: I've gone and done it, now....



mckellyb
05-07-11, 11:12 PM
Well, I finally pulled the trigger on a new-to-me car, an '05 STS w/the 4.6, and I think pretty much every available option.

Has 103K miles on it, but in north-central Texas, unfortunately that's 'bout average.

The car's clean, not perfect, but then, I drive 'bout 70 mi./day, so it's going to see plenty of use. The CL ad link:

dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ctd/2324782156.html

A bit of history. I've been a Cadillac man for about 20 years. My first was a '73 Coupe deVille back around 1991, or so. Yellow, huge, comfy as could be, and a perfect illustration of why torque is good. Gotta love a tilt-telescope steering wheel in 1973!

Back in the early-2000's, I had an '85 Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance, with the awesome HT4100. Granted, the car never gave me any trouble, but I think I was just lucky...could be it had pity on me as I could drive only it after a severe motorcycle accident in 2001 (diesel fuel and rubber are a bad, bad combo).

It did manage about 20 MPG, but it was as slow as the day is long. 125 HP just doesn't cut it. I liked the, as my wife put it, "whorehouse" burgundy velour interior, but she wasn't ever a fan.

The two vehicles prior to today's "hold" deposit have been an '89 Mercedes W126 420SEL, and currently, a '95 W124 E320. While the current car has just 175K miles on it, it's tired. Well, that, and I don't want to gamble on doing major repairs only to be surprised six months down the road, so to speak. It never really 'called' to me, but I knew it'd be a fairly solid luxury beater daily driver. Tough to argue with working A/C, 24.5 MPG, and doors which still close with a 'thunk' after 15 years.

However, I finally have a job like I did at the beginning of the century, so it's time to move past beater-car-ville.

Hence, the STS. I found it on CL, wasn't really looking for one this new, but with a price of $10K, sometimes you have to roll the dice.

NAV, Astroroof, heated steering wheel, MagnaRide, adaptive cruise, traction control, and likely other goodies I didn't notice. I know it has tire pressure senders...of which the LR is hosed, but I'm a calibrated-gauge kinda guy, anyway. Gives me time to look around while I'm down there.

Anyway, does anyone have the breakdown on what packages came with what items? It's likely on the 'Net, somewhere, but Google and I are not getting along today, for some reason.

Oh, I'm also open to if anyone can suggest a better VIN check than Carfax. I know they missed a couple of things on the Benz....

Thanks!

Kelly

Edit: I found, from the picture, it has the polished 9-spoke wheels, and thankfully, two new Pirelli shoes up front (the rears will be fun to burn up the first week, they're 'bout shot), so I think this car has the more performance-oriented package on it, the one which was $11K, when new. I did notice it has speakers in the top of the front seats, and I remember the guy who showed it to me mentioning he has Sirius set up when he bought it. The place I'm getting it from is the kinda place which goes to auctions. I found they have an above-average inventory, have been in business 5 years, and this identical car was at a Kia dealer in Rockwall, TX, listed for $19K, then $15K, then it went to auction Could be people didn't really know what it was. I verified Magnaride by peeking at the top of the RF strut and seeing an electrical connector going to it. Made sense at the time....

EChas3
05-07-11, 11:32 PM
Welcome back!

You need a VIN report from any GM dealer or I think a few sites (compnine?). If you have ACC (Adaptive Cruise) you have likely bought an STS with the coveted 1SG trim level. These get all the goodies but can be spendy to keep in good condition. Post a link, pictures or at least tell us the color & wheels - OEM?

If you're handy, just set aside $100 a month. Otherwise, strongly consider some form of extended warranty or insurance program to guard against the most expensive repairs. With MRC, a set of shocks will be over $1,000. But even at that price, it's one of the least expensive active suspension systems.

I love mine. It's fun to drive, ACC makes cruising easy, the HUD comliments the Nav and Bluetooth works great. The voice recognition is weak but can be used with some practice. Consider a Lockpick.

Have fun!

mckellyb
05-07-11, 11:45 PM
Updated the original post with the CL ad.

GM dealer for a VIN report. Dude, I owe you an adult beverage. I don't know why I didn't think of that....

This STS is silver exterior, tan interior, chrome 9-spoke OEM wheels. Initially, I thought someone goofed with tire size...I had no idea it has staggered f/r tire/wheels!

I was hoping for a gray interior, 'cause I hate tan, but this didn't bother me, surprisingly.

Couple of minor outside hickeys, a couple of minor interior ones, but then, I'm looking at about 85% depreciation over the first six years. That had to hurt the original owners. I was ultra-pissed when I saw 50% after three years on a '99 Suckazuki Grand Vitara.

Had no clue, 'till now, and I found an options package page, it had an HUD. Way bitchin'!

Oh, and I'm a complete DIY-guy. Don't have to be, just grew up being a gearhead, and it stuck. I came this close to doing a transmission rebuild in the garage on the W124...but I can't get motivated about it. That, and a piece of road debris likely did enough damage to the LF to total it. This is after someone in an ice blue Dodge minivan tagged me in the LR corner just enough to break the plastic bumper and spin me into the K-rail back in February. Damage was entirely cosmetic, but I don't want to fix it again. I didn't claim it 'cause I didn't want my insurance rates going nuts, or having the ins. company totaling it.

I'd likely be a mechanic, if it paid better, and shops were air-conditioned. As it is, I'm an equivalent kinda person in the IT-arena.

Fixed the Mercedes's damage the first time around with careful pounding with a small hammer, and using my wife's '02 RX300 AWD (with her in it, engine running, on the brakes) as an anchor, pulling the unit-body out with a come-along. I even managed to get everything aligned pretty well. I'm going to attempt it again, though I'm considering throwing it on CL for $2K, and taking what I can get.

My DIY, for example...baby beater Benz needed front-end & all-around suspension rebuilding, so I ordered all the parts, put all of them in, save for the TOTALLY WRONG lower-control arms, thanks, RockAuto. Did some minor trigonometry, and managed to get it aligned well enough to drive it to a semi-local shop 'bout ten miles from here. I've also replaced a timing-belt in a Colorado rest stop in the '95 Dodge Intrepid 3.5L we used to have. That was interesting, but took me only about an afternoon. I'd gotten to where I could put a rear-diff in the Suzuki Grand Vitara in about 90 minutes with a floor jack, three wrenches, and plenty of cursing. That trucklet ate diffs about every 8K miles after 55K. Don't know what the deal was, but I couldn't have been happier to see it go. Nothing like your first-and-only new car to put a pall over the joy of a new car.

I'm not horribly worried about the suspension, but thanks for the heads-up! To put it another way, I've been looking for a 2006 Jaaaaaag XJ Super V8, and those have air-suspension. I know it's a drag when, not if, it has problems, but I was willing to take the risk. IIRC, those are $500/corner, if you're lucky, and do it all yourself.

Kinda like the first-gen Infiniti Q45a cars...amazing enough to warrant the risk, IMO. Glad, now, I didn't buy one of those back in mid-90's. They didn't age well...the interiors fell apart.

BTW, that Jag...incredible car, just haven't found one in the past three months, or I'd have it.

EChas3
05-08-11, 12:34 AM
Bad news... No ACC or HUD. I see no radardome in the middle of the grille.

It does have the OEM HID Headlights because I see the washer pop-ups. Even though the 18" tires are staggered, the wheels are the same on all four corners. I went with 235/50 all around for ride & quiet by many members choose 255/45's; some keep it staggered, too.

I think Tire Rack can supply an inexpensive replacement for your TPMS. Be cautious on Ebay because there are a lot of imitations/wrong ones. (You will want to fix this because the warning has to be reset every start.)

I find the 15 speaker Bose more than adequate. Aftermarket isn't all that easy. Many memebrs just turn uo the bass a bit.

These are very fun cars. An hour's drive speeds by.

mckellyb
05-08-11, 08:07 AM
Thanks for the ACC and HUD heads-up. I didn't think I saw the projector on the dash for the HUD, but I wasn't looking for it, initially. I know in my step-son's GMC SUV, it's fairly obvious on the top of the dash.

I'm kinda glad about the ACC, 'cause I don't want it messing with my Valentine's 'monitoring' of the road, if you will. HUD I can take-or-leave 'cause I'm an analog guy, anyway.

This car had new 235's on the front but just about worn-out 245's on the rear. The downside of staggering is rotation can no longer be done. I mis-read the options list, and thought the staggered 7.5/8.0 wheels were the 18's, but they're the 17's. Yea!

The only interior issues I could find are a 1.5" long crack in the soft dash immediately to the left of the A/C controls, one (probably cigarette) burn in the RR passenger's carpet very on the vertical part of the door sill (I'll live, the car doesn't stink), and some driver's seat wear from the seat belt not being worn and the plastic anchor rubbing. Merely cosmetic, and I'm going to Lexol & Leather Honey the interior shortly after I get it.

Outside, there's the one rock ding on the left side of the front bumper which you can see in the pics, it's just paint, and it looks like something grazed the RR wheel arch at the very back. The passenger's side mirror housing is scuffed badly on top, and is a bit loose, like the mount partially broke, but no big deal...at all. The mirror is still solidly on the door. Negotiation point, if anything. No hail, minimal door-dings...hey, it's a city-car, stuff's gonna happen to it.

I'm happy to find the OEM audio is good, 'cause I'm past doing aftermarket, if I can help it.

edit: Bitchin'! The FAQ has manuals! This car doesn't, but I can see I'm going to need reference material. It's also quite nice to see I'm not the only person who thinks rear turn indicators NEED to be both separate and amber!

turnne
05-08-11, 11:25 AM
Welcome back!

You need a VIN report from any GM dealer or I think a few sites (compnine?). If you have ACC (Adaptive Cruise) you have likely bought an STS with the coveted 1SG trim level. These get all the goodies but can be spendy to keep in good condition. Post a link, pictures or at least tell us the color & wheels - OEM?

If you're handy, just set aside $100 a month. Otherwise, strongly consider some form of extended warranty or insurance program to guard against the most expensive repairs. With MRC, a set of shocks will be over $1,000. But even at that price, it's one of the least expensive active suspension systems.

I love mine. It's fun to drive, ACC makes cruising easy, the HUD comliments the Nav and Bluetooth works great. The voice recognition is weak but can be used with some practice. Consider a Lockpick.

Have fun!

Interesting detail here

I have to ask the question...in your comparables....what other cars are you comparing the STS against?

The reason I ask is
MRC shocks are more than $1000 each installed. The same price as a similar year Mercedes S class...and likely one of the reasons most seem to go the passive aftermarket ones when its time for replacement on Cadillacs

The $100 a months savings that you mention makes sense....an extended service contract ...that offers any "real" coverage....will cost about 40% of what the car is worth and probably only give him a 24mo/24K coverage
I am not sure that makes sense

As for Nav , bluetooth and voice activation....its frankly the worst in the market compared to other mid luxury vehicles in this class

And this car is the least expensive..used... of that group...so the market has adjusted values accordingly

But..I have to ask the question...what else are you comparing the STS to ?

reasoning being I don't get any of these ideas...comparatively...now or when I was test driving the Infiniti M or Acura RL back to back with the STS


Warren

EChas3
05-08-11, 02:21 PM
Warren,

I don't care to rehash old disagreements. Rippy had MRC shocks for far less than $1,000 each and installation isn't all that much.

Chas

mckellyb
05-08-11, 02:40 PM
.... or when I was test driving the Infiniti M or Acura RL back to back with the STS

Warren

Funny you mention that, Warren, 'cause I really wanted either an '06 XJ Super V8 or a similar year M45. You're replying to a reply, but still, this may help.

The Jaaaaag, I could not find, but I loved the 2005 I drove. M's were priced over double what this STS is, and the STS has more...something. I guess it's more Americanized in its feel. Refined, for 'Murrica, but Europeans would likely find it rough around the edges. I'm fine with that.

What's nice is to have intake 'roar'. I don't care about exhaust noise, but intake noise I'm fine with, long as it's not constant/droning.

The Jag has air-suspension, and the "shocks" are known to fail. DIY is a $600-$1K job, depending on your parts source, and it seems likely all four will be replaced by 150K miles.

Ouch. Still, the supple straight-line ride combined with almost no body-roll was amazing. I was willing to risk it.

turnne
05-09-11, 07:29 AM
Warren,

I don't care to rehash old disagreements. Rippy had MRC shocks for far less than $1,000 each and installation isn't all that much.

Chas

really?

I was using dealer prices for my statements( my local Cadillac and Mercedes dealer...Germain Cadillac /Mercedes benz..same dealer, same location)

Can you post a link where these MRC shocks were installed for less than $1000

as for the disagreement..there is really none..as you don't have a comparo automobile that you have actually compared the STS features to

Another reason I have no idea why you make these statements??


Warren

turnne
05-09-11, 07:36 AM
Funny you mention that, Warren, 'cause I really wanted either an '06 XJ Super V8 or a similar year M45. You're replying to a reply, but still, this may help.

The Jaaaaag, I could not find, but I loved the 2005 I drove. M's were priced over double what this STS is, and the STS has more...something. I guess it's more Americanized in its feel. Refined, for 'Murrica, but Europeans would likely find it rough around the edges. I'm fine with that.

What's nice is to have intake 'roar'. I don't care about exhaust noise, but intake noise I'm fine with, long as it's not constant/droning.

The Jag has air-suspension, and the "shocks" are known to fail. DIY is a $600-$1K job, depending on your parts source, and it seems likely all four will be replaced by 150K miles.

Ouch. Still, the supple straight-line ride combined with almost no body-roll was amazing. I was willing to risk it.

You make a couple of points I have stated many times

The Infiniti M...as a used car..is priced significantly higher than a STS...as a new car it is significantly less
Of the three I was test driving at the time..STS,RL, M...the M was my favorite

I agree...the STS is not as refined...though its a lot less expensive
So..I guess if you don't really care about refinement being paramount...you get what you pay for.
I don't really think a European car buyer is cross shopping the STS seriously
As I have said before..I still think the STS is a good value on the used car market

I have not driven the Jag..so I can't speak to it


Warren

mckellyb
05-09-11, 04:06 PM
Think of the post-2005 Jag XJ's, the supercharged ones, as an STS-V, but with the most posh of surroundings. It's truly amazing. Lambswool floor "mats", very cozy surroundings, but in a spacious machine. It's an amazing feat they've pulled off, honestly.

I've driven a Q, but when I found the M had effectively orange lights for the IP, I didn't want to consider it. My IP color desires are red, white (if backlit), and blue. Green, orange, or other colors, I'll pass. Considered a G35 for a while, back when they were new, but the transmission lump on the passenger's side made it impossible for my wife to get comfy in the passenger's seat. That's rather important to me.

I'm just not an Acura/Lexus kinda guy. My wife wanted me to get a Lexus to compliment her '02 RX300, but there wasn't anything both appealing to me and reasonably affordable.

I still think the STS is priced like it is because it's unusual with the configuration this one has. 1SG package and in colors considered bland by most, but they work for me. I'd still swear the interior was tan, not light gray, but the VIN says it's gray, as does the ad... Go figure.

turnne
05-09-11, 06:11 PM
what do you mean by configuration ...?...
as for the bland colors.most luxury cars...I guess I should say all...come in about the gamut of colors


Warren

mhamilton
05-10-11, 04:48 PM
The Jaaaaag, I could not find, but I loved the 2005 I drove. M's were priced over double what this STS is, and the STS has more...something. I guess it's more Americanized in its feel. Refined, for 'Murrica, but Europeans would likely find it rough around the edges. I'm fine with that.

What's nice is to have intake 'roar'. I don't care about exhaust noise, but intake noise I'm fine with, long as it's not constant/droning.

The Jag has air-suspension, and the "shocks" are known to fail. DIY is a $600-$1K job, depending on your parts source, and it seems likely all four will be replaced by 150K miles.

Ah, McKelly, small world... again!

Congratulations on your new STS :) I was still debating between one of the '04+ XJ or an STS model to replace my dd Eldorado. Kinda still leaning toward the Jag, but I may change my mind again before purchase in a year or so lol

Greg00coupe
05-10-11, 05:01 PM
Congrats......... sounds like a great deal with little down side risk. Enjoy!! Never had an Infinity.......but had a number of friends with them. Saw enough to convince me never to have one.

mckellyb
05-10-11, 08:19 PM
From what I gather, and by looking at production figures, the 1SG cars were less common, and with the Astroroof, it's just a bit moreso.

I don't have the production numbers, handy, so this is by memory.

mckellyb
05-13-11, 11:34 AM
what do you mean by configuration ...?...
as for the bland colors.most luxury cars...I guess I should say all...come in about the gamut of colors


Warren

An addendum to my previous reply.

My car is one of 12 configured in the manner it is. There were fewer than 5K 1SG option group cars manufactured. Also, it's only one of less than 2K built w/the 3.42 rear-end ratio.

I'd say one of less than 2K is uncommon, relatively-speaking.

turnne
05-16-11, 08:38 AM
relatively speaking would also include the total number of cars sold as well

Its not these were ever sold in Honda Accord/Toyota Camry type volumes

If you look at 1SG cars...there are rarer after 2007
You can always find 05 and 06's 1SG cars for sale...and typically high mileage examples of and showing visible signs of wear...both things I would concentrate on more than the cars rear end ratio

what might make it really a gem( and rare) is say some mileage below 30K for an 05 car

When I was looking there were two 05 1SG AWD's on my local Cadillac dealer's lot..one blk/blk and one white diamond/black

I bought the white diamond one


Warren

RippyPartsDept
05-16-11, 10:15 AM
F55 (variable realtime damping chassis) shocks are kind of expensive, but not that expensive

Fronts (left & right are the same part number)
#88964547
List price: $667.28
Forum discount: $457 (each)

Rears
LH #89060191 $933.22 (list) - $400 (discount) [clearance item - special price]
RH #89060192 $885.04 (list) - $532 (discount)

turnne
05-16-11, 10:50 AM
F55 (variable realtime damping chassis) shocks are kind of expensive, but not that expensive

Fronts (left & right are the same part number)
#88964547
List price: $667.28
Forum discount: $457 (each)

Rears
LH #89060191 $933.22 (list) - $400 (discount) [clearance item - special price]
RH #89060192 $885.04 (list) - $532 (discount)

That is expensive...relatively speaking to what the car you are putting them on it worth

I assume those are the part #s for the 2005+ STS?

can the cars be retrofitted with passive shocks as the pre 2005 cars can?...as many have done to do a practical financial fix on an older Caddy?


Warren

Lifer
05-16-11, 12:18 PM
mckellyb,
May I offer an invitation to the North Texas Region Cadillac LaSaller club located here in the Dallas-Ft Worth area. Some members (like me) have the new generation STS and XLR, and many have the classicas also. We don't guaraqntee complete technical support, but there is a lot of knowledge here, including what we learn from this forum. My email is lifer@writeme.com.

RippyPartsDept
05-16-11, 12:19 PM
they're not any more expensive (actually less) than the 2002.5-2004 F55 magnaride shocks
and also less than the previous gen F45 CVRSS shocks
and those cars are worth waaaay less than a 2005+

also, i would assume that the retro-fit is available, but since i don't sell aftermarket parts i don't know for sure

mckellyb
05-16-11, 01:34 PM
Thanks!

I'm all for interacting with local folks.

turnne
05-16-11, 03:20 PM
they're not any more expensive (actually less) than the 2002.5-2004 F55 magnaride shocks
and also less than the previous gen F45 CVRSS shocks
and those cars are worth waaaay less than a 2005+

also, i would assume that the retro-fit is available, but since i don't sell aftermarket parts i don't know for sure


For the older cars( pre 2005) there is non OEM adjustable shock if you want to maintain the cars option...as well as the passive versions that people have using as replacements for years on Cadillacs
Rock Auto has both the last time I checked

I agree the older cars are worth way less...not that an 05 is worth that much...
When I owned the 02 TS and used to participate in that part of the forum it was far more common..like 10 to1...for owners to replace their set up with the passive units

I can't imagine the newer cars would be much different...esp since there are cars that are under the 10K mark in value

My dealer charges $4K to replace these shocks on an 05

I heard that and I thought.."yea right"


Warren

RippyPartsDept
05-16-11, 03:42 PM
as far as i know there is no aftermarket replacement for the 2005.5-2004 Sevilles that have the F55 suspension...

they aftermarket might sell an active shock that can take the signals from the module but it's not magneto-rheological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetorheological_damper) (aka magnaride (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MagneRide))