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Shock and Strut Replacement -- Cheap, OEM, or Upgrade?

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,990
    That depends on the quality of the struts you buy--what you want is a compliant strut, a "touring" grade, not a "sport" strut. Probably for your car KYB is a brand to shop. Bilsteins are oustanding, but very expensive.

    If the struts don't do it for you, you can install softer springs and even a smaller sway bar.

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  • azfarazfar Posts: 6
    how are monroe sensa tracs for that purpose ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,990
    yeah they'd be okay as a replacement for the factory shock, although I'm not so sure you'd get the same mileage out of them.

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  • azfarazfar Posts: 6
    by mileage u mean gas mileage ? hows that going to affect gas mileage?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,990
    no I mean length of service.

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  • Have any experience with aftermarket struts? I find them on ebay for a good price. Two brands that were identified were Ultima and Sensa. KYBs are oem but they're twice the price...
  • You can get a spring commpresor at a local car part store (rent or buy) do the replacement your self & drive it real carefully to the alignment shop. Probably take ya a little longer then mowing the grass recruit a moonlighting grease monkey if ya not mechanicaly inclined.
  • rlee777rlee777 Posts: 6
    edited October 20
    Shock replacement is relatively simple, but strut replacement can be challenging and not the best DIY project for a novice who is limited with tool selection (especially air tools), who lives in the rust belt or does not have a service manual. Struts have multiple parts that need to be in good condition for safety and lack of noise. Replace the wearable parts (e.g. strut mounts / bearings, spring seats, etc) or use the complete strut assembly package that many aftermarket vendors now offer. Something that has not been mentioned is to use a torque wrench for all suspension related bolts and nuts.

    Aftermarket options can be much less expensive -- here is my experience with a few popular models:

    KYB GR2 - well made struts and shocks, but valved to be firmer than OEM. Makes the ride bumpier/less plush. Good longevity. Satisfaction is high for a sportier ride, but low for those who like a more serene ride.

    Monroe Sensatracs -- firm (less so than KYB GR2) and fine for most applications. However in my experience and from other forums, durability seems to be a problem. Even though it comes with a lifetime warranty, the labor to replace the struts is costly, unless DIY.

    Gabriel Ultra -- very good dampening, plush ride. Great fit for those who like a softer strut/shock -- these work well in my Camry. Good handling is maintained, though softer than OEM in many cases. Excellent value.

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