Ownership Verified: My 98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra

Spectre

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You should try replacing it with good quality parts - both KYB and Moog have options on that.
 

Spectre

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Oh, by the way, Rock Auto has NEW shocks for your car, with the air adjust feature, under the AC Delco brand for $100 each.

There's also a Sachs unit for $81.89.
 
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Punisher Bass

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AC Delco is the brand of shocks we had shipped in. They use a screw on connector vs the clip on style that I currently have, so the system would have to be done with new lines and other assorted shit anyway. And while there are shocks out there, all of them exclude the electric air adjustable bullshit I have. My mechanic has checked just about every parts maker out there and none of them seem to have something that will work without problems.

And I didn't pay for the new strut mount, it was still covered under warranty.
 

Punisher Bass

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All is well now. It turns out it was indeed a cheap chinese piece of shit part. It and the second replacement that was shipped in turned out to lack a critical spacer to keep things in order. Tom ordered a Monro part, and this thing had a Monro part number, but it was not Monro. We were both pissed.

Without this spacer the entire mount kept wanting to twist itself out of place, this is what was causing the noise. Neither of us have any idea how or why the new mounts did not have the spacer included.

So he got on the phone and was able to find an actual Monro mount and had it rushed in from the city. It took most of the day, but I had my car back friday afternoon.
 

Wizegui

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That is some fantastic news! So does the car handle or ride any better now?
 

Punisher Bass

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No, it was just replacing a part that went bad and was making noise. I am glad to have it gone though, I've been dealing with it for months and it was starting to drive me apeshit. Everything rode and handled fine, there was just a squawk and knock anytime the wheel hit a bump.
 

Mischief007

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It is rough when you think a part like that should be available without a problem. Glad the car is back on the road :).
 

Punisher Bass

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Ok, it turns out things were not all good and jolly after the last go around. It's a long drawn out story so I'll just give a nutshell version. The last strut mount started to cause problems after a few weeks as well so I took it back into the shop. I spent 9 1/2 hours at the shop waiting for ANOTHER new mount to be shipped in and trying to figure out why they kept failing. I left that day with one new mount on the right and a "new" cobbled together one on the left since they had taken that one out to see if it was packaged differently. This was meant as nothing more than a temp fix while Tom called Monroe up.

Turns out they had been installing a set of bearings in upside down which would eventually case a cascade failure. I looked at the directions in the box myself and they did not sate which way it was meant to be installed, looking at the part it looked like it could go either way. He spent two weeks fighting with the parts supplier to get credited for two of the mounts since they've been refusing the warranty claim, he's having to shell out $60 for each mount that gets sent out. Eventually he was able to get two new correct mounts delivered and I went in middle of last week to get both of them installed. Since then the car has ridden better than it has in ages, it had a bit of a pull to the right that I figured was an alignment issue, but with the new mounts it's almost totally gone. There is also no more noise when I hit a bump.

And again, other than a good chunk of my own time, this hasn't cost me anything. Tom's had to eat the cost of 4 or 5 mounts plus labor, he really does stand behind his work.
 

Punisher Bass

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After driving home on friday night with a light load of groceries in the trunk and hearing my air compressor work almost nonstop the whole drive home, I realize I have to do something about the rear end. When I last touched on this topic I decided to just let it go since I couldn't spend $300-500 for the fucked up AC Delco shocks or the Strutmaster conversion kit.

Well after months and months of searching, I think I've finally found new shocks for my rear end. I took a trip to my local O'Reilly's to see this set from Monroe in the flesh. Despite the whole "except electronic adjustable" bullshit, these are a perfect match for what is on my car.

These are the same shape and size. The AC Delco's were much fatter.
These have the same snap on connectors for the air lines, the AC's had screw on which would mean new air lines would have to be run.
These have oil in them, despite what the guys at the counter said, which is exactly what I had on mine. The AC's were air only.

Plus it was only $75 for the pair. I like that a whole lot better than $300 at the very least. I'll take the kit by Tom's on Monday morning and see what he thinks, hopefully he'll give the thumbs up and I can get the work done sometime this week.

I really really hope these shocks will work without any bullshit.
 

Nabster

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Didn't I tell you to go with Monroe parts for that last year? :wicked:

Anyway, good to see you'll finally have this sorted.
 

Punisher Bass

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Didn't I tell you to go with Monroe parts for that last year? :wicked:

Anyway, good to see you'll finally have this sorted.
Yeah but it said the "no you can't use these parts with your car" crap, so I didn't bother. Today when I was looking around I said fuck it and wanted to see the parts for myself in person. I'm glad I did.
 

Punisher Bass

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I just got back from the shop and all I can say is DAMN. It's a total world of difference, the ass is now PLANTED to the road. I guess I had just gotten used to the rear end bounce. I just can't get over how much better the car rides and handles now. It's amazing.

Anyway, not only am I fucking overjoyed over this, but so is my mechanic. He's called his parts supplier up to let them know of this situation because this kind of problem has cost his customers a small fortune. The G body PA and K body Cadillac Deville's and Sevilles ride on the exact same platform, only difference is the name, so they have the same setup front and rear. Tom's had several people over the years with a K body caddy with used up rear shocks out back, and he's had to send them to the dealer who charges around $1,400 PER SIDE to change them out. But now there's hope for others. $75 for parts with $50 for labor beats the hell out of every other option.

I don't know why Monroe puts that "except..." proviso for their parts, but I plan to contact them to at least let them know of the mistake. The new shocks were slightly larger around, but they bolted into place and hooked up to the air lines with zero problems. I didn't even need to get new mounting kits. I did however keep the old shocks just in case... /me knocks on wood.

Here's some pictures of the old shocks next to the new shiny ones.



The old one has 130k miles on it.



Here you can see the remains of the oil that was once in the shock.



I'm still blown away at the whole situation. Everything went right for a change and it was cheap.
 

Spectre

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Yeah but it said the "no you can't use these parts with your car" crap, so I didn't bother. Today when I was looking around I said fuck it and wanted to see the parts for myself in person. I'm glad I did.
Moral of story: Sometimes the catalog lies, always look at the part that "won't fit" for yourself.
 

Jmiller

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The 3800 series motor was a great bullet proof motor from GM. I think this was my favorite looking Park Avenue/Le saber body style. My grandparents had one just to add to the fact of the stereotype.


BTW I had problems on my Aurora with the rear air shocks too, however it was a sensor problem and the car would just ride around with its ass up high in the air and it looked like a mexican hot rod. So glad its fixed.
 
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Punisher Bass

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I gave the new parts a sound thrashing today. I found the most fucked and twisty bit of road we have around, started some ZZ Top, and floored it. And the car did not disappoint, it's hardly a canyon carver but it did better than all the other times I've driven the same road. It noticed the biggest difference when I hit the railroad tracks at 40mph and took a turn a little too fast. But I was smiling ear to ear the whole time. :mrgreen:

It's just amazing the giant difference the new shocks have made.

And just incase someone thinks I was being irresponsible, this was on an old back road with nothing but farmland around and I didn't go past the speed limit... much. :p An old man needs to have a little fun every now and then you know.
 

Hidden_Hunter

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I gave the new parts a sound thrashing today. I found the most fucked and twisty bit of road we have around, started some ZZ Top, and floored it. And the car did not disappoint, it's hardly a canyon carver but it did better than all the other times I've driven the same road. It noticed the biggest difference when I hit the railroad tracks at 40mph and took a turn a little too fast. But I was smiling ear to ear the whole time. :mrgreen:

It's just amazing the giant difference the new shocks have made.

And just incase someone thinks I was being irresponsible, this was on an old back road with nothing but farmland around and I didn't go past the speed limit... much. :p An old man needs to have a little fun every now and then you know.
err you hit the railroad tracks at 40mph? That really can't be good for your suspension
 

NecroJoe

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err you hit the railroad tracks at 40mph? That really can't be good for your suspension
Sure it is. Builds character. Puts hair on it's chest. :p

BTW: "railroad tracks" could mean a pretty well-maintained intersection where there's spaces between the pavement and the rails, but no elevation change. Then, there's also the railroad crossings where you can get the car airborne, or or least injure any passengers' heads by hitting the roof of your car...
 

Punisher Bass

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Sure it is. Builds character. Puts hair on it's chest. :p

BTW: "railroad tracks" could mean a pretty well-maintained intersection where there's spaces between the pavement and the rails, but no elevation change. Then, there's also the railroad crossings where you can get the car airborne, or or least injure any passengers' heads by hitting the roof of your car...
Actually, you encounter both on this road, both within a few hundred feet of each other. The first is flat for the most part so hitting it at speed isn't a big deal the next one on the other hand... Depending on the direction you go, you either go up a steep incline to reach them or as soon as you get past the second rail the bottom literally drops out from under you. If you go above 5mph either way on this one you're going to bruise your car. When you drive the same area for years and years, you know what you areas you can safely do and what speed you can do it at.
 
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Clegko

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...the next one on the other hand... Depending on the direction you go, you either go up a steep incline to reach them or as soon as you get past the second rail the bottom literally drops out from under you. If you go above 5mph either way on this one you're going to bruise your car. When you drive the same area for years and years, you know what you areas you can safely do and what speed you can do it at.
We have one of those in my town, and there's at LEAST one wreck there a month, from teenagers gifted a drivers license and speeding over the damn thing trying to "Catch some air, yo!" in their riced out Hondas. They will ALWAYS bottom out on landing, spin out of control, and end up in someone's front garden.
 
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