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Old 03-23-2019, 12:54 PM   #1
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Shocks and struts: Monroe vs KYB

Well with over 220K miles on my 2006 ZXW and over 113K miles on the suspension alone it is time for shocks and struts replacement. Was looking at RockAuto and noticed they had suspension kits of both Monroe and KYB shocks and quick-struts for a bit of a discounted price over buying them individually, combined with a 5% discount code and a mail-in rebate on both. Also will pick up a set of rear springs as they probably have weakened over the last 13 years and 220K miles.

With that said is there any real difference between Monroe and KYB shocks and struts? I'm not looking to race the car just bring back stock handling as it's my daily driver.


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Old 03-26-2019, 11:12 PM   #2
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Monroe will ride like OE or slightly softer while KYB will be stiffer and have better handling. I like the KYB but after 1 yr it still looks like my ride height is higher.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
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They have motorcraft as well and that's what I would go with. More expensive overall though due to the increased price in rear shocks. Between those two KYB.

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Old 03-27-2019, 10:30 PM   #4
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Agree ^^^^^^ go with the Motorcraft.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:01 AM   #5
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At 80K miles on my 2012 SE I suspected that new struts and shocks were needed. Now at 90K, I've finished putting KYB quick-struts in the front, and KYB shocks in the rear, and realise how worn the old parts were.

I was going to go with Ford parts, and own a set of spring compressors, but I wanted all new parts at the front, so buying the completed unit was convrnient. I chose the KYB purely because I've seen their ads and logos on race cars for decades.

The rears were easy to do. I didn't jack the car up high enough to use a breaker bar, but used a piece of ABS pipe over my ratchet. I used a monkey wrench and an offset 13mm box wrench to loosen the top nut, so that I could swap the bumpstop and boot over to the new rears; the new units have a 12mm nut.

I can't really compare the new KYBs with how the car was originally, but at least the front and back ends of the car are predictable again, and I don't fear potholes. I also swapped a set of well-worn (and completely useless in any snow) 215/55-16 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires for 225/50-16 Continenal DWS 06 tires, and sense that the ride is less firm. Combined with the electric Focus RMM, this setup is far superior to life with the Michelins in being able to put some power down when starting from a stop in the rain, despite the increase in torque at the road due to the new tire's shorter sidewall.

And since I was there, I also swapped out the outer tie rod ends with stock Ford parts. The new ones are firmer than the old ones. I think its a 24mm wrench that's needed for the nut.

And I should mention that I replaced the front endlinks. While I could easily use two wrenches to remove the old ones, I had to use a wrench and an allen key to tighten the new ones, which took a while.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdcwatt View Post
At 80K miles on my 2012 SE I suspected that new struts and shocks were needed.
What made you suspect they were worn out? I did the bounce test on each corner recently, and it still feels tight. Just wondering how much life I have in my originals.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintsfins View Post
What made you suspect they were worn out? I did the bounce test on each corner recently, and it still feels tight. Just wondering how much life I have in my originals.
I have replaced shocks/struts on cars before and they've never been to the point where they were excessively bouncy. To me, I can tell the ride has deteriorated to what I call "jiggly slop." Its not bouncy, but just a general loosey-goosey feeling noticed most on rough roads, railroad crossings, etc. where you can tell that the damping isn't keeping up fast enough with changes to the road surface.

My recent install of Gabriel quickstruts and Moog end links:
https://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/...-struts-2.html
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:49 PM   #8
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Has anyone had any experience with Sachs
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:59 PM   #9
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It seems that after about 70K miles, I start to notice weight transfer issues, when starting, cornering, and braking, but also a "floaty" ride on the highway, both just driving along, and when changing lanes. I had an Acura dealer drive my TSX around the block, said nothing was leaking, and they were fine, but they weren't. After I replaced the Acura's struts the first time I compared the effort to compress the bar, and the wait time for the rebound: it was obvious the old units were passed tired. I the same driving issue with a Mazda Protege, and it seemed harder to get to an apex. I replaced the struts on a Civic, and an Accord at a lot lower mileage because I wanted to lower those cars - which was a fantastic thing to do - and then I went to the track.

I should mention that we often load up the Focus with 600 - 900lbs of people and ski stuff, which is more for the suspension to have to deal with. Bad roads and pot holes seem to be not just a Canadian phenomenon.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:02 PM   #10
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The KYB's are the better shocks if you're after handling first and foremost. I have nothing against the Monroe set up, closest to stock and that's ok for most people. The Motorcraft shocks and struts are also good, but with 220K miles, how long do you really want to keep it? If the shocks/struts/springs are original? at 220K miles, even the Monroe set up will seem like a huge step up.

When I had Focus vehicles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2013) I replaced shocks at 50K miles, springs front and rear at 100K miles and the car(s) always handled and rode like new that way. Tie rods, bushings are also subject to wear, have they been replaced recently? If not, I'd recommend inner and outer tie rods and re-bushing of the suspension, especially the rear at this mileage. Safety is foremost and suspensions and steering should always be in top shape, regardless of what the exterior and interior look like.

Just my two cents, discounted to no charge.
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