New springs or new shocks for a less "floaty" ride?

Hey all,

Can I expect a tighter, more precise ride on my car if I install new shocks all around? It looks simple enough for me to do without special tools, and that kinda excites me.

But, I’m worried that I’d need to put in new springs too which looks a lot harder…are new springs needed to improve the ride quality or can I leave them if the car sits at a proper height and doesn’t easily get weighed down?

If just shocks will give me a big improvement, I’ll try doing my dad’s Grand Marquis too, which floats around on corners like nothing else…

My vehicle is an 85 Olds Cutlass Supreme for those who haven’t read my neverending posts…



If the shocks on your Cutlass are original, then new ones would definitely make a noticeable improvement.

It’s still a Cutlass, however, so don’t expect it to handle like a Porsche.

Agreed; there were heavy duty springs availble for this car, but may be hard to find now. Your dad’s Grand Marquis was designed to ride like a waterbed on wheels, and even though there is also a set of heavy duty springs available, this car will never handle well; Ford did not intend it to. The numb steering with the ‘broken shaft’ feel is also a Ford big car trademark. A new set of heavy duty shocks for both cars would be a good investment, however. Replacing springs is much more complicated, costly, and DANGEROUS.

Good Luck.

When you replace the rear shocks on the vehicle, be sure to jack the vehicle up under the rear axle. This will prevent the rear coil spring from flying out when the shock is disconnected.


One additional point.  Make sure the tyre pressure is at (or a little above) the recommended value.  That is the value in the owner's manual on a sticker on the car or from the car's manufacturer.

Install 4 new shocks and a new set of rear springs. There are aftermarket springs available for this car at a reasonable cost. The ride and handling of the car will improve greatly.

Haha don’t worry, I’m not going to disillusion myself like that…thanks for the post.

That is a great description of the Grand Marquis!! I know the numb steering effect you’re talking about, I drive Crown Vic’s a lot and I absolutely hate the steering feel and feedback…hoping to get switched over to Dodge Chargers soon. I even like the steering of an Impala more than the Crown Vic.
I’ll start with shocks and then see how brave I am for springs…

Thanks Tester! I was wondering why the Haynes manual said to do that…very glad to know why, and I will make sure to do that.

Yup, have made sure they are all at the right PSI. Thanks Joseph.

Thanks willey, I will start with shocks and then see if I’m brave enough to attempt springs if the ride/handling is still not so good.

For the OP, this is a pretty good article:

For some others, recent Ford big sedans have the handling pretty tightened-up compared to those of yesteryear. They can also be set up in different ways depending on whether you get the base or LX models, police/taxi, Sport or HPP suspension. The last two are best for control.

Do the springs while you are doing the shocks. Save yourself the extra time of having to go back and install the springs when you can do it all at once.

GM OEM springs were very soft, it gave the car a nice ride but handling suffered because of it. Installing rear aftermarket springs will improve the handling and ride alot. I prefered the MOOG cargo coils.

See if the rear springs are distorted. The front ones should still be good enough. Don’t change your own shocks. It’s a lot of wasted time.