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Discussion Starter #1
A local shop (non-dealer) in Dallas has quoted me $1215.00 to replace the shocks struts, bump stops and front top bearings on my 2003 Element. This sounds a bit expensive to me. Has anyone done a straight OE replacement?

What is the best, cheapest source for OE parts?
 

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I always advise everydody to Order the Complete Assembly Front N Rear Online or print it out and take it to your Favorite Honda Dealer if they can match it, then have someone, Allignment Shop or Motrsport Shop for less than 200$, you can even do this yourself.
 

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A local shop (non-dealer) in Dallas has quoted me $1215.00 to replace the shocks struts, bump stops and front top bearings on my 2003 Element. This sounds a bit expensive to me. Has anyone done a straight OE replacement?

What is the best, cheapest source for OE parts?
I got a quote for about $1135 from National Tire and Battery. The struts were $160 each for the rears and $190 each for the fronts (OEM), and the labor was 1.8 hours for the front pair and 2.4 for the rear.

The guy in the shop was a little shocked when it quoted out that way. I was more than a little shocked myself.

Joe
 

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I got a quote for about $1135 from National Tire and Battery. The struts were $160 each for the rears and $190 each for the fronts (OEM), and the labor was 1.8 hours for the front pair and 2.4 for the rear.

The guy in the shop was a little shocked when it quoted out that way. I was more than a little shocked myself.

Joe
The amount of time spent on labor is extremely off in my opinion (not professional, of course), but I had the entire front assemblies replaced and the labor consisted of putting the E up, unbolting the old assemblies, and re-bolting the new ones. Total time was approx 30 min. I purchased the OE strut assemblies from hondapartsdeals.com for $180.00 if I remember correctly.

I'm actually in the process of deciding whether or not to order rear assemblies in the coming weeks...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can I do this?

I found suspension assemblies for about $190.00 for the fronts and $110.00 for the rears, given the fact that are completely assembled as units how difficult is it for a grade c handyman to replace them?
 

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I found suspension assemblies for about $190.00 for the fronts and $110.00 for the rears, given the fact that are completely assembled as units how difficult is it for a grade c handyman to replace them?
I would like to know this as well? Is it that easy?
 

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The amount of time spent on labor is extremely off in my opinion (not professional, of course), but I had the entire front assemblies replaced and the labor consisted of putting the E up, unbolting the old assemblies, and re-bolting the new ones. Total time was approx 30 min. I purchased the OE strut assemblies from hondapartsdeals.com for $180.00 if I remember correctly.

I'm actually in the process of deciding whether or not to order rear assemblies in the coming weeks...


Though i agree HondaMoney, most of these guys use a standardized book of labor rates and charge such, even it take them half the time to do the work.
 

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It is really not that hard. I would really suggest that you buy the Helms service manual for your E and do it yourself.

John
 

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I found suspension assemblies for about $190.00 for the fronts and $110.00 for the rears, given the fact that are completely assembled as units how difficult is it for a grade c handyman to replace them?
If you are a grade C mechanic (you can use tools if someone tells you what to do), it's not difficult but it is hard work without professional tools.

What they call "a complete assembly" may be just the cartridge and the mechanical mounting components from the bottom of the spring seat on down. That's compared to a replacement cartridge that looks like a shock absorber without the mounting "eye" at the bottom.

To change out a completely assembled unit, which would include the spring, cushions and and upper mounting plate for the front (mounting base for the rear), the only absolutely essential special tool would be a ball joint remover to disconnect the old ball joints in the front. If the spring and plate aren't included (normal), it's a lot harder, you need a strut spring compressor and a shop bench vice will help tremendously.

You may be able to find a shop that will rebuild the complete strut assembly, reinstalling the spring, replacing the spring cushions. This part of the job is the hardest for the rank amateur using a "threaded rod" type home spring compressor and it's potentially dangerous. (The heavier the vehicle, the harder it is).

If you haven't done something like this before, start with the rear and plan to spend a full day on just the rears. The fronts will go smoother after that experience; you can concentrate on the ball joints and more complex front suspension better, if you aren't worried about the rest of the job.

No matter how you do it, you will need to get a 4 wheel alignment job when you are complete.
 

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If you can get the unit assembled for that price instead of a box of parts, I stand corrected, and it would be a good deal
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The amount of time spent on labor is extremely off in my opinion (not professional, of course), but I had the entire front assemblies replaced and the labor consisted of putting the E up, unbolting the old assemblies, and re-bolting the new ones. Total time was approx 30 min. I purchased the OE strut assemblies from hondapartsdeals.com for $180.00 if I remember correctly.

Did you require any special tools, or was the install done with typical wrenches etc.?

also, what is your impression of the difference the new shock assembly made to your E?

Thanks for the input.
 

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The amount of time spent on labor is extremely off in my opinion (not professional, of course), but I had the entire front assemblies replaced and the labor consisted of putting the E up, unbolting the old assemblies, and re-bolting the new ones. Total time was approx 30 min. I purchased the OE strut assemblies from hondapartsdeals.com for $180.00 if I remember correctly.

Did you require any special tools, or was the install done with typical wrenches etc.?

also, what is your impression of the difference the new shock assembly made to your E?

Thanks for the input.
Like I said, I just had the front struts replaced b/c the passenger side was leaking, but it drove like it was right off the lot. There are a lot of brick streets in my town thus making the ride very bumpy at points, the new assemblies worked wonders (as you would expect).

In retrospect, I should have done the work myself, my only advice would be to take it in for an alignment after the work. Originally when the work was done, the shop did not do an alignment b/c they felt that it wasn't needed, but as I drove around I noticed my steering wheel ****ed to one side so I took it back in and they did the alignment free of charge which I graciously accepted. Other than that, I would say (again, not a pro), that replacing the entire assemblies are a piece of cake given the fact that you don't have to compress the springs, just bolt and un-bolt once the care is up on a jack or lift.
 
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