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 KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers

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endless quest



Posts: 15
Join date: 2011-02-17
Location: Point Lookout, NY

PostSubject: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:11 pm

I have air shocks in the rear that needs to be replaced. I have decided ditch the air and go mechanical.

Based on what I have read here and on the ISSF, the choices for a RMW are as follows...

Bilstien HD shocks (24-011044 / 24-009244)
Monroe Severe Service (SS0012 / SS0013)
KYB Gas Adjust (KG5504 / KG4515)

Spoke to my mechanic and he suggested the KYB HD shocks and not replace the rear coil springs. He said I should gain a little height.

My auto parts guy says the KYB is a good choice but it will not raise the height any. He suggested the Monroe SensaTrac Load Adjust shock (58574). He said that it would keep the rear from sagging under a heavy load (I don't tow but do load the rear with gear and sometimes kids) He also said that It will be a firmer ride then the KYB's. He also said that If I put on the Moog coil springs (CC623), I would have a good package between new springs and shocks.

My car also leans towards the passenger side by 1 1/4 inches. I'm hoping the shock replacement will resolve the leaning issue as well as improving my ride.

Any thoughts on KYB's Vs. the Monroe SensaTracs and Moog coil springs?
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Cadet57



Posts: 2754
Join date: 2010-04-13
Age: 26
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:17 pm

You'll gain even more height by replacing the coil springs at the same time. If they are original to the car, they're going to be 15 years old or so. Might as well. I would suggest doing it since you're already under the car to do the shocks. I have not used any of those springs, I used MOOG CC623 variable rate springs and Gabriel Ultra shocks (sorry, no part # handy, check Autozone for the #) I too have air shocks but the compressor was shot so it was time for a change. They were also the original springs and had caused quite a bit of sag. After all was said and done, I gained about 1 1/2" inches and the car rides so much better. Firm, but still smooth over bumps.

Here are some before and afters:

Before


After
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81X11



Posts: 7840
Join date: 2010-06-23
Age: 39
Location: Round Rock Texas

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:40 am

I agree about doing the coil springs if going away from air, and then getting some good shocks. I've used KYB Gas-A-Just shocks on other vehicles and been happy with them. I put those Monroe Sensa-Tracks on my 86 Caprice and while they gave the car a smooth ride, they are really soft shocks.

If you have a lot of potholes or rough roads where you live I would avoid the Severe Service shocks. I have those on the front of my Roady and am planning to replace them soon. On smooth roads they ride fine, but you feel every bump...they are STIFF and hard shocks. Fine for an Impala SS I'd guess, but a little rough for a Buick. I've read the Bilstiens feel basically the same as the Severe Service, so keep that in mind.

My shocks were shot when I bought my car. I did the Severe Service shocks in the front and in the back removed my rear air shocks and replaced them with coil-over heavy-load Gabriel Load-Carrier shocks from Autozone.

After doing this I was thrilled, my car went from floaty to FIRM, felt totally different, but after a year of driving I realize I did it all wrong. The front is too stiff, and while the rear does not sag with a light load, it does with a full load of people and gear, or when towing. The stock coil springs are designed to be used with air shocks, and even with the coil-over shocks, the rear still sags under load. Plus I found out that despite the coil-over springs, those Gabrial shocks are pretty soft (the actual shock inside the coil spring is really small), so my car does not feel "balanced" well. It's firm up front and soft out back. Doh!

When I do this again, and it's on the to-do list as money allows, I'm going to put some variable-rate rear springs in the back, and replace all four shocks with some good quality matching KYB or Monroe shocks. I don't race my car and would like to get some of the "Buick ride" back while also helping with my towing and loading in the rear.

My 2-cents.

-Mike
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81X11



Posts: 7840
Join date: 2010-06-23
Age: 39
Location: Round Rock Texas

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:46 am

Oh and just to make it clear, two weeks ago I was in Dallas for Cars and Coffee, and I took my brother and sister-in-law to some bars over in Lower Greenville, in the old part of town. Dallas roads in general suck, but the roads in that area there are old and flat terrible, and I felt like the poor Roady was going to break something.

The front end, with those Severe Service shocks and my lower-profile tires on SS wheels POUNDED over the bumps, shaking everything inside the car, and I was trying to go slow and avoid the worst bumps. I swear I have new rattles in the car now just from that trip.

On smooth roads and the highway the car rides fine, but just remember how stiff those Severe Service shocks are.

Something to keep in mind! Good luck with your work.

-Mike
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Stingroo



Posts: 5045
Join date: 2010-01-30
Age: 23
Location: Stuart, Florida 34997

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:30 am

So if ditching the air ride, replace the springs too?

All 4 of them? Hmmm....
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81X11



Posts: 7840
Join date: 2010-06-23
Age: 39
Location: Round Rock Texas

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:35 am

Stingroo wrote:
So if ditching the air ride, replace the springs too?

All 4 of them? Hmmm....

No just ditch the rear springs, fronts are fine as-is.

-Mike
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95BRMW



Posts: 1333
Join date: 2009-08-15
Age: 29
Location: Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:02 am

I have the sever service ones on my 1A2 and agree with mike, they make for a really rough ride on crappy roads. I went with the bilsteins in my RMW and so far love them, good mix between too rough and a floaty ride. Can't speak for the rears, my air shocks still work so I left them alone.
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Nick Danger



Posts: 711
Join date: 2010-03-27
Location: Albuquerque

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:25 am

I went with the Bilstein sport shocks 1104/0929 and left the factory springs in place. The ride stopped being so floaty, but it isn't harsh.

But the roads here are very smooth. I don't know how it would drive on the New York Thruway.
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Flasheroo



Posts: 6266
Join date: 2009-08-28
Age: 58
Location: Yorktown VA 23690

PostSubject: Re: KYB's Vs. Monroe SensaTrac Load Levers   Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:53 am

Roads here in VA use to be kept glass smooth but not any more.Feels more like some of jerseys secondary roads now and lots of potholes to.
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