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Discussion Starter #1
Due to the fiasco with Monroe brand struts I took a chance on set of cheap strut assemblies from CompleteStruts.com.

I am in the process of installing them on my 2004 300m Special. It has a little over 100k miles and I was never impressed with the feel and road noise of the suspension. After about a year and a half of ownership I decided to do something about it.

One side is currently installed. I will install the other side later today or tomorrow (or whenever I feel like it!)

Obvious differences from stock -

The nut that came with the new struts have a much smaller grip surface - I reused the old ones.

The ride height is now approx 5/8" higher than before. I can deal with it; these Specials sit too low to the ground anyway.

Cost per set $171! I don't remember for sure but I think that included shipping.



Initial reaction:

Shipping was fairly fast - Delivered to my work in about 3 or 4 days via UPS

Packaging seems legit. I was expecting a plain brown box.

Instructions - I didn't read much of it but what I did read seemed well-written and easy to follow. Obviously done by someone who speaks English as a first language.

Quality - I will leave this up to the test of time. As far as appearance they look just as good as any Monroe or any other name brand strut manufacturer.





I will update this as needed. Any questions just ask.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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You bought just the front pair? Are you going to do the rears in the same brand also?
 

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get off my lawn
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when you get the front end aligned,, could you post before and after specs? p;ease,, im kinda wondering about something.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not sure how to tell if they are the same or not. They look the same as what came off the car. I've only done the passenger side so far.

No plans to do the back in the near future. If they get noisy I will.

The tires that are on it now are not worn even at all so I don't know if the alignment was right to begin with. I will check and adjust it with a tape measure when I get done. If I can get it to drive straight with a centered wheel I will likely not have it aligned at the shop. I've done it this way several times.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here is a picture of the driver side assemblies side by side for comparison.



I would have this project done but I fouled up and stripped the threads on the new tie-rod end because I'm lazy and used the pneumatic impact on it. The other side I used my cordless impact on and it stopped before it stripped it. So, it will have to wait til I go to Des Moines tomorrow to pick up another new one.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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It appears the square locating slot is in the right location for the drivers side Old vs New.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OOPS! Well, progress anyway.

Side by side on the passenger side would be good - but I don't know what I'm looking for, honestly. Those are OEM you are removing now, right?
I have no reason to think they aren't OEM.
This is a pic of the other side, the passenger side I did first.
I had to rotate the mount 180 to get it to line up right. I don't know if that is because they are the same mounts or they just aren't lined up 100% from the factory. Either way, it fit.
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Hmmm...it would've been nice to see a shot of those from the side to see the angle of the the mounts versus the strut. There was a thread someone started regarding the Moog struts where he had to rotate the mount 180 degrees on on strut assembly. I believe one of his strut bearings or mounts took a crap shortly after install.

Keep us posted on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmmm...it would've been nice to see a shot of those from the side to see the angle of the the mounts versus the strut. There was a thread someone started regarding the Moog struts where he had to rotate the mount 180 degrees on on strut assembly. I believe one of his strut bearings or mounts took a crap shortly after install.

Keep us posted on this.
Will do. I figured why blow $450 on Monroes if the quality is still crap. I'll be the guinea pig this time around.
 

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get off my lawn
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Hmmm...it would've been nice to see a shot of those from the side to see the angle of the the mounts versus the strut. There was a thread someone started regarding the Moog struts where he had to rotate the mount 180 degrees on on strut assembly. I believe one of his strut bearings or mounts took a crap shortly after install.

Keep us posted on this.
ding ding we have a winner,,, same as on whats his name , he had to turn it 180,, me smells something fishy,,
 

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From what I've seen, you can't see the difference on the top turning plate until the strut has been disassembled. However, less than $175 for a pair? Not bad!
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Yep...same single type of strut mount for both Driver and Passenger side.Just like Monroe and Moog. Good luck!
 

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...The ride height is now approx 5/8" higher than before. I can deal with it; these Specials sit too low to the ground anyway...
Speaking of which - that was a missed opportunity to make some measurements of dimensions on the strut that determine Special vs. non-Special ride heights - like apples-to-apples measurements between lower spring seat-to-knuckle mounting holes on the old and new struts.

No one's ever conclusively answered the question of if the Special ride height difference is due to the spring design or the spring seat dimensions on the strut. Since no DIY'er is properly equipped to easily measure the loaded spring height, the easier and more telling route would be to compare lower spring seat-to-knuckle attachmant points between Special and non-Special struts.

Maybe you could do that when you do the passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It is 95% done. All I lack is a another new tie-rod end to replace the one I stripped the threads on.
But, when I had them side-by-side I did not notice any differences in height or mounting hole locations. My best guess is the difference is in the spring compression rate. Although I would have thought the Special would have a stiffer spring, not a softer one.
 

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Farticcus of Plenticcus
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Brandon (Brando26) had to rotate the mount on the Moog's to get it to work, and it still failed within 1000 miles. Mine are holding up perfectly with having replaced the mounts & bearings.

Good luck with this, but I fear you will have the same difficulties that Brandon did.
 
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