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Which Air Shocks for EA81?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Mike W

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 03:16 PM

I can't seem to find the info searching, so...
Which Gabrial Hi-Jacker Air Shocks for the rear of a 3" lifted EA81???
Whose has done it and how do you like them?

I recall someone used shocks for a 75'ish Chevelle and just had to enlarge the top bolt holes and add spacers. I think someone else used Nova shocks and someone else might have used Explorer shocks. Which model is takes the least fooling around to bolt up?

I currently have Monroe gas shocks for a '74 Landcruiser on the car. They worked fine but the rubber bushings failed. To mount them I had to install my old top mounting bar and that was a tight fit and probably led to the rubber blowing out. I want the air shocks so I can run the torsion bar on the soft side for trail performance and adjust the air shocks to match the cargo load.

#2 ezapar

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 03:42 PM

Get a hold of Jaws Dawg. He fabbed up a really cool mount for shocks in the rear of his ea81 wagon.

#3 Mike W

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:33 PM

Ok maybe he can post a pic.
So uh, why do I want a bracket?
The general idea here is to find the right shock for lifted EA81's that bolts straight on like the stock unit, but extends longer and collapses shorter so no extension bracket is needed. And I happen to want the air adjustable variety.

#4 Phizinza

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:27 PM

I don't know what mine are, but I like them. At 0 PSI I can put about 250kg in the tray without my 27"s rubbing. With them at 80 PSI I can put well over 400kg (I have the torsion bar up full) I am trying to figure out a custom compresser for them. So I can pump them up while driving, or if I can't get to a air supply.

Also, mine don't use a bracket, and they seem to drop lower then a 2" lifted stock shock subie

Hey, this is my 400th post :D.

#5 Mike W

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:13 AM

Hey happy 400th! It's good to hear someone has done air shocks and likes them. Here in the states a lot of folks use the electric compressors found in big sedans with air suspension (Cadillacs, Buicks, etc.) They're cheap, light and if one is too slow for your on board air system, try two in tandem.

I finally found this old post about longer shocks and then I dug around on shock manufacturer websites to confirm that shocks for a Chevy Chevelle should work. There's actually a long list of cars that use the same shock so it's easy to find the standard shocks on store shelves. However I couldn't find any air shocks locally today, so I picked up some cheapo Gabriel Red Riders to get me by until I do the air shocks.

When I went to mount them, the upper bolt holes were too small for the 12mm Subaru bolts. So I ended up slotting both holes with a grinder. Not elegant but it was fast. For the lower mounts I put sleeve bushings through the rubber bushings with thick washers on both sides.
There might still be a shock out there that's an easier fit, but I didn't find it. Seems that Subaru is the only vehicle that uses an upper mount cross pin with 12mm bolt holes. So you either need to open the holes up or use your old cross pin (which can be a fight.)

So here's my long winded summary of what I learned about shocks today:
Longer Rear Shocks for 3"-4"Lifted Subaru EA81s

Shocks for '81 Toyota Landcruiser FJ60 work but you must add your old cross pin for the upper mount and need to use old sleeve bushing and extra washers on lower mounts.
Chevy Chevelle Shocks:
Top mount bar holes must be drilled out to fit 12mm Subaru bolts and lower
mount sleeve bushings must be swapped over. Depending on the shock, you also might need to use longer top bolts and spacers to move the mount bar outboard for clearance. For the lower mount, washers may be needed on each side of the mount.

Part Numbers
Air Adjustable: Usually sold in pairs, sometimes with the air hose kit. They were over $100 locally or $50 on Ebay, RockAuto.com etc.
Gabriel Hi Jackers Air Shocks #49152 (#39152 seems to be the old part number?) Air fitting exits on the side of shock so it should clear the body and tire.
Monroe Max Air Shocks #MA717 Air fitting might face outward interfering
with tire? The air bladders hangs down...more exposed to mud etc.

Standard Shocks:
KYB GR-2 Part# 343157
KYB GAS-A-JUST Part# KG5504
Monroe Monro-Matic Plus 33082
Monroe SensaTrac 5802
Gabriel Ultra 69604
Gabriel Gardian (aka Red Riders) 81492



Some other applications that use this Chevy Chevelle shock:

MAKE MODEL QUALIFIER YEAR
Buick Century All 1973 - 1977
Buick Estate Wagon All 1977 - 1989
Buick Gran Sport H.D. Suspension 1965 - 1967
Buick GS All 1970 - 1972
Buick GS 350 All 1968 - 1969
Buick GS 400 All 1968 - 1969
Buick GS 455 All 1970 - 1972
Buick Regal All 1973 - 1977
Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon 1991 - 1996
Buick Skylark H.D. Suspension (Exc. Sportwagon) 1964 - 1967
Buick Skylark Exc. 68-69 Sportwagon 1968 - 1972
Buick Special H.D. Suspension (Exc. Sportwagon) 1964 - 1967
Buick Special Exc. 68-69 Sportwagon 1968 - 1969
Buick Sportwagon All 1970 - 1972
Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon 1973 - 1996
Chevrolet Chevelle H.D. Suspension 1964 - 1967
Chevrolet Chevelle All 1968 - 1973
Chevrolet El Camino All 1968 - 1977
Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon 1977 - 1983
Chevrolet Malibu H.D. Suspension 1964 - 1967
Chevrolet Malibu All 1973 - 1977
Chevrolet Monte Carlo All 1970 - 1972
GMC Sprint All 1971 - 1977
Nissan 610 Station Wagon 1973 - 1976
Nissan 710 Station Wagon 1974 - 1977
Nissan 810 Station Wagon 1977 - 1980
Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Station Wagon (RWD) 1977 - 1992
Oldsmobile Cutlass H.D. Suspension (Exc. Vista Cruiser) 1964 - 1967
Oldsmobile Cutlass All (Exc. Vista Cruiser) 1968 - 1972
Oldsmobile Cutlass All 1973 - 1981
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme All (Exc. Vista Cruiser) 1971 - 1972
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Exc. 1975-77 F-85 1973 - 1977
Oldsmobile F85 H.D. Suspension (Exc. Vista Cruiser) 1964 - 1967
Oldsmobile F85 All (Exc. Vista Cruiser) 1968 - 1972
Oldsmobile Toronado All 1971 - 1978
Pontiac Catalina Station Wagon 1971 - 1981
Pontiac Grand Am Exc. 1974 GTO 1973 - 1975
Pontiac Grand LeMans Exc. 1974 GTO 1975 - 1977
Pontiac Grand Prix All 1969 - 1987
Pontiac Grand Safari Station Wagon 1971 - 1978
Pontiac Grandville All 1971 - 1975
Pontiac GTO H.D. Suspension 1964 - 1967
Pontiac GTO All 1968 - 1973
Pontiac LeMans H.D. Suspension 1964 - 1967
Pontiac Parisienne Station Wagon 1976 - 1986
Pontiac Safari All 1987 - 1989
Pontiac Tempest H.D. Suspension 1964 - 1967
Pontiac Tempest All 1968 - 1970

#6 jaws dawg

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:59 AM

I got a set of 10" travel bilsteins with heim joints that I put on the rear but it took about 8 hrs of fitting and trimming. the upper mounts actually extend into the cargo area. They work great and took away ALOT of the understeer, now when I hit corners fast the back will come around providing a much more neutral feel. I'll post some pics tonight.

#7 Mike W

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:39 AM

Hmm, sounds interesting. Yeah I'd like to see the pics and/or check it out in person sometime.

#8 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 02:01 AM

WOW the search function does work! Dont mean to dig up a dead post, but this should come to the top :) Im gonna do away with those PK rear brackets (sorry patrick, no offence) when i swap the lift to my hatch.

-Brian




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