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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edited to say I have changed my thoughts on this. KYB struts, and bought a spring compressor. Getting ready to pull the trigger on a brand new undercarriage.

*original content

I know there are older threads here but times and products change, and our elements are also getting long in the tooth. My E has 185,000 miles and a noisy engine, probably not worth that much anymore. I still love it.

That said, I am about to replace everything between the steering wheel (well, rack) and the road. Shocks, bushings, bearings, everything, as it is all totally worn out.

The most expensive item is the Mac Struts.

I can tell you, I'd really prefer not to mess with a spring compressor, plus I'm thinking some new springs would be nice. But some folks have said bad things about Monroe "quick struts" and so I wanted to get an honest assessment before dropping $500 on them.

Thoughts?

CM

PS - I'm a pretty descent wrench - is using a spring compressor really that much of a PITA? (edited to add)
 

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I would get complete units. Your springs (especially the rear) are probably sagging as well. I went with OE struts in front and Monroe in the back with no regrets. OE was only like 50% more money for the fronts and like 300% more money for the rear.

I replaced the struts, front LCAs, ball joints, F/R sway bar end links and added rear adjustable upper control arms. I was at my parents for a week and could just leave it up on jack stands while we picked away at it. The only problems we had were rust /seized bolt related. I would suggest spraying everything down with penetrating oil a few times in the week prior to working on it.
 

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Ive used monroe 'loaded struts' on one of our elements...they were terrible enough that i ponied up 3x as much to get oems on my Mdx.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would get complete units. Your springs (especially the rear) are probably sagging as well. I went with OE struts in front and Monroe in the back with no regrets. OE was only like 50% more money for the fronts and like 300% more money for the rear.

I replaced the struts, front LCAs, ball joints, F/R sway bar end links and added rear adjustable upper control arms. I was at my parents for a week and could just leave it up on jack stands while we picked away at it. The only problems we had were rust /seized bolt related. I would suggest spraying everything down with penetrating oil a few times in the week prior to working on it.
Thanks for the thoughts. Same here, I'm going to put it up an jack stands and it'll probably take my decrepit exterior a month of weekends to do it. Have another car to drive thankfully.

My E has been used as a truck since I bought it. Been years since the back seats have been in it. I do wish there was a better rear spring solution but it's gotten me this far.

I have the adjustable UCA in my cart also.

CM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ive used monroe 'loaded struts' on one of our elements...they were terrible enough that i ponied up 3x as much to get oems on my Mdx.
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Some have been happy, and some haven't. Seems folks seem to like the KYB as the best OE alternative. Trying to justify what I'm going to be doing with my car...... I used to drive 35K a year, but live in the country now and probably drive less than 30 miles most weeks. Once a month a 900 mile round trip.

Appreciate the thoughts

CM
 

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I had the Monroe units and wasn't that thrilled with their longevity. But I do my own work so swapping out struts wasn't as much an issue as paying top dollar for OEM was. Seeing as you don't drive it often, I would take the cheapest route.
 

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The springs on my OEM rear struts were done in about 70k miles. I figured the monroes couldn't be much worse. Plus I figure if I change them more often, there is less chance of the bottom bolt being seized in again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys. I am still debating this, whether to buy some KYB or something or whether to try it. I'm not so worried about the danger of it - did a little youtubing and I can see how folks can have trouble.... There are some compressors that have safety pins which prevent the compressor from flying off.....

I know my rear springs are done, this is probably the 10th time I have looked to see if someone is offering a better spring, but other than a post about getting them custom wound I'm not really seeing anything. I'm not paying $100s for a spring at this point in E's life. I got this far with stock, I'm guessing that with new springs and the ability to correct camber for my typical load that will be better than I've ever had it.

My shocks have been bad quite a while I'm guessing. I bought the car in 2008 with 30K miles, and now it has 185K. I have never changed them.

I did buy the rear trailing arm front bushing yesterday - took some doing, but I bought 1 at one outfit and the other somewhere else. They are a popular item given the age of our cars..... And not being a honda - listed replacement part.

CM
 

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Locksmith has a thread about using crv struts in the rear...helped him ride higher in the back if i remember correctly.
 

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Don't remember the thread, but I think the crv struts raise the rear 1.5"
I'm running kyb excel-g, pretty pleased with the ride.

I did have to add 10mm spacers in the rear, due to my new 235/70 tires.
The tires would occasionally make contact with the rear wheel-well rivets...much better now :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey there dudes! Thanks so much for that tidbit, I will find it.

I am looking toward the KYB accel G also.

manny, how do you like the bigger tires? Andy idea how much ground clearance you gained? No trouble with rubbing in front?

I have been disappointed with the snow clearance of my element since I've owned it. It's kinda like they were sneaky..... Sell an AWD vehicle for campin' N stuff and then make sure you'll get high centered in just about anything. I owned it before I realized the gas tank was hanging under the car.

Thanks again
 

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No rubbing in front.
The 235s do fill the wheel wells nicely (better then the 225/70s).
Only issue with rubbing was in the rear.
Mostly due to poor road conditions, sligtly aggressive driving style and additional weight in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Howdy Gents:

Thanks to your assistance, I have ordered a set of spring compressors with a safety pin so they can't get wild, and I'm planning to go with KYB accel G struts. I'm also planning to go with a (based on memory of locksmith's thread) CRV rear strut from 2005, utilizing element rear springs.

Might be marketing crap, but was looking at replacing the rear springs with the MOOG "constant rate" springs, which claim they firm up under load. I'm going to guess they don't really "firm up" per se, but rather are a progressive wound spring, which has more dense coils for the little bumps and less dense for the rest. Has anyone here used them?

Really appreciate the information here. Thinking about maybe doing the larger tires as well, since I've sometimes had issues during the worst blizzards.

CM
 

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I looked at the franken-struts but did not want the 1.5" lift in the back. I just want stock ride height with increased load capacity. I wish I had thought about this when I did mine this summer, but I wonder if SC rears with a spacer lift would get me what I want?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I looked at the franken-struts but did not want the 1.5" lift in the back. I just want stock ride height with increased load capacity. I wish I had thought about this when I did mine this summer, but I wonder if SC rears with a spacer lift would get me what I want?
I'm not sure about that, I'd have to read a bit more..... Maybe you're right, it's not really buying anything but clearance. If you want more ground clearance this will help you get it, or under load maybe will level out the ride height. I may need to rethink this - I'd like to run the bigger tires but maybe this isn't the way to get it.

When I used to ride motorcycles and mountain bikes, the you'd set the adjustable spring preload so that when you were riding with usual load, the travel would sag about 25% of the travel. So 4" shock travel you'd want about 1" of sag.....

Too bad this isn't possible on the E, because we could all fix our disappointment with the rear springs....

CM
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No rubbing in front.
The 235s do fill the wheel wells nicely (better then the 225/70s).
Only issue with rubbing was in the rear.
Mostly due to poor road conditions, sligtly aggressive driving style and additional weight in the rear.
Manny, when you talked about a 10mm spacer, do you mean a 10mm spacer under the spring to add preload to the coil? Is that an available item, or did you make the spacer?

Thanks

CM
 

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The spacer is above the strut top-hat.
The kit comes with slightly longer studs to accommodate the spacer.
FYI, the 10mm spacer actually raises the rear of the E by about 15mm.
I have read that this is expected, due to the design of the rear suspension...the front does not do this.

link to ebay seller.

no affiliation :)
 

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Yeah, struts can be 'fun' if you're not careful lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks manny, I think that knowing this I'd rather maybe go that route than the CRV rear struts since the spacers would be reversible if they weren't what I want....

Hell, I'd like an inch or so all the way round but I'm not sure how the camber would be corrected in the front. I need to do some more searching..... Would like the slightly bigger tires though.

Having an annoying experience with the Febest Trailing Arm front bushings...... The same guy on ebay has more than one user, and the same one on Amazon as well - and he was showing the Quantity 1 bushing he had on all three sites. So I bought two, and of course, there was only 1 which does me NFG. I think I'm going to go with PowerFlex they are more expensive but I don't have time to wait for some undetermined time for those febest bushings.....

Thanks for all the help

CM
 

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I know there are older threads here but times and products change, and our elements are also getting long in the tooth. My E has 185,000 miles and a noisy engine, probably not worth that much anymore. I still love it.

That said, I am about to replace everything between the steering wheel (well, rack) and the road. Shocks, bushings, bearings, everything, as it is all totally worn out.

The most expensive item is the Mac Struts.

I can tell you, I'd really prefer not to mess with a spring compressor, plus I'm thinking some new springs would be nice. But some folks have said bad things about Monroe "quick struts" and so I wanted to get an honest assessment before dropping $500 on them.

Thoughts?

Absolutely positively DO NOT BUY MONROE quick struts. I did. Garbage. Raised my ride 1”, shake rattle and roll squeak etc. The springs are too heavy also.
After I complained about this a member responded.” Buy Honda replacement parts”. Beg borrow or steal the money but no matter what brand you are looking for Honda Parts for your strut rebuild is the ONLY answer. Honda engineered them for your Element. I found out too late he was right.
PS - I'm a pretty descent wrench - is using a spring compressor really that much of a PITA? (edited to add)
 
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