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Old 2nd February 2009, 08:32   #1
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Default Zen Front-Suspension Stiffening Reqd!!

Hello Fellow-BHPians,
As most of you know by now, i drive a Zen Lx 2001 old model. I have started to feel the front suspension to be very soft recently. This is very evident when getting down to the speed-breaker (the car sort of sits down and then pops up) or when negotiating curves on High speeds (bends real bad to the opposite side of the curve directions).

I am not looking to changing the whole setup as it wold be expensive. Is there anyway to stiffen the front suspension as is but adding something or modifying it without spending a lot of cash on it. I thought of spacers but then i read that its compromises the handling to a great deal. Can anything else be done?

All suggestions are welcome. Please forgive my ignorance/lack of knowledge in this matter and help me with some layman suggestions as i'm looking at stiffer suspension but not racy ones which will burn a hole in my pocket
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Old 2nd February 2009, 08:58   #2
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Whats the Mileage you've covered? If it is more than 40K, then you may require a new set of shocks!

You could further try a strut brace too!

CHeers
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Old 2nd February 2009, 09:14   #3
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Originally Posted by headers View Post
Whats the Mileage you've covered? If it is more than 40K, then you may require a new set of shocks!

You could further try a strut brace too!

CHeers
Hey that for you response. Sorry to have missed that detail. The car has covered 56k kms. How much would a new set of shocks cost any idea (approx)? can i refill them with the oil or something of that sort ?

Also if i understand correctly the Strut brace will help in reduce the swap on curves but would it also have any effect on the softness while on speed-bumps as well? And how much do these strut braces cost?
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Old 2nd February 2009, 09:27   #4
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AFAIK, Repaired shocks / struts do not last too long & besides, the saving isn't worth it to risk your safety & your vehicle by putting in repaired struts.

I do however suggest that you try to source & fit the front struts from the erstwhile Zen Diesel. These are not only stiffer than the petrol struts with better rated springs but are also not too expensive than the petrol ones.

I suggest you buy them over the counter from a good spare parts shop & get them fitted from a good mechanic.

EDIT: just checked with a friend who has a 2001 model zen & has recently got front struts replaced by Maruti, costed him about 3800-4000 bucks.

Last edited by car_crazy1400 : 2nd February 2009 at 09:33.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 09:50   #5
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Originally Posted by car_crazy1400 View Post
I do however suggest that you try to source & fit the front struts from the erstwhile Zen Diesel. These are not only stiffer than the petrol struts with better rated springs but are also not too expensive than the petrol ones.
This will make the ride much harsher and possibly alter the handling in a questionable way.
Better to replace the worn struts with OEM spec struts.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 09:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenster View Post
Also if i understand correctly the Strut brace will help in reduce the swap on curves but would it also have any effect on the softness while on speed-bumps as well? And how much do these strut braces cost?
Yes it did make the front end of my friend's Esteem stiffer overall, not even on curves but also on potholed roads we could feel a lack of softness. This might be due to reduced body flex. You can use the Zen diesel's front spring to stiffen it up. The dampers are infact the same. If the dampers are shot a new damper would cost approximately 1500bucks (last time i checked which was couple of years ago prices would have changed now).
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Old 2nd February 2009, 10:14   #7
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My 2002 zen completed 100k recently. I've got done the suspension job twice. With a lot of highway travel, wider tyres & esteem rims, the suspension needs to be checked regularly. First job was done by MASS, it was costly. Second time, last year I bought the OEM stuff & got it fitted through a garage.
Struts (Gabriel) - Rs. 2700/-
Suspension arms ( Rane) - Rs. 750/-
Tie rod bush, labour etc - Rs. 250/-

Do'nt go in for oil filled shocks! And always replace both the struts together.

Gabriel is not OEM for Zen, but performs much better. MUL uses Minda ( cheaper by Rs.200.)
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Old 2nd February 2009, 10:19   #8
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Thanks for your suggestions guys. On one side I tend to agree with not compromising the safety of the car and people in and around it and changing to a new setup. However, on the otherhand i am really tending towards putting on strut brace for the time being and see if it makes a difference first? and then may be dampers as well? especially after this: Strut Brace Installation

What say guys? does it sound like a decent plan?

Well Sankar told us that dampers were about 1.5k sometime ago.. Can someone tell me how much would the strut brace cost? and shud i go to a MASS for these or to local store? if local any suggestion in Blore besides JC rd??

Keep your suggestions and answers coming guys, please...
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Old 2nd February 2009, 10:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenster View Post
However, on the otherhand i am really tending towards putting on strut brace for the time being and see if it makes a difference first? and then may be dampers as well? especially after this: Strut Brace Installation

What say guys? does it sound like a decent plan?
I would not agree with this plan. There is no point adding strut braces when the struts themselves are in need of renewal! If the struts are kaput, please FIRST renew the struts and then, if required, think about the brace.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 11:35   #10
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I need to change the front suspension on my Zen too as it has done 80K kms. Can anyone recommend a good independent workshop (not MASS) which will fit Gabriel struts rather than Minda (as recommended by breezyddrive). Thanks.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 13:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breezydrive View Post
Struts (Gabriel) - Rs. 2700/-
Suspension arms ( Rane) - Rs. 750/-
Tie rod bush, labour etc - Rs. 250/-
from where did you buy Gabriel.Is there any trusted distributor around Noida/Delhi.

thanks
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Old 3rd February 2009, 18:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
from where did you buy Gabriel.Is there any trusted distributor around Noida/Delhi.

thanks
Go to Sardar ji's shop in Sector- 16

The prices are of april/ may 2008, pl check the current.

Last edited by breezydrive : 3rd February 2009 at 18:13.
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Old 4th February 2009, 11:08   #13
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@ 56000 kms, your suspension is past its peak performance window and is sagging. That explains the symptoms you describe in the opening post. My recommendation : Get the suspension overhaul, or atleast the absolutely required bits. Don't go for cheap fixes...they are just that (i.e. Cheap).

Quote:
i am really tending towards putting on strut brace for the time being and see if it makes a difference first? and then may be dampers as well? especially after this: Strut Brace Installation
A strut brace is not going to help matters. Unless you corner at 90% of the cars capability (near impossible on public roads), you won't even notice the difference.
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Old 24th February 2009, 11:06   #14
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I had the same prob too with my zen 2000 model MPFI. But then this happened to my only after 1.5Lakh KM. So all I did was took the same OEM spec struts (Please dont go in for the zen diesel struts they are for a much much heavier engine) bought a pair of KONI yellow shocks for the front and installed it. All that needs to be done is cut off the sleeves of the old shocks and reuse along with the koni dampers stem. The whole thing cost me 16K. But if you are not interested in sport performance dampers then go in for the stock suspension set. It cost only 2K a pair.
Cheers.
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Old 26th February 2009, 22:58   #15
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i would strongly advice you to go for OEM struts. you can get gabriel struts, and also change the springs if they have lost the strength.
strut braces are of no use to you. the european chassis are more prone to flex than japanese and for bigger broader cars the strut braces do more work.
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