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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I looked up my car on the RPO converter. It says I have:

* 6DM COMPONENT FRT LH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (6DM) SUSP(6DM)
* 7DM COMPONENT FRT RH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (7DM) SUSP(7DM)
* 8DF COMPONENT RR LH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (8DF) SUSP(8DF)
* 9DF COMPONENT RR RH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (9DF) SUSP(9DF)

* FE3 SUSPENSION SYSTEM,SPORT SPORT SUSP(FE3)

* F55 CHASSIS CONTINOUSLY VARIABLE REAL TIME DAMPING MAGNETO RHEOLOGICAL VARIABLE TIME DAMPING CHASSIS(F55)


Now I'm guessing that since I saw this, it means my car has those fancy newfangled electronic struts, correct? :)

So I would need a set of these, if I'm looking to replace, correct?:
http://www.arnottindustries.com/part_CADILLAC_Air_Suspension_Parts_yid6_pid40.html

I did search & read on here to figure this out, just wanted a verification before I go buying parts. :)
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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7,705 Posts
I looked up my car on the RPO converter. It says I have:

* 6DM COMPONENT FRT LH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (6DM) SUSP(6DM)
* 7DM COMPONENT FRT RH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (7DM) SUSP(7DM)
* 8DF COMPONENT RR LH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (8DF) SUSP(8DF)
* 9DF COMPONENT RR RH COMPUTER SEL SUSP (9DF) SUSP(9DF)

* FE3 SUSPENSION SYSTEM,SPORT SPORT SUSP(FE3)

* F55 CHASSIS CONTINOUSLY VARIABLE REAL TIME DAMPING MAGNETO RHEOLOGICAL VARIABLE TIME DAMPING CHASSIS(F55)


Now I'm guessing that since I saw this, it means my car has those fancy newfangled electronic struts, correct? :)

So I would need a set of these, if I'm looking to replace, correct?:
http://www.arnottindustries.com/part_CADILLAC_Air_Suspension_Parts_yid6_pid40.html

I did search & read on here to figure this out, just wanted a verification before I go buying parts. :)
yes you have the F55 as you call it fancy suspension
its the active system
not cheap to replace new

personally just my opinion if you cant afrod the expensive new parts go with used parts for your suspension

don't go with the aftermarket conversion kits jut my opinion on what i would do
you are loosing the ride in the front by going with a non active if you get that conversion

and if its for the rear
then you are going to be in trouble with that set cause there rear air shocks don't have capacitors that hook into the system to fool the warning msg and system so you have to make something yourself for that

i know some here have the conversion and they are happy
and some here will say don't go with it

im one of the ones who say don't your going to loose your ride that made you love the car in the first place
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I want to tighten up the ride a bit, so what you say sounds appealing (minus the rigging capacitors bit). I'm generally a Sachs/Bilstein guy if that tells you anything. :)

Actually the reason I was looking into this is I was considering lowering the car a tad; only one inch or so. I have found that there are very few options with regards to lowering this car or tightening up the ride a tad. I know this will go against 90% of the posters' here general ethos regarding Cadillacs, but I appreciate any insight.

The current struts are just fine, but with high mileage I didn't want to introduce a progressive-rate lowering spring to these original, tired adaptive struts. I figured I'd replace springs & struts if I were to do this, and am still in the planning/determining-what-would-need-to-be-done phase at this point... :)
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
Yes, you have an active, adaptive suspension.

You do understand that the Atnott struts are conventional, correct? Also notice that the "adapter" for the active suspension system (an electric connector and a resistor) does not work for your F55 struts that use variable viscosity magnetic fluid. I'm not sure what to do with these models to prevent error messages.

I'm quite aware of the economics involved, but IMHO it is a pity to replace an active suspension (especially yours with the state-of-the-art magnetic fluid) with a passive. I also have a feeling that the ride might be a bit strange if you replace only the front struts, fool the computer, and keep the active rear shocks creating a "half active" suspension...

"Road-Sensing Suspension" is, to me, a rather misleading name. The normal state for the active suspension is as soft as possible. In operation, it only firms one or more struts to varying degrees. The major purpose of this is stability and safety as it limits body roll during cornering, nose dive when braking and nose lift/fishtailing when under high acceleration.
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
You have magnaride suspension. Struts are rediculously expensive for your car. You can get "normal" passive struts from auto parts stores, but that takes away a main part of what makes the STS special. Plus your service suspension system light will be on constantly. Of course new passive struts will perform much better than worn magnaride struts. Go to gmpartsdirect . Com, they have huge discounts on factory GM parts. I just replaced all 4 struts on my 01 STS (electromechanically adjusted struts, not magnaride but still expensive), dealer wanted about $1,300 per strut!!! I paid about $750 each front and $530 each rear.
Don't forget to replace the spring insulators while the struts are removed, they're dirt cheap and will keep the spring from rattling around. And inspect/replace the strut mounts.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Excellent, point taken on that. I'd replace all four struts FWIW, and am not against replacing with OE "active" versions. However understand that my goals may not be the same as yours, so keep that in mind when recommending or advising against the ones I posted.

If anyone has a link to a preferred or OE version, I'd appreciate that for consideration.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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72,748 Posts
What makes you think that the OEM MRC struts/shocks are bad ?? To replace one of the most sophisticated suspension systems in the world with el cheapo passive components is heresy. You'll essentially wind up with a car that rides and handles like a base Deville. The MRC is extremely long-lived due to their being NO internal variable valves and pistons for control: it's all done by instantly changing magnetic fluid from liquid to jelly in milliseconds. (Google "lord magnetic rheological fluid.) Same suspension as Ferrari, Corvette and Lamborghini. Nothing on earth will "tighten up the ride" any more than the system you now have. The system is 100% adaptable - the harder you drive the car, the tighter it gets. Have you studied PAS (Performance Algorithm Shifting) and Variable Effort Steering yet ?? Replace the suspension with passive and all that goes out the window, too, because the PCM defaults the suspension to soft forever. You CANNOT use resistors to "fool" the suspension controls the way you can with F45.

Your (and my) F55 suspension bears no resemblance to the earlier STS F45 suspension that the Arnott replaces with passive components. Don't ruin the car. (BTW - the F55 struts and shocks are somewhat less expensive than their F45 counterparts - less moving parts.) Talk to Chris in RippyParts up in Vendors ^^^ if you really think you car has worn struts/shocks. But I seriously doubt it. Do you know how to drive your car ?? I mean DRIVE it - as in twisty, curvy roads at scary speeds as opposed to urban cruising ???

EDIT: This advice does not go against the general ethos regarding "Cadillacs". F55 has NOTHING to do with "Cadillac" except that the 2002.5-2003 STS was the test mule for the Corvette and later high-end models' performance handling suspension packages.
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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You want to... (gulp)... lower your car? As far as I know, nobody makes lowering springs for our sevilles. But even if you were to get a custom set made, the rear leveling system would constantly be trying to raise the car. Even with the stock struts it would almost definately set off a service suspension light/codes. And (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) im almost positive magnaride is tied in to the stability control system. Also I don't think firmer passive struts are available either.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm not "against" the OEM ones at all; apologies if I gave that impression. I'm only going off what I've read from other threads. At some point other posters had recommended the above-linked Arnotts to another STS poster; I just assumed this was the status quo. (when searches go bad! :p )

Anyway it was the only link in the thread, I don't know if that's what you guys all used & recommended or just that one guy used. Apparently it was just that one guy judging by the reactions in here. :D

Ultimately my goal is NOT to "improve" the ride the way you guys would consider. Like I said, my goals will be different than most here. To me an improved ride would be tightened up and not so floaty. My goal is to have my struts last longer than 6 months with a lowering spring perched on them. I can't imagine my "active" OEM 110k-mile struts would be too amenable to a progressive-rate spring being added at this point.

Again - I'm open to OE replacements, I just don't know which ones and where to buy. The links I found in searches were for these passive systems. I wasn't sure, which is why I asked here. (glad I did!) Lastly, will lowering springs make new "active" struts die early?

I love the car's ride, but please understand it's not why I bought the car. :cheers:
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Bottom line: Sell the car to a member who will appreciate what it is and buy a ricer. :suspect:

Before you get into this suspension work - way over your head - you should know what you're working with because NOTHING in the F55 suspension is like the earlier F45. Two entirely different systems - even the springs are different. (and the F55 is anything BUT "floaty".)
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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Discussion Starter #11
You want to... (gulp)... lower your car?
Yes, I know I know :cookoo:

Opinions will be formed, nothing I can say will change assumptions & stereotypes. I'm not doing what anyone here is thinking, however. I'm appreciative of firmer rides & handling, but absolutely love the styling of this car & the interior.

Shouldn't be a crime to tighten it up a bit, right? :D

Disappointed in your response, Submariner - I expected better from you. Would it be any more fair for me to assume you have blue hair and drive with your turn signal on in the fast lane? Of course not.

I'm here to learn & help, not criticize. What are you here for? ;)
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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I'm open to OE replacements, I just don't know which ones and where to buy.
OE replacements are AC Delco F55 struts and shocks. There are NO aftermarket equivalents and NO springs.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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What are you here for?
To try and dump some experience and knowledge into your thick skull in order to prevent you from screwing up an excellent car and suspension system !

(Nothing I have posted in this thread is intended as criticism - it's intended to inform you that you don't know what you're dealing with.)

I'll leave with the suggestion you do a lot of homework in CF and in the GM/Cadillac service manual.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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Discussion Starter #14
Before you get into this suspension work - way over your head - you should know what you're working with because NOTHING in the F55 suspension is like the earlier F45. Two entirely different systems - even the springs are different. (and the F55 is anything BUT "floaty".)
I definitely have a lot more reading to do before I even think about doing this, and I plan to take the wheels off and examine the suspension system further. Just had some preliminary questions not answered by a search.

Your discussion about this system being perfect and not "floaty" just shows how different perspectives can be! ;)

To try and dump some experience and knowledge into your thick skull in order to prevent you from screwing up an excellent car and suspension system !
;) :cheers:

Agreed that I don't know what I'm dealing with - that's why I'm asking here before I'm doing! :)
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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Don't get me wrong, I'm all for modifications, on any car. If your looking for a more per performance oriented suspension that's all well and fine. I love the styling of the car as well, and at times wish it was a firmer riding car. (98-04 Seville STS-V would have been nice ) The reason I would advise against it is that nobody makes a proper kit that will lower the car and/or stiffen the ride, and adress all of the inherent problems that would come along with it.
 

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not anymore 2007 Lexus ES350
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Bottom line: Sell the car to a member who will appreciate what it is and buy a ricer. :suspect:

Before you get into this suspension work - way over your head - you should know what you're working with because NOTHING in the F55 suspension is like the earlier F45. Two entirely different systems - even the springs are different. (and the F55 is anything BUT "floaty".)
i agree with sub on this


to the poster if you want to mess with a suspension system tell you what ill trade you my 2000 sls with new engine and new tranny with the f45
str8 up for the 02 sts with the f55
you can mess around with the suspension on the 2000 as mouch as you want but don['t ruin the f55 give it to someone who will appreciate it for what it is

raised my PAW and says meemmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeemeeeeeeee
 

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1997 Seville STS, 2000 Seville STS
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If your car is floaty its not going to be the struts causing it, its going to be the bushings. But no one makes those either so you would have to buy new lower control arms to get new bushings. Most you could do is replace the sway bar bushings and end links, there are replacements available for those. Sway bar bushings are not fun though, because the bolts for the bracket are about 2.5" long and theres only about 2" of clearance between the bracket and the floor of the car.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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I suspect this Seville is fairly new to you, yes?

Many people--including me--like to modify and "improve" cars.

Nothing at all wrong with the desire, but I warn you that the last generation Seville is NOT a good candidate for modification or improvement!

Before you do anything but purely cosmetic modifications, I highly suggest that you invest in a printed service manual and spend quite a bit of time studying--especially the description of systems at the end of each unit. You will find that the car is a marvel of design especially with regards to communications between systems designed to ensure stability and safety at extremely high speeds on rough, curvy roads.

You've probably already looked for "performance" chips to add to the car and found none. Why? Because when you want power, the STS is already at the engine performance limit. There aren't even any aftermarket exhaust mods to increase power--all they can do is make it louder! There's a fairly simple air intake modification (drilling holes) that you can make to perhaps add a tiny bit of power and courtesy of the man (Submariner) you accused of "Sunday driving".

There are more powerful cars (including new Cadillacs) but none more powerful that are also front wheel drive. They are either rear wheel or all wheel drive with the "super" cars usually having a mid-engine design. If you wonder why, floor your car on a nice straight stretch of level highway from about 45 mph. Feel the rear end try to fish tail a bit? The active suspension works to limit that problem. Presuming you use a passive suspension (even with stiffer springs if you can find them) the stability control system will step in to limit engine power and/or apply braking before that "jiggle" becomes a dangerous swerve.

All four wheels have a sensor that determines the position of the lower control arm relative to the body (e.g. the ride height). This too is an integral part of the active suspension and believe me--the computers assume a "normal" and there is no reasonable way to change it. You can replace the wheels and use "rubber band" tires, but keep the wheel diameter and width VERY close to original. Not only are there clearance issues with wider or larger diameter tires, but each wheel also has a speed (rpm) sensor and I'm almost positive that it will identify a "dunut" spare tire and limit the vehicle speed! I don't even want to imagine the effects on the software assumptions if you lower the ride height or substantially change the diameter of the tire.

You seem to enjoy your ride. If you really think there is a problem with the suspension, take the car to a dealer or very experienced mechanic. If you really want to change it, I truly suggest that you either find a new ride or expect to sink lots and lots of money on experiments that may well prove futile, recessive or even dangerous.

p.s. My favorite "mod" was fine tailored sheepskin seat covers and arm rests--my leather is perfect but I detest nothing worse than hot leather when I'm hot from work. My best improvement was HIDs (at the LEGAL color temperature in these LEGAL fixtures).



The active suspension is a critical element of this design.
 

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2002 White Diamond STS
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Discussion Starter #20
Alright, thanks everyone for the input. Have been doing a lot of reading, and will not molest the F55 :thumbsup:
 
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