new struts QC help

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1,112
Location
Roseville, CA
I purchased 2 new Gabriel struts from ebay. This is my first time messing with struts. I got them today and they don't have Gabriel written on them, but have 739405 for a part number. One is made in Japan and has stamp date of 981113, the other one is made in Korea with a date of 991122. The details of the construction are different, but should serve the same purpose. The one made in Japan came fully extended, without a steel wire holding it compressed. It is coated in a light film of oil and the part that should contact the stopper has some wear to it. The bushing part doesn't seem worn. The first inch of travel doesn't pose much resistance and when released goes back up fast with a hissing noise. Compressed all the way, the shaft returns at a slower rate, except for last inch. The one made in Korea seems new and came compressed with the steel wire. This one is harder to compress compared to the one made in Japan. Compressed all the way, it only extends back about halfway and slowly at that. To extend it all the way you have to pull on the shaft, and with considerable force compared to the one made in Japan. From fully extended, if I compress 1 inch, it stays there and doesn't extend back. As I never played with a strut before, please indicate which one is bad (or if they both are). Thanks!
 
Messages
1,870
Location
NoVA
What car is this for? I prefer to use the same manufacture strut. In this case 1 will be off a to the other. I also bought some struts off eBay, 14 total. Gabriel like most do not make all their struts/shocks anymore. So no sticker or label on them is normal now. That's why most are black as its the common color most use. Just swap the box and done.
 

zorobabel

Thread starter
Messages
1,112
Location
Roseville, CA
One thing I failed to mention is that the Japan one has gas filled stamped on it, while the Korean has no mention of that. I wanted to install these struts on the rear of my 97 Maxima.
 
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8,598
Location
Florida
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
One thing I failed to mention is that the Japan one has gas filled stamped on it, while the Korean has no mention of that. I wanted to install these struts on the rear of my 97 Maxima.
Typically all replacement struts are gas charged. It is so common that some manufacturers may see no need to mention it.
 

JC1

Messages
6,114
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I wonder if the worn one was installed, but returned later due to fitment issues. I would want the exact same strut for both sides to make sure the performance was the same on both sides of the suspension. Can you return them? I used APX auto parts and got a full set of Sensen shocks and struts for my 98 Sienna. They work well. Regards, JC.
 
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6,110
Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I have bought closeout Gabriel struts for my beater. One was newer than the other and one has gloss black and the other was flat black. Both were made in Mexico, and clearly genuine Gabriel parts. Since it was for a beater, I went ahead and installed them as they are clearly better than completely blown struts that freeze up when it gets cold enough. If Had to buy for the front or a nicer car I would be buying those locally, most likely at AAP so I can see them first.
 

zorobabel

Thread starter
Messages
1,112
Location
Roseville, CA
Thanks for the replies! I was hoping for someone to comment on which one was defective. The seller replied he could send me another made in Korea one.
 
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13,256
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
I have bought closeout Gabriel struts for my beater. One was newer than the other and one has gloss black and the other was flat black. Both were made in Mexico, and clearly genuine Gabriel parts. Since it was for a beater, I went ahead and installed them as they are clearly better than completely blown struts that freeze up when it gets cold enough. If Had to buy for the front or a nicer car I would be buying those locally, most likely at AAP so I can see them first.
I bought those for a saturn once, one arrived not working, the others failed in about 7 months. Replaced them with kyb's so far so good. I am leery of any of rock autos manufacturer close-out deals. I do buy regular stocked items.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,256
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I bought those for a saturn once, one arrived not working, the others failed in about 7 months. Replaced them with kyb's so far so good. I am leery of any of rock autos manufacturer close-out deals. I do buy regular stocked items.
I've had good luck with Rock Auto's close-outs. The main thing to realize is the items may be older than general stock. That may not matter for an all metal part, it may matter for, say, something rubber like wiper blades. Yes, I bought the closeout wiper blades. They are old and while they work, I go through them faster than new blades. Since they are cheap I'll get my money's worth out of them, but that is all. I don't know what the shelf life of shocks and struts are.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
I purchased 2 new Gabriel struts from ebay. This is my first time messing with struts. I got them today and they don't have Gabriel written on them, but have 739405 for a part number. One is made in Japan and has stamp date of 981113, the other one is made in Korea with a date of 991122. The details of the construction are different, but should serve the same purpose.
So, they don't say "Gabriel" on them, but did they come in any kind of packaging marked "Gabriel"? I know sometimes auto parts manufacturers borrow the part numbering system from other brands. Do we know for a fact that these struts are really genuine Gabriel units and weren't misrepresented on ebay? Is it safe to assume these struts are from 1999? I would have some concern about the seals having deteriorated over that long period, even if the struts weren't used.
 
Messages
4,256
Location
Central Maryland
I should have commented on the OP's issue. I haven't met a modern strut that wasn't gas charged, I suppose it's possible, but I suspect that it has lost most of its gas. So, the Korean strut sounds defective. Secondly, even if it was designed to be used without a gas charge, I wouldn't use a gas strut on one side and a non-gas on the other, even on a beater. Different people have different risk tolerances, so make your own choices. Replacing tires with uneven wear costs money, too. Finally... Google cannot find any association between that part number and Gabriel, ever (beyond this thread). Of course the seller will say it's an unlabeled OEM, but I wouldn't believe that. Replacing struts is a lot of work, I've done it. It's worth getting something that is actually worth installing.
 

zorobabel

Thread starter
Messages
1,112
Location
Roseville, CA
Sorry for not mentioning this. The boxes have stickers indicating Gabriel 51087. I did find a Gabriel pdf indicating G51087 corresponds to MFG part # 739405. Hangfire, if the Korean strut has lost gas, it is still harder to compress and extend than the Japan one.
 
Messages
4,256
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
Hangfire, if the Korean strut has lost gas, it is still harder to compress and extend than the Japan one.
Another reason not to use it, if its response is different you'll get bump steer.
 
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