Cadillac CTS The mid-sized sedan that has grown the popularity of the Cadillac brand with it's low price and sleek styling

Eibach antiroll bars: initial experience

  #1  
Old 07-26-2005, 04:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Default Eibach antiroll bars: initial experience

I just installed a set of Eibach anti-roll bars on my 2 month old '05 CTS and thought I'd share the experience. Bottom line rating: thumbs up! Long write-up...

I liked the ride in first place, which is why I bought the CTS (w/luxury sport package). However, after a few hundred miles, the leaning in hard turns and relative lightness of the rear got to be a little too much. Looking around, the Eibach set of bars appeared to have decent reviews at a good price ($288 @ Tire Rack + ~$17 for 2 day shipping).

The rear bar is hollow, though it still weighs a little more than the stock one. The front looks hollow, but doesn't weigh much more than stock. Both bars are pretty meaty - 28mm front, 22mm rear, compared with the stock measurements I made of 23.0 mm front, 18.3 mm rear.

Front: Pretty easy. I got the front of the car well off the ground and onto jack stands. Removed wheels. Followed instructions with no problem. Wiggling the top of the end link (small rod with bolt) while pulling made getting the bolt of each end of the stock bar a little easier. The frame mounts are easy to get to except for the front of the right side. There's very little room - not enough for a socket wrench. I used a box end wrench with a little patience and had no problem. All the nuts for for the anti-roll bar are 15mm. Installing the new front bar was straight forward - not hard at all to feed it through the engine compartment. I remounted the wheels and lowered the front. Time: about an hour and a quarter.

Rear. More difficult. Unbolting the end links and frame brackets is easy. Getting the bar out was not straight-forward, but was down right easy once I figured out the easy way: unhook the exhaust system on each side (applies to the dual exhaust 3.6L engine). You'll want to have the mufflers hang down about 6 inches - use something to keep them from hanging completely off the front mounts. For the dual exahust, there are three rubber mounts to unhook on each side - unhook the two at the back of the muffler on the bottom; unhook the mount just to the front of the muffler on the body side. NOW, the bar was easy to remove, though I still had to rotate it up and 1/2 way around first.

Installation of the new rear bar was straight-forward. Note not mentioned in the instructions: the drop-bend in the middle of the new bar should point down. Another note: The ends of the bar go on the INSIDE of the parking brake cable. After bolting the brackets to the frame, I found that the bar actually touched the parking brake cable on both sides - not reassuring. I convinced myself that would occur only when the suspension was fully extended - which I later confirmed. The next step was to push the end link bolts into the end of the bar. I choose the very end holes - there is another hole about 3/4 inch from the first on each end - this is an adjustable bar. I then re-mounted the exhaust, re-mounted the wheels and lowered the car. Last step - double-checked the anti-roll bar to brake line clearance: now about 1/2 inch. I think the bar is about 1/2 too wide - there are maybe 1 1/2 to 2 inches of clearance to the springs, so there's no reason to be so close to the P-brake cable.

Ride: I can't tell any difference in the ride quality - Goodness! It would be hard to explain otherwise on my luxo-ride . Cornering - waymobetter! The cornering feels much more sport-like, though still new-model-Cadillac compliant. And, the trailing-brake turn-in is much more linear - the stock bars left me driving a little more conservative since the rear end would get light with little provocation and a bit quick. I haven't put many miles on it with the new bars, but these initial feelings are quite encouraging that my $300 was very well spent.

Larry
 
  #2  
Old 08-01-2005, 01:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Default RE: Eibach antiroll bars: Update

I had a chance this weekend to cut some turns over the North Cascade Highway with the wife as passenger. The handling in the CTS is now supurb. The suspension doesn't get upset even when running 70-75 through 50 MPH curves. That's important when the passenger judges your control of the vehicle with smoothness. There were a few times when the curve we were on wound up a bit tighter as turn progressed. The CTS+Eibach was up to the challenge, remaining flat and in abundant control at all times. That lightness I used to feel in the back end when braking slightly during a turn is gone - at least within the confines of "enthusiastic", though not at the edge, driving.

I was on the lookout for negative characteristics from too much coupling between the left and right suspension. There's mabye some leaks in when going over those really agressive speed bumps or dirt parking lots with pot holes, but that was only at low speed and hard to quantify. On the road, those few sections of with undulating surfaces deserve only minor attention while driving. There's perhaps a trivial bit of bump steer, but the stability of the car when encounting such road sections in a turn way more than makes up for it.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with the set up of Eibach anti-roll bars with the stock luxury sport suspension. I can see that some people would prefer the complete stock setup over this, but only those who lean toward the old Cadillac float-feel. If you chose your CTS as a more progressively-styled, slightly larger, non-mainstream alternative to a BMW 3 series, go for the aftermarket anti-sway bars. Eibachs are a good choice at any price. At ~$300, the upgrade is well worth it!

Outside of lowering the car with aftermarket springs, its a delight to corner like a sport sedan should. It doesn't need to give excuses and provides little clue to the passengers what you just did - unless they check the speedo and try to duplicate the cornering in their own car. No sqealing of tires, just good cornering.

I have no plans to upgrade the springs - the cost is significant and I'm pleased with the performance as is. Also, I hate making compromises against existing features - I don't use it much, but I like having the self-leveling rear shocks.

Happy motoring!
 
  #3  
Old 03-18-2006, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1
Default RE: Eibach antiroll bars: initial experience

Hi Larry,

Great to hear you are so excited about the handling changes! I just registered for the Cadillac forum and I have just factory ordered a 2006 CTS 3.6L, 6 speed with the Performance, Luxury and Appearance package. The performance package outlines that it includes higher spring rates, different shock absorber valving, stiffer stabilizer bars and different bushings, as well as bigger and better compound brake pads.

I hope this isn't just marketing hype as I can't wait to drive the car, but I was curious if you, or anyone else out there, has any thoughts on the new Performance package and whether it still makes sense to make after market changes such as different bars or springs? I plan on driving the car fairly hard but of course I want it to still ride like a Cadillac. Has anyone out there made any modifications to either the suspension or powerplant to make this great car even better?

Collin
 
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