I gave up hunting around for the perfect shocks to buy, and went with some KYBs that advertised close-to-original performance from the auto shop. I ordered Strut-Plus – which come pre-assembled with springs – for the front, and Excel-G – which are just struts – for the rear.
The Excel-G boxes were opened, and it looked like someone has returned them previously. The threads didn’t have any wear though, so I assumed they just didn’t fit their car and got sent back.
I installed the front two struts and went for a test drive. The car rides straight lines noticeably better, but nothing magical. I had heard that KYBs were harder than OEM, so it was a relief to find that potholes are soaked up a little more than my originals. But where these really shine is turning. I would say “cornering” except I’m a scrub and drive like your grandmother. Even so, taking a 90 degree turn at 5-10 miles an hour handles way, way better now and the car feels much more competent.
All in all it took me about four hours and zero air tools to swap these in. I wish I’d done it years ago.