Page updated on 04-20-2018

Difference between Grand Touring Suspension and Dynaride??

03-10-2005, 12:43 AM
I have a '94 Ultra with the Grand Touring Suspension. I noticed cars of that year (non-Ultra PA, LeSabre,etc) have Dynaride suspension in place. What's the difference of the two and is the Grand Touring suspension better? I used the "search" function but couldn't find a thread that compared the two. any advise would be appreciated!

03-12-2005, 12:16 AM
Here you go:

Basically, Gran touring is much better and more expensive. It uses a computer to adjust the compression level. So it's electronically adjustible. It provides much better cornering performance. The gran touring suspension is the "plain jane" suspension which is very "floaty". Good ride, but not good performance.


03-17-2005, 07:49 AM
That's close, but not quite right. Here's what Buick offered from '93 until about '96 (the electronic suspension may have only lasted until '94 or '95).

Base suspension was dubbed "Dynaride." It was supposed to have more control and better handling than it's pre-1991 standard suspension... more words than substance, especially as the miles rack up...very squishy. I think it added new deflected disk strut and shock technology that were supposed to combine comfort and control by firming up when the roads turned rough (Monroe does a better job of this application in its Sensa-Trac strut and shock line). I believed it included as standard for the first time a thin rear stabilizer bar on the rear, too.

The "Gran Touring" package firmed up the spring rates, strut/shock rates, f/r stabilizer bar diameters, and included a faster ratio steering gear (later models even upgraded this to Magnasteer) and slightly quicker axle ratio. There were no additional electronics on this suspension package; all included the automatic air rear load leveling system. This is the best package for any Buick. It sacrificed little in way of comfort, just slightly more impact harshness, but that's about it. Ride control is much improved and lasts a lot longer, as the stronger springs prevent unwanted sag. All in all, I wouldn't buy a Park without it.

For a 2-3 year run beginning in 1993, Buick offered an electronic suspension akin to Cadillac called "Computer Command Ride" or CCR, I think. Based on feedback inputs, it flipped a two-stage (it might have been three, but I don't think it was; Cadillacs maybe) solenoid atop each strut/shock back and forth from soft to firm. It flopped and was killed largely because the replacement cost of the struts. I had a used '93 with this setup, and the ride wasn't much better than the standard "Dynaride." On the highway, there was a little more control, but not enough to justify the initial price, and FOR SURE not enough to justify the $700 dealer replacement parts only a few years later. You can distinguish cars that have this option by raising the hood. There are little wires going into the top of the strut towers where they connect to the top of each strut. So what did I end up doing? I safely removed just the front worn electronic struts (well, I had it done by a professional) and replaced them with a set of Monroe Sens-Tracs. Night and Day difference. The car rode perfectly with good bump absorption, but no bottoming/topping, or bobbing -- even handled a little better. No warning lights or computer error messages, either. I wrapped the wire connector ends with tape to keep moisture out and let them lay under the strut tower dust caps -- no sense cutting them in case someone else wanted to put electronic suspenders back on to it later.

On any of these Park Avenues, if you don't tow or don't have rear air bladder leaks, I recommend just replacing the front struts, first. Try the ride for a week or two. If it feels even and flat, don't worry with the back shocks. Believe it or not, putting new on the back may make the back of the car feel like it's bucking againsts the better riding front, and then you might be left with regrets for changing them out. However, if after changing the fronts, the back end feels too loose and bouncy, then you'll need to get the back done, too. For these cars, I recommend Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks and struts.

03-17-2005, 12:31 PM
Great info straitfam, thx. I was a huge fan of the pre-96 Grand Touring susp. Even bought one without and traded it in within weeks. Now I have the new 98+ PA's and got the ultra because of the grand touring, and the charger too, but it doesn't do what the old GT susp did. I thought mine was hammered so I tried in vain to find a shock supplier to differentiate between the GT and non-gT and none do. my 99 has 120K on it and floated bad, but my wife has a 2000 Ultra and it rides great, so i thought mine was just shot so i just put on all sensatracs and it's much better. still not like my wifes 2000, and not even close to the pre-96 GT's, but livable.

03-19-2005, 04:57 PM
Hey, great info guys! I'm thinking about replacing my struts/springs soon. You mentioned that Sensa-tracs work great. I was wondering if you've had experience with the Monroe Reflex struts? It sounds like they're firmer. Also, what kind of springs should I get to match the struts/shocks? I want the ride to be firmer than the floaty Dynaride I have now. I don't want it to still absorb shock, though. And why is replacing the rear shocks sometimes detrimental, causing it to feel like it's bucking against the front? Are the Sensa-tracs compatible with the existing rear auto-leveling system? These are all of the things I'm wondering, and would love to find out.



03-19-2005, 05:09 PM
Whoops, I meant that I DO want it to still absorb shock.

03-21-2005, 07:46 AM
kaspr, i wish my 99 was a little firmer than the sensatracs accomplished, but i was not able to learn if there were any before i put them on. i think bilstein makes them for PA's and they are typically on the firmer side. might want to investigate??

11-01-2009, 01:32 AM
Hi forum,
I have 2001 PA Ultra. How do I tell which suspension there is?

11-11-2009, 02:37 PM
Remove the spare wheel cover in the trunk. Flip it over and you will see a tag with all the build components for your PA. The code for the Gran Touring suspension is F41.

11-11-2009, 03:41 PM
Remove the spare wheel cover in the trunk. Flip it over and you will see a tag with all the build components for your PA. The code for the Gran Touring suspension is F41.
F41 it is! :jump3: :jump3:

11-11-2009, 08:57 PM
More than likely, if you have an F41 SPID code you have GTS; however, the actual code for GTS is Y56, which includes many other options as well.

11-11-2009, 11:46 PM
Yeah, Y56 is there as well. Thanks, I had no idea about the SPID stuff.

FYI here are two web pages with SPID code lists:

11-12-2009, 12:04 AM
Yep, Y56 is there too. Thanks for the replies, I had no idea about this SPID stuff. Here are lists I googled if someone is interested:

12-21-2012, 01:05 AM
Wow. These posts bring back such memories of my mother's 1992 Buick Park Avenue with Dynaride. I coveted this GM "technology." While Buick lead the industry with Dynaride, I had to suffer in my 1991 Toyota Supra turbo with a 24 valve DOHC engine, four wheel double wishbone independent suspension with electronic modulation dependent upon steering wheel velocity, accelerator pedal velocity, brake pedal application, and vehicle speed sensor, and vehicle speed dependent variable assist rack and pinion steering. Somehow I made due. While the Buick was consigned to the scrapyard about 1998, my Supra is still going strong in 2012. But, alas, it doesn't have Dynaride.

01-03-2013, 05:22 AM
.. has a 2000 Ultra and it rides great...

Any way you can check the RPO code for those rear springs? I want to upgrade my base 2000 to Gran Touring.

The code is on the sticker under the spare tire cover; it is in the last 3 codes; starting with 8 and 9. It is probably 8CU, 8CY, or 8CW; also 9CU, 9CY, or 9CW.

Just trying to make sure I get the right spring codes. I hope to do front and rear springs, and the front and rear stabilizer bars with GT parts.

EDIT: I just noticed your post is from 2005; anyone else able to verify GT rear springs; are they CU, CY, or CW?

Thanks for your help.

Add your comment to this topic!