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This is shaping up to be one stern Eldorado.

Sometimes when I corner with the STS-V I get wide-eyed looks from Cooper S drivers and such that think that only the small, low cars can have that agility and aplomb in cornering. People expect the Eldorado to be a boat.

Now, if you had painted your suspension parts flat black, it would be a true sleeper on the street.


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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Thanks. Yeah, the sleeper look does nothing for me. I want everything I have done to the car to be noticeable so when I take it to a car show the answer to the question “what’s a Caddy doing parked next to the Camaros, Mustangs and Chargers?” will be obvious.

The look of the suspension will complement the classic American Hotrod paint and body mods that will be there. It will make a statement that this can be a true hotrod with good taste….. but people are still going to wonder about the truck shocks in the rear, LOL


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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This morning, I was running late for work when I was coming up to an area that I call " the play ground ". It is a flat 4 lane road in the middle of nowhere with very little traffic... A long straight, a sharp 110 degree left, another long straight, a sweeping 150 degree right, then a double S turn..... Most cars have tire noise at 40 MPH and a friend said that if he took his Hemi truck any faster than 55 MPH it would start to lift a wheel.... This is the place that the local Autocross racer who drives a second generation Subaru WRX got spanked, consecutively twice, by my Eldorado passing him at (well, let's just say above 75, but not my record speed).... Anyway, I was about a quarter mile behind this Infinity that was moving in to pass a different truck that was almost at tip-over speed.... By the end of the sweeping right, I had caught the Infinity so fast that I had to get on the brakes. When the driver saw me, he quickly moved into the next lane then did a double take "where'd he come from " look followed by a "I got my doors blown off by a @#&!? Cadillac!!!??? " look.

I've done that to several Mustangs and Chargers too... And without making much tire noise. I won't be able to push the new suspension to its limits on this road because speeds would be triple digits and I can't pay for a ticket like that.... But I do look forward to seeing that look on a Vette driver's face when I take the car to the Autocross.

Edited by Cody

Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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I think sleeper because my cars are all daily drivers and I don't like to be noticed by dysfunctional and possibly reckless people. On a show or competition car, yes, the more intimidation the better.

A lot of high-priced prestige cars are outclassed by Cadillacs, and I mean production models, particularly the ETC, STS, and DTS. This has been true since 1992, with the chassis and platform change the year before the Northstar was introduced. But those with blinders on their automotive ambiance think boats with fins.

You are not the first to put sport/GT suspension on an Eldorado or Seville, but this is the first blog on such a project that I have ever seen. We all appreciate the viewpoint and education you are providing. Keep up the good work.


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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Thanks. The PROTHANE Polyurethane

Universal 18mm Sway Bar

Bushing Insert Kit with "A"

Brackets are part number 19-1117 and come in Red or Black. I paid $23.95 on EBay (free shipping, No sales tax, No handling fees) and they arrived in the mail 5 days early.

These are the best ones to get for anyone who wants to attempt this modification because the sway bar itself is tapered where the bushing fits from 18mm to 20mm in an uneven taper. The stock bushings have an even taper and crush down to the contour of the bar. These polyurethane bushings are very hard and the "A" bracket is much smaller than the stock unit. There is no way to fit them on the bar as is because they simply don't distort as needed. So, the hole must be modified. And these particular bushings have the hole in center mass. Therefore, I was able to take them to an Automotive Machine Shop and they were able to put them on a lathe to turn them and cut in the matching taper. This cost $30, but was well worth it because now the bushings fit the bar like a glove.

( be sure to take the A frames as they hold the bushings shape while milling the hole. )

These bushings are as wide as will fit, gripping the bar from the inner lip of the mounting surface all the way out to where the bar turns. It rubs slightly, but does not bind.

I will have to drill mounting holes and buy grade 8 bolts to anchor the A frames to the car frame.

The molded color is so close to the Gloss Banner Red of the bar that it looks like I painted both of them from the same can.

There will be no deflection of this rear bar and that will be so much of an improvement over the factory bushings that it will be like upsizing the bar yet again.

I will have pictures soon.

I am very excited and happy about how this turned out.


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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This is absolutely the way to go for someone who wants sports-car handling in their Eldorado. I would consider most of these suspension mods as suitable for a daily driver.


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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Here is the rear end racing / sporty daily driver rebuild kit so far;

0628141544.jpg

Used 1994 Dodge Dakota Sport springs cut off to 11.3" equalling 900 lbs. / inch. $30 set

Used 18MM rear sway bar from 1997 Seville with FE3 suspension $18

Prothane 18mm polyurethane sway bar bushings part # 19-1117 $23.95 set

Machine work performed on bushings for tapered hole in $30

Pro Comp ES9000 series shocks part # 918510 $41.99 each

Pro Comp shock boots in Red $6.99 set

Eighteen 1/2" washers & four 5/8" washers to adapt shocks to fit the Eldorado $5.30

Two cans of Glossy Banner Red spray paint $ 9.98

My total expenses ( minus taxes on in state purchases) $208.20

I have not yet bought the hardware to mount the sway bar bushings, but expect that to add another $5 to the total.

Edited by Cody

Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=96

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Stock 18MM sway bar bushing comparison with the polyurethane unit.

Note that not only will the stiffer material resist distortion, but that there is much less material to distort.

Custom holes will have to be drilled to locate them on the frame.

0628141552.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=96

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If you take your parts to an Automotive Machine Shop, they understand the engineering principles. This shop created the 2mm taper that I asked for, but reduced the actual cut size so that a small gap would be left when the bushing was sitting at rest on the bar. This is so that when mounted, The A frame of the bracket will hold it snugly in place without binding for optimal performance.

0628141546a.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The shock comes with two different sized sleeves for the lower mount. Both were too small for the Caddy's 14MM shock bolt. However the sleeve seams are not welded. I opened them up with a screw driver, slipped the bolt in it and then closed it over the bolt with channel locks. It fit more snug than the stock shock eye sleeve and I was able to get it into the Pro Comp shock without much trouble. I oriented the open seam to face sideways since the shock forces will be almost vertical.

0628141555a.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The rubber stabilizer bar bushings are intended to hold fast against the bar and the rubber flexes to allow the bar to turn. The neoprene bushings are solid and the bar turns inside the bushings. It's a whole different principle.

I used neoprene bushings in the suspension of several of my cars, but never stabilizer bushings. This is all great stuff.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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The bottom loop mount of the Cadillac shock is almost 20MM wider than a standard shock. .. 1/2" (13MM) washers fit over the 14MM shock bolt better than 14MM washers and a stack of nine is 19.9MM. So, I can put five on one side and four on the other to adapt the lower shock loop.

0628141547.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The Cadillac rear shock uses a huge strut-like 5/8" top stud mount, which for mounting purposes is extreme overkill. However, it does allow for hollowing the center and installing electrical plugs on top as is the case with Devilles and perhaps other models too. But the result is a mounting hole that is almost as large as the entire mounting surface of the standard shock. (pictured is a stock Caddy shock mount next to the Pro Comp shock.

0628141547a.jpg

This is a couple of thick 5/8" washers I am using above and below the hole to adapt the upper mount.

0628141549.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=96

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The oversize shock mounts make me think that the robust design offers more positive coupling of chassis and suspension movement to the shocks than most other suspensions.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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If the front suspension was as robust as the rear suspension, that could have been used as a marketing statement.... This is an awesome rear suspension design and what I would expect to see if there is ever a FWD Corvette. This rear suspension is what makes the Eldorado out corner Mustangs and run circles around GM's W-body cars. Not that I would ever want to see a front wheel drive Vette, but if this suspension had 825 lb. / inch springs, a 27MM sway bar, and vented 13" brakes (of course NO air ride shocks), then it could be put under the world's best sports cars.

My 900 lb. / inch springs are to compensate for the lack of a thicker sway bar.

And I may eventually add a helper rear bar for track use only that may tip the balance of handling to slight over steer.

Now the front suspension is a whole different ball game. But I will get more into that later on. If the weather holds, I will be installing these goodies tomorrow.


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The actual install of the suspension parts began yesterday morning. To remove the rear springs without the use of dangerous spring compressors, the car must be high enough that the rear A-Arms can swing down all the way and leave enough ground clearance for the floor jack. Also, to get the rear sway bar off easily and to install the new bar without damaging the paint, the exhaust system needs to be lowered. This means I have crawl under the car. I like to use a stack of wheels under the rear bumper with a block of wood connecting them to the unibody. If it falls off of the jackstands, it has no place to go.

0629141124.jpg

0629141125.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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First thing I removed was the stock 14MM rear sway bar that comes with the FE1 suspension. Clearances are tight and this thing is in the way. 13MM and 15MM wrenches/sockets are needed for removal.

0629141125a.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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This is the 14MM bar compared to the 18MM bar from the 97 Seville with FE3 suspension. This is the next step above the Eldorado's FE3 16MM bar

0629141135.jpg

0629141134.jpg

Edited by Cody

Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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When removing the Cadillac shock without an impact wrench, you need to use a 7MM hex head socket (or Allen wrench) to prevent the shock stem from turning.

0629141147a.jpg

I soaked the top shock bolts with PB Blaster the day before and had no problem removing them. This was a lesson learned in the salvage yard where I tried it without using a solvent and broke some tools and stripped the inside of a shock stem.

Edited by Cody

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This is the non electronic Cadillac shock compared to the Pro Comp shock I selected. My Sport Coupe comes with the base model suspension; the shocks and struts work only as "soft". However, a Touring Coupe has a soft and firm setting controlled by a computer. This Pro Comp shock doesn't need a computer, it has a 10 way self adjustment valve that adapts to the driving conditions.

0629141156.jpg


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Before I begin disclaimer: Removal of automotive coil springs is dangerous; if done incorrectly, the procedure can seriously injure you, cripple you for life, or kill you. You MUST respect this process in the same way you respect a loaded gun. Many people will opt to use internal spring compressors; however, they can and do malfunction unpredictably and when that happens it is usually when your face or hands are close to it. Therefore, I strongly prefer to do this procedure with a floor jack. If done correctly, you are out of harms way when something can go wrong; however, if done incorrectly you will get hit by a 20 pound metal object flying at a hundred miles per hour. Plastic safety glasses are NOT going to keep your face bones from getting crushed. I am not recommending this procedure. I am NOT responsible in any way for the injury or death of you, your loved ones, co workers or pets if you try this and things go bad. If you can afford it, then have a professional shop do it for you; if this is your first

time attempting this, then do NOT use this post as a one-time-fits-all-cars approach and instructions to doing this procedure. I am showing you how I am doing it; that does not mean it is right or that it is the only right way.

The weaker the spring, the more dangerous it is, because a car riding on weak springs relies on pre-load, which is the potential energy already stored in the compressed coils even when the suspension is fully extended. These springs are only rated at about 280 lbs. /inch, however, there is about 2,000 lbs of force trapped between the lower A-Arm and the upper pocket on the frame.

Now that the shock and sway bar have been removed, only one bolt holds the A-Arm in place. What I did was position the jack at the cross piece (shown in picture). This did not interfere with the knuckle (rear spindle, Wheel bearing, brake rotor & caliper).

0629141208.jpg

I then removed the nut and lifted the jack until I could wiggle the bolt by hand. This meant the pressure had been removed from it. Then I drove the bolt out with a small hammer and screwdriver. (((NOTE: at this point, the gun is loaded, the safety is off and it is pointed at you)))

Next, I lifted the knuckle off of the A-Arm and rested it on top of it. This is so the knuckle does not get into a bind with the lower a-Arm (I learned this the hard way in the salvage yard). After removing the knuckle, the jack is all that is holding the A-Arm in place.

Then I connected my jack handle to the release knob, stood up and well to the side of the car (with a wheel on the ground between me and the spring to protect my legs) and I slowly eased pressure off of the knob until the A-Arm started to lower. I then stepped back as the spring pushed it down.

0629141215.jpg

When it stopped, I released more pressure and stepped away again. This time, the arm went down all the way.

0629141217a.jpg

There is no way to know that the spring has released all of its pressure unless you see the top of it drop out of the pocket. I thought I saw this happen, but to be sure, I used a long pole to push on the A-Arm. When I saw that the whole spring would move without expanding, then I knew there was no more potential energy in the spring.

0629141218.jpg

A bit more of a push and the spring fell harmlessly to the ground.

(In the salvage yard, however, I tried this removal without freeing the knuckle from the A-Arm prior to lowering the jack. The A-Arm got into a bind and the jack lowered to the ground with the arm still connected to the knuckle. Then it released and fired to the ground so fast and hard that I felt the impact. Fortunately, this happened on a gravel surface so there was very little bounce.)

Edited by Cody

Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The replacement spring as compared to the stock spring.

I had to cut the spring with no available online reference. I had to try figuring the ride height based upon the calculated spring rate and the load at desired ride height.

0629141220.jpg

At the time they were cut, I had also planned to lower the front of the car (that was before discovering that the roll center would be underground and there are no longer length GM 3 bolt ball joints to correct this). I then feared that they might be too short.

0629141221.jpg

However, what I was unable to factor was the pre-load that would be caused by the angle of the lower A-Arm contacting the inner side of the spring and compressing it before contacting the outer portion of the spring.

I had hopes that if there was an error in calculation, that it would be in leaving the springs too long, because once they are installed and the new ride height is checked, then a final cut could be used to dial in the desired ride height.

I discovered that the stock spring's idolaters would fit and that because of their smaller diameter, The outer lip would act as a spacer, so I opted to do the first install with them because of fears that too much had already been cut off from the Dodge Dakota Sport springs.

0629141239.jpg

Edited by Cody

Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

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The square end of the spring goes in the top spring pocket since it is a level mounting surface.

0629141246a.jpg

The tangential end is slanted like the angle of the lower A-Arm so it fits well in the slanted lower pocket. I made sure to turn the spring so that the end of the coil was aligned towards the wheel. If the springs are reclocked any, it can affect the ride height, so there is a very small adjustment that can be made if one side of the car sits slightly lower than the other.

0629141246.jpg

Because the replacement springs are shorter, I was able to get them into position and raise the A-Arm half way before needing the jack.

But because I had to use the jack, it meant that the inner portion of the spring was getting pre-load that I had not calculated for.

0629141247.jpg


Click here to visit the main directory for my subforum about my 2002 Eldorado build for autocross racing:

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=96

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Maybe when doing a job like that, if you don't trust the spring compressors and want to use a jack safely. Take a short piece of chain wrapped around the spring and the arm, then bolted together, then if the spring does get out it couldn't get far. Just an idea.

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