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New Reatta owner, suspension questions


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I just jumped into the Reatta world with the purchase of a stock 1990 Reatta Coupe with 107K miles.  Most everything works, but my first big goal is to get the suspension back to normal.  The front end is a little bouncy, and the rear is soft and rattles.  If I want to restore my ride to that "like new" feeling (nothing fancy or modified), what should be on the to-do list to check/replace?  I'm sure the shocks/struts are bad.  I'm used to buying coil over strut kits for my Camry, but looks like there's more details to consider. 

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I just had a similar call from a new owner yesterday.    He was telling me that rear struts are unavailable.   The good news is that the Reatta use most of the same suspension parts as 

(1) the Riviera,   the Toranodo used the same parts but if you are looking for used there are few Toranodo's to be found. 

The Cadillac Eldorado and Seville also used the same or like parts.    Some things are different because of the weight difference between the cars but the parts will fit.

I looked at Rockauto and they had parts for the Riviera listed but showed out of stock.   

Back to the struts... front struts from a Riviera would be first choice, but if they come with springs, there might be a difference. 

In the rear.... all the other GM cars listed above had self leveling rear but the Reatta did not.    The struts from the other cars will work, but they have the air bag connection.  That gives you the 

choice of using the air bag or not.    I would install them and check the ride height.... then decide if I w as going to hook them up. 

The parts book is not much help on front and rear sway bars.... there are different part numbers but they do not give you the diameters for comparison. 

If you get a Service Manual (which is highly recommended) you will see that it is for the Reatta/Riviera.   Lots of components are shared,  everything under the dash is the same.  Engine, transmission, A/C are the same.

I am sure others will post other things that interchange and do not. 

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Thanks for your thoughts.  I definitely need to find a Service Manual.  Looks like there are several sellers on ebay. 


I'm looking for new parts, and you mentioned Riviera springs might be different.  Is there a way to check that spec?  I wouldn't mind having self-leveling in the rear, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Appreciate any and all input.  As soon as I get a warm day up her in WI, I'm hoping to tear into it (after the service manual shows up...).

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If you're interested in adding rear self-leveling to your Reatta remember that Riviera (etc.) rear self-leveling requires a compressor, leveling sensor, and other components not just the shocks.  You can use these rear shocks by manually filling compressed air through the nipple on the side of the shock to your desired height and then just installing.


You might also acquire a Riviera/Reatta 86-93 Parts and Illustration Catalog.  It contains pictures of parts, assemblies, and part numbers.  

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35 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Back in the '70s I had air shocks on my '56 Chevy. Back then you could purchase a kit that had plastic lines and fittings that would allow you to mount an air valve beneath the bumper so you could air up the shocks without crawling under the car.

My '85 Riviera had a factory version of that.  The air valve was located just behind the center license plate/pull down for the gasoline fill tube.

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