need to replace front struts and mounts. - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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need to replace front struts and mounts.

so my front struts have been making a clunking noise for a bit but having noticed any ill handling untill it got cold and i cant handle this. where is the best/cheapest place to get OEM front struts as i am not intrested in the stiffer ride of aftermarket struts (GTspec and swaybars planed in future)

i was going to get koni yellows from my buddy with a tire rack account but their account fell threw so no more awsome deal for me lol.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 05:24 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

some guy had stock struts for sale. mine has been clunking for a while now. it makes noises when going over uneven or bumpy parts of the road. also pops once in a while. check your transmission mount.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

[quote author=droyal link=topic=127006.msg2707721#msg2707721 date=1225315465]
some guy had stock struts for sale. mine has been clunking for a while now. it makes noises when going over uneven or bumpy parts of the road. also pops once in a while. check your transmission mount.
[/quote]
transmission mount you say? ill put my car up in the air tomorrow at work and check it out. im new to these cars so i am not familiar with the "common problems" they have. it sounds weird but i kinda hope its busted....this thing has horrific wheel hop and hopefully that has a bit to do with it even tho i know wheel hop is a common issue.


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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

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&quot 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.

'04 Mazda3 5-door...2.3L 5-speed...Titanium Grey...Black Leather
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

[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&quot 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.
[/quote]

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.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 12:55 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

I won't argue with your there. What I heard could have been from aftermarket "propaganda".
Anyway, many people feel that the Mazda3 struts go way too soon. 50,000 miles is not uncommon, which I this is a bit early based on other vehicles I've owned. 17" low profile tires probably don't help. My RF strut started flopping around about 3 months after my 4 year/50,000 miles warrenty was up. Actually it only had 49,000 miles on it, but my time was up.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 11:19 AM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

KYB GR-2/Excel-G are described on the KYB website as being designed to be OE replacement and restoring the vehicle's originally designed handling and control. Does this mean they are intended to be 'upgrades' and designed to be better than stock shocks/struts with a lowered vehicle, or will they perform the same as stock and not last like stock on a lowered vehicle? Am I making sense? I wouldn't want to replace stock with just-like-stock shocks/struts.

It's also noted on the Tokico website that the Mazda 3 non-adjustable HP Series "Blue" shocks/struts are under development. Anyone have any insight as to when these will be ready? These are more 'sporty' than the KYB set from what I'm reading; according to Tokico, these are "the overwhelming choice of performance enthusiasts looking for the best in overall handling and ride quality."

I would LOVE to get adjustables, however, I'm on a significant budget. I'm also not into autocross, I just want improved handling for every day driving without blowing my stock struts.

I have B&G S2 springs (1.4" advertised drop) fwiw, but have not yet installed them. I'm reading that it would be best just to do the springs and shocks/struts all at the same time so for the sake of efficiency, I'd like to do that.

Input is appreciated. Thanks!

2005 Mazda 3 2.3 HB:
Black on Black Leather; MTX
Currently equipped: TWM Shifter, GT-Spec front strut bar, B&G S2 Sport Springs, Mazdaspeed Sport dampers, Racing Beat rear sway bar, Corksport rear motor-mount insert, K&N drop-in, Tint 35% rear/50% side
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:21 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

From what I understand, the idea of "restoring the vehicle's originally designed handline" means that:
1. If you put new OEM struts on, but kept the original springs, it wouldn't feel original, since the springs have relaxed a bit from new.
2. These aftermarket dampers are tuned to work with these "relaxed" springs to make the car feel like it used to.

It's my understanding that these struts/shocks are intended for those that are changing their struts because they wore out...not because they are lowering anything. That said, if you also replaced the springs with new ones, the ride might be a bit stiffer than stock until they relax.

But I don't think they are making any claims at all at how they will perform with a lowered vehicle. They are OE replacements. Lowered cars are no longer OE/stock.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:43 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

Right, so KYB GR-2/Excel-G replacements are not intended to be used with aftermarket/performance/lowering springs; they are intended to be used with stock springs.

I guess my question is, if you (I) replace the stock shocks/struts with the KYB replacements, will the KYB replacement give out just as bad/quickly as the stock set from the factory? Is there an alternative to replacing your stock shocks/struts without going to adjustable or full coilovers other than KYB? It appears Tokico's would be good, but they're not available, however, I don't know of any other brands (KYB and Tokico) that have performance (read: something that will work with performance/lowering springs) shocks/struts for a Mazda 3.

I don't think I'm beating a dead horse, if I am, I apologize.

2005 Mazda 3 2.3 HB:
Black on Black Leather; MTX
Currently equipped: TWM Shifter, GT-Spec front strut bar, B&G S2 Sport Springs, Mazdaspeed Sport dampers, Racing Beat rear sway bar, Corksport rear motor-mount insert, K&N drop-in, Tint 35% rear/50% side
Next?: H-I-E?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 07:14 PM
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Re: need to replace front struts and mounts.

[quote author=TonsterPS link=topic=127006.msg2740117#msg2740117 date=1226522608]
Right, so KYB GR-2/Excel-G replacements are not intended to be used with aftermarket/performance/lowering springs; they are intended to be used with stock springs.

I guess my question is, if you (I) replace the stock shocks/struts with the KYB replacements, will the KYB replacement give out just as bad/quickly as the stock set from the factory? Is there an alternative to replacing your stock shocks/struts without going to adjustable or full coilovers other than KYB? It appears Tokico's would be good, but they're not available, however, I don't know of any other brands (KYB and Tokico) that have performance (read: something that will work with performance/lowering springs) shocks/struts for a Mazda 3.

I don't think I'm beating a dead horse, if I am, I apologize.
[/quote]

Koni and Bilstein???

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