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Thoughts on Monroe Heavy Duty for GTI

ben_m

Ready to race!
Looking to replace my Shocks as I am at 84,000miles. I got a quote of around $1500 (parts/labor) for the Monroe Heavy Duty setup. Full assembly not sure the shocks. Anyone have any experience with the Monroe's? Usually, I associated them with a lower quality setup but the guy was swearing by it. I am looking for an OEM level replacement, car is basically used to shuffle kids to after school activities and getting to the supermarket or train station. It rarely goes more than 5miles from my house these days.
 

Thumper

Autocross Champion
$1500 seems incredibly steep......

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-bilstein-parts/shocks-struts-kit-touring/22-127414kt/

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-koni-parts/special-active-shock-kit/87451038kt/

And here's OEM

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-volkswagen-audi-parts/shocks-struts-set/1k0513029fakt/

So they are basically charging you $1000 to install? Or charging you more for Monroe's than for Koni's and Bilsteins......and OEM! That's double what it should be, it's like a 4-5 hour job max (labor charge, not real time) plus $90-100 for an alignment afterwards. I would call around and get some comparative quotes, I don't know, maybe where you're at $250/hr is the going rate but I bet you could find a shop in Jersey to do it for half. ;)
 

ben_m

Ready to race!
$1500 seems incredibly steep......

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-bilstein-parts/shocks-struts-kit-touring/22-127414kt/

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-koni-parts/special-active-shock-kit/87451038kt/

And here's OEM

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-volkswagen-audi-parts/shocks-struts-set/1k0513029fakt/

So they are basically charging you $1000 to install? Or charging you more for Monroe's than for Koni's and Bilsteins......and OEM! That's double what it should be, it's like a 4-5 hour job max (labor charge, not real time) plus $90-100 for an alignment afterwards. I would call around and get some comparative quotes, I don't know, maybe where you're at $250/hr is the going rate but I bet you could find a shop in Jersey to do it for half. ;)

The labor was around $600. The shock assembly was $450 for front and $200 rear plus end links. But the fronts are the coilers and not just the struts. I do agree it seems steep. Maybe i'l just have them or someone else do the fronts and tackle the rears w/ a friend
 

Thumper

Autocross Champion
The labor was around $600. The shock assembly was $450 for front and $200 rear plus end links. But the fronts are the coilers and not just the struts. I do agree it seems steep. Maybe i'l just have them or someone else do the fronts and tackle the rears w/ a friend

Oh, so you have to replace the springs too? $600 labor is not bad then, but again, you can buy some better stuff than bare bones Monroe for the same or similar and yeah, save some labor and do the rears yourself at least, they are easy. You can even do the fronts yourself, just rent a spring compressor or if you're really worried many shops will just swap the springs for you and you can still install the unit on the car. Save some money, have a fun project, and get a snappier ride all at once.

Oh, and drive it more than 5 miles, come on these cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed. lol
 

ben_m

Ready to race!
Oh, so you have to replace the springs too? $600 labor is not bad then, but again, you can buy some better stuff than bare bones Monroe for the same or similar and yeah, save some labor and do the rears yourself at least, they are easy. You can even do the fronts yourself, just rent a spring compressor or if you're really worried many shops will just swap the springs for you and you can still install the unit on the car. Save some money, have a fun project, and get a snappier ride all at once.

Oh, and drive it more than 5 miles, come on these cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed. lol
Yes not sure if I want to go with Monroe’s, problem is most coilover sets lower the car which I don’t want to do. Maybe I’ll get the shop to do the fronts and track a buddy down to do the rears myself which will save 300ish.

and yes I know the cars should be driven more. Having 3 kids under 8 kinda kills my free time to do so
 

MrFancypants

Autocross Champion
I‘d stay away from the Monroe shocks. Koni STR.Ts would be my first choice for a budget damper as they’re inexpensive and offer good performance and ride quality. Another option would be Sachs brand replacements, which are probably identical to the OEM Sachs struts that are coming off of your car and come in at about $350 for the set (~$150 less than OEM).

The absolute cheapest option I’d consider for my own car would be Bilstein B4s, which are about $270 for the set. Buying struts separate from springs shouldn’t add much to the labor bill as any self respecting shop should have a wall mounted spring compressor which would allow any semi competent technician to build a strut assembly in a few minutes.
 

ben_m

Ready to race!
I‘d stay away from the Monroe shocks. Koni STR.Ts would be my first choice for a budget damper as they’re inexpensive and offer good performance and ride quality. Another option would be Sachs brand replacements, which are probably identical to the OEM Sachs struts that are coming off of your car and come in at about $350 for the set (~$150 less than OEM).

The absolute cheapest option I’d consider for my own car would be Bilstein B4s, which are about $270 for the set. Buying struts separate from springs shouldn’t add much to the labor bill as any self respecting shop should have a wall mounted spring compressor which would allow any semi competent technician to build a strut assembly in a few minutes.
yes, I was eyeing the Bilstein's. Sachs would be fine also. The point the shop was making is when you take apart the coil-over to replace the strut it never seems to go back the way you intended. I'm thinking I'll need to look at others shops. just annoying cuz the one is walkable from my house and getting a ride to/from another place isn't always the easiest.
 

MrFancypants

Autocross Champion
The point the shop was making is when you take apart the coil-over to replace the strut it never seems to go back the way you intended.
I’m a complete amateur who has rebuilt a number of strut assemblies across a variety of cars and I have never had this problem. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with a shop if they told me their technicians couldn’t doing handle it. Like ok, it’s more difficult than changing the oil, but as far as tasks go it’s not all that difficult and it should be easy for any semi-competent professional.
 

Thumper

Autocross Champion
Yes not sure if I want to go with Monroe’s, problem is most coilover sets lower the car which I don’t want to do.

None of ones I linked to are coilovers, they are factory stryle replacement struts and shocks just made by companies delivering more performance orientated parts. Yes, the fronts are MacPherson strut design which incorporates the spring but they are not "coilovers" in the term of lowering kits.

I’m a complete amateur who has rebuilt a number of strut assemblies across a variety of cars and I have never had this problem. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with a shop if they told me their technicians couldn’t doing handle it. Like ok, it’s more difficult than changing the oil, but as far as tasks go it’s not all that difficult and it should be easy for any semi-competent professional.

Agree here, the shop basically just told you they don't know what they are doing. No matter what you do I would not have this shop touch my car. The spring absolutely goes back the way it should, these are removed and re-installed everyday in competent shops.
 

2012TP

Go Kart Champion
Like others have said above - highly doubt you’d NEED new springs at 84k, but you can poke your head under and visually inspect for any rust/cracks. The line about not going back together properly is a crock of…

Bilstein B4 - $270
Replacement strut mounts/bolts - $130
Labor

You can be out the door for less than half that quote, on a better product than Monroe. I’d even suggest throwing a subframe collar kit in while at it.
 

MrFancypants

Autocross Champion
None of ones I linked to are coilovers, they are factory stryle replacement struts and shocks just made by companies delivering more performance orientated parts. Yes, the fronts are MacPherson strut design which incorporates the spring but they are not "coilovers" in the term of lowering kits.
Some older folks, or people who like older cars often refer to even fixed perch coil spring over shock setups as coilovers even if the perch isn’t adjustable. I think it’s mostly from people who grew up with cars where it was more common for the spring and strut to not be combined.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was confused when people said it that way and then I realized that even Mustangs as late as SN95s (also New Edge?) had the front springs inboard from the struts, seated on the control arm not unlike how our rear suspension is set up.
 

ben_m

Ready to race!
Thanks for the input everyone. It seems my next step is to call some other shops and get some quotes/input. I could probably tackle the rears myself but I'm not willing to dive into the fronts unless I had help w/ someone whose done it a few times.
 
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