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2004 Front and Rear Struts---DIY

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Old 05-22-12, 08:18 AM   #1
Rabjr5
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Default 2004 Front and Rear Struts---DIY

Please explain to me what to order for 2004 Lexus RX 330 144,000miles FWD....??
Everything I should change... Strut bearing,,, cap...?????? Mount ??? Please tell me everything I should order... I will change the REAR first then later on Change the Front at 150,000 miles..
KYB??? Monroe ??? Thanks.....
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Old 05-22-12, 10:06 AM   #2
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some info here:
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...004-rx330.html

It's fairly easy if you have the spring compressor, otherwise have a local shop swap them out, the local NAPA did mine for free when I bought the struts from them. Ordered KYB struts and whatever they had listed for the bearing mount. Total out the door price was $600(all 4 corners). Job time was about 6 hours, waiting for the spring swap, drive time included. Then an alignment to make sure it was in specs.
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Old 05-22-12, 12:51 PM   #3
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If you don't have a large breaker bar, and a spring compressor, this job will be difficult. The bolts that attach strut to knuckle are extremely tight usually. Top bolts that are 14 mm are easy. The strut bolts are 19mm or 20 mm IIRC so make sure you have large sockets too.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:53 PM   #4
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My main concern is what is RE-Useable ... and What SHOULD be changed/replaced ??

I have the tools and ability to do the job.... I just need to know what to replace and what to reuse.

Thanks.....
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Old 05-22-12, 03:49 PM   #5
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Since it's all torn down, might as well replace with all new.

Mount and strut for the rear.
Mount, bearing and strut for the front.

If you want the bellows, get those as well unless the originals are visibly okay, meaning not torn or cracked.
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Old 05-22-12, 03:53 PM   #6
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Thank YOU,,, CartMan.... I was wondering if I would get an answer..... I Will ORDER the Rear Now..... Thanks... KYB OR MONROE ? ? Does it matter ?
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Old 05-22-12, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabjr5 View Post
Thank YOU,,, CartMan.... I was wondering if I would get an answer..... I Will ORDER the Rear Now..... Thanks... KYB OR MONROE ? ? Does it matter ?
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/s...4&autoModClar=

KYB is OEM.
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Old 05-30-12, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabjr5 View Post
Thank YOU,,, CartMan.... I was wondering if I would get an answer..... I Will ORDER the Rear Now..... Thanks... KYB OR MONROE ? ? Does it matter ?
please post photos of the progress!
Thanks

Speaking of the struts, I'm wondering if I need some new ones myself. I have an 05 RX330 AWD with 106k miles and conventional shocks/struts. I've noticed that the rear is bouncing slightly after driving over big bumps. I know this is supposed to feel like a couch, but the "bounce" is noticeable. I've checked all 4 corners and noted no leaks or oil on the struts themselves. I've noticed that the rubber boots covering the rear struts are cracked and torn.
I've measured the vertical distance from the ground to the rear fender keeping the tape measure on the wheel center and noted 31 1/4". The front's had 31 3/4" clearance (seems appropriate).
May I ask you guys to measure the rear fender clearance from the ground as described above for comparison? Thanks!
I'm assuming that if both left and right clearances are equal for front and rear - the struts are good, unless all 4 are equally shot which is not likely.

Last edited by RockfordRX; 05-30-12 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 05-30-12, 07:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockfordRX View Post
please post photos of the progress!
Thanks

Speaking of the struts, I'm wondering if I need some new ones myself. I have an 05 RX330 AWD with 106k miles and conventional shocks/struts. I've noticed that the rear is bouncing slightly after driving over big bumps. I know this is supposed to feel like a couch, but the "bounce" is noticeable. I've checked all 4 corners and noted no leaks or oil on the struts themselves. I've noticed that the rubber boots covering the rear struts are cracked and torn.
I've measured the vertical distance from the ground to the rear fender keeping the tape measure on the wheel center and noted 31 1/4". The front's had 31 3/4" clearance (seems appropriate).
May I ask you guys to measure the rear fender clearance from the ground as described above for comparison? Thanks!
I'm assuming that if both left and right clearances are equal for front and rear - the struts are good, unless all 4 are equally shot which is not likely.
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.
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Old 05-30-12, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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.
Changed originals after 75k, they were shot, no leaks either.
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Old 05-30-12, 08:38 PM   #11
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Thanks, HoustonBlue and Cartman!
I cannot make the car bounce, so I guess it's still good. Seeing torn strut boots made me wonder when I thought of a slight bounce I've been experiencing with the RX. Of course, my other car is an 06 CRV which rides very harsh and feels like a sports car, so switching back and forth messes with my mind. I will keep a close eye on those.
Thanks again for your opinions!
Still, if it's not too much trouble, next time you're in the garage, please measure and let me know what you get.
Thanks!
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Old 06-26-12, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabjr5 View Post
Thank YOU,,, CartMan.... I was wondering if I would get an answer..... I Will ORDER the Rear Now..... Thanks... KYB OR MONROE ? ? Does it matter ?
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
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Old 06-27-12, 08:57 AM   #13
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For those who do not know, Advance Autoparts will loan you a spring compressor for no charge. You only need to place a deposit.
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Old 07-03-12, 10:00 AM   #14
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Jeff,, thanks for those numbers....

I have not tackled the job yet..... 145,857 miles on the RX.... ride is good but somewhat lose on the bumps, turns and when carrying 4 or 5 people.

My daughter has the exact same car with 88,000 miles and it drives more solid and tighter/firmer.


KYB or MONROE,,, has ANYONE USED Monroe and are they happy.... I know they say KYB are OEM...

Is there a difference.... does it matter.....

When I get some free time I will do the job rears first.... then fronts after I experience the task of STRUTS.

Thanks for Parts ordering numbers Jeff.......

I will update when I complete the job...
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Old 07-03-12, 08:06 PM   #15
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Some Monroe shocks are gas-filled, which gives a car a really sporty and harsh ride - great for BMW , roadsters and sports cars and competition trucks. Not so great for the RX ride.
I'd go with KYB (oil-filled).
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Old 07-03-12, 08:06 PM
 
 
 
 
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