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View Poll Results: Quik-Strut or Rebuild?
Quik-Strut 2 28.57%
Rebuild 5 71.43%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-25-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
sallydriver
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1993 SW2
Question Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

Hey guys, I'm planning on rebuilding my front struts in the next couple months. The struts are completely original, and at 192,000+ miles (see sig), they need it.
Several questions:

Should I go for rebuilding, or Quik-Struts?

First, if it is better to rebuild:
  • I want a ride as close to factory as possible.
  • If I rebuild, which shocks should I buy?
  • Should I replace cushions and mounts too?
  • Springs shouldn't need replacing, right?

If Quik-Strut is better:
  • What brand is recommended? (aka WON'T CREAK!!!!)
  • I still want a factory ride.
  • Anything else to replace besides the strut?
  • Can anything be salvaged from the old one?

More info:
  • LCAs and possibly tie-rod ends will also be getting replaced.
  • Will be swapping trans with a rebuilt unit to allow this one to be rebuilt.
  • Time is an issue.
  • I will be doing all work myself.
  • I will be dropping the subframe for other reasons listed above, so that is not an issue.
  • Don't worry, I'll go over the subframe with a fine-toothed comb for rust.
  • Money is also a consideration.
  • No clutch replacement or engine rebuild. Will do those later when swapping trannys back.

Sorry, but I've not done anything this major to my Satty, and I want to do it right, the first time. Essentially, I cannot afford much downtime, so I need everything in order first time round as much as possible. Obviously, the struts are not the main focus of the entire project, but I'm pretty much set on everything else. Just had this question.

...
2014 Cannondale 27spd 29": 30 miles
1999 Forest Green SL2 5spd "Sally" 5spd : 307,100+ miles
1993 White SW2 5spd "Steve" 5spd : 234,984 miles

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:35 AM   #2
1CleanSatty
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

It is my understanding that the Monroe Quick-struts have been redesigned in the last year or two, and they do not creak or squeak anymore.

However, I personally went with KYB because I have lowering springs on my Satty and the GR-2's are recommended to use with them (but they are also considered OEM replacements). I am very happy with the ride quality- firm and responsive in corners, yet not harsh. They really made the car ride like new.

Since you don't have lowering springs and you want to keep it stock, I think the quick-struts are a viable option, although they're a lil more $$$. Nothing from the car is reused in that case- you get the strut, spring, mount, and cushion in one assembled unit and just bolt it in. No spring compressing needed.

If you go with the rebuild option, you reuse your springs. You'll order struts, mounts, and I recommend cushions too because they get old and kind of brittle.

Looking at all you have planned to do, you're a lot braver (and prob. more experienced) than I, that's for sure!

Last edited by 1CleanSatty; 08-25-2013 at 01:49 AM..

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Old 08-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

There are multiple current threads in here complaining about every brand of complete strut assembly. The build your own has considerably less negative comments.

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Old 08-25-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
sallydriver
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

Thanks for the replies, guys!

I was leaning toward rebuilding for both cost and much fewer complaints. What brand of shock is recommended?

...
2014 Cannondale 27spd 29": 30 miles
1999 Forest Green SL2 5spd "Sally" 5spd : 307,100+ miles
1993 White SW2 5spd "Steve" 5spd : 234,984 miles

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Old 08-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
Homerlasvegas
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

I replaced my struts and lca's yesterday. I bought them from Rockauto. Good price, quick shipping. Although i screwed up and bought the wrong boots. i bought the rear boots instead of the front boots. This really isn't a problem because I simply reused the old ones. My lower LCA's would not have need to be changed either.. I could have simply put dust boots on the joints..

I did get the new mounts. I would HIGHLY recommend that. both of my old ones fell apart on dissassembly.

Its not hard. Simply jack it up . remove wheels. remove strut. use borrowed or rented McPherson strut compressor to compress the springs.. takes about 30 min per side .. maybe 45. Just don't do what I did . I got to disassemble and reassemble twice . On the Passenger side first assembly .. forgot to put the cupped washer in on the top.. on the Drivers side I forgot to put the Boot on .. Oh well practice makes faster..


My Struts were SHOT. My ride is much better, handles great .. found out my rumble was a combo of bent rim and bad struts..

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

OK, thanks. What brand of shock did you use?

...
2014 Cannondale 27spd 29": 30 miles
1999 Forest Green SL2 5spd "Sally" 5spd : 307,100+ miles
1993 White SW2 5spd "Steve" 5spd : 234,984 miles

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

Re-using your springs will save you some money. Youíll have to rent a spring compressor if you donít have one though.

As mentioned above youíll want to purchase new strut mounts ($30-35 each) and Iíd even recommend new spring cushions (Monroe 906928 / $15-20 each) to ensure they donít squeak while youíre turning. If your car has over 100k miles, the strut mount will just fall apart when you take off the top nut. This has happened to me on all 4 Saturnís Iíve done struts on.

If you want to just buy the whole assembly and not worry about torque specís or spring compressors, Iíd recommend the Moog ST8511 ($120 each @ rockauto.com). I just installed a pair. They do not squeak and quality is excellent. I purchased a set of Monroe Sensa-trac Quick struts (171924) last year from Amazon and those squeaked right after the alignment Ė they still do to this day. It has toned down enough to where itís not that bad though.

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Old 08-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

You're doing struts, not shocks. KYBs are popular, quality parts at a good price, provide good control/handling but not a cushy ride.

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Old 08-26-2013, 01:47 AM   #9
sallydriver
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

My mistake.

I'm looking for a comfortable ride. I want factory or near-factory levels.

I'll be modifying a second Saturn in a few months (hopefully), and that one will certainly own the handling department.

With this Saturn ("Sally"), however, my goal is to keep it as stock as possible. Much like preserving what they were like when new (at least as much as is possible).

...
2014 Cannondale 27spd 29": 30 miles
1999 Forest Green SL2 5spd "Sally" 5spd : 307,100+ miles
1993 White SW2 5spd "Steve" 5spd : 234,984 miles

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Old 08-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

I have KYB struts and mounts and am planning to do a full rebuild on my SL2 starting the end of this week.

I'm also doing the control arms, outer tie rods, front bearings, replacing the Prothane dogbones with stock and replacing the original water pump and idler bearing. My car has 187k at this point, so it is time.

I'll let you know how I like the new ride if I beat you to it.

...
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

Just to give you the easiest, cheapest option I put in Monroe Econo Struts about 3 K miles ago and have not heard one squeak yet. Ride and handling are very close to OEM. There are other members who have used them and have had good results also. I was at first skeptical so I checked with a couple full time mechanic friends who said they use them all the time and have had no comebacks from customers. I guess the only unknown at this point is how long they will last. $ 140 from rockauto with the 5 % discount ( including shipping ) for the pair.

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Old 08-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #12
sallydriver
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Default Re: Front Strut Rebuild-Worth it?

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'm definitely going to rebuild the struts, and I'll probably use the Monroes.

...
2014 Cannondale 27spd 29": 30 miles
1999 Forest Green SL2 5spd "Sally" 5spd : 307,100+ miles
1993 White SW2 5spd "Steve" 5spd : 234,984 miles

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