Suspension compatibility - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 05-15-2005, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default Suspension compatibility

I'm on a mission to determine if FE3 suspension from other GM vehicles is compatible with my Bonnies. We'll start with the 90. From there, I can tell if it will work in the 93. There is an 88 Trofeo in central PA for sale very cheap. I was originally looking for just the shifter and trim for a V2.0 since Harofreak made a red film for me but the light bulb went on over my head when I saw the FE3 emblem.

Could the springs be a different diameter or height from car to car? How about sway bar length?
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:32 PM   #2
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Is the Trofeo an H-Body? If it is, then everything will bolt up easily. Otherwise, I don't know.


-justin
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:49 PM   #3
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It'* actually an E-Body.
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:59 PM   #4
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I think that you are going to find that the springs will be a PITA.... I tried researching this for a while and gave up... Its freaky...

You may most likely have to find an H body with FE3/F41 suspension for the springs that you want...

The 90 front springs are a bit diffrent( or should be from what i can find ) as GM made some changes to the 91 Bonneville... Its strange my 91 can use all of the springs that my 95 can use... Even the struts between the 91 and 95 are the same.... But the 87-90'* are a bit diffrent...

I have found springs for the 89-91 bonnies that were listed as performance/Heavy Duty..

We have found that Bill'* ( Willwrens ) SSEi had front springs at 16.0 mm and rear springs at 15.0mm...

We have seen older ones at 16.2mm,front( F41 )... I forget what the rears were... I believe that the rear for the 87 may fit on my 91, but the fronts will be a diffrent story, even the front struts are diffrent...

I have thought about replacing the springs on the 95 to SSEi specs as I need to get into the suspension to fix a few things...

The 91 SSE actually uses the same rear springs as my 95 SE... But it uses the same front springs as the 92-95 SSEi...

Uhhhhhhg... My head hurts... Have I confused you enough?

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Old 05-15-2005, 01:04 PM   #5
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Most of us have an RPO code or two that states: "computer selected suspension" or something like that when decoded. What this means is that a computer MATCHED your springs for a balanced ride, not CCR like it sounds.

So there'* like 5 different rates of spring force within EACH 'F' category of suspension. And there'* no way to tell that I know of, which subgradeo of the grade is right.
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
Uhhhhhhg... My head hurts... Have I confused you enough?
Wow! Uuuuuh, yep...

I thought it would be rather difficult to find FE3/F41 in an H-body. I know they had them in the Lesabre T-Types but in what other vehicles can they be found?
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:11 PM   #7
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Some of the Olds 88'* had the FE3 suspensions, I swear some of them were labeled F41... Buicks and Olds could have had that suspension... A few of the SE,LE bonnies 87-91 could have had the F41 suspension as well...

And Like Bill said there are several levels for each RPO designation... FE1 has 4 or 5, FE2 has several and in some cases FE2 and F41 are listed together...

Bill has one of the stiffer settings... F41 is Firm ride and handling, so far we have found the front springs to be 16.2mm for the F41.... On bills car we have discoverd his FE2 to be 16.0mm...

So its still a ball of confusion... Even my 95 SE with FE1 rides a lot stiffer than my 91 with FE1... lol... I'm lost now...

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Old 05-15-2005, 01:19 PM   #8
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It sounds like I'm barking up the wrong tree here. I'm already happy with the handling in the 90, in fact I think it'* better than my 93. It sounds like I can actually make it worse if a chance is made.

I wonder why there'* so many differences?
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randman1
It sounds like I'm barking up the wrong tree here. I'm already happy with the handling in the 90, in fact I think it'* better than my 93. It sounds like I can actually make it worse if a chance is made.

I wonder why there'* so many differences?
I have driven the 89-91 FE1'*, FE2'* and F41'*.... I like the F41'* the best of all... But I drove an 89 SSE that had a pretty stiff suspension... Very much to my liking...

I want to try and get a bit stiffer ride out of my 91 LE.... Thinking about buying the Heavy Duty/Performance springs for the 91 when I do the struts....

I may do the same for the 95... Its decently stiff for an FE1, but it needs a bit more

GM just had too many settings for the diffrent suspensions... I think it had more to do with Model/weight than anything... Like Bill said, the springs were selected to give the best ride and handling for various models...

FE2 and F41 are almost the same...

Randy, which suspension does the 90 SSE have? FE2?

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Old 05-15-2005, 03:00 PM   #10
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Yep. Actually all three vehicles have FE2. 90 SSE, 93 SSEi and 97 SSEi

Maybe when I start digging into the 90 for the engine swap, I'll make some measurements of the springs. Are you interested in the FE2 suspension from the 97? It will be coming off soon.
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