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sgriffith

1999 Rx300 Struts

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I have noticed a much looser ride in my 1999 RX300 here lately. It has about 70,000 miles on it and I am about to take it in to get the spark plugs replaced. Anyone else had to replace the struts on your RX & if you have, does $1800 sound like highway robbery to you (because it does to me)? Has anyone changed these things themselves? If so, what make of strut did you buy & how difficult was it? Lots of questions!!!! Thanks in advance for all the help.

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First, I rather doubt that at 70k your struts are the cause of the problem.

Cost, struts only, is about $200 a set, $400 all.

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At about 65,000, the driver's side strut on my 1999 RX300 was leaking oil -- a goner - and there were noises when going over bumps. I replaced the strut and the suspension support at the top, and it rides and sounds fine now. If your ride is mushy, look for oil around the upper part of the strut with the car jacked up.

The passenger side on my car is making noise, which is probably the suspension support as well. I'll replace both parts on that side "soon" as well.

The suspension support has a big rubber ring in it that holds the top end of the shock absorber portion of the strut. I understand that when that starts to fail, noise results. So I recommend replacing that support when you replace the strut. But a weak support probably won't affect the ride -- just creates noise.

I got a KYB GR-2 strut by mail order from PickProParts.com. Their price for KYB struts was the best I could find -- $93.28 + shipping. Part numbers can vary between 2WD and 4WD vehicles, make note which ones you pick. FYI -- they don't carry the suspension support - I got that from O'Reilly Auto Parts.

I had great success getting the part through PickProParts. It arrived right on time, works just fine, and has a lifetime warranty (as compared to dealer warranties). The ride is very comparable to what the car felt like originally.

It actually wasn’t particularly hard to replace the strut and suspension support, although it did require a pretty large socket to get the lower strut bolts loose – around 22 mm, I think (can’t recall for sure). And those bolts are supposed to be torqued to around 150 ft/lbs when re-installing, and my torque wrench doesn’t go that high, so I went to 85 ft/lb and then cranked it more with a breakover. Not the best approach, but it works well enouh.

I also had to replace the rubber insulator at the bottom of the coil spring -- $30 from Lexus.

One thing to watch for when reassembling is -- the suspension support is “keyed” at the center hole to line up with slots at the top of the shock rod, just beneath the rod’s top bolt threads. So when tightening that shock rod bolt on reassembly, make sure those keyed parts line up. Could be a problem otherwise.

Main thing I would do different is:

1) using white-out or something similar, before you take the strut out, mark one of the upper mounting bolts and put a spot by its mounting hole, so you can more easily align things during the install.

2) Once the whole strut assembly is out, use white-out to mark all the parts in relation to their neighboring part. That helps later when reassembling.

The part I dislike the most in the replacement process is using spring compressors to compress the coil. Most folks say to use two, but I use three to make sure I don’t kill myself, and I always stand to the side in case parts start flying. Just makes me nervous.

Just prior to all this, I had the car aligned. After replacing these parts, I had the alignment checked and it failed. You can drive the car for a while after replacing these parts, but I suggest getting an alignment fairly soon because the old and new parts won't be exact.

So yes, $1800 is too high. You can get all the parts you need for $160 - $200 per side.

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Thank you both so much for your help...I never knew people could be so helpful!!!! Thanks again...and I will be sure to return the favor in the future.

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My 99 RX300 AWD has 100K miles with original struts.

I feel the ride is harsh, and feel the bumps over the not so smooth roads. I use Michelin LTX 225/70/16 at 30 PSI.

I jacked the car up, and there is no oil leak @ the struts.

The ride is solid & stable over the cornering, not mushy.

Do you guys think I need new struts, or just the new the upper rubber ring?

How difficult is it to replace the upper rubber ring? Do you happen to have any instruction how to do it?

I welcome any suggestions.

Thanks

email: mek88@yahoo.com

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I have OEM struts on the '95 Intrepid I abuse, daily, and it does need new struts, has needed them since about 105K miles. KYB's are good, they're my pick for both shocks and struts, if for shocks you're not going down the rather expensive Koni road.

You'll feel a difference when the strust are toast. You'll notice 'porpoising' over gentle road undulations, or instead of a bounce or two after slowly going over a speed bump, you get a bunch, and they never seem to end. Then, it's time.

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is there any leaks on your front struts? $1800? is a lot of money? It that the quote from Parkplace lexus?

JPI

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1800 was a quote from Sewell...however I have found that Park Place is much more reasonable with service charges. For example....about $440.00 to replace spark plugs & clean throttle body (something like that) and that same service at Park Place is $295.00. So, Park Place will be getting my business. I have decided not to replace the struts....but possibly to replace one of the suspension supports on the front passenger side due to some noise that I have been hearing.....exactly as described by the thrid person to reply. Those are the decisions thus far...thanks a lot for the replies.

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We can and will beat Parkplace Lexus price. We are an independent lexus/toyota repair shop located in the garland area. Here is our web page www.jpimportz.org

. Let us know if you need anything.

JPI

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