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Old 11-01-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default 2003 Park Avenue Strut recommendations?

My 03' Park Avenue is coming up on 57k miles and needs struts. I'm getting the tell-tale signs, excessive nose dive across intersections with drainage, excessive tire bounce over potholes, too much float on freeway bridge transitions, back end getting loose on freeway potholes, and bottoming over minimal dips at moderate speeds.

I went over to the Goodyear store and the man at the counter, recommended Monroe Sensa-track, and quoted roughly $450 to replace the front struts. I will replace the back struts myself, I simply don't have the spring compressor to replace the fronts.

These are the Sensa-track for the front:
http://tinyurl.com/3tvx3q3

These are the air shocks I looked up for the back:
http://tinyurl.com/3famdu2

Was wondering if anyone has had experience with these on their cars, or have recommendations in the same price range. I've been on other forums and every review I've read about them suggests they're a great OEM replacement, that perform way better than OEM and Dyna-ride.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:32 AM   #2
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I installed the Monroe quick struts on the front of my car and have been very pleased with their performance. The quick strut is a Sensa-Trac Strut, Coil Spring, Bearing Plate, and an Insulator Boot Kit pre assembled and ready to put in. I payed about $300.00 for both front struts. What I like about this route is that you replace the strut, springs and the bearing plate at the same time. The spring is allready on the strut so you do not have to deal with compressing it. I also did the MAX-Air shocks in the back, I have heard some complaints about them being more firm than the original, not sure if there is any truth in that statement they seem just fine to me. These cars "Float" up the freeway'*.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #3
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you can rent the spring tool free, all you need is a compressor and impact. the mounts are cheap to replace at the same time too.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for letting me know about the spring compressors. However, I don't have the air tools to do the rest of the job. I had the front end done and the shop threw in the alignment for free. Out the door was $438.14 They charged $138 per strut from the $83 I found at O'reilley, which is a standard markup and one hour labor, which I thought was a fair price. The rest of the components were in good shape and didn't need replacing, just the struts.

The front struts have already made a world of difference, it drives like a totally different car. The braking feels better, without the car trying to throw you out of the seat. It corners more confidently, and doesn't try to slide you across the bench. The ditches and driveway ramps seem like they've been filled in, the car hardly pays attention to them anymore.

I'm glad to hear about the Max-air on the back being stiffer, that'* what I want. As it is, the back of the car is way too soft and floaty. I also talked to the lead mechanic about the Max-air'*, and he uses them on his *-10. He says they're designed to automatically tune the valving as air pressure increases, (the air pressure adds "spring tension" to the valve) so the more weight on them, and air pressure to level out the ride, the stiffer they valve. Which you shouldn't notice because of the weight. That way the back end should feel the same, no matter how much weight, until you exceed capacity.

I'll be changing the back end tomorrow.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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All done, and boy does it make a difference. The rear shocks were sorely in need of replacement. This has made a lot of difference on top of what changing the front of the car has done. Now it glides down the road, and ignores the most drastic driveways, ditches, and potholes. Yet it has a firm feel and negligible body roll, and nose dive. Pictures of the rear shock job to come.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #6
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Here'* how I got around using the special bracket to support the spring.

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Old 11-05-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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Old shocks were definitely worn and leaking.

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