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I found that my El Camino has air shocks in the rear when I bought it. I haven't had any issues, but I also now know that they aren't taking pressure. I can put air in, and 10 minutes later, it's gone.
It looks like I need to either replace them with new air shocks, or go another route. Whoever had this prior to me, at some point, also put on some oversized rims on the back, which have 2" spacers.

What are my options? Cost concerns?
 

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You can buy replacement air shocks or use air bags and regular shocks. Several members have detailed their swaps in the suspension section.
Patrick
 

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Most people, myself included swap the air shocks out for KYB Gas-A-Just shocks along with a set of air lift bags in the coil springs.
 

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x2 air shocks ride like crap, old tech, crutch-fix..
Bilstein's and Air-Lift 1000 bags for in the coils..

be sure and run 2 air lines, 1 to each bag,
so it don't roll-over [the wrong way] like boat in a turn ..
 

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Air Shocks suck !
I have the KYB's Gas-A-Just shocks on all 4 with the Airlift 1000 coil air bags
Set the air in the bags around 5-6 psi for normal driving & put up to 35 PSI for heavy hauling
I don't have a thick wallet so I went with the KYB's for around $100 for all 4
If you have a thick wallet look at the QA1's-Bilsteins-Vikings for shocks those are $300+

130758
 

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I have KYB gas adjusts as everyone recommends and they do a pretty bad job of controlling rebound on the front end. They are simply not up to the task. You really need something firmer with better rebound to control the front springs. After a few 1000 miles my front end is way too soft. If you use the KYB in the rear you will essentially need the air bags as the shock alone won't handle it. Spend a little more money on better shocks so you don't have to pay again later. I'd go with the Bilstein option.
 

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I have KYB gas adjusts as everyone recommends and they do a pretty bad job of controlling rebound on the front end. They are simply not up to the task. You really need something firmer with better rebound to control the front springs. After a few 1000 miles my front end is way too soft. If you use the KYB in the rear you will essentially need the air bags as the shock alone won't handle it. Spend a little more money on better shocks so you don't have to pay again later. I'd go with the Bilstein option.
While I don't disagree with what you're saying, my thought on the soft front end is that the springs all around should be replaced too as they do tend to wear out with extended age. I've got a set of new springs waiting to go on one of these days on mine.
 

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I agree and when I refreshed the suspension on mine I replaced it all. New everything including springs. I think the KYB are okay, but I wouldn't recommend them. In my experience, they can't control the stock springs and that's their main job.
 

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I found that my El Camino has air shocks in the rear when I bought it. I haven't had any issues, but I also now know that they aren't taking pressure. I can put air in, and 10 minutes later, it's gone.
It looks like I need to either replace them with new air shocks, or go another route. Whoever had this prior to me, at some point, also put on some oversized rims on the back, which have 2" spacers.

What are my options? Cost concerns?
Options are almost unlimited, cost about the same. These guys will steer you in the right direction. They gave me a lot to think about when I was in your same position and after a lengthy researching I came up with what is to me the perfect set-up for my car. I'll start with the one suggestion that made more improvement for cost to my car and it came from one of those guys up there^^^^. Try some new KYB's at all 4 corners and add a rear sway bar. My car still sits level on the original springs and if it was sagging in the rear I would have added some air bags or new springs but didn't need to do that. If you plan on using the truck end as a truck the air bags are a good choice. and as JJ said seperate lines to each.

Joe
 

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you could always try going under the back end with a spritzer bottle of soap and water air up the system and spray it down to see were it is leaking. could just have a bad line that need to be replaced. you can usually get a air line kit for $15 or less or you can get a new set of air shocks for just under $100. i don't know if it is worth going too overboard with air springs. seems a bit over kill since these things are pretty much just cars. the axles under these things seem pretty light weight so it is not like you really want to overload them.
 

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:geek: Welcome, Glad you found us.
Have fun and enjoy NECOA. You
have a lot to think about. I don't have
any suggestions for you. Nick's still
has the oem air shocks on it. I did
add the air bags to it as I plan to
get rid of air shocks. I also had the
rear springs replaced. I still need to
replace front springs & shocks.
From Nick & Don
Grove City, Ohio..:)
 

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The air bags and the quality shocks is a great upgrade no debate but 2 decent shocks up front and Orielys sells a monroe gas/air shock rear kit for 90 bucks my car rides nice stock but nice and all for 125 bucks by the way home depo sell KYB's CHEAP
 

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the air lift 1000 airbags are available on Amazon for $85. That is shipping included. That is a good price. Check Rock Auto for the KYB's if you go that route.
The air bags with any shock you choose will be an improvement on the air shocks.
 

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I found that my El Camino has air shocks in the rear when I bought it. I haven't had any issues, but I also now know that they aren't taking pressure. I can put air in, and 10 minutes later, it's gone.
It looks like I need to either replace them with new air shocks, or go another route. Whoever had this prior to me, at some point, also put on some oversized rims on the back, which have 2" spacers.

What are my options? Cost concerns?
Check your air lines before you do anything. I had a small hole in one of mine and it cost a few bucks to replace.
 

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When I felt the difference between air shocks and Bilstines, it was a jaw dropper for me!! I remember thinking, these cars (GM A bodys) really can handle well.. Since then I changed the front and rear control arms, Lee steering box, Hellwig front bar, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, thanks for all the feedback. I've been looking at KYB - also have to find a new mechanic since BOTH the guys who work on this car for me have shut their doors for good in the past few months - and I want to get any opinions on putting KYB Gas-a-Just Shocks and Struts KG4513 on all around. I'm also guessing I should replace the shock mounts while I'm at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
:geek: Welcome, Glad you found us.
Have fun and enjoy NECOA. You
have a lot to think about. I don't have
any suggestions for you. Nick's still
has the oem air shocks on it. I did
add the air bags to it as I plan to
get rid of air shocks. I also had the
rear springs replaced. I still need to
replace front springs & shocks.
From Nick & Don
Grove City, Ohio..:)
I lived in Grove City for about 10 years. Now over in Blacklick. One of the mechanics I lost was in Grove City.
 
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