Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Few More Sleeps & disabling my FX45 Ride control

then another adventure starts.   For the past few weeks I had been getting my car ready for a big trip.  I thought I only needed to do the regular maintenance like; oil & filter changes, new coolant, check hoses, brake pads and tires.  But then I had a Harmonic Balancer failure, seems like a costly affair with my model of car.  While it was in the shop, the mechanic told me that I had a broken front shock.   No big deal I thought but these were special electronic valving shocks which cost over $500. a piece (times x 4 = $2,000.00 + labour)

Here's what a broken shock looks like.   I have a control on the console where you can select your ride mode from: Sport, Touring or Wimpy.  There is some sort of electronic contol within the shocks which change the firmness of the valving.

There is also some kind of solenoid which operates automatically to firm up your suspension, should you drive on different road surfaces.  It exerts more presure on those A-arms so if you are in Wimpy mode and you drive fast, it will change automatically to Sport mode.

so here are my four shocks already removed from the car.

and here are my four new ones, which my friend installed.   These are regular shocks, without the electronic valve control

    Old one

  New one

Without electronic shocks installed, the computer thinks that your shocks are defective, then it gives a ride control fault, along with another warning which in effect, cripples the car and limits your top speed.  Even though you clear the error messages, the warnings keep coming back.  In the meantime you cannot drive faster than a certain speed until you correct the fault.   As I am taking a long trip with others, I could not have a speed limited car so this had to be fixed.

There is virtually nothing that  can't be found by searching the internet.  My car has the FX45 ride control and the Corvette forum was my friend

I had a hard time trying to find the correct resistors, but eventually I snagged 4 of them, one for each wheel.   We cut the plugs from the 4 shocks and soldered the resister to each . . .

They come two in a package

Then we tried to waterproof them by wrapping in electrical tape as they are connected near each shock, under the wheelwell

Here is one connected and zap strapped to a harness

Here is another one zap strapped under the car but farther up

The resister fools the computer into thinking that your shocks are operational.   I get no more error messages and the car seems to drive much better with the new shocks.  It would seem that I had the broken shock when I bought the car.  Too bad I didn't know as I bought the extended warranty and I could have gotten a new shock years ago

With my car all fixed, and ready for the road, I took a few minutes to comtemplate

For the past 6 years the wheel on the left has seen may Western States.  Now it's time for the wheel on the right to see the Eastern side of the Continent.  I couldn't help but notice the pattern of the sun shining through our new fence

In a few days, a new adventure awaits, but this time on 4 wheels instead of only 2

My car is ready for the road and thanks to my Friend for doing most of the work

and to his hoist.   I wrote about it here

Last week we gathered at our friends and the four of us drove our cars

to the US border crossing

and drove our cars into the USA

We were on a mission and we

finally found our truck waiting for us

the driver was checking our car for pre-existing damage

and then it was time to start loading

My friend's Z06 went in before me.  Those ramps can be moved independently at both ends

and then it was my turn

I am in the lower berth

This particular truck can hold quite a few cars.   There are 3 in the first section and I think you can carry 6 in the rear trailer section

Both of my wheels are strapped to the rail and then tucked on an angle below the two cars above

There is a new C7 on top at the rear with a new Porsche Ceyenne underneath.   While we were supervising the loading

the girls were sitting on the rocks and socializing

It was finally time to say goodbye to our cars . . .   "till we meet again in Harrisburg, PA very soon"

Not many more sleeps and we will be gone.  


  1. I enjoyed watching your video on YouTube and could almost imagine how stressed out some of those guys were seeing their pride and joy moving through the truck on the ramps...

    Nice job tricking the computer into believing that everything is normal. What happens when the sensors say go to Sport mode and the resistance doesn't change. Will that trigger a new code?

    1. Richard:

      I wasn't stressed. Perhaps if I owned the '65 Mid-series blue one I would have been. The driver is a pro and he knows what he is doing

      Because my car is ancient, it has the primitive FX-45 Ride Control which can be fooled. The newer magnetic FX-55 on the newer cars, cannot and you need the GM Tech Tool to disable. Most dealers will not disable the option as they want to sell you the $2,000 worth of shocks. The newer ones read the change in resistance etc.

  2. That hauler is a long rig. Glad he's driving it and not me.

    1. Canajun:

      like everything else, just takes practice and experience. I would have worried about it being Top Heavy. It was actually a neat rig

  3. Harrisburg, PA? Going to try and meet up with ScooterintheSticks? I've always liked the model of Corvette in the light blue color. As to fooling the computer, nice....sometimes I think today's car's and motorcycles are just a bit too computerized and by that I mean anything beyond carburetors...of course, I now drive a rig with EFI so not exactly following my own thinking am I?

    1. Dom:

      EFI is much more reliable and it self adjusts for higher altitude, except when it fails. I wished I knew more about carburetors. I can take one apart, but putting it back together would be the challenge

  4. Looking forward to your travel story from PA. Happy trails, Bob & Yvonne.

    1. Sonja:

      the tour only starts there. We actually plan to head to Northern Florida. Hope to get there eventually

  5. Safe travels Bob!

    You should get some red crocks for this one.

    1. Don't encourage his Croc fetish David, Bahahaha

    2. David:

      crocless is best. I'm not so sure about RED, I would rather have a 2nd pair of PINK

    3. Trobairitz:

      Crocs© are too hot. Not much air circulation. I prefer open sandals. I looked at the ones with HOT PINK straps but I chickened out . . .

  6. But you never told us how you all got home from the good old USA. Did one of the wives drive a car down too, to haul you all home?

    I too enjoyed the video.

    1. Trobairitz:

      how observant you are. I was going to mention it, but didn't

      Our cars were all packed with our luggage. Under Nexus Rules, you are not allowed to use the Nexus lanes with luggage belonging to anyone else but yourself. That's why we all had to ride down to the USA. We had a chase car capable of bringing us all back to Canada

      We were worried that the Border People would wonder why we didn't drive our cars back, as when they scan our Nexus cards they would see that we drove down. Also when we enter the USA when we start our trip, it may be a problem entering your Country, WITHOUT a return air ticket . . . US Border security is always on the lookout for people entering the USA without a ticket to leave

  7. Bob,
    Now that the car will do 140 again, please use discretion :)

    Have big fun in PA!

    1. Coop:

      I presume you are referring to 140 Kilomoters per hour. That's what I think you meant. Nice to know that I will have full power at my disposal