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Tire size and ride height -


Norton1

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How do you lower a Caddy an inch or two?

And what are the benefits of putting 17 or 18 inch rims and tires on? Other than looks.

Steve

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There are very little benefits other than looks. I did notice an increase in handling with my 17" low profile Pirelli's. Now I can make a turn on those 90 degree intersections at 40 mph or more. Other than that I can't think of anything else except that they do ride more rough and they use a little more gas if you go to a wider tire.

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I am in agreement with Ed Hall... just looks.

The 17" Pirelli tires being lower profile will add lateral stiffness on a corner (thus the quicker speeds capable) but will also add overall stiffness to the ride.

Most cars are designed to use springs, shocks and tires in harmony to provide bump control and handling/traction. Caddi's take it a bit further and provide the maximum comfort within a set standard of the marque of Cadillac.

Have you ever ridden in a Ferrari? Handles like a go cart, corners like a roller coaster but has the ride of a shopping cart... harsh and tiresome. You give a little and you get a little.

The kids today lower their cars and then proceed to enlarge the wheels to fill the opening. Then they put ultra low profile tires on the enlarged wheels. They need to either cut, clamp or replace their springs in order to limit the body motion and prevent their tires from being cut and also to prevent the car from bottoming out (too often). These cars become very stiff. Stiff is not always good.

Handling and control needs a certain amount of body roll to enable traction and weight displacement/placement. An indy car has very little body roll but has hugely wide tires and wind-tunnel-designed high speed downforce to stick it to the road. I saw a kid in a lowered Acura do a high-speed defensive lane change in order to miss a bozo who cut him off... the result was a 360 and a half because there wasn't enough weight transfer to stick his tires down and let them respond to his command to say nothing of the overall geometry change he made to the handling equation.

Once you enlarge your wheel and lower your tire aspect ratio you change the handling characteristics of your car. Even if you leave the spring rates and height the same, It won't behave the same in any way. If you choose to do this, see if a buddy has a set of wheels and tires that fit your car. IF he/she will lend them to you for a trip down the highway and a jaunt around town, you may find that bigger and lower does not provide you with the character of the Caddi you fell in love with driving.

The only thing you need to decide is whether you like looking at your Caddi... or driving it.

My old Caddi is the land-yacht variety where handling is basically something other people's cars do. There is no car that rides as smooth or as quiet as the big ol' led sled does and she's 15 years old now. My Dad had the same car, bought an Aurora (rides much like an STS or CTS) and longs for his Caddi back for the smooth driveability of it... he generally doesn't rally or slalom his car... me neither.

This of course is all my humble opinion regarding my wonderous old girl that floats down the road emitting a gentle "thud, thud" over expansion joints and not much more over railway tracks...

:D Mike P

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Thanks for the replys. Kind of what I thought on the tires. I love my Caddy. It's a dream car. I had a lot of problems with it at first but now it just motors down the road giving me 25+ MPG at 75 MPH. Since I put the new tires on it the ride has really come along with no sacrifice in mileage.

It handles extremely well stock. It's a Z-rated car so the suspension is a bit on the stiff side. It'll corner like a rocket on rails and once in a while I push the pedal to the floor and let it go through the gears just to clear the dust and smoke out of it. It'll smoke the front tires like a dragster if I would let it. And I've done some performance mods to it. Nothing that costs money but I have a small machine shop in my barn and a lot of experience with 1/4 mile cars.

I love the looks of the car externally and internally. It's a little worn, but then so am I. So I'm slowly putting parts together for a paint job in the next year or so. Get rid of the little dings and side trim replacement. I'm going to eliminate the third tail light. It doesn't work anyway and the trunk will look better all smooth and pretty.

I had thought about lowering it just a tad - but it's so low now that I'm afraid my wife would run into a parking lot block and break the front of the bumper skin. It's going to take a bit to repair some of the damage that is already there.

Thanks again -

Steve

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  • 1 month later...

I have always wanted to lower my STS but I have never fully thought it through yet. I want to invest in big visual and performance upgrades but, I am saving most of my money for another car and I spend the rest on gas!

IMPORT CRUSHER

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I installed Eibach springs and lowered my STS about an inch and a half; I chose to keep 16 inch rims due to the quality of the ride. I did purchase aftermarket rims and went to a 255x50 series tire with little sacrifice in ride but boy does it handle.

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