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2005 Mazda 6i sedan && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace worn front shocks (dampers leaking and rattling), and two tires. I'd like to put in some nicer-than-dollar-store suspension bits, but don't want to get cheap-o tires. So, I am looking for ways to save money on the suspension side:

Leaning towards KYB over MOOG or Monroe for new struts, because I'm shopping via Rock Auto and those are the choices . Except, there's no KYB quick-strut for the Mazda on there. Let's look at the Chassis Cousins... 2006 Fusion, yep, it's got a KYB assembly listed! 2006 FORD FUSION 2.3L L4 Strut / Coil Spring / Mount Assembly | RockAuto
And, interestingly, the "bare" KYB struts for Fusion are nearly $25 cheaper each than the "6".

Now, I've been reading threads here about how the Fusion is a softer ride / spring rate than the 6, and also might be dealing with some more weight, so might raise up the front. I got to thinking that (1) my springs are probably still OK, and (2) what if I reuse the springs to couteract the Fusion "lift"?

Assuming I need new "everything" except springs -- mount, bearing, seats, bump stops, strut, I'm looking at about $340 shipped for just the front for the "6" parts. If I can find the Fusion KYB assemblies for <$150 each, that'll get me new springs and still save.

Now, looking at KYB's catalog, the "6" struts vs the Fusion struts alone have about 1.5" of additional extension, though both have similar minimum/compression lengths. Second question: am I getting in trouble by using what's maybe a taller spring in a strut that doesn't extend as far? Better to stay with the complete Fusion unit?

And, as always, any other suggestions?
 

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2005 Mazda 6i sedan && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean wagon
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Discussion Starter #3
Actually, I might be all over that... good timing! I'll message you, might have other small-part requests too, but will see about shipping quotes to HI.
 

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2005 Mazda 6i sedan && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean wagon
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Discussion Starter #5
Thread bump for any other opinions on the mix-and-match. Used parts sale hasn't gone anywhere yet, and weather's nice here so I'm past due to fix them.

Or, has anyone used MOOG strut assemblies? I know they'll probably be "worse" than OEM, but vs 200,000 miles anything'll be better. Plus, I think at least one mount is going, so $$wise the assembly beats the KYB individual parts by about $150.
 

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Rally Racer
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Thread bump for any other opinions on the mix-and-match. Used parts sale hasn't gone anywhere yet, and weather's nice here so I'm past due to fix them.

Or, has anyone used MOOG strut assemblies? I know they'll probably be "worse" than OEM, but vs 200,000 miles anything'll be better. Plus, I think at least one mount is going, so $$wise the assembly beats the KYB individual parts by about $150.
Just pick up a pair of KYB GR/2 strut cartridges for $100. The Rock has them on clearance now.
Keep your strut housing, spring and bump. Replace the strut mount if the thrust bearing is shot. The Gabriel tops are $27 and include the bearings.

The cartridges are fairly simple to replace and it's the thrust bearing that tends to dissolve inside the strut mounts.

I have used those quick-struts on customer cars before and while they are easy I have seen small variations in springs from right to left.
 

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2005 Mazda 6i sedan && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean wagon
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Discussion Starter #8
Weather, 'rona and help with pulling them have gotten in the way.
Aye, I understand how it gets. No hard feelings, didn't mean to come off sour in my post. I mean, I'm the one driving the car, and I've still not gotten around to touching mine. You've got even less motivation to tinker on suspension than me ;-)
 
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