Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions) in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Well, I was hoping to get to this sometime this week, but that's becoming less and less likely. However, I'm ...
  1. #1
    WesH8398's Avatar
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    Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    Well, I was hoping to get to this sometime this week, but that's becoming less and less likely. However, I'm trying to prepare myself for the job. I have all the parts and tools that the FAQ's GC install says to have, as well as what I've read around here to have. These include Z06 end links for the front and mightymouse spacers for the rear. After thoroughly reading over the GC install instructions from the FAQ, and the mightmouse install instructions, as well as Autozone's repair guides on shock and coil spring removal/installation, I'm left with a concern/question or two. Here goes:

    1) For the rear, how exactly am I going to get the spring out? FAQ instructions say to support the "cradle" (is this the spring perch?) with a jack, then remove the cradle's front and rear mounting bolts. I was under there having a look today, and I'm not entirely sure which bolts these are. The ones the FAQ has circled/pictured don't seem to have anything to do with the spring perch. Are they the two bolts that hold the cast aluminum arm to the body/frame of the car that are shown here: I have to admit that I'd be a little uneasy unbuttoning those with the jack under the spring...I feel like the spring might shoot out to one side if the jack isn't EXACTLY under it.

    2) The rhino ramp method of removing/installing the front end links doesn't seem to provide next to any room to work. How are people doing this? There's no way that with the car on ramps (which = wheels on), you can get in there with a drill to drill out the holes for the Z06 links. Are people just putting it on ramps to un-do the mounting bolts, then taking it off the ramps and putting it on jackstands (wheel off) to do the rest of the work? Then back onto ramps to button up new links?
    I understand you want both sides of the suspension loaded equally to take pre-load off the links/stabilizer bar, which is why the ramp method is suggested... But what about if both sides are up in the air (thus totally unloaded) via jackstands? Will this take preload off the links as well, or no?

    3) Autozone's repair guides say that to remove the rear coil springs, the "adjusting link" (i'm assuming this adjusts for tow) needs to be disconnected, but the GC install instructions don't mention this. Is this an unnecessary step?

    4) Any other tips/tricks/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

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    soflarick's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    To remove the rear springs, disconnect both sides of the swaybar, both shocks at their lower mounting points, and loosen the rear cradle bolts a fair amount (don't have to remove them). Then you can push down on the control arms a little if you have to and pull out the rear springs. Removing the links at either the swaybar end or the control arm end on both sides gives you a lot of wiggle room. Dunno what to say about drilling the swaybar. I put the car on ramps and was able to manipulate the stock endlinks rather easily, but I wasn't trying to drill anything. I don't know if people say to put the Z06 links on the rear as well, but the Z06 links are the same length as the rear stock V swaybar links, 3.5" center to center.

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    CadzillaTN's Avatar
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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    2 cents of info. Or it could cost you money. who knows. read with caution.

    1- I did not lower the cradle to do mine (not sure if this was a bad idea or not)..I supported the rear frame with a jackstand. When the rear suspension is fully unloaded, the springs are not under any dangerous load. I unbolted the sway bar, then the lower control arm bolt. I just pushed down a bit on the control arm and just yanked the spring out from the top. There's a rubber washer/isolator holding the spring in at the top. Its held in there with one of those plastic panel push things. I also had to dig out a ton of sand and crap out of the area above the spring to install the gc mount. New spring goes in easy. (I actually have questions about that myself, see below).The shock removal is straightforward (are you familiar with how to get it out? interior removal etc?) 2 bolts on the top, 2 on the bottom. The whole thing comes out.

    2- endlinks- I cant speak to the load/no load thing. I also reused my stock links for now because I'm not slammed. I plan to get the z06 ones, I just got a wild hair and didnt want to wait to install...
    anyway I put front of car on jackstands at the frame. Have a jackstand handy on each side as well. Unbolt the sway bar. Put your jack under the end of the lower control arm and jack it up an inch or so. Loosen the upper control arm nut and carefully remove that bolt. The control arm might slap up so be careful. Lower the jack slowly until it is just holding the arm up. Loosen the 2 shock bolts. You may want to put a bit of pressure back up on the control arm to get the bolts out easy. I then removed all the bolts under the hood holding the entire assembly in. Yanking it out isn't hard, but it's heavy and awkward. You sometimes have to yank on it a bit. Once it breaks free you just tilt it out. I used that extra jackstand I mentioned to prop up the rotor assembly by the hub bolts so the brake line didn't hold it. I guess you could also use a coat hanger from the top too.

    Spring compressor goes on. crank both sides until the spring can easily turn/move. the rest is easy. you don't need the spring compressor for the reinstall.

    when putting the strut assembly back in, it's awkward. I found that propping it up, then laying on my back and using my foot to shove the upper assembly in place was the best method. (there's guide pins, line those up and it just shoves in there). I would also pull down on the control arm a bit while doing this. Once you've hauled those things around for a while, holding them in the air is tough.

    3- yes, toe rod, etc... but I didn't undo that. not sure why it was necessary. I can't say if that's bad or good. Perhaps that's why my car is steering like a rear-heavy canoe. Maybe I shouldn't be working on cars. meh.

    questions-

    re: the rear spring bottom mount- i's a aluminum piece with the rubber isolator. Did yours (this question is for those who have installed as well) fit all the way down into the metal frame hole to the edge of the ring, or did they go in sort of halfway and allow a swivel type movement. 1a- Did you guys leave the lower rubber spring isolator from the stock setup in or remove it?.. Before I raised the rear of my car back up, the spring just kind of sat there crooked. I realize it trued up when I lowered the car back down. It also made a bang noise


    can you take pictures of the whole kit before you install, and please measure the length/width of the supplied yellow bumpstop for the front shocks?

    thanks

  5. #4
    WesH8398's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both. I should clarify that I'm not installing the GC kit. Just springs.

    Quote Originally Posted by soflarick View Post
    and loosen the rear cradle bolts a fair amount (don't have to remove them).
    I'm not sure of what exactly these "cradle bolts" are. Can you explain? Pics?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    ... I unbolted the sway bar, then the lower control arm bolt...
    Which bolt are you referring to exactly?
    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    The shock removal is straightforward (are you familiar with how to get it out? interior removal etc?) 2 bolts on the top, 2 on the bottom. The whole thing comes out.
    Yes, I'm pretty well versed on how the shocks are removed, thanks to the GC install instructions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    Put your jack under the end of the lower control arm and jack it up an inch or so. Loosen the upper control arm nut and carefully remove that bolt. The control arm might slap up so be careful. Lower the jack slowly until it is just holding the arm up...
    I'm assuming that the more you jack up from under the lower control arm, the less the upper will snap upwards when you take the bolt out, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    questions-

    re: the rear spring bottom mount- i's a aluminum piece with the rubber isolator. Did yours (this question is for those who have installed as well) fit all the way down into the metal frame hole to the edge of the ring, or did they go in sort of halfway and allow a swivel type movement. 1a- Did you guys leave the lower rubber spring isolator from the stock setup in or remove it?.. Before I raised the rear of my car back up, the spring just kind of sat there crooked. I realize it trued up when I lowered the car back down. It also made a bang noise


    can you take pictures of the whole kit before you install, and please measure the length/width of the supplied yellow bumpstop for the front shocks?

    thanks
    Sorry, can't help ya since I'm just doing springs and not the GC kit.

  6. #5
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    This is the cradle.. http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answe...all/index.html There are 4 big bolts that hold it in.. They are.....the cradle bolts.. This write up on the GC kit even circles them. http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answe...all/index.html

    I did not disconnect the sway bar to put the rear springs in. I'm fairly certain I didnt disconnect the front either.

    I also didn't remove any control arm bolts when doing the rear springs.

    I'm assuming that the more you jack up from under the lower control arm, the less the upper will snap upwards when you take the bolt out, right?
    yes.

  7. #6
    WesH8398's Avatar
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    Thanks EdmundGTP. I printed those GC install instructions a long time ago and it didn't print those pictures! Geeze. I was definitely looking at the wrong bolts.
    So by dropping the cradle a bit, this drops the lower spring perch as well, right? Thus, releasing any remaining tension on the spring. Wouldnt that bushings install mean that the springs would have come out when he did that? Also, the cradle is one solid piece from what I can see. So does that mean you have to drop both sides at once? Or can you drop one side at a time?

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    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    Yeah, lowering the cradle also helps drop the lower spring perch for clearance to pull the spring. I'm not 100% certain, but I'd imagine that if you drop the whole cradle for installing those bushings, then the springs would most likely come free. The cradle can be dropped one side at a time; that's how I did it. It's not too difficult to accidentally back the cradle bolts out all of the way. In fact that's what ended up happening when I did it. example: put the jack under the cradle on the passenger side and jack it up until it's just putting upward pressure on the cradle. Remove the bolts. slowly lower the jack/cradle until the spring was free. Swap in the new spring. Then jacked it back up into place, and used an impact gun to re-seat the cradle bolts. It's a LOT easier to reinstall them if you have an impact gun..

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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    Great info, thanks a bunch. I think I've got the rear all figured out (in my head) now. Still unsure of the best way to get the front endlinks out/in though. I've heard lots of guys say they had a hell of a time with theirs, so I just want to try to avoid that. I just need to dig in and get at 'er. Hopefully in the next few weeks. The garage is still freezing and we're still getting effing snow. lol

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    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    yeah, I didnt do endlinks on mine so I can't offer much help there.

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    Re: Lowering spring install question(s) (beyond FAQ's instructions)

    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    re: the rear spring bottom mount- i's a aluminum piece with the rubber isolator. Did yours (this question is for those who have installed as well) fit all the way down into the metal frame hole to the edge of the ring, or did they go in sort of halfway and allow a swivel type movement. 1a- Did you guys leave the lower rubber spring isolator from the stock setup in or remove it?.. Before I raised the rear of my car back up, the spring just kind of sat there crooked. I realize it trued up when I lowered the car back down. It also made a bang noise
    My GC bottom rear spring perch sits in the metal frame hole just like your does. It doesn't stay in there very well at all and can move around slightly. Some advice, whenever I jack up the back end of my car and am getting ready to lower it down, I always make sure to line up the springs by hand (make sure they are perfectly straight and centered) so that they seat correctly when the car gets lowered to the ground.

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