Struts for 1997 Monte Carlo...

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Sep 17, 2007
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Michigan
Im going to replace the front struts on my 1997 Monte Carlo (140k miles, struts never changed). I'm looking at the KYB GR2, Monroe Sensa-Trac, or AC Delco stockers from Rock Auto. My research indicates the KYB are firmer, the Monroes are a bit softer. Tough choice...as I certainly don't race or anything. I'm considering the Monroe's because I can get them at the local parts place. An interesting tidbit: I believe that the 1997 Monte was known to be under-sprung and over damped (I THINK this was the consensus, but I could have it reversed...). My experience bears this theory out: it tended to roll/lean more than you would expect in turns, but (in the past) was somewhat harsh over bumps. Any opinions on either strut (especially on a car which is similar to the Monte)? Should I replace the mounts as well? Thanks, Bob
 
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Mar 31, 2009
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You do not replace the whole strut,do it with the struts still in the car.It uses a cartidge inside the strut and requires a special tool to get them out.
 

pbm

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Apr 19, 2004
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I put KYB GR-2's in my 02' Buick Century and I don't regret it. The ride is probably a bit firmer but I think that's a good thing. Don't forget to change the strut bearings (mounts) too. I didn't and they started to make creaking noises a few months later forcing me to go back and do the labor again. With new mounts the noise was gone. PS: I think the MC is a 'W' platform as is my Century.
 
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Yeah, I think that vintage Monte is a W. I put KYB GR-2s on our '01 Olds Intrigue and they're holding up well.
 
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I replaced all the shocks on my wife's '98 Monte Carlo with the KYB's. There was visible cupping on the tire treads from the factory original shocks at less than 80,000 miles. Tires wear smoothly now. Wife is happy with the handling. You will need a special wrench to take the tops off of the front struts and a suction gun to pull residual oil out from the strut body. You basically replace the original piston assemblies with sealed cartridges. Wasn't a bad job, but you need to have some mechanical aptitude to do this. I didn't replace the strut bearings, but have had no problems.
 

Loogie

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Sep 17, 2007
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Good stuff--I appreciate the info. I am leaning toward the KYB, though I will have to pay shipping. Surprisingly, I believe the struts have held fairly strong until about a year ago. At that point, I started to notice a degradation in handling sharpness. The tires have, so far, worn well. Apparently, replacing the mounts and bearings are a good idea as well. I am a former master wrench (many moons ago), but I was in drivability (remember solenoid-controlled carbs?), so my mechanical abilities are quite good, but my suspension knowledge is limited.
 

pbm

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[quote=pcoxe] There was visible cupping on the tire treads from the factory original shocks at less than 80,000 miles. Tires wear smoothly now. That's exactly the reason I had to change mine. The mileage was the same too. I guess 80K in the NYC metro area (terrible streets and roads despite the exorbitant taxes) isn't too bad.
 
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It is the same strut design as the Lumina,Grand Prix,Cutlass Supreme and the Buick Regal since they are all "W" body cars.You can make the special tool yourself if you have the time to.
 
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