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El Scorcho

Kyb Gr-2 Or Gabriel Ultra For My New (To Me) Gc?

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I am replacing the suspension on my newly acquired 88 GC 626 Turbo. I have put an offer on a set of B&G springs on ebay, and I'm hemming and hawing about KYBs or Gabriels for the struts. Overall, most opinions seem to slightly favor KYB... But I can get the Gabriels from amazon.com for a cheaper price and free shipping...

My car has AAS struts, but they are shot to hell (think "I'm on a BOAT") and they don't work with B&G springs anyway. I'm confident anything I install will be an improvement, and I recognize both brands are generally touted as OES replacement. Anyone used one or the other? Or both? Or something better that doesn't cost much more?

About strut mounts - Do the rear mounts swap left to right?

And with B&G springs will I need Camber bolts? They advertise 1.6" drop, front and rear.

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id stick to the trusted KYB's myself. there what was used stock on our cars. even the adjustable OEM struts were originally made by KYB.

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i have kyb on the silver GC and monroe sensa-trac on the green GC, both are good imo, your aas struts keep them as im told they are a servicable part,(i have them and will do the work one day maybe) rear strut mounts i remember them being identical so they look to be universal L/R on the rear and you can turn the DOT on the spring cup around so it should work, i droped silver GC front end on its chin an i didnt need camber bolts - rear is kept factory height but(should of dropped the ass too so i didnt have any oversteer/understeer i have now, o'well next time) if its new and cheap may as well buy it i say, specially if the norm price is level with a skyscraper in comparison, i use king springs, I favor dobisons springs also, always have used one or other or both on every car ive worked on/owned, good grade steel too, X5K.

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Yea, I went with GR-2s. Apparently I have maybe the last set of 4 for the GC cars. I waited 6 extra weeks to get a GR-2 left rear strut. They are becoming Excel Gs instead - same strut, but black finish. No more silver.

Now I just need springs. Everybody who advertises B&G springs for our cars says they are on back order. Anyone have a set they are selling? Or maybe some GD coilovers? I'm out of other options, other then maybe some cheapo civiC coilover springs. Anyone know of another brand to fit on non-aas struts?

Anyone know how to service the struts? I will have 2 front and 4 rear once they are l removed.

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There is one other thing i need to mention, the aas strut tower mounts are different to normal ones,(i found that out after i ordered an bought non aas springs) non aas springs have a smaller diameter at the top than tha aas springs, so the non aas strut mounts will have a smaller diameter too(i prefer the aas springs, larger diameter = better control), so if you have just swapped out the aas struts with norms still use the aas mounts and use aas springs instead of getting non aas springs, i hope im making sense here, as for the aas struts i have all four of mine waiting to be rebuilt,(no clue when) i need to find out the proceedure and what seals need replacing and wat gas to use and how etc... so id rather savm cos brand new ones at 700 bucks a strut is steeper than tha marianas trench. An best bet is to buy newy springs as you cannot ever trust used springs(thats if you want peice of mind) i paid around 150 for my rear springs-aas they are king springs if you want you could probably put a order in and get them to ship them to you part no. kfrs-22 i do however have 2 sets, original and old kings but like i said i wouldnt really trust them now tho.

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The AAS springs on my car are so sagged out it bottoms out on the road, especially over wavy parts. The front arms are already above a level plane. The struts are beyond shot, and the springs are so weak there is bound to be damage to the mounts.

My black car I just sold had AAS springs with Monroe struts when I bought it, and they had to make a hack job of it to make them work with the front AAS mounts, and they fell apart on me within a week of me buying it. I have Non-AAS mounts anyway, since I was anticipating using the B&G springs. But it may have to just be stock springs if I can't find something better.

Anyone ever done custom springs before?

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Yes, and I am about to do them again.

I am not sure about other countries, but I have a local spring place which has made up springs for me before. I found them to be quite affordable, you can choose all the dimensions, set height top annd bottom diameter, wire diameter and progressive rate if you really want.

My past mistakes are going up too much in wire diameter. The worst part about doing custom springs is knowing what you really want out of them. I wouldn't recommend going much more that 0.5mm up in wire diameter unless you want the car to be a skateboard. Sure it'd handle really well, but then you would need adjustable dampers like koni's so that you can increase the damping to match the stiffer spring.

Most off the shelf dampers only have a limited range of spring rate that they can work with.

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You think you could get them to crank out a second set, Chief? Are you doing AAS or non-AAS ones? Would they be powder coated?

I was planning on spending $250 anyway, so unless shipping is insanely stupid, I would be very interested.

Also going to look at a set of R32 Skyline GT-R Coil-overs an acquaintance is selling. Probably stiff as hell, but anything is better then what I have.

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I dont know if it would be economic to ship them from here.

I can certainly record all the dimensions and you could get a set made up off them. My AAS struts went about 15 years ago and I've been using non AAS type ever since.

The difference is in the rear strut mount. The fronts are essentially the same.

To complicate things a little I am having them made to suit my Tokico Illuminas which I am fitting to my car which already has GD hubs. I have had a set of rear spindles modified to take the GE struts. It was too difficult to get decent struts for a GD let alone a GC!

The good news is that the spring spec is much the same, regardless of strut model. I will record the measurements and the differences if you are interested.

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So the KYBs I got from Octane Auto Supply are not quite up to snuff. I didn't unbox them to inspect them until I acquired my springs over Xmas, and I fear I may be f'd since I waited so long...

One of the rear struts is much softer then the other, I can compress it with my thumb. One of the front struts started leaking in the box and has some free play before the valves get oil. The other front strut was late in arriving, and came from a different location, but arranged by the same company. However, this strut is obviously used, probably 2-4 weeks driven on by the look of it, and the scratches on the spring seat.

Opinions? Even with the defects they will still be better then what is on the car, and I will be able to drive it once the springs are figured out. Part of me is thinking they would all get soft fairly quickly once they are installed and broken in...

But if one is already leaking, and another is already soft, the other two will have to work harder, and maybe adversely affect handling?

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Id contact the place you purchased them from, and voice your concerns. If one of them is already leaking, it would be pointless to install it as its already blown and will do nothing if installed. That along with your other one you received being obviously used is a big issue.

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Oh for sure if its leaking its done for already simple., ive had a sloppy new strut b4 but once you travel it up and down a few times its should stiffn up if it dont the seals inside are RS, another thing the strut should be alot harder to pull up than to push down, pushing down should be easy but not too easy cos there is usually spring tension behind it there and pulling up as fast as u you can should still be harder than pushing down cos when it comes up it has the pressure of the spring pushing on it as well, yes it will affect handling bigtime specially when its setup bias to the other defective one, abnormal wear on the springs in service on it too, id get them tested, some shops should help but a simple push and pull a few times will tell you, just have a craped out one and use it for a baseline if you dont have a good one to use for the test, all in all it should be slow going down pushing with both hands and feet holding the bottom and slow as hell pulling it up. hope this will help.

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Yeah, I contacted them directly at first, but they didn't respond until I went through Amazon. I got the struts back in July (ordered in like May), so they said they have to contact KYB. Sounds like they are going to pass the buck. Then again, if they had been driven on all this time and started performing poorly this soon, they would still be under warranty, so maybe they will come through.

Does anyone have a source for Coilover sleeves? I need longer ones, about 6-7 inches. The ones I have are 3 1/2 inches, and are far too short to use. If I stack 2 of them I can set the spring high enough to make contact with the top, but obviously that won't work in practice.

Unless I end up getting a refund for the struts, then I will probably buy 93-97 struts, which the coilovers are designed to fit. From what I have read, the strut-to-knuckle bolt spacing is the same from GC through GE, but the GC knuckle is thinner where it connects to the strut. With GC Strut tops and spacers for the knuckle bolts, everything should fit.

Also wondering about bellows and bump stops. The oe style bellows that came with the bump stops are wider and longer then the springs. They look silly stuffed inside the coil, but they are not big enough to put over the springs. (Wouldn't want to put them over the springs anyway...) But without bellows, even chromed rods will corrode.

Also, with a 7" sleeve, the bump stop would hit the sleeve before the strut body. But with the shorter spring compression, will the strut bottom out on the spring first?

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The leaky one feels about the same up and down, and similar to the used one. The used one has a slight slurp at the very top. Neither fully extends itself, but if I grab them by the rod, they will extend slowly under their own weight.

Is it possible the leak is actually overflow from when it was manufactured? It's not a huge gusher, just a little streak out of the weep hole and some dried drops around the spring seat. It doesn't appear to be forcing fluid out as I am moving the strut rod. Then again, I'm not a 2600lb car cornering at 30-50 km/h.

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The rear one I was concerned about seems to have firmed up after several compressions, but the other rear strut is by far the hardest to compress and seems to be easiest to extend - but still gives significant resistance. Maybe they overcharged the nitrogen on the one?

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As long as they dont retract slowly back in the strut housing when you sit them up and they dont leak at all,(constant slow leak = bad) there is only a suspension test at a shop that will tell you if they are in service as a new or used component, but first id try get an exchange or refund and see how you go. But the only leaking struts ive seen to be honest are clapped out ones like the aas ive got and the occassional old one ive seen at a wreckers leaking at the pole seal where it goes up and down(under the rubber boot). Not sure they would overcharge it as it has to be a certain pressure i thought not sure on that one.

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Still waiting... Octane finally gave me an RMA # near the end of February. The kicker is, they want me to pay the $150 shipping the stupid things back in order to get a $190 refund. And then I still have to spend another $300+ on ANOTHER set of struts. (Most definitely going Rock Auto this time.) So we've had several terse conversations about this. They keep apologizing and saying they want to help, so I finally told them they could help by paying the return shipping or making an exception to their policy.

As of a couple days ago, they said they are checking around for the best possible shipping rate. Better be for their own benefit...

Mean while, still can't drive my car for want of struts... I am very close to saying screw it and installing them anyway. Even if I only get 6 months out of them, at least I could enjoy my car and forget the hassle for a bit.

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not a bad idea actually... except the wreckers rarely keep imports around here. And it will probably be almost as dear as the new set. Got a line on a complete 97 626 LX V6 (cooked motor), but the guy says it's in his back 40 in a pile of snow, which won't be gone for a few weeks yet.

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The set of struts i got was from some car convention in vagas, i think it was called auto expo, anyway they were brand new each in the box, they was jus new old stock, bought them off ebay. I hope you start to have some good luck, Maybe a dig in the snow day? when i first got the silver GC she needed a new dash (it cracked up bad) and i went to a wreckers here where i live and pulled a whole dash with everything in it and rode my push bike halfway home carrying it then caught a maxi-taxi, lol, but i was heaps enthusiastic for it to be on the road.

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You rode a bike with the whole dash on it and then put the bike and dash in the taxi? I would have loved to see video of that. That's some dedication.

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Yea i positioned it on the hangers and rode with one hand holding it and the other steering the bike, my knees copped a beating and when i got to the hill i was stuffed, lol,..a six foot dude doubling a car dash on a ten speed push bike lol i did turn heads tho as the traffic went past me. ahh thems was the days.... when i had no car... well after i crashed my HQ anyways.

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Make sure to have a wheel alignment performed after replacing the struts (I went with KYB). The camber was fine, but the caster was out and especially the toe setting. Before the alignment the wheels would "kick" going around corners, but now the steering is much lighter and grip the road.

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