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Okay. When I took my first test-drive in a '95 Fleetwood over the weekend, I loved everything about it - except how it handled.. Now I had an idea what to expect so I wasn't all that surprised.. But how do you avoid an accident on a major highway at 60mph? If you turn to hard, the car is difficult to control..

I suppose that coming straight out of a Vette and into a Fleetwood will make things feel that much worse. But still.. My ETC was a pretty good handling car.. It just feels unsafe.. Not that this is affecting my decision to get a Fleetwood - I'm just curious of what all of you think.
 

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Fleetwood handling is kind of an oxymoron like "jumbo shrimp" or "Ford quality".

We've been spoiled in recent years by cars with much better suspensions than they had in the 60's and 70's. Our driving habits have changed because of this.

Just remember that the '93-'96 Fleetwood is basically the same car that the '77 DeVille and Fleetwood were. Just a different skin and a few extras like traction control and maybe ALB. It's a throwback to the late 70's.

It's a barge. You aim it, gas it, and enjoy the ride. Oh yeah, get the brakes serviced regularly. That sucker is HEAVY!
 

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Awe come on. It's only 586lbs. more than a STS. ;)
Don't worry Sal, the Fleetwood CAN handle very nicely. You get one and I'll tell you how to get her tight and smooth.
Also, I'm just about to post a little story from yesterday in the "Road Kills" section, check it out and you'll see what I mean about Fleetwood handling.
 

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Sal... Are you sure something wasn't just loose in the suspension? They are a bit floaty in stock form, but do not feel unsafe at all... I bet there was something wrong with the one you drove.

And for a few hundred bucks, you can get these land yachts handling really well! A set of Impala springs and bilstein shocks, and it's done! :D
 

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Hell!!!! I'm gonna install the Hotchkis suspension package for the Impala on my car as soon as I buy it. You can really make these car handle. Granted not like a Vette.
 

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From what I hear about the Hotchkis kit, it makes it a bit stiffer but considering that the Caddy already got a soft suspension I think I can live with the car being a bit stiff.
 

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If you want the car to ride like a police car instead of a Cadillac, you can do the aftermarket stuff that everyone does but I personally wanted to retain the Cadillac ride quality. If that's what YOU want too, I'll give you all the info as soon as you are ready.
 

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Spill the beans Katshot!!!! I could use some good ideas. Since all I have ever driven are pick-up trucks and a couple of Mustang, a stiff suspension won't hurt me at all.
 

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i think they handle like crap..try avoiding 4 oryx all spaced out along a freakin highway..i had a hell of a time goin from 80 to a slower turning speed w/o nearling spinning out...

and yes..kat, what are my susupension options for the caddy...sway bars and stuff..i was lookin to get a suspension kit..and maybe gas shocks so it will ride more like a sports car since im only a youngin! 20 years old at that...

thanks for helpin us out :)
 

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Most people mistake a rock-hard ride (or at least approaching one) for better handling. This is NOT true. It is in fact quite possible to "tighten up" a car's handling without making it ride like a truck. Think about what springs, shocks, etc ACTUALLY do and then upgrade where necessary. Think about what you REALLY want in your cars handling. What aspects of it's current handling do you dislike?
Most people want a better (tighter) steering, less body roll, and less bounciness. If this true for you, then look at a "F" body steering box, heavier shocks and sway bars. If you want to virtually eliminate front/rear dive/squat I'd suggest different springs. The actual choice of the parts is what will determine how well the car ultimately handles and how much ride quality you give up.
 

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Katshot said:
If you want the car to ride like a police car instead of a Cadillac, you can do the aftermarket stuff that everyone does but I personally wanted to retain the Cadillac ride quality. If that's what YOU want too, I'll give you all the info as soon as you are ready.
You know Kevin, just because other people have gone different routes with there suspension choices than you, it's no reason to slam them with insults. ;)

My car DOES NOT ride like a police car. It rides very nice and controlled. It is not what you'd call stiff at all. And it handles VERY well the way it is set up. And... believe it or not, I get compliments on the way the car rides all the time from passengers, especially from those who are amazed at the way it handles. They just can't believe it rides so nice and corners so well.

I have very little body roll in the sharpest of corners, and the ride is somewhat firm and motions are very controlled. Think "3 Series" not "Camaro." It is not jarring at all and rides well.

I'm just trying to give my honest opinion about the car and the way it is with the current set up for those who are trying to make that decision... And, AFAIK, the people who I have recommended this set up to and have done it are also very pleased. I do not doubt that your car handles well, and still rides like a caddy, but that floaty ride may not be what everyone is after. So don't bash my car or others, please. Just because we're different than yours. :)
 

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toomanytoyz said:
You know Kevin, just because other people have gone different routes with there suspension choices than you, it's no reason to slam them with insults. ;)

My car DOES NOT ride like a police car. It rides very nice and controlled. It is not what you'd call stiff at all. And it handles VERY well the way it is set up. And... believe it or not, I get compliments on the way the car rides all the time from passengers, especially from those who are amazed at the way it handles. They just can't believe it rides so nice and corners so well.

I have very little body roll in the sharpest of corners, and the ride is somewhat firm and motions are very controlled. Think "3 Series" not "Camaro." It is not jarring at all and rides well.

I'm just trying to give my honest opinion about the car and the way it is with the current set up for those who are trying to make that decision... And, AFAIK, the people who I have recommended this set up to and have done it are also very pleased. I do not doubt that your car handles well, and still rides like a caddy, but that floaty ride may not be what everyone is after. So don't bash my car or others, please. Just because we're different than yours. :)
Bill,
Stop being so touchy. Have you ever driven a police car? They don't really ride THAT bad. They DON'T ride like a Cadillac though. Every B & D body car I've seen or driven that's been modded (suspension), has NOT driven anything like a Cadillac. Most that aren't already Impala SS's or 9C1's tend to aspire toward those two cars level of handling and/or ride quality while the SS's/9C1/s are heading towards Z28 level.
If your car rides like a BMW 3 series, that's great but when I'm talking to people on the internet I MUST unfortunately generalize to a degree, and if that makes you feel like I'm "slamming" your car, I'm sorry.
Like it or not, most guys that mod their suspensions have no clue what they're doing and only imitate what other people do whether it's correct or not. That just leads to even more people with cars that don't handle or ride as well as the owner might want but can also be dangerous and damaging to the rest of the car.
But getting back to the thread, Sal was asking about how to improve the handling and still retain a "Cadillac" ride. As he pointed out, his ETC could handle quite well AND still have a great ride. I'm trying to point out that it IS quite possible to get a Fleetwood to handle and still ride like a Cadillac. Not a BMW, or MB, or any other car, a CADILLAC.
If you read my last post, I was trying to point out HOW to go about modifying the suspension and WHAT I thought were key items to ponder before just buying some SS or heavy-duty Caprice parts.
 

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Point taken. You're right. :)

Sorry to be on the defensive, guess I'm just used to it. ;) :canttalk:

But you are right, that's what he asked. And you're right about most people not knowing what they're talking about too.

I'd actually very much like to go for a ride in your car at some point. Hopefully at E-town in October.
 

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toomanytoyz said:
Point taken. You're right. :)

Sorry to be on the defensive, guess I'm just used to it. ;) :canttalk:

But you are right, that's what he asked. And you're right about most people not knowing what they're talking about too.

I'd actually very much like to go for a ride in your car at some point. Hopefully at E-town in October.
Hell yeah! I'd love to drive yours too. Face it, there's not a lot of these cars being modded like ours. Most are those low-rider types and I have NO wish to ride in or drive one of those.
 

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yea..there is this realllllllly nice 94 fleetwood here in town..but its a damned low rider :( dude wont even rev his poor little under abused lt1 engine.... but i want my car to be a little more stiffer but able to handle more, less roll, more balanced, and if im gonna take a sharp turn i dont want the rear end to come flyin out if i got traction control off.... whats the best sway bars for this kind of setup?
 

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I think my Cop Cars ride better than all my other cars. Heck the Fleetwood is near scary sometimes. But, that I am sure is because the rear shocks ar literally blown. I am sure that will change when I get new shocks. I don't want to do them myself, and am afraid a shop (sears) will hassle me if I don't buy the 'correct' replacements.

My 87 DeVille while anemic, rode so so so smooth. SS is a bit jouncy and stiff.
 

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Elvis said:
Fleetwood handling is kind of an oxymoron like "jumbo shrimp" or "Ford quality".
Just remember that the '93-'96 Fleetwood is basically the same car that the '77 DeVille and Fleetwood were. Just a different skin and a few extras like traction control and maybe ALB. It's a throwback to the late 70's.
It's a barge.
I guess i could call that an insult Elvis > Calling "ONE" of Cadillacs Finest hour Cadillacs "A Throwback from the 70s > And comparing it to a FORD ! OMG > I couldn't Dissagree more with you on that Insulting statement Elvis> How could you !? But i guess that is your opinion and we all have our opinions on cars :D
The 95' Fleetwood that i test drove was Very impressive on performance AND handeling, it cornered well and didn't "Float" at 92 MPH while i was driving down the highway > I took the car on a 15 mile test drive so i could get a good feel for it, the car did have brand new shocks but im not sure what kind, and it had new tires as well.
With a Fleetwood you either Love them or hate them, there is no in between. :spin:
 

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There are a number of OEM and aftermarket springs, shocks and sway bars to choose from. There are also a few philosophies on how to produce a better handling car. But I like the Hotchkis philosophy, big sway bar, softer springs. I like it because I knew a Japanese engineer who now works for Panoz who held the same philosophy for road cars.


If I were seeking a 'safer' but comfortable Cadillac ride while maintaining the stock height, I'd keep the stock shocks, add some 9C1 springs and OEM SS or aftermarket HA FR/RR Sway bars.

If firmer is what you seek, then I see no reason not to use a combination of Impalla SS (lower) or 9C1 (stock height) springs and 9C1 (Bilstein) shocks along with the bigger sway bar to accomplish that. SS springs and police shocks aren't hard core racing products. They do produce a decent 'european' ride.
 
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