'02 Accord Front Shock Absorbers Recommendation

Messages
6,064
Location
northern Alabama
Thread starter
2002 Honda Accord V6 with 247,500 miles, looking to replace the front shock absorbers. Here are a few options. I could use some education on what to expect from aftermarket as I understand what I get from OEM - same ride, good quality, etc.; quite a price jump though. Although just getting the shock absorber & adding on rubber parts & mount would probably make the most sense as the complete assembly is probably used for wrecks, etc. perhaps. The complete Honda assembly includes all the rubber, mounts, the works. I can get a "complete" assembly aftermarket but haven't confirmed the contents nor quality. Or, I could get the strut only & add-on Moog p/n 901940 with Strut Mount, Bearing, Upper Spring Isolator, Lower Spring Isolator, or Upper Spring Seat for $15 or Moog p/n K90467 bumper, bellow, & washer for $45. I need to look at these actual add-on parts to see for sure what they contain rather than online descriptions only. Honda OEM 51601-S87-A13 Front shock absorber assembly including spring, right front $411.26 51602-S87-A08 Front shock absorber assembly including spring, right front $411.26 51605-S87-A07 Front shock absorber, right front $123.62 51606-S87-A03 Front shock absorber, left front $123.62 AutoZone Duralast p/n LS33-80891 McPherson strut with N.O.K. seals, hard chrome piston rod, and coil spring $200 for the loaded pair AAP Monroe p/n 181691 RoadMatic complete strut assembly including Strut, Strut Mount and Coil Spring $153 for the loaded pair AAP Monroe p/n 71691 OESpectrum Strut only; Low Gas Charged Unit - Slow Strut Rod Extension $100 for the pair AAP Monroe p/n 81691 strut only $80 for the pair NAPA p/n NS 171691 quick strut $308 for the loaded pair
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,359
Location
Canuck living in California
The most important question is home much longer are you planning to keep this car? If you feel and plan that it will make it to 350-375k miles without any major thing going out, then going with OEM is probably not a bad idea. But then there are aftermarket offerings like Bilstein and others that are very good quality, but a lot cheaper. And speaking if OEM ride quality, by now you have lost it probably all, so at this point any decent strut will make a big improvement.
 
Messages
943
Location
Athens, GA
Koni STR.T's on both of my V6's. Big fan of them. Well priced and are holding up just fine. Better than any Monroe or 'loaded' setup. You live in a non-salt climate so reusing the factory springs is perfectly fine. KYB GR2's are also a good choice, and inexpensive.
 
Messages
9,915
Location
USA
If you're willing to spend the money on the OEM quick struts, they are the best choice smile The only reason not to use quick struts if you get Bilstein shocks and OEM mounts. I really wish Bilstein made quick struts! Their shocks are awesome Be glad that Honda still offers OEM quick struts! Honda and Ford are the only ones I know of to supply OEM quick struts. Sachs also makes good quick struts. Their quick strut offerings are limited compared to Monroe and KYB. My choices: 1) OEM quick struts 2) Sachs quick struts 3) Bilstein shocks and OEM mounts 4) KYB quick struts
 
Messages
3,116
Location
Outer Banks, NC
People knock the inconsistent quality of KYB, but I like the ones I had installed on my Infiniti. I bought them from Oscaro at a better price than Rockauto. Each assembly was complete but I paid extra for new boots.
 
Messages
6,064
Location
northern Alabama
Thread starter
KrisZ, I plan to keep the car for a lot longer as everything still works; just replaced the timing belt at 240k miles for the 2nd time; about to replace all 4 tires, etc. I'll look at Koni, KYB, & Bilstein. Thanks!
 
Messages
965
Location
SE PA
If the price difference isn't too bad I would try to get Koni or Bilstein, they will last for a very long time. How's the transmission? Do you ever change the ATF? I know Honda had some tranny issues during those years.
 
Messages
6,064
Location
northern Alabama
Thread starter
Originally Posted by diyjake
If the price difference isn't too bad I would try to get Koni or Bilstein, they will last for a very long time. How's the transmission? Do you ever change the ATF? I know Honda had some tranny issues during those years.
I do a drain & refill (3qt) at every oil change - 7500 miles. It still seems to be fine.
 
Messages
4,294
Location
Southeast
For keeping the car a lot longer, I'd lean towards Sachs, Bilstein and KYB. KYB IME was a little firmer than oem, but would also totally "open up" over things like speed bumps - so the big things didn't rattle the car but you could handle more aggressively in turns, etc.. Bilstein - I had them in my truck so I'm not sure how they'd feel in a passenger vehicle - they seemed a little soft in my truck, which didn't match the stiffer OEM spring rate. While the oem shocks were bilstein, the aftermarket didn't differentiate between standard and TRD spring rates, which were different. Sachs is oem volvo. The s60s handle like bigger cars - lots of spring travel, and kind of a "medium firmness" to them. They don't float like a buick, but heavy more like a heavy honda. I personally liked how they were damped. My guess is that KYB will be the sportiest, and Bilstein will be the softest, but that's a very generalized guess. I'd also "guess" that Bilstein and Sachs will be the longer lasting, or at least more consistent over their lifetime. I think Koni was mentioned above too - I've only ridden on one particular model of Koni adjustables, and the owner had them set up as very firm in a track car. He told me the Konis tend to be stiff, performance oriented.
 
Messages
965
Location
SE PA
Originally Posted by benjamming
Originally Posted by diyjake
If the price difference isn't too bad I would try to get Koni or Bilstein, they will last for a very long time. How's the transmission? Do you ever change the ATF? I know Honda had some tranny issues during those years.
I do a drain & refill (3qt) at every oil change - 7500 miles. It still seems to be fine.
Wow that is often, sounds like overkill but to each his own. How long have you been doing this?
 
Messages
5,651
Location
Atlanta
Originally Posted by meep
For keeping the car a lot longer, I'd lean towards Sachs, Bilstein and KYB. KYB IME was a little firmer than oem, but would also totally "open up" over things like speed bumps - so the big things didn't rattle the car but you could handle more aggressively in turns, etc.. Bilstein - I had them in my truck so I'm not sure how they'd feel in a passenger vehicle - they seemed a little soft in my truck, which didn't match the stiffer OEM spring rate. While the oem shocks were bilstein, the aftermarket didn't differentiate between standard and TRD spring rates, which were different. Sachs is oem volvo. The s60s handle like bigger cars - lots of spring travel, and kind of a "medium firmness" to them. They don't float like a buick, but heavy more like a heavy honda. I personally liked how they were damped. My guess is that KYB will be the sportiest, and Bilstein will be the softest, but that's a very generalized guess. I'd also "guess" that Bilstein and Sachs will be the longer lasting, or at least more consistent over their lifetime. I think Koni was mentioned above too - I've only ridden on one particular model of Koni adjustables, and the owner had them set up as very firm in a track car. He told me the Konis tend to be stiff, performance oriented.
I Agree with the brands mentioned, and add Koni. I'd expect the Bilstein to be the firmest unless there is "comfort" or "touring" available which I kind of doubt. I do see how you would think otherwise based on truck experience as I have a set on my Ranger and the rears in particular seem to lose some control over things like speed bumps. They do ride tons better. That doesn't mirror my experience on cars though admittedly its mostly BMW and VW experience with a Ford or two thrown in. Koni has two lines Red (AKA STR or something) and Yellow (Sport) it is possible they will be adjustable. Red will be softer and Yellow on par with Bilstein. Suspect Koni, Bilstein and Sachs/Boge will have somewhat limited coverage. Note also that Koni in particular may be an insert. I'd expect KYB and Tokico (if available) to be the best match for OE like ride/control balance. I wouldn't touch Monroe or Gabriel... People will say I'm crazy, but unless it is Bilstein or Koni, I try to stick with Japanese shocks on Japanese cars, European shocks on European cars and KYB gas adjust if I'm being cost conscious on old us stuff. I would build the assembly with the original springs and new OE bearings.
 
Messages
6,064
Location
northern Alabama
Thread starter
Originally Posted by diyjake
Originally Posted by benjamming
Originally Posted by diyjake
If the price difference isn't too bad I would try to get Koni or Bilstein, they will last for a very long time. How's the transmission? Do you ever change the ATF? I know Honda had some tranny issues during those years.
I do a drain & refill (3qt) at every oil change - 7500 miles. It still seems to be fine.
Wow that is often, sounds like overkill but to each his own. How long have you been doing this?
20k, 30k, 45k, 60k, 75k, flush around 80-100k, & then every 7500 miles.
 
Messages
943
Location
Athens, GA
FWIW, I mentioned the Koni Str.T's above. What they amount to is the same valving as the Koni Sport (Adjustable) on its lowest setting. Its still going to be a slightly stiffer valving than a factory shock as they're built to deal with a lowering spring (higher rate). They work very well at factory spring rates.
 
Top