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Quick FE3 Suspension Question


91GranSport

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My first W-Body, an '89 Regal Limited coupe had "Dynaride". My current W-Body, a '91 Regal GS sedan needs new shocks and new tires. Although it needs new shocks and tires, it still handles far better than my '89 Regal Limited when I had it brand new. The "GranSport" suspension is far better than the "Dynaride" any day! To hell with the FE1! Although I'm sure your strut towers make a difference, you must drive an FE3 equipped car to really appreciate it.

 

Speaking of which, I should go pick up some strut tower bars myself.

 

You dont like the FE1?? :lol: :lol:

 

Mine isnt that bad, the strut bars helped A LOT

 

Robby

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I have the FE3 with shot struts as well as shot tires and it's still better than the FE1 I had on my previous W-Body. If the FE1 with KYB GR-2s must be like the stock FE3, I'm sure the FE3 with KYB GR-2s must be like a FE4 on the Z06! Well, maybe not that great...

 

FE3 with shot struts is a lot like FE1 with new STOCK struts, FE1 with KYB's is about like FE3 stock. I've owned both so I know :D
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Damn boy! You answered my question even before I asked it! :)

 

On the Gen1 W-Body, I think the Lumina Z34 as well as the Grand Prix GTP had the best performing FE3s. I think the Cutlass Convertible might've been equipped with the FE3 as standard equipment, but I'm not too sure. You can probably check Penny's to see. Overall I think any higher end model with the 3.4L Twin Cam had the best performing FE3s of the bunch. Either way, you can't really complain about having the FE3. The FE1 is the one to complain about. :)

 

Not all FE3 were created equal either. Actual springs and sway bars used varied by year, model, and engine.
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Yes! Judging that your vehicle has the 3.4L Twin Cam it most likely is an FE3. Also, all those "alpha numeric" numbers are there to piss you off. You'll see either FE1 or FE3 at the bottom row, on the fourth or fifth column. I was barely able to see mine because the idiot who placed the sticker in the factory put a wrinkle in the sticker right where the FE3 is stamped. But either way I knew I had the FE3 because I have the GranSport suspension.

 

were do you find wether the car is FE1 or FE3.? i found alot of numbers on the spare tire cover, it had the vin number plus a shitload of other alpha numeric characters but it had FE3...so is my 4dr Pree a FE3??
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  • 17 years later...

I have a '90 Cutlass Supreme SL Sedan with 18,000 original miles. Fully optioned out with the FE3 suspension. I am attempting to determine exactly what the FE3 suspensions consisted of on these cars. I see many different specs quoted online. I want to replace the rear struts because they are 31 years old. Any opinions or suggestions will really help.

FE3 Suspension.jpg

Specs.jpg

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You dug up a 20 year old thread so can’t suggest you search for your answer.  Not sure if these differences are really written down anywhere official as it’s just considered an upgrade over the base equipment. FE3 has a thicker front sway bar (34mm), I think FE1 is around 25mm. Actually has a rear sway bar, non FE3 cars do not; back then hat was not standard equipment.  
A base cutlass will have base FE1 options, the supreme would be FE3.  Just make sure to select cutlass supreme in your parts quest and it should give you the right list if you can find parts. Rock auto is really your best shot.  Dealer has had nothing for a very long time and the wholesaler dealer sites will just have brake pads and rotors and other consumables.  

Our cars were new when the internet was dial up so very little archived info to locate.  If you're looking to change out the struts the OEM gm parts from what I recall are just acdelcos that are actually rebadged brand name units.  Similar to old school Monroe sensatrac quality but that’s not what they were.  If you want to keep it better or similar to FE3 quality you would want to find some new old stock KYB’s.  I have em on my 91 GTP and handles very well for  30 year old domestic.  Don’t waste to much money on trying to squeeze performance out of your car as there’s no support for us in the aftermarket, never was 20 years ago. Best to focus on making it look good they’re antiques now after all.

Edited by GTP091
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23 hours ago, GTP091 said:

You dug up a 20 year old thread so can’t suggest you search for your answer.  Not sure if these differences are really written down anywhere official as it’s just considered an upgrade over the base equipment. FE3 has a thicker front sway bar (34mm), I think FE1 is around 25mm. Actually has a rear sway bar, non FE3 cars do not; back then hat was not standard equipment.  
A base cutlass will have base FE1 options, the supreme would be FE3.  Just make sure to select cutlass supreme in your parts quest and it should give you the right list if you can find parts. Rock auto is really your best shot.  Dealer has had nothing for a very long time and the wholesaler dealer sites will just have brake pads and rotors and other consumables.  

Our cars were new when the internet was dial up so very little archived info to locate.  If you're looking to change out the struts the OEM gm parts from what I recall are just acdelcos that are actually rebadged brand name units.  Similar to old school Monroe sensatrac quality but that’s not what they were.  If you want to keep it better or similar to FE3 quality you would want to find some new old stock KYB’s.  I have em on my 91 GTP and handles very well for  30 year old domestic.  Don’t waste to much money on trying to squeeze performance out of your car as there’s no support for us in the aftermarket, never was 20 years ago. Best to focus on making it look good they’re antiques now after all.

I measured the original rear sway bar on my '96 SE a while ago and I think it was 20mm. Smaller than the rear one on my '98 with FE1 suspension.

Edited by Amanita
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