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 Old 03-12-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
 
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Default Rear Strut Replacement

Hey guys,

I just finished installing my cPE RMM today and when I had my car on the lift I inspected the condition of the vehicle underneath.

My drivers side rear strut is puking oil/grease so it's time for replacement. I'm running a stock suspension and have no plans to lower it. The car isn't tracked so I'm not looking for a big upgrade over stock.

I'm torn between Bilsteins (and I have no idea if I should be getting the B6's or B8's) and Koni STR.T or Koni FSD's. The only issue with the FSD's is that it looks like I need to buy it in a full car setup (fronts and rears).

I like the price of the Koni STR.T and they seem to get decent reviews. Thoughts anyone?

Will I need to buy new bump stops or dust covers? I'm a newbie with all of this...so I'm prepared to be flamed
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 Old 03-12-2017, 04:14 PM   #2
 
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I'm on Str.t all-around on my genwon. Got them for cheap from emnotek.com (like $340 shipped for all four). Definitely better than stock but, if you're really looking to max out handling performance, there are better (pricier) options. I'm pleased with them for what they cost and probably won't upgrade past them until they actually die.
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 Old 03-12-2017, 04:31 PM   #3
 
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I have the FSD's and love them. No noticeable decrease in ride quality, and it handles a lot better (to be properly tested at the dragon in April). Also having a life-time warranty on struts/shocks is a beautiful thing.
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 Old 03-12-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
 
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Thanks guys!

I'm correct in that the FSD's and STR.T's work well with the OEM springs? Both have lifetime warranty I guess.

I think I'll go with Koni's...just need to make up my mind on which.

Will I need to get new bump stops or dust shields?
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 Old 03-12-2017, 07:33 PM   #5
 
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FSD's are fine on oem springs. The dust shields work fine while the car's on the ground, and you could probably get away with re-using bumps stops. Mine kind of crumbled when I pulled the struts out, but my car's a good bit older than yours.
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 Old 03-12-2017, 09:45 PM   #6
 
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I'm running B6s on all four corners with stock springs. Work great. No need to get the shorter B8's unless you get shorter springs.
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 Old 03-13-2017, 04:38 AM   #7
 
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The B6 shocks are 1" longer than the B8's. The B6's are for use with stock springs and the B8's are for use with lowering springs or any setup where the ride height will be lower.

I would get the B6's, as Bilstein can shorten them to the length of the B8's very easily and cheaply (I think $10 a corner) if you want to go that route in the future.
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 Old 03-13-2017, 10:36 AM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Bingo View Post
FSD's are fine on oem springs. The dust shields work fine while the car's on the ground, and you could probably get away with re-using bumps stops. Mine kind of crumbled when I pulled the struts out, but my car's a good bit older than yours.
Sorry, I didn't quite understand what you meant about the dust shields working fine while the car is on the ground. Do they come with dust shields? Or the factory ones should work. I'm thinking I'll just replace the bump stops as well...did you use replacement OEM stops?
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 Old 03-13-2017, 10:42 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post
The B6 shocks are 1" longer than the B8's. The B6's are for use with stock springs and the B8's are for use with lowering springs or any setup where the ride height will be lower.

I would get the B6's, as Bilstein can shorten them to the length of the B8's very easily and cheaply (I think $10 a corner) if you want to go that route in the future.
Are the B6 shocks "equivalent" to either the Koni FSD's or STR.T's? Which brand is better in terms of reliability/durability? The Koni STR.T's are slightly cheaper than the Bilstein B6's and I have quite a bit of maintenance work coming up with my valve cleaning, fuel injectors, and alternator replacement. So in light of that, less expensive with good quality is what I'm looking for.

For me, this is basically boiling down to either the Koni STR.T's or the Bilstein B6's. And last question...I'm probably going to order these from Edge Auto Sport. Are there any other vendors I should look into?

Thanks so much for your input!
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 Old 03-13-2017, 10:54 AM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Sorry, I didn't quite understand what you meant about the dust shields working fine while the car is on the ground. Do they come with dust shields? Or the factory ones should work. I'm thinking I'll just replace the bump stops as well...did you use replacement OEM stops?
Ya, I went with OEM. As for the dust shields, you re-use the OEM ones, but I couldn't find a way to attach them to the bottom end of the strut on the FSD's, instead they hang from the top of the strut (instead of on the OEM where it's a sleeve that attaches both to the top and bottom). When the car's in the air (jacked up or flying over a 20 foot dune in the desert), the shield covers the top 75% of the shaft, but it makes no difference on the ground. My whole point in saying that was to not worry about the shield not quite fitting properly.
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 Old 03-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Are the B6 shocks "equivalent" to either the Koni FSD's or STR.T's? Which brand is better in terms of reliability/durability?
Can't say, honestly. I can tell you that in terms of damping characteristics, the fronts are way more important, so I would really recommend buying a set of all four shocks, whatever you end up going with. I have both the Bilstein B6 and the Koni Sport (yellow) and they have both had their positives and negatives for me.

I saved a bunch of money by buying my Bils from RPM. The Koni's I bought used. Check Amazon.com's pricing. Last I checked they were still one of the cheaper options. I would be comfortable buying either of these shock brands used honestly. They are pretty durable for most people.
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 Old 03-13-2017, 03:46 PM   #12
 
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I talked to a guy named Marlon (? not sure, haha) at Edge Auto Sport and he says he can provide me with new OEM bump stops for an additional $6 per piece.

I think I will just go for the Koni STR.T's for now since it sounds like I can't really go wrong. They're slightly cheaper and both Koni's and B6's seem to get solid reviews.

Thank you for the help guys!

I'll watch a few how-to videos on the installation and look at the shop manuals. I'm assuming I won't need an alignment if I'm just doing rear struts? I'll be installing myself.

Originally Posted by sharksinspace View Post
I'm on Str.t all-around on my genwon. Got them for cheap from emnotek.com (like $340 shipped for all four). Definitely better than stock but, if you're really looking to max out handling performance, there are better (pricier) options. I'm pleased with them for what they cost and probably won't upgrade past them until they actually die.
Unfortunately, Emnotek doesn't ship international (Canada).

Last edited by Duey1083; 03-13-2017 at 03:46 PM. Reason: MSF Database - Automerged Doublepost
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 Old 03-13-2017, 05:33 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
I talked to a guy named Marlon (? not sure, haha) at Edge Auto Sport and he says he can provide me with new OEM bump stops for an additional $6 per piece.

I think I will just go for the Koni STR.T's for now since it sounds like I can't really go wrong. They're slightly cheaper and both Koni's and B6's seem to get solid reviews.

Thank you for the help guys!

I'll watch a few how-to videos on the installation and look at the shop manuals. I'm assuming I won't need an alignment if I'm just doing rear struts? I'll be installing myself.



Unfortunately, Emnotek doesn't ship international (Canada).
I forget how lucky I am...I live 45min from the border and maintain a us box so I can order what ever I want...
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 Old 03-14-2017, 10:14 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
I talked to a guy named Marlon (? not sure, haha) at Edge Auto Sport and he says he can provide me with new OEM bump stops for an additional $6 per piece.
The rear bump stops basically never go bad while the fronts are short lived and should be replaced.
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 Old 03-14-2017, 10:18 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post
The rear bump stops basically never go bad while the fronts are short lived and should be replaced.
My passenger rear disintegrated when I took it off; it looked like it was 25 years old. It may have just been me, but it's a cheap part so I'd pick up new ones anyway.
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 Old 03-14-2017, 12:25 PM   #16
 
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The rears on these cars are incredibly short-lived. I would never recommend buying new ones to anyone.
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 Old 03-14-2017, 12:42 PM   #17
 
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Yeah...I'd rather have the new part and not need it (but use it anyway), than need it and not have it.

At $6 a piece, it's worth the added insurance.
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 Old 03-14-2017, 05:59 PM   #18
 
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Apparently this isn't as straight forward as I thought it was going to be. The bump stops that they have on Edge Autosport look nothing like the OEM ones.

Can anybody confirm if these are the bump stops that I should be purchasing?

Mazda OEM Bump Stop REAR Mazdaspeed 3 2007-2013 - EdgeAutosport.com
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 Old 03-14-2017, 06:04 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Apparently this isn't as straight forward as I thought it was going to be. The bump stops that they have on Edge Autosport look nothing like the OEM ones.

Can anybody confirm if these are the bump stops that I should be purchasing?

Mazda OEM Bump Stop REAR Mazdaspeed 3 2007-2013 - EdgeAutosport.com
They are different but do work for our cars. You're fine to use those.
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 Old 03-14-2017, 06:44 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Bingo View Post
They are different but do work for our cars. You're fine to use those.
Thanks @Bingo;

I wonder if the OEM dust shields will fit over those bump stops...
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 Old 03-14-2017, 07:23 PM   #21
 
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Does anyone know if the Koni yellows are the same height as stock? I'm in between b8 of koni yellows but currently on swift springs and waiting for stock shocks to take a shit.
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 Old 03-15-2017, 05:26 AM   #22
 
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Koni yellows are the same length as the B6's. However plenty of people use them for lowered applications and they work fine. The Bils, I wouldn't use the B6's for a lowered car without having the shaft shortened and also cutting down the internal bump stops.
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 Old 03-15-2017, 06:58 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by thems3driver View Post
Does anyone know if the Koni yellows are the same height as stock? I'm in between b8 of koni yellows but currently on swift springs and waiting for stock shocks to take a shit.
I'm currently on koni yellows with swifts and have no problems. IMO, don't wait for your stock shocks to wear out, go ahead and get the yellows as soon as you can. I rode around for 9 months on stock shocks before getting proper ones and was astounded at the difference....all the bounciness I had with the stockers was gone and the ride smoothed out dramatically.
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 Old 03-15-2017, 07:31 AM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Apparently this isn't as straight forward as I thought it was going to be. The bump stops that they have on Edge Autosport look nothing like the OEM ones.

Can anybody confirm if these are the bump stops that I should be purchasing?

Mazda OEM Bump Stop REAR Mazdaspeed 3 2007-2013 - EdgeAutosport.com
That's not the bumpstop (jounce bumper) for the shock shaft.

That's the true bumpstop that attaches to the lower control arm. You shouldn't need to replace it.

*Pay no real attention to the lines drawn on this pic... They're only there because I stole this image from an Edmunds article about suspension, though one of the white arrows does happen to be pointing to the bumpstop...

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 Old 03-15-2017, 08:37 AM   #25
 
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My mistake, that was a different link then I thought. I know they make front bump stops (I would assume rear as well but maybe I'm wrong) that are slightly taller then OEM, and that's what I use without issue.
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 Old 03-15-2017, 10:01 AM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by Nliiitend1 View Post
That's not the bumpstop (jounce bumper) for the shock shaft.

That's the true bumpstop that attaches to the lower control arm. You shouldn't need to replace it.
Thank you for the clarification @Nliiitend1;

If my stock bump stops are shot, it doesn't look like I can order new OEM ones from Mazda (or anywhere for that matter) without ordering the complete OEM rear struts.

I think I will just use the VW Jetta/Golf bump stops (and trim them to OEM length) as indicated in this thread:

option for OEM style rear bump stops

My new Koni's are on order!

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 Old 03-15-2017, 01:10 PM   #27
 
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You looking for this? I'm confused http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....nid=347&jpid=1
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 Old 03-15-2017, 01:12 PM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by AwAfrican View Post
You looking for this? I'm confused More Information for MONROE 906980
Isn't that for the front struts?
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 Old 03-15-2017, 01:25 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Isn't that for the front struts?
woops that it is...

Which part you referring to? PN#28-021A?

http://www.jimellismazdaparts.com/im...ze/4B21Q91.jpg

edit: if you go to this link you can order any of those parts... http://www.jimellismazdaparts.com/sh...category=20286
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 Old 03-15-2017, 03:55 PM   #30
 
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Originally Posted by AwAfrican View Post
woops that it is...

Which part you referring to? PN#28-021A?

http://www.jimellismazdaparts.com/im...ze/4B21Q91.jpg

edit: if you go to this link you can order any of those parts... 2013 Mazda 3 REAR SUSPENSION MECHANISMS
I'm only looking for the bump stop that slides into the upper shock mount for the rear struts. It's what the dust cover attaches to.

Looking at those diagrams, it appears to all come as one assembly; Mazda OEM strut, Mazda OEM dust shield, and Mazda OEM bump stop.

The reason I went with the Koni's was so I could hopefully end up with a higher quality replacement over the OEM struts.
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 Old 03-16-2017, 05:03 PM   #31
 
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Originally Posted by Duey1083 View Post
Thank you for the clarification @Nliiitend1;

If my stock bump stops are shot, it doesn't look like I can order new OEM ones from Mazda (or anywhere for that matter) without ordering the complete OEM rear struts.

I think I will just use the VW Jetta/Golf bump stops (and trim them to OEM length) as indicated in this thread:

option for OEM style rear bump stops

My new Koni's are on order!
That's what I'd probably do.
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 Old 03-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by Nliiitend1 View Post
That's what I'd probably do.
I ordered a set of the VW bump stops from Amazon...not sure if they're FEBI or Bilstein...they may be an aftermarket set. I'm not terribly worried about it though.

Thank you for your help!
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 Old 03-19-2017, 12:28 PM   #33
 
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Quick question...when I'm ready to replace the front struts on my car, I'll also replace them with Koni STR.T's, which I understand make the front of the car sit about 0.25" higher than OEM.

Is there a set of lowering springs I can put on the car that drops it less than 1"? The least drop I've seen are the Corksport Springs, which still drop it quite a bit. I just want to have an idea of what to put on my car for when that time comes.

Thanks!
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 Old 03-20-2017, 03:36 AM   #34
 
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I doubt the ride height will change all that much, if at all. You can always remove them and then put other springs on later if you prefer. Once you get the struts off for the first time, subsequent removals are a lot easier.
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 Old 03-20-2017, 06:20 PM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post
I doubt the ride height will change all that much, if at all. You can always remove them and then put other springs on later if you prefer. Once you get the struts off for the first time, subsequent removals are a lot easier.
Awesome! Thanks a ton to everyone for helping me with this decision. I'm looking forward to the install this weekend
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 Old 03-24-2017, 06:25 PM   #36
 
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Hey guys,

So I received my new Koni shocks. I noticed that I might be missing the plastic cap that goes over the shock body (see pic).

The only hardware that came with my shocks was a plastic washer and two nuts. To be honest, I have no idea why it came with two nuts. Sorry for my newbness.
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 Old 03-27-2017, 11:54 AM   #37
 
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I have no idea what that plastic washer is. Maybe it's used to assist with adjusting the rebound damping setting (which is a pain, I have to say). The nuts are to fasten the shocks to the top mounts. The top mounts have the bump stop and plastic cover pressed into them and those aren't included with any new shocks other than Mazda OEM shocks AFAIK.
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 Old 03-27-2017, 01:38 PM   #38
 
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The plastic washer sits on top of the shock body, and acts to help keep crap from accumulating on top of the dust seals.
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 Old 03-27-2017, 02:15 PM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by Nliiitend1 View Post
The plastic washer sits on top of the shock body, and acts to help keep crap from accumulating on top of the dust seals.
I had found some information from an Integra forum of all places. Apparently this plastic washer is very important.

The plastic washer has a small cut in it to form a "C" shape. It sits on top of the shock body obviously, but its purpose is for times of full compression, when the bump stop comes into contact with the shock body, there are two vents on the body that need to VTA. Without the plastic washer, the bump stop could potentially seal those vents, which could lead to blown seals within the shock. The slit in the washer allows the air to vent even when in contact with the bump stop.
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 Old 04-12-2017, 08:40 AM   #40
 
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I have had these rear shocks on for a little over a year, they already need to be sent out for replacement due to them leaking. Have any of you guys ever used Koni's lifetime warranty before?
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