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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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Discussion Starter #1
2003 sorento ex 98,000 miles
Hello all,
I did some research on here but see that there are 4 different types of front shock/spring setups. Can someone confirm which ones i have?

I took a look underneath and I see a shock with a spring wrapped around it. Is that one assembly meaning that it comes with the spring or does just the shock get changed. The ride quality is just insane when hitting a bump and it jumps left or right while hitting a bad bump on the highway. I also think that maybe the sway bar bushings are bad (they are not tight around bar when suspension is moved) as well and while im at it i guess change the end links too.. Front alignment when done as well.. Gawd the ride quality is BAD....

Are these correct from rock?
AUTO 7 Part # 8650093 Coil-Over; Front Right
AUTO 7 Part # 8650099 Coil-Over; Front Left

Thanks
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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515 Posts
Unless the US models are significantly different to the Aus ones. You can remove the shock / spring assembly (strut) as a unit. The parts however are and can be bought seperately, although you will need a spring compressor to safely disassemble and reassemble the strut.

I don't know how widely ARB stuff is available in the US (I believe they are quite wide-spread over there now) but ARB sell a replacement spring set and matching shocks that transform the ride and also supply a bonus 2" lift if you use your car off road. I've not used this setup personally but it was VERY popular in Australia, and completely fixes the factory setup's tendancy to be too hard on small bumps, but then too soft on big ones.
I have used ARB shocks before on a Ford Bronco I used to own and the improvement in ride and handling was incredible. They are not cheap, but they are good.
Of course if you go this way you will have to replace the rear's as well to keep a balanced suspension and ride height.

Old Man Emu 4x4 Suspension | ARB 4x4 Accessories
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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267 Posts
The 2003 to 2006 were real bad to start of with. Really soft suspension setup.
I just changed my springs and shocks on my 2006, and your should be same as mine.

The front comes out of the car as 1 unit, but then you can remove the shock from the stut assembly to just change out the shock.
Due to the fronts being a strut setup, the shocks are relativley expensive.
The rear is only a eye to eye shock and they are cheap, so i would also recommend changing all 4 shocks. On mine (130000km) the rear was terrible. Bouncing all over the place, i felt like a booble head after a speed bump. Also the rear are real easy to change compared to the front.

With the fronts, some parts of it are a 2 person job.
Daystar web have a lift space to lift the car, and they have instructions on how to install it. In the process the instructions show how to remove the front strut, which is the instructions i used. I am not recomending the Daystar lift space, simply use their instructions.
http://daystarweb.com/attachments/instructions/ka/P11415.pdf

Also if you choose to go Old Man Emu, they are cheaper in the US than in Aus.
Kia lift kit, suspension, accessories
these guys are the cheapest i have found for the OME.

But if your just looking for a better ride, you can simply go the local Monroe's or people seem to also like the KYB. That is if your happy with the stock ride height. They are also MUCH cheaper!
 

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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys,
Thank you very much for the info. Much appreciated.. Yes i will definitely change out the rears as well.. Those instructions will come in handy too :)
 

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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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Discussion Starter #5
I figure its about time to actually do this because drive-ability is just awful..
Im going to order these,

(struts) MONROE Part # 71110
MONROE Part # 71110

and these

(springs) MOOG Part # 81135
MOOG Part # 81135

does this seem right? I looked and i have coils over the struts on my sorento.
Thank you
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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515 Posts
But if your just looking for a better ride, you can simply go the local Monroe's or people seem to also like the KYB. That is if your happy with the stock ride height. They are also MUCH cheaper!
Yes in Australia at least Monroe make OME shocks for ARB in any case. I've used a set of Monroes on my Sportage and they were fine. Another bloody strut set up that is a bugger to replace.

You look good to go with the set up in your links. If you have a pneumatic ratchet wrench it makes doing up the spring compressor much easier and faster.
 

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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes in Australia at least Monroe make OME shocks for ARB in any case. I've used a set of Monroes on my Sportage and they were fine. Another bloody strut set up that is a bugger to replace.

You look good to go with the set up in your links. If you have a pneumatic ratchet wrench it makes doing up the spring compressor much easier and faster.
I do have pneumatic tools and will def be using them. Hey lemme ask you, in most cases is it advisable to change the springs on a 95,000 mile sorento?
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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Well the standard springs are only so , so even when new. I and most Australian users found the standard springs too soft for our third world roads. I know that US people generall prefer a softer ride.
 

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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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Discussion Starter #9
would a standard spring compressor do the trick or is there a specific one?
Thank you
 

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I now drive a 2003 S-10 Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
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I used one from Harbor Freight and it worked fine.

If you don't feel comfortable dealing with the spring compressor check with the part stores and see if they sell assembled units for the Sorie. They sold them for other models a few years ago and maybe added the Sorento to the mix.
 

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2006 Kia Sorento 3.5 5sp Auto
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When i done the job i was having issues taking the front struts apart. I didn't have a pneumatic ratchet. I ended up taking the two old struts and the new springs and shocks to a local suspension store and they re-assembled them for me. was $110 i think in labour.
Just make sure you start early in the day so you have that option.
 

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88 mark vii 98 mark viii 05 ford f-350 super duty 03 e-350 conversion box truck 03 kia sorento ex
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Discussion Starter #12
I do have a local machine shop just encase. I do have air tools and a torch so i will try to manage myself as im also on a budget. I will try n post pics. Should have the parts by the weekend so we shall see.
The ride is so rough on the front end right now, i hope the ball-joints or control arms are ok. Otherwise, the car might have to stay apart until i get more parts. Im used to working on my ford truck lol (3 front end rebuilds). I did buy stabilizer bar bushings and end links. I figure 100k and they should at least be changed. After finished i will rotate the tires and take it to a alignment shop.
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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You can give the ball joints a check before you start, jack up each front wheel and get a helper to rock the wheel backwards and fowards and in and out whilst you check for movement. Also get them to turn the steering wheel slightly back and forth whilst you check the rack ends. A little bit of movement is OK when they are unloaded like this, but any "clunks" mean replacement.

At least the ball joints are bolt in jobbies and so very easy to swap out. The upper one is built into the upper arm, a la Ford Explorer or Toyota Prado / Hilux, so you need to replace the whole arm but this way you get new rubbers as well.

My experience with Kia ball joints is that they seem pretty tough, the ones on my Sportage have done 14 years/ 250,000 Km, and the joints are still good, although the rubbers are beginning to go.
By this milage the (greasable) ones on my Pathfinder were completlely shot and they were driven on the same roads every day.

Ah yes speaking of Ford, I used to own a Ford Bronco and I rekon that the old twin traction beam fornt suspension was a near perfect setup for a 4WD, simple, super strong, and easy to work on, don't know why they ever changed it. If Ford had actually bothered to paint BOTH sides of the panels properly, yes, even the bits you can't see, but DO rust, I would probably still have that car.

Good luck with the changeover, let us know how you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You can give the ball joints a check before you start, jack up each front wheel and get a helper to rock the wheel backwards and fowards and in and out whilst you check for movement. Also get them to turn the steering wheel slightly back and forth whilst you check the rack ends. A little bit of movement is OK when they are unloaded like this, but any "clunks" mean replacement.

At least the ball joints are bolt in jobbies and so very easy to swap out. The upper one is built into the upper arm, a la Ford Explorer or Toyota Prado / Hilux, so you need to replace the whole arm but this way you get new rubbers as well.

My experience with Kia ball joints is that they seem pretty tough, the ones on my Sportage have done 14 years/ 250,000 Km, and the joints are still good, although the rubbers are beginning to go.
By this milage the (greasable) ones on my Pathfinder were completlely shot and they were driven on the same roads every day.

Ah yes speaking of Ford, I used to own a Ford Bronco and I rekon that the old twin traction beam fornt suspension was a near perfect setup for a 4WD, simple, super strong, and easy to work on, don't know why they ever changed it. If Ford had actually bothered to paint BOTH sides of the panels properly, yes, even the bits you can't see, but DO rust, I would probably still have that car.

Good luck with the changeover, let us know how you go.
Thanks,
Yeah last time i had the front up i checked for play and surprisingly enough, it seemed ok so im hoping it still is. Like i said, im used to ford trucks but then again, my ford truck weighs in at 19,000lbs with all of my equipment. A bit more stress for a front end than my sorento lol.. I will definitely let you know and take pics along the way. thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I kinda regret not ordering the ballpoints and upper control arms after seeing how easy they are to change out. Very easy front end to break down. front stabilizer bar and end links shot! Good thing i ordered them. However i wish i did the same for the rear. You can literally grab the rear bar and slide it left and right. Ouch.. Ive also never seen rear shocks in such bad shape omg!! Those rear bushing are kinda hard to find... Oh well, will have it back together in the morning :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I got her all back together but she still rides rough.. While i was under there i noticed, pass side ball joint slight play, pass side outer tie rod lots of play, upper control arms slight play, rear stabilizer end links shot, rear sway bar bushings so loose to the point where you can grab the bar and slide it back and fourth at least 2 inches. I had to get it back together because i need the car this week but next weekend i will break it down again.. I have all of my parts in the cart but i have a question,
is it difficult to disconnect the inner tie rods or do they come out with out issues? I forgot to take notice of this. Im basically doing a close to complete rebuild on the front end. All balljoints, tie rods, end links, bushings, control arms plus all that i changed already. Can anyone think of anything else that should be changed in the process? thank you
 

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2009 Sportage, 98 Sportage, 2012 Tata Xenon, 1944 Jeep
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You mean the rack ends? Can't say as this is the first car I've owned with rack and pinion power steering and so I've never changed any.
I think that they just unscrew out of the steering box once you disconnect the tapered end, and you push up the dust shield out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yeah not sure either but i will just order them. Upon further inspection i'll consider changing them. Im am however having an issue finding the rear stabilizer links for my 03. Rock auto doesnt have them in stock except for 1 make i never heard of and the shipping is too high.
 
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