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    Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

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    Gooched78Caprice
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    Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:55 am

    So first step is getting to spring pocket which thanks to Myloth this has been detailed already here:

    https://www.gmbbodyforum.com/t267-control-arms-and-spring-replacement

    I followed this step by step to the T. I even forget to pull the shock out on the first spring and had it bind up in the shock on me just like Myloth said to do.  Laughing  

    Here's what I am starting with:


    I am almost positive other than having the brakes replaced this is all original, even the crud that's been building up since 1978.


    Here's a pic of the small area that will need a trimmed in the spring pocket:


    Sneak peak at the size of the Shockwave sitting in the spring pocket:


    Please feel free to fire away with any questions or ideas that may assist, harass or just add to the conversation.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:26 pm

    WOO HOO! Here we go!


    The area that needs to be clearanced..... Will there be enough metal left to use as is, or will you have to weld in some sort of reinforcement?


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Myloth on Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:04 pm

    That looks good I can't wait to see the finished product. Yeah those shocks are easy to forget lol.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:36 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:WOO HOO!  Here we go!


    The area that needs to be clearanced..... Will there be enough metal left to use as is, or will you have to weld in some sort of reinforcement?

    From the brief moment I was able to peak into the spring pocket I believe there is only going to be minor trimming needed to allow the Shockwaves to clear. It seems that it's mainly just where the metal rolls up a little further in the pocket. If that's all that is actually removed I don't think there will be need for any reinforcements. This is what I'm hoping to have figured out tonight, if not I won't be able to get at it until Friday.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:19 pm

    Sweet!! I'll be following this closely. That's the setup I want for the front. So, you're telling me I have to cut my car after all even doing an air ride setup? I guess I might as well put hydraulics on it.lol No, seriously that's not that bad. I know exactly the part that could rub and like you say, it should just be a minor little shave. Honestly, I half expected to have to do some modification to install the air ride setup, but my goal is to not render the car incapable of accepting stock springs and shocks in the future.


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:30 am

    So here is what we're looking at:







    Great news:
    Just the way this sits, as is, I can easily run my hand around the bag now without any problems. I am not positive you actually need to, but I'll be doing some preventative trimming inside the pocket to clean up the few sharper edges and then grind everything smooth.

    Bad news:
    Still nothing from Ridetech about bottom rear spring plate.

    If the car Gods want to give me a hand... I do have Friday off so if you can deliver by then I should be able to get this wrapped up this weekend. lol!
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:48 am

    Soooo.... scratch  Still waiting for Ridetech to deliver the lower rear plates. Question

    I was told last week they were done with the powder coater and should be shipping. Over a month from original order and still waiting... The only reason I have any issue is that I was told that it was all in stock and ready to go when I placed the order. When I opened box first thing I saw was a backorder page mentioning the lower rear plates. I get that with custom items it could take a little while but I just wish my expectations were set accordingly in the beginning. pig

    Worst part is it's just the rear lower mounting plates, so a 20 minute job is holding up the final progress. I knew this might take some time so I figured I'd just rebuild the lower control arms with new Moog ball joints, bushings and a fresh coat of some knock off wannabe POR-15 I had available to me. I did order new Moog upper control arms since I didn't want to fight the bushings on the uppers. The control arms from RockAuto were here in 4 days.

    I ordered the MOOG Problem solvers for the lower ball joints as well as the upper control arms Part # CK620159 & CK620158 for a 1991 since they weren't showing them for a 1978 on their site... As you probably know the upper arms fit perfectly and the box on all the MOOG problem solvers said MADE IN USA. The pair of uppers cost me $155.84 with our 5% discount, local auto store $155.99 each... Thank you RockAuto.com!
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:00 pm

    Aw man, it sucks that RideTech isn't taking better care of you.  They should throw you a discount or an upgrade, or free shipping, or SOMETHING to make up for your inconvenience.  All respectable companies usually will.  
    You'd be surprised what you may be able to negotiate from them when you tell them they were the cause of you missing the deadline for a magazine photo shoot and write-up which would have included what parts manufacturers were used. Wink, wink.  So what if it's Auto Trader Magazine and not Super Chevy, lol, it's all part of the game.

    Rock Auto is awesome!  I seldom buy auto parts locally any more.  LOL, I have half a side of my basement freezer covered with their magnets!


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:30 pm

    I'll be calling Ridetech today to see about the progress.

    I am someone who prefers to buy locally but at that markup I can't afford to. ROCKAUTO.COM makes it easy to not feel too bad. Wink

    Upon closer inspection at my new control arms the first box I opened was for the passenger side uca and says Made in USA as with my ball joints so I assumed they all were. However, drivers side is Hecho en Mexico. I took another look at the lower lca's parts. Ball joints USA, bushings Mexico. As long as it's an eskimo brother of the US, being either Canada or Mexico I'lI keep going with Moog and their problem solver line. To me it seems like for a couple extra bucks I might get a little better value for my $ and so far no China stamp.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:46 pm

    Gooched78Caprice wrote:I'll be calling Ridetech today to see about the progress.

    I am someone who prefers to buy locally but at that markup I can't afford to. ROCKAUTO.COM makes it easy to not feel too bad. Wink

    Upon closer inspection at my new control arms the first box I opened was for the passenger side uca and says Made in USA as with my ball joints so I assumed they all were. However, drivers side is Hecho en Mexico.  I took another look at the lower lca's parts. Ball joints USA, bushings Mexico. As long as it's an eskimo brother of the US, being either Canada or Mexico I'lI keep going with Moog and their problem solver line. To me it seems like for a couple extra bucks I might get a little better value for my $ and so far no China stamp.

    I'll take Mexico or Canada, but not China for ball joints or any car part for that matter. A friend of mine bought some cheap Chinese made ball joints for his Roadmaster last year and the bolts were made of brass or something to that effect. The first one twisted off with just a little tightening. He ended up going to a store and buying grade 8 bolts to put in there, but I still don't trust the ball joints if they come with bolts like that. That's your life in those bolts and that joint. Hopefully, you'll get the bottom plates soon. This is one of those things I've been looking forward to see how that installs.


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:50 am

    The lower plates finally made it home!




    Here's the complete package for the rear:




    Now if only I can get the free time to finish this in the next couple days... Friday at the latest.. To be continued.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Myloth on Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:36 pm

    That setup looks sweet definitely would like to read about the demo drive when it's all in.

    I can't complain about the Moog  Chinese Control Arms(with Chinese ball joints) I bought so far so good car

    drives straight from 0-75mph all winter but time will tell. (I always recommend a alignment done by machine

    though after install I think you can ruin good parts without a proper alignment.)
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:52 pm

    Gooched78Caprice wrote:The lower plates finally made it home!




    Here's the complete package for the rear:




    Now if only I can get the free time to finish this in the next couple days... Friday at the latest.. To be continued.

    How do those bottom plates attach to the axle I wonder? Do they just sit there on top of the spring mount? I wonder why those collars aren't welded to that washer solid all the way around. There might be a reason, but I would have to beef those up for me.


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Myloth on Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:04 am

    The factory mounts are not exactly the stuff of welding legend. However you have a good point nothing

    wrong with a little modding to strengthen mounting locations and attachments. They look beefy though,somebody

    made a set like that for Camaros I was looking at and they didn't look as well made for similar price.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:35 pm

    solo79 wrote:
    How do those bottom plates attach to the axle I wonder?  Do they just sit there on top of the spring mount?  I wonder why those collars aren't welded to that washer solid all the way around.  There might be a reason, but I would have to beef those up for me.

    This mustn't be yer' first rodeo Solo.  Laughing  You do need to add a good spot weld or two where the threads meet the nut on the upper mounting plates just to make sure they don't back out. That is the only part that needs any welding on the whole assembly. The lower plates are made to sit right on the spring mount. There are also a 4" washers that sits on top of the upper spring mounts that allow you to connect the upper bag to the top. The washers are the 2 pieces leaning against the wall in the pic of the rear setup. Last night I was able to check for clearance and made the spot welds. Tonight I am on extra dad duty but Friday I should be able to get this buttoned up if all goes to plan. We shall see What a Face ....

    I don't know how to do multiple quotes but for Myloth, as far as I know maybe it was just the boxes MOOG uses that are made in USA/Mexico. I didn't see any stamp on them that actually said made in USA on the arm or that I could see on the ball joints. So I really can't say if mine are any different than yours other than the boxes were definitely made in the USA & MEXICO. Laughing
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:53 pm

    Gooched78Caprice wrote:
    solo79 wrote:
    How do those bottom plates attach to the axle I wonder?  Do they just sit there on top of the spring mount?  I wonder why those collars aren't welded to that washer solid all the way around.  There might be a reason, but I would have to beef those up for me.

    This mustn't be yer' first rodeo Solo.  Laughing  You do need to add a good spot weld or two where the threads meet the nut on the upper mounting plates just to make sure they don't back out. That is the only part that needs any welding on the whole assembly. The lower plates are made to sit right on the spring mount. There are also a 4" washers that sits on top of the upper spring mounts that allow you to connect the upper bag to the top. The washers are the 2 pieces leaning against the wall in the pic of the rear setup. Last night I was able to check for clearance and made the spot welds. Tonight I am on extra dad duty but Friday I should be able to get this buttoned up if all goes to plan. We shall see What a Face ....


    Unfortunately, it is my first rodeo when it comes to air ride.  I've installed a lot of hydraulics, but never an air ride system.  For hydraulics, I cut the spring mount off the axle and weld a power ball on top of the plate when I do the rear which is much safer than relying on the coil spring to sit there with the cylinder on top of it.  The spring then goes around the cylinder and sits in the top spring pocket with the power ball method.  

    I like the fact that those plates just sit right on the spring mount and I'm assuming with the force of the car on the bag, it will ride there like the factory spring does.  I just didn't want to weld anything solid to my car or render the factory spring mounts useless in case one day I decide to put factory springs back in it.  So far, I'm liking what I see for a bolt on application!  Keep up the good work!  You are way ahead of me and I'll be learning from you!


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Myloth on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:11 pm

    I would think those mounts are fine to me I used air shocks on daily drivers and never regretted it. Although

    Air bags are great though I am going to get a pair of coil-in type for my rear this spring. A setup like that looks

    very solid compared to driving on air shocks .
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:44 pm

    So Friday came and gone... Everything went on and looked awesome. I am however wanting to move the exhaust out a little to add a little more clearance to feel comfortable about the distance between the rear bags and exhaust, right now it's only 2.5-3", looking to make 4"+. Anyway, I was getting ready to put the wheels back on and take everything off the stands  Twisted Evil  so I went to set the rebound adjustments on the shocks. The rear shocks turn all the way counter clockwise and stop, drivers side turns all the way counter clockwise and stops, passenger side turns, and turns, and turns  Evil or Very Mad never stops. Call in to Ridetech... I believe it was Ryan? I was speaking with, "This happens from time to time when they don't make the stem long enough for the valve adjustments to properly seat and connect to the internal piece for the adjustment so unfortunately it's stuck on the stiffest setting."

    So I told them about the lower springs plates and waiting for them and now get everything together and now I have this issue. Yes, I wished that I would have checked these when I first received them and that is definitely my fault. I also understand and realize there tends to be a problem when you manufacture things from time to time but this is in my humble opinion is when it's a good time for customer service to shine when you spend top dime for a product. I did let him know this is now about 5 weeks from when I placed an order and wanted to know if I could pay the $450 for a shock to have shipped to me now and then have it credited back to me once they receive my return. He told me they will need to have it shipped back and they will need to inspect and rebuild it which only takes a day or two so it should be about another 2 week turn around time. So I asked if I can pay extra to have it taken care of more expeditiously. I then explained that I have had plans for this car that are now falling through with these delays. Then I was told that if I pay for expedited shipping to get it back to them then they will pay for expedited shipping to get it back so I am looking at hopefully a turn around time of only a week at best but I don't think with two days for repair and shipping that it will be here by next weekend. We shall see...

    I might try again on Monday to pay for one and have them credit me once they receive the one I sent back since it's never been actually used on the road and only mounted on the car. I am not a big fan of Refurbished things as well, which is what I feel this would be considered now. If it wasn't right the first time I don't want to find out later what else might have been off on that Shock/spring combo even if they are rebuilding it. That's just me, maybe I am just nitpicking. Any thoughts?
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:27 pm

    You have more patients than me. Unless I'm hearing everything I want to hear I immediately go over the CSR's head.

    Clearly the part is defective. The right thing to do is issue an RMA and send you a new one. I wouldn't settle for anything less.


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Myloth on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:27 pm

    Agreed I'd RMA if it's sold as new and it's not.
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    Ridetech as awesome as advertised...

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:19 pm

    Ridetech's customer support was awesome. They are 2nd day shipping a new Shockwave to me. cheers Got a RMA # and the screwed up one is off to them. I believe if I would have originally explained the situation more clearly they probably would have done this for me on Friday. I was kind of flustered while talking to Ryan even though he did his best to understand the situation at the time. Today there were no questions asked, just more than happy to help. Thank you Ryan and Josh for letting me know I am getting what I paid for with their continued service.
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:29 pm

    Glad to hear they are taking care of you.  I'm sitting on pins and needles here waiting for some more install pics.  So far though, looks pretty straight forward.


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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Gooched78Caprice on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:59 am

    solo79 wrote:Glad to hear they are taking care of you.  I'm sitting on pins and needles here waiting for some more install pics.  So far though, looks pretty straight forward.

    I was able to get the rear plates on and get everything checked for the first time last night. I quickly found out that the shockwaves expanded way more than I expected. Cutting is definitely required. Tonight my mission is get this measured, cut and painted for final installation Monday. pig  

    Good bye spring pocket as we knew you, I did my best to try and save you.Sad

    To tide you over for a day or two...
    the upper plate going on top of the upper spring perch to connect rear bag:

    How the shockwave looks before being able to inflate and realizing it needs cut no matter how much I try to avoid it:

    The shop supervisor/manager double checking all the work and snugging up the last bolt of rear shock install:
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    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  solo79 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:34 pm

    Gooched78Caprice wrote:
    solo79 wrote:Glad to hear they are taking care of you.  I'm sitting on pins and needles here waiting for some more install pics.  So far though, looks pretty straight forward.

    I was able to get the rear plates on and get everything checked for the first time last night. I quickly found out that the shockwaves expanded way more than I expected. Cutting is definitely required. Tonight my mission is get this measured, cut and painted for final installation Monday. pig  

    Good bye spring pocket as we knew you, I did my best to try and save you.Sad

    To tide you over for a day or two...
    the upper plate going on top of the upper spring perch to connect rear bag:

    How the shockwave looks before being able to inflate and realizing it needs cut no matter how much I try to avoid it:

    The shop supervisor/manager double checking all the work and snugging up the last bolt of rear shock install:

    Thanks for the photos! Definitely want to see how much cutting it takes on the front pocket. So far though, would you say that you could easily re-install the factory rear springs and shocks with no problem? One thing is for sure, when I go to do this, I'm glad I won't have a car body in the way.


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    Location : Upstate NY

    Re: Caprice/Impala Ridetech HQ series: Shockwave front and coolride rear install

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:26 pm

    solo79 wrote:Definitely want to see how much cutting it takes on the front pocket.  So far though, would you say that you could easily re-install the factory rear springs and shocks with no problem?   

    Wondering those things myself. What tool will you use to do the cutting?



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