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Diamond White '03 STS
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted a thread here back in February when I bought this 70k mile 2003 Seville STS. Since then I've been pretty busy cleaning it up, fixing issues, and doing some small exterior tweaks.

To date I have:
Clayed, buffed, and waxed the exterior
Removed the factory pin stripe
Plasti-dipped the chrome door molding black
Tinted the upper rear brake light, fog lights, and front cadillac emblem with tinted vinyl
Had the windows tinted 5% (limo)
Fixed an issue with the driver side parking light lens inside the casing (it had come loose)
Sanded/polished/sealed the headlights
Removed rear emblems (STS and 32v northstar) - I felt they dated the car

There's a couple pics below of the car as it sits currently.


Fixed a power steering leak
Removed the clogged cabin filter, opted to leave the filter out
Replaced driver rear window regulator
Detailed the interior (vacuum, wipedown, leather conditioned, glass cleaned)
Installed a single DIN JVC bluetooth head unit using the PAC OS2-GM32 to retain factory chime and onstar connections/wiring to stock harnesses, Metra ASWC1 to retain factory steering wheel controls
Installed wiring kit for external amplifier
Installed 10" Infinity subwoofer and amp in trunk


Still wanting to install some sort of exhaust - undecided on saving for Corsa or just buying a couple 2.5" bends and having my local guy fab it back to a magnaflow Y-transition in the rear and have some 2.5" pipes fabbed to run to some free flowing mufflers and get some corsa knock-off tips. I think even with compression bent pipes out of the Y-transition into the mufflers this type of exhaust should free up some power. The corsa sure is nice though.


I took the car to the dealer yesterday and paid $98 for a diagnosis on the suspension issue. Since I bought the car, the 90MPH speed warning and service suspension system has popped up on the dash at startup. Codes thrown are:

AMP U1000 History
IPC U1016 History
RIM U1255 History
RSS C0579 History
RSS C0584 History

The 579 and 584 codes have also shown as current from time to time. I explained to the dealer that I was told from the previous owner that all of the shocks and struts on the car had been replaced and had receipts on that. However the front struts were bought by the owner and taken with the vehicle to a vo-tech school she knew people at, and she had them install the struts. After picking up the car yesterday from the dealer, they're convinced something went wrong with the vo-tech's installation (no surprise there). They apparently cut wires somewhere, I'm guessing they were lazy and didnt' want to track the wires back to the body harnesses and just spliced and installed some butt connectors to the replacement strut wiring. I spoke with the tech himself, and he told me he'd hooked up a multimeter to the factory body harness connection and the system was seeing appropriate signal from the suspension module. He hooked up the other side of the harness and told me that the signal was out of the appropriate range (don't remember the exact range he told me) and these were showing '12'. He said since they were out of range the solenoids were fried and the struts needed replaced. Does this sound like the car was diagnosed appropriately?

I did some research last night, and the best deal I can find on the struts is AC Delco part number 580-462 for $480/ea on amazon. It says that they're the replacement for the factory part number 19300076, carrying the same part number for both sides. Does this sound correct? Are there any differences besides $200/ea to buy the Delco's over the GM part numbered ones? Also, if these guys have hacked the wiring harness, do new leads and harnesses come with the new struts where I can plug them directly into the body harness like they should be? Thanks in advance fellas.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

After speaking to an electrical engineer friend of mine, he suggested that maybe the resistance is too high due to how they're rigged up. So I'm going to remove the butt connectors, cut some of the excess line off between the splice and strut - it appears to be about 8" longer than a stock strut line due to the splicing, and reconnect the wires together, and solder and heatshrink them. I'm going to work on it this weekend, hopefully they'll come to life and I won't have to buy new.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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8" of 16 gauge copper wire has a resistance value that is so small as to be essentially unmeasurable. That's not your problem.

Butt connectors - there are cheap ones and there are good, proper ones. There are cheap crimping tools and there are good, proper crimping tools. My money is on the (high resistance)(uninsulated/waterproofed) connections themselves.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well I'm scratching my head. Spent the morning cutting out the old sloppy connectors and soldering the leads together. After heat shrinking, taping, and looming everything back up nicely, got in the car and cleared the codes. Started it up again and error message about 30 seconds later. So no dice. Guess the struts internals are bad. But what I don't understand is I can start the car, drive it over a speed bump before the warning appears and it feels firm. After the warning comes on that same bump at the exact same speed causes the front end to feel loose and it nearly bottoms out coming off of it. Why would the struts work and then not seconds later and continue to not work til the car is started up again?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,854 Posts
Well I'm scratching my head. Spent the morning cutting out the old sloppy connectors and soldering the leads together. After heat shrinking, taping, and looming everything back up nicely, got in the car and cleared the codes. Started it up again and error message about 30 seconds later. So no dice. Guess the struts internals are bad. But what I don't understand is I can start the car, drive it over a speed bump before the warning appears and it feels firm. After the warning comes on that same bump at the exact same speed causes the front end to feel loose and it nearly bottoms out coming off of it. Why would the struts work and then not seconds later and continue to not work til the car is started up again?
========================
it's the nature of the strut -

unlike other active struts/shocks with variable valving -
the FLUID in the F55 units changes viscosity - electronically -

the part that controls the viscosity is what has failed -

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and by the way -
there is absolutely no difference
between an "ACDelco" F55 strut - and a "GM" F55 strut -

same - identical part - with two different reference numbers -

ACDelco 580-462 = GM 19300076 -
and GM 19300076 = ACDelco 580-462
 

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2011 DTS Premium w/1SD | 1999 Deville Base (RIP @179K Miles)
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419 Posts
Measure the resistance of the connector at the shock, since it's F55, it should measure a few ohms. Anything more and the shock is going bad.
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
My left front in my 03 is bad as well, I will be replacing both soon. I wouldn't leave out the cabin filter it will clog up the part behind the filter and you will be taking the entire dash apart. I had to have my dash taken apart on my old 2000 because I never changed that filter.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm not real worried about the hvac getting clogged up, the filter in the system is a manufacturer afterthought anyway. It's city driven only - I don't see a lot of debris getting in there.

Ordered struts from amazon for $480/ea today, I just didn't want to mess with them anymore. Guess I'll hold onto this car for a while! Can't wait to drive the car as it was intended :)
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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I don't see anything getting "clogged" unless you park in the forest in autumn. If that was the case, every car without a filter would get clogged.
Yeah, that ^^^^

BUT, if you habitually park under trees or hedge overhang, then you need to make sure that the plastic inlet grille/screening at the base of the windshield is intact, has no holes, and is always kept clear of (decomposing) leaves and twigs.

I took my cabin air filter out in early 2006 (it was pretty much OK) and never replaced it - BUT the car is garaged and I keep it clean.
 

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2013 XTS
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2,087 Posts
Mine was clogged enough to make the driver side vents blow hot air.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,854 Posts
Mine was clogged enough to make the driver side vents blow hot air.
=======================
Mine was clogged enough to make the driver side vents blow hot air.
ah - no -
a completely clogged filter
would reduce the AIRFLOW through ALL the vents -
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Looks like the previous owner bought the wrong front struts, and thats why the wires were cut. Bottom of the strut looks different, looks like the F45 replacement. No wonder it didn't work :)

So now I need two wire harness connectors that go from the base of the F55 strut connector to the body connector. Anybody got a part number? The new struts came in the mail today and didn't come with wiring. Thanks gents.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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63 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Around 20k miles and 5 years. Or like new since the system never really used them to their intended usage lol. Can't guarantee they work, but don't know why they wouldn't.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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Discussion Starter #18
Well I ordered up those pigtails and some Hawk HPS pads for the fronts to swap out while the cars up in the air. Cars had a wobble braking from around 60-30mph since purchase. Still unsure on rotors, may see if these factory rotors have enough meat left to turn, or put it back together and save my pennies for a bit for some nice rotors and do the rears at the same time.
 

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Diamond White '03 STS
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Finished the front strut install this weekend. Overall it was pretty easy, found a step by step on here about getting it done, and followed that on the first one's disassembly. Used the torque specs listed for installation of the new ones. Wired in the PT1385 pigtails and they're a perfect match. The factory leads don't care what side of the pigtail wires they're attached to, so that made wiring much easier. Just soldered them up, heatshrinked, and taped them with a thick wrap of electrical tape. I did have an issue with the driver side connector. I had made connection to check wire length and dummied it up just to make sure the codes were totally cleared. I took it back apart to solder, then rerouted the wires and plugged the connector in. Got an RSS code for poor signal strength (can't remember the code), started messing with the wires and realized it was the connector itself, a pin was slightly bent on the pigtail, so I straightened it out, and reattached and it was fine again.

Took the car out and man what a difference! The correct equipment makes the car feel much smaller and more agile, GM definitely got it right with the suspension being able to control a 4000lb sedan like this. It's so much more fun to drive and really completes the experience.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Good - now learn what you really have. Cold inflate the tires to 36 psi, get out of town and find some rural twisty roads. Learn to drive this beast - work up to it - the faster you go, the tighter the suspension gets, and at some point the transmission will go into PAS - Performance Algorithm Shifting: RPM stays higher, gears are held longer, and you can brake - shift on command with your feet. The car gets so tight that you can scrub off the outer treadbands (front wheels) by pushing too hard - the car is truly amazing at speed. When you get the hang of it you'll get the itch for some decent performance tires. Your car probably has a 130 mph speed limiter, so get at least V- tires. (If the driver's door sticker tire info has a speed rating of W/Z then the car is essentially speed unlimited - given perfect mechanical condition and adequate track it will get to the upper 150s.

Properly maintained and driven, these F55 FWD STS are much faster than you would think. Do you speak Traction Control, when to turn it off and when to leave your left foot resting on the brake pedal ? (That brake pedal and stop light switch has a LOT to do with Torque Management - engine power and wheelspin.)

Take the car to a GOOD alignment shop and have it all checked.

Speed limiter settings for FWD Seville/Deville (not the later "DTS") -

S = 112
H = 130
W/Z = no limiter except drag and power.
 

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