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2003 Corolla S
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I have a 2003 S that I bought used. it has some yellow colored aftermarket struts on the front. They are not leaking but seem really stiff. I'd prefer a cushier ride. A couple years ago I bought a set of complete strut assemblies for a 2002 Corolla from Sensen. They seemed pretty plush, but the front ones raised the front end at least 2" higher.

I'd like to get feedback from people who purchased cheap strut assemblies and were happy with the spring rate and ride and would recommend them..
 

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I have a 2003 S that I bought used. it has some yellow colored aftermarket struts on the front. They are not leaking but seem really stiff. I'd prefer a cushier ride. A couple years ago I bought a set of complete strut assemblies for a 2002 Corolla from Sensen. They seemed pretty plush, but the front ones raised the front end at least 2" higher.

I'd like to get feedback from people who purchased cheap strut assemblies and were happy with the spring rate and ride and would recommend them..
for a ride closer to OEM you might consider the Monroes or Gabriels, The KYB are a bit stiffer.
If your gonna DIY it you might want to go with Quick-Struts.
 

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イリジウム
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Yellow struts can mean you got the heavy duty BILSTEINs! $200 a pop on rockauto. The prior owner spent for the good stuff!!

You know what KYB stands for right? “Keep Your Bilsteins!” :D

I’d recommend Monroe complete assemblies (QuickStruts, not the cheap Roadmatic) from rockauto. Search up a 5% off code.

Verify application on Monroe’s website.
 

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Everyone but me thinks KYBs are stiff. To me they were about right, and not stiff at all (on a Camry). I've installed Monroe and also Moog strut assemblies on two other Camry cars and I thought they were awfully soft. It's a matter of preference, I guess.

As far as cheaper brand struts, I've always been tempted, but never tried them. I've read mixed opinions on them, so if you want to take a chance and possibly get good results (or bad results) it's up to you and you can report the results here after you've had them a while. I've only used KYB, Monroe, and Moog. Haven't tried Gabriel, but I assume it's similar to Monroe and Moog.

You know what KYB stands for right? “Keep Your Bilsteins!” :D
Haaaa! KYB struts have been good for me, but I understand. KYB mounts on the other hand are pretty much like any other cheap aftermarket mount, though.
 

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John, so the best struts in your opinion are kyb. The oem struts how do they feel soft or hard.

Not exactly. What I'm saying is I've personally had only good results with KYB struts, as many others have. I'm not saying they are the "best" because there are high-end or performance brands like Bilstein or Tokico, among others, which might be considered "the best" by some people. As far as OE (Toyota) struts, well.....how they feel is relative to you. To me they are neither hard or soft, but just right. Goldilocks struts, I guess. Many prefer a soft ride, and performance oriented drivers prefer stiff struts. I prefer what is OE and have found KYBs to be close to that, but many others have said KYB is too stiff. It's subjective. Breakdowns and durability will be a numbers thing. As far as OE quality, it is obvious they are long-lasting, but man, they are awfully expensive and you have to buy the components separately, which makes it even more expensive. Many of us can't afford to go to the Toyota dealer parts counter to get these struts and components, so we're looking for a better quality vs. value deal out there, which is usually manifested in KYB, Monroe, Gabriel, Moog, and maybe a couple of others.

For the cheaper and very much cheaper brands, one might find a good deal on good struts, but many have reported durability problems, while others have had good experiences. It's a mixed bag.

I'm going to be replacing the rear strut assemblies in my son's '96 Camry and will probably be using Gabriel. The price is good (more than the economy brands, but a little cheaper than the other reputable brands) and I want to personally experiment and see how they are for my own curiosity. I might do that some day with bargain struts, but maybe not.
 

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^ well said. It really depends on personal preference.

When Gabriel moved their factory south of the boarder (supposedly the one that also makes KYB struts, the Gabriel Ultra was tuned a little soft for my taste compared to before. I moved over to Monroe OESpectrum and liked these).

Try the Monroe OESpetrum (as in their Quick Struts) and see.
 

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^ well said. It really depends on personal preference.

When Gabriel moved their factory south of the border (supposedly the one that also makes KYB struts, the Gabriel Ultra was tuned a little soft for my taste compared to before. I moved over to Monroe OESpectrum and liked these).

Try the Monroe OESpetrum (as in their Quick Struts) and see.
Monroe OE Spectrum QuickStrut was waaaaay too soft for me, but like you said, "It really depends on personal preference", so it is so very subjective. I think you're in the majority with Monroe OESpectrum users being quite satisfied. Good to know you think Gabriel was a bit too soft, so I might go with something else (KYB?) or even experiment with an economy brand (wish me luck!).
 

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John. I wish you luck if you try an economy brand
What brand is the closest to OE in ride and reliability. That is the one I will probably get. Thanks
 

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Looking on Rockauto, the price delta going from Gabriel to Monroe Quickstrut is only $20. For that, I think the Monroe’s are a no brainer. Having tried Gabriel’s on a previous vehicle I had, I can say that they were really really soft. So I would avoid those.

Going from the Monroe Quickstruts to the KYBs is about $40 more. Which again, for the $40 extra - I think KYBs ride far better.

Just my 2 cents on the above.

What has me really thinking though is the FCS quick struts? Has anyone tried those? One can get all 4 corners for about $200 or half of what the KYBs cost.
Given that our cars are about 15-16 years old, I’m not sure if the newer south of the border KYBs are worth the price premium? The original Japanese ones were a class by themselves.
 

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StrutMasters.com offers a low priced mail order complete strut assembly, I’ve used them before on customer cars. They also had a KYB option for a little extra
 

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Looking on Rockauto, the price delta going from Gabriel to Monroe Quickstrut is only $20. For that, I think the Monroe’s are a no brainer. Having tried Gabriel’s on a previous vehicle I had, I can say that they were really really soft. So I would avoid those.

Going from the Monroe Quickstruts to the KYBs is about $40 more. Which again, for the $40 extra - I think KYBs ride far better.

Just my 2 cents on the above.

What has me really thinking though is the FCS quick struts? Has anyone tried those? One can get all 4 corners for about $200 or half of what the KYBs cost.
Given that our cars are about 15-16 years old, I’m not sure if the newer south of the border KYBs are worth the price premium? The original Japanese ones were a class by themselves.
I had a 2006 LE and gladly paid the premium price for Bilsteins. I love those things and how they handle. My 2008 S now has been lowered and its running Bilsteins. No regrets here...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
monroe for sure. everything else is far to stiff imo

I want a plush ride on this car, don't care about high speed cornering. I want to get quick struts cuz I don't know what springs are on the car now, maybe stiffer? All I know is when I push down on the fender it barely moves. Monroes makes a couple types, do you recommend the cheapest Monroes?
 

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Get the Monroe QuickStrut, not the cheaper Roadmatic assemblies. The QuickStruts should have the newer OESpectrum struts, not the junky Sensatracs.

Next month the $100 off 4 promotion should start. Look for it.

I want a plush ride on this car, don't care about high speed cornering. I want to get quick struts cuz I don't know what springs are on the car now, maybe stiffer? All I know is when I push down on the fender it barely moves. Monroes makes a couple types, do you recommend the cheapest Monroes?
 

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Just to make sure it's not the Sensatracs, right? Looks like the Sensatrac which I considered junk and won't touch, is still available for 96. Leftover stock I guess.

Monroe OE Spectrum QuickStrut was waaaaay too soft for me, but like you said, "It really depends on personal preference", so it is so very subjective. I think you're in the majority with Monroe OESpectrum users being quite satisfied. Good to know you think Gabriel was a bit too soft, so I might go with something else (KYB?) or even experiment with an economy brand (wish me luck!).
 

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