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  #1  
Old 01-14-2006, 03:21 PM
Q Q is offline
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Strut replacement decision

Ok, this is not a Mercedes question, so berate me if you must.

I got a free 97 Buick LeSabre with low miles from my mother-in-law. I plan on driving the wheels off the thing as my commuter car. My delima is the marshmellow suspension. Now I know these cars were engineered to ride like a water bed, but the travel on these struts seems beyond ridiculous.

The roads around me, while not potholed up, are pretty wavy. The clay soil causes the concrete sections to buckle a bit. If I keep up with traffic, I can hit the bump stops on some of them. HIGHLY annoying.

Now, to the question. I've spotted some strut replacements from KYB (not too many choices out there), but I fear that I will wind up with the same or similar ride. Is the ride of this thing more dominated by the softness of the springs or the damping ability of the struts? I would hate to replace my struts only to learn that they were engineered to OEM (read crappy) specs. I really want to make the car more drivable, but I doubt I'll be able to find stiffer springs.

For those that can't resist the temptation of offering up the smart-ass remark about turning a POS into a race car, well..... pttttttttttt!

Please, help me get my sanity back. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2006, 05:16 PM
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Go for the KYB.
You may be surprised how much difference NEW shocks will make.
Btw. don't worry about the springs.
The ride is controlled by the shocks, the springs hold up the body.

Btw. We are WAY too mature to make smart-ass remarks. Tssssssst.
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2006, 05:21 PM
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My moms Olds was made into a Buick with different badge's. My dad just replaced the rear struts with some from Napa because the orignals blew out. Frankly I was amazed how cheap these things are I am used to $70 Bilsteins!

Anyway the ride is soft but not like you described. Since you got the car for free I'd replace the shocks I think you will be more happy with it.
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2006, 11:11 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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there are some shocks

made by edelbrock i think that are supposed to give a soft initial reaction then stiffen up as they compress. maybe they are monroe. cant be sure. they are us for sure and they are the top offered. i thinkthere are grooves in the stem to allow leakage on the initial reaction.

tom w
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2006, 02:17 AM
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Go after gas pressurized and ones that have HD (heavy Duty), or even better Server Use in their descriptions.

Haasman
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2006, 06:57 PM
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Thanks guys. Oh yeah, all my buddies at work call it the granny car, but they don't complain too much when I drive at lunch. God I hate this car. BUT IT'S FREE!!!!
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2006, 11:41 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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free is

hard to argue with

you'll never make that buick handle like a benz but good shocks will help a lot.

good luck

tom w
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual. It still needs upholstery redone...I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2006, 08:53 AM
LarryBible
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I checked into struts for a friends LeSabre and they were quite expensive. I'm sure that you know that there are struts at all four corners on those beasts.

I wouldn't think they need replacing unless the car bounces a lot with no rebound control. With good struts the car will still feel like boat compared to a Benz.

I couldn't say for sure about the KYB's for the Buick, but KYB's for a Benz are REALLY stiff.

Good luck,
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2006, 02:34 PM
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Bounce is an understatement. This thing heaves like an dinghy on ocean swells.
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