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Put OIL in Strut housing or NOT?


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I just saw an Official KYB site that says NOT to put ANY oil or liquid inside the strut housing as this may damage the cartridge insert. Says that KYB cartridge inserts are designed to be used WITHOUT any oil or liquid at both high and low temperatures. Another section of the same website said that physical defects of the cartridge outer shell may be caused by frozen liquid (the one you put in the strut housing).

I just got through putting bout 4 tablespoons of leftover Fresh ENGINE oil in one strut housing, i hope that wasnt a BIG mistake? Nothings gonna freeze here of course (i live in the TROPICS). So what else can be so bad w/putting oil in the strut housing, might the SEALS at the top portion of the cartridge insert react w/ the engine oil causing the seals to deteriorate prematurely?? Should i take down the strut assembly (again) and throw out the oil?? Maybe i shoulda used hydraulic jack fluid?? I will start putting in the cartridge insert in the other strut housing tom. I need your comments please, as the suspense is killing me! THANKS!


Edited by PATZ
added some words
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The instructions that came with the last set of KYB's that I installed, directed the use of light oil in the strut. As a result of time/experience that might have changed - what do the installation instructions that came with your shocks say?


Carl B.

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Thats interesting to hear, do you remember what particular KYB`s they were? The warehouse i bought the kyb`s from (an official KYB distributor over here) just gave me the inserts and dispensed with the box and instructions altogether (go figure.. this is after all a developing country). I just assumed it was sop to put in some oil. I`l try them again and ask for the instructions (if any), otherwise i`l have to go hunting on the good ole internet! Anybody else care to share anymore with me?

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If the instructions say not to use it, I wouldn't. I imagine if KYB changed their instructions they are basing it on failure experiences. I haven't used KYB since my Bug days as an undergrad. God awful stiff is my recollection. I use Koni Yellow adjustables in all the Porsches. Not sure what is in the Z since it was all set up by the previous owner before I got it.

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Interesting instructions... Do you have a link to the particular web site you were reading?

I remember specifically that the instructions that came with my strut cartridges said that failing to put oil in the strut housing would void the warranty. But that was three or four years ago.

A couple of observations:

1. I have never seen motor oil freeze. But then I live in Indiana not Alaska.

2. If motor oil did freeze it would shrink, not expand. Water is one of only two or three substances on earth that expands when it changes from a liquid to a solid.

3. The strut cartridges that I installed were sealed, so unless you had oil pooled on the top of the cartridge, I doubt that it would in any way affect the seals.

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There is a distinct possibility, if no oil is present on the inside of the strut tube, of corrosion.

[The OEM damper is essentially an oil filled strut tube with a top seal.]

If you upend the strut and drain the oil or even wash them out with de-greaser, you are leaving the inside of the tube clean but ripe for corrosion.

When I fit inserts, I simply leave the oil in the strut, drop the insert in [which will displace some oil], then fit the gland nut.

I don't think the presence of that small amount of oil will harm anything and it may prevent the inside of the strut tube from corroding over the years:paranoid:

Time will tell, I'm sure:)

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I do not know the particulars on the KYB shock inserts, but in the past there were multiple reasons to put oil in the strut tube around the strut insert. The main reason is heat dissipation and a secondary reason would be future serviceability, (cut down on the possibility of corrosion inside the tube).

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THAK YOU ALL for the responses! I decided to leave alone the left strut housing that i already filled up with 3 or 4 spoons of engine oil, but decided to just lightly grease the right side cartridge insert to help minimize corrosion.


Click on Technical info, the click on Common fitting tips @ Common failure reasons

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