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Author Topic: 1973 automatic level control-manual adjustment  (Read 1441 times)


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1973 automatic level control-manual adjustment
« on: November 22, 2007, 06:51:53 AM »
Hi, I have a 1973 Eldorado which I beleive came with air ride level control as standard. Ive located all the system on the car, it seems to be all there however the suspension doesent readjust with heavy loads. The car sits properly with no pasengers or loads but with 3 or more passengers it is low enough to scrape the muffler on speed humps and curbs etc.

I was wondering if there was any way of manually setting the rear suspension permanantly on high. there is a valve- (the same as you'd find on the tyres-) on the compressor/tank under the hood.  Im imaging that if i attatched a tire pump to this it would eventually find its way down the lines to the rear shocks.  does any one know if this or similar is possible? Thanks.

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: 1973 automatic level control-manual adjustment
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007, 10:29:19 AM »
In a 73 the compressor (which is vacuum powered) is mounted behind the right front wheel in the fender area by the power radio antenna IIRC.   Chances are good the compressor is not working.  Im not sure what kills them other than age.  Perhaps sitting for long periods?   There are very few parts available for them and from what I hear if you do find NOS they are not much good because the rubber is all dried out.   It may be worth checking vacuum lines to make sure its hooked up or if its been unhooked.  There is a schrader valve on the pump (or maybe tank which is part of the assy) that will allow you to put air in the system.  Its also possible that the shocks themselves are leaking and if the compressor works it just cant keep up.   There is a mechanical control valve mounted to a bracket in the middle above the rear axle with a link to the axle.  I would imagine at this age there could be some leaks there also.  My car had a standard set of air shocks with a valve back by the gas filler on it when I got it.  I picked up an electric compressor at the junkyard that I plan on installing hooked to a switch under the dash at some point but so far its just sat on the shelf.   Gabriel still makes the standard air shocks.  I think they are called 'Hi-Jackers' and IIRC they were the same ones that fit my 93 Roadmaster wagon.  You just need to buy the 2 shocks and the line kit that has the T with the valve.   Other option would be to replace the rear springs and shocks with 'standard' ones.    I end up adjusting or adding air to mine 1 or 2 times per summer and the shocks are easily 20 years old.  I have a new set but have not got around to changing them yet.  I am curious to see if the ride quality will change just due to their age. 

One tip make sure and mount the valve well so it doesnt fall off and drag on the ground.   To get the car home I got a friend to come get the boat. Loaded the boat with all the extra stuff like spare tire and such in the trunk and ended up siphoning out most of the gas to get the weight down.  Turned out the vintage air lines were the same thread and tube size as the new stuff so all I did was replace the T.  Thats how I ended up with new shocks on the shelf because I assumed the new lines would not fit the old ones.

StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason


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