Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, Back end bouncy - but no sss light ?? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Blue text is background info, Black is question/problem My 93 SDV is 3 miles short of turning 94000 miles, I ...
  1. #1
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Blue text is background info, Black is question/problem

    My 93 SDV is 3 miles short of turning 94000 miles, I got the car about 4-5 yrs back with 70k something miles and a pretty new set of tires.

    A few months back I had too get 2 new front tires up front to pass inspection, a few weeks ago I started to get a very audible bump out of what I thought were the new front tires, the car shook alot (especially at low speed) after that, I took the car back in to get them re-balanced and they said it was my back tires which are 4-5 yrs old that were the culprit.

    The back tires had become cupped and looked warped at times, on both sides, I also noticed that their were holes in the tread and back sidewall. I researched and found that this could be a sign of suspension problems.

    Just today I got 2 new tires so now all 4 are <6months <1k miles old, but I want to get something figured out before these get ruined.

    I am the 3rd owner, 1st traded it in to dealer, then 2 bought it, and I bought it from 2 w/o a dealer inbetween

    The car has a pretty good bounce to it on bumps, especially on crummy city streets with lots of bumps, the rear just takes a real long time to settle down. It has been like this for quite a while, at times after sitting in a parking lot for a few hours the back drivers side appears to sag, and sometimes just the entire back sits lower Other times it looks perfectly level , dnd today after 2 new tires the front was lower . All of these were in a level lot

    Due to the bounciness and tire damage I think new shocks/struts are in order, however I have never once got a service suspension light in all the time Ive owned it. Being that it has fairly low mileage now, and when I got it, I wouldnt think the active suspension has been repaced yet and assume its all origional.

    Is thier any way to check that the SSS light hasnt been disabled, any self test to see if it functions? I really thought it would alert me to the problem long ago when I started to really feel it bounce.

    Ive read up on it a bit here and think the passive route is the best bet for me, and now just need to call around for pricing, but I really want to know why the SSS light appears to be "out of service" Could the dealer have disabled it? Could my shocks still be alright but just need a new solenoid?

    Thanks for any guidance, I would perfer to stay out from under the car at this time as I dont have proper lifting/jack devices, I know to ultimately solve it will require me or someone else to go under though. So if anyone knows a computer diagnostic to check, or any other ideas ,I would be grateful.

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  3. #2
    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    I'm not really surprised here. Computer does not really check the damping properties of the shocks. It only looks for electrical problems. At least that is how my 93 Eldorado TC (with RTD was). I was happily bouncing that car with no errors triggered. But when one of the accelerometers died, that triggered the SERVICE RIDE CONTROL message and a code.

    So you could have crappy bouncy shocks and the computer will be happy as long as all the electrical circuits are functioning within specs.

    I suppose that one way to test things out would be to disconnect one of the electric connectors on the shock. That should trigger an error code.

    Peteski

  4. #3
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by peteski
    I'm not really surprised here. Computer does not really check the damping properties of the shocks. It only looks for electrical problems. At least that is how my 93 Eldorado TC (with RTD was). I was happily bouncing that car with no errors triggered. But when one of the accelerometers died, that triggered the SERVICE RIDE CONTROL message and a code.

    So you could have crappy bouncy shocks and the computer will be happy as long as all the electrical circuits are functioning within specs.

    I suppose that one way to test things out would be to disconnect one of the electric connectors on the shock. That should trigger an error code.

    Peteski
    Well while diagnosing a few other problems I thought I would try and disconnect one of the front struts electrical connectors. I removed the little plastic cover from the strut tower and their was a 3 pronged wire plugged in (so I am not pretty certain they are origional active ones) I unplugged the wire and then started the car up, no SSS light or codes. I let it run for a minute or two waiting for a light to appear before I shut it off.

    I did not take the car out of park at all during this time, I wanst sure how it would react if I tried to drive it with the front driver strut electronics unplugged.

    I would assume that unplugging the connector should have set a light even without driving it, Would anyone have a reason why it wouldnt?

    In the next few days I may try and drive around the block with the 3 pronged connector unpluged and see what happens, unless someone tells me its a bad idea

    Im starting to wander if thier is something else I am missing

    On a side note does anyone with a base 93 SDV (analog cluster) know if thier should be a light that says "car is leveling" when the air compressor turns on to raise the back up? I have seen mentions of this in several places, but I never see one when the pump is on.

  5. #4
    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    I'm not sure if the SSS gets checked when the car is not traveling.
    Maybe not.

    My 93 Eldo TC had a RTD suspension (not SSS) and IIRC, it didn't check the suspension until the car was actually in motion. Mine also didn't have "Leveling" light. But my '85 Eldo has that light. And I don't know about SDV.

    Peteski

  6. #5
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Well I dont think it would hurt to drive with it unplugged, Ill try that tommorow and see what happens, just to be cautious though ill take it a bit slow and not go over lots of dips until I get a feel for how it will respond. I had a thought that I may have to move for it to respond aswell.

    I know new rear shocks (maybe fronts) should fix my problems, Im just curious to see if someone prior has tampered with the dummy lights for the suspension, If I unhook the strut and drive around without a light ill be stumped lol

  7. #6
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    well I pulled the electric to the strut on my way too work tonight, I went about 1/2 mile with it off and got up to about 40mph on a country road, it felt pretty funny at times since only one was unplugged and the other seemed to adjust. I decided to pull over into a empty lot and hook it back up though as i was getting ready to pull out onto a very narrow and windy and downhill road and didnt want to take any chances of losing control at 60mph on a hillside.

    So im lost at this point lol, maybe this is a blessing as I could get new rear struts and not have to worry about disabling the light

  8. #7
    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Even if you can find OEM replacement struts, they'll probably be very expensive. And if you are planning on aftermarket passive ones, there are plenty threads on this forum about how much trouble they have disablig the idiot light. But I think that SSS is a bit easier to disable that RTD that I had.

    But after re-reading your post, the light never came on! So, you should be all set to replace the shocks/struts with any aftermarket unit. Maybe someone else who knows SSS can chime in here.

    Peteski

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    NickySantoro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by behind-bars
    Is thier any way to check that the SSS light hasnt been disabled, any self test to see if it functions? I really thought it would alert me to the problem long ago when I started to really feel it bounce.
    Since you have driven the car with a sensor disconnected and the light didn't come on, we can possibly assume that the error message has been disabled. On your vehicle it likely would have been done like this...

    1991-1993 DeVille with Computer Command Ride (CCR): Refer to the Service Manual, page 8A-43-0. Cut Circuit 1300 (Dark Green wire) at the CCR module (Pin C15) to disable the indicator lamp. Tape the wires back into the harness to prevent shorting to other components.

    In the trunk, pull down the beauty cover that hides the rear of the back seat. In the lower right you will find the ride control module. Look for a cut green wire. If it has been cut you could reconnect it and drive a short distance. The error message should come on.
    FWIW
    YMMV

  10. #9
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by NickySantoro View Post
    Since you have driven the car with a sensor disconnected and the light didn't come on, we can possibly assume that the error message has been disabled. On your vehicle it likely would have been done like this...

    1991-1993 DeVille with Computer Command Ride (CCR): Refer to the Service Manual, page 8A-43-0. Cut Circuit 1300 (Dark Green wire) at the CCR module (Pin C15) to disable the indicator lamp. Tape the wires back into the harness to prevent shorting to other components.

    In the trunk, pull down the beauty cover that hides the rear of the back seat. In the lower right you will find the ride control module. Look for a cut green wire. If it has been cut you could reconnect it and drive a short distance. The error message should come on.
    FWIW
    YMMV

    Thanks for the tip, Sorry for the late update but I just now got the oppurtunity to look into it some more.

    I pulled the beauty cover and found the harness, The one right next to the antenna on the passanger side. I did not notice any wires that were cut, their were 2 green wires (light and dark) both them appeared to be uncut, unless the cut was made in the wire sleaving which I did not check yet. The only thing out of the ordinary that I noticed was the plug to run the antenna motor was unplugged, I plugged it in and the motor ran non stop and the antenna did not move. I would think these are on seperate circuits so they shouldn't affect each other, I unplugged the antenna motor and put it back together. But obviously someone was messing around thier to unplug the motor

    When I get another oppurtunity I may check in the sleaving to see if their is a cut inside. I am not really concerned at the moment, since I have new tires the ride feels a bit better. I am also lacking the time to replace the struts right now, I will make time if they get worse, but i think I have a while before that happens

    If anyone has any other easy things to check I would like to hear them though

  11. #10
    DaveSmed's Avatar
    DaveSmed is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Interesting. I've never heard of the indicator wires running in the trunk. The control module is located under the drivers seat. '94-up Cadillac Devilles had the module in the trunk..

    I bet someone took your lightbulb out. (Which is the disable/fix I recommend, circut 1300 is merely the wire to that lightbulb.)

  12. #11
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Unfortunately I dont have a FSM for the 93, I have one for a older 85 deville, but I dont trust it for specifics like this. Guess I could look up some info in it and see if it still applicatble, but I doubt it will be in this case. I am not sure what exactly all the wires were in the trunk. I know one ran to the tail lights and their were 2 connectors on the antenna motor, But their was also about 5 wires in a plug that went somewhere else.

    Guess I can look under the driver seat aswell for a cut wire, How hard are the bulbs to remove? I have never had the dash apart before so not sure exactly what you would do in that case to see if it has a bulb, Im just curious now as to why someone would kill the error message without fixing the problem

  13. #12
    DaveSmed's Avatar
    DaveSmed is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Back end bouncy - but no sss light ??

    Quote Originally Posted by behind-bars View Post
    Unfortunately I dont have a FSM for the 93, I have one for a older 85 deville, but I dont trust it for specifics like this. Guess I could look up some info in it and see if it still applicatble, but I doubt it will be in this case. I am not sure what exactly all the wires were in the trunk. I know one ran to the tail lights and their were 2 connectors on the antenna motor, But their was also about 5 wires in a plug that went somewhere else.

    Guess I can look under the driver seat aswell for a cut wire, How hard are the bulbs to remove? I have never had the dash apart before so not sure exactly what you would do in that case to see if it has a bulb, Im just curious now as to why someone would kill the error message without fixing the problem
    The bulb is pretty easy to remove. At the top of the wood trim by the opening for the Twilight knob and the window lockout switch, youll find two screws in there at a 45 deg angle. Take them out, then the two end pieces should lift right out. Theres three more screws like that for the center section, plus two directly under the column (that little snap-in trim piece covers them) and two on the bottom edges that were covered by the first trim pieces. After the wood is out of the way, theres two screws holding the information center in.

    Someone probably eliminated the error message because the struts were still dampening perfectly fine at the time, but lost the capability for adjustment. Rather common in fact. Some people unplug the SSS control module to accomplish the same thing, but in '93 it also controls the speed sensitive steering. Earlier cars it was just the suspension

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