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Old 05-29-2002, 02:47 PM
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csnow csnow is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I will presume you have already secured the spring! Danger, Danger...

If you do decide to replace the struts, I endorse Bilstein. I am very happy with the 'Heavy duty setting' model. Somewhat stiffer than stock, and about $20-30 more. They do not come with bump-stops or dust covers, so remember to order those as well. The upper rubber mount assembly does not tend to wear out, though my own catastrophic failure bent one of them in the process, so I did replace them both at about $25 each.

My frugal side would say that if you are already on your second set of struts at that mileage, and they operate smoothly, you may indeed consider keeping them. They tend to last about 100K(sometimes more), at least for OEM Bilsteins/Boge. If these are the originals, toss them.
I paid $130 each for the HDs.

At 123k in NH roadsalt, your Idler Arm bushings(on right side of rack) may be toast, and part of your steering issues. See if this thing moves within its mount while someone wiggles the steering wheel. These bushings were $20/kit.
That happens to be my own fun project for next weekend...

There are so many balljoints in this steering rack that replacement costs/effort can start to add up quickly. If the rubber boots are intact, and there is no play, I would keep them. The end ones you are already replacing take the most abuse, so you may want to stop there before things get out of hand...

Also, at 123k;
Original steering dampener would be done for.
Swaybar bushings would be long gone (about 60K lifespan).
Check for play in the wheel bearings.

When done, if you still have play in your steering before the rack even starts to move (loose center feel), I can help you with that one...

Good luck with your project.
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