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Chevy Suburban and Tahoe Autoride Suspension

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  • I've got a similar leaking situation on my rear Autoride shocks, where the compressor is running way more frequently than normal when I have a full load of passengers and luggage. Am planning a 1500 mile trip similarly loaded for Xmas and would like to figure out whether I have a real problem before the trek over the river and thru the woods to Grandmas house...

    It's minus 6 degrees outside and a toasty 20 degrees or so in my garage so I spent only 10 mins or so under my truck, but took some really good digital pics which I'm looking at in the warm comfort of my den...

    My rear shocks (Delphi T6Y) have the rubber boot, one has some wet looking black fluid wettness around the bottom. I see my compressor, and what looks to be a 3/8" rubber hose heading up toward the gas filler door(?). But what I see attached to my shocks are two electrical connections coming out of the same wiring sheath -- one connects to the upper mount and the other a few inches lower, connecting to the top of the shock above the label.

    So dumb question #1, what/where is the compressor filling? And #2 am I looking for an air leak or should I be more concerned with the fluid leak? I just want to be sure before I go buy the $330 ea shocks from NAPA, or the $687 ea shocks(!) from the Chevy dealer parts dept, that that is what's leaking and not some $5 rubber hose or a compressor fitting!

    Any and all help would be much appreciated!

    BTW, its a 2002 Chev Sub 1500 4x4

    Thanks!
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    They're air shocks, and the liquid is probably water (condensed moisture), running out over the rubber boot. You get water in the bottom of a compressor tank, which is the moisture out of the air.
  • the reply from kiawah sounds logical. You need to determine if the wet is H2o or oil. Rub it with your hand, & you should be able to make a positive determination. Either way, moisture or a leaking shock, you'll probably need new ones. I found a site in Florida that sells cheaper than dealers or napa. the site is Arnottindustries.com A few months ago, I purchased the compressor from this company, & it works fine now. Good Luck
  • ssgrock3ssgrock3 Posts: 4
    edited February 2010
    I am sick of looking at the service message. Can anyone describe how they wired in the resistor? I think the connector on my front shocks had a two wire plug. So cut the connector off and solder one wire to each end? then cover with shrink sleeve?
  • jamz320jamz320 Posts: 1
    2001 suburban with auto ride, rear shocks seem fine. compressor kicks in and levels truck fine. but front shocks seam to be dead. truck sways a lot up front. are the shocks bad or just not getting the signal from computer? thanks so much for the help and responses
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Air shocks have two separate functions.

    A dampening effect (the regular shock functions), keeping the wheel from hopping up and down.

    A lifting function, raising the truck higher when there is a heavier load on it.

    Sounds like the regular shock function is suspect if you are swaying a lot up front. Also have the ball joints and steering linkage checked.
  • On the 2500 models the autoride system doesn't have a compressor. Does anybody know how this works and what is really does? Assume that it changes the dampening of the shocks, but how?

    Does anybody know where to buy replacement shocks for under $300 per?

    Thanks
  • ssgrock3ssgrock3 Posts: 4
    if I use the resistor and fake out my computer (to get rid of the service message) will it then start leveling again..as in, it thinks the system is complete?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    No.

    If you put in a resistor (the correct one), it will think the vehicle is at the correct height....no matter what height it is really at.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited April 2010
    I have a 2007 Sub 1500 LTX, and have the 3 huge factory service manuals which carry all of the GM/GMC/Chev/etc iterations of Suburbans and Tahoe.

    When I look at the section for autoride, it only shows the autoride which has the compressor, sensors, etc. There aren't different versions of autoride, like I find different versions of other things (across the different brands/capacities) Perhaps the 2004s are different than the 2007's.

    Why exactly leads you to believe that it doesn't have the compressor system?
  • srranch1srranch1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Suburban 2500 LT (8.1L) with Autoride. What mine has is a active electric shock valve system that uses the body to axle positions to control shock valving. There are wiring inputs to every shock, with no air ride pump or input. My vehicle has 150K miles, and after looking at all the online data, I have replaced all 4 original shocks, this weekend, with Monroe Gas Magnums from Checker. ($42 each). I looked at other shock options, and could only justify the highly cost of the KYB/Bilstien if I was positive of 5 years of continued ownership. I also looked at the Arnot system, again, same issue. If I had a 1500, and wanted to prolong ownership, with Air Leveling Autoride, I would look into Arnot.

    On to the switching over process. You unplug the elecrical connectors at the top stem of the front shock, and the top of the rear shocks. The front pull off, but are tight. Be careful, you do not want to damage the connectors. The rear unplug with a small catch on the plug. It may be easier to unplug when the shocks are unbolted and you can lower them away from frame. Replacement with Monroe's was just like a normal shock.

    My Suburban, had gotten some minimal handling issues, like roughness over highway seams, and minor tracking issues. The Monroes have improved this, but I will be going on a 1000 mile trip over the Holiday, so will have more feedback then. The Check Suspesion notice came on after second drive, then, did not reappear on a later drive. I suspect it auto re-sets? I have seen other sites that have said you can have the Code removed from the SCM/BCM module. I may look into this later?

    On another note, I did disconnect the electrical connectors and drive the vehicle, with original shocks. Big difference in ride(very bouncy). I had been told by the Alignment shop, that it appears one shock on both ends was leaking. Once I got them out, it is hard to confirm. All 4 shocks still had gas pressure. But ride is better after replacements.

    Thanks for all the input to this and other Repair sites. I could never justify the $1000 plus for the shocks from GM/Delco for a vehicle this old.
  • dapugliadapuglia Posts: 2
    That is actually not true. The resistor your wiring in at the shock just sends a message to the ESC that the shock is receiving damper controls and the damper solenoid is working properly. It has nothing to do with the load leveling or ride height. We actually have a body-to-wheel suspension position sensors that send info to the air pressure sensor that determines the load leveling or the height. If you replace your shocks with a regular shock then this will not matter because there is nothing to pump air into. But if you replace it with an air shock or airlift bag, it will still auto level your vehicle with the pump, because it is the body to wheel position sensor that tells the pump to lift the shock not the damper solenoid on the OEM shock. This is why companies like Arnott Industries who provide replacement shocks can claim that your Autoride or really Auto leveling will still work. They give you a resistor coil to splice into the damper solenoid wire so the computer believes it is there and receiving messages. You then just hook up the air line to the shock and everything works as normal.
  • dapugliadapuglia Posts: 2
    First you need to determine what is sending the service message. The Autoride or ESC (electronic suspension control) system is very complex and tied into quite a bit on your truck, it works with the ALC (Automatic Level Control). If it is your rear shocks and you want to replace them with aftermarket air shocks and use the on board leveling then you can splice the damper solenoid wire place a resistor ir resistor coil in there trick the system and your ALC will still work with the ESC to raise your vehicle to the proper height.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I never suggested that it was for the shock. I was referencing the sensor that measures the frame to suspension height. If the computer doesn't get the correct resistance (as in the vehicle was at the right height), it would continue to try to 'pump it up'.

    If you don't have air shocks, you either need to kill the pump, or you need to fake it out so that it thinks the suspension is at the right height.
  • jbran95jbran95 Posts: 10
    I have an '01 suburban 2500 with auto ride (ride dampening), i have replaced the shocks with standard shocks and installed the 22ohm resistors in their place, but i also have a bad ride height sensor. Can i disconnect the sensor and replace it with a resistor as well?I want to turn off the "service ride control" light. If this is possible what resistor should I use?

    Any and all input would be greatly apreciated!

    As a response to an older post, yes, getting the front end alligned is more difficult now. I have replaced all 4 ball joints and all steering linkages including the pitman arm and idler arm and they still had a hard time. check to see that you still have all of the correct angles on your linkages, e.g. correct ride height. If the torsion bars are cranked too high, or worn out, it makes it hard to get proper alignment.
  • I have a 2003 Chevy Suburban LT with AutoRide that seems to have developed a chronic issue since the 80-90K mile mark with the AutoRide System. I got a "Service Ride Control" message (roughly 81K mile) and had the Level Ride Compressor Assembly replaced per the GM Service folks @ $640. Within 6-8 months, the same message came on and the GM Service folks said the compressor failed (solenoid specifically) and replaced it per warranty. Now at 112K miles, the message has returned. Initially the Tech said the Solenoid failed again (jokingly asked if I was selling them on Black Market) and said they would replace under warranty. Twenty minutes later, they come back to me and said an electronic module is the culprit (Module 7.450, item #15189546) and that it would be another $700+ to replace. Ironically, the Level Ride Control Module is on backorder because all the shops seem to be replacing this item now...similar to the front steering rod demise back in 2003-2004 timeframe that took almost 12 months to get in with a worldwide shortage due to poor engineering design.

    Does anyone have any advice because when I got the Tech, not the Service Manager (we will call him the $ Guy), alone in the parking lot to discuss what he had done, he seemed to want to call "BS" on what the $ Guy is having him do. The Tech indicated that he installed a new Level Ride Compressor Assembly but left the system 'un-hooked' so the module did not blow the Solenoid again. He said that after he installed the new Assembly, the module kept the compressor open (versus closing during inflation) and therefore the "system" kept running and burnt out the solenoid. When I asked the Tech if he replaced the wrong item the first time (Compressor Assembly versus Module) and he said he didn't know.

    Why, all of a sudden, is there a Regional/National shortage on the Module? Has GM been directing their Techs to troubleshoot/replace the wrong item? Any input or advice would be appreciated...
  • Landshark,

    Did you get an answer to your question?

    I just replaced both rear shocks ($900+) trying to get the 2" difference between left and right corrected. Only gained an inch...still sitting whoppsided. Next trip will be to dealer for another skinning if I can't figure it out myself

    Any advice appreciated from anyone

    Dan
  • gman68gman68 Posts: 10
    Look into suncoreindustries.com
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited November 2010
    If without any autoride assist (turn the system off), you have a difference in ride height (difference measured between frame and suspension) then you have a spring problem. You need to start with a matched pair of springs.

    Each side has a ride height sensor, to measure the distance between the frame and suspension, to then make the adjustment. Have you tried adjusting that linkage?
  • I just found out that I have this system in my 2001 Suburban 8.1L 4x4. I have found the Monroe 40036 shock on Amazon for 198.00. As I order these, what else should I look for? Do I need to replace any of the other components?

    The reason I ask is that I have NEVER heard this system turn on, do not have any error codes and was told that my shock was blown in the rt rear. I would assume that I would hear and even possibly feel this system if it was working properly - right?

    Thank you
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