Strut Replacement - Buick Lucerne 2006 CX - Car leaning on right while driving

chrisbek100

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So I am hoping to get some help.

I have 2006 Buick Lucerne CX model car with the 3.8 Litre Engine.

Recently I decided to replace the struts on my Buick Lucerne with two brand new Monroe Quick Struts Model #172321

After browsing the forums and searching various post I saw people using this strut for their own Lucerne's.

Here is the struts from specs taken from Monroe's website:



My reason for the change was simply the struts on my 2006 Lucerne were clearly old and the ride quality was ok but not the best. I am the 2nd owner of the car and have no idea if the previous owner changed them out or if they are factory struts that came with the vehicle. I figured its time to change them out since the vehicle is now 15 years old and has 141,000 km on it.

I followed the directions in the Chilton library installed and torqued the struts to spec. The struts went on without a problem but after 80 days I noticed the ride was quite harsh. Unless the road was completely smooth the car would bump/shake and would not absorb anything. The struts came with a 90 day return policy and lifetime warranty from the local Canadian Tire I bought it from.

On the 88th day the ride was so bad rather then gamble I returned the struts back and put the old ones back on.

I have been driving since then on the old struts and the ride is alot better then it was with the Monroe's.

After talking with the local Buick dealership I wanted to see if they could order me the original AC Delco struts that came factory installed on the car. Unfortunately those struts are not available in their inventory and they told me they could order Monroe's and highly recommended I put those on as they are basically the same as factory stock.

After talking with the mechanic and taking his recommendation I went back to my local Canadian Tire and purchased a new set of Monroe 171321 struts a few months later.

I figured I would give the Monroe's another chance and figured I just got a bad batch.

The struts went on without issues and the ride is actually smooth.

However right now I have a problem.

When I am driving the car I have notice that right side is dipping/sinking/leaning and bottoming downward. It only happens when I am turning right or the road is curved right sided or the road is not completely straight and level. When the road is straight the car is fine and feels level for the most part but there is something there.

The left side of the car feels solid and there are no issues on left turns. Basically when this problem occurs left side feels higher then the right side feels low making the vehicle feel not level.

The car is also slightly out of alignment since I put on the new struts. When the wheel is completely straight the car will drift left instead of going straight.

The wheel needs to be slightly cocked to the right for the car to go straight.

So I am trying to diagnose and figure out what the problem is at the moment and I am looking for help.

1) Is it possible the strut I installed on the right side is faulty?
2) Is it possible the alignment being out is the cause of the car bottoming/sinking on the right side the issue
3) Is it something else? What should I be looking for?


I have included a few pictures of the new Monroe's before installation on my car. The struts came in 2 boxes closed with giant size multiple staples like the prior ones I bought. Although the struts have some minor scratches on the coil spring and body of the strut the only thing I noticed is on one of the struts had a minor pressure indentation mark on the rubber mount at the top while the other did not. Both struts had various scratch marks on the coil of the springs which seemed superficial. I thought maybe the struts could have been installed on another vehicle but have no idea.

Also here is a video I filmed prior to installation of the struts:


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

DSC01307.JPG DSC01312.JPG DSC01319.JPG DSC01339.JPG DSC01335.JPG
 

2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
When new struts are installed the vehicle should be aligned. If the vehicle is bottoming out on one side you need to do visual inspection strut, components and installation along with the rest of the front suspension. Try bouncing on both sides to see/feel for a difference in response.

Can new struts go bad yes, but hard to tell without troubleshooting to confirm.
 

Ropchips

Member
62
10
8
Buick Ownership
2006 Lucerne CXS
So I am hoping to get some help.

I have 2006 Buick Lucerne CX model car with the 3.8 Litre Engine.

Recently I decided to replace the struts on my Buick Lucerne with two brand new Monroe Quick Struts Model #172321

After browsing the forums and searching various post I saw people using this strut for their own Lucerne's.

Here is the struts from specs taken from Monroe's website:



My reason for the change was simply the struts on my 2006 Lucerne were clearly old and the ride quality was ok but not the best. I am the 2nd owner of the car and have no idea if the previous owner changed them out or if they are factory struts that came with the vehicle. I figured its time to change them out since the vehicle is now 15 years old and has 141,000 km on it.

I followed the directions in the Chilton library installed and torqued the struts to spec. The struts went on without a problem but after 80 days I noticed the ride was quite harsh. Unless the road was completely smooth the car would bump/shake and would not absorb anything. The struts came with a 90 day return policy and lifetime warranty from the local Canadian Tire I bought it from.

On the 88th day the ride was so bad rather then gamble I returned the struts back and put the old ones back on.

I have been driving since then on the old struts and the ride is alot better then it was with the Monroe's.

After talking with the local Buick dealership I wanted to see if they could order me the original AC Delco struts that came factory installed on the car. Unfortunately those struts are not available in their inventory and they told me they could order Monroe's and highly recommended I put those on as they are basically the same as factory stock.

After talking with the mechanic and taking his recommendation I went back to my local Canadian Tire and purchased a new set of Monroe 171321 struts a few months later.

I figured I would give the Monroe's another chance and figured I just got a bad batch.

The struts went on without issues and the ride is actually smooth.

However right now I have a problem.

When I am driving the car I have notice that right side is dipping/sinking/leaning and bottoming downward. It only happens when I am turning right or the road is curved right sided or the road is not completely straight and level. When the road is straight the car is fine and feels level for the most part but there is something there.

The left side of the car feels solid and there are no issues on left turns. Basically when this problem occurs left side feels higher then the right side feels low making the vehicle feel not level.

The car is also slightly out of alignment since I put on the new struts. When the wheel is completely straight the car will drift left instead of going straight.

The wheel needs to be slightly cocked to the right for the car to go straight.

So I am trying to diagnose and figure out what the problem is at the moment and I am looking for help.

1) Is it possible the strut I installed on the right side is faulty?
2) Is it possible the alignment being out is the cause of the car bottoming/sinking on the right side the issue
3) Is it something else? What should I be looking for?


I have included a few pictures of the new Monroe's before installation on my car. The struts came in 2 boxes closed with giant size multiple staples like the prior ones I bought. Although the struts have some minor scratches on the coil spring and body of the strut the only thing I noticed is on one of the struts had a minor pressure indentation mark on the rubber mount at the top while the other did not. Both struts had various scratch marks on the coil of the springs which seemed superficial. I thought maybe the struts could have been installed on another vehicle but have no idea.

Also here is a video I filmed prior to installation of the struts:


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

View attachment 34466 View attachment 34467 View attachment 34468 View attachment 34469 View attachment 34470
Maybe buying the struts and necessary components individually would be the better option over the quick strut.

Install isn't as easy but more options to choose from.

I'd go KYB over Monroe any day.
AC Delcos are available too.

 

chrisbek100

Buick Newbie
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3
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
When new struts are installed the vehicle should be aligned. If the vehicle is bottoming out on one side you need to do visual inspection strut, components and installation along with the rest of the front suspension. Try bouncing on both sides to see/feel for a difference in response.

Can new struts go bad yes, but hard to tell without troubleshooting to confirm.

I did a bounce test on both sides to feel for a difference in response. There was not much difference. The driver side felt just a bit more firmer then the passenger side strut when applying pressure and bouncing the car up and down but not by much.

The struts feel firm and good for the most part. The car barely bounces and comes quickly to a rest if you do a bounce test.

Without actually taking the struts off I did visually inspect both struts to see if there was anything out of the ordinary but I could not find anything.

I opened the engine hood of the car and also did a bounce test looking at the mount to body bolts to see if there was any kind of play but did not see anything.

I have tightened the strut mount to body bolts to 60 N·m (44 lb ft). and tightened the strut to knuckle nuts to 177 N·m (131 lb ft) which is what it says in the Chilton library. If this is not correct please let me know.

While looking down with the hood of the engine open I did find that the rack and pinion boot on the driver side is ripped/shredded at the top. This is something new that must of happened because I did not see it previously when working on the car. The rest of the boot is intact but will need to be replaced. I have no idea if its related to the strut.

The main reason I got these struts over KYB are because the local Canadian Tire offered a 90 day return policy on them along with a lifetime warranty. I would order KYB if there was someone locally who I could purchase them from or near the Toronto or Ottawa area.

The first struts I got from them and installed were clearly bad. The ride was so harsh that even going over a pebble would cause the car to shake violently. I returned them and put the original struts back on and there were really no issues. The originals worked and all the rough ride I experience with the new Monroe's went away. However they are probably 15 year old struts.

So fast forward a few months later the same struts went on sale again so I figured I would try them again. Lot of people on the forum here from what I have seen have used these struts and all of them seemed happy for the most part.

The store had 1 more set that had been on the shelves and decided to get them. At the very worst if they were no good I could always return them.

I have no problem paying for a four wheel alignment job but I want to be certain that this solves my problem. Otherwise if the problem is the strut I will have to remove them regardless and install a new set which of course I will need to pay for another alignment.
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2007LucerneCXL

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Unless the lower control arm is bad there are very few things other than the strut that may cause the problem. Hopefully you will be able to isolate the issue.
060207GM06-202.png
 

century61

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2008 Buick Lucerne 3.8 liter
I have been all through this with my Lucerne. OH. My first struts were so harsh I started digging into this. IMHO, The first pair of struts the OP bought are probably for the larger 4.6 engine(??). I noticed that if I had another person riding in the front the car rode a lot better. Well, I went with monroe quickstruts and my ride is just "OK". Its definitely not factory. Its livable.

OP ---> Have you tried swapping the struts to see if the problem follows the strut to the driver's side? Also, Check your stabilizer bar and end links. See if those have gone out?
 

Ropchips

Member
62
10
8
Buick Ownership
2006 Lucerne CXS
I have been all through this with my Lucerne. OH. My first struts were so harsh I started digging into this. IMHO, The first pair of struts the OP bought are probably for the larger 4.6 engine(??).
Looking at RockAuto, the same strut is listed for both the v6 and v8 engines.
My son is needing to replace his struts on his 06 CXS.
Are there different quick struts for each engine?

I suggested he go with KYB's over the quick struts after reading this thread but if there's a better quick strut option....it'll save me some wrenching.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Confirm the CXS doesn't have the magnetic ride or it will need resistor for the struts. You are correct that aftermarket strut manufacturers are making a "one size fits all" to cover a wider range of vehicles. Even now GM factory struts are listed as sport and soft for the same strut.

I went with KYB on the front but it may be more firm than what someone else may be looking for. Gabriel seems to be a good choice VS GM or Monroe which seems to be hit or miss check Lesabre and PA on those.
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century61

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2008 Buick Lucerne 3.8 liter
Looking at RockAuto, the same strut is listed for both the v6 and v8 engines.
My son is needing to replace his struts on his 06 CXS.
Are there different quick struts for each engine?

I suggested he go with KYB's over the quick struts after reading this thread but if there's a better quick strut option....it'll save me some wrenching.
I wish I could say "This is the strut you want". However, Its almost impossible to find the correct struts that will have the OEM ride. In my situation it was "Best Guess". Im not totally happy with the somewhat stiffer ride.
 

Ropchips

Member
62
10
8
Buick Ownership
2006 Lucerne CXS
Confirm the CXS doesn't have the magnetic ride or it will need resistor for the struts. You are correct that aftermarket strut manufacturers are making a "one size fits all" to cover a wider range of vehicles. Even now GM factory struts are listed as sport and soft for the same strut.

I went with KYB on the front but it may be more firm than what someone else may be looking for. Gabriel seems to be a good choice VS GM or Monroe which seems to be hit or miss check Lesabre and PA on those.
I feel silly for having to ask but, how does one confirm whether magnetic ride or not?
 

Ropchips

Member
62
10
8
Buick Ownership
2006 Lucerne CXS
I wish I could say "This is the strut you want". However, Its almost impossible to find the correct struts that will have the OEM ride. In my situation it was "Best Guess". Im not totally happy with the somewhat stiffer ride.
Lol. I also wish you could say that. It certainly would save time not having to research. Your input is appreciated and I thank you.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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The front struts will have wires coming out but the RPO code should have it, sorry don't know what that code is.
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chrisbek100

Buick Newbie
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Buick
Thanks for the help everyone.

At this point I am not sure what truly the problem is.

I debated at one point taking the struts off as century61 suggested and swapping them to see if the problem would occur the the driver side but it was a struggle for me just getting the old one's off and putting the new one's on.

At this point I have opted to have a mechanic look at the car to see if there is anything they can find that could be the problem.

The car is steering wheel is slightly out of alignment and might be the cause but I have a feeling its the strut itself.

I got an appointment booked this Friday I will let everyone know what the problem is.
 
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chrisbek100

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Buick
So I took the car to the local mechanic.

I had explained to him what I had done and he examined the car.

He couldn't find anything at first and asked me to start the car and turn the wheel back and forth.

He found that there was play in the strut while the wheel was turning left and right that should not be there and that something was moving that should not have been in the strut.

He showed me what the problem and told me you can feel it by placing your hand on the strut itself.

The mechanic began turning the wheel and there was a grinding shaking motion as I held the strut.

We checked the driver side and there was no play.

I didn't quite understand what the problem was as he tried to explained to me something was moving on the strut that is not suppose to.

Anyways I took the car home. Today I jacked the car up and removed the Monroe strut on the passenger side and put back the old passenger strut I had taken off originally and took it for a test drive.

The car is not leaning excessively anymore. The alignment of the steering is not off anymore. The car drives straight when
the wheel is straight.

The mechanic told me even with the alignment off slightly it should not cause the car to dip excessively on one side in the way I was describing it to him.

So looks like ill be returning the struts back to Canadian Tire as I still got 15 days left for their return policy and I think im done with Monroe for now.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Check the forum and Gabriel seems to work well for owners of Lesabre, PA and Lucerne as a possible replacement. Yes 2 strikes on Monroe and no price is worth it.
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