ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine questions.
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  • 1 Post By Submariner409
Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine questions. in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I am looking at a 2002 Eldorado ESC and a 2002 ETC. I will buy one of them tomorrow. 5 ...
  1. #1
    CadVetteStang's Avatar
    CadVetteStang is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2002 Eldorado ESC, 70 Eldorado, 82 Eldorado w/472
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    ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine questions.

    I am looking at a 2002 Eldorado ESC and a 2002 ETC. I will buy one of them tomorrow. 5 times per year it will get raced in the local autocross. I like the higher torque values of the ESC that occur at lower RPMs and suspect that will be advantageous, however, the ETC has the best suspension. Can I get what I need from the salvage yard and do a "plug and play " swap? Will this involve more than a body control computer and struts? Would I be better off swapping in struts from a Grand Prix GTP or GXP and forget about computer control? I plan to use the 34MM front sway bar for the w- body cars, the racing springs, and could swap the rear struts for racing shocks. What works? What does not? I don't care about keeping a soft ride and would welcome a Corvette feel. Any ideas?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. questions.

    Remember - while the ESC has 5 lb/ft more torque in the midrange, it also runs a 3.11:1 economy/cruise final drive. The ETC runs a 3.71:1 final, so it will always keep rpm higher in the power curve, giving you MORE woof out of turns than less .............

    That said, the 2 cars (in identical track and mechanical condition) will always be within 0.4 second of each other in the 0-60 area, and within 0.7 second in the 1/4. One hiccup would tell the story.

    IF the ESC has passive/FE1 suspension there are more than a few hoops to jump through to convert the whole car to active F45 CVRSS.

    Both models have ELC - rear level control - to compensate for additional weight in the trunk or rear seat; it is NOT "air ride".

    This graph is a comparison of the two engines - but advance the L37/VIN 9 (300 hp) curve by 400 - 600 rpm (the 3.71 final drive rpm difference through the gears) and figure out the curves from there.

  4. #3
    CadVetteStang's Avatar
    CadVetteStang is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. questions.

    That is very helpful information. Thank you. I have found one more option; a 1993 base model with 4.9. I have heard they are quicker off the line even thought they are much slower in 0-60 times and I hear they get better gas mileage. With the engine being in front of the axle centerline, the nose-heaviness would be a factor to consider in cornering. How much lighter is a 4.9? I see info where the 2002 gets 25 MPG on the interstate, and other info saying 27 MPG. I see info stating 27 MPG for the 4.9…. But I hear the 4.9 must use premium and the Northstar will accept regular gasoline. If I have to build a suspension, is the 4.9 base model a better choice than the ESC?

    The ETC I am looking at and the base model both have 106,000 miles. The ESC has 67,000 miles.
    So much to consider……

  5. #4
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. questions.

    Northstar - - -

    Gas mileage - you need to know which engine/final drive you're dealing with. The 8th character of the VIN is the engine code: VIN Y is the 275hp/3.11 setup; VIN 9 is the 300hp/3.71.

    In just about any of this FWD series of cars, the VIN Y will get 27 - 29 mpg long-term highway; the VIN 9 will do about 24 - 25. (It's the final drive again). We have several VIN Y Eldorados in here that do 30 - 31 long-term highway. (The instantaneous fuel consumption is cutesy but useless - it's kind of like watching a vacuum gauge while you fool with the gas pedal.)

    The compression ratio was 10.3:1 until the 2000 model year (8/99 production line start), when it dropped to 10.0:1 and the engine went to roller cams at the same time along with a redesign combustion chamber and ignition system. The 2000 - 2004 engines are spec'd for 87 octane (with the use disclaimer for premium).

    The Northstars have a very sensitive knock sensor - you can run regular gas with no problem, but as the different owner's manuals state (in different words) if you race, tow a trailer, or do extensive mountain driving you should run premium. BUT - the knock sensor WILL NOT advance timing beyond the factory maximum (about 34 degrees BTDC) regardless of what fuel you burn, so it makes no sense to run premium if the engine does not need it. Do some study - Google "top tier gasoline" and "chevron techron".

    34 degrees BTDC , max ????? Yep - my Olds 455's run up to 43 degrees - but the Northstar has 4 valves, central spark plug, different combustion chamber, faster flame travel, blah, blah. It doesn't need (want) too much advance.

    EDIT: at 0930 - This is getting far away from a simple suspension discussion (partially my fault) - I'll move it up to the wide-open Seville/Eldorado forum and leave a long re-direct so the stragglers can catch up ...............
    CadVetteStang likes this.

  6. #5
    gdwriter's Avatar
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine question

    I autocross my 2001 Seville SLS, and it is bone stock. Because this is a nose-heavy FWD two-ton car, there is a lot of body lean:









    While I invariably have the biggest, heaviest car competing, I am not the slowest. The Northstar has a lot to do with that. It's very responsive and eager to rev. On an typical autocross course, you're not going to get going fast enough for the 300 hp Northstar to make that much difference over the 275 hp version that's in my Seville or in an ESC.

    I've only been autocrossing for a couple of years and never in something small and light like a Miata, so my experience is pretty limited. It's all too easy to make this car plow, so what I've learned to do is nail the brakes right before the turn, get off the brakes with initial turn in, start accelerating past the apex, then nail the gas when you're straightening out. Go into the turn too fast or turn the wheel too hard, and the front end will just wash out. You can be aggressive the the throttle and the brakes, but less so with the steering. If you do it right, yes the car will heel over, but it'll take a set and hold steady through the turn.

    Autocrossing is one of the most fun things I've ever done, even if I'm doing it in a car that has no business out on the track. After my first autocross, I was introduced as "that crazy SOB autocrossing the Cadillac." That my race number is 747 is deliberate. Compared to the Miatas and WRXs that dominate the sport, I might as well be piloting a Boeing 747.

  7. #6
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Lol, I never noticed your number.

    I'd like to try autocross with my STS next spring.

  8. #7
    vincentm's Avatar
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    I'd love to go down an auto cross with you we can be two crazies with Cadillacs!

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    N*Caddy's Avatar
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine question

    SLS/ESC is for confort, STS/ETC is the one you take for auto cross (if you are ok with possibly wrecking a nice car).

    To convert a non CVRSS car to CVRSS you need to:
    1. Replace the EBTCM
    2. ADD the CVRSS module
    3. Add 2 wires (ICCS DL) between CVRSS and EBTCM module
    4. Replace the passive struts with the CVRSS ones (at a cost of $700 EACH!)
    5. Add 4 height sensors (one to each wheel) and remove the existing height sensor (used for ELC)
    6. Add harness from CVRSS module to each strut and each height sensor.
    7. Rewire the ELC system (move the controls from the "smart" height sensor to the CVRSS module (involves removing a fuse, adding a breaker, and lot of rewiring).
    8. Replace the front sway bar, bushings and mountings.
    9. Enable the CVRSS in the IPC (setting available in the IPC registry).

    Because of the final drive difference, although the ESC/SLS engine does have marginally more torque, it will not show at all, ETC/ESC will always be better (Sub challenged me once so I calculate as I was under the same impression, Sub was right).

  10. #9
    STS_Seville_Hunter is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Eldorado ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine question

    get a broker for yahoo auctions japan and get a set of Espilir lowering springs.

  11. #10
    CadVetteStang's Avatar
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    Re: ESC suspension upgrade to ETC for autocross racing. Some engine questions.

    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies; sorry I have not been able to respond sooner. Great information.

    I loved watching the SLS running autocross. If allowed, I can see that rear suspension limiters would be a big help. They can be made from cable and hardware for about $10 and can be designed so that they can be attached for competition and unattached for street use. This would limit the raised rear end nose dive going into turns; the car would just drop low with a forward rake.

    I am very glad to see that I am not the only FWD Cadillac autocross racer (although I have yet to find a YouTube video of an Eldorado autoXing). My days of autocrossing the 70 Eldorado are a fond memory. I wish we had not been ripped off with the current 2002 ESC because I looked forward to getting started building the suspension. Oh well, I guess the Espilir lowering springs will go on whatever we replace it with. The car is now for sale.

    Before I knew the extent of the damages, we took it to a pawnshop and tried 16, 17, 18 and 20 inch wheels on it. I’ll post the photos in a new thread when I can.

    I do not know if the next one will be an ETC or another ESC (then again, I may go after the 93 Base model with the 4.9 and do a 95 up body upgrade.

  12. #11
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    Any of you ever look into madtuner?

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