Rear Air Shocks

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Willysnut1959
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Rear Air Shocks

Postby Willysnut1959 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:11 am

I purchased a set of NAPA air shocks #MA771 for my '66 Toronado. When I tried to put them on they would not extend far enough to bolt up. The car is supported under the rear axle, so the car is at ride height. My original ones were made by Regal- Ride #48042R and measured 13.75" retracted and 23" extended. The new NAPA air shocks are listed at 11.875" retracted and 19.625" extended.

Has anyone found an air shock to fit our cars?

Otto Skorzeny
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:18 am

I put Sensa-Trac on the rear and KBs on the front. They work great.

Why do you want to use air shocks? If your rear springs are worn out, you can get them re-tensioned by Eaton.

Willysnut1959
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Willysnut1959 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:03 pm

Reason #1 is that they were original to my car
and #2 they are cheaper than new, or retensioned, springs.

Are Sensa-Trac air shocks? What is the part number?

Otto Skorzeny
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:15 am

Sorry, I made a mistake. The Sensa-Tracs are on my '56 Cadillac. They're gas shocks made by Monroe. The ones I have on the Toro are gas shocks from Gabriel.

Here's a link to another thread with the part numbers including suitable and affordable horizontal shocks. Fusick charges a fortune for the horizontal ones. I found some from another application which meets the specs. They've been on my car for 4 years now and work great.

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=1685

Otto Skorzeny
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:27 am

Rock Auto carries all the shocks listed above and lists air shocks for the Toro.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/old ... orber,7556

Willysnut1959
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Willysnut1959 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:45 pm

Both of the air shocks that Rockauto lists will not fit my car. They both have a retracted length of 13.4" and an extended length of 21.6". They won't even bolt up because they are too short.

Otto Skorzeny
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Years Owned: 1966 Toronado

Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:34 pm

Do you have the specs for the factory shocks?

The measurements given on Rock Auto's site for the extended length of the air shocks ( I'm pretty sure the AC Delco shocks are made by Gabriel as well) are only 1/10th inch shorter than the extended length of the standard gas filled shocks which bolted right up to my car without any difficulty. The compressed length is only 1/2" shorter than the standard gas filled shock absorber.

That difference will not affect performance at all. If you are driving in such a manner that your rear air shocks fully compress, you are abusing your car.

As for why they won't bolt up, the shocks should be installed with the full weight of the car on the suspension, not with the rear wheels hanging free. I installed all the shocks on my '66 Toro in my driveway with no special tools.

Back the car up on ramps and put a jack and jack stands under the suspension. There should be plenty of room for the fully extended shock to fit. Normally when I install shocks on anything, I leave the shock fully compressed with the plastic strap in place. I attach the lower mount then put the washer and bushing on the top shaft.

Aim the shaft at the mounting hole and cut the plastic strap. The shock will extend upward and go right into position.

Otto Skorzeny
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:41 pm
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Years Owned: 1966 Toronado

Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:10 pm

With the full weight of the car on the rear suspension, the shocks are neither fully extended nor fully compressed. They are somewhere in between. There is no way that either of the shocks listed would be too short when fully extended to fit your car.

Since your springs are shot, the distance between the lower mount and the upper mount hole should be even shorter than normal making installation even easier.

Willysnut1959
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Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Willysnut1959 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:14 pm

I think I got this rear shock issue resolved.

I had given my NAPA dealer the Gabriel gas shock # 82040, but told him I wanted air shocks. When he cross-referenced that Gabriel # to a Monroe shock, it came up at # 66609 (or a NAPA shock # MA711) which is the one I bought and tried to bolt up.

It turns out the Monroe shock was not comparable as the Gabriel shock #49122 has a retracted length of 13.14" and an extended length of 21.62". The Monroe shock # 66609 has a retracted length of 11.875" and an extended length of 19.625" . That is the 2" extra inches that I needed to make it fit. It took me two hours of pouring over the two catalogs to figure this out.

Otto Skorzeny
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:41 pm
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Years Owned: 1966 Toronado

Re: Rear Air Shocks

Postby Otto Skorzeny » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:35 pm

That sounds like an Abbot & Costello routine.

So let me see if I got this right. The shocks you tried to install were not shocks designed to fit the Toronado in the first place because of a miscommunication on the part numbers?

Did you end up buying the Gabriel air shocks, then?


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