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Discussion Starter #1
the suspension in the back of my cat is really bouncy. like i have air shocks in the back that are in really good condition so i don't think that its my shocks that are bad, but my friend said that my leaf springs were flexing more than usual, so i was wondering if the problem would be my leaf springs or would it be my springs. also where might i find some leaf springs if that is the problem.
 

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C.King, You stated that the car is really "bouncy". Please clarify. My son's 69's rear suspension bottoms out when ever he crosses say something like a speed bump or dip in the road, but it does not continue to bounce. we have arrived at the conclusion that his rear springs due to their age have lost their arch and are sagging therefore increasing the amount of flex. If the car is "bouncing" say 2, 3 or more complete up and downs after hitting a bump in the road I would most likely say it shocks. Is the bounce more pronounced in the front or the rear? One thing you can do, is to through you weight into it and push down on each corned of the car. When you release it should come up once and then settle back to a level position if the shocks are good. By doing this to each corner of the car you will be able to better isolate which shocks might be bad. Replace them in pairs either both front or rear. This is just an old shade tree mechanics way of somewhat testing them. Also, a shock can be going bad and still provide enough damping effect to fool this test. If the suspension is bottoming out against the stops on the frame, but not bouncing I would suspect the springs. I am not really well versed with Air Shocks, but you might check the air pressure in them it might be too low. Also, I have seen shocks that just looking at them appeared to be in good condition, but where totally shot.
 

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The shocks on mine looked new but were all bad. The it seems had only been driven one year in the last 15 years. Seals just go bad over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well yea, what i mean by bouncy is that when i hit a bump, like a speed bump, or dip, the car will not bottom out, but it will bounce and keep bouncing a few times, and sometimes if i'm going too fast the back tires will leave the ground, or just raise a little so that they chirp when they leave the ground. so it will be like driving over the bump, having a bouncing feeling in the back (i know its in the back, the front holds up fine) then on the first bounce you'll hear a chirp of the tires, then the back will bounce a few more times. the air shocks hold the pressure, they're at 100 psi, and so i don't know what the definition of shot would be. i pumped them up to the max which was about 120 and it was alot more bouncy, so i let some out, and it made the ride a little more smooth, but still was bouncy. so from what you said and my friends i think i'll replace the shocks :( too bad i don't have the money for that :( oh well next project :)
 

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Shocks are cheap ($40-$60/pair) and an easy afternoon project with basic tools.

Check around your local performance shops or online for prices on a couple KYB gas-adjust shocks for the rear end. :)
 

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It sounds like time to change the shocks. It is an easy job. Good shocks keep the car from bouncing like you describe.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well looks like i'll be ordering them tonight then :) give me something to do on the weekend along with trying to fix my transmission
 

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The problem with air shocks is that they are designed to act as spring supports rather than as spring dampers (or shock absorbers); when you pump them up to 90 psi or higher, they just harden the suspension. Proper design of a shock-absorber-and-spring setup takes into account the weight of the car. The spring should be able to hold the car at the proper ride height by itself, and the shocks should prevent the car from bouncing when the springs are compressed and released.
Note that there is a difference between a "bouncy" ride (one where the car continues to go up and down after hitting a bump) and a "bumpy" ride, where the suspension is too stiff, so every little bump in the road makes the whole car react as if there were no springs in the suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ahh thanks, ok well when i pump up my shocks to about 100+ it gets to be a bumpy ride, but when its lower than that its a bouncy ride :) but yea i'm just gonna get new ones. prob the kyb adjustable gas shocks.
 

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I forgot the other part of the story with air shocks, which you've now mentioned.

When fully pressurized, they're rock hard and result in a bumpy ride, but when they're NOT pressurized they don't damp the springs and thus result in a bouncy ride..... can't win. There's probably an optimal pressure where they are actually ok, but I haven't found it...

When my baby gets up here I'm chucking the air shocks out the window (needed them for the ride height with the old tires) and getting either KYB Gas-A-Justs or maybe maybe maybe the Edelbrock IAS shocks... the entire suspension definitely needs rework (especially the front).
 

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Air shocks arent any good, the main reason is to lower or lift do to bad springs. Any new gas shocks are good, (monroe, KYB, etc.) Air shocks if you must use, make sure they have an air line per shock, not one for both. The air will transfer between shocks in corners, and cause problems in the seals and shock. :) And 30 someodd year old springs arent the best. You could have a broken spring (cause of wheel lift) in one or both sides. Check them out too. (Just a thought while you under your car)

Rick
 
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