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Old 05-08-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default DD suggestions for spine pain

Anyone here have serious spinal issues that have caused them to shop for a more comfortable daily?

I can't hardly ------- drive anymore. I've sold all the motorcycles (I'd hate the world for 4 days after every ride). I've had two unsuccessful surgeries, and don't plan on going back under the knife until it actually gets worse in about a decade. Currently I'm at a pain level I can function with and can maintain with yoga, physical therapy, chiropracty, light exercise, daily liver-pollyping amounts of ibuprofen, and some narcotics.

Anyhow, as much as I love my little Mazda2 for being fun-to-drive, economical, and useful, the mother ****** beats the living ---- out of me. I've tried different springs, spring spacers, cutting down bumpstops, lighter (Miata) wheels with more sidewall, and haven't improved on it much. I doubt dropping $1100-1700 on coilovers will net much more in the way of comfort...so I'm going to trade it in.



Priorities:

1. COMFORT

MUST ride like a cloud. Good seats, preferably either air or magnetic suspension. I hate leather in Texas, so any cars that had clothe seat options are a plus. I may replace the seat with a Recaro Orthoped anyhow if I can sell a few more projects.

Regardless of any of the above, I am shopping with the sole intent of getting the absolute most comfortable daily cruiser I can find. It would be nice arriving to work in the same shape as I walk out my door in.



2. SIZE

I have a family, so must have 4 doors. I also have a thing for wagons.



3. PRICE

$15k with <60K miles on used market

or

< $25K new


After that usual looks and mileage and driving dynamics which most of agree on follow.

-tiptronic a bonus as I expect to get a manual...constantly dipping one shoulder to shift does not help the damaged disc between C3&C4.

-RWD preferred

-near 25mpg highway preferred





I know there's decent options...but I honestly don't know how to compare across market segments since the magazines hardly do that, and I've never driven any of these.

For example:

How much better does a Cadillac STS ride than a Lexus IS300?

Will a Charger/Magnum/300C ride better with smaller, lighter weight wheels and larger sidewall tires?

How quickly will a Buick that rides nice now turn into a hoopty?






Nicest cars I've ever driven were an 18yr old LS400 and a 22yr old Volvo 240DL wagon.



I'm open to suggestions that have lots of aftermarket shock or airbag options as well.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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buick or lincoln.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
buick or lincoln.
You're always so helpful when you actually put effort into things.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Is it the ride quality or the seat?
Is it apparent only on long drives (e.g. > 2 hrs?)

For some it's the seat and an upright position like a minivan or SUV helps.

For a friend of mine it's the seat and the shape of the seat helps, and a high miles cheap 740iL worked for him.


If it's the ride quality, you may want to look into an late 2002, and 2003 Cadillac Seville STS with the Magneride semi-active MR (magnetorheologic) shocks.
This is the cheapest used car with MR shocks.
Buttery ride, but good body control and handling.

--quote
"If you look at the sticker on the underside of the spare tire cover you'll find a slew of RPO (Regular Production Option) codes. If the car is MagneRide there will be an F55 code, otherwise F45."
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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I second Buick. May handle like a wounded whale, but you can't beat the comfort of a Century. And, you're likely to pick them up cheap when Grandma kicks and the kids trade it in. Regals are also nice, but a bit more expensive.

In 2005(?) I bought a loaded 1998 Century Custom for less than 9 grand with about 19k on the clock. Never put a dime into it except gas and tires. Wife loved it; I hated the thing. But, cruising on the expressway was like sitting on a couch in your living room.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
Is it the ride quality or the seat?
Is it apparent only on long drives (e.g. > 2 hrs?)

For some it's the seat and an upright position like a minivan or SUV helps.

For a friend of mine it's the seat and the shape of the seat helps, and a high miles cheap 740iL worked for him.
Even amongst other cars in it's segment in a 7 car test Motor Trend found the Mazda2 incredible fun to drive, but the worst riding.


Hard dampers, short travel, constantly finding bumpstops. Even light ripples cause me to curse in that car though.




I just missed out on a cheap 740. May try to find another. Haven't got quite the cash together for a decent one, and they're all too old to finance.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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First: Sorry to hear about you back pain. A good friend of mine has a spinal injury too and just being around him is enough to understand what a burden it is. Stay though.

The Volvo 945 (Wagon) does ride very well and has comfortable seats. It is extremly practical but extremly, ultra, violenty boring as well.

The older BMW 5-series (pre -00) ride very well if left with stock suspension and stock wheels.

I dare say that SAAB made among the best seats in the world. The rest of the car... not so much.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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See my ninja edit above on 03 Caddie with MR shocks.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...-adaptive.html
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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What's actually wrong with your back?

Muscle pain? Inflamed discs? What?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:37 PM   #10
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Try a test ride in a Buick Regal.

A relative once had one, it was ridiculously smooth as most people in here are suggesting.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #11
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:58 PM   #12
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Lexus LS400 LS 430
Cadillac STS with magnetic ride control-ride was quite plush but I didn't find the seats that comfortable and the seat is more important to me than ride quality

I feel for you, I had surgery for a grade 2 spondylolisthesis in 2004 and not many people understand what it is like to have significant pain every day.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
buick or lincoln.
Yup.

Specifically, a Lincoln Town Car / Mercury Grand Marquis (same car, different badge).

My stepfather has the Lincoln of early '00s vintage. Air-suspension was an option on both models, and while it can at times be unreliable (both the pump itself and the solenoid valve are somewhat prone to failure), that car does have the absolute cushiest ride of any vehicle imaginable.

His car has bench seats in the front- I'm not sure if they were ever available with anything else, and while they offer absolutely zero lateral support (eg: sliding from side to side in hard cornering), they are immensely comfortable on long trips. I have driven that car from Port Charlotte, FL to Orlando and back virtually non-stop (roughly a six hour trip) and never felt uncomfortable.

It seats four adults and a child quite comfortably, and the trunk is large enough for at least half a dozen dead hookers plus 2-3 suitcases full of cocaine.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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The Lexus LS was the first thing to pop into my head.

Super duper reliable, RWD, spacious, rides great from my short test drive (LS430), more than reasonable about-town power/torque. Very uninspired interior (but great quality) and zero sporting nature.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #15
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I think deep down I know that I need to get either a big Lincoln, Buick, or another Lexus. The LS400/430 is the most appealing, and will likely go the longest. Mine drove like a dream, wasn't too much of a boat, and still got 25mpg. I'd arrive at school (almost 100miles away) feeling like I'd just walked out my door. That was nice. This was a little over a year ago, a few months before my surgeries. I'm pretty sure that switching from that to an old CRX on KYBs was what convinced me something was really wrong with my neck.


Mark:

My cervical spine is an absolute mess. I've had accidents on a BMX bike (6day memory loss concussion), a go-kart, dirtbike, three downs on streetbikes, and a total of 3 serious car crashes, the worst sliding into the trees at 65mph...sideways.

Besides the knot of arthritic scar tissue from ligament damage the trauma has manifested itself as shown.



Notice the load path shown for my neck on the right only passes through the top three vertebrae. It should pass all the way down through the C6 vertebrae .



Lol...thanks. 8 Steps is Actually on my desk. It is my bible, and my yoga teacher is my (hot) priest.

I'll give the other book a shake.


Most of the books out there seem to focus on back pain, and it's hard to find a whole lot on chronic neck pain. The spinal-health forum has been good to me, especially in learning to cope with letting things go, like motorcycle riding.

Even though I haven't ridden in a year, I still had a few projects, both mine and a friends. Had gotten it down to a GL650 (CX "flying-V") that I was going to cafe, but sold it two weekends back. Was so sad I cleared all the MotorCycling mags out of the bathroom and coffee table and threw them out.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #16
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Geez man. How old are you?

Here's another link for you to peruse:
http://www.regenexx.com/
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #17
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SAAB 9-5 wagon. Rides soft, very, very comfy seats. Car is a POS though, I just dumped mine.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #18
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i had a 92 sedan deville with leather. most comfortable car ive owned to date.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:16 PM   #19
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If it definitely is the ride quality and not the seat thats tearing you up then I would give up all sporting intentions in the DD and go with a land yacht.

Old devilles ride like freakin clouds. I would try and find a low mileage one that was well taken care of with the snazzy suspension. I really dont like the northstar but overall I have quite a few regulars that drive them and they have been pretty reliable.

Also put good tires on it, they can make such a huge difference in ride quality. They come with a 225/60/16 and stick some Michelin Symmetrys on there, by far the best riding tire I have ever driven on.

These are the ones I like
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #20
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Is it all nerve pain, or is some of it muscle pain due to compensation for the spine issue?

What options do the docs give as solutions? My mother in law just had bone spurs removed. The recovery took a while, but she is in much less pain now.
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