[quote author=thebrakeman link=topic=127006.msg2709647#msg2709647 date=1225383000]
My right-front was clunking a few weeks ago. Fortuntely, I looked into it quick enough to find the top nut (the one in the engine bay) was loose. I snugged it down, but didn't have the right equipment to check the torque. Since I'd had my struts replaced this spring, I took it to the place that did my alignment. They said everything was still in spec, and they checked the torque for me.
Clunking usually isn't a symptom of needing new struts (AFAIK
). Oscillations after a bump, or wet/grimey springs are usually the tell-all. This is what I had on my right-front earlier this year which led to new front struts. I was fortunate to find a set of off-vehicle struts at my dealer. The dealership had made a showcase car with Mazdaspeed components, and still had the struts and all 4 springs. I got a good deal...
But in my search for struts, I found that a good replacement for street use are the KYB GR-2. The shocks have been available for some time now thru TireRack and other sources. But whenever I checked for the struts (this spring), they said "not available", "out of stock", or if they showed they were available, when I tried to order, it kicked me out.
I finally tried kybstruts.com, which turns out to be a shop ("Phil's"
just a few miles from the KYB factory. He had the best price over the phone for the struts. I told him my problem with other sites not having availability. He called KYB for me, and found that while they did have pricing, the struts weren't (at the time) going into production until July '08. That's why I ended up taking a chance on the off-vehicle OEM struts (good price, but no warranty).
Anyway, from looking on TireRack.com today, I see that the GR-2 struts are available in limited quantities. This is probably the most economical solution for struts (about $100 each versus $150 or more for OEM). Most I chatted with agree that replacement struts like this from a good name (like KYB) will last MUCH longer than the typical low-grade OEM strut.
i am a profesional mechanic.........im not talking jiffy lube tech im talking i work for nissan and have nissan factory training.........clunking is definitely a sign of blown struts.
OEM struts are not low grade at all. infact aftermarket struts normally last less than OEM's. the big problem is that the aftermarket struts are valved simply for the stock spring rates of the OEM springs......how ever the OEM shocks are valved for the best performance and compromise of ride quality and performance. also, never ever mix oem and after market on an axel. if you install a kyb on one side........PUT A KYB ON THE OTHER SIDE!
how ever i found new OEM struts for $90 a pop from a vendor.