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i have a important question that i need answered asap! please lol, couple weeks ago i ordered 2 KYB GR-2 Front Struts & KYB GR-2 Rear Shocks From TireRack.com/....Now i've been reading and see a couple people saying that 97 Thunderbirds Dont Have Front Struts!? WTF lol...Do I Need To Send The 2 Struts Back & Get 2 Shocks for the front? Or Whats The Deal?


Jeremy
 

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The usage of the terms 'shocks' and 'struts' is regularly misused. Some people call the front dampers on our cars 'shocks', some call them 'struts'. I say they are shocks. If you ask what is on the front of our cars here you may start a 10 page thread that ends in a lock. I'm sure if you properly ordered the parts from tire rack for your car (correct years: 89-97) you will receive the correct items.
 

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People like to throw around "strut" because of the coilover configuration on these, but a coilover does not a strut make. Struts take the place of the upper control arm in locating the wheel assembly, having the spring go around it was just part of MacPhersons original design. Mustangs(79-04) use a version that mounts the spring between the control arm and frame, but nobody says they have front shocks because the spring aint around them :tongue:

That said, Kyb calls them struts so don't worry about it(unless you ordered them from a mustang)
 

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There was a good explanation of the difference between the two and how it relates to MN12's in the technical articles but the link is currently broken.
 

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a strut aids in the steering of the car......a shock does not.
 

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People like to throw around "strut" because of the coilover configuration on these, but a coilover does not a strut make. Struts take the place of the upper control arm in locating the wheel assembly, having the spring go around it was just part of MacPhersons original design. Mustangs(79-04) use a version that mounts the spring between the control arm and frame, but nobody says they have front shocks because the spring aint around them :tongue:

That said, Kyb calls them struts so don't worry about it(unless you ordered them from a mustang)
This is a perfect summary of what I remember reading in the tech articles. Since we have upper control arms, we technically have shocks...end of story.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I Ordered Them Straight From Tirerack.com Selecting The 97 Thunderbird LX, So I Should Be Good To Go, Thanks For All The Info Guys...Its Good To Know
Thanks!

--Jeremy
 

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a strut aids in the steering of the car......a shock does not.
A MacPherson strut, yes.

But a strut as a structural member (without the word MacPherson attached to it) - is a support member (think of the struts in your attic, for instance.)

By YOUR definition, the strut rods in the front of the car - aren't strut rods!

(What they would be is a whole different discussion).

I say this because technically, from the structural standpoint, they ARE struts, being as how they are the intermediary between the bottom of the spring and the lower control arm. MacPhersons they ain't ...

RwP
 

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Some suppliers sell em complete with new spring and top installed (expensive), that's why they call em struts, which has been explained it really isn't. I bought mine seperate and did the springs at the same time. Make damn sure you have a good set of spring compressors. ;)
 

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They're coilover shocks, not struts in any way at all except the coilover design similarity, which has already been stated "does not a strut make." Most parts stores will list them as struts and most parts store monkeys will not know any better. It doesn't help that Monroe sells "Quick Strut" kits for these cars which are the shock with spring and upper mount pre-assembled. That's what Buckcreekbilly is referring to, and I bet Monroe isn't the only supplier to do this.
And if you buy a set from a parts store, don't bother arguing that it's a shock and not a strut, thinking they're about to give you the wrong part. Their computer is listing them as struts, and they usually think that the computer is never wrong on anything, ever. It is showing the right part, even for those "Quick Struts", it's just wrong on the name.
 

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If it has movable connections at both ends, it's a shock.

If one end is fixed, its a strut.

Ours have a single pivot at both ends, it's a shock.

Mcpherson struts will have two bolts at one end, typically, as the Mustang does. And my Subarus, 83 firebird, and many others. :)
 
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