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95 SC400, front shocks replacement?

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Old 03-06-14, 11:49 PM   #1
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Talking 95 SC400, front shocks replacement?

Hey guys! I'mew new to the "club", if you will. In fact, just about an hour into being a Lexus owner, more specifically a 1995 SC400!

Bought it knowing the front shocks aren't so great. It feels as if they have a leak, I still get some firmness, but it does bobble/clunk over rough surfaces and over smoother bumps it bounces up and down a bit. So, definitely needs some shocks!

Question is, does anybody know of a reliable online guide on replacing them? I'm not a mechanic, but I'm quite competent when it comes to fixing things. Was able to replace a wheel bearing in my other car (a Maxima) without any real problem. Just not sure what tools, etc are need. I'm assuming I'll need to remove the wheel hub all the way, so I'll need to take it in for an alignment if I replace the struts myself, but I'd like to save on labor for the struts, if possible.

That said, any pros/cons in using a stiffer shock in the front than the rear? The previous owner replaced the rear shocks late last year and went with factory firmness for them. If I go for a more stiff front strut, could it throw off the vehicle balance too much?

(and if you're curious of what it looks like as it stands, these are pics from the listing and it looks identical http://imgur.com/a/sIr8h#0 )
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Old 03-10-14, 02:00 AM   #2
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Going to bump this, and be a bit more specific now that I've done a fair bit of research.

In regards to the removal of the current, bad front struts: From what I see, some suggest removing the sway bar link, others say loosen or remove an upper control arm bolt? Any one here have more insight on this?

As for the struts I'm replacing with, I'd like some help.
The person I bought it from had rear struts replaced last year, and they appear to be the OEM style KYBs. Would it be a positive or negative impact if I replaced the front struts with more firm struts in the front? By positive impact, I am primarily referring to best straight line and cornering stability. Ride comfort/softness is not really a concern of mine. My worry is that stiffer front with softer rear struts would result in an imbalance, throwing everything off.


If positive, any suggestion on brand? I seem to keep running into KYB, Monroe, Tokico, and Gabriel struts made for the SC. Not sure which would be best to go with considering the rears are similar to OEM.
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Old 03-10-14, 06:41 AM   #3
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Stiffer fronts will give you more understeer. Safer, and really shouldn't affect frontline stability. But also less fun on the track.

Edit: As far as removing the old suspension, it can be difficult due to OEM height. I unbolted quite a few things, and iirc had to temporarily relocate the washer reservoir (actually decided to permanently rid of it on mine due to inoperation/CF hood) to get one of the bolts out of an arm. It took a lot of motivation to lower the hub enough to get the guy over it. Much easier with my new coilovers.

Last edited by ArkLaTexSC; 03-10-14 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 03-10-14, 05:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback, Ark!

I wouldn't be too concerned about the increased nature to understeer, wouldn't be pushing it that hard on the street and I'll have the suspension upgraded before it sees a track.

Any struts I can find similar in cost to KYBs don't seem to be overly aggressive, so I might just go with KYBs and wait to do some coilovers down the line.

As for removal, I guess my biggest concern is not removing anything that'll make getting an alignment a must/good idea.
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Old 03-10-14, 06:01 PM   #5
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No, you'll need an alignment no matter what. I still need one too.

And call me Clark. ArkLaTex is the area I'm from (it's called that as it is the corners of arkansas, texas, and louisiana.)

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Old 03-10-14, 09:10 PM   #6
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removing upper A arm has been proven to be most helpful
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Old 03-13-14, 08:10 AM   #7
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What sort of suspensions "upgrades" would be necessary for say a Drift car? I have a '97 sc400 and I plan to convert it into a MT and do some upgrades in other places. What is the most cost efficient way to go without sacrificing quality?
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Old 03-13-14, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCHILL View Post
What sort of suspensions "upgrades" would be necessary for say a Drift car? I have a '97 sc400 and I plan to convert it into a MT and do some upgrades in other places. What is the most cost efficient way to go without sacrificing quality?
Coilovers is all you need here really. I have D2s and they never cease to impress me
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Old 03-13-14, 01:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArkLaTexSC View Post
No, you'll need an alignment no matter what. I still need one too.

And call me Clark. ArkLaTex is the area I'm from (it's called that as it is the corners of arkansas, texas, and louisiana.)
Thanks, Clark.
While an alignment is likely needed as is, was hoping to put it off for a bit but can't neglect such an item simply just for safety reasons. Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-21-14, 02:37 AM   #10
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Sorry to double post, but figured this doesn't warrant a knew thread.

I ended up ordering standard KYBs from Rockauto (great company!) and am currently working on installing them, but I've run into a snag!


As seen in the picture below, I can't remove the bolt connecting the strut to the lower control arm. It appears as if the end on the side not seen in the pic slipped into the hole on the strut, and now the weight is pressed right down on it. Can't figure out a way to lessen the force of the strut on the bolt! Any tips?? I tried loosening the front sway bar but it hasn't loosened enough. I'm at a loss aside from removing the upper control arm from the wheel hub, which I'd like to avoid.


http://imgur.com/WxsoN1K

edit: Got a tip on a different site to push the strut up with a pry bar to lessen the force against the bolt. Only place I could was on top of the upper control arm as the pivot point, and the pry bar pressing up against the underside of the lower spring plate on the strut... I backed the bolt out about 75% of the way but it feels as if the threads are grabbing too hard inside the rubber hold on the old strut. Can't get that damn thing out! So any further tips would be great.

Last edited by picodroid; 03-21-14 at 03:28 AM..
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Old 03-21-14, 02:29 PM   #11
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Have you tried an impact wrench/gun?
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Old 03-21-14, 04:58 PM   #12
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I was able to remove the nut from the one end of the bolt not seen, it was getting it through the hole in the bottom of the strut. But, with some convincing and knocking it through with a smaller pin I was able to remove it.

I'm not at a loss as to what everyone means when they say remove the bolt from the upper control arm to swing it out of the way of the strut... If I remove the bolt connecting it to the chassis, it can't really pivot up or down much due to the upper ball joint connecting it to the wheel hub... so it seems that I would need to remove the entire upper control arm.

I've seen the how-to post here that includes info on removing the struts, but the poster relied heavily on the pictures to illustrate what he meant and sadly the photos are all dead links now. I wish there was a more up-to-date how-to or even a video on how. Surprised there isn't, considering how much info this site alone has on the SC.
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Old 03-22-14, 03:41 AM   #13
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Here's a link that helped me when I was installing coilovers. Check it out:

http://garage.projectraine.com/conte...ng/spring.html
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Old 03-23-14, 09:20 AM   #14
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If you take the upper control arm bolt out and pull the abs wires out of their holders. Then you can swing the upper control arm around some and pry down on the lower control arm and out it comes. The drivers side is a little more difficult. You must remove the bolts to the washer tank. Also you will need to unbolt the inner fender liners to get the upper arm bolts out.
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Old 03-23-14, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uras300 View Post
Here's a link that helped me when I was installing coilovers. Check it out:

http://garage.projectraine.com/conte...ng/spring.html

Wow, thanks for the link! Seems much simpler than most steps I've see. I haven't noticed those bolts under that bracket, didn't know it was removeable but it looks to make this work so much easier which is a relief. I was dreading trying to crank out that upper A arm bolt.
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Old 03-23-14, 06:39 PM
 
 
 
 
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1993, 95sc400, arm, club, compatible, control, diy, front, lexus, lower, rear, replace, replacement, replacing, sc400, shock, shocks

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