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Old 02-16-2017, 07:53 PM   #1
bobbylaughalot
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What small parts to order before replacing struts?

Hello,
I need to replace the struts on our 2003 Honda Element 4AT 2WD DX. I want to get some KYB struts and have a local mechanic remove and replace the springs.
I did this type of service on our 2000 Odyssey a while back and when we had everything apart I found that I needed some small parts like rubber bottom out bumpers and stuff like that.

I am wondering if anyone has some advice for anticipating what small parts I will need to get to complete the job properly.

Thank you.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:01 PM   #2
babock
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Definitely replace the strut mount. Replace the bellows if they are torn.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:28 AM   #3
bobbylaughalot
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Thank you for your reply.

Do you mean the strut mount parts for the rear strut uppers?: KYB SM5400 - Mount Kit

Last night I found that KYB sells bellows and bumper kits. The last time I worked on the Odyssey I needed new bumpers but not new bellows. I used some generic bumpers that I sourced last minute at the auto parts store, but wished I had anticipated the need and ordered specific ones to match the struts.

Thank you.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
babock
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And KYB SM5403 for the front
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #5
bobbylaughalot
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Thank you for the reply.

I am somewhat surprised about the idea of swapping the front mount. I have never done so in the past and driven 10s of thousands of miles after service with no regrets.

Never the less I just looked up this page and see that the companies who make the stuff think we should buy it:

http://www.kyb.com/knowledge-center/...rut-mounts-do/

Do people actually routinely replace the top front strut mount part?

My original question was for help in anticipating what parts regularly need to be replaced. For example; the bottom out bushings on an old strut seem to be trashed when I remove them and so I think everyone would agree you need a replacement on hand.

I have never seen a trashed front strut top mount on a normal street driver.

I am wondering if there any other small parts I am going to discover on the Element. Perhaps I am over thinking it. I live in a rural area so once I start the job it is inconvenient to source parts quickly.

In any event, thank you for your help.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:59 AM   #6
babock
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I didn't replace it on my Lexus the first time either but also read that it's a good idea to replace after the fact.

When I did the struts on the Element, I replaced the entire assembly so it got a new one. I will always be replacing the mount from now on.

I have heard of issues where people had noise and it was the top mount failing.

Personally, the difference in price for the whole assembly wasn't worth the hassle of compressing the spring and replacing the cartridge and that is why I went with the whole assembly from Honda.

Last edited by babock; 02-17-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
bobbylaughalot
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Thank you for explaining your thoughts.

I have been using KYB brand shocks and struts on my cars for several decades and they always seem to outlast the OEM parts that came on the cars so I would like to continue doing so. KYB does not offer a complete plug and play. The last time I swapped springs the mechanic did it in an hour while I waited. If I did the this type of work more often I would do it myself but I do not do suspension work frequently enough to trust myself.

Thank you for all your help.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #8
babock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbylaughalot View Post
Thank you for explaining your thoughts.

I have been using KYB brand shocks and struts on my cars for several decades and they always seem to outlast the OEM parts that came on the cars so I would like to continue doing so. KYB does not offer a complete plug and play. The last time I swapped springs the mechanic did it in an hour while I waited. If I did the this type of work more often I would do it myself but I do not do suspension work frequently enough to trust myself.

Thank you for all your help.
It is my understanding that KYB is the OEM for Honda so if you buy the struts, you are buying the KYB cartridges. I know that is the case with Lexus as well.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:59 AM   #9
bobbylaughalot
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Yes I think you are correct, but it is my impression that the after market KYB products are a notch above OEM in quality specification.

I could be wrong... but have found that the after market KYB parts have seemed to last longer than the original parts in the cars I have owned. We keep our cars well past most people's idea of high mileage so I have had the chance to experience the implications of choices we have made in the past.

Thanks very much for your help.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
babock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbylaughalot View Post
Yes I think you are correct, but it is my impression that the after market KYB products are a notch above OEM in quality specification.

I could be wrong... but have found that the after market KYB parts have seemed to last longer than the original parts in the cars I have owned. We keep our cars well past most people's idea of high mileage so I have had the chance to experience the implications of choices we have made in the past.

Thanks very much for your help.
I replaced the Element shocks at 115K because I saw the rear shock leaking. Otherwise, the shock was still good. 115K on an original shock is pretty good.

On my Lexus, I had a complete failure of a rear shock at around 100K. The KYB replacements now have 95K.

I also keep my cars for a long time. I plan on keeping the Lexus until over 300K.
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