Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issues

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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issues in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Well I originally had a post here, thought I would update: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...s-passive.html here is a recap: -Bought the struts -put ...
  1. #1
    rugbeee is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2000 STS
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issues

    Well I originally had a post here, thought I would update:

    here is a recap:
    -Bought the struts
    -put the springs on one afternoon, one side was easy, the other was not (strut would not fully extend)
    -called Arnott immediately, talked to a tech, said it was normal, keep trying and do something to forced in the extended position
    -Tried for 2 hours compressing the spring until the spring compressor could go no tighter and the spring was bulging
    -Made a video and sent it to arnott, they looked at it, said it was normal and I had to pump it to activate it. Said the gurgling liquid sound was notmal.
    -Pumped it for 2 days and it got worse
    -Called Arnott again, made a longer more indepth youtube video with more descriptions, they said to send an email to the big wig Marvin
    -Marvin replied to me immediately saying he would get back to me Monday (it was a Friday)
    -I called them a week later, said I was waiting for Marvin's call, she stopped him on the way to a meeting
    -he said they were going to get all the techs together and looked at a new box and see what was wrong
    -I mentioned the other one was fine and only one was broken, he thought I was saying both were broken and there was a problem with the entire line of struts (??) since it was just the one strut I could send it in.
    -I asked about being reimbursed shipping, she said that can only be done from a US address, Canada has to pay for everything.
    -Over the next month I arranged to have someone bring the struts to a friend in the US and mail them
    -Called for the shipping label and a new lady said everyone has to pay for shipping and there is a small chance you are reimbursed
    -Cheapest shipping of one strut from Canada was $49!
    -I was fed up bouncing on my broken struts so I sent it. Sent a big email to Marvin summarizing everything.
    -A new strut was back at my house within 24 hours of it arriving at Arnott (that was nice!). No response from Marvin
    -Got to work immediately, no issues putting the spring on the new strut
    -Installed the struts on the car, needed an alignment - also threw the c0577 code (left strut solenoid circuit high I believe), warning it can't go past 145kmh (90mph)
    -Brought it to the alignment shop (very good shop in town), told him to check to make sure everything looked right with the connector (assumed that was the code) also cleared to the codes on the dash
    -He worked on it for 3 hours, during which he thought it was the wrong strut because it was having a hard time doing the alignment, he couldn't get the camber better than 2 degrees (it should be something like .2 or .02)
    -Had to buy camber bolts for each side ($75x2), I wasn't going to fight with Arnott and send the struts back again and I just wanted it fixed so I went ahead
    -Finally got it setup, he said there was no issue with the clip, but now the error code said rss c0579 and c0584 (Left front and Right Front Solenoid Circuit Open)
    Found this link
    -Called Arnott, mentioned my error code issue, transferred me to tech support, they immediately told me to check the pins in the connector and said to get the error codes if that doesn't work, told them the codes
    -They said those codes shouldn't happen right off the bat, was on hold for 5 mins she came back on and said they would be sending me a new ?something?, asked if that was the solenoid or coil, she paused like I was an idiot and didn't answer, I asked how to install it and if there would be instructions because I have no clue what she is sending me (am I pulling the pins out?? is it the entire clip), again a pause as if I was an idiot, then she said I just have to get the person that installed it to do it again, I said that was me so we just ended it there and I guess I will figure it out.
    -Also I mention how I paid for camber bolts, they said that has never been an issue ever in 20 years, so either I am the unluckiest person on earth or the alignment guy was a scammer.

    So my overall cost:
    $316 - 10% discount from a forum = $285 for the struts + $75 shipping to Cad

    Costs due to issues with Arnott
    + $50 return shipping
    + $150 camber bolts (the alignment was $90
    = $200 in extras

    This was my first time working with struts so Arnott made me feel like I was being an idiot for suggesting the struts were compromised, I asked friends, parts stores and looked online just to make sure I wasn't mistaken and it took almost 5-10 calls/emails to get the strut that was shipped to me broken accepted and I had conflicting information about reimbursing shipping expenses. Even after finally getting the parts installed I'm now waiting on the broken coil/solenoid to get rid of the error codes. Another issue was everytime the struts arrived at my place there was always a strut that broke through the box and was sitting fully extended (the metal hanger that kept the strut compressed in the box fell off on two struts). So far my car does not bounce around like I'm on hydraulics or dive when I brake (my old struts pretty much had no oil left and I was just bouncing on a spring), so it is definately better than my old shocks but it is a lot rougher on the slow stuff and drove the 100k mile lumina at my work and found the ride much smoother. Although I remember a thread way back that mentioned the strtuts really soften up quite a bit after 1000 kms so I will report back with an update (I'll try to remain unbiased). Of course this is still 1/4 the price of the two OEM struts alone but if I had known there would be this much trouble I likely would have bought a competing passive solutions, especially with the extra costs of warranty being from Canada and what seems like a lack of quality control on items leaving the warehouse (leaking seals at 0 miles).

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  3. #2
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '98 STS (RIP @ 206,xxx miles)
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Metro ATL

    Re: Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issu

    Sad story but....

    None of your misfortune would have occured IF you have purchased and installed GM part # service parts. NONE. Plus there would be no need for "camber bolts" or alignment.

    How much is your time and aggravation worth in $$?

    There is one possibility of an inexpensive "bandaid" for the codes you are seeing IF your car has the RPO F45 suspension code.

  4. #3
    johnny kannapo's Avatar
    johnny kannapo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1996 Eldorado
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Pigseye, Mn

    Re: Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issu

    I have read several bad reviews for Arnotts Reman stuff including GM & Ford air suspension components

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  6. #4
    rugbeee is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2000 STS
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Thread Starter

    Re: Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issu

    That is true JimD, I'm starting to realize why so many people say "stick with CVRSS, you'll miss it", the cloud like ride was amazing the first 3 years I owned the car. But it slowly deteriorated over the last 3 years.

    Main reason I went with Arnott? My car is work $4-5000 CAD in nice condition in Canada, the struts cost $1000 X 2 each side and even if I order cheaper from US websites there are border fees to deal with.
    Almost got a new set dirtcheap from www.northstarperformance.com but a bulk purchase he was working on fell through, so I started looking passive.

    The good thing about all this? my car needed lots of work, struts, $1800 of other stuff, and some body work (hit and run on my front end). I found a parts car for $1000 same year/colour and starting working on my own car for the first time in my life! Did all the brakes, front wheel bearings, CV joint, tie-rods, replaced fender, bumper, headlight, moved the struts from the parts car, I think they were dried out and leaked almost immediately. So I just switched to passive rather than spending half the value of my car on two struts. Unfortunately, what everyone says is true, it completely ruins the ride you were used to (which is the reason some people buy these cars). Thinking back, lots of reviews on arnott are people that hate passive and would never consider it or they say "the ride is okay but I did save a lot of money".

    My thoughts now? I should have sold my car and just bought a mint condition Caddy with similar kms for $5000, since now I'm dealing with a broken cat and 02 sensor (going to switch over the exhaust from my parts car), then the traction control light is on (I just have to track down a couple burnt out bulbs in the rear as that seems to affect a lot in these cars). Swap the hood and trunk (hail damage), then get some painting done and sell the parts car (it's been a year of slowly working on this car).

    But I love working on my car now, it was horrible to learn, but I was thankful for all the info on these forums! Again, if you do go passive, understand you are getting a very different ride than you are used to and avoid Arnott like the plague (especially if you are in Canada), even if someone chooses the ride of passive shocks and tries to save money it shouldn't be this big of a pain in the ass with extra costs related to installation and return. The lack of empathy from warranty staff (sales staff were actually really good) and the run around makes me think they deal with these same issues over and over.

  7. #5
    motomack is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2002 Eldorado ETC special edition last 1596 white
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Re: Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issu

    Did you buy your struts directly from Arnott? Seems you did if sales staff nice but customer service, not so. Been 3 years now and wonder how the Arnotts are holding up? I just ordered a set from shockwarehouse.com and have 30 days to send them back, no questions asked, so I will check them over before installing the pair. Of course you won't know for sure completely until they are installed and put some miles on them. Planning to change them myself and if it appears I will need new camber bolts for my 2002 Eldorado I will try to send them back but they will have be "installed and used" by that point.

  8. #6
    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
    Automobile(s): 2002.5 F55 STS - 67,500 miles, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    MD Eastern Shore, Kent Island

    Re: Unhappy with Arnott passive shocks, poor QC, camber bolts required, multiple issu

    If you click his username and open his profile you'll see that he hasn't logged in since 2013. I doubt that you'll get an answer.

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