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2012 CTS4 Premium
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131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just for laughs and giggles, I asked a local shop to give me an estimate to replace the entire Front Strut Assembly and affiliated components and the rear shocks.on my 2012AWD CTS4 Coupe. This includes labor and all OEM components directly from GM as well as alignment.

Front - $1,341
Rear - $ 537

How does this sound to those of you that are familiar with this type of work?
 

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2009 CTS4 Premium & 2012 SRX4 Luxury
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605 Posts
Someone reported a few posts down they just paid $280 Canadian each ($200 US) for OEM replacement front struts. If you're doing complete assemblies I could definitely see several hundred a side in parts.
 

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2008 SRX4 & 2010 CTS4 sedan / Non-Cadillacs: 2018 Audi Q5, 2012 Chev Cruze LT
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327 Posts
Yup. I just received my replacement shocks today ($Cdn 280 each for OEM - or roughly $US 200) and it's at least two hours a side. OEM shocks for our AWD vehicles are brutally expensive and the replacement is not the easiest on the planet. The rears are cheap and about 30 mins a side - frankly, it's a super easy DIY job. Your estimates are not outlandish.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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The rear components are cheaper because they are more "conventional".

You have a shock and a spring... Anyone that can turn a wrench can do the rears... VERY simple..

Front is better if you can get it as a unit. You need a new spring, Strut and upper control arm. They are tight so can be a pain to put together...

The front is even easier to install than the rear... Once you have them together as a unit. But honestly, if you are going to spend that kind of cash you are better off getting after market performance shocks/strut setup. I will be doing that this fall with mine. The BC Racing setup is about $1000 for the parts.. You still need new upper arms on the front but the labor to install once the front is together as a unit should only be a couple hours for a competent suspension shop.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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794 Posts
The front is even easier to install than the rear... Once you have them together as a unit. But honestly, if you are going to spend that kind of cash you are better off getting after market performance shocks/strut setup. I will be doing that this fall with mine. The BC Racing setup is about $1000 for the parts.. You still need new upper arms on the front but the labor to install once the front is together as a unit should only be a couple hours for a competent suspension shop.
I would be leery of cheap coilovers. A proper coilover setup is about $1K per shock. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. At that price I would stick with OEM.
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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The aftermarket offerings for our car in the coilover realm are limited.
What I have seen seems to not only invite, but accelerate all varieties of unusual tire wear.

I agree that OEM offerings are the best bet for performance and longevity. YMMV.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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794 Posts
I have had amazing results with high-end coilovers from Penske. The tuning task isn't for the faint of heart, though. Cheap coilovers can be more trouble than benefit. If they wear quickly or the internal valving isn't right (the bleeder screws only do so much) they're worse than OEM.
 

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2009 CTS 3.6L DI rebuilt to FE3 J55 G80 3.42:1
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794 Posts
Any suggestions for a more compliant ride ? I have other cars for track days and this cruiser is miserable on a brick road.
How many miles on the shocks on your 9-year-old coupe? They're the obvious place to look. Lack of damping makes the ride harsher, which seems to be something many are not aware of.
Shocks, tires and springs are 90% of the equation when it comes to ride quality, presuming the joints and bushings that hold everything in place aren't destroyed.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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I beg to differ, there are a number of happy members that are using the BC racing spring/strut/shock setups... When I replaced the shocks/struts and springs on my sedan I had less than $600 in parts for OEM... So I am not sure where you are getting your numbers from. The BC Racing setup are adjustable and of OEM quality. They also provide for adjustable ride. So you can have the cushy ride for cruising around and race only setup for those times when you feel like pushing it. Most use them mostly for lowering but still.. Have heard nothing but good things about them.
 

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2012 CTS4 Premium
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Discussion Starter #16
I truely thank you all for your thoughts. With regards to Mr. LONGs question, NO they will not install parts I supply. But they are not the only shop I have had work on this car. I just started using them for inpection and a trans service. There's another one on the other side of town I will visit soon for their thoughts. Ive have been using them for 20 years.

This car is my daily driver. AND I drive it like it was made to be driven. Honestly, for me the ride doesn't feel bad and I don't have any abnormal tire wear, just a front creak as I have explained, as well as a thud/thump in the rear when I hit a large bump on the highway or back road. BUT I do understand the slow subtle changes of an old suspension and the need to freshen it up.

I can turn a wrench, but I would not attempt the fronts. I think I can change out the rear shocks, but not the springs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is the only component back there???
I can get the OEM shocks from GM Parts Outlet for $90 and change a piece.

Ive seen some people say, no matter which way you go (OEM or aftermarket) change the springs when you do this. Front and back??? If you do the front springs, do you have to do the back???

I would love to have control of the ride height, but based on some of what I've read here and my intuition says I dont think I should go that way. And if I do, Its gonna cost a lot more that $2000

I dont have a burning desire to improve the way this car rides and responds based on the stock suspension, only an itch a change the ride height, but as Ive said, I can live with the way it is, to keep costs and possible frustration down.
 

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2011 CTS Sport Wagon
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If you like the way it drives stock, and the car is your daily driver, I agree with your logic for not going with the coilovers.

And while technically the ride height is adjustable, it's not like you are just pressing a button to raise/lower it. You are using the wrenches that came with the coilovers to manually adjust each corner. Since you live in PA and daily drive the car, they will only be adjustable before your first winter when the threads and nuts get corroded from all the road salt.
 

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'12 CTS Performance Sports Wagon AWD
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The rears are easy to do... You basically just pull the shock out, the spring will fall out... So pull out the old spring and slap the new one in. Put in new shock... Tighten and done...

No reason not to do the rear yourself. If you can turn a wrench you can change the rear just fine. For me the hardest part of the whole change out was pulling out the rear carpeting to get to the top bolts.

The front could be easier to change out than the rear if everything comes apart easily. I had issues getting the bottom piece to separate. A bit of heat and it should pop right out. With the front the hardest part is assembling the new unit. My issue was to get the spring to compress, the one I borrowed was for larger springs and wouldn't fit well with the CTS front assembly. If you get one that will work with the small room you have to work with it isn't a bad job. There are some units out there available that are one piece which would go on easier too but I couldn't an equivalent for what they were for.

I wouldn't do the job personally without changing the springs too. The springs should be pretty cheap...
 
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