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#3386572 - 06/01/14 09:51 PM How hard is it to install Quick Struts
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
The Vibe's original rear struts are finally going at 125,000 miles and noticed that Monroe finally makes quick struts for it.

I really want to do this job myself as I have received quotes of 600-750 to install the two rear struts, most of which is labor costs.

I can get both rear quick struts for $265.00, and if I can install them it would save a bunch of money.

Is this job something a beginner could accomplish with the quick struts? Since one does not to have compress a spring it seems pretty straightforward. The most difficult thing I have done car wise is perform a brake job, replace an intake gasket, and put on a new belt tensioner on my Vibe.


Edited by Vibe_2007 (06/01/14 10:02 PM)
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2007 Pontiac Vibe :: 1ZZ-FE 1.8L :: 127K ::Napa Synthetic 5w30
2014 Mazda 2 :: 1.5L :: Mazda 0w20 High Moly Formula

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#3386583 - 06/01/14 10:03 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
01_celica_gt Online   content


Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 618
Loc: St. Louis, MO
It's a joke on the corollas & celicas, that's all I can say. I was a beginner when I attempted it, it's like 5-6 bolts...
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#3386604 - 06/01/14 10:21 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3681
Loc: north carolina
Its not hard, read a chilton or hayes book first. Check your model to see if you need an alignment afterwards, many cars will need one, apparently a few don't.
I remove the tires and the brake calipers, and make sure the calipers don't hang by the brake lines, remove the rotor and loosen the large bolts on the strut to knuckle. Sometimes i need a large punch to knock the bolts through the strut. Then three bolts at the top of the strut( leave the center bolt alone!!!! do not loosen this!!!)( the three bolts should be around the strut mount ). Loosen them all but leave the last bolt closest to you for last if you are alone. while holding the strut in one hand take the last nut off and out comes the strut assembly. The quick strut should look like what you just took out. Some cars are different from passenger to driver side.
Just make sure you have supported the car on more that a jack. i use jack stands and i place the tire/wheel under the frame at the door of each side for safety.


Edited by spasm3 (06/01/14 10:23 PM)
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#3386614 - 06/01/14 10:34 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Rand Online   content


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
also monroe struts are bottomfeeder equipment.

you may have strange issues.. you may not.
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#3386615 - 06/01/14 10:34 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 266
Loc: Georgia
Well, this bottom feeder just replaced the Xterra's coil overs and shocks with Monroe quick struts this past Wednesday. Was a piece of cake, although I'm still getting over the soreness. I'm not as young as I used to be. Used some muscles I forgot I had and now they're a little upset. You should be fine. The ride improved substantially as well. Originals were nine years old. Replaced the rears with Monroe OE Spectrums as well. Good Luck.


Edited by Mfrank84 (06/01/14 10:37 PM)
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#3386622 - 06/01/14 10:42 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Great replies guys. I really appreciate the input!

I have a couple decent 3 ton jackstands and have all the tools available. I checked on the alignment and that will be something I'll have done after they are installed.

I came across a pdf of the service manual showing the rear and front struts assemblies and it doesn't look bad.

And I did read to leave that center bolt alone in the manner that Spasm3 indicated.

Pretty excited to save 300-400 dollars on this job doing it myself. Already save a couple of hundred on the belt tensioner/serpentine belt replacement.
_________________________
2007 Pontiac Vibe :: 1ZZ-FE 1.8L :: 127K ::Napa Synthetic 5w30
2014 Mazda 2 :: 1.5L :: Mazda 0w20 High Moly Formula

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#3386624 - 06/01/14 10:44 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Sierra048]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: Mfrank84
Well, this bottom feeder just replaced the Xterra's coil overs and shocks with Monroe quick struts this past Wednesday. Was a piece of cake, although I'm still getting over the soreness. I'm not as young as I used to be. Used some muscles I forgot I had and now they're a little upset. You should be fine. The ride improved substantially as well. Originals were nine years old. Replaced the rears with Monroe OE Spectrums as well. Good Luck.


I hear you Mfrank on the soreness. I am almost 40, and it is really amazing how much more I hurt when working on the car, landscaping, etc. It definitely takes longer to recover from manual labor than 20 years ago. crazy

Also, I haven't heard that Monroe stuff isn't quality. I thought they made decent stuff as a company.


Edited by Vibe_2007 (06/01/14 10:45 PM)
_________________________
2007 Pontiac Vibe :: 1ZZ-FE 1.8L :: 127K ::Napa Synthetic 5w30
2014 Mazda 2 :: 1.5L :: Mazda 0w20 High Moly Formula

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#3386631 - 06/01/14 10:54 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
tommygunn Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 2615
Loc: usa
Yes, quick struts are very easy to replace. If you can do a brake job, and/or any of the other things you have done, you can replace quick struts with no problem!

Glad to see Monroe finally make quick struts for all 4 corners! Gabriel Readymount quick struts are also a good option, and they were the first ones to make quick struts for both front and rear on these cars. Amazon has them at a very good price. However, either Monroe or Gabriel will be fine.

It's just too bad KYB only makes them for the front wheels, which is a disappointment considering KYB is the OEM strut!

Quick struts were the first "real repair" I did on my car. (I don't have a Vibe, but I do have a Toyota)

If you can, replace all four at the same time. Usually you'll need an alignment done after replacing struts, so it's better to only have to do it once rather than twice.

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#3386632 - 06/01/14 10:56 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: tommygunn]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Yes, quick struts are very easy to replace. If you can do a brake job, and/or any of the other things you have done, you can replace quick struts with no problem!

Glad to see Monroe finally make quick struts for all 4 corners! Gabriel Readymount quick struts are also a good option, and they were the first ones to make quick struts for both front and rear on these cars. Amazon has them at a very good price. However, either Monroe or Gabriel will be fine.

It's just too bad KYB only makes them for the front wheels, which is a disappointment considering KYB is the OEM strut!

Quick struts were the first "real repair" I did on my car. (I don't have a Vibe, but I do have a Toyota)

If you can, replace all four at the same time. Usually you'll need an alignment done after replacing struts, so it's better to only have to do it once rather than twice.


I believe my Vibe has KYB as the OEM strut and they just started slightly leaking at this point 125,000 miles and some of that is pulling a small trailer, carrying adults in the back seat, etc.

Just thinking about what you said, and you're right. I really should all four done and then cut out paying for a 75 dollar alignment twice. The car is in mint condition, paid off, runs great, burns no oil, etc., so it is a worthy investment to save my tires from cupping anymore than they have.


Edited by Vibe_2007 (06/01/14 10:58 PM)
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2014 Mazda 2 :: 1.5L :: Mazda 0w20 High Moly Formula

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#3386633 - 06/01/14 11:00 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Forgot to ask. They directions I've seen say to be careful to not drop the lower control arm too low. Why is that?

I was just going to put a small jack underneath it to support it. Just curious why dropping it too low presents a problem. Maybe with matching the holes back up and putting the bolts back in?
_________________________
2007 Pontiac Vibe :: 1ZZ-FE 1.8L :: 127K ::Napa Synthetic 5w30
2014 Mazda 2 :: 1.5L :: Mazda 0w20 High Moly Formula

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#3386653 - 06/01/14 11:17 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
tommygunn Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 2615
Loc: usa
Yes, putting a jack underneath to support it is a great idea, and I did so when replacing mine.

Dropping too low could cause some of the cables to stretch, and could break the ABS speed sensors.

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#3386673 - 06/02/14 12:09 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: tommygunn]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Yes, putting a jack underneath to support it is a great idea, and I did so when replacing mine.

Dropping too low could cause some of the cables to stretch, and could break the ABS speed sensors.


That makes sense. I'll tie what I need to out of the way with a hanger like I did when I did the brakes.

Watched a video from Monroe and the guy on there did a Neon and it didn't look bad.

Definitely going to use Kroil or a good penetrating oil and soak it the night before.
_________________________
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#3386690 - 06/02/14 01:45 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3681
Loc: north carolina
Originally Posted By: Vibe_2007
Forgot to ask. They directions I've seen say to be careful to not drop the lower control arm too low. Why is that?

I was just going to put a small jack underneath it to support it. Just curious why dropping it too low presents a problem. Maybe with matching the holes back up and putting the bolts back in?


You don't want to have the cv joint separate. That would be hard to reassemble and you would need and other axle.


Edited by spasm3 (06/02/14 01:46 AM)
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#3386694 - 06/02/14 02:17 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 391
Loc: MA
I've always had a mechanic do mine, not sure if a Taurus is simpler, but I've only paid between $80-$120 to replace the rears. Only tricky thing there was snapping the pinch bolt, but if you have regular bolts and spray bolts with Kroil you might be ok. I've also noticed that Moog now makes quick struts and their prices have been dropping, at first they were more than Monroe but for mine, they're less although Monroe has had rebates in the past but Moog hasn't.

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#3386754 - 06/02/14 06:48 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 266
Loc: Georgia
+1 on the alignment. Going to get mine done today or tomorrow, after I have new tires installed.

In Quick Struts I had a choice between Monroe, KYB, Raybestos or some cheap Chinese brand, FCS I believe. Options were much greater had I wanted to mess with spring compressors in the front. I chose the easy route. KYB's were a lot more than the Monroes. Raybestos was actually a little cheaper than the Monroes. Gabriel didn't make one for my application (quick strut) or I might have considered that one too. I did like the Monroe lifetime guarantee. We're only going to keep the car another few years and then replace it. Two Quick Struts ($114/ea. from Rock Auto) and two rear shocks (E-Bay $26/ea) cost me $281 delivered to my front door. Just two KYB Quick Struts from Rock Auto, without shipping, would have cost me a lot more than that.
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#3386817 - 06/02/14 08:52 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1639
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Front struts are about as easy as an oil change.
Rear struts are more difficult because you have to take apart the interior of the car.

It is not difficult to do this, but you will need a breaker bar.

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#3386833 - 06/02/14 09:09 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5532
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I found my corded electric impact is useful for the pinch bolts, I had to go back and forth a few times to get them free. Other than that its pretty simple.
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#3387225 - 06/02/14 06:32 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: zzyzzx]
tommygunn Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 2615
Loc: usa
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
Front struts are about as easy as an oil change.
Rear struts are more difficult because you have to take apart the interior of the car.

It is not difficult to do this, but you will need a breaker bar.


I thought you only needed to remove the rear seat in sedans like the Corolla.

The OP has a Vibe. Aren't wagons usually easier in this regard?

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#3387358 - 06/02/14 09:18 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: tommygunn]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6758
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
Front struts are about as easy as an oil change.
Rear struts are more difficult because you have to take apart the interior of the car.

It is not difficult to do this, but you will need a breaker bar.


I thought you only needed to remove the rear seat in sedans like the Corolla.

The OP has a Vibe. Aren't wagons usually easier in this regard?


In his case, he may only have to remove some interior trim near the back seat. It is easy to do, but if you lose one bolt or nut, it will land somewhere where you can't see it, and would need a flexible magnet to recover it.

If you do everything by the basic instructions, quick struts take very little work to install. You will need an alignment because the bolt holes in the strut allow a little bit of movement for alignment, plus the old struts are usually bent by the time they need replacement.
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#3387648 - 06/03/14 08:18 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
Thank you for the excellent replies. You all have been extremely helpful. Just starting to tear out the trim pieces in the back today to get to everything. Those little plastic fasteners are already falling down into hard to reach places. ha!

Forgot to buy a torque wrench, so I'll need to get one soon.

I will say that the front struts are going to be a lot easier to replace than I thought.
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#3387708 - 06/03/14 09:43 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: tommygunn]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1639
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
Front struts are about as easy as an oil change.
Rear struts are more difficult because you have to take apart the interior of the car.

It is not difficult to do this, but you will need a breaker bar.


I thought you only needed to remove the rear seat in sedans like the Corolla.

The OP has a Vibe. Aren't wagons usually easier in this regard?


Rear seats are usually easy enough to remove, at least in a Camry they are. In my Escort I don't have to remove the rear seats to replace the struts, and this is how it is on most cars.

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#3388772 - 06/04/14 02:44 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: zzyzzx]
tommygunn Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 2615
Loc: usa
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx


Rear seats are usually easy enough to remove, at least in a Camry they are. In my Escort I don't have to remove the rear seats to replace the struts, and this is how it is on most cars.


Isn't your Escort a wagon though?

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#3389498 - 06/05/14 08:28 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: tommygunn]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5532
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx


Rear seats are usually easy enough to remove, at least in a Camry they are. In my Escort I don't have to remove the rear seats to replace the struts, and this is how it is on most cars.


Isn't your Escort a wagon though?

I'd think most sedans have access to the strut tops through the trunk. The Neon did anyways. Wagons and hatchbacks are more of a pain as you have to be careful with the interior to get at the strut tops.
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#3391074 - 06/06/14 09:01 PM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: IndyIan]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6758
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx


Rear seats are usually easy enough to remove, at least in a Camry they are. In my Escort I don't have to remove the rear seats to replace the struts, and this is how it is on most cars.


Isn't your Escort a wagon though?

I'd think most sedans have access to the strut tops through the trunk. The Neon did anyways. Wagons and hatchbacks are more of a pain as you have to be careful with the interior to get at the strut tops.

The Toyota Camry and variants require removal of the back seat, and so do variants of the Nissan Maxima. Those cars are extremely common, so it wouldn't surprise me if people thought removing the back seats were required for rear strut replacement in a sedan.
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#3395598 - 06/12/14 11:42 AM Re: How hard is it to install Quick Struts [Re: Vibe_2007]
Vibe_2007 Offline


Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 138
Loc: Sioux Falls, SD
UPDATE:

I finished the job and it wasn't too bad. Definitely not something I'd like to on a routine basis for sure. :-(

1. The steering stabilizer bar links had to be cut off with a grinder. Allen wrench fitting on the old one and it became deformed easily. Replaced them both at an additional cost of 130. New design uses bolts you can put a socket on, not Allen heads.

2. Busted off one strut tower nut quite easily. The spec per shop manual is 29lbs. I did it to 25lbs after hearing they were easily sheared and sure enough, it broke off. I googled this and it seems to be common enough that I found lots of others who have had this happen to them.

Over all, kind of a pain, but worth it to save myself a few hundred. The alignment went pretty well and had to have a shim installed to align the rear.


Edited by Vibe_2007 (06/12/14 11:45 AM)
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