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Old 06-24-2019, 05:08 PM   #1
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mk1 strut/shock lifespan questions

Hi all and thanks in advance,

Was checking out some new front end noise and turns out it's when the strut moves, so I'm thinking it's time for some strut+springs, just on the front, the rears springs are kinda a pain ;). Anyways, I've done this twice now, the last time was ~2 years ago and I got the 'svt conversion kit' which was a LOT of fun for about 6 mo. These do appear to be oem parts, they say ford on them at least but still didn't last too long, probs <20k. I do drive mostly in the Boston neighborhoods so the roads aren't great and I kind of beat the **** out of the car.

I guess what I'm wondering is if it'd be worth it to spend some more $$ on aftermarket shocks+struts or not. ie, if I spend 2x the $$ would it last 2x as long or will I just be wasting cash? What's the diminishing returns point here? Also, I guess looking for suggestions from people who've put a lot of miles/wear on the SACH's or billesteins or what have you..

Thanks, cc


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Old 06-25-2019, 06:56 AM   #2
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Most shocks have about the same lifespan. How long that is depends on driving conditions.
The difference will be how much performance you get during the shocks life.
So, better shocks wont last longer, they will just perform better
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:04 AM   #3
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I find the Sachs struts/shocks to be a great cost effective package. They work great for me, fairly smooth & handle great for the cost. I had the K/W 1.6'' springs/dampers kit previously, which seemed to bounce around a little. Before that I had the svt kit= springs/dampers, I don't recall how they rode as that was when I first got the foci.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:55 AM   #4
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X2 post #2. I'm still driving on original struts on a '00 and a '02. Never changed them on the 3 Fords before that either, cars all drove fine. Yeah, a little looser but certainly nothing to cause a loss of control under crash conditions.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccunningham View Post
I do drive mostly in the Boston neighborhoods so the roads aren't great and I kind of beat the **** out of the car.
Ah yes, our wonderfully maintained roadways in E. MA for the high taxes we pay. Thank you big government.

Paul
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccunningham View Post
These do appear to be oem parts, they say ford on them at least but still didn't last too long, probs <20k. I do drive mostly in the Boston neighborhoods so the roads aren't great and I kind of beat the **** out of the car.
Even with bad roads, I'm amazed that you got <20K out of OEM struts/shocks. I doubt that any aftermarket are going to last much longer. I'm still on the factory set at 115K+.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by saintsfins View Post
Even with bad roads, I'm amazed that you got <20K out of OEM struts/shocks. I doubt that any aftermarket are going to last much longer. I'm still on the factory set at 115K+.
Keep in mind that ehat was installed at the factory and OEM replacements are not always the same quality. Originals designed to last thru the warranty period, replacements designed for profit only. Aftermarket replacements even more so.

My 2005 ZX4 with 191K miles has its original springs and struts/shocks at all 4 corners and rides fine (but I drive like the old fart that I am).

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Old 06-25-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul1958 View Post
Keep in mind that ehat was installed at the factory and OEM replacements are not always the same quality.
Good point.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Not all aftermarket shocks/struts are designed to last.... but sold hold up quite well. I tend to gravitate towards KYB for aftermarket. I haven't had any issues thus far with their longevity. The worse the road conditions, the faster they all fail anyway....
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:04 AM   #10
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thanks for all the replies,

I never knew there was a difference between 'oem' and factory, but that seems to align with what I've seen. when I got the car it had ~100 on it and I think it was on factory struts. Also, probably highway miles though.

It seems kinda difficult to know what you're getting sometimes. I've ordered parts in the past that come in and seem to be made by a different manufacturer, I usually just use them though...

Anyways, my takeaway here is to go with either the kyb's or the motorcraft's which are about the same price. I guess I might also want to consider driving slower. I guess it's somewhat of a disappointment that I'm doomed to swap these every few years. I might just hold off on this until it starts to sag again.
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