and diagnostics)
If it ever seems to not be enough, say with another pair of shocks, there is a TSB how to fix it. Wasnt being hostile, I was curious about your experience. Im sorry that I asked...
 
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