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I just received from RockAuto a pair of KYB GR-2/Excel-G struts (334500, 334501). One strut's retaining band had slipped off and the piston was protruding through the box.

The piston needs little effort to compress but there is some resistance. It is quite slow to rebound as well.

I checked the other strut (that was still banded in a semi compressed position) and it also is easy to compress and slow to rebound.

I seem to recall (from when I did them on an E32 BMW) that they should be rather difficult to compress by hand and fairly quick to rebound.

I have them both standing upright and will re-test them in a few hours - the banded one is still banded, the other not. I recall this has something to do with letting them settle after shipping? (maybe that was for oil filled shocks)

I've always been told that gas charged struts should not be left fully extended to avoid damaging the internal seals, hence the restraining band (or bailing wire in some cases).

These were on "Dealer Closeout" on RockAuto so I'm wondering if that's a secret code for "Returns / B-stock / Scratch and Dent".

Can anyone here offer any words of wisdom?

Thanks for reading.
 

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This is my opinion understand, but 50 plus years in the biz qualifies me to say this. Those KYB shocks are JUNK! They ride rough, and have virtually no control. In earlier times, they were not bad, but had rust-thru issues with the tubes. Monroe shocks are also JUNK. Monroe shocks are everywhere, and they make Gabriel, Edelbrock, Rancho, and other junk brands.
the best, for the front believe it or not, is the original Hyundai strut. For the rear, I used Bilstein early Toyota Land Cruiser shocks. They are extremely stiff on the Santa Fe, but it sure improves handling, and cornering is awesome. (if you could call Santa Fe suspension awesome. ) You HAVE to press out the original Hyundai bushings tho, and use them in the Bilsteins as the as the Bilstein bushings WILL NOT WORK.
I was working on something for the front, but lost interest as no one was interested in my efforts. (read; shock manufacturers.) At one time Koni had a kit that involved cutting the tops off the original Hyundai struts, and threading the tubes, and using a replaceable cartridge. I believe the cartridge was a Buick Regal prior to 1997. Conversations with Koni revealed they had never sold any, so had dropped their interest. I believe the threading kit is still available. There are a couple of places that will build custom shocks/struts, but the price is the limiting factor. (at least for me anyway)
Your "testing" by compressing them by hand, proves nothing. All original type shocks compress easier than they recover, as they are not a 50/50 type shock, but rather more like 70/30 As for comparing them to shocks from other cars, they are all different.
 

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don't buy struts online, they can break during transportation. For local shops such as advance auto they offer lifetime warranty, without paying any shipping fee
 

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KYB struts may well be junk nowadays but I am pretty sure the first gen Santa Fe's came out with them as original equipment, at least my '03 still has them on. So are you saying that they are no longer the quality strut they were back then? Just wondering.

Sounds like there are no high quality replacements at a reasonable price.
 
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