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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 Elantra GT:

Yesterday I went out and heard a sort of grinding noise from the rear. I thought it was the brakes. This morning I took it to a mechanic and he said it was the brake pad rubbing on some rust on the rotor.

This evening my wife took the car out and, in addition to the sound, said she smelled burning rubber. So I took it out and after a while figured out it is the bottom of wheel coil (see photo) on the rear driver side rubbing against the tire! I assume the mechanic didn't spot it because it may move out of contact with the tire when the car is lifted up.

What happened here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For those interested, another mechanic looked at the car today and it turned out to be a failed driver side rear strut.
 

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Did the spring seat rot off the tube and drop down to rub edge of tire ??

Did she hit something to actually bend strut tube and kick the seat into the tire ?

Take the tire off and take another pic or 2.. nothing to see in the original pic, tire in the way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From what I understand it was rusted (I didn't personally see it) and the coil spring must have pushed the 'spring seat' down to the tire. The mechanic didn't seem to think the other side needs replacing. However, from what I've read a strut has a limited lifetime and this car has about 80000 miles. I'm pretty sure both are originals.

How difficult is it to replace the strut? I'd rather save the money and have a mechanically-inclined friend help with the other side if it's not a big job.
 

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Take them out, borrow or rent spring compressor and have at it,,,, though might just be easier + faster to carry them into a shop with all the new replacements (shocks/boots/spring seat cushions/bumpers) and have them swap parts..
 

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replace both. Never do one side only especially on old car... unless the shocks are new.
In addition, it might be wise to change the front as well. Rear will be more stiff and "swingy" front can wear rear shocks faster. Besides, it will influence overall stability of the car.

I would change them myself, but one must know how to use spring compressor. If you never used it and are not sure - just don't do that as the spring might harm you if slips off the compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies!

I looked and the front driver-side strut is also rusty. The front is not as bad as the rear was, but does this strut look like it might be on its last leg? (See photo.)

I also looked at the passenger-side front strut and the spring seat looks ok, but below it there looks like a crack and a bit of rust. Any opinions? (See photo.)

Clearly the other three should be replaced, but I can't afford $300/each to have someone else replace them right now. I have a couple of friends who work on cars as a hobby. Besides using the coil compressor, is there anything difficult about doing it? I have the Haynes manual but the description is bleak - I don't think it even mentions a coil compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I came across this video showing how to replace a strut on an early-2000s Hyundai Accent. Looks straightforward. Is this a decent video? Is there anything else I should know before attempting it?


My only question is that he uses a power wrench for removing/installing the top bolt on the strut. Is there a benefit to that beyond convenience?

Or this one:

 

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OK, from those pics I do NOT see how anything was rubbing here...
the spring is sitting where it should be.

I am confused now.

Spring compressor is about 10-20 USD tool (harbofreight or something, even AutoZone can loan it, I guess).
Shocks, each is about 50-60 a piece. Plus some hardware (bushings and whatnot) you may end up spending about 300 total.
Plus full alignment.

BUT again, what is the problem here??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The problem strut was the rear driver-side. It was replaced by a mechanic (he used a Napa part but said it's actually a Monroe). That's ok now.

The two photos were of the two front struts. I was wondering if anyone thought they looked emergency-replacement worthy.

$300 total is quite a bit better than $300 x 3 :)
 

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OK. I get it now.
So front:
Amazon.com: Monroe 71405 Sensa-Trac Strut: Automotive
and
Amazon.com: Monroe 903935 Strut-Mate Strut Mounting Kit: Automotive
and
Amazon.com: Monroe 63619 Strut-Mate Boot Kit: Automotive

50+25+25
the 25+25 might be needed or not. Hard to say. I would use at least new mount as long as the boot is OK.
Therefore, the parts for front come out to be 150 shipped. Plus the spring compressor.
Plus your time...

As for the rust - they always rust. On the picture it is hard to say.
I would rather think IF the struts should be replaced due to wear (they do not dampen the vibrations).

Being 2003 and having 80k miles - do them. Even if the miles are highway only...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks PLP! The previous strut was toast so I expect the other ones are at least similar.

The guy in the first video link I posted didn't use a new mounting kit even though his one looked in poor condition (the second didn't either, though his looked good). How much does it matter? I haven't looked at the condition of mine yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can someone verify I have the following correct?

I need the rear passenger, front passenger and front driver side struts. So:

Monroe 71404
Monroe 71405
Monroe 71406

They are all at Amazon but there was nothing about which is which. I looked around and one website said those parts don't fit my Elantra, another one said they did, and Monroe's website turned up just the 71406/7 for my car.
 

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Monroe's website turned up just the 71406/7 for my car.
go with Monroe website/catalog. I can't tell you more as I will view the catalog just like you do. Amazon is not always the best source of knowledge. You might run cross-reference with other manufacturer or parts stores: rockauto.com, autozone.com and whatnot.

didn't use a new mounting kit even though his one looked in poor condition
the upper mount has a bearing inside what allows the strut to turn. The thing is that with time the bearing gets loose and you can hear some knocking noise. Now, after 80k miles it does have some wear. Not sure how much longer it will last.
If it is OK, one could reuse it.
However, if it goes bad in next 10k miles and you will need to change it then, you are facing the whole job one more time plus extra alignment.

I would change it regardless how good it seems to be. It is 25 a piece while alignment will be 80+ (front only maybe 60...) plus the time needed to do that.
 
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