CUTLASS GM Parts Of The Moment: A Lame Tutorial- Factory Air Shocks.

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
8,321
17,978
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Air shocks were cool...in the 80s.

There's likely 100 or more reasons why you would want air shocks on your car. Sometimes called "load levelers". Wagons could definitely be assisted with their load capacity when filling up the car with kids and relatives/friends and hauling who knows what. Same might be said for the big cars as well. G67 was the electronic automatic load level system that was included in many top of the line wagons and upscale ($$$) big body cars of the day, but also available as an option on those cars.

But for Olds G-bodies? Who needs those? Apparently, GM thought the buyers of H/Os and 442s needed them. Unavailable separately as an option for G-body, the manually operated load leveling system (air shocks) were only standard on certain G-bodies. AFAIK, no other G-body had the air shocks as standard.

There wasn't much to the air shock system on the G-bodies. They have the shocks, typical of the picture below, and the but with minor changes. Below is a photo of Monroe shocks. They look EERILY similar to the factory air shocks, so I'm suspecting Monroe made them for GM. No idea, but that's my own speculation. But one major deal with these...the ones below can be used on either side, really. The factory shocks were set up with the LH (driver) shock had two air connections on it, and the RH (pass.) one had one. And they were the cone style where the air line would clip in and seal with tiny double o-ring setup on specially made plastic tubing ends. Meaning if something went wrong, you couldn't mix and match from the big box auto parts store. HAD to be ACDelco/GM parts to set them up. The single air line from the fitting behind the license plate holder in the rear plate pocket ran the line down the LH frame rail to the LH shock. A separate line went across the frame rear cross-member from the LH shock to the RH shock. The lines were held to the frame via small "S" clips.

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For historical purposes, the G-body 1983 Hurst/Olds could have came with air shocks. First as an option with W40 only, and then later as standard equipment, but in neither case was it listed on the window sticker. 84 H/O and 85 through 87 442 also came standard with air shocks, but wasn't included on the window sticker in 1984, 1985 or 1987. Interestingly, it WAS included on the window sticker for the 1986 442 only, listed under the W42 package description. My 85 came with ZERO psi in the air shocks and the minimum should be 10 psi unloaded, then variable up to 90 psi loaded. I didn't even know it came with air shocks standard for almost a week after I bought it when I went to fill it with gas for the first time and noticed the air shock valve behind the license plate holder. If your mid-80s car was NOT a Hurst/Olds or 442, you could get the air shock kit (which was more like the conventional air shock pair you bought at the parts stores) through the accessories catalog or order up all the pieces from the parts department and build your own factory-style system.

Air Shock G-body.png


Note the routing of the tubing. There is that washer...it goes under the nut for the air valve. This, for some reason, was a plain steel washer that HAD NO CORROSION PROTECTION. Why GM did that, I'll never know. Every single one of these had corrosion on them over the years. Sure, you can get a stainless washer or whatever, but if there's no rust on yours, it ain't original.
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The ends were "special". The little squeeze clips made it easy to install. There were two tiny o-rings sealing off each connection. A shoulder molded into the tubing end held the o-rings in place while it was slid into the fitting. The clip held it there.

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pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
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Elderton, Pa
To add, the '79 Cutlass assembly manual that is available from Faxon has all the assembly line info on the G66 Super Lift & G67 self leveling air air shocks.
 

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