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Opinions Needed New (?) Gabriel Struts, Video Inside

2759 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  peshwa
In the quest of replacing my 169K old (or 16 years old) :rolleyes: stock struts I ended up going cheap and fell for "Gabriel Ultra Struts" from FLEE-Bay.
I opened the supposedly new struts and to my horror and found the box has "Gabriel Pro Ryder Premium Gas Strut" label on top instead of Gabriel Ultra:headbang:
Next I performed a simple compression and rebound test on one of the struts and found:

  1. It compressed very easily. I was able to compress the strut all the way down without "great" resistance.
    1. I pushed it down fast once to simulate how a car would go over a bump. It responded back with a quick rebound initially but later on slowed down its rebound.
    2. I also pushed at it slowly and it rebounded slowly.
  2. Rebound Testing: It didnt "bind" anywhere on its way back. It was slow to rebound. And it extended fully to its initial position. Is this the expected behavior?
  3. Below are the 2 videos. Duration is 5 mins and 3 mins respectively. Please respond and help me decide whether to return these for a refund.
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· Registered
07 XLE Camry
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whoaa buddy i would def return for replacement or refund....

i too went cheap and got gabriels and it was fine but wore out quickly. my memory is a bit fuzzy but it would compress some what slow and rebound a little quicker than when compressing it.

i might be wrong but dont you compress the strut a few times before installing?

i ended up replacing rears with gen 4 trd strut/spring
 

· 抵抗しても無駄だ
2002 Solara SLE V6
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9,122 Posts
you can get Gabriel Ultra struts cheap from autozone (Limited LifeTime warranty if you keep receipt). they are cheap, rears $66 and fronts $64 (for my solara). i've been riding with gabriels up front for 35k miles and all i noticed is they got a little harder than when new, but are still good, though a local shop bought and replaced them for me (for $200 total :facepalm:), so i got no receipt and no LLT warranty :facepalm:...

i think i will go with Tokico Blues (HP) all around (still have original OEM in rear, getting a little too soft recently)...

to respond your question, i have no idea how they should perform off car, but they look mushy to me. i would return them for a full refund (out of specs kinda for what they are and wrong item sent/item not as described per what you paid for i guess).
 

· Toyota Collector
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12,706 Posts
The strut itself is not actually designed to support the cars weight in any way, it's only job is to control the movement of the wheel over the road surface. Having said that, I've never seen a new strut not rebound all the way up after being pushed down by hand. It will take a little while but it should come up to the top of the travel. That strut is acting like a unit that has seen a few miles.

But what you need to do is "prime" the strut by pressing it up and down through it's entire travel 6-7 times. If it still does not come to the top of the travel, I don't think I would use it, doesn't seem right. But I don't have enough experience with struts to know for sure. What I remember when I did replacements, the strut was hard to press down (or move up) and extended fully after being pressed all the way down.

Is it possible that unit is designed differently? It might be made to respond depending on how fast the movement is and how far it moves, a multi valve setup. So I would not rule that out, after all the units are new, or at least they look like it.

edit - I'll ask my neighbour, he's a Honda guy but does a lot of suspension work. I'll reply back in a few.
 

· A camry n00b
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391 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Appreciate your and your neighour's response

That strut is acting like a unit that has seen a few miles.
I too thought the same but both the front struts looked brand new. I couldnt find any prior usage marks on them.
What I remember when I did replacements, the strut was hard to press down (or move up) and extended fully after being pressed all the way down.
After I shot above video of my flee-bay purchase:disappoin I went to Autozone/Kragen and checked out their cheapest struts (Monroes). I wasnt even able to press them all the way down by my hand or even pull them out. They came back up on their own. That contrasts a lot with the behavior in above video.:wtf:
Interestingly the strut does extend back up fully. I have double checked that. However the rebound is very slow. Is that by design for Gabriel? IDK
Is it possible that unit is designed differently? It might be made to respond depending on how fast the movement is and how far it moves, a multi valve setup. So I would not rule that out, after all the units are new, or at least they look like it.
Yeah...thats the only doubt I have right now and I tried to literally jump on the strut with all my weight to simulate the "high speed compression scenario". Its behavior was potentially unchanged. It went down slowly and came back up slowly too. :mad:
edit - I'll ask my neighbour, he's a Honda guy but does a lot of suspension work. I'll reply back in a few.
Thanks a ton to you and your neighbor...I will lose potentially $35 on shipping for these struts if I have to return them:ugh3:
 

· Toyota Collector
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12,706 Posts
K I forced my neighbour to watch the videos. He's basically saying not to worry about it. He said that he's had left/right units new out of the box that behaved differently. One was harder to press down, the other easier to move and didn't return to the top. But when put in the car they worked correctly.

He said for sure move them up and down a good 10 times before you put them in, or the car might ride extremely harsh at first. But he DID say he's never used Gabriel struts that he remembers. So, really nothing definitive. It it was me, I'd put them in. They are new units, so logically they should work fine.

But do remember, the rebound doesn't actually mean anything. The coil is what returns the strut to the "normal" position. The strut is only to dampen and control the movement. I once drove a car with no rear shocks at all, pogo stick. :lol: (actually very dangerous don't do this)
 
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· A camry n00b
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a ton 71Corolla and your neighbor!! I really appreciate your comments. I have contacted the seller on ebay. Lets see what he has to say.
In the meantime can some strut experts chime in on my videos above?
 

· A camry n00b
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391 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Need more opinion friends...before I return these and lose money on shipping...chime in folks..
 
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