: D3 lowering springs before/after with pictures installed Beware! Read before purchase



550HP STSV
08-24-10, 10:29 AM
Hello All -

With the help of PGA, PJ, and our good friend Russell, I was able to get my lowering springs installed prior to my trip to woodward dream cruise in michigan this past weekend.

I'd like to thank russell for allowing me to use his spacers until D3 sends me mine, and PJ for coming into cleveland to give them to me so I could get them installed in time. This is a very close knit, tight community and I am proud to be a member with my fellow STS-V owners.

Lets get to the good stuff:

The springs were easy enough to install. The rears fall out when the control arms are detached, and the front come off with a spring or strut compressor. I had two mechanic friends over, and it took about 3 hours. Pictures are attached with their respective file names.

Heres the bad stuff:

The car is way out of aligment. After taking it to a normal aligntment shop, and then a performance shop that does corvettes, my camber is still almost 2 degrees out of alignment. The shops say I need caster/camber adjustment plates - which they do not make for the STS. I have bought camber adjustment bolts, but they only adjust up to 1.25 degrees. Anyone have any ideas? I called D3, and they said they just get it "as close as they can" which is pretty unacceptable from how hard my steering wheel pulls to the left on the highway.

My recommendation? Do not buy them until someone can figure out how to properly align these cars. if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks!

http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/8837/backslam.th.jpg (http://img825.imageshack.us/i/backslam.jpg/)
http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6834/frontslam.th.jpg (http://img685.imageshack.us/i/frontslam.jpg/)
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http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/9365/notslammed1.th.jpg (http://img682.imageshack.us/i/notslammed1.jpg/)
http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/3794/notslammed2.th.jpg (http://img137.imageshack.us/i/notslammed2.jpg/)
http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/5623/slammed.th.jpg (http://img137.imageshack.us/i/slammed.jpg/)

SlickCityStan
08-24-10, 11:34 AM
find a machinst shop or a hot rod builder and see if the adjustment plates or shims can be fabricated. then get a patent and make a million bucks! By the way I will accept a 10% idea appreciation fee.

550HP STSV
08-24-10, 11:40 AM
hmm... Anything alittle bit more cost effective?

SlickCityStan
08-24-10, 11:49 AM
think of it as an investment: cost would be the raw material and time. A true hot rod builder might view it as a challenge and be willing to work on his own. I would check with the mechanics grapevine in the local area and see what turns up! If you are sucessful think of how many companies, including D3 would be interested in selling such a product.

polarbear05
08-24-10, 07:59 PM
My car don't pull no more after I got it aligment done but the camber is a lil off.. I just gotta keep up with my rotation so the tiers last a lil longer haha but over all I'm extremely happy on how looks now..

550HP STSV
08-24-10, 08:32 PM
How far was your camber off? mine is like 2 degrees, which is nuts.

polarbear05
08-24-10, 09:50 PM
I don't remember an I was looking for that print out they give u but I couldn't find one the one I found was the first time they did it an it the left grit was off like 2.1 but they didn't do it cuz the tool messed up or some thing then the second time I took it in they left my steering wheel all off so I had them fix that.. But now it dosent pull or anything.. What I thought was funny is that the guy was all like u should look into getting spindles for it I was like if they made them I would get them but they don't the springs are the only thing I found to lower the car.. Even after I told him that he keept insisting I should get spindles...

What I have notice is that in the morning an after work the rear sits like a finger (1/2") of the tire and after I drive it for a while it will raise like an inch more.. I have the self leveling shocks so I'm wondering if when it raises is all the weight on the shocks? An will that mess them
Up cuz i read in here that there expensive if they do go out... I don't know if u have the same thing happening to urs..

An also if they make regular shocks like they for the cts?

AllGoNShow
09-03-10, 12:06 PM
The camber being off is a very common thing, and yes we STS owners get boned because the market so so small no one wants to make proper alignment/suspension pieces to bring us back into spec once we lower the cars.

The pulling of the vehicle is not your camber, that will be your toe and caster settings ( I forget what is adjustable on our cars, been toooo long). If your toe is out than your wheels are pointing to one side cuasing teh vehicle to pull. The camber is how flat the wheel would be driving on the road, wouldn't cause you to pull unless you went with wider wheels which is then referred to as tramlining the ruts in the road which nothing will fix except fresh roads :)

I have looked high and low for shocks and I cannot find any direct replacements. I haven't chased down the idea of crossing something over from the CTS because I would rather go air bags than waste more of my time on the CTS. If you find something let me know but I think my springs will be coming out and air bags replacing everything soon, this height problem is so anonying and ugly my boss is even busting my balls to get it lowered.

polarbear05
09-03-10, 06:31 PM
I like ur boss AllGoNShow haha I like having my ride low.. it just looked stupid high before.. An air bags would be cool.. I'm going for the sts-v hood next but that won't be for a couple of months..

550HP STSV
09-05-10, 09:08 PM
Alright everyone: here is what I have found.

After going to 3 alignment shops (enger wheel, goodyear tire, and one other shop,) and 3 CUSTOM alignment shops (xtreme performance, Chucks customs, Columbia Sunoco;) there is no way to get a proper alignment with the D3 springs and 20" wheels. What is posted here, is a collective effort of the above mentioned shops, days or research, tons of trial and error, and many different tire sizes:

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/8158/alignmente.jpg (http://img651.imageshack.us/i/alignmente.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

The shops had tried everything - adjusting the shocks/struts/mounting locations with shims, washers, braces, etc. They had tried the caster/camber "alignment nuts" from summit racing, among other places (which turns out, cannot be used on our car.) I had used tired and true basic 4 wheel alignment machines all the way up to $100,000 Hawkeye laser alignment machines. What is posted above is as close to an alignment as you will get without drilling holes in the frame and moving the suspension components to compensate for the drop, which I am not willing to do.

Many of you have mentioned you got a proper alignment on factory wheels and the D3 drop kit. I believe you, but its hard to comprehend when my 20" wheel total diameter size is within a tenth of an inch of my factory wheels total diameter size.

The point of the story is that right now there is no caster/camber solution to correct for the drop, so if you get the drop springs, be prepared to replace your tires much more quickly. And say goodbye to the perfect smooth cadillac ride on the street and highway.

I now have over $1500 into trying a proper alignment in my car after the drop springs. Be sure to consider this information before installing them, or buying them. I like the improved appearance look of my car over the harsh ride, and non-straight alignment, so I will keep them. But you may feel differently.

AllGoNShow
09-07-10, 09:45 AM
Should have saved your $1500 in alignment costs and believed me ;)

Rotate your tires side to side to get more camber wear out of them, part of modding vehicles ;)

Midnight
09-07-10, 10:55 AM
Doesn't that basically mean though that you have less traction to work with? I mean if your tires are running on their edges... I personally feel that's not acceptable. You're paying a lot of money to make your car less roadworthy. But it looks better. IMO, modding the car should make it a better car, not a worse car that looks better. Especially on a STS-V, I imagine you want all the traction you could get with that thing, esp in bad weather.

Doesn't D3 post here? I'd be interested to hear what they have to say.

Also, on a slightly related topic... doesn't the STS-V put out 470 hp, not 550? Or do you have other modifications?

AllGoNShow
09-07-10, 11:09 AM
In some aspects yes, you would have less traction. During cornering etc.. on the track you actually want negative camber to get the best traction so if its street only, yes you've lost a little traction, if its track car then you are good to go (in easy terms, it is never that easy if you want to go into detail)

D3 should chime in to help out since they want to be the Cadillac world leader but anytime you mod your car, acceptable is now your own opinion. If you want factory alignment specs with factory support, don't lower your car, very easy. The Porsche guys have to do over 3g worth of suspension modifications to get their Porsche's within perfect spec once lowered, but they have the product support and we don't. If I told an STS customer he needs camber plates, toe links etc.. and his bill was $3500 he would shit a brick.

EChas3
09-08-10, 12:43 AM
Doesn't that basically mean though that you have less traction to work with? I mean if your tires are running on their edges... I personally feel that's not acceptable. You're paying a lot of money to make your car less roadworthy. But it looks better. IMO, modding the car should make it a better car, not a worse car that looks better. Especially on a STS-V, I imagine you want all the traction you could get with that thing, esp in bad weather.

Doesn't D3 post here? I'd be interested to hear what they have to say.

Also, on a slightly related topic... doesn't the STS-V put out 470 hp, not 550? Or do you have other modifications?


Truth - If you want the best combination of driveability & performance, LEAVE IT STOCK!

On the other hand, it's your car; have fun!

550HP STSV
09-08-10, 11:00 AM
Cant rotate staggered directional tires...

EChas3
09-09-10, 11:28 PM
Some enthusiasts don't rotate tires even if they can. The reason is tied to the concept of even wear. If rotating your tires evens out the wear patterns (highpoints) that develop over time, wouldn't you experience worse traction right after a tire rotation?

Why tolerate any loss of traction? Run 'em and replace 'em.

550HP STSV
09-10-10, 01:34 PM
Im with Echas on that one.

AllGoNShow
09-10-10, 01:44 PM
You can rotate staggered tires if you are combating camber wear, but it requires dismount & remounting on opposite side of vehicle, not as simple as bolting on to other side of the vehicle but can definitely be done so you don't burn up tires with no inner tread left and 80% outer tread left.

Midnight
09-10-10, 05:10 PM
You can also rotate them without re-mounting if you're ok with driving the car in reverse instead of drive until you re-rotate them. Right? :D

EChas3
09-10-10, 08:25 PM
I'd bet some 'directional' tires were labeled so by Marketing rather than Engineering; trouble being, which ones?

AllGoNShow
09-13-10, 10:42 AM
Yes you can drive backwards if you want.

Most directional tires are in fact directional, the syaing goes after 50% of wear it no longer applies but then road noise goes up so we still follow the rule. What you may be thinking of is Asymmetrical tires that can only be mounted inside/outside, those no matter how you rotate the inside edge will always be the inside edge.

For example:
Kumho KH16 - Neither
Goodyear Assurance Tripletred - Directional
Hankook V12 Evo - Directional
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S - Directional
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 - Asymmetrical
Pirelli PZero Rosso (if I remember correctly) - Asymmetrical

AllGoNShow
09-22-10, 02:08 PM
Finally heard back from D3, Tim is da man!! He is sending me up some spring spacers to help get this beast lowered finally, thanks for the support Tim! I will post pictures and information shortly :)