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post #1 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Replace struts myself or not?

Hello Honda aficionados,
I need some wise advice. My struts need replacing...rough riding and creakier handling. I took it to my mechanic, an honest one, for a quote on full assemblies.

He recommended Monroe assemblies and quoted me $1436 tax total for four struts (after a $255 rebate, a "buy three/get one free" promo). A lot higher than I anticipated.

If I dropped to just the two front, it would be $832.

From what I've read and researched, a replacing the struts with a strut/shock assembly kit is a very doable project. I want to get them replaced before our 12-hour drive to VA for Thanksgiving. The most I've done mechanically is replace the spark plugs and change the oil...so bear that in mind when recommending your course of action

So mine is the classic dilemma...I don't want to pay too much for something I could do myself for several hundred less. But I also don't want to risk botching the job myself.

What do you recommend? Is it a simple enough project to not worry about royally screwing something up? Or is the deal worth paying the mech to go ahead and do it?

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post #2 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 01:35 PM
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I think it would be a simple job as long as you have the right tools and there's not a lot of rust underneath. Suspension bolts can be pretty tight and added rust can cause major headaches. I also would recommend to go with spring/strut assemblies if you do it yourself. The job becomes more involved for a DIY'er by having to compress the spring to remove the strut

The prices you got sound high

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 01:35 PM
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How many miles and what car you drive (4 or 6, etc). You can do yourself as I took my fronts off recently but I would count on a day project if you have never done it and more time if your replacing the shock from the spring in which you would have more time involved with breaking each strut down, etc. Do a search on this site as there are DIY (will be similar regardless procedure regardless of v6 or 4, coupe or sedan, etc) and you can find strut advice also.

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks mc1114, I would definitely be going with a spring/strut assembly.

Mine is a 2005 Accord EX 4 cyl with 127k on it.
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1114 View Post
I think it would be a simple job as long as you have the right tools and there's not a lot of rust underneath. Suspension bolts can be pretty tight and added rust can cause major headaches. I also would recommend to go with spring/strut assemblies if you do it yourself. The job becomes more involved for a DIY'er by having to compress the spring to remove the strut

The prices you got sound high
I second this. The first time I did a full strut replacement took me like 8hrs with an impact wrench and a friend helping. Of course, this was for a coilover setup so a lot of time went into adjusting the coils, but I'd say it will take a full day. You'll need lots of deep sockets too to make things easier.


Other than that, it was pretty doable.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha. Yep, I would be getting the following Monroe Quick-Strut assemblies to avoid the spring compression job altogether:

FRONT RIGHT:


FRONT LEFT


REAR RIGHT & LEFT


Thoughts?
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 02:21 PM
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Rear struts are typically easy. Jack car up, take off tire, remove 2 long bolts/nuts from top mount, One big one from bottom, Done.

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post #8 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshisaking View Post
Hello Honda aficionados,
I need some wise advice. My struts need replacing...rough riding and creakier handling. I took it to my mechanic, an honest one, for a quote on full assemblies.

He recommended Monroe assemblies and quoted me $1436 tax total for four struts (after a $255 rebate, a "buy three/get one free" promo). A lot higher than I anticipated.

If I dropped to just the two front, it would be $832.

From what I've read and researched, a replacing the struts with a strut/shock assembly kit is a very doable project. I want to get them replaced before our 12-hour drive to VA for Thanksgiving. The most I've done mechanically is replace the spark plugs and change the oil...so bear that in mind when recommending your course of action

So mine is the classic dilemma...I don't want to pay too much for something I could do myself for several hundred less. But I also don't want to risk botching the job myself.

What do you recommend? Is it a simple enough project to not worry about royally screwing something up? Or is the deal worth paying the mech to go ahead and do it?
If he's charging over $1400 dollars after some discount of his, then he is not a very honest mechanic, more of a scammer. Try to get a quote from the dealer, I bet it will be cheaper without any discounts, and you'll get better struts in the end. Aftermarket struts/shocks only last a couple of years, and they begin to rust the day they get put on.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 03:56 PM
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Super easy project. I only had basic tools and had never done anything like that before and swapped all four in a few hours. Only had to go to the hardware store once.

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-29-2014, 04:59 PM
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I would order OEM complete units before using Monroe units.


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post #11 of 19 Old 10-30-2014, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiless2 View Post
I would order OEM complete units before using Monroe units.
I have to agree with this one. Last March I had my mechanic replace the front struts with Monroe and it took a couple of months for them to settle in. It raised the front 3/4". The Monroe doesn't have a different part # for the 4cyl, its the same as the 6cyl. So the lower sprung weight of the 4cly caused the front of the car to lift a bit.
After 7 months of having them installed, I would call them "Good" but not as good as OEM. My mechanic charged $600 tax included.
One issue I have with the Honda parts is that the passenger front strut assembly for the 4 Manual is $318. where the other strut assemblies are $143. Why is just the right side $175 more than the others?
I would find a mechanic that would skip the strut assemblies and keep your OEM springs. Just replace the dampeners themselves with Honda or another good brand.

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-30-2014, 06:05 PM
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I have never read a good review of those monroes. people buy them because they are cheap and an easy install, then a few months later they bitch about the sagging springs (one size doesn't fit all approach) and soft shocks.

if a guy doesn't want to bother with a spring compressor and wishes to go the monroe route, don't be that guy. if you can take off your oem assemblies and install the monroes, then you can drive those same oem assemblies down to your neighborhood shop and have them swap new shocks into them for you for about $50 and a smile.

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post #13 of 19 Old 10-30-2014, 09:19 PM
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Your mechanic is ripping you off badly.

When I needed to get my front shock assemblies replaced last year, I called several independent mechanics and the local Honda dealership. The total cost for replacing both front strut assemblies (shock + spring + mounts) came out to about $500-700 for the fronts.

Regardless of whether you decide to do the job yourself or not, I would ditch that mechanic ASAP.

Also, DO NOT go with Monroe parts. They are inferior to the OEM parts made by Showa, and the spring rates/shock valving will not mmatch OEM specifications.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-30-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Glad I checked with you guys! Thanks for all the advice. The price quote I got was a shocker...granted, it was for all four struts, but still WAY more than expected based on what I was reading online. I'm thinking I'll definitely set aside a Saturday and recruit a buddy to help.

I don't have an impact driver. Is that critical?
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-30-2014, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshisaking View Post
Glad I checked with you guys! Thanks for all the advice. The price quote I got was a shocker...granted, it was for all four struts, but still WAY more than expected based on what I was reading online. I'm thinking I'll definitely set aside a Saturday and recruit a buddy to help.

I don't have an impact driver. Is that critical?
No. A breaker bar or long ratchet wrench will suffice. A torque wrench is also helpful. You can pick one up from Harbor Freight for $10-15.


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