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Struts - A Discussion

mew 09/28/2004

Saw the post earlier on replacement struts. I may have missed the answer though. I have a 97 SHO 127,000 miles roughly. I cannot see spending the price for the SARC struts are there any drawbacks to not putting those back on? Also who makes the non SARC struts and where can I get them. Thanks

Jason Weick


Here's some info on KYB GR-2s that I just sent to someone earlier today:

Ron Porter


I got mine from Pick Pro Parts:


These are about $265 for the set of 4. When I got them, they also had shipping (for all 4 total) for $5!!

Shox.com  is also very close, they have a set of 4 GR-2s for $269:


Just go to Shop Online and follow the steps.


Now the big question: Which do you all prefer? I know there are two (known) options: Gabriels and KYBs (and the prices are comparable). Anyone have any experience with both of them?

Ryan Thornton


Gabriels, like the Monroes, are for bread-and-butter soccer-mom cars.

Actually, the Gr-2s are also, but they have better valving....they are sort of in-between soccer-mom and Koni/Tokicos.

I have KYB GR-2s on my '94 with Eibach springs. I formerly have had Konis and Tokicos with the Eibachs, and I am happy with the GR-2s. They are not as firm as either of the above, but they work well at the track, and are livable with the Eibachs on Midwestern roads.

They should be absolutely fine with stock SHO springs.

Ron Porter


There are Gabriel regular and Gabriel Ultras. Not having any experience with anything other than the SARC struts and knowing that the spring does most of the work and that the strut is a spring controller, I feel the biggest thing is the spring and to use the premium strut of the particular brand.

IMHO if the KYBs were so much better then the price would not be the same as the Gabriel Ultras........

KYBs do have that "rare" name so I guess that makes them a bit better. :) But I'm sure they make struts for soccer Mom's too.

Paul Nimz


The GR-2s are their mid-range strut. The AGX 2-way adjustable is above, and there is another level below.

There's also the Sachs/Boge struts, which are supposedly the stock equivalent for Gen 1/2, and are for SARC only (per Shox.com) for Gen 3.

One key issue is how they function with stiffer aftermarket springs. GR-2s can do the job, dunno about any Gabriels until someone tries them. With stock springs, it's the ride level that you want, and there are more choices.

Hard to judge a strut by the price. The SARC-replacement Sachs/Boge are $799 on a "deal" from Shox.com, which is more than the Ford units, IIRC, but I doubt it makes them better. The fact that Gabriel costs the same as KYB doesn't indicate anything to me.

Ron Porter


So let's discuss just what makes one strut better than another.

If the strut controls the rebound of the spring to the point there is no second bounce is that good enough? Can it be better? Are the high performance struts better under continued punishment such as at a road track?

FWIW going to CA I had the custom front springs which were softer and worn out SARC struts in hard mode. I got quite a bit of initial dip comparable to what you were getting Ron. Not much secondary rebound. I noticed that the other cars in the caravan did better with the initial dip, not as extreme.

I now have the SLO springs on which are also shorter but are not stiff enough. The wire spring rate is the same, the number of coils are the same, but the distance between coils and consequently the total spring height is what is different. The taller the spring, the greater the load capacity, the stiffer the ride assuming the same wire lb/in rate.

The Gabriel Ultras control the rebound and if I try to do a bounce test, you can get the car to bounce a couple of inches once by pushing down on it. Although the SARC struts will not let the car bounce when they are in hard mode. I feel the Gabriel's are doing the job at least for now. Lifetime guarantee and easy to get at AZ for $50 each. I just need stiffer springs. My current thinking is getting some T code OEM Gen 3 springs and cutting a coil off.

Paul Nimz



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