I have a '96 LS400 with 291,000+ kilometers on it. Runs perfectly and I am very impressed with everything about this vehicle.
I note that with my wife and aboard with no additional weight it travels well on the highway. With a couple hundred pounds of luggage etc, the dive and wallow over dips on the highway are quite pronounced.
I read the service history on this vehicle (which is extremely well documented) and note that the shocks have never been replaced.
My questions are:
- are shocks for a '96 LS400 readily available in the aftermarket for this vintage of Lexus?
- should I purchase Lexus supplied shocks OR are aftermarket as robust and reliable? (I am not looking to 'sport-up' the ride)
- are there any tips, tricks or secrets to installing all four shocks?
- will my Lexus require a wheel alignment after shock replacement?
Many thanks once again to all who assist!
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There are choices among the shocks for your car. For the most similar factory ride, the KYB-GR2 is highly recommended.
Changing them is like any other shock assembly swap. Remove the unit for car. Remove tension from spring with a spring compressor, remove spring retainer (Strut hat), transfer over spring, rubber bump stop and re-assemble the unit reverse to the removal and back in car.
It is advisable to have the alignment done since the car will often sit at a slightly different ride height due to the new shocks installed. Other suspension areas to check would be the strut bar assembly since these bushings are usually worn out.
The KYB GR2 is also a suitable stock replacement. For heavier wheel combos I'd suggest the Bilstein HD, under $600, Megan EZ for ~$700. Install at all four corners $200-$250. Monroe at $1K is $$, the base model sells at ~$90.
If you want to keep the original ride quality then you should purchase the OEM shocks/struts. They absolutely give the car a different feel as compared to aftermarket equipment. Yes , the OEM ones are made by KYB but they are NOT the same struts /shocks. This is not to say that KYB GR2, Monroe, Tokico make a bad product. I emphasize that they are different and the ride quality is different. I have tried KYB GR 2 and Tokico. I sold them both and bought OEM.
Great feedback everybody on the shocks
Im looking over all my options but not in a rush at this time
had my my 96 ls400 for 4 years now and the only problem
I ever had to fix immediately was a $5 thermostat.
Not a bad deal !
ps owned a 91 ls400 prior and same deal almost
My mechanic suggested monroe
for about a grand......
Then your mechanic is ripping you off and selling you junk.
You can get much better shocks and installed for a lot less than that!
I wouldn't put Monroe shocks into my car even if they were free...
They are economy parts designed for beaters and domestic cars that ride/handle like crap anyways. I was not impressed with them in customer cars at all. They work and they last but if you care about how the car rides and handles, I'd take eBay shocks and Monroe at about the same level.