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MazdaSpeed 3/6 - Suspension & Brakes Discussion for suspension items like coilovers, springs, sway bars, mounts,chassis bracing and brakes.


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 Old 12-15-2018, 06:29 AM   #1
 
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Default Help me out please? Am I stock?

Hello, purchased the car about 6 years ago with 120k on the clock. I now have a blown front right strut and am looking to replace front struts asap. I've found OEM strut for about $130 on edge, or Koni Oranges (STRT) for $110 and thinking of using my current springs as they don't appear or feel overly worn. Car now has 160k on the clock and is now my fun DD, not used as a racecar, so just need it safe and comfy to drive with the clunking gone.

How do I know if my car has the stock springs or has ever been lowered? It definitely sits higher than my friends who we know has been lowered.

I also considered generic quickstruts from local advance etc but am concerned about the spring rates being high enough or not the same.

Guidance please? Budget is imperative at this time unfortunately.
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 Old 12-15-2018, 07:29 AM   #2
 
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All quickstrut kits I've seen are for regular Mazda 3 cars. They have different springs.

Just get any decent strut specific for our cars and use the Ford Focus strut bearings and top hats. There is another thread here on the Focus parts.

Its best to do both sides, as the other side is probably shot or will be soon.
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 Old 12-15-2018, 07:38 AM   #3
 
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I was planning on doing both sides. Keep my springs then?

I wasn't planning on doing the bearings and hats, are they really necessary? Does the hearing have to be pressed?
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 Old 12-15-2018, 03:49 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by TriviumF22 View Post
I wasn't planning on doing the bearings and hats, are they really necessary? Does the hearing have to be pressed?
I'm curious too. Replaced my rear shocks with those yellow Bilstein shocks (B6 performance I think) and planing to get matching struts upfront soon. Haven't thought about bearings and hats. Would going for the Focus ones instead of reusing the stock ones be more of a quality of life thing or would it actually impact performance/longevity significantly? I'm most likely going to be keeping my OEM springs as they don't seem to be in a bad shape. Got my 1st MS3 only a few month ago so I'm still learning about the specifics of this car.
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 Old 12-17-2018, 12:19 PM   #5
 
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Yes, see the separate thread here on the Focus strut bearings and top hats.

New strut bearings and top hats are essential, IMHO. When I first put in the B6s years ago, I tried to just reuse the existing OEM top hat and strut bearings. That was a bad decision. I had to order the hats and bearings and do the entire job over again.

No, the bearings are not something you press in or out. They sit on top of the spring and under the top hat. They have little ball bearings inside packed in grease. They allow the strut and suspension to move without making noise. They are pulled up tight to the car body with the top hat's three bolts and the top center mount of the strut. There are alignment marks. The top hat's marks go toward the engine. The strut bearing alignment tab points out toward the wheel.

They are cheap. The Bilstein B6s were still just like new. I read the other thread about the Focus hats and bearings and ordered from that dealer, Tasca Ford. Problem solved. I'll try to look for that thread and add it to this post.

Edit: Here you go. Order from Tasca Ford.

CV6Z-18183-A Strut Mount $15.64 each 2 for $31.28
DV6Z-18198-D Strut Bearing $25.81 each 2 for $51.62

Plus shipping.


Affordable redesigned top hats/struts mounts and bearings from FORD

Disassembly and assembly tip: Note, the three bolts that surround the strut inside the engine bay should be marked for exact location before disassembly. Draw a circle with a fine tipped Sharpie or somilar around each bolt head and/or use a center punch to make witness marks around them in at least two locations on each. This is the front suspension camber adjustment. As the holes are large enough for some degree of adjustment when those bolts are loosened. You want to put those back in exactly the same position as your found them, or your alignment will be messed, up, handling will suffer, and you may get excessive tire wear.
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BNR Stage 1 (to fix smoking K04 turbo), TurboXS 3" Catless DP/RP "Stealthback" into stock CBE, Vibrant 3 inch Ultra Quiet Resonator in RP section, Magnaflow 3 1/2" exhaust tip, Mazdaspeed CAI w/air straightener and K&N conical filter, NGK 6510 Iridium IX one step colder plugs, Hypertech tune, Autotech HPFP internals, Stock BPV (works perfectly), Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R's (stock size on stock rims); Hawk HPS pads; SURE RMM; Grimmspeed EBCS (2 port mode), Bilstein B6's, SPC rear camber arms.

Last edited by MSMS3; 12-17-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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 Old 12-18-2018, 06:14 AM   #6
 
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Thanks for responding!
Could you provide some pictures to be sure exactly what you mean regarding the marks and alignment tip?


Originally Posted by MSMS3 View Post
Yes, see the separate thread here on the Focus strut bearings and top hats.

New strut bearings and top hats are essential, IMHO. When I first put in the B6s years ago, I tried to just reuse the existing OEM top hat and strut bearings. That was a bad decision. I had to order the hats and bearings and do the entire job over again.

No, the bearings are not something you press in or out. They sit on top of the spring and under the top hat. They have little ball bearings inside packed in grease. They allow the strut and suspension to move without making noise. They are pulled up tight to the car body with the top hat's three bolts and the top center mount of the strut. There are alignment marks. The top hat's marks go toward the engine. The strut bearing alignment tab points out toward the wheel.

They are cheap. The Bilstein B6s were still just like new. I read the other thread about the Focus hats and bearings and ordered from that dealer, Tasca Ford. Problem solved. I'll try to look for that thread and add it to this post.

Edit: Here you go. Order from Tasca Ford.

CV6Z-18183-A Strut Mount $15.64 each 2 for $31.28
DV6Z-18198-D Strut Bearing $25.81 each 2 for $51.62

Plus shipping.


Affordable redesigned top hats/struts mounts and bearings from FORD

Disassembly and assembly tip: Note, the three bolts that surround the strut inside the engine bay should be marked for exact location before disassembly. Draw a circle with a fine tipped Sharpie or somilar around each bolt head and/or use a center punch to make witness marks around them in at least two locations on each. This is the front suspension camber adjustment. As the holes are large enough for some degree of adjustment when those bolts are loosened. You want to put those back in exactly the same position as your found them, or your alignment will be messed, up, handling will suffer, and you may get excessive tire wear.
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 Old 12-18-2018, 07:23 AM   #7
 
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Can't take pictures, as the parts are now installed and too deep up under the top of the fenders.

But, the link I posted in my last thread is full of pictures of the alignment tabs on the top hats and strut bearings.

The top hats have tabs on the side that faces the engine. Since the bolt hole pattern is uneven, the holes only line up one way. The tabs just help you save time.

On the strut bearing you want the tab, clearly visible in the photos, pointing out, toward you and the wheel.

I can take a photo from the top to show how to maintain camber alignment. I'll do that later today.

Edit: Time got away from me. Better late than never. Here is a picture of one of the front camber plates. Camber is adjusted by loosening the three bolts and moving the plate around. Only a few degrees of adjustment are permitted, but that is all that is needed. Once dialed in at the alignment shop, I take a center punch and make "witness" marks in several locations around each bolt, so that if a strut needs replacing or if the strut bearings or top hat need replacing, the camber can be returned to its exact location.
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File Type: jpeg MS3 front camber plate.jpeg (582.6 KB, 8 views)
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BNR Stage 1 (to fix smoking K04 turbo), TurboXS 3" Catless DP/RP "Stealthback" into stock CBE, Vibrant 3 inch Ultra Quiet Resonator in RP section, Magnaflow 3 1/2" exhaust tip, Mazdaspeed CAI w/air straightener and K&N conical filter, NGK 6510 Iridium IX one step colder plugs, Hypertech tune, Autotech HPFP internals, Stock BPV (works perfectly), Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R's (stock size on stock rims); Hawk HPS pads; SURE RMM; Grimmspeed EBCS (2 port mode), Bilstein B6's, SPC rear camber arms.

Last edited by MSMS3; 01-09-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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 Old 03-07-2019, 06:18 AM   #8
 
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So I replaced the front struts with Koni STRT (Orange) struts, and I did the Strut Mounts and bearings from the Focus as discussed above, and also did the front sway bushings. I kept the stock springs. After about a month and shortly after having alignment done at a stealership, there is a pop that can be felt in the steering wheel and in the foot pedals, as well as heard from inside the car when turning the steering wheel side to side at low speed, or when changing angles such as backing off of the driveway onto the street. I haven't yet been able to get back to the lift to get under the car and look at what's happening.

In addition, as of last night the front left has started squeaking. I can get out of the car and push down right above the tire and it will squeak, almost as if air is leaking out of the strut or something. It can even be heard while driving slow. It is only about 25ºF here right now, but I don't know that weather is related. The earliest I can get access to a lift is next Tuesday.

What do I need to look for?

I did not do the control arms/bushings or the endlinks, but neither were making sound when I did the struts and were ok. The control arm bushing on the opposite side was in mediocre shape but was not awful.

Thanks for the help!

P.S. - I was indeed stock to start with!
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 Old 03-07-2019, 02:00 PM   #9
 
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It's not uncommon for other suspension parts that were marginal to give up the ghost when you firm up the struts and related components with new parts.

An inexpensive option is to now replace the end links and see if that solves the problem. That's quick and inexpensive. you probably needed them anyway.

Also, the strut bearings and mounts will make noise if you do not install the springs correctly and get the bearing and spring in proper relationship with each other. The Focus bearing will have a tab that needs to be facing the outside for the spring to fit properly. The bottom end coil of the spring must also be aligned with a stop that is in the strut.
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Sunlight Silver '08 MS3 GT Mods: (Sold 1/25/2019 after 10 years of ownership)
BNR Stage 1 (to fix smoking K04 turbo), TurboXS 3" Catless DP/RP "Stealthback" into stock CBE, Vibrant 3 inch Ultra Quiet Resonator in RP section, Magnaflow 3 1/2" exhaust tip, Mazdaspeed CAI w/air straightener and K&N conical filter, NGK 6510 Iridium IX one step colder plugs, Hypertech tune, Autotech HPFP internals, Stock BPV (works perfectly), Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R's (stock size on stock rims); Hawk HPS pads; SURE RMM; Grimmspeed EBCS (2 port mode), Bilstein B6's, SPC rear camber arms.

Last edited by MSMS3; 03-07-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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