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Discussion Starter #1
I need new shocks on my El Camino. It has new Monroe load levelers/overloads on it now. I bought them from Rock Auto and they are the worst performing shock I've ever purchased. Rides like there aren't even any shocks on it. I thought when I bought them they might even be too firm of a ride.

I prefer a nice firm ride as compared to the soft gentle type. Mostly all oil roads and hardly ever anything being hauled. The EC only has about 70 thousand miles on it and the two original owners were a couple of old guys who didn't haul much so I wouldn't think it needs new coils. LS so it weighs a little less than the original 305.

I read through a lot of posts and it looks like Bilsteins and KYB gas adjust are rated pretty good. Although I noticed Rock Auto only lists front shocks in the Bilsteins. But I know new stuff comes out all the time and quality seems to be ever changing.

It looks like Rock Auto does have good pricing.
 

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I put Bilstein shocks all around on my 86 about 6 years ago and they are absolutely fabulous handling shocks. Those and a pair of Air Lift bags have been a great addition. The Bilsteins are not cheap, but I think they are worth the money.:smile3:
 

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bilsteins here too. cant remember how long ago ,maybe 6-8 years. bushings wore out and only needed to replace the bushings.
 

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I have the KYB and air bags for about 8 years and like the ride and it handles good. They are firm but not harsh.
 

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KYB Gas Adjust all around and AirLift bags..
 

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I stuck a pair of Monroe on the rear a couple weeks ago and yet they are better than what I took off, next time I'll put KYB's on. Ride is nice but I'd prefer a good bit firmer even though my wife likes the ride (keep it clean folks)
 

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KYB Gas Adjust all around and AirLift 1000 bags in the rear ! Rides Great !
 

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Deputy Director, Region 3 PA (west)
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Bilsteins are probably the best stock replacements, but KYB Gas-adjusts are the leader in the "bang-for-the-buck" category. I've had the KYB's on my '87 for about 5 years now and they were night and day different from the near-new Gabriels they replaced.

Bill
 

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I have KYB's and they are fine. I probably wouldn't spend the money on Bilsteins as the car is not going to handle well with just a basic shock change. In order to actually get one these to "handle" you will need to spend real money. I rebuilt the entire front end on mine, new everything including shocks and springs, tie rods, steering linkage, bushings, end links - anything with a bushing, essentially. I also have every brace you can have with the exception of a Grand Prix Bar and I have upgraded control arms in the rear and a nice UMI sway bar out back. It will go where it's aimed, but I wouldn't call it a good handling car by any stretch.

With that in mind, I would be tempted to try to find shocks on the softer side, since it's going to wallow around anyway, it might as well be comfortable while it's doing it. Or go whole hog and get coilovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great chase scene but sure waste of a nice car. Better shocks might have helped. My buddy back in the day bought a new 70 Chevelle SS 454 four speed. Crazy powerful for the day.
 

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I put Bilstein shocks all around on my 86 about 6 years ago and they are absolutely fabulous handling shocks. Those and a pair of Air Lift bags have been a great addition. The Bilsteins are not cheap, but I think they are worth the money.:smile3:


Me too!! Took off the Monroe Load Levelers and Variable Rate springs, and went with Bilsteins, Stock springs, Air Lift bags.
 

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Great chase scene but sure waste of a nice car. Better shocks might have helped. My buddy back in the day bought a new 70 Chevelle SS 454 four speed. Crazy powerful for the day.
Yeah, hurt to watch that car get beat up but! hopefully it's only in the movies. Decent chase but nothing like Bullet or Two-lane blacktop with James Taylor himself.. funny.

I had a vette that had a built 327, shift kit etc. That was the fastest thing I ever drove. Was interesting what that little motor would do. Thing would snatch 3rd like it was standing still. Today, the slow cruise and thanks to my shocks!!! a nice float down the highway
 

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Since all El Caminos came with air shocks as standard equipment, most sites will only list air shocks for the rear. Depending on the year (I'm assuming you're speaking about an 85) look under Monte Carlo ( G body) which I found Bilsteins for the rear. Same for the older cars. Look under Chevelle or Malibu.
 

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I stuck a pair of Monroe on the rear a couple weeks ago and yet they are better than what I took off, next time I'll put KYB's on. Ride is nice but I'd prefer a good bit firmer even though my wife likes the ride (keep it clean folks)
Slight correction, took the hag out for a good spin and she rode nice with the new Monroe rears. Not as tight as I'd like em but good ride
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the input. Called Jake at tirerack and decided on the Bilsteins. I hate the "we do it nice cause we do it twice" approach. And I've already been there. Other than the cost no one I communicated with has negative comment on the Bilstein.:banana:
 
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