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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new to me 2004 DTS with only 44000 miles and Arnott struts, only 2000 miles on the struts installed at a shop by previous owner, I assume they are passive as I think that is all that is available from Arnott. Love the car so far but the front suspension bangs (bottoming out?) on small bumps. It rides pretty good on the freeway and over large sweeping bumps but a small pot hole or even a crack in the road and it will jar you. I have looked at a few post about this and it seems most folks are happy with there Arnott struts but I am thinking about replacing them with OEM, not cheap hence the post :). I have reduced the air pressure from 36 to 30 and that has giving it a better ride but still jaring on small bumps.

I am going to spend some of the weekend reading up on other post but did not see this issue so wanted to post a new thread as well.

Thanks!
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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There is (should be) no air pressure associated with front struts. The only places our cars use variable air pressure is in the tires or in the rear Electronic Level Control system.

Your Deville Touring Sedan used active CVRSS (Constantly Variable Road Sensing Suspension). Someone probably replaced it (or part of it) with the Arnott rebuilt pullout parts due to the extreme cost of new CVRSS parts.

If you want to install a GOOD passive suspension system basscatt has all the correct Monroe part numbers and workarounds.
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
sorry, should have been more specific. I reduced the tire air pressure from 36 to 30 :)
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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I believe that your recommended original pressure was 30 psi - cold, all around. Driver's door sticker. I increase it to 32 psi - cold - for long highway runs.

The max inflation pressure - cold - molded into the tire sidewall is for Bonneville Salt Flats top speed runs only.
 

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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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19,059 Posts
let me start by saying that arnott is overpriced CRAP!

you need to do some homework before spending BIG BUCKS on OEM struts -
questions you need answers to:

1) when they changed the struts - did they also replace the springs? WHY is this important?
the DTS model Deville - along with the F45 electronic struts and shocks -
came with the FE3 - Sport - suspension -
this includes stiffer springs and larger diameter sway bars -

IF they replaced the springs - you will NEVER find a NEW pair of FE3 springs -
and this DRAMATICALLY affects the suspension system -

2) what about the rear shocks?
are they still the original F45 - electronic units - or were they also replaced?

3) I recommend pulling codes -
you want to be sure ALL of the other suspension sensors are still working -

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here are some other questions you should ask yourself -

do you NEED the additional handling you get with the F45 suspension system?
do you drive HARD - fast cornering - on the edge of spinning out - etc?

if NOT - all you would gain is a harsher ride -

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new F45 front struts are hard to find - ROCKAUTO.COM has them -
the cost is around $935 for the pair - including shipping -

another EXCELLENT choice is the MONROE F45 struts -
these are also discontinued - BUT - ROCKAUTO has them listed -
$553 - for the pair - with shipping -

new F45 rear shocks are also hard to find - there IS a LEFT and RIGHT side -
ROCK AUTO has a RIGHT one for around $120 - with shipping - but no LEFT one -

amazon has both shocks - $125 for the RIGHT side - $613 for the LEFT side -
YUP - $613 - why the difference? AVAILABILITY -
GM stopped making these these struts and shocks MANY years ago -
whatever is left on the shelf is all there is -

SO - it's gonna cost you $1700 - just for the parts -

-----------------

MOST DTS owners who need struts and shocks convert to the non-electric units due to cost -
and HERE is what I usually recommend -

bare strut -
this re-uses ALL of the original parts - spring - bearing - mount - etc -
MONROE 71685 - $103 - for the PAIR - including shipping - from ROCKAUTO.COM

OR the QUICK-STRUT -
this is a complete - fully assembled - strut assembly - with ALL new parts -
spring - bearing - mount - etc -
these save a LOT of time and labor - making struts a fairly simple DIY project -
MONROE 171685 - $93 - each - $186 for the PAIR - with free shipping - from amazon

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lastly - the rear shocks -
MONROE MA822 - $56 - for the PAIR - with free shipping - from amazon -

SO - for around $250 you can get -
new strut assemblies - new rear shocks - NICER - MORE COMFORTABLE RIDE -
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Wow thanks so much for all the info. Not sure you were really looking for me to answer your questions as it sounds like I need to make some decisions but here are the answers (Below quote in bold) anyway :). I like the idea of trying the Monroe shocks first since the price is right but how do you bypass the computer so no messages/codes? Do I have to solder a resister in or is there a better way today :)?

Assuming the rear ALC works like my 98 Concours apparently it is not working either. I turn the key on and don't hear the compressor come on, I also put weight in the trunk and they did not pump up. Any reason these simple test won't work with the new Deville's?

Does the hard bang on small bumps make sense (common problem with aftermarket stuts)? Do you think it is the struts? Not sure what else it could be with 44,000 miles.

let me start by saying that arnott is overpriced CRAP!
I can't disagree as the previous owner paid a shop over $3000 for Arnott struts/shocks and compressor (I assume this is Arnott as well but not sure) and the ride is not too good.

you need to do some homework before spending BIG BUCKS on OEM struts -
questions you need answers to:

1) when they changed the struts - did they also replace the springs?
Not sure but they have a tag on them that looks just like this tag in the 8 pic at this link (same number on mine), so thinking they are OEM? 2005 CADILLAC DEVILLE FRONT LEFT DRIVER SPRING STRUT SHOCK ABSORBER 22197590 05 | eBay

IF they replaced the springs - you will NEVER find a NEW pair of FE3 springs -
and this DRAMATICALLY affects the suspension system -
gmpartsdirect shows the spring but it seems to be the same part number for FE3 as Base so maybe it is not the correct one (even though I used the VIN).

2) what about the rear shocks?
are they still the original F45 - electronic units - or were they also replaced?
Also replaced, here are the numbers and date on the shocks (Arnott). AS2121 5-31-18 ma48822u . Not sure about the springs but I assume they have not been replaced.

3) I recommend pulling codes -
you want to be sure ALL of the other suspension sensors are still working -
No codes with cheap tester but don't think it picks up tcs or rss codes. Car is not complaining about any codes. Do I have to find a Tech 2?
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I went with the QUICK-STRUT - MONROE 171685 . So far very happy, no more banging and easy install . Thanks!
 

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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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19,059 Posts
I knew you'd like them -
 

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98 Concours, 2004 Deville DTS
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I forgot to mention one thing, the guy at Firestone that did the alignment complained that these are not the correct struts for my car and he was pretty upset. I assumed he was talking about not having the active struts, I tried to talk to him but he just got upset and walked away. Anyway I just took a closer look and noticed that he broke off both the alignment pins on the strut mount (next to the 3 bolts up top) on the driver side. He also took a while so I assume he did have some type of trouble. I am not going to worry about it too much but anyone have any thoughts on this? Physically the strut should be the same as OEM I would think. Anyway the car still rides great.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,059 Posts
I forgot to mention one thing, the guy at Firestone that did the alignment complained that these are not the correct struts for my car and he was pretty upset. I assumed he was talking about not having the active struts, I tried to talk to him but he just got upset and walked away. Anyway I just took a closer look and noticed that he broke off both the alignment pins on the strut mount (next to the 3 bolts up top) on the driver side. He also took a while so I assume he did have some type of trouble. I am not going to worry about it too much but anyone have any thoughts on this? Physically the strut should be the same as OEM I would think. Anyway the car still rides great.
=====================
the guy at firestone is a CLOWN - time to find a different shop -

YES - these struts are a direct-fit replacement -
EXCEPT that they are the non-electronic version -
 
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