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Strut change to KYB - Disaster ensues

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Old 07-08-13, 12:57 PM   #1
settleten
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Default Strut change to KYB - Disaster ensues

All,

First let me say I am new to these forums as I have "lurked" for weeks looking for an explanation for my RX330's new found problem. If there is a thread that covers this please give me a break as I've looked, and looked and looked and looked.

Anyway, my wife's 2004 RX330 hit 115K this past winter so I figured it was time to get new struts as we live in Baltimore and the roads are terrible etc. The truck rode like a couch, and it was our best vehicle by far. Even the Beirut-like city streets would never throw the truck off its game.

However, genius here (me) decided before we started running through tires to get the struts "upgraded" to the KYB's that were recommended on this site ad nauseum. My mechanic however, noted that "these are gas struts and they are going to ride a lot firmer" than the OEM's, a warning I dismissed, as I purchased what were supposed to be OEM replacements. I won't make that mistake again!

The truck now rides awfully-far rougher than my 1998 BMW M3 and it rivals the roughest-riding cars I've ever been in. I bought the struts on rockauto and I noticed there are actually two different KYB struts-an "American and Canadian" version which are nominally oil filled:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...442&cc=1421312

And a "Europe" version (same part number) that is purported to be a gas shock:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/more...922&cc=1421312

Did I get the wrong ones? Is there an adjustment to make? The tires weren't changed nor were the springs so I know those variables are out. The shocks make the truck feel like my M3 when I had Bilstein sports, and that was rough.

The part numbers are the same, but the truck rides atrociously now, bordering on undriveable. Any suggestions are appreciated as I am about at the end of my rope as we have a baby coming and there is no way we can ride around in this thing the way it is.

I would suggest my mechanic blew it somehow, but he's about the best mechanic I know and I know some good ones. He after all somewhat predicted the issue even before the installation.

Thanks and regards,

settleten
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Old 07-08-13, 03:04 PM   #2
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The strut will loosen up as mileage goes on, but I opted for the Monroe strut for this exact reason. The KYB is a more expensive strut. Many here believe in paying more for parts, thus offering a better quality part. In some cases this is true. In other cases not so much. KYB struts are actually a truck strut they modified for the SUV. Research the model numbers and you may run across this. Essentially, KYB did not have a strut to properly function on a luxury SUV like the RX, and substituted a truck strut instead.

Sorry friend, you may be up a creek as the mechanic only purchased what you wanted him to purchase and place on the vehicle. Not sure which model they sold you, so you can always double check that.
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Old 07-09-13, 07:55 AM   #3
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Default So did the Monroe's change the ride quality of your RX?

Or is it the same as before? I may end up going that route.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 07-09-13, 08:34 AM   #4
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Have you tried Sewell for an OEM replacement? We have a discount as CL members. And welcome to CL.
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Old 07-09-13, 09:52 AM   #5
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Default I am going to def give them a call

I just am in disbelief that KYB could offer something like this as a "OEM replacement" when the ride quality is diminished this much. It changes the entire character of the RX330 from a cushy luxury SUV into a bulldozer-and I have ridden in bulldozers before.
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Old 07-09-13, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by settleten View Post
I just am in disbelief that KYB could offer something like this as a "OEM replacement" when the ride quality is diminished this much. It changes the entire character of the RX330 from a cushy luxury SUV into a bulldozer-and I have ridden in bulldozers before.
Too late to return them? Even having to eat the extra labor would be worth it considering the increased comfort over the next several years and if your female is like any of mine you'll appreciate the silence from the passenger seat as well.

I agonized over some sport springs for years but comfort won out in the end. If I want a buckboard, I'll get one.
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Old 07-13-13, 02:50 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=settleten;8028513]All,

The truck now rides awfully-far rougher than my 1998 BMW M3 and it rivals the roughest-riding cars

If it's any consolation, that is EXACTLY my experience on my 2007 Maxima.

The KYB Excel GR2 struts/shocks made the car feel exactly like a hay wagon. Over uneven pavement the car would practically bounce the rear wheels off the ground. Yes, had slightly crisper turn-in, but also would make you seasick on uneven pavement.

And then the noise started.

It would squeak when the steering wheel was turned. The KYB strut bearing had ground itself to dust on one side. And one side had a slight squawk on compression. Total junk IMHO.

I went to a Monroe Ready-strut which came as a pre-assembled spring/strut/mount assembly for $130 each (amazon). (rears on Maxima are just shocks). Rides just the like the OEM, plus 8x easier to install, since compressing coil springs is not my favorite weekend relaxation exercise.
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Old 08-28-13, 02:57 PM   #8
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Default RX330 Struts vs. RX 300

[QUOTE=TechnoGeek;8036944]
Quote:
Originally Posted by settleten View Post
All,

The truck now rides awfully-far rougher than my 1998 BMW M3 and it rivals the roughest-riding cars

If it's any consolation, that is EXACTLY my experience on my 2007 Maxima.

The KYB Excel GR2 struts/shocks made the car feel exactly like a hay wagon. Over uneven pavement the car would practically bounce the rear wheels off the ground. Yes, had slightly crisper turn-in, but also would make you seasick on uneven pavement.

And then the noise started.

It would squeak when the steering wheel was turned. The KYB strut bearing had ground itself to dust on one side. And one side had a slight squawk on compression. Total junk IMHO.

I went to a Monroe Ready-strut which came as a pre-assembled spring/strut/mount assembly for $130 each (amazon). (rears on Maxima are just shocks). Rides just the like the OEM, plus 8x easier to install, since compressing coil springs is not my favorite weekend relaxation exercise.


I haven't done research on the RX 330, I'm an RX 300 owner...But on the RX 300 KYB are the factory struts...I just replaced mine & the car rides almost as good I blame my Yokohama Tires..

Just my two cents for a wednesday..
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Old 08-28-13, 03:20 PM   #9
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contact KYB and explain your dissatisfaction to them. I am sure they will compensate in some way. personally, I have never had a bad experience with KYB struts. I have them in a 2000 Avalon and they ride great, just like oem. im surprised.
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Old 08-29-13, 12:57 PM   #10
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I had H&R race and Bilstein sports on the bimmer so I feel your pain but how is this the mechs fault? He warned you and you still went ahead and bought it. Should he have refused to install it when you brought it in? Cut your losses and sell these on ebay. Ask the mech for a discount on the new install. Your wife is pregnant and is probably hormonal. Your sanity is priceless! Congrats on the baby.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:47 PM   #11
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I've never had a good experience with KYB. I've installed GR2s for my friend's 94 Camry, AGXs on my 97 Maxima, and AGXs on my sister's 90 Accord. I ended up switching in Koni Sports for both the Maxima and Accord...much better. My 01 Golf TDI has H&R coilovers and while they are very firm, they are comfy as long as the road is bump and pothole-free. I've considered putting Eibach springs on my wife's RX400h, but I'm not sure if there's a shock/strut that is well matched. I'd hate to put on a set of Monroes or new OE, and blow the dampers. At any rate, I'll stay away from KYB. I've had nothing be good experiences with Koni, Bilstein, and Tokico.
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Old 08-30-13, 01:07 AM   #12
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Here's my 2 cents. I have installed KYBs and H&R lowered springs on my '05 330. The ride is pretty firm but handles quite nicely and saved me several times.
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Old 09-03-13, 03:50 AM   #13
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im just about to replace my rear shocks in a week or two.

what other parts should i replace at this time ?

shock boot, bumper, strut mount ???
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Old 10-24-13, 04:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by settleten View Post
I just am in disbelief that KYB could offer something like this as a "OEM replacement" when the ride quality is diminished this much. It changes the entire character of the RX330 from a cushy luxury SUV into a bulldozer-and I have ridden in bulldozers before.
Hey Settleten:
What did you end up doing with the KYBs? Did you get another brand?

Just wondering, b/c I also have KYB Excel G on my RX400H AWD with Eibach Pro Kit (only 1.2" drop). It drove well, but 5 months and 3k miles later, my RX rides rough.

Seems like I feel every part of the road. I swear that I would probably feel a penny if I drove over one!

I'm also experiencing the squeaking sounds when turning.

I got a quote for OEM Lexus struts, but they are expensive and I hear they might also be made by KYB.
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Old 10-24-13, 07:46 PM   #15
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I just replaced front and rear struts on my RX330 with KYB's, much better, smoother ride. Tires and tire pressure can also influence the rough or smooth feel of the ride.
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Old 10-24-13, 07:46 PM
 
 
 
 
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