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More reasons not to buy FCS Struts/Assemblies

1013 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Tomalapala
I have a new-to-me 2016 EX-L. 115k miles. It needs some help (I knew about the issues when I bought it). First of all, it was pretty obvious from the front end noises and clunks that some work was needed up there. Replacing struts/bushings/links in various Toyotas and Honda is pretty familiar to me.

I could see the left front strut was blown from the oil covering the lower strut. I removed the struts and was disappointed to find they were not the OEM Hondas, rather they were both the FCS brand (model 333569). In fact I soon determined that (not surprisingly) the entire strut assembly (strut, coil, bearing, mount) had been replaced with an assembly from FCS (not simply the strut itself). I notice the FCS brand is about the cheapest available on Amazon and RockAuto. It figures.... previous owner went cheap - way cheap. Sadly his OEM Honda components are also long-gone to the landfill. I would have much preferred to rebuild from the OEM parts.

I should mention the date code on the FCS strut assembly is September 2021. Left side is blown, and right side seems ok. This means the left side lasted about 1 year. :oops:

So now I'm left to piece together some higher quality components in order to rebuild the struts. I plan to re-use the FCS coils, and I had hoped to re-use the FCS bellows and 'seat' (the metal piece that sits at the top of the coil).

So (since the entire OEM strut assemblies are discontinued and un-obtainable) I ordered a pair of KYB Excel-G struts from RockAuto. I also ordered KYB Mounts and bearings. Of course, the KYB bearing is the large, flat (nylon?) disc, like this:

Camera accessory Font Circle Auto part Automotive tire

I soon realized that the new KYB bearing is NOT going to work with the FCS seat. Here's why:

Light Rim Gas Automotive tire Automotive wheel system

In the photo, the bottom and middle pieces are FCS. Notice the FCS bearing is smaller, fits in a circular keeper at the underside of the mount, and the other bearing surface mates to the raised portion of the FCS seat.

In contrast, the OEM Honda version of the seat (shown in the photo at the top), does not have the raised portion, and it is designed to accept the larger nylon bearing across it's smooth surface (same as the underside of the KYB mount).

So, rebuilding an FCS strut assembly entails the additional expense of replacing the seat (not simply the mount and bearing). I didn't want to re-use the FCS mount and bearing - I'm assuming they are just as junky as the FCS strut. I wanted the higher quality KYB, or even Honda OEM (with the larger bearing). So that means replacing the FCS seat with a new one from Honda ($33).

I'm also re-using the FCS bellows and bump stop. In handling/inspecting them, the quality seems comparable to OEM and they fit nicely on the OEM seat and I see little advantage to the OEM version. I will return those ($18 each).

Gas Auto part Metal Font Fashion accessory

Hope this helps someone.

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All the OEM parts are still available IIRC, just not as a complete assembly. You can get all the bits and pieces and put it together.
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