Quick Strut Advice

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850
Location
Scituate MA
Thread starter
2004 Camry Car was inspected and mechanic said needs struts after I mentioned hearing bumping noise in rear. Says he sees it a lot in those and considering age of vehicle. Recommended the quick strut. Local guy, wasn't trying to sell me. I want to get another 4 years out of it (kids rig). Any brand recommendations and are they difficult for the avg diy'er? (I think that is me...)
 
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1,895
Location
Somewhere in time
I've been very happy with KYBs from rockauto. Right now they're running about $120 a piece for your application. If you can wait, they usually go on rebate in the spring.
 
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35,854
Location
ME
The rear struts are the worst-- you've gotta pull that side bolster to the seat then there's limited room between the strut's upper nuts and the top of the package shelf. Pass-through sockets or ratcheting wrenches help a lot. The big fasteners to the knuckle go faster with air tools but you could do it with breaker bars or whatever medieval stuff you've got. Some, not all, struts have elongated bolt holes at the knuckle end. Buy these and you'll need an alignment. Am sure there are youtube videos for this. In this app I can't imagine quick struts being that awful.
 
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22,288
Location
CA
I installed KYB quick struts on this application several years ago and they are holding up fine AFAIK. The only reason I did it was because there were concerns about spring saggage.
 
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8,960
Location
MA
Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Saabist
For what it's worth, Scotty Kilmer gives thumbs down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3bncShvmHU
Feels good to disagree with Scotty sometimes...
Well not going to watch another Scotty video, but I think in general his main point is that the aftermarket stuff is one size fits all and to go with OEM stuff because they're actually designed for the specific car. But if you just want 4 years out of it, quick struts are probably fine. People swear at KYB just like they do Monroe, it's just that Monroe sells a lot more so you think that there aren't that many complaints about KYB but probably the same once you factor in complaints per sale. Yeah, spring is usually when the rebates kick in, Either March or May.
 
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10,436
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Get the one with the lifetime warranty-I used the Monroes on the front of the MGM about 2 1/2 years ago, and they work as well today as they did then. If they fail, back to AAP for the lifetime warranty they go! They were cheaper with codes from AAP than from RA, and the warranty is easier to deal with-no shipping old ones back if something goes wrong. I'm not sure why Monroe has a bad rap, I don't think I've ever had a replacement shock from them give me a problem.
 
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105
Location
Saint John,IN
Make sure it's not your swaybar bushings. I just changed them on my Scion TC and everything is all quiet now. Cheap and easy to try before you go to replace your struts.
 
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Messages
233
Location
USA
Originally Posted by Wolf359
Well not going to watch another Scotty video, but I think in general his main point is that the aftermarket stuff is one size fits all and to go with OEM stuff because they're actually designed for the specific car. But if you just want 4 years out of it, quick struts are probably fine.
That is no doubt the case. I tend to keep cars a very long time - the "next owner" being the scrapyard. So I generally look for longer-lived parts when possible.
 
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11,934
Location
North Carolina
I'm just not a fan of quick struts, unless you are selling the car. Springs may be a different height/rate etc. Your mechanic recommends them as they are faster for him to change, but not necessarily better. Oem mounts with Kyb or the monroe spectrum shock. I have kyb on the elantra and while i'm ok with them, they ride stiffer that stock, harsher to some.
 
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8,960
Location
MA
Originally Posted by spasm3
I'm just not a fan of quick struts, unless you are selling the car. Springs may be a different height/rate etc. Your mechanic recommends them as they are faster for him to change, but not necessarily better. Oem mounts with Kyb or the monroe spectrum shock. I have kyb on the elantra and while i'm ok with them, they ride stiffer that stock, harsher to some.
Well they are cheaper too. Can't get quick struts for my Mercedes, seems like there's 3 different types of springs so each side is over $400 once you factor in the spring, strut and mount which you have to buy separately and then of course you need the spring compressor too so it's not as easy a job as a quick strut.
 
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11,934
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by spasm3
I'm just not a fan of quick struts, unless you are selling the car. Springs may be a different height/rate etc. Your mechanic recommends them as they are faster for him to change, but not necessarily better. Oem mounts with Kyb or the monroe spectrum shock. I have kyb on the elantra and while i'm ok with them, they ride stiffer that stock, harsher to some.
Well they are cheaper too. Can't get quick struts for my Mercedes, seems like there's 3 different types of springs so each side is over $400 once you factor in the spring, strut and mount which you have to buy separately and then of course you need the spring compressor too so it's not as easy a job as a quick strut.
Don't know about Mercedes, only for Saturns, Olds , Pontiacs and Hyundai. I have never changed the springs( I'm not in the rust belt). The only thing i have replaced is the mounts which usually contain the bearing. And the strut itself. I reuse the strut shaft cover. So it usually costs less than quick struts. If you need to replace springs, the quick struts might be less. I've just read about noises and failures of aftermarket strut bearings, so i prefer oem when i can. ( no oem for saturn s anymore). I'm sure Mercedes probably requires specialized tools. But for the common domestics, a simple quality spring compressor set is all you need. I bought mine over 20 years ago, more than paid for itself. While springs have a lot of stored energy, its basic common sense to take these apart. If you have the skill to jack up and remove the struts, you have the skills to compress the spring and change out. I don't spin the shaft of the strut with an impact to tighten the bolt. I have even used a laser pointer and marked the concrete before removal and used that to line back up afterwards, i do recommend alignments though.
 
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Messages
1,990
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
KYB are the OE on that car. Their aftermarket units are valved a little stiffer, which wears in nicely after 10k miles or so. In all honesty, the valving on the aftermarket KYB is pretty close to the factory valving from Toyota (stiffer than Lexus; otherwise same units). You can do a little better on price by using Moog CC273 coils and KYB struts, re-using other components, presuming you have the mechanical ability. I've done this and have about 100k now on the assembly, in a 2003 ES300 (same suspension). Works great, handles great, rides wonderfully. If it's just a quick-strut, installation is pretty darn easy despite what was said above. Just be sure to re-torque the upper bolts under the package tray after dropping the car, not just doing it with the suspension/car lifted. Most people do not, and then have them work loose and find pre-mature bearing wear or noise from under-torqued top bolt on the strut. If someone tells you a quick-strut fails early - ask them in pointed detail about how they were installed. You are never going to find a strong correlation between CORRECT installation and noise/premature wear... wink
 
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16,712
Location
NH
I put a set of Monroe's onto my '99 and have been content. I don't think they are worn out either, after some 60 or 70k. As the wife's car gets ready to cross 200k I'm tempted to go that route if it loses a strut. But they're Camry's so it's not like we're able to notice subtle differences.
 
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