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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a thread on needing to replace my struts and bearings, but I got to thinking about a few things and have some questions. I am taking the word of a shop I don't know. So I am wondering---how can you tell if a strut needs replacing? Next, can it just be the bearings and bushings that need replaced? How can I tell just what I need replced over all. This is my first car with struts so please overlook my ignorance.

And last I am asking these questions because I just spend 2 hours using the search funcion and now I am more confused than ever----so many different opinions. Any way thanks for any help.
 

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How many miles on your car? Are you noticing any unusual noises from the front suspension? If so describe.
You can tell if your strut mounts are collapsed with a visual inspection, there are pics on the forum to compare them to.
Post up a bit more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How many miles on your car? Are you noticing any unusual noises from the front suspension? If so describe.
You can tell if your strut mounts are collapsed with a visual inspection, there are pics on the forum to compare them to.
Post up a bit more info.

91,000 miles, the strut mounts appear to look okay and yes I have that clunk when I hit a bump
 

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As above, you can find pics on the collapsed upper mounts to compare yours too. Normally a clunk is associated with them being shot also(at least mine were). Usually struts go bad gradually overtime and may not be easy to diagnose. Your springs will have more "sprongy" feel and become harsher over cracks and bumps. Depending on miles, the bearings may also have to be replaced when doing either the bushings or struts.
 

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Good question Madmax. First off you should have an understanding of what a shock or strut does. Your car sits on coil springs, when your wheels roll over a bump or down into a hole the spring compresses or extends. The coil will want to return to it normal shape so if it is compressed it will try to extend back when it is able to overcome the force which compressed it. Now.....if it was alone in the suspension it would rebound unabated and the car would bounce around like a pogo stick. That would be very unsafe to have your tires contact patch loaded and unloaded while you try to control the car. You would skip at sudden stops and most likley roll with a few sharp turns. Enter the shock, it slows oscillation of the spring to keep the ride predictable and smooth. It does this by converting the physical energy to heat via a fluid brake. "Think of how you are able to swing your arms freely but when you are in a pool the water slows your hand down as it passes around your fingers." Well your dampers "shocks or struts" wear out, leak badly or fail eventually and allowing your springs to work freely.
How do you tell if they need replacing? Well...your best bet is to just replace them after 50k or more miles. If you see A lot of fluid leaking then sooner. A little is normal so dont let a savy sales person scare you. I replace mine every 75k.
I hope this helps you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As above, you can find pics on the collapsed upper mounts to compare yours too. Normally a clunk is associated with them being shot also(at least mine were). Usually struts go bad gradually overtime and may not be easy to diagnose. Your springs will have more "sprongy" feel and become harsher over cracks and bumps. Depending on miles, the bearings may also have to be replaced when doing either the bushings or struts.

Thanks for the reply. So I guess I will need to tear it down to find what I need----------or should I just order the struts, bearings and bushings and replace it all?
 

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Thanks for the reply. So I guess I will need to tear it down to find what I need----------or should I just order the struts, bearings and bushings and replace it all?
Replace it all. Your bearings will almost certainly come apart during seperation and need replacing. Plus at 91k, new struts for sure. Check out the FE3 struts, a good price on a good upgrade.
 

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Also, are you still on the original LCAs?
 

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yes I am. Everything up front is original.
I'd check those out too. A clunk could also be shot control arms when the ball joint fails. Jack the car up so the wheel is off the ground. Grab 9 & 3 and 12 & 6 to check for any exaggerated play. Yes I've also had these replaced.
 
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