save your money, go buy some KYB, Tokicos, or Bilsteins, or even OEM (being the cheapest). And get some other shop to install them. Labor for all four shocks should be no more than 50 per strut. I wouldnt trust monroe, isnt that the stuff the tire shops offer?
I have never heard of an LS "bottoming out". Is the rear suspension feel really loose and perhaps causing control problems? When you do the "bounce test", does the rear continue to bounce up and down several times after you release it? Has the car been driven often with a very heavy load in the trunk, towing a trailer with a high tongue weight, and/or on very rough roads? The shocks on the 90 LS I sold last year after 13.5 years and 183K miles seemed like new and I was starting to wonder of LS shocks ever wore out.
IMHO, OEM is the way to ensure that the ride does not deteriorate. In my youth I turned a few cars into uncomfortable "buckboards" by using Bilsteins and Koni's. Toyota/Lexus shocks are very high quality and likely last a lot longer than the aftermarket ones. Usually when someone tells me that they want their LS to handle a lot better, I recommend that they buy a BMW and then put up with its problems.
Jim - Lexus LS driver from 1990 to 2014 - Now driving a 2014 Toyota Sienna Limited with all packages and options including PCS, DRCC and VDIM
Sears put them on and gave me a lifetime warranty. Around $100 per shock. Didn't like them so I put in new OEM at about $65 apiece from Carson Toyota. I really like the smooth ride the OEM shocks give you plus it is your cheapest option.
wow, thanks guys for all your help. i didn't even know that the oem struts where that cheap??!! yea persian, i did go to a tire shop, i feel so ashamed, for even thinking about monoe's, lol!! yea the guy said $249 a piece for the fronts and labor would be $50 for both. so now iam either going to go with the oem or an aftermarket, like Bilstein. its kinda weird, i have just over 115,000 miles on my 976, and when iam going 80 mph, and i hold the wheel very still, the car just floats around left and right, like a boat. now iam not sure if this is supposed to be the "lexus feel" or not, but i don't like it. iam not sure if the struts have to do anything with that. i was thinking that i have worn/broke bushing, but they are all fine.
now when i do get the struts of my choice, do i need to replace the springs, iam hoping you guys say no, lol.
oh , oh another thing, when i go over speed but my front end makes a loud thump/thud sound, kind embarrassing too, iam hopping the struts sole that problem too
ps. strida, no problem man, i took the unsafe/lazy route to fix it by up-ing the fuse from a 7.5 to a 10amp
again guys thanks alot for you input, gonna do my strut shopping now!!!!
Themp is most likely your worn out front strut bar bushing
The front strut bar is the bar that attaches from your wheel knuckle to your front frame cross member. One on each side. I replaced every bushing on my 90 LS400, 175K miles. The thump going over larger bumps was definitely caused by the worn out strut bar bushings. All the bushings(upper and lower control arms) after about 15 years, in my case needed replacement as well as my lower ball joints. Not real difficult to do and a lot of articles have been written about what is involved.
Just my opinion, but if you want the plush ride then go with the OEM shocks. If you want a much firmer ride, go with after market at a much higher cost. I really don't think you need to touch the springs unless you want to lower the car, or raise it to put 18" - 20" wheels.
Sounds like the struts are just plain worn...both Lexkost and I have the same set-up with Eibach and Bilstein. If you want to firm up the ride, you can use these with the stock springs. Otherwise, the factory struts are the preffered choice. If you are in the So. Cal area, give Todd at TM Engineering a call for this work.
As Clark stated, the strut bars have a bushing that is known to wear which causes a "clunking" noise. If you are having the struts replaced, I'd have these replaced at the same time. The factory bars cost about $115 each, OEM type replacements $70-$100.
my steering wheel shakes bad at about 50-60 mph bad. it shakes my arms, and is embarrassing when i have passengers. i just say "oh, i have to just get my wheels balanced" the funny thing is i had it done twice plus i have new tires and new oem chrome wheels, also did it with the non chromes. what do think it may be?? iam thinking it may be caused to my existing suspension wows. oh, the shakes kinda goes away at higher speeds, but it just not lexus like!! and it bothers the crap of me!!!! BTW, iam going to go with the oem struts, carson toyoya quoted me $58 each for fronts, and local wants $79. should i just go ahead any buy some other bushings and stuff while iam at it?? car has 115,000 miles now.
The strut price of $250 was list - odds are your local shop called your local parts store (Napa carries Monroe), and you got quoted list price for the struts. Installation would have cost more on top of that.
Your local shop wasn't screwing you, all the shops do that when you buy stuff. They'll quote you list on alternators, bushings, filters, steering components, everything because garages make money on the parts and on the labor.
With most parts, you either pay the price or do it yourself (no warranties if you do the work yourself, btw); but with shocks, you generally can find better deals than your normal garage can offer. If you can do the installation, you can really save some bucks.
Chiming in...The Bilsteins are excellent on the UCF20/21. At $105 front and $115 rears each, it is a bit of a bite. The nice thing is one can use OEM springs and the lower snap ring setting to drop it ~3/8".