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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, newbie here, thanks in advance for your input !
Just got a 2005 3.4 L (3400) v6 base model Impala, 98,000km (60,000mi), 16" wheels, Canadian car. very clean, body and exterior immaculate. Mechanically I'd say it's in excellent shape.
But... the ride is like a boat... no feel of the road at all. Steering seems to be tight and good, no complaints there, but the ride is one I would describe as "floating and disconnected".
Question: What is the most economical and effective approach to making this a firmer and "more in contact with the road" feel, without lowering the car ?

I assume complete strut assemblies would be the place to start... but there seems to be a sea of options when I look online. Can you suggest a specific type ? Can you put police/taxi struts on these base models ? Any suggestions here would be appreciated !
Thanks kindly,
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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Sounds like the struts are probably just shot, have you tried the bounce test? That's where you shove down on the bumper hard and fast and see how it rebounds, front and back. If it bounces, you need shocks/struts, if it pops back up and stays put, they are fine. If you need struts, look for a set of Monroe quickstruts, they come with springs pre-installed, so they are pretty easy to do.
 

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Yep, they are pretty easy to do! I did mine last autumn. Make sure to get the correct Monroe quickstruts for the rear though. I bought a set that are discontinued now, because they have weaker springs on them. So they let the ride height down a bit. I have a thread on it in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, thanks for the tips...
Doing the bounce test, with a qualified mechanic alongside, we found that the struts are getting a little "loose", and bounce a tad more than they should.
So... I want to give this car a firm ride... firmer than stock for the base model. So I don't want to use stock replacements struts for the base model, but stiffer ones.
I've called 2 major auto parts stores, and they can't seem to figure out which stuts will do the job, which are stiffer than the base model units.
Can I put police/taxi struts on this car? How about struts from the LS models or SS models ? They have stiffer suspension, but which struts are they using ? This car has 16" wheels. Would like to get Monroe quickstruts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I just called Monroe to see what they had to say... and the tech support guy said the police/taxi strut (part # 171670) WILL NOT fit my base model car. Whew!! Was just about to order them...
He said I'd have to get some performance struts elsewhere. Anyone have any ideas ?
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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x2 on the Sr4002 KYB strut plus
 

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Mr. Handy
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I would go with kyb's instead! Monroe's are your basic strut so, I would stay away from them. I just replaced my rear's and the ride is nice!

I have one complaint about my rears though (sr4003&4004): The bottom of the boots are not held in place by anything. So they are free to move and dirt can get in. Most shock boots have a plastic washer that the boot wraps around to hold it in place. These do NOT. I was a little confused as to why kyb did this. Anywho it's a simple fix with a few zip-ties and adhesive (if you'd like extra protection).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the feedback, sounds like the sr4002 may be the way to go.

I've not driven one of these cars when new, so I have no reference point as to body roll and "float" when new. I'd like the suspension to be on the stiff side rather than on the comfy side. Not high performance stiff, but stiffer than softer, if you know what I mean.

Those guys that liked the KYB sr4002 strut plus, (and the rear equivalents) can you give me some more feedback on the ride quality ? You say it's really good, but what does that mean?.... Really firm, or really good compromise between comfy and firm ? Or.... ?

I'd like to eliminate the "boat float" all together if possible.
 

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Storm Trooper Ralf
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Firmed up the ride and i feel the front is more aggressive but still has the ride quality. Way better than oem IMO. I got mine from rock auto for like 130 a piece. Autozone wanted 200 for ONE strut
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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The ride is a lot more firm, but still comfortable. Cornering is improved drastically. If you want to corner better and loose a lot of body roll I recommend stb bars, front at least if not rear too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The ride is a lot more firm, but still comfortable. Cornering is improved drastically. If you want to corner better and loose a lot of body roll I recommend stb bars, front at least if not rear too.
1) OK, thanks for that, sounds like that's on the money.
What I want to eliminate is the "boat float" feeling from the ride completely, if possible, that's my number one concern... really hate that aspect. Cornering better would be very nice, too.

2) By "stabilizer bars", you mean sway bars, right ? My 2005 has what seems to be a decent-sized one up front, just from memory maybe 1" or so (is the stock one sufficient?), but the rear one seems to be very skinny, 1/2" or so...? and I kinda laughed when I first saw it... what good could that be? I did a quick check and I can get 7/8" and 1" rear sway bar for around $185 and $250 at first glance. (suggestions?) This move I will consider later, but first gotta handle the float aspect.
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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Na there are upgrades for sway bars. A stb is a strut tower brace. It connects from side to side on top of the struts to add rigidity to the car in turns. Helps with body roll. Your car will keep a more even flat line while cornering, instead of one side dipping down. It's I believe $85 for a set of front and rear brackets from don rome and $60 for 2 strut bars from gmpp. I believe these are the prices. Someone else may chime in to correct me if I'm wrong
 

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Mr. Handy
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If you are replacing the shocks and getting stb's I would also recommend replacing the sway bar links for front and rear. Get some moog greaseables for the rear though.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #15
kyb adjustable struts

I decided to do a little more research before ordering the struts, called KYB tech support. They said the SR4002 strut plus's are about 10% firmer than original equipment. Not too sure that this would be enough for my needs, I asked if there was another option; he suggested the KYB AGX734058 (front) and AGX734059 (rear) adjustable struts; they adjust from 20% to 100% firmer than the original equipment. But they do not come in strut plus configuration.
Since there are no strut plus (complete) KYB struts available at this time for the rear of my 2005 Impala anyways, I'm thinking of going with just the adjustable strut units, re-using the spring and the rest of the existing strut assemblies. This way I can be able to dial in whatever I want. I think 20% firmer over stock is a good starting point. The springs on my car seem fine, it sits a little high actually, or so it seems.
Anyone see any issues with this approach ? Providing all the bearing plates and that are good.... any problems forseeable ?
 

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LIFETIME HILLBILLY
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Replace the bearing plates and the mounting hardware. Depending on the shape of the coils they may be sagging also.
 

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Mr. Handy
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Replace the bearing plates and the mounting hardware. Depending on the shape of the coils they may be sagging also.
Bolts should be fine but, YES I would recommend replacing the Top Mounts, spring rubber seat, and boots. And be prepared to have a PITA of a time with the spring compressors. I would recommend having a second set of hands helping you out with this task.

Also, wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the camber bolts (top bolt on lower side of strut) and get an alignment afterwards.
 

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kyb sr4002 17"wheels

Has anyone tried putting these sr4002 struts on a SS with 17" wheels? I asked the KYB tech and he gave a one word answer. I would like a little more feedback than a one word answer.
 

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Because this thread was already necro'd by another member I will assume it is okay to post.

I am glad I saw this near the top of the 7th gen suspension sub forum. I have the exact same issue with my 2004 LS and was in the process of discovering an economical way to eliminate it. It feels like I am driving around on 4 marshmallows.

I too am looking into the KYB SR4002 Strut-Plus Complete Assembly "quick struts" recommend in this thread. This is the first vehicle I have owned with struts and I have no background knowledge of them. For some reason the term "quick strut" resonates with "low quality" and "lazy approach" in my mind. Is there some type of intrinsic quality disadvantage with "quick struts"? Don't I want "regular" struts and springs?
 
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