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Rear suspension/strut problem?


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new Michelin Energy tires, car drives great on smooth roads. it happens over bumps, especially when cornering and/or braking. no DIC messages/codes. no weight in trunk either (have not tried stuffing the kid in there yet...j/k)

i know there are some aftermarket shocks (Arnott), but i'd really like to troubleshoot this first. i did the "bounce test," and the rear took about 2.5-3 cycles before leveling after 3 consecutive bounces. the whole rear end bounced...could not really isolate the right-rear (where i think the problem is). the fronts seem stiff enough that i really couldn't bounce it. and the front takes a bump fine, but when the right rear hits it, it upsets the chassis (hey, i watch NASCAR).

is there a cheap (passive?) aftermarket shock i can use to confirm the right-rear strut is bad? can i just replace one, or do have to do both sides to then shut of the compressor?

thanks all,

hangar

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Hanger, sounds like you've got bad struts. Mind doesn't bounce at all. I can barely push the rear of the car down period. The rear of my car is as solid as the front...and it sounds like your front struts are still very good. Your rear end should be as solid as your front end.

...Uh...take that statement in context please. ;)

I would personally replace the rear struts with Arnott units or similar, engineered to bypass the computer but still retain the load leveling functionality.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

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

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thanks...i bounced a friend's SLS and it was much stiffer. problem is, Arnott has not developed their 02-03 STS shocks. i spoke with them on the phone and the sales guy didn't know the difference but knew they were behind in getting them developed and produced.

so my next question is:

Would the 01 STS (or 02 SLS) rear shock work on my 2002 STS? what's the real difference? i haven't yet checked GM part numbers but i will.

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GMPartsDirect has rear shocks for ($100.77/$99.84 left/right) described as "w/o realtime damping"...would these be the same functionality-wise as the Arnott's? for 1/3rd of the cost? i'm assuming the "realtime damping" is the active suspension and that these "passive" shocks maintain the airbag auto-leveling - bad assumption?

and the "w/realtime damping" ($451.11 each) are shown as for 00-02, implying the 02 is not different than the 01.

what are my options?

thanks!

hangar

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It depends on if your '02 STS has the Magnaride shocks and struts. If so, a "realtime damping" shock or strut will not work. If your '02 has the standard oil-filled active suspension (like the '01 has), then a shock/strut for an '01 should work I'd imagine.

The GM passive shock would physically fit, but won't include the small sensor/resistor to fool the computer. That's an SLS shock. I wouldn't use it because it won't be tuned properly for the spring rate of the STS.

Check the RPO codes on your spare tire lid in the trunk. If your car has "F45", then you have the CV-RSS suspension, and an '01 shock should work. If your car has "F55", then you have the Magnaride suspension, and you'll have to replace the shock with a Magnaride shock.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

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

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thanks for the responses!

my '02 does not have the Magnaride shocks. i was originally looking for Magnaride, but decided against it. They became available on late '02 models. i have the VIN break on my home computer and can provide it tonight, if anyone wants it. (i had forgotten the difference; i bet you're right that Arnott is working on Magnaride replacements.)

So Arnott's 01 may work after all. i'm also interested to hear if anyone has used them and their experience.

i just bought the car with 50k miles...not that much. and the rear tires were quite a bit more worn than the fronts...would rear shock failure(s) cause excessive rear tire wear?

hangar

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I don't think the rear shocks being bad would cause rear tire wear (especially if it's even wear across the tread). Most likely what happened is two tires got replaced, and put in the front, or the tires were not rotated much until you got it, and the worn ones were in the rear.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

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

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I don't think that bad struts would cause bad tire wear, as Jason said especially if its even wear. A bad strut could allow a wheel assembly to bounce and wear the tire out in spots.

If you have not done a 4 wheel, wheel alignment, I would have it aligned. If you are not rotating your tires, that will cause rapid tire wear also.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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i think the guy i bought the car from did exactly that: 2 new tires on front and the 2 "less worn" tires in the rear. the wear was even...i didn't think the worn shocks would have accelerated the wear that much, either.

i'm going to call Arnott back and specify my 02 is not Magnaride and hope they say "in that case, our 01s will work."

hangar

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my 96 STS has soft rear shocks. on the way to work, there is a rail crossing with 2 sets of tracks about 15ft apart. the 2nd set really hammers the rear. i drove my sons truck yesterday. he has new koni shocks on it and it just floated over the tracks. 98% of my driving is fine, its the darn tracks that annoy me. i also get the side stepping on bumpy curves. my rear camber is +0.5. i would like to pull it in to -1 deg if possible.

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Joeb, your '96 may also suffer from worn rear knuckles. That wouldn't be the case with an '01 STS (different design), but I think my '97 SLS had bad knuckles as well.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

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

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thanks...i bounced a friend's SLS and it was much stiffer. problem is, Arnott has not developed their 02-03 STS shocks. i spoke with them on the phone and the sales guy didn't know the difference but knew they were behind in getting them developed and produced.

so my next question is:

Would the 01 STS (or 02 SLS) rear shock work on my 2002 STS? what's the real difference? i haven't yet checked GM part numbers but i will.

Hi Hangar

Here is another place to check.Just use strutmasters.com.

http://canada.strutmasters.com/contact/thankyou.htm

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the rear wheels/tires seem tight. no play at the top. my sons truck has new a/t tires and i threw it into a few cloverleafs and it felt solid but tippy. high COG and all that. i will drive the caddy tomorrow. it should feel like a race car after the truck.

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