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Old 11-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #16
ragtoplvr
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I am another that is no longer a Monroe fan, I fear they may be living off the reputation. Gabriel another old brand was worse. Bilstein did good for me the last time. For GM, actually AC delco is pretty decent. But brands change all the time, depending on who bought who. so it is kind of a crap shoot. Ask the counter people.

A cheap strut spring compressor is not a good idea. Many auto parts stores rent professional quality compressors if you buy the parts there, a deposit refunded when the tool is returned.

Rod
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:39 PM   #17
Ducky 149
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Yes you are in the ballpark for 550.00. I am a Volvo tech and know that our strut jobs are ALOT more than that. I also sell them all the time. I also take out crappy parts that other shops have put in. Really sad to see the custy get the news that their new parts are the problem.... Ohwell...just another day at the office.

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by troidus View Post
Thanks. I've been hearing and feeling a thump on low-speed bumps, so I know I've got some slop somewhere. Cradle bolts are tight, as is the exhaust, and I can feel some wander like my old Chevelles would get when the steering linkage was worn.
The low speed thump is likely the sway bar mount bushings. VERY common on Toyotas. I just replaced them on the aforementioned Sienna, and my BIL's Rav4. While you're in there, try to squirt some grease inside the rubber boots of the sway bar link ends and work it around in there. They get dry and the ball joints in them fail... and they're $90 EACH to replace.

Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:49 AM   #19
Cogswell
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Probably need to add this to this thread too...

I put some KYB's on the back of my Element a few months ago. Borrowed spring compressors, no alignment needed. Probably took me a good 4 hours total time, I have previous auto repair experience.

FYI on parts purchase. I shop online a lot at Advance Auto parts website. Log in/create an account for email specials. I typically get a 20% off email, and see a 20% off web bought parts banner when shopping. Research and buy online, pick up at your local store. Saves me quite a bit of cash.

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Old 11-16-2012, 09:53 AM   #20
fast4d
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fair price.

FWIW, if they are using strut cartridges instead of a complete replacement strut w/body then it requires even more labor to install.

4 wheel alignment is $140 around here
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #21
troidus OP
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With the need to replace the upper strut mount, I'll probably buy everything, including new springs, and preassemble the new struts so that the strut swap becomes a simple six-bolt R&R.

When I had it aligned (5600 miles ago), the shop replaced the upper of the two strut-to-knuckle bolts with an eccentric, so I'll definitely have to have it aligned after reassembly. What I don't get is how the leaking strut was missed. It's wet clear down to the spindle, so it seems likely that it was already at least weeping when they were in there. No one said a thing.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:19 AM   #22
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FYI on parts purchase. I shop online a lot at Advance Auto parts website. Log in/create an account for email specials. I typically get a 20% off email, and see a 20% off web bought parts banner when shopping. Research and buy online, pick up at your local store. Saves me quite a bit of cash.
I did some shopping around. Rockauto seems to have the best prices for my parts.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:49 AM   #23
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I did some shopping around. Rockauto seems to have the best prices for my parts.
Watch out for Rock Auto's "shipping and handling" charges. They're rediculous!
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #24
Cogswell
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Watch out for Rock Auto's "shipping and handling" charges. They're rediculous!
You do have to watch for those shipping charges, some are worse than others.

That's why I buy online with the discount, and pick up at my local store.




Mike
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:08 PM   #25
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Good point on S&H. I'll keep my eyes open.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:18 PM   #26
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$550 sounds right inline. By the time you buythe struts, buy the spring compressor, buy a jack, buy a set of stands, buy all the hand tools needed to do the job and then do all the work, THEN have it aligned........

$550 is cheap the way I see it
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:24 PM   #27
troidus OP
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I already own everything except the spring compressor. I even have a couple of pickle forks sitting around here somewhere.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:49 AM   #28
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I already own everything except the spring compressor. I even have a couple of pickle forks sitting around here somewhere.


Just an fyi, pickle forks are not the proper was to remove tie rod ends or ball joints. Use one of these instead. These will not damage the boot or the ball/socket:

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:11 AM   #29
Mambo Dave
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Just an fyi, pickle forks are not the proper was to remove tie rod ends or ball joints. Use one of these instead. These will not damage the boot or the ball/socket:

That's fucking cool. Thanks - the next time I'll look for one.

I"ve got to imagine they are like pickle forks in that they come in sizes for different rod ends?
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