FE2 and FE3 suspensions
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, FE2 and FE3 suspensions in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Does anyone have info on the two performance suspensions? Or better yet has anyone driven both and could they tell ...
  1. #1
    rchern is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Does anyone have info on the two performance suspensions? Or better yet has anyone driven both and could they tell me the difference? I'm trying to price a car on Cadillac's website but I can't get the car the way I want it. I'd rather have the FE2 suspension but can't get the luxury items that I want. To get the luxury items that I want I'd have to go to the summer tire performance package with the FE3 suspension and I'm concerned that the FE3 is too hard of a suspension.(Plus I really don't feel like screwing with summer tires and winter tires) Anyone have any input on the two suspensions? Thanks in advance.

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    avatards is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    rchern, see another couple of threads here that discuss inability to order what people want. FE2 is available with all the luxury options according to the ordering guide, however there have been problems with getting such orders that are not yet addressed by GM fully for some reason; there are definitely some bugs in the order processing back-end and this might be the cause for the wrong behaviour. As of now, the build your cadillac page on the Cadillac web site allows such combinations, although sometimes it depends on the sequence of choosing options, which is surely not what was intended.

    FE3 is supposed to be more "sporty" than FE2. And the package comes with summer performance tires. For a little more details, some magazine first drives of the 2008 CTS went into a little more detail discussing suspension differences. Sorry, don't remember exactly which ones. AFAIR there are more diffs between FE1 and FE2 than between FE2 and FE3. Also, both packages get rear limited slip differentials.

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    louiefl99 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Chassis tunes:


    FE1. Available with RWD or AWD, and PFI engine only. Bilstein shocks; 24mm front, 18mm rear stabilizer bars (33mm front and 19mm rear on AWD); open diff(s); 17.4:1 steering ratio. 8.0 x 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/55R17 Michelin MXV4 all-season tires standard.

    FE2. Available with RWD or AWD, and PFI or DI engine. Same spring rate as FE1, but stiffer-rate Bilstein shocks. 29mm front, 20mm rear stabilizer bars; faster16.1:1 steering ratio; limited slip diff(s). Larger, wider 8.5 x 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/50R18 Michelin MXV4 all-season tires. RWD gets FE1 brake package (12.4-in front rotors with aluminum calipers); AWD gets larger diameter FE3 brakes.

    FE3. RWD and DI engine only. Same steering, springs and bars as FE2, but uprated shocks (Bilstein front and Sachs Nivomat load leveling at the rear). Wheels are same as FE2, but standard tire is 235/50R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 2, and standard brake package includes 13.6-in front rotors with cast iron calipers.

  5. #4
    rchern is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Has anyone out there actually driven a car with a FE2 or FE3 suspension? That's what I really want feedback on. Is the FE3 too hard of a suspension? How does the FE2 feel? I there much of a difference between the two? I like a hard suspension, but not so hard that it knocks my fillings out every time I go over a bump. Sure, a good hard suspension is great for driving on curvy roads in the country but I also have to deal with city driving and that can be downright annoying. I'd appreciate if someone who actually drove the car could give me their impression of the two suspensions, especially if that person had driven both.

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    gm_eng is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    I've got the FE2 and I wouldn't want it any stiffer. It's much firmer that the SLS I sold, but not as stiff as my C6. Part of the firmness may be the tire pressures. The recommended pressure is 35 psi. My Vette pressures are only 30. I don't spend much time at 0.80 lateral g's, so the FE2 is firm enough. I guess if I wanted to autocross it or take it to the track I'd get the FE3, but it's probably unneccessary for a street vehicle.

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    mufflerbearing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Unhappy Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Totally confused.

    I just drove a DI engined car with AWD and it seemed very stiff to me but the salesman said it had the FE-1 suspension. I can only imagine how bone jarring the FE-3 must be. Both he and the sales manager say you can get any of the three suspensions with any package?

    On the Build Your Own section of the Cadillac site there is no option for choosing your desired suspension and the fully loaded example I put together says FE-3 suspension with no way to choose FE-2 or 1. The sales manager was not able to shead any light on the issue either as he looked over his ordering screen. All this makes it very frustrating to know just what suspension comes with which as there is no reference to what the car has on the window sticker either.

    Certainly some of the posts here are not in sink with what I was told at the dealer today.

    Is there a way to make this more complicated?

    Thanks;

    Pat

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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Quote Originally Posted by rchern View Post
    Has anyone out there actually driven a car with a FE2 or FE3 suspension? That's what I really want feedback on. Is the FE3 too hard of a suspension? How does the FE2 feel? I there much of a difference between the two? I like a hard suspension, but not so hard that it knocks my fillings out every time I go over a bump. Sure, a good hard suspension is great for driving on curvy roads in the country but I also have to deal with city driving and that can be downright annoying. I'd appreciate if someone who actually drove the car could give me their impression of the two suspensions, especially if that person had driven both.
    I've driven both, and I honestly did not feel a difference. This was driving on a mix of road types and at speeds up to 70 mph. Like several others here, I have a C6 Corvette with the firmer Z51 suspension. By comparison, the CTS FE3 was considerably more civil--but then it's also a much heavier vehicle. And over the same roads, the CTS took the pot holes and rough pavement much easier. I'm going with the FE2 for the all-season tires.

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    WillySTS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    The FE2 is firm but nice, the more livable between it and the FE3. The FE3 quite taut and will get the "jitters" over rough pavement, where the FE2 handles that a little better. FE3 is on the verge of beint TOO stiff. So, I would not get the FE3 car unless you WANT an FE3 car...don't settle for it.

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    avatards is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    Quote Originally Posted by mufflerbearing View Post
    Totally confused.

    I just drove a DI engined car with AWD and it seemed very stiff to me but the salesman said it had the FE-1 suspension. I can only imagine how bone jarring the FE-3 must be. Both he and the sales manager say you can get any of the three suspensions with any package?

    On the Build Your Own section of the Cadillac site there is no option for choosing your desired suspension and the fully loaded example I put together says FE-3 suspension with no way to choose FE-2 or 1. The sales manager was not able to shead any light on the issue either as he looked over his ordering screen. All this makes it very frustrating to know just what suspension comes with which as there is no reference to what the car has on the window sticker either.

    Certainly some of the posts here are not in sink with what I was told at the dealer today.

    Is there a way to make this more complicated?

    Thanks;

    Pat
    You can see the order guide at GM's dealer zone here:

    http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NASApp/dom...&divisionID=5#

    Select "Print book", then select vehicle and choose whatever options you'd like displayed (you want additional options in the first place). It will then spawn a PDF order guide for you. You can view, save and/or print it.

    For an easier way refer to my earlier post. Upgrades are: FE3 for DI+RWD, FE2 for AWD and/or 3.6 base. That's per order guide. Simple.

    Note however that there seem to be bugs in the ordering back-end that may not allow FE2+Luxury Level 2 sometimes. Dealers may tell it's official restriction, but it seems to be not, per order guide (this issue is discussed at length in a couple other threads).

  11. #10
    Tony407 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: FE2 and FE3 suspensions

    From Car and Driver:

    "All three suspension choices use the same spring rates, but the FE3 option includes larger brakes and anti-roll bars as well as revised dampers. The others, FE1 and FE2, ride on all-season tires.

    We spent most of our three days in Germany with the sportiest FE3 package, and the most impressive thing about the ’08 CTS is its ride-and-handling balance. Tightly controlled body movements keep it buttoned down, and the rear-drive CTS’s ride never feels harsh, either. Even in full-blown Nürburgring mode, the car is balanced, and not once did it respond with excessive understeer, although oversteer is hard to come by as well. The upsize brakes could use more of an initial bite, but they’re strong, with predictable, linear response, and in our exploits they never yielded even once to fade. The huge brake-cooling ducts up front certainly deserve some of the credit.

    On the street, our initial impression is that the CTS is more comfortable than a Sport-package-equipped BMW 3-series or Infiniti G35 without giving up much ultimate performance, although rain during our testing day kept us from verifying Cadillac’s skidpad claim of 0.86 g. The FE2 car we briefly drove didn’t feel much softer, but over an undulating stretch of unlimited autobahn, it moved around enough to make us want the stiffer setup."

    From AutoBlog:

    "The CTS comes in three different suspension specs: FE1, FE2 and FE3. While all models get the ZF steering rack and a functional front strut tower bar, we spent all our time in the FE3 model, which comes equipped with uprated brakes, Sachs Nivomat rear shocks (Bilsteins are standard) and 18x8.5-inch wheels with supercar-chic Michelin Pilot Sport 2 summer performance gumballs. We've had the chance to sample these tires on a number of vehicles, and they are far and away some of the best OEM-equipped rubber we've ever encountered – which speaks volumes about Cadillac's intentions for the CTS.

    On the road, the suspension's compliance, even in FE3-spec, is incredibly tactile and exceptionally comfortable. Even on some of the more pocked roads that made up our test route, the CTS soaked up most imperfections with aplomb, but there was never a feeling of being overly isolated. Since the suspension has been only slightly revised for 2008, with the front upper and lower control arms getting aluminum units, while out back the multi-link arrangement remains largely the same, we were impressed with how small tweaks have made the new CTS a superior vehicle over its predecessor."

    I hope these help. I'm pretty sure there's some more reviews out there and if I run across them I'll post them.

    Tony

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