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To Strut or Not To Strut

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2016, 05:48 pm
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Howell, MI
Posts: 405
Default To Strut or Not To Strut

So as my birthday rolls around I find my PT's suspension is finally worsening after 107k. So with my gift money in hand I look towards new suspension for my ride.

I have already chosen Eibach lowering springs. $280

I am under deliberation on the shocks and struts.
I can't find monotube struts and I can't find performance brand parts.

The options i have narrowed down to are:
Gabriel Ultra's Front Struts
Gabriel Ultra's Rear Shocks
and KYB monotube shocks

I can't find better front struts, and I am in the dilemma between the rear shocks.
The Gabriels have longer stroke and shorter compression length and longer expansion length. So over all more travel which would be nice with lowering springs to be able to have room to flex the suspensions.
But on the other hand
The KYB's are monotube design. Which is a "performance" upgrade (performance by NA PT standards). While they do have less overall travel, I can't decide if the better performance would overweight the stroke. I also might be a bit OCD and the mismatching front Gabriel and rear KYB branding would rub me the wrong way.

KYB does not have a monotube strut for the front. They only have OE replacements.

The Gabriels in the front, are supposed to be nicer than OE. (why I picked em).


So my question to all you fellow PT buddies:
Which rear shocks do I get? (KYB or Gabriel)
What other options do you recommend if any?

P.S. Not looking for coilovers. Budget is ~$500 before springs.
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03' Dream Cruiser Manual: 130k Stage 1, BOV, Koni Shocks, Eibach Springs/Sway Bars, TSW 18x8 Rims, Composite Manifold, 3inch Catless
Downpipe w/Cutout, Magnaflow Catback, Quaife LSD

04' GT Manual Purple PT Mileage: 95k (Died Spring 2018)
05' N/A Automatic Red PT Mileage:121k (Died summer 2017)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 13 Sep 2016, 05:55 pm
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

Gosch.................. this has been asked at least once this year. *I suggest go find that thread and read all the responses.


It just is not a clear and cut question easily answered. and I can already see that your first post is missing more information (more* Q&A) needed to help with your answer.


Maybe members that are good at finding stuff on this forum will post the thread for you?
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Old 13 Sep 2016, 06:01 pm
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Howell, MI
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

Until they can find that post, what questions do you have?
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03' Dream Cruiser Manual: 130k Stage 1, BOV, Koni Shocks, Eibach Springs/Sway Bars, TSW 18x8 Rims, Composite Manifold, 3inch Catless
Downpipe w/Cutout, Magnaflow Catback, Quaife LSD

04' GT Manual Purple PT Mileage: 95k (Died Spring 2018)
05' N/A Automatic Red PT Mileage:121k (Died summer 2017)
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Old 13 Sep 2016, 07:44 pm
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

For reference, here's my standard suspension write-up with part numbers including the improved Moog control arms. All this is a for a 2005 PT GT. There's a caveat at the bottom about the poly bushings. So there's no need for endless debate from those that don't like them.

While you specifically haven't asked about all these parts, at least you can see my choice for each of them.

Quote:
Overall, you could foreseeably overhaul the entire PT suspension for not too much money. You can buy new front struts with the coils already on them. And complete bushing set for entire suspension can be bought for less than $200. And rear struts and new rear coils are pretty cheap too. Here's a quick parts list with some popular brands. Not the cheapest.

2x MONROE FRONT STRUT W/COIL SPRING Part # 181592 $69.79 ($139.58)
2X MONROE REAR SHOCK Part # 5989 $26.79 ($53.58)
MOOG REAR COIL SPRING SET Part # 81053 $33.79
MOOG PROBLEM SOLVER CONTROL ARM LEFT Part # CK620009..$58.79
MOOG PROBLEM SOLVER CONTROL ARM RIGHT Part # CK620010..$58.79
Energy Suspension 5.18108G Master Bushing Kit for Pt Cruiser $113.98

Total is $458.51. Everything but the bushing kit would come from RockAuto with no tax and likely no shipping charge. You can also get 5% off this with a discount code. The busing kit is from Amazon and the shipping is free for me because I have Prime. The bushing kit would have extra pieces that already come on some of the new parts. But overall, it's likely cheapest to get the whole kit and use what you need. Softer butyl rubber bushings might help the ride more than these performance bushings. The part numbers here fit a 2005 PT GT. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 13 Sep 2016, 08:11 pm
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

I used the Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs and then put on a set of Tokico Struts and shocks made for lowered cars. The two sets together lowered the PT, took the wide space out of the wheel wells and didn't give it a harsh ride.
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Old 13 Sep 2016, 08:17 pm
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

Suspension Overhaul
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Old 13 Sep 2016, 08:31 pm
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

Handy, While your write up is great for replacing OE parts. I am more interested in an improvement or performance part replacement. I have already gotten control arms and I don't want to put Poly bushings in quite yet. I have also already set on the eibach lowing springs.

Crewzin, I will look into that brand. I just want to double check that the parts are designed for PT characteristics and not a "universal" fit. EDIT: I found the Tokcio struts on amazon, but they are listed as rear struts... and the amazon fitment says they dont fit. It does look like a good choice, but "ships within 1 to 3 months". If you could PM me or link a place I could get them, that would be great.
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03' Dream Cruiser Manual: 130k Stage 1, BOV, Koni Shocks, Eibach Springs/Sway Bars, TSW 18x8 Rims, Composite Manifold, 3inch Catless
Downpipe w/Cutout, Magnaflow Catback, Quaife LSD

04' GT Manual Purple PT Mileage: 95k (Died Spring 2018)
05' N/A Automatic Red PT Mileage:121k (Died summer 2017)

Last edited by UnitD77; 13 Sep 2016 at 08:37 pm.
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Old 14 Sep 2016, 07:52 am
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Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

Seeing as how you live in the rust belt, I wouldn't recommend the Gabriels at all. I've used them in the past (and I was in Tennessee) and notice that they sure do rust awfully quick. I doubt you'd get 3-4 years out of them before having to replace them AGAIN. Stay with the KYB's.
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Old 14 Sep 2016, 07:57 am
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

I am curious as to why you would want more travel with a lowered suspension? AFAIK, lowering springs are usually stiffer and should need less travel.
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Old 14 Sep 2016, 10:17 am
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Default Re: To Strut or Not To Strut

This member needs to re-word what he really wants to have in the end results.

This is a PT Cruiser...once you lower it worrying about the travel of applicated OEM replacement dampners is minor compared to other altered and not easily correct suspension problems.

Also when people recommend suspension upgrades one very important question should be what tires and sizes are going to be used.


NOTE: it is an often misconception that lowering springs are stiffer. Technically speaking most progressive springs which are the most commonly used as an upgraded spring and the most commonly sold kits from retailers are actually softer then OE spring for the first inch or so of compression.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 14 Sep 2016 at 10:21 am.
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