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2003 STS ride versus 2003 SLS ride


LindaSpencer

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Hey Guys,

Can you tell me why the STS ride in a 2003 is so much harder than an SLS, I'm trying to purchase one of these cars, but like the SLS ride is so much smoother. If I bought a STS and changed the tires would that solve the hard ride or is it just the suspension?

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Yes, tires can make a big difference in ride. Low profile tires corner better but ride rough. What you want for a smooth ride is a tire with thick enough sidewalls to soak up the bumps. If you want a smooth ride, go with 16 inch rims and tires (225/65/16) or better yet 15 inch rims and tires (205/70/15).

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Hey Guys,

Can you tell me why the STS ride in a 2003 is so much harder than an SLS, I'm trying to purchase one of these cars, but like the SLS ride is so much smoother. If I bought a STS and changed the tires would that solve the hard ride or is it just the suspension?

Yes, changing tires would make a big difference BUT my understanding is, <and I could be wrong> it is a combination of the suspension being tuned for a firmer, more sporty ride and the wider / lower profile tires. That combo will give you better handling but obviously at the expense of the silky smooth ride.

If I wanted the smooth ride, I would go with the SLS and not try to remake an STS into an SLS. :):)

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If you are after a smoother ride - buy an SLS. The STS has a stiffer ride.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I wish I would have bought an SLS. I wanted a smooth ride that has punch around town...didn't realize that the STS wasn't it. Oh well, it's still a caddy.

-Dusty-

- 02 Seville STS, white diamond

- 93 Sixty Special, Tan with vinyl top

- 79 Coupe DeVille, Tan with Tan top

- 06 GMC Sierra Z71, Black

- 92 Silverado C1500, black and grey

- 83 Chevy K10 Silverado, Black and Grey

b80385550.jpg

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If you want a soft ride, I would.

I have both a '97 SLS and an '01 STS. They really do drive like two different cars, and I enjoy driving them both. The SLS rides much more like a Cadillac "should". The '01 STS drives like a race car comparatively. Much better handling, stiffer ride, etc. This is due to spring rates, different strut/shock valving, and larger stabilizer bars.

Holding out for an SLS is probably a good idea, but educate yourself on what options were available in the different model years, and make sure you find something you'll like. I could have gone either way (STS or SLS), but we found our STS at a good price, and the STS generally includes some things as standard that were either optional or not available on SLS, such as the Bose sound system for instance. It was also the color we wanted, and all that is sometimes hard to find in one vehicle, so we moved on it.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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We have a 1999 SLS. Softer suspension and less horsepower 275hp vs 300hp in the STS. It is Fully equipped.

Power Lumbar support

Rainsensing Wipers

Compass in mirror.

Heated seats

Power Tilt wheel

Garage door opener

Sunroof

Bose 4.0 High performance

425 watt Stero with 6 pack cd player

Chrome wheels

Sable Black with Neutral shale Leather

just turned 48k

Love the car purchased new.. Got above off the original price sticker List $49018.00

Sorry not for sale!

Frank

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The STS is the Seville Touring Sedan. The SLS is the Seville Luxury Sedan. The SLS will have pretty much the same punch around town, in my experience in driving late 1990's SLS loaners while my ETC was being serviced. The differences to the driver are the Touring package sport suspension and the high-end torque in the Touring package engines. Other differences are about 10% better gas mileage in the SLS and some differences in trim (painted vs. chrome grille for the Touring package, STS vs. SLS badging on the trunk lid, vent holes in the leather seats for the Touring package, etc.) and perhaps some things that I don't know about.

If ride and comfort are the most important things to you but you want the Northstar punch, the SLS is designed for you. If performance is more important than ride (people who complement my ride and smoothness irritated me until I got used to the fact that the uninitiated just don't get it) then the STS is your car.

Of course, there are a few ringers out there -- SLSs with the VIN 9 intake cams, or STSs with SLS badging and hood/grillle, and at least one STS owner who has rebadged his car as a Deville.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.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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educate yourself on what options were available in the different model years, and make sure you find something you'll like.

That's why I went with the STS because I knew that when I found one, it would have all the options I wanted. Sevilles are hard to come by up here and if you find one, you better snatch it. Do you seriously get better fuel economy with an SLS vs. an STS??

Speaking of ride, how does the ride of the SRX compare to the SLS or STS?

-Dusty-

- 02 Seville STS, white diamond

- 93 Sixty Special, Tan with vinyl top

- 79 Coupe DeVille, Tan with Tan top

- 06 GMC Sierra Z71, Black

- 92 Silverado C1500, black and grey

- 83 Chevy K10 Silverado, Black and Grey

b80385550.jpg

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I think what you are complaining about is the Magna ride system that was installed in late 2002 STSs and all 2003 STS. This system is FIRM and sporty... I like it... But many find it a little hard... The SLS suspension is tuned (in my opinion) sloppy... more for comfort then performance. I would say for people that want a "float along" Cadillac ride they should consider the Deville first... These are the "softest riding cars" The STSs, especially the Magna Ride one are HARD...

With regard to the SRX. Keep in mind that the SRX is based very much on the same platform as the STS and SLS... I would check the shocks... if they are CVRSS they will be a little softer then Magna ride. Given the extra weight of the SRX and give its (albeit limited) "off road" capabilities I would bet it rides on the hard side too...

And yes the non-performance gearing of the SLS yield 2-3 more miles per gallon then the "get up and go" gears in the STS

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Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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Of course, there are a few ringers out there -- SLSs with the VIN 9 intake cams....

Now THAT would be a dog. Relatively tall 3.11 final drive ratio with the lack of low end torque from the L37 cam. I'd actually consider going the other way around, if it were possible. Put the LD8 intake cams into an STS, get the low end torque, and keep the "good" gears. That's how the Bonneville GXP came from the factory...the LD8 engine and the 3.71 gears...ideal in my opinion.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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The difference in torque between a VIN Y and a VIN 9 engine can be more than made up by exhaust mods and engine production differences.

You don't know a car until you've tried it. I once had a car that drove like a 4-speed with low gear missing, idling at 24 mph in low gear; 0-60 may not have looked good but this small-journal 327 cid bow-tie station wagon was far more than a match for a 425 hp 396 cid Chevelle SS, and I once checked my rear-view mirror to see if some clowns in a Porsche 911 were OK and saw the underside of their car; I had shifted to 3rd in the air. If what you've done isn't working, keep after it. You are done when you are done. That station wagon took six months of problem solving before it stabilized, but it became my reliable daily driver for almost five years, and it provided the next owner with many years of service -- and stories.

We have a post in the 19th Hole about somebody making a full PCM substitute. That should allow a gear ratio change. The differential in the 4T80E is the first thing to come out the passenger side and is serviceable without messing with the main transmission. In the final analysis, a whole new ratio requires a pinion, two floating hypoids, and new half-shafts with hypoids.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.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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425 hp 496 Chevelle SS,

Now THAT is a car that I'd like!

When did they start putting in the magnaride in the 2002s?

-Dusty-

- 02 Seville STS, white diamond

- 93 Sixty Special, Tan with vinyl top

- 79 Coupe DeVille, Tan with Tan top

- 06 GMC Sierra Z71, Black

- 92 Silverado C1500, black and grey

- 83 Chevy K10 Silverado, Black and Grey

b80385550.jpg

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The difference in torque between a VIN Y and a VIN 9 engine can be more than made up by exhaust mods and engine production differences.

It's a pretty healthy difference (25+ lb*ft) in some areas on the powerband. In addition, exhaust mods tend to push the power band further up in the RPM range (more volume generally equates to less low-end torque).

All I'm saying is, there's a reason the L37 engine has the 3.71 final drive, and never came with anything less. We had a conversation like this years ago, and I'm essentially saying what our guru told us...they used a variety of final drive ratios with the different engines and ended up with what you see (saw) in the showroom. The 3.11 final drive matched the good low-end torque characteristics of the LD8 engine and the 3.71 final drive was used to offset this with the 300 hp engine. He said swapping 300 hp cams into your SLS (which effectively puts an STS engine in front of an SLS transmission) will make the whole thing run worse, not better.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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My experience in driving both VIN Y and my VIN 9 engine is that the feel is very much the same in normal driving. I have found that longer gears are more often to my taste than what comes on a car. I actually put an overdrive transmission on two of my cars, and ran with oversize wheels and tires on two more, including the 1964 station wagon and a 1969 station wagon that had a 400 hp 427.

Relieving exhaust backpressure helps all across the torque band. It helps more at the top end if the original exhaust is restricted, but that won't be the case with a Cadillac exhaust in good condition.

The Chevelle SS was a 396, not a 496. That was a typo. I fixed it with a quick edit.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.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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I tend to prefer taller gears as well. There's quite a difference in driving style between my '97 LD8 car and my '01 L37 car, but the 300-400 pound increase on the '01 probably accounts for as much of that. The LD8 is real punchy around town, but compared to the '01, you do have to wait noticeably longer for the engine to get up to redline for the transmission to shift. The '01 is more "doggish" around town. It'll also turn the tires over easily, like the '97, but it just requires more throttle to get it going. Once it IS going, however, the engine is much quicker to wind through the powerband and hit the next gear.

I'm sure that if measured, both cars would perform very similarly. But they have a much different feel as they do it. It is something that I continue to get used to. As I become more familiar with the power and handling of the '01, I'm much more comfortable slinging it around and getting it moving.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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The Chevelle SS was a 396, not a 496. That was a typo. I fixed it with a quick edit.

I'd still like to have it! It's still a chevelle! :P I've always wanted a '69 396 chevelle ss, but don't have the money or room to get one.

-Dusty-

- 02 Seville STS, white diamond

- 93 Sixty Special, Tan with vinyl top

- 79 Coupe DeVille, Tan with Tan top

- 06 GMC Sierra Z71, Black

- 92 Silverado C1500, black and grey

- 83 Chevy K10 Silverado, Black and Grey

b80385550.jpg

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