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Front Struts for Automatic Leveling?
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arithmetik
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Joined: 16 Jul 2017
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:06 pm    Post subject: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to the forum, as I just purchased a 1997 MPV All Sport with Automatic Leveling this past weekend. I've wanted one for a long time and was able to get an original owner example that's well maintained!! However, the front struts are in need of replacement Sad

Questions:
1. I can't understand why the rear auto leveling is affecting which struts I can buy for the front?

2. Not only that, but it appears that the only front struts available are "w/o Automatic Leveling" -- What are the implications of just using regular struts?

Thanks for your help and I hope I'm not asking a question that has already been covered elsewhere.

Best,
Arithmetik
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Ivstan14
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Joined: 21 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

That confused me for a long time as well. I believe the front struts are actually the same on all models. Why part suppliers have them inventoried that way I don't know. It's only the rear that vary.

I do hope your coil springs are in good shape though. I have an identical model, with bad suspension in need of repair. I can do the work myself, but it appears to be absolutely impossible to get ahold of coil springs for these vehicles anymore. Short of driving five hours to Albuquerque and taking my chances on a junk yard item, I've given up my hope of restoring the suspension.

That being said, Monroe still makes the struts so if your springs are decent you're golden Smile
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arithmetik
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

Thanks Ivstan, I somewhat landed at that conclusion, but thank you for confirming.
I plan on looking into alternate springs - i.e. measuring wire diameter, OD and turns to see if any other vehicle's springs are a close replacement. I'll keep you posted.
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ctom3
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Joined: 17 Mar 2004
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Location: Clear Lake, The Best Part of Houston, TX, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

I haven't considered this before, but here's something that may work for you, Ivstan. There are custom spring shops that will fabricate springs from scratch. I wonder if they could take your old springs, anneal them, pull them back to the right height, then re-temper them. It may be fairly cheap, if they'll do it. Of course, they could make new ones, so you could check the price for new or reconditioned. Just a thought.
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vincentkou98
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Joined: 10 Apr 2016
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Location: Walnut, California, United States of America

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

Im pretty sure that the 2wd struts and 4wd struts are different
So as long as you stay to your right model you should be fine
The label w and w/o automatic leveling doesn't matter
Im still on the OG struts w/ 180k miles right now lol still perfectly fine here
Also change the sway bar link bushings while you're at it since they're so cheap

1997 Mazda MPV 4WD 189K (Towing Package)
Black & Silver 2 Tone
1997 Mazda MPV 2WD 153K
Black & Silver 2 Tone
1996 Mazda MPV 2WD 260K (Parts Car)
White & Tan 2 Tone


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arithmetik
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Joined: 16 Jul 2017
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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

vincentkou98 wrote:

Also change the sway bar link bushings while you're at it since they're so cheap


Thanks for the suggestion. That was my plan as there is quite a racket coming from under the front suspension - I suspect those are the source.
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Joeinoc
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Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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Location: outskirts of suburbia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

I recently rebuilt my front end of my 1996 2wd, New struts, mounts, lower control arms, inside and outside arms, rack and pinion, bushings, sway bar links and bushings.. It was worth it, drives like new, straight down the road. Never though about the springs, Iv never replaced a spring on any vehicle, unless it was damaged in an accident.

Good Luck, Joe

1996 MPV 2wd
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vincentkou98
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Joined: 10 Apr 2016
Posts: 173
Location: Walnut, California, United States of America

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Front Struts for Automatic Leveling? Reply with quote

Joeinoc wrote:
I recently rebuilt my front end of my 1996 2wd, New struts, mounts, lower control arms, inside and outside arms, rack and pinion, bushings, sway bar links and bushings.. It was worth it, drives like new, straight down the road. Never though about the springs, Iv never replaced a spring on any vehicle, unless it was damaged in an accident.

Good Luck, Joe


Changing just the steering rack bushings and control arm bushings on my 4wd made my car drive straight for miles!

Alignments I would do before I changed these two wouldn't even hold true for an hour lol

1997 Mazda MPV 4WD 189K (Towing Package)
Black & Silver 2 Tone
1997 Mazda MPV 2WD 153K
Black & Silver 2 Tone
1996 Mazda MPV 2WD 260K (Parts Car)
White & Tan 2 Tone


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