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I just changed the front struts and strut mounts on my 98 Mazda 626. The old ones were completely shot. While I noticed an improvement in the ride, it wasn't nearly as much as I expected, and quite frankly the ride is still quite bouncy. While I assume a little of that is probably the rear struts being worn out also, it still just seems really quite excessively bouncy. The tires are properly inflated.

Edit

After replacing the two struts, I push down on the corner, I can barely get it to move ( I'm only 70kg / 155 pounds ) and it comes straight back to the starting position without even one bounce. This may be just because I'm only able to depress it an inch or two.

Any ideas?

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    It is the dampers job to stop the bouncing, so I would replace the rear ones before doing anything else. – HandyHowie Mar 4 '16 at 17:02
  • @HandyHowie Yeck, I really don't want to spring for rear struts just now. Cheap chinese struts are about $75 here, KYB's run about $125. – Robert S. Barnes Mar 5 '16 at 19:13
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OK, so if you've got four worn out struts / shocks, and you only replace the front two your car's gonna ride like a camel with a python latched onto it's nuts.

That's pretty much how my 626 rode after replacing just the front struts. I just changed the rear struts and it's like a whole new car. I can't believe the difference.

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    You have painted a beautiful picture in my minds eye. – MooseLucifer Jun 21 '18 at 19:06
  • I couldn't have expressed it so eloquently.....LOL – Old_Fossil Sep 6 '18 at 7:08
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McPherson Strut presumably? What condition is the rest of the suspension in? Bushes etc? How stiff is it supposed to be? Bear in mind that a family car like that will be more wallowy and bouncy than a small sports car or something...

Ideal would be to compare it to a known-good 626, but I suspect that you don't have another car to compare with!

  • I'm basically comparing to my Nissan Almera ( Sentra ) 1.6L, which is a much smaller car and even though it's struts are worn out still rides way better than the 626 even after replacing the front struts and mounts. I think the guy I bought the car from probably was driving it like this for a few years, so maybe the springs are shot? Would that account for this? – Robert S. Barnes Mar 5 '16 at 19:16
  • shot springs certainly won't help. The two have slightly different effects - poor springs will make the car bounce more, poor shocks will make it keep bouncing - lean on the front corner, if it goes down too easily, but comes straight back then sits still, the springs are shot but the shocks are fine. – Nick C Mar 7 '16 at 9:16
  • When you say poor spring will make it bounce more, do you mean the height / strength of the bounce? You're making me think maybe the shocks I replaced where fine, I did that exact test before replacing the struts and it came back up without even a single bounce... Could you peak at this other question: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/26857/… – Robert S. Barnes Mar 7 '16 at 10:50
  • yeah, the height and how easily it starts bouncing - a soft spring will compress easily, so you'd get a bounce over every bump – Nick C Mar 7 '16 at 11:03

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