j-dawg wrote:I've heard that many shops will assemble struts for you if you just chuck some money at 'em. That's probs pretty cheap, so it seems worth doing the struts with legit parts, if you're planning to keep the car more than a year or two.
This, the quick struts are not really the way to go. Get the good stuff and have a lifetime warranty.
The quick struts I'm referencing are the Gabriel ones. I was just cruising the forum and came across a post from Nov 2016 where you said they are good. Has your opinion changed?
Sachs are competitively priced against bare shocks from other manufacturers, but when added together with new bump stops, bearing plates and spring seats, the cost nearly doubles. Given that this car has 107K and 19 years on it, it probably needs those things, too. Indeed, the strut mount kit offered by FCP is $270 on top of $284 for the 4 Sachs struts, for a grand total of $554. The Gabriels are $380 priced through Autozone for the quick struts and rear shocks, and do not need a spring compressor to install.
As explained in the past a few months ago, by "good" that is a 3/5. Better than 15 year old dead stuff. I have installed them on a 850 for someone and expect they should last about 50,000 miles.
My comment above explains what I would do (and plan to do) if at all possible. I'd rather have a super nice 4/5 or 5/5 ride for 100,000 miles (with a lifetime warranty) than a ok ride for 50,000 miles. I just purchased some Bilstein touring struts and iPd HD seats for my daughter's S70 GLT. Plan to have them built and installed soon. I also hope to install new Bilstein HD struts on my daily driver. Buy the parts and have a shop assemble them.
Just a quick comment for Robert on the subject. I had Bilstien HD's on my 2000 'R' when I bought it. They were extremely hard to drive on on regular roads, and in talking to IPD even they suggested they are not good for road use unless you have super flat roads with no pot holes. They are best suited to track use. In fact I managed to break one driving on the snow/ice ruts in our neighbourhood and was glad to be shot of them. Put on Tourings instead. Still not convinced on them. There was a lot of chatter that Bilstien had changed the height of the lower spring seat so it now sits higher than OE. I'm not sure if that may be the issue with the groaning I get with the car on turning where the springs are hitting the inner fenders as they tens to bend in toward the inner fenders when compressed. It is an on-going issue. I'd check an OE v's the Bilstein spring seat heights. I now have a set of OE used struts and when I eventually get time I will check them against the Tourings and report back, but it may be a month or so as the project is in the garage just now and winter does not work for me outside!
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold
Just my 2 cents. When I bought my '96, the previous owner had just put in some quick struts (I believe he said they were Gabriel). I must say that my 850 is one of the worst riding ones (stock height, non-modified suspension) that I've ever driven. And yes, I'm well-aware that 850s were never smooth riding like their Mercedes counterparts. I'm not entirely sure if it's the spring rate, or the strut itself - but next chance I get, I'll be getting a set of good OEM springs from the junkyard and some new Sachs/OEM struts.
Thanks for all the comments. I have decided to go with the SACHS shocks when I do them. Was able to price all I needed cheap through my local guy. But will have to hold off on shocks because the car is long overdue for a t-belt. Belt looks ok but the tensioner is seeping.
1998 C70, Coupe, 2.3, auto, 59k miles. Used IPD and replaced, with best, price no object, timing belt package, water pump, struts, upper/lower control arms. front axles/bearings. All links front/rear. Brake shoes front/rear, plugs. plug wires, distributor cap, coil, coil wire. 850cca battery. Ignition switch, diver's door complete window regulator. Replacing upper/lower rad hoses with blue silicone hoses, this week. Anyone install strut tower braces and have t reduce full throttle toque steer? Mine will head for the ditch real quick! Thanks. Is there a rear sway bar upgrade?