Chevy SSR Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
In Love With My SSR
Joined
·
2,595 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much should I expect to pay to replace my front struts. I've called around and gotten varying prices, any where from $400 to $575. Is this something a shadetree mechanic can handle? Would it be cheaper if I buy the struts directly from the manufacturer? Can you recommend a brand?
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
How much should I expect to pay to replace my front struts. I've called around and gotten varying prices, any where from $400 to $575. Is this something a shadetree mechanic can handle? Would it be cheaper if I buy the struts directly from the manufacturer? Can you recommend a brand?
I installed a pair of front struts for a Phoenix Fanatic last week. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish. I think the typical shop charge would be for about 2:00 hours of labor since my work speed is a lot slower than a good flat-rate mechanic.

If you are doing it yourself,you will need to buy a good set of spring compressors........ Or borrow a set from a friend. This is not rocket science. Just a bit of tedious work.

My personal recommendation is to use Bilstein replacement shocks, not e Bilstein OEM units.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Mike, would you recommend replacing the stock shocks at the same time as you install the "lowered" springs from your web site?
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
Mike, would you recommend replacing the stock shocks at the same time as you install the "lowered" springs from your web site?
OMG yes........ Once you go through the effort of getting the old struts out to remove and replace the springs, you would be kicking yourself for not changing the shock cartridge at the same time. If it were mine to do, I would purchase the springs, shocks and the upper installation kit at the same time and not even mess with taking apart the old strut assembly....... Just build up a new assembly and install it as a whole package.

Please note...... If you are installing a set of lowering springs on the front, you will not need a spring compressor to install them. The new springs are a bit shorter and they can be installed using the standard hardware.

Mike
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
Thanks - must have missed the upper installation kit.
The installation kit comes from Monroe. Part number 904968. You will need two of them. They are available from your local auto parts store that sells Monroe products.

With these on hand, you will not need to disassemble the old strut when you install new springs.

Regards,

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
So to be sure I understand all parts needed?? Simple Engineering 24-103350 Touring bilsteins shocks, 2 springs and Monroe installation kit 904968 will allow me to build new strut and just bolt on?
 

·
Premium Member
2005 Chevrolet SSR manual transmission
Joined
·
755 Posts
Hey @Mike in AZ after you answer the above question, answer one for me. Are you going to start a backorder list on the front Sport Bilsteins, or actually all fronts, which show to be backordered 'till December? Would it be best to get on the list to assure delivery in case the manufacturer does not release enough product?
Just put on my rear Sport w/lowering springs + bump stops & love the result. After about two weeks the back is down right at two inches measured at the top of the wheel arch.
 

·
Registered
04 Black, 05 Black, 05 Aqua Blur
Joined
·
4,199 Posts
I would recommend watching the video from here on front shocks. SSR Videos from RetroCarGuy530
He does a set and goes over everything from tools needed to how to do it.
I would check prices for the upper shock mounts on Rock Auto. And would also have the front end aligned after your done just to make sure it is good to go. Changing shocks does not move any of the attachment points that effect alignment but the cost of an alignment is cheaper than a set of tires.
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
Hey @Mike in AZ after you answer the above question, answer one for me. Are you going to start a backorder list on the front Sport Bilsteins, or actually all fronts, which show to be backordered 'till December? Would it be best to get on the list to assure delivery in case the manufacturer does not release enough product?
Just put on my rear Sport w/lowering springs + bump stops & love the result. After about two weeks the back is down right at two inches measured at the top of the wheel arch.
Yes, I have a backorder list....... it is in the form of infilled orders through my web site. The truth is that I have a few orders for front shocks that are waiting for them to arrive. If someone orders shocks that I don’t have, the order will be added to that stack. And No, I am not concerned about availability when they are manufactured. I have a lot on order.....

As for the final drop in your suspension...... The average drop is about 1.5 to 1.6 inches. The variability in OEM individual SSR ride height Is well known and I cannot control it. What I can control is the ride height of the new springs. The first batch of Rear lowering springs yielded a range of 1.25 to 2 inches of drop. I am certain that if we put 20 sets of springs onto the same truck, we would get the same ride height 20 times. If we put one set of springs on 20 trucks, I’d wager that we would see a number of different drops.

Mike
 

·
Premium Member
2005 Chevrolet SSR manual transmission
Joined
·
755 Posts
Monroe. Part number 904968 at Summit Racing $26.99
Monroe also available at RockAuto with good picture of contents @ $21.79 each +shipping, and if you are not a RockAuto regular look on line for a discount coupon, usually 5%
 

·
Registered
2003 Chevrolet SSR Black
Joined
·
7 Posts
Mike

I have had good success with several of your upgrades, including the 4 bolt frame brace, abs shield, and under radiator air dam. I just had an incident today where a careless driver decided at the last minute to get into the left turn lane I was already cruising into, and I had to stand on the brakes. Skidded about five feet, heard a popping sound out of the left front, and that side seemed to drop slightly. Pulled over to inspect but couldn't see anything obvious. Drove it back to the RV repair shop where I work and noticed that it was drifting to the left. At the shop we noticed that there was significantly more space between the tire and the front of the wheel well than on the right side. The upper ball joint was also not quite as level as the right side. Lifted the left front and shook the tire for play, but hardly anything, certainly not a torn ball joint. Our ace tech said it could have bent the upper a-arm, but that seems unlikely. Which kind of suggests the strut rod got bent. We did a rough measurement of the hub to hub wheelbases. 16.5' on the right and 15.5' on the left. Are you familiar with anything like this hapening on an SSR. I have had alot of ABS warning lights lately, but hadn't gotten around to getting a new module (if it needed it), as it seemed to be driving fine except for a little jitteriness under braking.

I have watched the video on you tube about replacing the shocks with your Touring model. Do you have a pre-assembled strut with the spring and new moog caps already in place?

Thank you for all that you do

jimmy flynn
 

·
Registered
04 Black, 05 Black, 05 Aqua Blur
Joined
·
4,199 Posts
@gmmy775 I read your post and are your measurements actually off from one side to the other by a foot? This seems like it would have some real obvious issues showing if off that much. I would think a tire would be rubbing in a wheel well bad.
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
Mike

I have had good success with several of your upgrades, including the 4 bolt frame brace, abs shield, and under radiator air dam. I just had an incident today where a careless driver decided at the last minute to get into the left turn lane I was already cruising into, and I had to stand on the brakes. Skidded about five feet, heard a popping sound out of the left front, and that side seemed to drop slightly. Pulled over to inspect but couldn't see anything obvious. Drove it back to the RV repair shop where I work and noticed that it was drifting to the left. At the shop we noticed that there was significantly more space between the tire and the front of the wheel well than on the right side. The upper ball joint was also not quite as level as the right side. Lifted the left front and shook the tire for play, but hardly anything, certainly not a torn ball joint. Our ace tech said it could have bent the upper a-arm, but that seems unlikely. Which kind of suggests the strut rod got bent. We did a rough measurement of the hub to hub wheelbases. 16.5' on the right and 15.5' on the left. Are you familiar with anything like this hapening on an SSR. I have had alot of ABS warning lights lately, but hadn't gotten around to getting a new module (if it needed it), as it seemed to be driving fine except for a little jitteriness under braking.

I have watched the video on you tube about replacing the shocks with your Touring model. Do you have a pre-assembled strut with the spring and new moog caps already in place?

Thank you for all that you do

jimmy flynn
A lot to unpack here......

You should not have had any skidding when you applied the brakes hard. The Anti-lock system should have prevented that and you should have had a chattering brake pedal instead. The mention of ABS warning lights tells me your ABS system is inop and needs to be repaired. Have your ace tech get his OBD2 tester into the system and get the stored codes. Those will lead you to the correct repair on your ABS system.

A hub-to-hub wheelbase check with a one foot difference is not possible..... But I suspect you are correct that the left front wheel has shifted toward the rear. Your eyeball gauge on the front of the tire to fender spacing is all you need.

During hard braking, a failing upper control arm will leave the tire closer to the front side of the wheel well. Having the additional space at the front of the left wheel well tells me that the problem is in the lower control arm positioning. I would start with a check of the lower control arm to frame mount “pinch” bolts. These are the ones that are loosened when making a front end alignment. If the lower control arm mount has shifted, you will see witness marks someplace.... Those three bolts are supposed to be heavily torqued... I believe about 150 ft/lb.... but don’t take my word for it, check the specs yourself.

My bet is that the last person who did a front end alignment didn’t get the pinch bolts tight.
You also need to fix your ABS system........

Let us know what you discover.

Mike
 

·
Registered
2003 Chevrolet SSR Black
Joined
·
7 Posts
A lot to unpack here......

You should not have had any skidding when you applied the brakes hard. The Anti-lock system should have prevented that and you should have had a chattering brake pedal instead. The mention of ABS warning lights tells me your ABS system is inop and needs to be repaired. Have your ace tech get his OBD2 tester into the system and get the stored codes. Those will lead you to the correct repair on your ABS system.

A hub-to-hub wheelbase check with a one foot difference is not possible..... But I suspect you are correct that the left front wheel has shifted toward the rear. Your eyeball gauge on the front of the tire to fender spacing is all you need.

During hard braking, a failing upper control arm will leave the tire closer to the front side of the wheel well. Having the additional space at the front of the left wheel well tells me that the problem is in the lower control arm positioning. I would start with a check of the lower control arm to frame mount “pinch” bolts. These are the ones that are loosened when making a front end alignment. If the lower control arm mount has shifted, you will see witness marks someplace.... Those three bolts are supposed to be heavily torqued... I believe about 150 ft/lb.... but don’t take my word for it, check the specs yourself.

My bet is that the last person who did a front end alignment didn’t get the pinch bolts tight.
You also need to fix your ABS system........

Let us know what you discover.

Mike
Thanx Mike, as always you are the best!
 

·
Registered
2003 Chevrolet SSR Black
Joined
·
7 Posts
@gmmy775 I read your post and are your measurements actually off from one side to the other by a foot? This seems like it would have some real obvious issues showing if off that much. I would think a tire would be rubbing in a wheel well bad.
Mike said the same. Obviously not correct. The actual difference from side to side is about one inch. Now that I am remembering better I realize that we were measuring in inches and it was 116.5 on the right, and 115.5" on the left. Will find out more after I take it to Big O. Thanx for the heads up
 

·
Registered
04 Black, 05 Black, 05 Aqua Blur
Joined
·
4,199 Posts
The brakes could be as simple as the solder joint issue that is pretty common on these trucks. @Dargon2U can fix that for you.

Another thing to look at would be on the same path to what @Mike in AZ mentioned but look at the bolts them selves. When I did work on my 05, I found the rear bolts that hold the lower control arm bracket in place had rusted and I replaced them. There is an opening in the frame where it clamps down on the lower control arm bracket and it allows dirt to get up around those bolts. The front is more protected and the dirt can't get to that one. It might be possible that one snapped. These are off a truck that spent almost all of its time in Texas.
595943
 

·
Registered
2003 Chevrolet SSR Black
Joined
·
7 Posts
The brakes could be as simple as the solder joint issue that is pretty common on these trucks. @Dargon2U can fix that for you.

Another thing to look at would be on the same path to what @Mike in AZ mentioned but look at the bolts them selves. When I did work on my 05, I found the rear bolts that hold the lower control arm bracket in place had rusted and I replaced them. There is an opening in the frame where it clamps down on the lower control arm bracket and it allows dirt to get up around those bolts. The front is more protected and the dirt can't get to that one. It might be possible that one snapped. These are off a truck that spent almost all of its time in Texas.
View attachment 595943
Wow, that opens up a whole new avenue of research. Big O spent all day with the truck and told me that improbable as it seemed to them, they concluded that the upper control arm bent. I fear I am going to go on a replace part and hope for the best mission, Will have a friend look at these lower control arm bolts before I go any further. Thanx for the tip. ssr is parked for the time being. anyone looking for a project??
 

·
Supporting SSR Hobbyist
Joined
·
10,376 Posts
Wow, that opens up a whole new avenue of research. Big O spent all day with the truck and told me that improbable as it seemed to them, they concluded that the upper control arm bent. I fear I am going to go on a replace part and hope for the best mission, Will have a friend look at these lower control arm bolts before I go any further. Thanx for the tip. ssr is parked for the time being. anyone looking for a project??
Of course Big O would want you to believe the upper control arm is bent. That would keep them from having any liability in the problem, since they were the last ones to have a wrench on the lower control arms. They had to loosen the bolts in question to do an alignment, since there are no adjustments at all on the upper control arms.

Think about the direction of rotation on the tire and the direction of forces on the suspension components under hard braking. I would go get a second opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top