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Strut Repair Suggestions

Discussion in '2011-2014 V6 Mustang Tech' started by PandaSmuggler, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. PandaSmuggler

    PandaSmuggler Member

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    Hello,

    I recently purchased a Strut Tower Brace and I took one of the nuts off the strut to go shopping for a replacement set. After coming back empty-handed, I decided to go ahead and screw the nut back into the bolt. Honestly it was hot and I was rushing myself. I looked up torque specs on my phone and accidentally used the torque spec for the strut tower bolt (46ft/lbs instead of 26ft/lbs). Needless to say, the bolt snapped. Looking at our setup, it looks like the bolt is part of the assembly so extracting the bolt and replacing it wouldn't work. I took it to the dealership and played coy. "I don't know what happened!" batting my eyelashes and curtsying my dress (I know that may not work as a guy, but hey! It's Austin!) Of course their techs looked at it and said there was no way in hell that it wasn't human error and Ford wouldn't honor the warranty. They quoted me ~$300 to fix ($70 for the upper assembly plus labor), however a local shop quoted me $175 in labor for both sides if need be (same price as one side). I was thinking if they're going to have to pull the strut out, I might as well put some better struts on.

    My question is, could I get a way with putting something like Koni STR front struts and leave the springs and rear shocks OEM? This is a Base V6. Would this negatively affect the geometry? I am also considering the Steeda strut and shock kit since it isn't too bad of a price for a complete set.

    So what do y'all think? Should I just have the top strut assembly replaced and stick with OEMs? Should I get Koni STR front struts? Steeda kit? Or wait until I have enough cash to get a full Koni adjustable kit? Mind you, I consider this car a DD/Weekend Spirited Driving. I don't plan on going on weekly AutoX/Track Days...for now.
     
  2. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    I've heard good things about Koni's STRs on stock springs. It's probably a good idea to swap both the front and rear together to maintain balance.

    So it may be on your best interest to wait on the shocks until you can do all four.

    Some people like Steeda. I don't.
     
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  3. PandaSmuggler

    PandaSmuggler Member

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    Steeda Springs or Steeda in general? I'm just curious.

    I agree with you there, it's probably better to do it right the first time than cheapen out and be unhappy.
     
  4. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    For me it would be Steeda in general.

    On shocks, I think its much better to pick shocks from a shock manufacturer. The steeda units are probably a licensed deal to a shock manufacturer.

    This is probably fine, but I like knowing that mine are Bilsteins, not random company X, and for about $200 my shocks can be rebuilt with custom valving for use with custom spring rates. A set of Koni's offer similar benefits.
     
  5. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    PandaSmuggler could you post a picture? I'm wondering if a set of caster/camber plates would fix the issue too.
     
  6. PandaSmuggler

    PandaSmuggler Member

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    Bah! Sorry, I didn't realize that you replied until now. I haven't snapped a picture, but I found one on the interwebz that is broken clean off like mine (image attached). The only difference is the broken bolt on mine is the lower, inner bolt (driver's side).

    From what I've read on other forums, the Steeda shocks/struts are re-branded Tokico's. I imagine they're using their own custom valving, but this is all hearsay and I really don't have any evidence to back this up. I hear ya on the whole stick with shock brands when it comes to buying shocks. Although, I had an awful experience with Eibach's on a different car so I won't ever go back to them.

    Thanks for all your help man :)
     

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  7. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    So I have two things for you.

    It appears you sheared an upper strut mount bolt. There is this wonderful things called caster/camber plates that can replace that as an upgrade. Were I you, I'd be buying these.

    You alluded to some ambitious suspension changes. You may want to keep this on the long term list. There are a couple of other packages too.

    The first recommendation is if you're willing to go past the minimum and can certainly wait. That said, you might call the dealer and the shop for quotes on installing these if you're unwilling to tackle it yourself.
     
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  8. PandaSmuggler

    PandaSmuggler Member

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    Thank you sir, I appreciate the help! I actually made the "responsible" decision to just stick with the OEM struts and order the replacement part. I ordered it with 8 nuts for $53 shipped from a dealer here in TX. Believe it or not, but the Steeda rep that I spoke to said don't bother ordering their shock and strut kit unless I was at least lowering my car. I won't be lowering my car anytime soon until they fix the roads around here. The clay is so bad out here that I can bottom out on OEM suspension with all the dips if I'm not too careful.

    Those caster plates are a bit pricey, but I'm going to take the GRM approach and upgrade the wheels/tires first as that seems like the most cost effective approach. I actually had a similar kit, except it was the MM kit for my old '04 V6. Night and day difference and it definitely took some abuse :)

    Also, I'm going to ask the shop to install the Strut Tower Brace. It definitely seems like an easy install, but I don't feel comfortable doing it myself anymore. I know that I'm being a wimp but I think you understand why :p
     
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