Notices
RX - 2nd Gen (2004-2009) Discussion topics related to the 2004 -2009 RX330, RX350 and RX400H models
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Replacing struts on a 2004 RX330

 
Old 09-22-08, 05:44 PM
  #1  
buckeyemik
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: wa
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Replacing struts on a 2004 RX330

I was just informed that my 2004 Lexus RX330 needs new front struts, insulators and supports to the tune of $1,300. Has anyone replaced these themselves? I am somewhat mechanically inclined and am wondering if I should bend over for the dealer or try it myself. The Toyota dealer said the parts cost $700.00. Any help would really be appreciated.
Thanx,
Mike
buckeyemik is offline  
Old 09-22-08, 07:57 PM
  #2  
Grumpa72
Lead Lap
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 601
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

If you don't go the DIY direction, is there anything so difficult about struts that you couldn't go the aftermarket route and have a local garage do it? While I am an accomplished DIY guy with cars, none of mine have needed struts yet, including my 15 year Acura with 120000 miles. However, when I do replace them, I will try the DIY way. If I decide not to, I will let the local garage install store bought struts.
Grumpa72 is offline  
Old 09-22-08, 08:52 PM
  #3  
iKon_RX
Pole Position
 
iKon_RX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Tx
Posts: 212
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

who told you your rx needed new ones? if dealer, they trying to take advantage of you.

you could get kyb struts for about 100each, so thats 400, you could install yourself and save more or go to a local shop(not dealer) and have them install for a price much much cheaper than dealer.

tools needed:
3 different size sockets, 14,17,19mm(if i remember correctly)
-torque wrench
-flat head
-hydralic or scissor jack
-spring compressor
-another human being with some car knowledge, one not afraid to get dirty.
iKon_RX is offline  
The following users liked this post:
LRX05 (03-16-18)
Old 09-22-08, 09:21 PM
  #4  
ratha67
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Anaheim Hills, CA
Posts: 74
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I replaced my rear struts on my own on my 2004 RX330. It was pretty easy. Just had to buy a cheap spring compressor and I got the rears done in about 2 hours. If I had to do it again, I could probably do it in 1 hour.

My mechanic said he would charge me $60 per strut in labor. KYB or Monroe were my aftermarket options. I got Monroe sensatrac struts and paid $100 for each strut. I had never done suspension work on my own before and considered paying my mechanic to do it, but thought I would first give it a shot myself.

It was pretty simple.

Just remove 3 bolts at the upper part of the strut (under an easy to pop off plastic panel on the sides of the rear cargo area.)

Then with the car on jack stands and the tires off, remove 3 or 4 bolts on the lower part of the strut that releases the whole spring and strut assembly from the wheel well.

Then with the spring/strut assembly out, use the spring compressor (just a couple of hooks on a couple long threaded bolts) to compress the spring. Unbolt and remove the strut from the spring, replace with the new strut, and decompress the spring using the spring compressor, and then reinstall the assembly.

Of course, if you are not much of a DIY'er I would recommend taking it to a mechanic and paying the $120 or so in labor, especially given the dangers of an amateur using a spring compressor (can seriously injure or kill you if you are not careful when dealing with compressed springs).

Good Luck
ratha67 is offline  
Old 09-22-08, 09:30 PM
  #5  
AM1
Lexus Champion
iTrader: (6)
 
AM1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: So CaL
Posts: 4,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

even though its not exactly related to this thread, the shocks/struts in the RX are prone to early failure. whenever you car is being serviced and on a lift ask them to check for leakage in all 4 struts. anyways, i agree dont buy OEM since there are other replacements that are much cheaper, though i would get the dealer to replace them if you are still under warranty
AM1 is offline  
Old 09-22-08, 11:37 PM
  #6  
CK6Speed
Super Moderator
iTrader: (1)
 
CK6Speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: HI
Posts: 7,719
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

I'm not sure they are prone to early failure as I had Eibach springs on the stock shocks and 20" rims and they were still good at 60K when I sold it to my friend. My friend recently sold it again with the stock springs and struts at around 80K and still no problem.

That said, go with aftermarket struts and either DIY or take it to an independent shop. I've done suspension swaps on my old Integra, Legend, NSX, RX330, SC400, friends Infiniti and they are all basically the same. Any backyard weekend warrior could do it in 4 hours if it were your first time then cut that in half once you learned the little tricks on each car.

At $1300 just for two front struts is insane. If the parts and labor were really that expensive for two front struts I'd buy aftermarket coil overs for about that price or a little higher and swap them in myself in about 30 minutes each side. Of course you would need an alignment which would be an extra $80-$120 or so.
CK6Speed is offline  
Old 09-23-08, 05:30 AM
  #7  
salimshah
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 12,281
Received 281 Likes on 273 Posts
Default

Word of caution:

When you are dealing with compressed spring, it has lot of energy stored. If you know what you are doing [as a mechanic is supposed to know] then go ahead. If you are a novice and more eager than experienced diy, weigh the risk vs. gain. Personally I would give the $60 each for a strut replacement.

Replacing the strut does not require equipment/know-how specific to RX, so a non-dealer option is perfectly viable.

Salim
salimshah is offline  
Old 09-23-08, 07:06 AM
  #8  
Grumpa72
Lead Lap
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 601
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

So I learned something new today. Our cars have struts in the rear? If so, this is my first vehicle without the traditional struts up front and shocks at the rear. Any confirmation on that? I hope I am wrong because changing shocks is easier than struts as you know.
Grumpa72 is offline  
Old 09-23-08, 11:55 AM
  #9  
CK6Speed
Super Moderator
iTrader: (1)
 
CK6Speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: HI
Posts: 7,719
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Grumpa72 View Post
So I learned something new today. Our cars have struts in the rear? If so, this is my first vehicle without the traditional struts up front and shocks at the rear. Any confirmation on that? I hope I am wrong because changing shocks is easier than struts as you know.
Coiled spring over struts in the rear just like the front. Strut removal is not that difficult if you take the entire assembly out as one piece. I bought one of those $200 clambshell type spring compressor and it has served me well. Paid for itself after the first suspension installation.
CK6Speed is offline  
Old 09-23-08, 01:23 PM
  #10  
Zodiac
Driver
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 169
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

The dealer replaced one of my rear shock which was leaking at only 20K miles. If I am in the market for shocks I would definitely go with aftermarket.
Zodiac is offline  
Old 09-26-08, 01:36 AM
  #11  
AM1
Lexus Champion
iTrader: (6)
 
AM1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: So CaL
Posts: 4,790
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
The dealer replaced one of my rear shock which was leaking at only 20K miles. If I am in the market for shocks I would definitely go with aftermarket.
at least you got 20K out of yours. my mechanics rx330 had leaking shocks at 12K.
AM1 is offline  
Old 09-27-08, 12:26 AM
  #12  
code58
Lexus Champion
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ca.
Posts: 1,709
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Grumpa72 View Post
So I learned something new today. Our cars have struts in the rear? If so, this is my first vehicle without the traditional struts up front and shocks at the rear. Any confirmation on that? I hope I am wrong because changing shocks is easier than struts as you know.
Grumpa- It's not bad, as others have said. Changing most struts is a lot easier than changing coil springs in the front on a conventional say '70's American car. And on a lot of cars (I believe even the RX), you don't NEED to do an alignment afterwards because there is no caster or camber adjustment on the front end of most McPerson strut cars. The front end guys won't tell you that I can guarantee you because they make a killing on them- the only thing to adjust is toe-in. You WILL get charged for a complete alignment though.
code58 is offline  
Old 03-26-19, 12:21 PM
  #13  
iMSQ
Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NM
Posts: 50
Received 6 Likes on 6 Posts
Lightbulb

Originally Posted by iKon_RX View Post
...
tools needed:
3 different size sockets, 14,17,19mm(if i remember correctly)
-torque wrench
-flat head
-hydralic or scissor jack
-spring compressor
-another human being with some car knowledge, one not afraid to get dirty.
1. I would recommend having the Ratchet and Socket Set, that includes:
  • 12 mm for brake line;
  • 14 mm for 3 nuts on top;
  • 17 mm for stabilizer link;
  • 19 mm for the nut on shock (on top)
  • 22 mm for 2 bolts on the strut (and for wheels)

2. To replace stabilizer link the next type of wrench is needed:


3. Torque wrench (I used the next on the photo below) or impact wrench.


4. Flat screwdriver;
5. Hydraulic or scissor jack (+ safety jack);
6. Spring compressor;
7. Hex key #6 (maybe);
8. WD-40.

Spray WD-40 in advance (for example, a day before). Torque wrench and Spring compressor are available for free rent at AutoZone (and some other stores).
I would highly recommend using the impact wrench (electric) to remove the old nut from the top of the shock (very fast and easy). Lifehack: Buy it at a store, have clean arms and sockets while working, and return in the same new condition.
Next 2 videos can be useful:
PS: There are 2 errors were made in second video: 1) compress springs more - then Shock-strut Piston will be fixed in the Strut Mount; 2) Don't use the impact wrench to tighten the nut - use the ratchet when the strut is installed.
iMSQ is online now  
Old 03-26-19, 12:28 PM
  #14  
iMSQ
Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NM
Posts: 50
Received 6 Likes on 6 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by code58 View Post
...And on a lot of cars (I believe even the RX), you don't NEED to do an alignment afterwards because...
No, you NEED to check the alignment (at least).
iMSQ is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Replacing struts on a 2004 RX330


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: