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1997 Es300 Strut Replacement


MNJack
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I did a search on struts/shocks and found some great stuff (One member actually posted a very well documented step by step how-to with photographs: excellent!!) but I still have a few questions.

First of all, the most basic question: Are struts and shocks the same thing? Do I have both? If I order KYB struts (and strut mounts) and replace them is that all I need to replace?

One of the searched threads identified a website that seems to have the lowest prices on KYBs, which includes shipping. A bit cheper than tirerack. But for all 4 struts and all 4 corresponding strut mounts it still comes out to $475 for the parts alone! Does that sound right?

I am going to try to install them myself. I don't have the adjustable suspension which should make the install a little easier. The instructions I found via this forum look awesome. I already bought a Lexus repair manual and a Haynes (Camry) manual. I may also buy a new tool set. I have been using SAE tools for the past 5 yrs doing most of my wrenching on an old American car. Need a metric set!

Any other suggestions or ideas? My ES has 130k miles and the ride quality has really deteriorated.... very gradually. My daily commute takes me into New York City with lots of potholes, and I feel every one of them!

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I think the strut bumper and insulator should be replaced when the strut is reassembled. You can find them at www.irontoad.com As I recall, I paid about $80 total (enough for 4 struts). I replaced the lower insulator and the bumper. Note, you can reuse your stock springs if you don't plan to lower your vehicle.

I had an independent shop do the work and I paid about $100/strut-mount installation. So for me, the total for the complete strut job was about $1,000. I bought the struts/mounts from tirerack as well. But you are right, I have since learned of another place that includes shipping so about a savings of about $50. I have heard that labor can be less then what I paid as well. Be very careful doing this job yourself, it is dangerous due to the spring compression requirements.

Now what else?

These cars are known for lower control arm bushings and sway bar bushings failing, so you might want to take a good look at them as well. I replaced my lower control arms (ebay) and will replace my sway bar bushings (energysuspension) next month.

Good luck.

Dan

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MNJack,

I'm in CT if you wanted to get this done... a little bit of a ride but I can do it a lot cheaper than the dealer. I've been getting OEM/KYB's from http://www.stopshopanddrive.com. They're about $75 a piece. Yes, I would get the boots as well. Strut mounts ? Tough call... more times than not they're ok even on high mileage cars. If you're not getting any "clunking" noises you might get away w/o them. Of course the problem is when if/when they do go, you need to remove the struts again. The back seat needs to come out for the rears, you don't need to take out the rear shelf (ignore that step if you see it in any write-ups). Email me if you need any help or want to get them done.

Bob

rdunne14@comcast.net

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  • 5 months later...
I did a search on struts/shocks and found some great stuff (One member actually posted a very well documented step by step how-to with photographs: excellent!!)  but I still have a few questions.

First of all, the most basic question:  Are struts and shocks the same thing?  Do I have both?  If I order KYB struts (and strut mounts)  and replace them is that all I need to replace? 

One of the searched threads identified a website that seems to have the lowest prices on KYBs, which includes shipping.  A bit cheper than tirerack.  But for all 4 struts and all 4 corresponding strut mounts it still comes out to $475 for the parts alone!  Does that sound right? 

I am going to try to install them myself.  I don't have the adjustable suspension which should make the install a little easier. The instructions I found via this forum look awesome.  I already bought a Lexus repair manual and a Haynes (Camry) manual.  I may also buy a new tool set.  I have been using SAE tools for the past 5 yrs doing most of my wrenching on an old American car.  Need a metric set! 

Any other suggestions or ideas?    My ES has 130k miles and the ride quality has really deteriorated....  very gradually.  My  daily commute takes me into New York City with lots of potholes, and I feel every one of them!

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I just had my front struts replaced with KYBs a couple of weeks ago. What a difference. I have 175K miles on my 92 ES300. The front struts started to make som noise - low dribbling sound ove medium bumps. I didn't realized how bad the old ones were until you get new ones. I got my KYBs from a website AJUSA.com. Since then I found a cheaper place, Importrp.com.

I'm planning to replace the rears, can you tell me where the posting of the step-by-step procedure and other documentation. I need some guidance, especially in removing the back seat. Thanks.

I did a search on struts/shocks and found some great stuff (One member actually posted a very well documented step by step how-to with photographs: excellent!!)  but I still have a few questions.

First of all, the most basic question:  Are struts and shocks the same thing?  Do I have both?  If I order KYB struts (and strut mounts)  and replace them is that all I need to replace? 

One of the searched threads identified a website that seems to have the lowest prices on KYBs, which includes shipping.  A bit cheper than tirerack.   But for all 4 struts and all 4 corresponding strut mounts it still comes out to $475 for the parts alone!  Does that sound right? 

I am going to try to install them myself.  I don't have the adjustable suspension which should make the install a little easier. The instructions I found via this forum look awesome.  I already bought a Lexus repair manual and a Haynes (Camry) manual.   I may also buy a new tool set.  I have been using SAE tools for the past 5 yrs doing most of my wrenching on an old American car.  Need a metric set! 

Any other suggestions or ideas?    My ES has 130k miles and the ride quality has really deteriorated....  very gradually.   My  daily commute takes me into New York City with lots of potholes, and I feel every one of them!

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MNJack,

I just had my front struts replaced with KYBs a couple of weeks ago. What a difference. I have 175K miles on my 92 ES300. The front struts started to make som noise - low dribbling sound ove medium bumps. I didn't realized how bad the old ones were until you get new ones. I got my KYBs from a website AJUSA.com. Since then I found a cheaper place, Importrp.com.

I'm planning to replace the rears, can you tell me where the posting of the step-by-step procedure and other documentation. I need some guidance, especially in removing the back seat. Thanks.

I did a search on struts/shocks and found some great stuff (One member actually posted a very well documented step by step how-to with photographs: excellent!!)  but I still have a few questions.

First of all, the most basic question:  Are struts and shocks the same thing?  Do I have both?  If I order KYB struts (and strut mounts)  and replace them is that all I need to replace? 

One of the searched threads identified a website that seems to have the lowest prices on KYBs, which includes shipping.  A bit cheper than tirerack.  But for all 4 struts and all 4 corresponding strut mounts it still comes out to $475 for the parts alone!  Does that sound right? 

I am going to try to install them myself.  I don't have the adjustable suspension which should make the install a little easier. The instructions I found via this forum look awesome.  I already bought a Lexus repair manual and a Haynes (Camry) manual.  I may also buy a new tool set.  I have been using SAE tools for the past 5 yrs doing most of my wrenching on an old American car.  Need a metric set! 

Any other suggestions or ideas?    My ES has 130k miles and the ride quality has really deteriorated....  very gradually.  My  daily commute takes me into New York City with lots of potholes, and I feel every one of them!

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Try Auto Parts Place on the web. I bought my rears (KYB) for $65 each and the mount for an additional $30. They offer free shipping on all orders over $150. That should put you closer to the $400 mark

I had a '95 ES so it's possible the '97 pricing is different, but it's worth checking it out. shipping was very quick.

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