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Old 03-19-2017, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dump the ECS?

Quick back story: I was given a '91 SL w/ ECS by my dad, who loves this car, to give some TLC and elbow grease. When he bought it 15 years ago, it was absolutely mint. However, over the years it has mostly sat parked in the sun. Clear coat is nearly completely flaked off, leather is super brittle, etc. My plan is to undo mother nature's havoc on the car, and put some new tricks up her sleeve along the way.

The first thing I wanted to tackle was its Jeep-like wheel well clearance. So I pulled it onto my carport in front of my garage yesterday, and began installing a B&G lowering spring kit. Everything was going relatively smoothly, until this happened.



That's the strut's top nut and stud. It snapped off as soon as I hit it with my impact. To make matters worse, the cover that I put over a rear strut to protect the ECS plug decided to abandon its mission during reassembly, causing dirt and fender well insulation to pack itself into the plug cavity.

Knowing I have to replace at least the front struts (assuming I can clean the plug cavity on the rear strut), and with 90k miles on the set, should I just replace these with a non-ECS set of 4? The ECS is/was cool. But with the rear strut tower brace I'm fabbing up, and upgraded anti-sway bars on order, I'm having a hard time justifying the cost difference of ECS vs non-ECS struts. It feels like paying an extra chunk of change just to keep the "but can your car do *this*?!" feature.

Could use advice from people who have chosen to ditch their ECS, whether they regret it or not.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

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Old 03-20-2017, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

from the little that i've read, people have said that the stock ECS strut system is the "best"

i personally went with Bilstein HD's because that's what I was running in my previous car before this one and I thought they were good.
Had I known that the stock ECS struts were the "best", I most likely would have gone that route
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

Check this out: renegadetechworks.com - TechWorks

Great upgrade with oem electric struts
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

If the ECS struts themselves aren't bad, why not just replace the failed bolt/stud and clean out the plug cavity? Significantly cheaper, and you keep the gee-whiz feature.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

I just pulled the trigger on KYBs, a pair is cheaper than a single strut and I can get ECS back if anyone driving it misses the "go go gadget suspension".

@TeeJay the broken stud is the threaded end of the strut rod, non-serviceable. And with 90k on the struts, I might as well freshen them up while I'm under it.

Thanks for the responses guys.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

another one bites the dust .....
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

Haha! I'm not pulling the ECM for it yet, so all is not lost!
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

KYB are pretty good. Theyre a little rougher riding than tour mode on stock ECS. If youre ok with that then theyre a good buy.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dump the ECS?

Good to know, thanks Viper.
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