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2004 Front and Rear Struts---DIY

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Old 10-17-12, 12:49 PM   #31
Avalonxls
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Smile Lifetime Alignment from Firestone

There is usually an alignment special at the change of seasons or holidays where they knock off $25-40. I get mine realigned every 5,000 miles when I go in for one of their $19.99, or better, oil change specials, from their coupons available online or the newspaper. They usually do a free rotation if you catch it right. If not, I have only the front tires balanced after rotating the front ones to the rear. This usually results is a $5 net charge because the balance for 2 is $25, and a rotation is $20 if the charge you at all!

I just had my brakes done by them on front for $99.00, which included turning the rotors and new pads (coupon in mail). They originally quoted me $207!! Keep your eyes open and it can be cheaper for them to do it for you, at least it is working out like that for me. Next stop - rear struts - thanks for the info.
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Old 12-26-12, 01:20 AM   #32
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Would anyone change out the springs as well while doing all this to get the ride quality back to brand new?
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Old 03-29-13, 04:22 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Formula271 View Post
So....how'd it go? Do you notice an improvment? I will soon be doing this same job on my '05 RX330 AWD with 130,000miles. No visible leaks on any of the struts, but an annoying "extra" bounce over bumps and an overall unsettled feel tells me it's time.

For those of you familiar with this job, can you confirm the following part numbers (all KYB components). I heard no mention of the Front Upper Spring Seat (SM5485) of Rear Lower Coil Spring Insulator (SM5469) in any posts, but if applicable, would plan to replace them as well.

Front:
Fr Right Strut - 334399
Fr Left Strut - 334400
Fr Mount (x2) - SM5423
Fr Upper Spring Seat (x2) - SM5485
Fr Boots (x2) - SB102

Rear:
Rr Left Strut - 334395
Rr Right Strut - 334394
Rr Boots - SB104
Rr Left Mount - SM5492
Rr Right Mount - SM5491
Rr Lower Coil Spring Insulator (x2) - SM5469

Many Thanks,
Jeff
Finally did this job today, all 4 corners....the parts listed above are exactly what I used (all KYB stuff from rockauto). What a HUGE difference in ride quality / feel / vibration!!! Just for reference, visual inspection of each old strut showed no signs of damage of leakage. Also, the "push on the bumper" test with the old struts could never produce a motion that wasn't damped immediately (never an additional bounce). Point is, these two common "checks" really failed in this case.

I had never done this job before, but it went very well. Total time was just over 6 hours, including stopping for a few minutes for lunch. Interestingly, the most difficult thing to remove after 8+ years of Michigan salt were the rear bolts securing the brake lines to the bracket on the strut tube, but eventually these came off with threads intact.

The only somewhat unexpected outcome was that my steering wheel is now slightly off-center ( a couple degrees to the right). I understand this is somewhat common after front struts and that it's recommended to get an alignment. I'll get this done next week. Interestingly, even though the steering is off a couple degrees, there is no pulling whatsoever.

My RX currently has ~139,000

Some background....

I had a very annoying steering wheel vibration than would usually surface around 70 - 75mph. It was so characteristic of wheels out of balance that you would swear that's what it was. Around 10,000 miles ago, I had worn Bridestones replaced with new Michelins at Costco. Vibration was still there....this is what initially got me thinking about struts. Quieter, but still would vibrate. Interestingly, it would usually only vibrate on certain road surfaces (almost always smooth assphalt...most unfortunate since this makes up most of my commute). On smooth concrete highways, the vibration was usually never noticeable. A couple weeks ago, I had the wheels balanced again (~10,000 miles on tires) at a different Costco. Employee said the wheels balanced perfectly. Vibration characteristics were exactly as before.

After replacing all 4 struts....NO VIBRATIONS!!! It's soooo wonderful...and rides so tight and controlled. It's a more drastic outcome than I ever expected. I had hoped for some improvement and the result very much exceeded my expectations.

Last edited by Formula271; 03-29-13 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 03-29-13, 04:40 PM   #34
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Finally did this job today, all 4 corners....
Congrats on a job well done, Formula271. Hopefully, you will be set to go for another 100K or more miles.
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Old 03-29-13, 05:05 PM   #35
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Congrats on a job well done, Formula271. Hopefully, you will be set to go for another 100K or more miles.
That'd be great!!

Struts are interesting animals. Up until about 1 year ago, I had a 1991 Saab 9000 Turbo with 300,000 and the original struts! It never had any symptoms suggesting replacement was needed. Tires wore great, no vibration, remarkably tight handling, never that extra bounce over speed bumps....

I think part of my conflict of convincing myself that the struts could have allowed the vibration in the RX was that the Saab's seemed so robust after all those years. That and the fact that most any internet search of "struts" and "vibration" seems to emphasize that worn struts were typically not associated with steering wheel vibration.
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Old 04-01-13, 10:45 AM   #36
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GREAT JOB,,, Forumla271.... Thanks for listing the parts used and the details of the Complete Job with outcome...
I have NOT tackled the job yet... I now have 158,000 on the RX330 and your description tells me that the soft bouncy lose ride will be taken care of after I get off of MY TAIL and do the job. WELL DONE, GOOD JOB.....

Last edited by Rabjr5; 04-01-13 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-14-13, 03:45 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Formula271 View Post
So....how'd it go? Do you notice an improvment? I will soon be doing this same job on my '05 RX330 AWD with 130,000miles. No visible leaks on any of the struts, but an annoying "extra" bounce over bumps and an overall unsettled feel tells me it's time.

For those of you familiar with this job, can you confirm the following part numbers (all KYB components). I heard no mention of the Front Upper Spring Seat (SM5485) of Rear Lower Coil Spring Insulator (SM5469) in any posts, but if applicable, would plan to replace them as well.

Front:
Fr Right Strut - 334399
Fr Left Strut - 334400
Fr Mount (x2) - SM5423
Fr Upper Spring Seat (x2) - SM5485
Fr Boots (x2) - SB102

Rear:
Rr Left Strut - 334395
Rr Right Strut - 334394
Rr Boots - SB104
Rr Left Mount - SM5492
Rr Right Mount - SM5491
Rr Lower Coil Spring Insulator (x2) - SM5469

Many Thanks,
Jeff
Thanks for the parts list! And the detail of your experience before and after. My wife's 05 has 90K on it and I can hardly stand to drive it due to the WALLOWY feel. I want to do the KYB strut job bad. I was hoping to hear those would tighten it up considerably. I realize KYB is OEM, but the OEM KYBs are most likely completely different animals internally; valve spec'd by Lexus for a smooth comfy ride vs. a higher valve'd more performance GR-2...so this is great news!

Last edited by Cafasco; 11-14-13 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 11-14-13, 06:01 PM   #38
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After replacing all 4 struts....NO VIBRATIONS!!! It's soooo wonderful...and rides so tight and controlled. It's a more drastic outcome than I ever expected. I had hoped for some improvement and the result very much exceeded my expectations.
You may still want to check your lower control arm bushings on the front. They are a weak link on these cars and your new struts may have only masked this vibration issue. Mine are shot and have the exact vibration you do.
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Old 11-18-13, 07:12 AM   #39
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I finally got to my wife's car (RX 330, 2004) after the passenger front bearing went out and started making a grinding noise, I purchased all the parts from Rock Auto, PartsGeek and Advanced Auto Parts (online discount).. I really procrastinated this job too long and was in a hurry because I needed the car to be on the road quick, so I called a local shop...... I had all the parts already purchased.

The front wheel bearings have to be pressed on and off I brought the parts to a local shop and he charged me 325.00 to do 2 front struts and 2 front wheel bearings.

I used the Monroe Struts and Monroe mounting kits, just to be sure everything matched as designed...

The car now has 170,432 miles when the work was performed, the bearing started making noise at 165,000.

It took the mechanic about 4.5 hours to complete the job... everything went well.. car drives much better and quite....

If you car has over 100,000 miles consider the front wheel bearing..... although LEXUS bearing seem to last longer, 150,000 on average.... on HONDA at 100,000 they are on their way out, I have had 2 Honda;s and 1 Acura go out right at a little over 100,000.

I have both rear bearing hubs... that I will change real soon.....

Car drives and rides much better...
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Old 11-24-13, 08:22 AM   #40
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i used Monroe Sensa-trac
great ride
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Old 11-25-13, 06:30 AM   #41
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What all parts would i need to do just the rear ?

id like to use Monroe parts.
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Old 04-20-14, 06:26 AM   #42
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I noticed a few questions in this thread asking whether a rear alignment is needed. I have an 06 RX330. I bought the lifetime alignment from Firestone, and during the alignment the service manager told me my right rear tire was off a little but there was no way to adjust it. However, there is a part you can add, so I bought it and they installed it and were able to adjust it.
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Old 04-20-14, 10:33 AM   #43
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I noticed a few questions in this thread asking whether a rear alignment is needed. I have an 06 RX330. I bought the lifetime alignment from Firestone, and during the alignment the service manager told me my right rear tire was off a little but there was no way to adjust it. However, there is a part you can add, so I bought it and they installed it and were able to adjust it.
Camber alignment:

http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/s...6&autoModClar=
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Old 06-24-14, 11:23 AM   #44
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Default Front Shocks Need replacing

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Originally Posted by HtownBlue View Post
Rockford, while every situation is different, I would recommend planning on replacing the struts sometime between now and 150K miles. The struts that came stock will weaken over time and with wear and tear. A sure fire way of seeing if you need new struts is to jump or push the rear/ front bumper down and release. If the car continues to bounce, its usually time to replace. The resting distance from ground to fender is not really a great indicator all the time. If the car bounces loosely after pressing down on a bumper, time to change. You would really notice it over a speed bump too.

If its not leaking oil, its probably not totally shot, just weakening gradually. I would plan on replacing at around 150K or so regardless.
What is a good price to replace front shocks?
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Old 06-24-14, 11:24 AM   #45
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Default Front Shocks Need replacing

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What is a good price to replace front shocks?
What is a fare price to replace front shocks on a Lexus 2004 RX?
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Old 06-24-14, 11:24 AM
 
 
 
 
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2004, 330, 350, back, change, diy, es, forum, front, lexus, rear, replacing, rx, strut, struts

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