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So here I am again. I'm wondering if you hard core Caddy guys can shed some light on a common problem.....front strut weakness, and rattling noise. I have now owned 4 Devilles, a '92, a '96, a '97, and a '99, all low mileage, well maintained cars. But they all seem to suffer from what I consider "weak front struts" On smooth, straight roads, they seem fine, sometimes a little bouncy, but OK. Then you drive them around a corner, and they seem to let the car "lean" more than they should. and then you drive on a back country road, and when going over bumps, they (or some other relative front end part) "rattle", sometimes very noisily. Also, every one I've owned, seems to lean a little lower on the drivers side. (I'm not exceedingly heavy, about #220)  So, my question is, even though these vehicles have very low mileage, do the front struts just "weaken" with time, or, is there another common cause for this phenomena? Thanks to all you guys, for any input!

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The noise you hear hitting bumps sounds like a bad stabilizer link.  To reduce the roll you might replace the stabilizer bar bushings.  Check the rear links and bushings also.


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It is physics that the car will lean somewhat in cornering.  I don't believe struts will weaken with age.  You could install a front sway-bar from a Deville Concours - that would stiffen up the car in the corners.  You would also need to change the sway bar bushings since the Concours sway bar will be larger in diameter than the base Deville.

I second Body by Fisher's recommendation to check the front sway bar links.  They wear and begin to rattle when going over bumps.  You didn't say what the mileage was on your car but the OE links should last well over 100,000 miles.  A worn sway bar bushing will also cause a rattle going over bumps so don't automatically replace the links without putting the car on some ramps and using a pry bar to load the sway bar to see where the relative movement is.

If you do find that it is the sway bar links, your best bet is the AC Delco OE parts.  Most of the aftermarket sway bar links parts are JUNK that will only last a few thousand miles before they're bad again.


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

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I don't know about Cadillacs but in some other cars that run strut front ends there are some isolator bushings that go between the strut and the tower. If those bushings have worn it can produce the same noise you are hearing. Would be another place to check along with the sway bar links. In my opinion if you want to keep the same ride quality then stick with the OE bushings as mentioned above, however my preference is to upgrade to polyurethane bushings. Less deflection and will help stiffen the ride, they last longer than typical rubber bushings too. 

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Excellent! Thanks you guys, I'm going to check out all the components you suggested, the local GM dealer who changed the oil and etc. did a multi point check and did recommend replacing the sway bar bushings on the left front.....and maybe since then, the other one has gone bad as well. I'll keep you guys posted, thanks for such a quick response! Bill in VT

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3 hours ago, CTS V said:

I don't know about Cadillacs but in some other cars that run strut front ends there are some isolator bushings that go between the strut and the tower. If those bushings have worn it can produce the same noise you are hearing. Would be another place to check along with the sway bar links. In my opinion if you want to keep the same ride quality then stick with the OE bushings as mentioned above, however my preference is to upgrade to polyurethane bushings. Less deflection and will help stiffen the ride, they last longer than typical rubber bushings too. 

I used poly strut rod and stabilizer bar bushings on my 96 deville and it stayed level and its directional stability was like a dart.  No more floaty loose feeling.  


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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Found it! 

I used Energy Suspension parts

http://www.energysuspensionparts.com/

 


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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Once the stabilizer links start to go, the seal on the ball joint gives way to road dirt, and they deteriorate pretty rapidly.  If you hear a clatter on rough roads with a car with 100K+ miles, that's a major suspect.  The ball joints (lesser cars just have a bushing) are hard to see from under the car so this isn't normally caught when the car is serviced, except possibly in the test drives, but with the car on a lift (or on jack stands), you can reach up and feel that the stabilizer links aren't tight.

If I were replacing stabilizer links, I would also replace stabilizer bushings.  If a stabilizer bar upgrade is available (see MAC's post) then you have an opportunity to upgrade your handling at very modest cost.  Polyester suspension bushings from Energy Suspension are touted to enthusiasts and racers but I've used polyester bushings in my suspensions whenever the opportunity presented itself ever since I tried to make my 1959 Chevrolet handle, and I see absolutely no reason not to use them on the street.  They offer a durable if minimally flexible mounting of suspension parts to chassis, hub, and each other, resulting in better steering wheel feel and response and less suspension give that encourages lean and such.

The tighter coupling of bushings may couple fine vibrations and noise to the chassis more than rubber bushings, but I never heard any difference myself, and a little more road feel is a good thing.  Only if you are the kind of car owner who doesn't like tire noise, wind noise, or any perturbation of the cabin due to road imperfections, and you want a silky feel in the steering wheel, would you want to stay with rubber bushings.


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HI Guys, hey thanks for all your help! So the update is, I've replaced the sway bar bushings, both sides, and what an amazing difference! My Deville with only 45K miles, is like new again, the struts don't make any noise at all. A rather simple repair, but hard to get out those pressed in ends w/out a special tool. A quick note, the first one I replaced was an aftermarket unit, and fitment was OK I guess, fit OK on one end, but not so well on the other. The second replacement was an OE AC/Delco part, and fit just right. I'll keep you folks updated as to which one lasts longer....I have another question, I'll try a different post though. Thanks again, Bill 

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The OEM stabilizer link should be good for up to ten years, depending on climate, salt, usage of the car, etc.


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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2 hours ago, bil.dun said:

HI Guys, hey thanks for all your help! So the update is, I've replaced the sway bar bushings, both sides, and what an amazing difference! My Deville with only 45K miles, is like new again, the struts don't make any noise at all. A rather simple repair, but hard to get out those pressed in ends w/out a special tool. A quick note, the first one I replaced was an aftermarket unit, and fitment was OK I guess, fit OK on one end, but not so well on the other. The second replacement was an OE AC/Delco part, and fit just right. I'll keep you folks updated as to which one lasts longer....I have another question, I'll try a different post though. Thanks again, Bill 

Did you replace the stabilizer/sway bar bushings plus the links on each side?


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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7 minutes ago, bil.dun said:

Sorry, stupid me, actually it was the STABILIZER LINKS I replaced, not the Bushings.....Thanks! Bill

Well I am glad it fixed your problem and you are happy!


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 assume the fitment problem was at the strut no?


GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Hi again, the problem was at the sway bar itself, the tapered stud didn't seem to want to be "pressed" into the opening properly. But I think the links can be installed in either direction, though, so I think the problem is that one of the "ball studs" was somewhat oversized...manufacturing oversight? The AC Delco part seemed to fit properly. I don't always trust these aftermarket "ACME" brands anyway. (Although it did come with grease fittings, seems like a good idea) Thanks for your input rockfangd!

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I ran into the same problem. I bought moogs. I usually only buy the greasable links.

Seemed like the hole was tapered but the link was not. And you are right it is on the swaybar. The strut hole is just a straight hole


GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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