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17LexusOwner

Replacing The Rear Struts. '91 Ls400

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I replaced the front struts on my lexus and they were a piece of cake. Then I moved onto the rear struts and found out that from 'Manager +' that you have to remove the rear drive axel and a ton of other stuff in order to get the strut out since it has such a deep pocket in the fender. I started to try and remove the bolts and shimmy the strut out past the drive shaft but the bolt hits some linkage and won't come out so I gave in.

Haven't started working on them again, but if anyone else has replaced their struts on their own it would help me out a ton if you could give me some tips on how you can make it an easier job to replace them. I don't really wanna spend 7 hours replacing my rear struts.

Thanks.

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Hello: I will sound like one of the moderators, but if you do the search there have been others who had done it without removing so many parts. Just search them in the older posts and ask them if needed to. Good Luck. But make sure you do need to change them, usually they do not go easily, the rear ones that is. I would not touch them unless your rear tires are being eaten in a different scaled mode or they sound when going into a road distortion. C

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Hey-

I've done just this before without removing the rear axle or any extra parts (I also did the front at the same time).

I installed new lexus struts, springs, all of the rubber and new mounting pieces for the shocks (I can't remember the exact term-- but these go at the top and have three bolts you use to secure the top of the shock).

The entire unit will come out very easily once you have removed the rear deck and the nuts up top there (3 each side) and the lower nut/bolt securing the shock absorber. You may have to turn it some as the coil spring may touch the axle.

To reinstall, you must be certain to line up the three mounting bolts in relation to the hole for the bold on the strut itself!!! Look at the orientation of the parts when you take the absorber apart (or use the one you're not currently replacing for reference).

The hardest part of reinstalling the absorber will be getting the alignment between the bottom bolt and top three correct. Having someone there to help/swear at will be a good idea. I did manage to do it alone, but it was not easy.

Regarding the axle, on the reinstall you may have to do a little turning of the coil spring to avoid the axle but there is no problem.

It wasn't a big deal at all. Just make sure to use common sense.

I replaced the front struts on my lexus and they were a piece of cake. Then I moved onto the rear struts and found out that from 'Manager +' that you have to remove the rear drive axel and a ton of other stuff in order to get the strut out since it has such a deep pocket in the fender. I started to try and remove the bolts and shimmy the strut out past the drive shaft but the bolt hits some linkage and won't come out so I gave in.

Haven't started working on them again, but if anyone else has replaced their struts on their own it would help me out a ton if you could give me some tips on how you can make it an easier job to replace them. I don't really wanna spend 7 hours replacing my rear struts.

Thanks.

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I had the rears replaced on my other 1990 LS400 3 years ago and they said all they had to do was remove the back seat and shelf panel. Only charged me $50.00 if I recall.

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I replaced the front struts on my lexus and they were a piece of cake. Then I moved onto the rear struts and found out that from 'Manager +' that you have to remove the rear drive axel and a ton of other stuff in order to get the strut out since it has such a deep pocket in the fender. I started to try and remove the bolts and shimmy the strut out past the drive shaft but the bolt hits some linkage and won't come out so I gave in.

Haven't started working on them again, but if anyone else has replaced their struts on their own it would help me out a ton if you could give me some tips on how you can make it an easier job to replace them. I don't really wanna spend 7 hours replacing my rear struts.

Thanks.

The rears are SUPER easy IF you know the trick. The trick is after you remove all the nuts and bolts, you twist the shock about 90 degrees to let it drop down. Sometimes you can lever the suspension with your foot to ease it out. There should be almost no effort in pulling out the old shocks. If you are expending much effort, then you haven't twisted them the right way.

glenmore

1990 LS400

1991 300CE

2000 C280

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So I just finished converting my '92 LS 400 from air to standard shocks and struts using the Strutmasters kit. The fronts were pretty straight forward. The rear did not require removal of the rear axle but was a challenge as I had never done this on a Lexus. I'm handy but I'm no professional mechanic. For what it's worth here are a couple of things I learned:

Definitely take a moment to align the opening of the shock absorber (bottom of the assembly) with one of the suspension bolts/rods (top of the assembly). Makes your life so much easier when you're trying to mount the rear coil over struts. You can use a spring compressor to do this, but I just put the shock opening (bottom of the strut) in my shop vise and used a pry bar leveraged against the uppper mounting rods/bolts to turn do the alignment. It turns very easily without the springs compressed and doesn't damage the upper bolts. The front strut alignment was easy: just loosely bolt in the upper mounts; use a screw driver to go through the shock mount hole; I used a section of lead pipe over the handle of the screw driver for leverage to align the shock with the shock mount on the lower control arm. You don't have the room to do this in rear. And you have a more difficult time trying to align the upper mounting bolts with the 3 holes (top mount) if the shock opening is not aligned with one of the upper bolts. So when you've done this you should be able to lay the strut on the floor and visualize a straight line running from one of the upper bolts, down the length of the strut, to the hole in the bottom mount (where the bolt slides through).

Secondly, I too had a hard time getting the new strut in place (the old ones basically fell out quite easily). The trick I learned (again, not a professional mechanic so this may be common knowledge I didn't have)was to slide the shock absorber bottom through the lower control arms and down past (to one side of) the axle to get the upper assembly partial into place - then lift the suspension assembly (I was pushing down trying to get clearance) to get the clearance at the bottom necessary to tilt the upper part of the strut into place. If you don't lift the suspension, you can't clearance you need to tilt the top of the strut into its well. Once the top is in, you can lower the suspension and slide the bottom into the shock mount bracket on the lower control arm. With the car on jack stands I basically faced the car with my legs under the rear diff and had the suspension assembly in my lap. I used my legs to lift while I maneuvered the strut into place. I had my wife thread on the 3 top nuts while I held it. But you could also fix it in place with a jack (or a wedge of wood against the bottom of the shock, etc) if you're working alone, which would allow you to move to the top and install the upper 3 nuts.

I like the Strutmasters kit. The ride is awesome. The directions left a little bit to be desired and their tech support line was unresponsive the times I called (they returned my message after I had finished the job). I found that there is little on the Web to help you along when dealing with the rear R and R process. The guy on the Lextreme site had some help full photos but they didn't document the full process. This site offered the best insights (though I was unsuccessful in finding the DIY archives referenced in one of the threads). For example, I don't think I could have removed the rear seat cushion successfully (undamaged) without finding the simple instruction to pull the tabs to release the cushion noted on this forum.

Being a first time Lexus owner, this site has been a great resource. Hope this helps.

Bob

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