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Old 04-24-2015, 10:13 AM   #1
dapper
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Default need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Just came back from inspection, and both front coil springs have a crack in them. I'll be buying the coils, and have them installed-one question. they mentioned that it's a good idea to also replace the struts, but that would more than double the price. it seems unnecessary to me--any thoughts? thanks.

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Old 04-24-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

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Just came back from inspection, and both front coil springs have a crack in them. I'll be buying the coils, and have them installed-one question. they mentioned that it's a good idea to also replace the struts, but that would more than double the price. it seems unnecessary to me--any thoughts? thanks.
If you have to do the springs anyway, it makes sense to do the struts. The labor is pretty much the same, and the car will need to be aligned after the fact. So in this case I agree, might as well do struts and mounts unless they are in good shape.

My thought.... you could do it yourself and save a ton of money. It's not as terrible as it seems, and even if you have to buy some tools you will come out ahead on the deal.

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Old 04-24-2015, 11:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

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My thought.... you could do it yourself and save a ton of money. It's not as terrible as it seems, and even if you have to buy some tools you will come out ahead on the deal.
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Here's the thread that gave me the confidence to tackle the job . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=170753

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Old 04-24-2015, 11:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapper View Post
Just came back from inspection, and both front coil springs have a crack in them. I'll be buying the coils, and have them installed-one question. they mentioned that it's a good idea to also replace the struts, but that would more than double the price. it seems unnecessary to me--any thoughts? thanks.
Struts, springs, and strut and spring assemblies are on clearance at rockauto, it's 10000 times easier to DIY change the whole assembly than bother with spring compressing.

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Old 04-24-2015, 11:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

I just ordered a pair of complete struts (inclusive of upper bearing/mount, springs, and shocks) from RockAuto , which has a selection. That option keeps me from encountering problems with the strut mount/bearing after dismantling the strut assembly to install new shocks. Many report issues with the (well-used) mounts, some parts not available.

My situation is, after 15 years, my OEM struts seem to be OK , but there are some issues developing in the front end (which I'm not great at diagnosing) so replacing the most important front suspension element as a unit seemed prudent as a first (and possibly also last) step. I think my old springs are sagging a bit , but really don't know.

RockAuto offers both an "economy" and "Quick" unit setup by Monroe ,and also one from Gabriel . KYB is another quality brand i considered , but they didn't have a complete assembly (spring/mount/shock) offer.
The complete unit setups cost between $90 and $150 each wheel.
My Monroe units arrived two days ago , and look pretty (hope they work too!). Some posts on this forum indicate that Monroe struts squeak/groan.

As noted above , regardless of the option chosen , an alignment is necessary thereafter.

My car will only get new FRONT struts , since they do almost all the work in front transaxle drive cars , by my experience.

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Old 04-24-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

My car has 95000 miles, so changing struts would probably be a good idea. rockauto has monroe 'econo-matic' #181924 for $71, NOT quick-strut. any meaningful difference, regular vs. quick-strut? also, I found a pair of 'strutTEK' , complete strut assemblies, for $110/pair. anyone has experience with this brand? thanks.

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Old 04-24-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

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My car has 95000 miles, so changing struts would probably be a good idea. rockauto has monroe 'econo-matic' #181924 for $71, NOT quick-strut. any meaningful difference, regular vs. quick-strut? also, I found a pair of 'strutTEK' , complete strut assemblies, for $110/pair. anyone has experience with this brand? thanks.
You get what you pay for... the quick struts are hit or miss and have a squeaking problem (no personal experience, read through some threads)

I'd probably not buy anything labelled "economy" for something I have to ride on every day.

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Old 04-25-2015, 08:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

thanks. money is an issue, and I'm not too concerned about the quality of the ride, just that they're reliable. on rockauto, I have 3 choices, fcs, unity, and monroe, from about $57 to $71 each. I also found on ebay a pair of unity 11220, the same ones rockauto sells for $57 each, for $60pair! I am in contact with that seller to make sure it's new, in box, etc. heard that monroes' can squeak, but going to amazon (if you can believe their cust.comments), all 3 brands have equally good reviews. question is.. anyone have a brand preference, especially for fcs and unity? thanks!

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Old 04-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

I only decided to replace mine after 208kMiles, so your mileage is low. But the spring issue needs attention. I think some of the economy struts are considered equivalent to the OEM/original equipment.
If the struts(shock absorbers) look OK , you could probably just install new springs for now (it is just labor-intensive) . I doubt the shocks are OK if the springs are cracked/broken . It is said to be the case that sometimes new springs crack , so they may have been defective. Or , possibly the car did off-road work , or was driven on rough roads.

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Old 04-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

I don't think I'll chance the struts-might as well get them replaced too. Got a response back from the ebay seller. says they are new in box, so I believe I'm going to buy the unity. for $60, how can I say no. I have a mechanic I know who's going to install them for $100; then another $60 or so for alignment.

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Old 04-25-2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Good plan , Dapper.
You can always upgrade if need arises ... and the suspension will be secure until then.

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Old 04-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Will the ride height in the front be affected? different than the back? make any difference? heard that some people have complained that the height is increased.

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Old 04-25-2015, 06:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Your ride height will likely increase a small amount for a little while until the springs are "broken in". This is the case with all new coil spring for the first little while, especially in the case of a broken spring.

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Old 04-25-2015, 06:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

I have seen some springs broken due to the struts not dampening the bounce and causing the spring to have to travel more, its a good idea to replace them with quick struts. Your ride height should not be any higher than when the car was new, it will be higher than it currently is though as the new springs have not sagged as yet.

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

the ebay seller got back to me and says he made a mistake-the auction was for only 1 assembly, not 2. Not going to pay $120 for unity, when I can get monroe 181924 for $22 more. so I ordered a pair from rockauto. hope they have the squeak issue fixed!

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapper View Post
the ebay seller got back to me and says he made a mistake-the auction was for only 1 assembly, not 2. Not going to pay $120 for unity, when I can get monroe 181924 for $22 more. so I ordered a pair from rockauto. hope they have the squeak issue fixed!


I've been seeing these on my suggested listings on my ebay account and I think I'll pull the trigger and get them next week

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Old 05-08-2015, 03:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

well, I guess I've learned a lesson the hard way.
Just picked up my car from the mechanic who installed the quick-struts. He told me that the old springs were NOT cracked--it was the paint that was cracked. I had a really good look, now that they were off the car, and he was right. Very unhappy he didn't give me a call when he knew this; he replaced them anyway, knowing they were still good. so now I can't even return the struts I bought. His reasoning is that I wanted him to replace the struts, so he replaced the struts. yikes--this guy has a very good reputation, but not so much with me now. so I'm out the struts, the labor to install, and now the alignment. perhaps I can sell the old struts.

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Old 05-08-2015, 03:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

Who did the inspection? Was the inspection something required by your state?

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Old 05-08-2015, 04:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

the local "mr. tire" did the inspection. I used them before, and were very satisfied. yes, this was the PA annual inspection. I still need to go back there and get the sticker.

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Old 05-08-2015, 04:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: need to replace front coil springs/replace struts too?

True, your mechanic should have called you before starting the work, at least if you told him the reason you were having it done. But your real grievance is with the obviously incompetent inspector(s) at Mr. Tire. And it's actually being charitable, calling them "merely" incompetent. If there's any reason to believe that they drummed up this phony "cracked spring" report with any expectation of doing the work to "remedy" it, then it goes beyond incompetence, into the realm of fraud.

This illustrates the folly of most state inspection systems. If the inspectors are not completely independent of any shops that do any of the work required by the inspection, the potential for corruption is just too much for them to resist. The only way to keep such a system honest is to have a completely segregated inspection system. Don't hold your breath....

The upshot is, I think most of the experienced members of this forum didn't question the original diagnosis, because your generation of car is somewhat known for front springs breaking. If this were a gen-1 or gen-2 car, there probably would have been a flurry of replies, recommending you inspect the spring yourself, or at least get a second opinion. Sorry; one of us should have done a reality/sanity check from the git-go.

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