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rear shock on a 96 sts


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hi, i was wondering if anybody knows if i can get away with changing only one shock, or should they be replaced in pairs? ive been noticing some wheel hop on the driver side rear,no codes came up.the car sits level. is it possible for the shock to wear out but still hold air? thanks thomas

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Yes, the shock could definitely be shot and still hold air. The dampening is done separately internally with fluid, the extrnal air bag is the ride height control. Are you noticing any fluid leaking from that side? When you say "wheel hop" are you talking about tire bounce at certain speeds? That can be directly related to tire balancing of course...

What I am saying is that both shocks may be toast, but one wheel may be extremely out of balance and that old shock just can't take it anymore. A tire that is out of balance for too long can really destroy a shock fast I'm sure.

I wouldn't consider relacing just one, they should always be done in pairs. The side-to-side swaying after you hit bumps can really become dangerous with un-even dampening in the shocks. Thats my opinion on that of course... ;)

One thing you can do to test this difference between each side is the push-down-test on the rear bumper. Try it with the car off, and then also with it running to see if it makes any difference. With it running the ride height control may stiffen it up some... You simply place both hands on one corner of the rear bumper and shove downwards as hard as you can releasing instantly. Watch it as it bounces back up, it should settle back in just one bounce... Not rocking back and forth. Try the same thing with the other corner and note any difference in feel and bounce. If one really blew a seal or something, you should feel/see a difference.

'09 Cadillac CTS-4 3.6 direct injection, 128 K mi.
'15 Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 5.3i V8, 125 K mi
'70 Firebird Formula 400, Bored+.04, RAIII heads, M21 4spd., in-process restoration!

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when i say wheel hop i mean going over bumps , or when accelerating around bumpy turns it somtimes feels like the rear of the car wants to jitter out side ways. thanks for you reply THOMAS. p.s. i did notice some staining on the shock like there might have been a leak at one point.

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