Shocks / Struts - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-02-2003, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default Shocks / Struts

My 1998 Bonneville SE has 63,500 miles on it and I'm suspecting it could use shocks / struts. Any thoughts on the subject?
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:10 PM   #2
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Sorry...should give more information!

Unless I'm on crack, I think I've bottomed out on the shocks in the rear a couple of times. I called my dealership (very trustworthy and the only place I trust to have my car worked on) and they said that the shocks should last a lot longer than 63k miles and cost about $500/axle to replace. Any thoughts on adjustments or other suspension parts that I should check out first?
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:34 PM   #3
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Well, if you want better parts you can get some from www.domesticperformance.com.

You could probably get the shocks from someplace like www.gmpartsdirect.com for alot less than you would pay at the dealer. I did a quick check and they look to be between $75 and $125 a piece for the rear struts.

I'm not sure how mechanically inclined you are but I helped my buddy do his rear spring on his Grand Prix and it was extremely easy to do. With some basic tools and a little time on the weekend it might be worth a shot.

As far as 63K miles on them, yea, they shold last 100-120K at least before they start to go.
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:54 PM   #4
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If they are quoting you $500 to change them, I'm going to assume that you have air shocks. I replaced the ones in my Cadillac Brougham last summer and they were easy and inexpensive. I believe that Monroe makes the OEM replacements for our car. They shouldn't be too difficult to install.

I agree on the mileage. I have 108000 right now and I'm just starting to feel a little loose in the corners. You might want to get a 2nd opinion before spending the bling.
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:23 PM   #5
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Bottoming out can happen from worn-out springs. Do you know how to give your struts the bounce test?
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Old 07-02-2003, 08:57 PM   #6
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JR:

First I would try giving the struts the bounce test to make sure they are not the problem. But they are really there for the dampening effect. Does your car tend to sag when just sitting there around one or more of the wheels? That is another sign of a bad spring.

Springs are metal so you have to think about things that have an effect on the physical properties of metal, such as excessive stretching and compression, heat, and cold. All are factors that add to the wear and tear on them.

The stabilzer shaft will help your car in cornering. This together with a set of good tires will make it stick like glue and keep it from leaning and swaying.

Of course, the downside of really stiff springs and struts is that the ride will become a bit harsher. The flip side is a soft ride with worn-out or sagging springs and bad struts.
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:35 PM   #7
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I would duplicate the SSE/SSEi suspension. Stiffer springs, and a stabilizer bar. Not sure if the struts are the same or not.
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Old 07-03-2003, 03:42 AM   #8
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Wow...thanks to everyone for the responses! I gave my car the bounce test tonight and replaced the fuel filter. The bounce test was just fine. I pushed down on the rear of the car, and it went back into the proper place for the most part - probably squatted another half inch to inch.

When I replaced the fuel filter, I jacked up the rear of the car. When I set it back down, it didn't sag at all and the struts held the car up just fine. While it was up, I laid down and stuck my hands up underneath the tires (one at a time) and pushed as hard as possible and didn't get the struts to give.

If I'm reading this thread correctly, I may want to invest some money in a new set of rear springs. I could compress them easier than I would have thought with one hand. Thoughts?? Next on the agenda is a transaxle flush and fill and oxygen sensor.
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Old 07-03-2003, 02:55 PM   #9
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Really get it bouncing...and then see if it returns to the original position within one bounce. Also with springs, some cars are designed with softer springs so that bottoming out may happen more frequently. Springs are a significant expense, so you want to make sure they are bad before you replace them. It'* possible you just want a stiffer ride than the factory suspension provides - so try depressing another Bonneville and see what happens.
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Old 07-03-2003, 06:08 PM   #10
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That'* a good way to find out if you have problems with yours.
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