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Old 06-08-2013, 10:30 PM   #1
rcw3586
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Default Strut replacement

My 93 SL2 recently ticked over 100k miles. Although it drives and handles respectably it makes clunking noises from one or more corners of the car on certain road conditions. I'm pretty sure it is suspension related.
My 94 SL made these noises too but much worse and it had 235k on it when retired. It still had all the original suspension parts.
I'm wondering if the struts are just getting worn out at this mileage and if I can improve ride, handling and get rid of the noise by replacing them. What do people do? Does anyone replace them just because they are getting old?
Am I going to open up a can of worms by doing this project on a perfectly working car?
I realize this will probably call for getting an alignment when I'm done but I've had both front suspension assemblies out before when changing the transmission and the alignment seems to still be pretty good. Of course, I never loosened those strut to knuckle bolts for that operation.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
MadPuppy
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Me personally, I would go 7 years between struts, esp. if you carry heavy loads a lot. And it may not actually be the struts, it may be the strut mounts are worn. you will have to check the suspension thoroughly.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Strut replacement

I just finished putting KYB's on all four corners. Front one's first, back ones this week. Totally different car. Front made handling much better, rears made it seem like a new car. I used BarnOwl's tutorial and other posts. Just do a search for strut replacement. I re-used front and rear mounts (mounts are about the price of strut). No noise, superb handling. Some people have noise after installing after market mounts or the all-in-one struts, spring, and mount. I ended up having to re-do first strut due to some weeping from compressing it sideways (note: never compress the strut sideways ). KYB was great with technical support. I purchased a lifetime alignment at Firestone. This will be my third alignment tomorrow and will allow me to replace other parts as they wear out. For me it is working out spending more on alignment and zero on mounts. Re-greasing them just required patience. AutoZone spring compressor rents free and works great. My recommendation is to just make sure everything lines up the way it came out. I marked orientation of everything just to be sure I put it together the way it came out and noted where spring sat on base of strut. Monroe has a rebate right now. Saw it on Rock Auto. That is were I purchased my struts. Fronts are made in Japan, rears in USA. My struts had zero life to them, but that is with 222,000 miles on them. If you use Rock Auto do a search for 5% discount code. Hint: I returned Gabriel rear Struts form Auto Zone that had collapsed boxes. I sent
Gabriel pictures and they are working on the problem. So I would say KYB or Monroe are the way to go. KYB gives the car a more sporty ride.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:11 AM   #4
Rodger
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Sir

"Strut Life" is a two part concern.

1. Distance traveled is the first part. This is because as you travel the unit
is moving/ working. Things wear out from this. If not cared for properly it
goes from Preventive Maintenance to corrective maintenance.

2. All struts have a "shelf life". The easy way to think of this is a loaf of
bread. Even if the loaf is well cared for it gets old and not good to eat or
look at. Struts are the same. After some time they can not function correctly any longer.

There is a reason they all say to replace after xxxxxx miles or xxxxx length
of time.

As far as using this or that brand name - it is a lot of the same reason's as
using the engine oil that you do ( they all can have the same spec's and it
becomes a marketing issue with $$$ attached to the new box ).

How long did you say the Factory Spec'd Struts have been used ?

I replace The Struts my self and then use a coupon to have the local shop
do the alignment part.




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Old 06-10-2013, 12:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Strut replacement

My clunking noises ended up being caused by worn sway bar bushings, not the struts. Get the two piece polyurethane lower control arm bushings for an easier job.
If you do go ahead with the struts, don't be afraid of those strut to knuckle bolts; they crack right open. Just use good fitting six point sockets or box wrenches and presoak them a couple days with penetrating oil. I used the Monroe Economatic complete spring/strut assemblies and have no issues after 2K miles. $ 70 each including shipping from Rock Auto with the 5% discount.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
rcw3586
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Thanks for all the good replies.
That's a good point about the stabilizer bar bushings. I guess if I'm trying to get the best handling back I should replace them too.
I read the thread about the troublesome Monroe Quick Struts. Has that issue been resolved now?
I guess the questions now are whether to go the Quick Strut route and what brands are preferred and discouraged. It sounds like the choice is between KYB and Monroe. What about Raybestos and ACDELCO and SACHS?
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw3586 View Post
Thanks for all the good replies.
That's a good point about the stabilizer bar bushings. I guess if I'm trying to get the best handling back I should replace them too.
I read the thread about the troublesome Monroe Quick Struts. Has that issue been resolved now?
I guess the questions now are whether to go the Quick Strut route and what brands are preferred and discouraged. It sounds like the choice is between KYB and Monroe. What about Raybestos and ACDELCO and SACHS?
If you get old stock Monroe you'll have a squeak. New stock is fixed and I can attest to it as my 01 SL2 is quiet and squeak free now
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
DB42
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcw3586 View Post
My 93 SL2 recently ticked over 100k miles. Although it drives and handles respectably it makes clunking noises from one or more corners of the car on certain road conditions. I'm pretty sure it is suspension related.
My 94 SL made these noises too but much worse and it had 235k on it when retired. It still had all the original suspension parts.
I'm wondering if the struts are just getting worn out at this mileage and if I can improve ride, handling and get rid of the noise by replacing them. What do people do? Does anyone replace them just because they are getting old?
Am I going to open up a can of worms by doing this project on a perfectly working car?
I realize this will probably call for getting an alignment when I'm done but I've had both front suspension assemblies out before when changing the transmission and the alignment seems to still be pretty good. Of course, I never loosened those strut to knuckle bolts for that operation.
I had the clunking noises too. It made a clunk noise going over the smallest bump and going slow. I thought it was my struts but it was the two rear sway bar links one each side in back of the rear tires you will see them they are about 6" with a ball joint on each end. They are only like $15 each and easy to do.
...
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:34 PM   #9
rcw3586
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Default Re: Strut replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by DB42 View Post
I had the clunking noises too. It made a clunk noise going over the smallest bump and going slow. I thought it was my struts but it was the two rear sway bar links one each side in back of the rear tires you will see them they are about 6" with a ball joint on each end. They are only like $15 each and easy to do.
Thanks! Good tip. I'll check them first.
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