Last week I bought a 2006 GX470 with 99K miles. According to my pre purchase inspection (and confirmed by my experience), I need new front and rear shocks.
From searching around on this site and elsewhere I understand that I can choose to replace my rear shocks with either OEM shocks (about $600 each) or with other shocks (about $220 each). It seems to me the main difference is that I will lose the adjustable comfort/sport suspension if I go with other shocks.
My questions for you all:
- Does my analysis and these rough prices for the parts seem right?
- Do you think it's worth it to pay about 3 times as much for the adjustable suspension? My sense is no, but I'd like to hear other's thoughts.
- If you now have non-Lexus shocks, what brand/model did you go with? Are you happy with what you have?
Thanks for your thoughts! The information on this site was very helpful in my decision to look at the GX470 and to buy the one I did.
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I think you can get bilstein 5100s for the rear for far less than $220/ea.
I replaced mine w/OEM all-round about 30k ago and am regretting it. I'd like a bit more body control, and would like to remove the "soft edge" that the OEM shocks have (they're a bit pillowy). I wish I could drive one with Bilsteins but I'm guessing I'd like it better, and all 4 are <$ than a single OEM rear.
The rears are so easy to replace, you could just go ahead and buy 5100s for the rear and see what you think. Worst case I think you're out ~$200 and an hour of your time.
I didn't answer your poll because I don't know the answer either.
At this point, I know I need shocks but can't decide which way to go. After tweaking my air suspension system, I don't feel an immediate need to do anything as it is now acceptable. But here is how I'm looking at it:
1) Ordering OEM through Amayama.com or partsouq.com. These are overseas outfits, but they seem to be reliable based upon posters on IH8MUD and Pradopoint. Rear shocks from them are under $350. Since I have never driven a new GX, I just don't know if OEM is really worth ANYTHING more than other shocks, much less $500-1000 more.
2) Bilsteins - I'd go 4600 here since I don't plan on lifting. My understanding is they are valved the same, but the 5100s can be used with a lift and have the cool finish on them. Pretty much the same price. I think I'd like the slightly firmer ride, but am worried about losing comfort, even a little. I have a 2 year old that I don't want waking up during long drives!
3) OEM 4Runner shocks - I'm leaning this way for myself based only on cost. They're cheap, but quality. I can still got OEM Lexus after this if I don't like them and only be out about $200. And I may find they are "good enough" that I won't feel the need to change.
As one more data point, I went ahead and ordered a set of 4600s for mine last night. Will take some measurements relative to OEM when I install them.
Please do, fully extended vs fully compressed if possible! I have been torn on 4600s vs the 5100s. Since the 5100s can extend 2" longer in the rear, that makes me worry about the rear airbags popping out at full articulation. Apparently the 4600s are the basically the same as the beck arnott replacement GX470 shocks, so i am assuming they would be fine, but don't know if putting the air suspension at high would over extend them.
I just installed new OEM rears and I'm a bit underwhelmed. Outgoing shocks had110k miles and were shot. I really wanted a night and day difference, but didn't get it. The new shocks are definitely better, but I'm pretty sure $40 4runner shocks would have been better too. Still have the fronts to install, so maybe with new shocks all around it will a marked improvement. But I'm not holding my breath. Not really upset about it if I can get about 8-10 years / 100k out of them. But given the shape of the outgoing shocks, I'm thinking anything over 60k will be gravy. And at that point, I'm definitely not dropping another $1300 for four shocks.
Would you describe the difference you saw or why you were underwhelmed? Also, who did you buy the shocks from. I am wondering if you found a source for the shocks that hasn't been talked abut on this forum. I like your optimism that the car has another 100,000 miles in its future.
Last edited by aljodoro; 06-08-14 at 07:37 AM.
Reason: wrong quote in the message would be confusing
I bought the shocks from Concord (CA) Lexus off E-bay. They sell quite a bit of Lexus parts on Ebay. The shocks can be had for a couple hundred cheaper from the overseas places (Amayama.com or partsouq.com), but I figured I would spend the extra because I thought it would be a hassle to do returns with the overseas places.
I've only put about a hundred miles on the new shocks, and the old shocks were totally shot - they could be easily compressed and expanded by hand. But my preliminary thoughts are: I can definitely notice the better damping - both compression and rebound seems better controlled. But it is only a small improvement. There still is a decent amount of sway. I'm sure this is more a function of the tall vehicle, but there wasn't a huge improvement in that area with the new shocks. In addition, big bumps are better damped but still strongly felt. So in short, I think what improvement I do feel, I would also feel with any aftermarket shock.
I'll report back once I get the fronts in. I'm quite certain they are also shot. So maybe the bad fronts are overwhelming the rears and once those are in a bigger difference will be felt.
I think you may have misread my optimism (or lack of it). My original thinking is that over 100K miles, the $1300 cost isn't a big deal. But my originals were well past gone at 110K, so I don't see these lasting 100K. They might last that long, but I would bet 75K or less is more likely the lifespan.