Suspension problem?
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, Suspension problem? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; ...
  1. #1
    lathe2nd's Avatar
    lathe2nd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): '97 ETC '94 SLS
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    Unhappy Suspension problem?

    Hi, first I’d like to say thanks for all the useful information I have found here already. I have recently become acquainted with the eldorado. I was looking for something like a mustang GT when a friend pointed me towards the eldorado, big changes since my ’83 sedan deville 4.1



    I ended up buying a really nice 92 with the 4.9, I am not one to become attached to just any car, but this was different, however short lived. Just 2 weeks after buying the car, while driving my son to school we were cut off by a tractor trailer. I truly believe the car saved our lives, if not it certainly prevented some very serious injuries. Unfortunately the car was totaled. I then found out just how “rare” (as the dealer mentioned) the Eldo’s are. We were able to find a really nice ’97 ETC and I am very pleased with it. But it does seem to have a problem with the suspension (reason for the post!).



    The car has 135k on it, the service engine soon light comes on randomly and does not affect the problem either way, there is no check suspension warning indicated at any time. For the most part the suspension seems to be working correctly, ride height, cornering seems great, but occasionally even the slightest bumps can beat the daylights out of the front end and make the car loose, at times it seems like the struts may even bottom out. But at other times on the same road at same speed on same bumps the car takes them fine. Are my struts worn out or could this be a computer / sensor problem?



    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    91TexasSeville's Avatar
    91TexasSeville is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by lathe2nd
    Hi, first I’d like to say thanks for all the useful information I have found here already. I have recently become acquainted with the eldorado. I was looking for something like a mustang GT when a friend pointed me towards the eldorado, big changes since my ’83 sedan deville 4.1



    I ended up buying a really nice 92 with the 4.9, I am not one to become attached to just any car, but this was different, however short lived. Just 2 weeks after buying the car, while driving my son to school we were cut off by a tractor trailer. I truly believe the car saved our lives, if not it certainly prevented some very serious injuries. Unfortunately the car was totaled. I then found out just how “rare” (as the dealer mentioned) the Eldo’s are. We were able to find a really nice ’97 ETC and I am very pleased with it. But it does seem to have a problem with the suspension (reason for the post!).



    The car has 135k on it, the service engine soon light comes on randomly and does not affect the problem either way, there is no check suspension warning indicated at any time. For the most part the suspension seems to be working correctly, ride height, cornering seems great, but occasionally even the slightest bumps can beat the daylights out of the front end and make the car loose, at times it seems like the struts may even bottom out. But at other times on the same road at same speed on same bumps the car takes them fine. Are my struts worn out or could this be a computer / sensor problem?



    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Welcome and sorry to read about the 92. Glad nobody was hurt!

    Service engine soon light



    Run a search to learn how to retrieve codes from the onboard computer. Record all that scroll by for each system. If you miss any, don't worry; you will be able to read them again. Once you have recorded all the codes, reset each module with the option "reset codes?" Drive the car for a short trip and record the codes that return. Run a search in this forum for the codes you recorded to learn what function they serve. You can also use this link:

    http://myweb.accessus.net/~090/dtcobd2.html





    Chassis inspection



    A visual inspection, and "channel lock" torque test, while the car is on a chassis lift will reveal if the bushings for front sway bar, lower ball joints, and tie rod ends are any good. This test can also be performed with the car raised in the driveway, front wheels off the ground, and chassis supported by jack stands. Grasp the tire/wheel assembly with one hand on the top and one on the bottom and give it a vigorous shake pulling up out and down, nothing should move or make noise. Struts should be dry and free of any oil.



    135K miles on the odometer is not a lot of miles for a 1997, actually it is only slightly higher than "average" for an 8 year old car. Where I live, 15K per year are average as opposed to 12K per year in some other places. 15K times 8 years works out to 120K. If the engine is not leaking oil or coolant, and the transmission is topped off and shifting fine, I suspect you got a good car that was reasonably well maintained. If you plan to keep the car any length of time, I strongly suggest that you get the factory manual. With the help of this forum, a factory manual, and some sweat equity, you can expect another 100K of enjoyment.



    At the risk of being sharded upon, my first choice would have been a 1995 Mustang GT convertible with 5.0L V8 and 5sp transmission. But this is a Cadillac forum and we love our Cadillac’s too




  4. #3
    morroccoz1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Lathe,

    Do you have a lot of "floating" too on the highway through dips? My front struts= shot at 56K. When I say shot I mean I looked like I had hydraulics at 65 MPH, so it isn't by any means out of the question.

  5. #4
    lathe2nd's Avatar
    lathe2nd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    In response to 91Texas Seville,

    I figured out how to read my codes, most seem to be old problems (hopefully ones that have been corrected already) here's what I found:

    PCM
    History
    P0404 - Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Open Position Performance
    P0603 - Control Module Long Term Memory Reset
    P0713 - Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) Sensor Circuit High Input
    IPC
    History
    B1552 - Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Error
    B2710 - PASSKey Open/Shorted Pellet
    Current
    U1255 - Class 2 Communication Malfunction (Serial Data Line Malfunction)
    ACM
    Current
    B1347 - Very Low A/C Refrigerant Warning
    PZM
    History
    B1552 - Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Error
    B1558 - BCM EPROM Checksum Error
    B1983 - Device Power Circuit Low
    B1971 - Inadvertent Power
    IRC
    History
    B1771 - Cassette tape slow
    U1064 - Loss of Communications with DIM
    No SDM, TCS, RSS, CCP, RFA, MSM, MMM, or PHN Data codes

    I think I understand most of the info, just not sure what some of the abbreviations are. The serial line data malfunction concerns me, unless it is referring to the cars built in phone and the "onstar" system. (which brings up a question for another topic there as well) I am going to jack up the car sometime this weekend to get a better idea what is happening with the ball joints and such.
    I'll let you know what I find out.
    Thanks for your help.

    In response to morroccoz1,

    I have experienced the floating, but only once that I am aware of, this is what I find odd, the problem isn't constant, it seems to almost correct itself at times...

  6. #5
    maydog's Avatar
    maydog is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    I would have a look at some of your electrical connections and grounds. It looks like your PCM is having some issues staying turned on. Make sure you battery cables are tight too.

    Regarding you suspension, my 97 sts seemed to have intermittent dampening issues in the front for some time. I really noticed the problem when I let my wife drive the car and I was in a vehicle behind her. The thing bounced like a hooptie - It was pretty funny looking - ever see uncle buck?

    I think in the beginning the problem can come and go because there is still enough fluid in the strut to work most of the time. As it ages, less fluid is available and will fail more consistently.

    I had considered, very early on, drilling a small refill hole in the top of the strut cylinder to refill the fluid. I abandoned that and found the delco passive replacement parts and bypassed the electronics.

  7. #6
    morroccoz1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Maydog is right. Mine started like yours. On and off, almost like it did compensate somewhat at times and then...all hell broke loose. I had a hooptie too. It was weird, like in no time it went from bad to horrible. Again, this was at 56K, but the car sat a lot and was rarely driven. I think you might want to start strut shopping.

    I can tell you now that I had 800 (the dealer picked up half under warranty in the new ones. So it is like 1600 for the GM struts. If you want to go passive, you can save quite a few $$, but it is all in what you are after. In my case I wanted it back the way it was. And the difference was unreal.

  8. #7
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Some shocks are rebuildable. Figuring a way to keep the oil even between the sides would be an issue but refilling them might have worked for awhile. Were they leaking?

  9. #8
    davesdeville's Avatar
    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by 91TexasSeville
    At the risk of being sharded upon, my first choice would have been a 1995 Mustang GT convertible with 5.0L V8 and 5sp transmission. But this is a Cadillac forum and we love our Cadillac’s too


    Why? So you could get smoked like a Swisha Sweet by an ETC?

  10. #9
    lathe2nd's Avatar
    lathe2nd is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Hi guys, I still haven't had a chance to get under the car... but I am pretty much convinced the struts are worn out, I live in western PA and we have alot more bumpy areas here than where I purchased the car at - it has definately gotten worse since my first post. I don't want to install passive struts - I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and fork out the $$$ (was hoping for a cheaper solution).

    I am not familiar with all the abreviations on the codes I was able to read, but coincidently prior to pulling the codes I had discovered my battery terminals were both loose...
    can anyone tell me more about this:
    U1255 - Class 2 Communication Malfunction (Serial Data Line Malfunction)

    I have been a Ford fan for many years now several F350's, a Super duty (diesels and gas) an F150, a bronco a town car and have put many trouble free miles on all of them - but the GM's are also finding a home in our driveway lately (sold a 94 GMC conversion van with over 300K miles all original except tires brakes shocks u joints a wheel bearing and the muffler it is still running strong but the body was rusting out)
    we now have 2 gmc vans a 41 chevy military truck and my ETC...
    my Favorite Car? the ETC ofcourse!
    until the new struts are in we'll just smoke the GT's like a Black and Mild LOL

    Thanks everyone...

  11. #10
    toofitt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by maydog
    I would have a look at some of your electrical connections and grounds. It looks like your PCM is having some issues staying turned on. Make sure you battery cables are tight too.

    Regarding you suspension, my 97 sts seemed to have intermittent dampening issues in the front for some time. I really noticed the problem when I let my wife drive the car and I was in a vehicle behind her. The thing bounced like a hooptie - It was pretty funny looking - ever see uncle buck?

    I think in the beginning the problem can come and go because there is still enough fluid in the strut to work most of the time. As it ages, less fluid is available and will fail more consistently.

    I had considered, very early on, drilling a small refill hole in the top of the strut cylinder to refill the fluid. I abandoned that and found the delco passive replacement parts and bypassed the electronics.
    You got to be kidding me!! Drill holes in the struts to add fluid, just the fact that you were considering this tell me... he owns a drill and doesn't know how to use it. Like I have been saying about this member M.I.C.K.E.Y.M.O.U.S.E.! Here is some more rope mayday.

    TOM

  12. #11
    maydog's Avatar
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Yes the idea of drilling holes was pretty off the wall (but how did the fluid originally get in, through a hole maybe?) , I was thinking about some strut designs that have external resivoirs to hold the dampening material. Actually I have a list of several crazy, strange and novel ideas for the fix. It is a process called brainstorming - this is a typical problem solving tool where you freely generate solutions to problems without judging their merit. Afterward you narrow down the list to practical and doable solutions. I offered the example of dirriling holes as a glimpse into my experimentation process before proceeding. I do not advocate drilling holes - did I somehow imply that? Obviously I chose the best solution out there besides getting new active struts.

    I suppose the process of problem solving is foriegn to you? You would prefer that people not think outside the box and just for over some cash because some blowhard says so and so is the best. That is fine as long as you get the facts straight. No one really cares about your take on something you know nothing about. Maybe if you coul comprehend the posts. you would understand that people are looking for infomation on others experiences and could care less about your futile attemts to bash those with differing viewpoints.

    I do not know who you are and I do not care beyond the fact that you seem hell bent on distorting the facts in order to promote a product/company you say that you have no affiliation with.

    If you have any issues with me do not waste others time by posting on this board. Petty feuds have no place on this board. Feel free to email me at maydog@hotmail.com. Also feel free to let your comments fly here:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ad.php?t=31636

    I have another crazy idea, why dont you post your email so that folks who really care about your viewpoint can communicate personally with you?

    Here is a picture of the removed strut and the "MickeyMouse" you can compare this with aftermarket options. Funny, I see no mouse ears.


  13. #12
    toofitt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Sorry maydog I am just trying to establish BS from real fixes someone may try. So it's Ok to stay in "your over analyze everything mode", its actually humerous to some of us. Great picture... see the plastic part on the top, that is "china cheap." I do not want to pay $125.00 a strut for that kind of quality. Monroe or Gabriel are US made and work great and, will last long.

    TOM

  14. #13
    bobbythebuilder is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Just wondering here-has anyone ever checked with Monroe or Gabriel to see what they think of some guy taking their products, modifying them by doing who knows what to them, then reselling them at double the price or more, while using their company names in his advertising/website? If they approve of this, I would think much more of this company in question. Yet, I'd think that if this guy had received some sort of approval for this strange operation, he would be plastering it all over the place, just like the electronic parts that have "never failed"!

    As a business owner, I know that whenever I contract with another business, I get a "proof of insurance", so that if something goes wrong, I'm not sued for THEIR negligence! I'd suggest asking for a copy of that when buying from someone who does this "Midnight Modifying" as well! That way, when the duct tape and chicken wire strut mount gives out and your Caddy plows into the Kinder Care playground, you can say "It's the struts dammit!"

  15. #14
    toofitt is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    I agree maydog should take note.


    TOM

  16. #15
    maydog's Avatar
    maydog is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Suspension problem?

    Tom,

    Why dont you and your "Friends" let others have a chance to have a constructive conversation.

    http://cadillacforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?p=262604

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