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Discussion Starter #1
Looking ahead to spring, my '95 Spirit is probably going to need struts- it goes "bang" over big bumps and seems to bounce around more than it should when I push on the bumpers. I'm looking at GR2's, but I don't know what I should replace and what I should save. Obviously the strut is junk, but can I re-use the boots, spring mounts (appears to be a rubber/metal part) and the strut bearings? Are there any other components that should be replaced with the strut?
 

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Never re-use the strut bearings. That's what causes the clunky noise - the play that is worn in them. They're just nylon.

I'd replace the entire assembly. You're not saving much by re-using any parts.

And don't use Gabriel. I spent hundreds of dollars trying to get them to fit, when the spring seats were welded at an incorrect angle.
 

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Figure you'll spend about as much on the other parts as the struts themselves. I agree with Bob, replace it all. The spring mount may or may not be removable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GR2 KYB's is what I was looking at. I don't know that they offer a full package strut (I.e. everything already assembled) for the Spirit, or even a kit that has all the expendable parts in it.
 

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Check Rock Auto for parts, if you haven't already.
 

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Most of these cars don't have the "quick struts" available - Daytonas don't. However, you can borrow a spring compressor from Autozone (pay and then return it for refund), and the rest is easy.
 

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rockauto has quickstruts for $135/side. your going to spend just as much piecing stuff together and the fun of dealing with the spring compressor. I'll pass on that part.
 

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If you can get the quick struts, do so. Separately, the parts would be about $450 total.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wouldn't be doing springs, they're fine, the shocks are blown inside the strut. How much does that drop the $450 estimate? I don't have nearly that much money, I was hoping to just do the struts and bearings and be done with it because the rears are going to need to be done too, I know that's just the shock but it's still money.
 

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Springs, I think, were about $65 at the time. If you can get quick struts for $135 per side, that's the way to go - nothing cheaper. And you don't want to change just the strut itself, you will soon afterward notice the clunking sound of worn strut bearings and have to pull it all apart again.

Wheel alignment is required after a strut replacement, that's about $80.
 

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I wouldn't be doing springs, they're fine, the shocks are blown inside the strut. How much does that drop the $450 estimate? I don't have nearly that much money, I was hoping to just do the struts and bearings and be done with it because the rears are going to need to be done too, I know that's just the shock but it's still money.
The last time I had struts done (1990 Acclaim) I think I spent $250-$300 total - Struts $100 (NAPA), labor to swap the springs to the new struts $100 and then $60 to have an alignment. But that was about 4-5 years ago and prices have gone up since then. I didn't replace the strut bearings and didn't have any problems with them afterwards either.
 

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If you are doing the work yourself without new springs you can get it under $200 plus an alignment. I have seen the Goodyear by me go as low as 49.99 for an alignment, but if you are keeping the car for a long time then find a place that will do an life time alignment. I had an lifetime alignment on my Laser and I used it for 10 years. Firestone by me are doing lifetime alignments for $169.99 well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Could a bad wheel bearing also make a bang? I have a whup-whup-whup sound that's decently grindy, although both sides of the car have it... I hope it's not a tx issue.
 

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KOG
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Wheel bearings do not go bang.
 

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The mounting hole in the sway bar bushings in both front lower control arms can wear from round to oval shape. The bar will bump around inside the hole over bumps.
The 'whup-whup' is rotational and may be tire tread texture with a sawtooth edge forming. Running your hand across the tread surface should be smooth. If you feel 'ripples' or cupping, that may be your noise. Rotating the tires front to back may change or eliminate the noise is the rear tread is OK. The noise may change on turns.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Bad bearings typically growl. A whup-whup sound sounds like a tire cupping or out of round - can be from worn struts.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The whup-whup happens with one of the wheels jacked up and spinning. It's not so much a slap as it is a grinding sort of noise that has loud points. I can't hear the grinding usually from the road noise, but the loud parts (the whup-whup-whup) I can, and I can feel it in the steering wheel. Seems to grind on both sides.
 

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If the 'whup-whup' happens with the wheel off the ground and the brake rotor finish is OK, then I have to say that it is probably front wheel bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, the rotors (I'm assuming) are fine, there's no pedal pulsation or squealing, stopping is smooth and powerful. I'll run the wheel with the caliper off when I go to do the bearing (I already have one that I got for what turned out to be a rear) to make sure, I have no money right now so I don't want to buy a bearing and have it not be that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bumping this thread because I got a set of Monroe struts as a present. What needs to be replaced other than the strut bearings with the new struts? The old ones are original, so what parts should I expect to need to replace?
 
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