Good idea to replace coil springs with struts or just replace the struts?


#1

My GF has a 2006 Suzuki Reno which is the hatchback version of the more common Forenza. I worked out a trade with a local shop to swap some computer work for the labor of installing these and aligning the car. All 4 will be getting replaced.

The shop suggests replacing the coil springs with the strut and wants me to provide “readymount” or “complete strut assemblies” with the coil spring already installed. I know this would save him some labor but he also states that the coil springs are likely worn and that he HIGHLY suggests replacing them at the same time for best results. Is this him trying to get an easy job or accurate? Keep in mind that the struts have been bad on this car for over a year (since we have been dating) and were likely bad much longer than that. Of course I had to be the one who told her they were shot. You hit a bump and the rear of the car feels like it might reach orbit. Obviously the springs have been through more than their share of use because of the worn struts. What do you think?

It seems like she has experienced all the “normal” things with this car. I wish I had been around to tell her NOT to buy it. At least I changed the timing belt before it let go which is the worst issue these are known for.


#2

Rust a possible issue?


#3

To do the job right will often require more parts than just the strut assembly ( e.g. jounce stoppers, dust boots, upper mounts). Adding up these individual parts can amount to more than complete strut assemblies. However, complete assemblies may not be available for this car. You’ll have to look it up.


#4

The question then becomes whether struts or assemblies that include the springs (“quick struts”) will be cheaper.

Remember however that “quick struts” don’t include the upper mounts, and you’ll need new mounts too… well, at least I recommend them.

If you just get struts, you’ll want all the rubbery bits that NYBo mentioned changed too. They do get old, like all rubbery parts do, and changing them makes a big difference.


#5

Yes, quick struts ARE available for this car but I am only seeing them from Gabriel. I assume this is fine as they are one of the biggest brands out there.

You have convinced me that with all the other parts possibly involved, it will just be quicker, easier, and likely a better job in the end. The car is 10 years old and has close to 90,000 miles on it if I recall correctly. It is about double the price for the parts to go this route but I can see needing more than enough small parts to offset or nearly offset those savings. I will tell her we need to do the complete assemblies.


#6

Actually, complete strut assemblies, including Monroe Quick-Struts, DO include the upper mount.


#7

The AZ page includes a picture of the struts. I have pasted the link to see if you think this has everything required or not. http://www.autozone.com/suspension-steering-tire-and-wheel/shock-strut-front/gabriel-readymount-shock-strut-front/692336_0_0/

Also, only two are available on RockAuto or similar. These are considerably less costly than buying from AZ so plan to order those two from there and the other two from AZ.

This is somewhat of a strange car so have no idea if other parts might be required or NOT required with this job. Struts are one of the issues these are known for. I am assuming that they are cheap as are the components in the assembly so it is good to replace them if you ask me.


#8

Also note that “Upper Mounting Isolator Included” is listed. Is this the part in question?


#9

I would say yes. I changed struts on my wife’s car and had to go back and change the springs a short time later. Not fun.


#10

Quickstruts are by far the easiest way, and don’t cost a lot more since much less labor is involved.


#11

The part about the Quickstruts that I don’t get is the pricing. If you want to buy a strut and it’s mount separately. the price would be higher that the Quickstrut itself. So, are the components on the Quickstrut of the same quality?

OP, sorry to throw another wrench in your dilemma, but I thought we should know :smiley:


#12

The labor will be a trade deal so I will just be providing the parts. That said, it sounds like it is a good idea to do the complete assembly just in case the springs or something else is nearly worn out.

Also is the “Upper Mounting Isolator Included” listed in the description of the Gabriel quick struts the upper mount or a part that attaches to the upper mount?

As for the prices of the sum of the parts separate being a lot higher, this is not at all unusual. I was once given a cheap lawn mower with a hole in the gas tank from rust. It was like a $129 cheapo but seemed to be in good shape as for the deck and engine. I went to buy a new gas tank and the cheapest I found was like $90. I hung onto the mower for a while and eventually saw a similar one with the same gas tank sitting out at the curb on trash day. I quickly pulled over and removed the good gas tank from the otherwise junk unit.


#13

If the springs are rusty you might as well do the quick struts. Strut springs are very highly stressed and rust is just the start of the failure point. All the other internal bits go bad as well so it makes sense to do the quick struts from Gabriel. It does make the swap very easy so labor is pretty low for this.


#14

Be prepared to get a four wheel alignment too, regardless of whether to use the quick struts or not. A strut IS a major part of the machinery that determines the alignment and travel of the wheels both in suspension movement and in steering, and the vehicle WILL need to be realigned.


#15

Yes, that was agreed to as part of the labor trade. I knew an alignment would be in order. I think the quick struts are the way to go at this point. All the other components have been stressed beyond normal by driving this car with basically worthless struts for quite some time. Yout hit a big bump and it sounds like you bottom out the suspension travel.


#16

NYB0 is correct about the additions adding up and which make a Quick Strut the way to go.

Hey NYBo; glad to hear from you again! Long time, no see. Hope all is well with you! :smile:


#17

There may be NO real quality parts to replace struts on any cars, so I would go ahead with the “springs and all” approach. It was better to have the discussion / debate here instead of at the shop. I know somebody who…