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Discussion Starter #1
New-to-me Saturn Sky with 108k miles. I have put on 1k so far. The shocks appear to be the original Bilstein ones.

Really enjoy the car, but I swear I feel every minor crack in the road, bridge segments, etc. rattle the car. Granted, I'm comparing this to the ride in my Ford Explorer. It's unclear to me how much road I should feel given that it is a roadster, closer to the ground, etc.

I tried doing a push test and I can't tell a damn thing. Rear right looked like it bounced a bit the others were fairly stiff.

There does not appear to be any aftermarket backbone/probeam/etc.

Given the mileage is it safe to assume shocks are shot? Is there some way to diagnose, or is a rattly ride part of the game?

thanks

philip
 

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You are probably on the right track with the shocks. But how are the tires? Check the tire date codes. If they are more than six to eight years, you might want to consider new skins. Safety for sure, and better ride too. Lots of tire threads on here for opinions for tires. You might want to do an ADVANCED SEARCH under TOOLS in the red banner at the top of the page. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are probably on the right track with the shocks. But how are the tires? Check the tire date codes. If they are more than six to eight years, you might want to consider new skins. Safety for sure, and better ride too. Lots of tire threads on here for opinions for tires. You might want to do an ADVANCED SEARCH under TOOLS in the red banner at the top of the page. :thumbs:
Good thinking on the tires. The DOT codes are mid-2017 and newer. Tread looks good. Front two are (Goodyear) Eagle RS-A and rear are Antares Ingens A1 which are cheap Chinese tires. The rears have ~ 5mm tread left and the fronts ~6mm. Does not appear to be uneven wear...


philip
 

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First of all, you are going to feel a lot more than you do in the Explorer.

I have a 2007 NA with 103k miles and the original shocks are not worn, so you may be OK there. Or maybe not.

The suggestions about tires are spot on, you also want to pay close attention to tire pressure. Wide low profile tires are sensitive to pressure, and the correct setting may not be what is in the book. Try higher and lower, you may be surprised, and when you do get new tires go through the same process. Watch the RS-As in the wet. They have scary traction loss.

One thing you should do is have the alignment checked, and find a shop that can check the rear caster. My RL had rear caster problems that caused a lot of bump steer and other ugliness.

I strongly recommend a ProBeam. It will stabilize the car without affecting anything else. I thought the backbone made the ride too harsh.

Good luck and keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First of all, you are going to feel a lot more than you do in the Explorer.
Totally, which is why I have no clue if what I'm experiencing is normal or not.

Typically are you looking for lower or higher pressure?

philip
 

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Higher pressure will give you a harder ride and lower a softer ride but tire pressure should be set per the information on tire pressure in the door jam. If you don't have factory tires, I believe there is a calculator out there for figuring out what your tire pressure should be based on your car weight and tire info.

usually between 33 and 38 is where the tires I've had like to be. With my race tires, cold they like to start at 32 and increase to 34 by the last run. I take across the tire tread tire temps to verify pressure. I get a bit OCD with the race tires. My street tires are at 34 psi and seem to wear/grip about right.
 

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I have been running at 32 (cold) for the most part. Above 34 the PSSs get a little slippery, and below 30 they start to tramline more than I like.

Counterpoint to Robo's comment about the tire placard pressures: I have never run either of my Skys as low as the recommended pressure, even with the factory tires. I think it is a fine place to start, but my experience has been that a couple of pounds higher resuls in better handling without affecting wear appreciably if at all.
 

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Sky @108k. Yeah maybe the shocks could be gone. 100k is a standard check point for all cars. I would say that the 75k-90k is about the right time to look in to replacing shocks & bushings during a suspension over view. You can push it here on the shocks, IF it ain't broke, don't fix it but they won't perform like new ones. Bushings could have taken a turn for the worse here too.

Tires, air pressure settings, rims, balancing & alignment. Two different sets of tires, although both seems to be new with tread wear life left, might be part of a harsh or rough ride. Air pressure settings, factory or by owners own personal choice to where they like their tires set at. Higher or lower will affect your ride performance, or lack there of it. Proper balancing and a 4 wheel alignment could fix some issues here. Toe/caster/camber could be out by the 100k limit. IF you have never done it, or the previous owner has not done this since the factory, IT might be time for this. I'm doing mine in the next month. Been 10 yrs. so while I'm in there for my fluid changes, just for my piece of mind and future reference on my car.

Sky & Ford Explorer... roadster vs SUV. Yeah low to the ground, short wheel base ride will not be like the Explorer ride. Every little bump in the road, bridge expansion joints, pot holes, road seams... nah I never noticed that.. well yes I have. Comes with the territory.

Backbone/Probeam could help some with roll stiffness to the chassis, but again here personal choice by the owner. Backbone can make a difference. Probeam gives it better handling depending on the owners personal choice. Harsher ride could be worse though.

Start cheap with air pressure settings. Then maybe balance/rotate all 4 wheels. Then alignment with maybe... hub bolts checked too? $ is the questions here.
IF that helps your good for now. IF not, then on to more expensive stuff. All four tires the same model make mfg. $$$ Then shocks & bushings= $$$. IF after that, you could consider $ for the backbone/probeam DDM after market add on parts. Up to you the owner, and your checkbook/mastercard. Depends on how much is your permagrin worth it to you?

LAC
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Going from 40 to 35 is a notable improvement. I am going to try 32, but i think new shocks are still in the cards.

How hard is it to replace shocks? I change oil, brakes/rotors/hubs and fixed a variety of sensors but haven't messed with suspension.

philip
 

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I swapped out my shocks/springs with a whole new BC set of coil overs and it wasn't bad at all. Swapping out the shocks themselves with the stock Blistien shocks and springs will be a bit more work but with that guide it shouldn't be harder...just more work.
 

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Going from 40 to 35 is a notable improvement. I am going to try 32, but i think new shocks are still in the cards.

How hard is it to replace shocks? I change oil, brakes/rotors/hubs and fixed a variety of sensors but haven't messed with suspension.

philip

If I read this right here, 40 to 35 is a notable improvement, then you had your air pressure set to high at 40 lbs. Dropping it to 35 lbs. cold still might be too high. The higher the air pressure X 4 could have been the problem, not the shocks.

On mine all tires are at 30-32 cold, then rise to 34-35 during running. With the shocks & bushings being worn, your handling will be affected some. At 40 lbs. air pressure the ride would be imo bumpy, and harsh. I had my tires replaced within the last 2 years, the dealership had the air pressures set all over the place. 38 on one tire, 36 on two, 34 on the other one. After getting them all to around 32-33 my car and ride comfort felt better.

Replacing shocks is not to hard, depending on your level of wrench turning, and tools available. While your shopping for new shocks the brand & best price that fits your budget, keep on with your air pressure setting test, and maybe the balance & alignment could help you further with ride comfort. Then IF you do replace your shocks, then the ride should improve some for a short wheel base car. I try to check my air pressure settings ever 2 weeks. With the hot summer weather slowly fading away, cooler temps will affect the tire pressure some here, depending on where you live, driving style and road conditions.

LAC
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I read this right here, 40 to 35 is a notable improvement, then you had your air pressure set to high at 40 lbs. Dropping it to 35 lbs. cold still might be too high. The higher the air pressure X 4 could have been the problem, not the shocks.
I dropped them to ~ 30 last night and the ride in was a bit better than 35, but its the drive home that is on significantly worse roads. Will let you know - thanks for the info!

philip
 

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I dropped them to ~ 30 last night and the ride in was a bit better than 35, but its the drive home that is on significantly worse roads. Will let you know - thanks for the info!

philip
At around 115k miles I noticed my 08 RL was getting pretty rough and the sway bar bushings were squeaky as HECK! on the cold days. Best advice from here is to take the OEM bushings off, clean, grease, put back on.

From a suspension service shop, I visited they said a Bilstein setup would be good for up to 150k max. It was around my 125k miles I was really wanting to replace them.

I think you can find the OEM's on ebay for under .8k USD.

GMPP off road package :) pn 17800029 can't find on ebay or a general gaggle search...
https://www.jegs.com/v/GM Accessories/338?N=900338&Nrpp=180&Ns=P_Price|1&Tab=SKU&csrc=brand&storeId=10001&catalogId=10002&langId=-1
 
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