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Old 01-05-08, 04:03 PM   #1
grunner58
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Default Strut Replacement

I'm thinking about repalcing the struts on my 2004 LS430 with 60k miles and was wondering at what mileage the rest of you replace the struts and has anyone tried going to the Sport strut w/o air suspension vs the standard w/o air suspension strut. Is the sport a direct swap for the standard? Price seems to be around $115 for the rear strut and $185 for the sport.

Any chance Bilstein has a replacement?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:39 PM   #2
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hey grunner58, i've been looking around this forum on how to replace the front struts (instructions with pics will help too) but not having any luck. Have you replaced yours? can you tell me how? Thanks much man.
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Old 04-21-10, 04:23 PM   #3
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It should be a theard on replacing shocks. But if you wanna go autozone.com and register yourself and car, then go to diy section then repair info section. Pretty much every part they sell they have installation guide. Try it out it may help you. You dont have to buy the part to find out how to remove and install it.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:54 PM   #4
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KYB makes a replacement set. I found a set of 4 for $398 using Google. They should be very similar to your sport shocks.
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Old 04-22-10, 10:43 AM   #5
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Thanks guys! will look it up.
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Old 04-22-10, 10:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CW2004LS43 View Post
KYB makes a replacement set. I found a set of 4 for $398 using Google. They should be very similar to your sport shocks.
My LS does not have the sport suspension. I found an oem from trademotion.com for 99 a piece new. I will go for this one. But thanks though.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jpaulmac View Post
hey grunner58, i've been looking around this forum on how to replace the front struts (instructions with pics will help too) but not having any luck. Have you replaced yours? can you tell me how? Thanks much man.

You need a special tool, a compressor of sort to get the springs off. So i dont think this is something for diy.
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Old 04-22-10, 03:20 PM   #8
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no special tool to remove the strut with the spring from the car. But once its out then a special tool is required to remove/replace the spring. I took mine to a local mechanic and he swapped out the springs for free, although I did buy him lunch.
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Old 04-23-10, 08:27 AM   #9
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You need a special tool, a compressor of sort to get the springs off. So i dont think this is something for diy.
Actually it's a pretty easy DIY job, but you'll need the spring compressor like you said. The compressor is a simple device that you can buy for a few bucks -- no need to get a fancy one. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...=112&zmap=3980
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Old 04-23-10, 07:14 PM   #10
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Actually it's a pretty easy DIY job, but you'll need the spring compressor like you said. The compressor is a simple device that you can buy for a few bucks -- no need to get a fancy one.
I think I may have to attempt this also. Have you done this job yourself? Any additional insight would be very much appreciated! Thanks
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Old 04-23-10, 09:20 PM   #11
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I think I may have to attempt this also. Have you done this job yourself? Any additional insight would be very much appreciated! Thanks
Given you've done this before, perhaps on another car, its not a difficult process in concept. The LS430 does however present a lot of additional tasks to get to the component unlike a smaller or older car. The rear seat back and shelf area need to come out to get to the top screws htat hold the assembly in place. Also, the multi-link, double wishbone suspension is quite beefy and it is a much easier task to work between them and force bushings in different directions to nudge the things out after they are all unsecured.

It is MUCH easier if one has access to power air tools, and more imporatnly a rack that can raise the car to decent height. (You'd better be prepared for a full day of cussing and yelling if you plan to do this on jackstands. ALthough it isn't impossible.)

Only real SST needed is a spring compressor but be careful, the larger the car, the stronger the spring, and if you slip the thing on a LS430 spring, you'd have the top mount flying through the garage ceiling and into your bedroom above. (NEVER EVER, work with spring compressor with your body or face near the top mount as you compress, and work with springs.)

Also, anytime you disassemble the suspension even partially, the wheel alignment will go slightly off, so be sure to get a 4 wheel alignment once things are all buttoned up.

Most tuner shops will be equipped to do this well, and cost for this labor is very cheap due to the competition for aftermarket suspension installations. Most shops will not charge more than $200-300 not including alignment.

So for me, I would just rather take it to the shop, than to do this myself in a garage without a hydraulic lift. A shop will take 2 hours max. Yourself? it will take 4 hours minimum hours with a buddy helping, by the time you clean up the mess and get all the things you did wrong sorted out.

I've done many many installs and in the case of a LS430, I will still prefer to take it to a shop. Especially when they can work clean, with two or more people dividing tasks. If you do it yourself, you are likely climbing in and out of your interior, and dirty greasy bottom of the car...making it hard to stay clean...
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Old 04-23-10, 09:29 PM   #12
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On the topic of age...

A shock absorber (strut inserts inclusive) on a strut, a normal car will show leaks and reduced damping at 20K miles or so. This is not to say they are no longer useful, its just they do gradually lose damping throughout the life of the dampers. That is it will show with a back to back testing on a car with no miles since fresh install...especially in mission critical venues like autocross or track (though LS430 are unlikely to find themselves in these venues...I'm only saying for cars that I do race with and they have much less suspension travel than a very long stroke OEM LS suspension...)

I'd say 50K is about time when they are due for replacement if you like your OEM strut to be working similar to new. Also some of the suspension/chassis bushings should be replaced at the same time, as well as transmission mount and engine mount.

None of these parts fail frequently before 150K miles on any LS, this is just a guideline to keep the car in good shape, to do it at about 50K miles.
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Old 04-25-10, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motohide View Post
Given you've done this before, perhaps on another car, its not a difficult process in concept. The LS430 does however present a lot of additional tasks to get to the component unlike a smaller or older car. The rear seat back and shelf area need to come out to get to the top screws htat hold the assembly in place. Also, the multi-link, double wishbone suspension is quite beefy and it is a much easier task to work between them and force bushings in different directions to nudge the things out after they are all unsecured.

It is MUCH easier if one has access to power air tools, and more imporatnly a rack that can raise the car to decent height. (You'd better be prepared for a full day of cussing and yelling if you plan to do this on jackstands. ALthough it isn't impossible.)

Only real SST needed is a spring compressor but be careful, the larger the car, the stronger the spring, and if you slip the thing on a LS430 spring, you'd have the top mount flying through the garage ceiling and into your bedroom above. (NEVER EVER, work with spring compressor with your body or face near the top mount as you compress, and work with springs.)

Also, anytime you disassemble the suspension even partially, the wheel alignment will go slightly off, so be sure to get a 4 wheel alignment once things are all buttoned up.

Most tuner shops will be equipped to do this well, and cost for this labor is very cheap due to the competition for aftermarket suspension installations. Most shops will not charge more than $200-300 not including alignment.

So for me, I would just rather take it to the shop, than to do this myself in a garage without a hydraulic lift. A shop will take 2 hours max. Yourself? it will take 4 hours minimum hours with a buddy helping, by the time you clean up the mess and get all the things you did wrong sorted out.

I've done many many installs and in the case of a LS430, I will still prefer to take it to a shop. Especially when they can work clean, with two or more people dividing tasks. If you do it yourself, you are likely climbing in and out of your interior, and dirty greasy bottom of the car...making it hard to stay clean...
Thanks for the insight, it has been very helpful. I have done similar jobs on older vehicles with less complex components using air tools on jackstands. It sounds like what I might have found out the hard way is that the LS430's suspension components might be overly challenging for an amateur without the benefit of a fully outfitted garage. I'll be taking it to a shop when the time comes. Thanks again and many great points, some of which I overlooked.
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Old 06-01-10, 11:21 AM   #14
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what chassis bushings need to be replaced? Transmission mounts? I am going to try this myself as I am getting quoted $750 to install springs and shocks all the way around... (labor only as I am supplying the parts....)

does that sound unreasonable?
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Old 06-02-10, 09:00 AM   #15
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I am also planning on doing the strut replacement myself - I bought KYB-G2 struts online for $300 (all four).

I need to order strut mounts (might as well replace these while I am in there) - any good/cheap sources for these from anyone?

I am still looking for a good DIY with pics - I plan to put together a DIY when I do this myself but need some details / pics to help me get started.

FYI - regarding special tools for the job: 1) the spring compression tool can be "checked out" for free from any Autozone / Advanced Auto store. You just have to give them a credit card for a deposit that you get back once you return the tool. 2) I have heard that a breaker bar is useful for the job as some of the bolts are on very tight. 3) A torque wrench is needed to tighten everything to spec.
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2004, 60k, bilstein, cost, coupe, gs, gs400, infinity, lexus, mileage, recommended, replacement, replacing, shocks, strut, struts

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