Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

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KOSMOSVT
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Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:28 pm

Hello, everyone. I finally got around to lowering my wives 2009 Vibe GT. We've own the car almost 5 years and front left strut went bad a little while ago and through it off but recently the right front strut went bad too. So time for the fix. Well, not trying to dump a grand into her; I went with KYB struts front and back and decided to go with TRD springs. The front went good and while instaling the rear, we ran into some problems. The lower mount hole that mounts to the A-arm?!? with a bolt; is way to large. The bolt looks three sizes to small. I instantly assumed Rockauto sent me the wrong part. I confirmed with my order (PN 340018) yup; that's the part I got. Confirmed with O'Reilly's; yup thats the right part and I even confirmed with Autozone. It's correct. I tried calling up KYB but due to it being Good Friday yesterday, no tech support but customer service was there and she did confirm; it's supposed to be the right application. For Sh#ts and Giggles; I ordered a set of Monroe; for my 2009 Vibe GT; and guess what? Same crap; lower mount hole being to big. Now; I could've went ahead and installed the over size lower mount hole with my original bolt; but I'm pretty positive that their would be alot of clanking around back there while hitting a bump or crack in the road. So my rear original struts were still in good shape; and reinstalled them on the car with my TRD springs and the car does ride nicer. I planely wanted to get ride of some of that Top-Roll while turning corners. I still want those struts to be on the car. Has anyone had this issue? What the car needs is some sort of bushing or sleeve/collar to go inside the mount hole to downsize the size of the hole so my factory mount bolt will fit without play. BTW, I know there was alot of doubts whether the TRD springs would fit on 09-10 GT's but I'm proof. They fit perfectly. It's the struts that I'm having problems with :( Any idea's or info would be appreciated. Thanks, Kosmo

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vibenvy
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:10 am

So, you're saying you installed Matrix 2009+ TRD lowering springs on your 2009 Vibe GT without any issues with them fitting properly, etc.!?! You must post pictures immediately! If I could use the TRD springs, I may actually consider lowering my 2009 Vibe GT since the TRD springs are only 0.5" in the front and 1.5" in the rear. I'm not looking for the huge drop that the 1st gen Vibe / Matrix lowering springs provide on the 2nd gen Vibe GTs.
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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:18 pm

Yup, no issues at all. I do have pictures; but computer is being a little querky right now. I have them on my phone and I could shoot them to you via text or might have to wait til this coming up weekend. My brother in law is a computer engineer for HP and needs to do work on my PC. That's why TRD were my deciding factor. I really didn't want a lowered vehicle, but wanted to reduce the top roll.

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:30 pm

The only other problem with my set up is I still have the stock OEM struts in the rear (until I figure out why the mounting hole is too large) but the small issue I have riding on stock struts in rear; is I still have a .68 degative camber on right side and .48 on left side. Can't get anything better out of it at the allignment shop. But, the KYB and Monroe struts have a higher spring plate (basket that the spring sits on) which I believe would help my half degree camber. I know traditionally; all IRS sports car ride negative camber. (all Z's, G35's, Porshe etc) Great for handling but sucks for improper interior wear. Once I get some sort of sleeve or collar to upsize the bolt, I will install the rear struts and retweak my allignment in the rear.

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:28 pm

vibe3.jpeg
Front struts
vibe3.jpeg (5.62 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe2.jpeg
Front struts
vibe2.jpeg (5.62 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe9.jpeg
Finished product
vibe9.jpeg (8 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe9.jpeg
Finished product
vibe9.jpeg (8 KiB) Viewed 1582 times

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:30 pm

Here is some more pictures TRD springs on a 09 GT.
Attachments
vibe6.jpeg
Front
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vibe5.jpeg
Rear struts
vibe5.jpeg (6.59 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe4.jpeg
Comparison with stock TRD vs OEM
vibe4.jpeg (6.59 KiB) Viewed 1582 times

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:33 pm

here are some more pictures TRD springs KYB struts 09 Vibe GT
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vibe10.jpeg
vibe10.jpeg (10.07 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe9.jpeg
vibe9.jpeg (8 KiB) Viewed 1582 times
vibe8.jpeg
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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Here are a couple more pictures. Sorry of the order and style of me posting these. Pretty new to this. Kosmo
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vibe03.jpeg
Finished Product
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vibe02.jpeg
KYB 340018 oversized mount hole?
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sideshowalan
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by sideshowalan » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:11 am

What did the old shock absorber mounting holes look like?
I believe there should be a bushing in there with a smaller hole in the middle for the bolt.
Dumb question but is the bushing in the new shock box?
Could you reuse the bushing from the old shock?

Let us know how it turns out.
2008 Pontiac Vibe
2008 Toyota Sienna XLE
(Former 2003 5-speed Vibe owner)

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:44 pm

You know; It appeared to look as a solid bushing on the originals. I'm gonna have to relook at it. I know I'm gonna have to pull it completely apart again, to even gain a visual. We installed the spring on the new strut and bolted the top end in place; we noticed the hole size all immediately got upset thinking they sent us the wrong product. Because I didn't want to try finishing the job in the dark; we jump back on reinstalling the old struts with the springs. We didn't try to separate the the bushing or at least see if it would separate. It was heat of the moment; PANIC. I know the originals were actually still good; but I sure would like the KYB's on. Now you got me thinking? If there is a sleeve or collar on the inside of the bushing on the lower mount; that would explain why the Monroe was the same size.

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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:02 pm

Another picture, but my wife took it; while the sky's were a little clearer.
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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:03 pm

One more; a little closer look
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bigblue
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by bigblue » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:51 am

KOSMOSVT wrote:Another picture, but my wife took it; while the sky's were a little clearer.
hey thanks for posting, it looks great. I've been shopping for lowering springs and it looks like I may be going TRD now. I can't seem to enlarge any of your pictures beyond a thumb nail. Can you repost a few or link to photo bucket?
2009 GT

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vibenvy
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:52 pm

bigblue wrote:hey thanks for posting, it looks great. I've been shopping for lowering springs and it looks like I may be going TRD now. I can't seem to enlarge any of your pictures beyond a thumb nail. Can you repost a few or link to photo bucket?
I agree! Thanks for posting the pictures, but I can't enlarge them either so it's pretty much impossible to get a good idea of how much lower the Vibe actually sits. I would suggest hosting your pictures on a website like Flickr, Photo Bucket, etc. and than posting them here so we can see some bigger pictures. Also, here's a writeup on posting pictures that KITT222 did that may help you out.

So, how is the ride compared to stock? Is it noticeably harsher or about the same (since stock is already pretty stiff)?
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KOSMOSVT
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by KOSMOSVT » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:58 pm

Well, I figured out my rear strut problem. Apparently when they were building my 09 GT in the month of October 2008 they ended up using AWD rear struts. According to KYB tech, they said the 340018 which was called for my specific car for rears. Those didn't fit; my lower eyelet mount has a much smaller mount bolt. 16.5 mm compared to 22mm of the one's that are said to be with my car. Also, my OE rear strut is approx 4" shorter in overall length than the 340018. I gave them the dimentions of my existing or stock rear strut and the match up would be the 340017; being the right size. So to all you that plan on changing your struts; Even though Autozone, Kragen/O'reilly and Rock Auto might show you the part you need; don't be to surprised that it might be slightly different. lol KYB says this happens when cars get a major overhaul and manufacturer's don't like to waste parts. I didn't see anyone else having any problems but doesn't look like many people changed out there rear struts yet, either. BTW remember; if you have a GT or IRS 09-10 GT or XRS; the rear camber is non adjustable. I have almost a 3/4 degree camber on one side and little over 1/2 on the other :x . So; you'll need to buy shims if you use TRD springs. ;) But the car looks and corners much better :D V/R Kosmo

bigblue
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by bigblue » Fri May 01, 2015 1:00 pm

Hey Kosmo, how much time did it take for you to switch out your springs and struts? I'm about to do the same project. Thanks.
2009 GT

Pretzel59
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by Pretzel59 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:09 pm

Do you have the part numbers for everything ?
Does anyone know if I can get coilovers for my 09 Gt

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vibenvy
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Wed May 08, 2019 3:30 pm

I am currently dealing with this exact issue with my mom's 09 GT which rolled off the line at NUMMI on October 29, 2008!

Her Vibe went to the shop this morning to get new front and rear struts installed. The shop owner called me at work this afternoon and said the mounting holes on the rear struts were way too big. I had purchased KYB #340018 rear struts per KYB's listing for the 2009 Vibe GT. I immediately remembered this post and told the shop owner about it. After work, I stopped by the shop and pulled up the two part numbers on KYB's site. As soon as he saw the picture of the AWD strut, #340017, he said, "Yep, that's the one you need!"

Fortunately, I live about an hour from JC Whitney, so I am going there to pick up two of the AWD rear struts #340017 tomorrow after work, so the shop can wrap the install up on Friday.

Definitely take a good look at your rear struts before ordering new ones to save yourself a headache!
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zbyers
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by zbyers » Thu May 09, 2019 3:31 am

vibenvy wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:30 pm
I am currently dealing with this exact issue with my mom's 09 GT which rolled off the line at NUMMI on October 29, 2008!

Her Vibe went to the shop this morning to get new front and rear struts installed. The shop owner called me at work this afternoon and said the mounting holes on the rear struts were way too big. I had purchased KYB #340018 rear struts per KYB's listing for the 2009 Vibe GT. I immediately remembered this post and told the shop owner about it. After work, I stopped by the shop and pulled up the two part numbers on KYB's site. As soon as he saw the picture of the AWD strut, #340017, he said, "Yep, that's the one you need!"

Fortunately, I live about an hour from JC Whitney, so I am going there to pick up two of the AWD rear struts #340017 tomorrow after work, so the shop can wrap the install up on Friday.

Definitely take a good look at your rear struts before ordering new ones to save yourself a headache!
You should post a side-by-side comparison of the two struts if you can. I'm intrigued such a small difference would have been made on them.
(2) '03 Bases, '03 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '09 AWD
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vibenvy
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Thu May 09, 2019 3:49 pm

For starters...

#340017 (AWD)
• extended length: 13.79
• compressed length: 10.89
• stroke length: 2.9

#340018 (FWD)
• extended length: 17.02
• compressed length: 12.57
• stroke length: 4.45

And then there's the size difference of the lower mounting holes...

#340017 (AWD)
Image

#340018 (FWD)
Image

*UPDATE* JC Whitney does not stock KYB struts at their warehouse, so I ended up ordering a pair of the #340017 AWD struts on eBay. They are guaranteed to arrive by Tuesday May 14th. The shop is going to just keep my mom's Vibe until the new struts come in since they have everything torn apart already.
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by zbyers » Fri May 10, 2019 3:24 am

Very interesting difference. For sharing the same subframe, I'm shocked :lol: that they used mixed and matched random suspension components.
(2) '03 Bases, '03 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '09 AWD
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Tue May 14, 2019 6:37 pm

Got my mom's Vibe back today! AWD rear struts fit perfect! Everything looks and feels great! I will get some pictures this weekend after I get the Vibe fully detailed.

The same shop is going to check out the rear struts on my Vibe so I know which ones to order. I'm hoping I'll luck out and be able to use the #340018 FWD ones on mine, but I'm thinking I probably won't get that lucky :|...
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Re: Lowered 09 GT, having rear strut problem

Post by vibenvy » Wed May 15, 2019 1:33 pm

vibenvy wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:37 pm
The same shop is going to check out the rear struts on my Vibe so I know which ones to order. I'm hoping I'll luck out and be able to use the #340018 FWD ones on mine, but I'm thinking I probably won't get that lucky :|...
Stopped by the shop today. My Vibe also has the "AWD" rear struts. Even GM lists different part numbers for 09-10 AWD and GT rear struts, but I'm beginning to think the only real difference is AWD/GT vs. Bases and all these companies just have the wrong part numbers listed. Oh well. I just ordered all four KYB struts on eBay for $215.95 shipped and my Vibe will be getting everything installed on May 28th!

So, if any 09-10 Base owners are looking for new rear struts, let me know! I've got a brand new pair of KYB Excel-G rear struts #340018 I'll let go for cheap :)!
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