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Hey guys, Was told by the dealer that it was time to replace the rear shocks. One of them was found to be leaking and my GM extended warranty would not pay for it. So when I get the car back from them fixing multiple other warranty related items, I am going to be doing the rear shocks and front struts. It's time for an alignment anyways, and thought that doing both at the same time would be a good idea.

I was wondering what everyone recommends for shocks and struts. I have read some on other sites, and searched the forum. The stuff that I read on the forum was from 2010 at the earliest and around 2013 at the latest, some said KYB, someone said Monroe Quick-Struts. This post is in hoping that you guys have had more/new experiences in the past few years. I have read other places that KYB stiffens the ride significantly, and gets stiffer as time goes on. Then I had read Monroe starts off giving you that OE feel out of the box (smoother softer ride) and degrades over time (sometimes rather quickly). I don't know if I will like super stiff suspension because I have no experience to compare it to (KYB), but I also don't think I want suspension that is too soft and could feel worn out after a couple years (Monroe). I was wondering what everyone has used and liked in the past? Did KYB make the GM OE struts like they do for some other manufacturers?

I would prefer to stick with a quick strut option. Personally I am a little afraid of the portable 2 piece spring compressor sets, so I will not swap my own springs. There's a shop I use locally for the things I don't/can't do myself that charges around $75 to swap the old springs to a new strut. The swap labor and spending around $25-30 each for new mounts seems to be cost prohibitive to buy an unloaded strut.

Usually I buy parts like this at RockAuto, called the local NAPA and the price difference between their Monroe and the one RockAuto had was around $50ea. RockAuto lists Monroe, Moog (I haven't read much about their struts/shocks), KYB, and AcDelco Professional (doesn't say OE so i'm assuming this is just a parts line) for loaded struts.

So what brand do I go with? Even if it were to be with something a little pricier? TIA :smile:
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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I kinda doubt that any shock that is stiff gets stiffer as it ages. When things wear, they leak more, which means the fluid bypasses the valve or something else happens to make it less capable.

When I lowered my 2011 V6 I couldn't get the front strut apart so I ordered all the parts except springs from Rock Auto to build a pair of struts with the Eibach lowering springs. I got the KYB shocks (front only) instead of the OE or Monroe OE-style, thinking that getting the "better" shock would improve handling and still give a nice ride.

Wrong!

While this thing handles like it's on rails, I pay for it on every bump out there, including tar strips. If you like the OE ride, my suggestion is to get shocks that are either OEM brand or OE-style by any manufacturer. I can't say whether Monroe, KYB, or any other is better or worse, so do your research, make your choice, and drive away happy.
 

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I kinda doubt that any shock that is stiff gets stiffer as it ages. When things wear, they leak more, which means the fluid bypasses the valve or something else happens to make it less capable.

When I lowered my 2011 V6 I couldn't get the front strut apart so I ordered all the parts except springs from Rock Auto to build a pair of struts with the Eibach lowering springs. I got the KYB shocks (front only) instead of the OE or Monroe OE-style, thinking that getting the "better" shock would improve handling and still give a nice ride.

Wrong!

While this thing handles like it's on rails, I pay for it on every bump out there, including tar strips. If you like the OE ride, my suggestion is to get shocks that are either OEM brand or OE-style by any manufacturer. I can't say whether Monroe, KYB, or any other is better or worse, so do your research, make your choice, and drive away happy.
A lot to address here..
No. They don't get stiffer.
The typical valve in the typical shock or strut consists of a series of thin, metal washers stacked on either side of the piston. When you need little damping, oil forces open the "weakest" one. Progressively harder/sharper bumps force open progressively stiffer washers. These washers fatigue over time, leading to a loss of damping control.

Low end damper units use fewer washers. Typically three. Higher end units use more valve washers, to provide a smoother transition between stages.

The gas charge in the damper has no other function than to prevent the fluid from foaming. Visualize a boat propeller in the water. Bubbles form behind the propeller due to reduced pressure, in a process called "cavitation."

So, manufacturers will vary the stiffness and number of the valve washers, and viscosity of the oil in the damper to tailor the response to the desired result the engineer is looking for.

Now, to Daily's comment about the KYB..
I had a KYB engineer tell me once that they add up to 20% firmer damping over OEM, to make up for the wear and tear on other suspension components.
So yeah, I can see you putting these on at a relative low mileage and installing the "Lumber Wagon Option."

What else.. Oh, yeah.
Quick struts..
Can't speak for anyone other than Monroe, because I don't know, but Monroe offers two grades of assembly. One has a progressive rate spring, and more of the damping washers in the valving I mentioned.
The other is a straight wound spring, and minimal valving.
The "better" one is the Reflex, the lower cost is the Monro-matic.

So there you go.. there's your lesson on suspension dampers for the day.

Cheers!
 

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2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
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@JLDickmon - fantastic information. Great seeing you around again!
 

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For the rear shock, I stick with the OEM AC-Delco. Check out Amazon , it is about 43 buck brand new. Not expensive to me. Or you can buy their open box/damaged box for around $24. That was what I used for my Bu. I would change the rear sock first, as it is quick and much easier than the front one.
For front Struts, I used Prime Choice Auto part. they costs me $130 pair including stabilizer bars. Has been more than a year and 15K miles since replacement. They seem OK. I can't tell the difference. Only time will tell how long they last.
I did not do alignment after changing all the struts/shocks. My tires wear still look normal after a year.
 
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