Shock conversion

Discussion in 'Lowered & Urban Suspension' started by BIGREDDADDY53, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. KyleZ71

    KyleZ71 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    I will be the first to admit that I am wrong. Thanks for that bit of information, note to self... tell my dad to check this link....
  2. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    No worries...since it is a re-seller though, I would definitely look into further (i.e. calling Rancho to confirm). The Z55 shocks, from my research, are definitely a confusing topic on whether or not you can replace with standard aftermarket brands.
  3. BillD64

    BillD64 Rockstar

    Not quite that easy since the shock needs to work with the ride control system. If the shock doesn't have the proper electrical connection the ride control system will raise a warning on the dash and shut itself down. There aren't a lot of alternatives available unless he wants to have the ride control system deactivated by a dealer or a shop that has a Tech 2 tool. When he does that he loses the automatic level control in the rear. From what I can see the vehicles with the Z55 system have rear springs that aren't as heavy as vehicles that didn't have it. When you load the rear of the vehicle it sags considerably if the level ride shocks aren't working. It is a great system when it works but there are maintenance issues since 4 of the 6 major parts are wear out items.

    Monroe makes replacement shocks but their cost is within a couple of dollars.


    ---------- Post added at 04:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:28 PM ----------

    Checked that link. That shock is supposedly a replacement for every variation of suspension that came on the truck. At the price shown (no more than any other standard shock) it more than likely doesn't have the electrical connector the stock shock has so the ride control system will fail due to it not seeing a shock connected to it. Very hard to bypass these types of things with simple solutions. Would need shock simulators at a minimum.

  4. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Good stuff to know...Like I eluded to above, it's not always a sure bet just because it's listed on a website. Maybe see if the Rancho XL9000s adjustable shocks will work. They have 9 settings and you can also get a wireless controller so you can make adjustments on the fly. I use mine all the time when going from pavement to offroad without stopping. I also use when I get my be loaded up to help stiffen the rear. Although I have never towed anything, it does have an adjustment selection for towing (I'm just not sure how well it works). I guess the only other couple of issues would be not using a system that you like and getting it de-activated if you went with after market ones.

    Another option I found while looking around for these shocks were used ones. I'm not sure how you feel about installing used shocks but it may buy you some time until you're ready to spend that kind of money on new shocks. It's unbelievable how much they cost. Ouch!
  5. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    After further research on the Rancho site, I did find in small print that all of the model shocks have the disclaimer "exclusion: Z55 Autoride or ZW7 Suspension (Self-Leveling Suspension Nivomat)." Scratch the Adjustable Rancho idea

    Kyle and Bill, you were definitely right! :glasses:
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012

    BIGREDDADDY53 Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    Thanks for all the info. The Rancho shocks are replacment but do not connect to the autoride system, there is a connection at the top of the shock that hooks into the autoride system and the comupter. I did go to the GM parts site through this web site and they were 363 per plus shipping and 14% HST to canada. I still going to look around and see if I can find them for what Bill said 310 per. Thanks alot for the feedback and bill if you have that web address where you saw them for 310 that's sure alot better than the 500 per they want here. Thanks, Eric
  7. BillD64

    BillD64 Rockstar

    Here is a link to an Amazon sale of a Monroe replacement shock for the Z55 shocks at $256:

    Here is a link to an Amazon sale of the Delcoi Shocks at $310:

    If you need rear shocks with the air suspension they are on the site as well. They also have replacement air pumps.


    BIGREDDADDY53 Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    I found $254 at so some time this spring I will order them and let you know how it works out. Thanks For all your help..............
  9. M-technik-3

    M-technik-3 Rockstar

    Damn, wish I had know my simple Tahoe had this setup before I bought it. I might have passed on it. My plan was to just add some simple 7o buck Bilsteins and drive it. At $260 a shock that's the price of one of my BMW suspension rebuilds.

    Wonder if just adding Bilstein's all the way around and some simulators or recoding will give the same ride comfort?
  10. Psyc0

    Psyc0 Rockstar 100 Posts

    There's Bilstein shocks available which can replace the Nivomat (Sachs) self-leveling shocks, however, one has to buy the spring kits.
    I'm not sure if that's a spring which fits over the shock, or a spring to replace the suspension spring.
    On My 2004 Suburban, there is no electronic connection to the Sachs shocks, as I've already replaced the front units with Gabriel Ultimate gas shocks to soften the ride.
    I've also removed, cleaned, and reinstalled the rear Sachs shocks, and let Me tell You........those rear units are nearly double the circumference of heavy duty gas premium shocks.
    I think I'm going to install air shocks (rear) in lieu of the Z55 Nivomat shocks.


    OK, I did some checking.
    If one has the ZW7 premium smooth-ride suspension, then the shocks are actually a self-contained spring support and ride dampening device.

    You can replace the rears with a standard gas shock, but You must also replace the springs on the rear axle.
    The springs in the ZW7 suspension system are actually a much softer spring, and without those special ZW7 shocks, the vehicle will sag in the rear.
    ZW7 units are totally self contained, and have no wires connected.
    I found the units posted in the following link, which are less than half the price the GM dealer charges for Sachs units.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

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