Replaced shocks and struts--several problems to avoid for others.

imidazol97

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I just replaced my 4.5 year old/60K mi Monroe Sensatrac struts with Monroe QuickStruts.

1) The bolt on the top of the strut toward the outside of car had to be ground off on both struts.
The circular piece on the underside of the top of the strut that the bolt screws into just spun.
It apparently came unwelded from the top plate of the strut.

Is this typical? Or is it because of the salt/brine treatments they use here in western Ohio
where we get snow? The other two screws on each strut were NOT corroded the same was
as that one was. Yes, I had pretreated with JB Blaster.

2) If doing quick struts be warned the lower hole on my model number is a slot rather than
a hole. The slot can let the tires have lots of positive camber unless you push the strut
toward the engine before tightening the two bolts. That camber also gives lots of toe-out
until you get to an alignment shop.

3) On the rear Monroe 822 shocks, the bolts broke off on one side due to corrosion
and on the other the rubber tip to the air tube was stuck inside the shock and I had
to repair it with the Monroe AK29 kit for $9 (Amazon Prime) and a $3 1/8 inch
inline press to seal fitting--best thing since sliced bread.
 

scottydl

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2000 Buick LeSabre, 160k miles
That sounds like a lot of hassle... so what struts ARE recommended for these LeSabres?
 

NFortin198

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2002 Buick Century Custom 3.1 2002 Buick LeSabre 3.8
The salt/brine liquid solution that they use on roads have been found to be very corrosive. Here in Massachusetts, they found out that it was eating away at the bridge girders and had to replace two bridges. Up in Maine, they had to replace five bridges that were only three years old, and are still repairing other bridges that were recently replaced. Maine and Massachusetts only used the brine for two years. Needless to say they went back to the old salt and sand mix.
The brine mix does not wash away as easily as the salt/sand mix. It clings to metal, dries, then gets re-activated whenever it gets wet. It can take several high powered washing to get enough off to the point of no longer being harmful. Other states that use the brine solution are refusing to go back to the salt/sand because it costs less and is more effective than salt/sand.
 

imidazol97

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I think I'll remove that bolt and oil the threads on that particular bolt with wheel bearing grease and them coat the thing with grease
to protect from corrosion in case I decide to replace the struts again in 50-60K miles.
______________________________
 

scottydl

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2000 Buick LeSabre, 160k miles
Is that normal to replace struts/shocks that often in newer cars?
 

DonP

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2017 Buick LaCrosse.
Strut/shock life will depend on the quality of the part and any latent defects inthe shock - OEM should last 100K+ in "normal/average" use, but hard use (e.g., bad roads and heavy loads) can shorten life substantially.
 

dansbuick05

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Got to revive this thread as I am having same initial issue as imidazol97...hopefully he's around and can help but I think most veterans can get this one...Im a novice. Heres his issue from original post "The bolt on the top of the strut toward the outside of car had to be ground off on both struts.
The circular piece on the underside of the top of the strut that the bolt screws into just spun.
It apparently came unwelded from the top plate of the strut."


So how does one ground that off? Any way for a home tooled novice like me to do it, or should I take it to an auto shop or a special kind of garage or machine place? Cost? thank you
 

R111S

Buick Newbie
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Central Illinois
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Limited
Thanks for all the good information. I just replaced the front Struts and the Rear Shock on my Daughters '05 LaSabre. Here's my logfile notes:

19SEP2015 - @79,652 miles the Rear Shock Absorbers have been leaking oil for some time and do little to dampen rear suspension movement. Even though heading in a straight line, the car “fishtails” after crossing pavement irregularities. I bought a pair of Monroe MA822 “Max-Air” Rear Shock Absorbers from the local Advanced Auto Parts Store for $70.19. The install went pretty simple and the improvement in ride quality is excellent. At first the Air Pump didn’t turn on at Start so I then removed the 30 Amp Fuse to see if it was blown but it was fine. The next time I started the Car it came on like normal. Maybe removing and installing the Fuse reset the Electronic Pump Control so that it worked again? I noted the Front Suspension Struts still need to be replaced as they are noticeably underdamped compared to the new Rear Shock Absorbers.

17OCT2015 - @80,460 Miles I installed new Moog Front Struts Assemblies (w/Springs). The small bolt holes (2 ea.), of the Moog Front Struts, for the Brake Hose & ABS Sensor Cable Brackets were not pre-threaded. I cut new threads into the holes using an 8mmX1.25 Tap. After installing the Struts and taking the Car off the Jack Stands I rolled it back and forth a few times while the 3 Bolts on top of each Strut were loose. I then torqued them down snug. The front of the Car visibly sits a little higher due to the new Strut Springs. Now that is has new dampers all around the Car drives with a greatly improved sense of body motion control.
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R111S

Buick Newbie
19
1
3
Central Illinois
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Limited
Update from previous post on 17OCT2015:

The Steering Wheel was somewhat offset indicating a Front End Alignment is necessary as several persons on the Buick Owners Group Forum indicated. The local Buick GMC Dealer did a Front-End Alignment: cost $58.00. The Steering Wheel is no longer offset and tracks straight like it should.
 
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