ebay "Pro-Struts" for 4th gen Camry - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 11-18-2010, 05:57 PM
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ebay "Pro-Struts" for 4th gen Camry

New to the forums and have a question about some struts I purchased and installed last week. After shopping around a bit for new struts (complete assemblies) for my 2000 V6 Camry w/165,000mi, I took a chance and bought some Autopart International "Pro-Struts" off of a seller on ebay. Price was about $150 cheaper for four than Monroe Quick Struts and the seller claimed they were made in the same factory (hmmm). The order went off without a hitch and the struts were delivered to AZ from FL in one week.

First alarm bell went off when I opened the first box and saw a tag on the spring warning me that the car might appear to sit higher after installation - that this was normal and that I should allow the springs to settle.

Second alarm bell went off when I realized the rear springs had about 2.5 more coils than the originals and the fronts had 1 coil more than the originals.

Well shipping these heavy pigs back to FL was not really an option and the car is just a driver anyway so I went ahead with the install. Besides, I had never seen the Monroe Quick Struts and for all I knew they were exactly the same (anyone?). Everything went pretty smooth although out of 6 weld nuts across the 4 struts for brake line bolts, etc, 4 of them were welded in just far enough off center of the hole that I couldn't thread the bolt in. A little work with a rat tail file solved the problem but irritating nonetheless.

Sat the car back down on the ground and sure enough, it looked a quite a bit higher than before. Keep in mind I had 165,000mi on the originals and it rode like it had Jello for suspension. I took it for a test run and found the ride to be much more controlled than before (duh) and thankfully, no weird noises (it's early yet) like some have reported in the past with Quick Struts. But the car sits about 1 inch higher in the front and 1.5 - 2.0 inches higher in the back. It's noticeably higher than any other 4th gen Camry I've looked at in the last week - especially in the rear. Not quite as queer as an old muscle car with air shocks, but close. And I would describe the ride as very firm, perhaps akin to the KYB GR2 some have complained about.

Just curious what others have seen for ride height with the Monroe Quick Struts and how it compares to the Pro-Struts.

Last edited by top_down; 11-18-2010 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typo
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#2 Old 11-18-2010, 07:16 PM
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Congratulations on riding a like-new car!!!
Here is my experience:
With struts I wouldnt trust any cheapo ebay brand. I changed my struts to KYBs couple of months ago.
Initially bought the ebay pro struts at a dirt cheap price but when opened I could see they would ride too soft and leak oil easily. Took a loss of 25 dollars for shipping them back but got peace of mind.
You dont work on struts very often,rather you DONT WANT to work on struts often.
Also dont need to change strut mounts on 95/96 camry's they dont have any rubber parts in there and are a waste of money changing them IMHO.
I paid $120.00 (fronts) and $100 (rears) all KYB GR2s.
Needless to say I am riding a new car again.

1995 Camry DX L4 178,6XX miles and counting each mile.... acquired 05/25/2007 at 129K miles
2004 Mazda6 I4 5-Speed Manual 115,500 miles acquired 01/21/2011 at 109,XXX miles

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#3 Old 11-18-2010, 07:50 PM
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I just put Monroe Quick Struts on all 4 corners today, and am totally satisfied with the ride and handling. My car was riding too low and wallowed a lot before. It is now firmer and much better controlled. Although the rear does seem a bit higher than the front as my headlight beam seems to hit closer to the front end of the car. Might just need to be re-adjusted from when the suspension was sagging.

Last edited by Pvt-Public; 11-19-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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#4 Old 11-18-2010, 08:17 PM
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Gas struts would ride a little high when new. The same with Gabriel Ultras. But the height should be compared to spec and not old springs/struts. That way maybe the old combo was 1" too low, for example.

I wonder if these ProStruts are Reject Monroes? As in Monroe Outlet Stores. Maybe because the nuts didn't line up?


Quote:
Originally Posted by top_down View Post
New to the forums and have a question about some struts I purchased and installed last week. After shopping around a bit for new struts (complete assemblies) for my 2000 V6 Camry w/165,000mi, I took a chance and bought some Autopart International "Pro-Struts" off of a seller on ebay. Price was about $150 cheaper for four than Monroe Quick Struts and the seller claimed they were made in the same factory (hmmm). The order went off without a hitch and the struts were delivered to AZ from FL in one week.

First alarm bell went off when I opened the first box and saw a tag on the spring warning me that the car might appear to sit higher after installation - that this was normal and that I should allow the springs to settle.

Second alarm bell went off when I realized the rear springs had about 2.5 more coils than the originals and the fronts had 1 coil more than the originals.

Well shipping these heavy pigs back to FL was not really an option and the car is just a driver anyway so I went ahead with the install. Besides, I had never seen the Monroe Quick Struts and for all I knew they were exactly the same (anyone?). Everything went pretty smooth although out of 6 weld nuts across the 4 struts for brake line bolts, etc, 4 of them were welded in just far enough off center of the hole that I couldn't thread the bolt in. A little work with a rat tail file solved the problem but irritating nonetheless.

Sat the car back down on the ground and sure enough, it looked a quite a bit higher than before. Keep in mind I had 165,000mi on the originals and it rode like it had Jello for suspension. I took it for a test run and found the ride to be much more controlled than before (duh) and thankfully, no weird noises (it's early yet) like some have reported in the past with Quick Struts. But the car sits about 1 inch higher in the front and 1.5 - 2.0 inches higher in the back. It's noticeably higher than any other 4th gen Camry I've looked at in the last week - especially in the rear. Not quite as queer as an old muscle car with air shocks, but close. And I would describe the ride as very firm, perhaps akin to the KYB GR2 some have complained about.

Just curious what others have seen for ride height with the Monroe Quick Struts and how it compares to the Pro-Struts.

Last edited by JohnGD; 11-18-2010 at 08:25 PM.
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#5 Old 11-18-2010, 08:21 PM
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They may ride firm when the strut rod movement is slow. But when hitting bumps and such, how much do they soften? As I asked in the other thread (linked below), KYBs send them up your spine, and that's why I don't spec them. I always like to test them over rail road crossings. If the struts (for daily driving) don't absorb most of the shock at most crossings, then IMO they suck.

Looking for a firmer ride.... 2001 Camry


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvt-Public View Post
I just put Monroe Quick Struts on all 4 corners today, and am totally satisfied with the ride and handling. My car was riding too low and wallowed a lot before. It is now firmer and much better controlled. Although the read does seem a bit higher than the front as my headlight beam seems to hit closer to the front end of the car. Might just need to be re-adjusted from when the suspension was sagging.

Last edited by JohnGD; 11-18-2010 at 08:24 PM.
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#6 Old 11-18-2010, 08:39 PM
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The Monroe Quick Struts use the "Sensatrak cartridge and they have a fairly good reputation. I haven't done rail crossings or highway expansion joints yet, can't do any real open road test as I put down a few while installing. But the sponginess (is that even a word) is gone and the car handles better than with the old units.

Last edited by Pvt-Public; 11-18-2010 at 08:43 PM.
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#7 Old 11-18-2010, 09:00 PM
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I'll be interested to hear how the struts work out for you. I was thinking of getting ProStruts/QuickStruts for my Camry but have just kept putting it off. I've bought stuff from AutoPartsDirect2you before and was pleased with the quality and service.

I did a bit of research and I found a company called CRS that makes Pro-Struts, at least thats what they call them. The link is here: http://www.crsautomotiveparts.com/www/prostrut

I don't know if these are the same as what you got, but they say each of the struts is stamped with the CRS part number so it should be easy to check.

Keep us posted.


.

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2001 Camry XLE, 6-cyl, 87,000 - 112,000 and counting.
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#8 Old 11-18-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peshwa View Post
Congratulations on riding a like-new car!!!
Here is my experience:
With struts I wouldnt trust any cheapo ebay brand. I changed my struts to KYBs couple of months ago.
Initially bought the ebay pro struts at a dirt cheap price but when opened I could see they would ride too soft and leak oil easily. Took a loss of 25 dollars for shipping them back but got peace of mind.
You dont work on struts very often,rather you DONT WANT to work on struts often.
Also dont need to change strut mounts on 95/96 camry's they dont have any rubber parts in there and are a waste of money changing them IMHO.
I paid $120.00 (fronts) and $100 (rears) all KYB GR2s.
Needless to say I am riding a new car again.
Thanks for the tip on not changing strut mounts for 95/96.

Would you recommend changing strut mount bearings ?
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#9 Old 11-18-2010, 10:26 PM
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I will definitely post an update after I log a few hundred miles to let you know if any noises pop up. At $450 shipped for a set of four it was hard to pass up. As for the brand, these are not "ebay" brand but are distributed by Autopart International which from what I understand has been around many years and is now possibly a division of Advance Auto Supply. They seem to cater to independent garages mostly on the east coast. I too found some reference to a CRS brand - no idea if it's coming off the same assembly line but these struts are stamped and stickered Autopart International.

BTW, I don't think these are cheap junk, in fact I suspect they ride alot like KYB GR2's - too firm for many. Monroe rejects? Maybe. Or maybe made in the same factory but with a lower tech strut (like the GR2) installed in them.

To the poster who just put Monroe Quick struts on (or anyone else with recent "Monroe Quickstruts" on a V6 Gen4 Camry), could you measure the distance from the ground to the fender lip? Mine are 27" in front and 27.75" in rear. That's with stock 205/65R15 radials. It's not terrible but it does seem a bit high. Maybe I just got used to the old saggy look and most Camry's I've been comparing to since also need struts! I can say for sure that the old rears were not enough many times when I had two good size adults in the back seat!
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#10 Old 11-18-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by top_down View Post
I will definitely post an update after I log a few hundred miles to let you know if any noises pop up.

Mine are 27" in front and 27.75" in rear. That's with stock 205/65R15 radials. It's not terrible but it does seem a bit high. Maybe I just got used to the old saggy look and most Camry's I've been comparing to since also need struts! I can say for sure that the old rears were not enough many times when I had two good size adults in the back seat!
Well my struts are original and the height is 27" in the front, 26" in the rear. The tires are the same as your. Looks like I got a saggy rear end.

Maybe time to change the shocks, eh......


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2000 Camry LE 6-cyl, 77,000 - 230,000, traded it for a
2001 Camry XLE, 6-cyl, 87,000 - 112,000 and counting.

Last edited by ajkalian; 11-19-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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#11 Old 11-19-2010, 12:07 AM
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Thanks for the measurements! I guess it was my imagination that the front was higher with the new struts.

I'm anxious to hear what Monroe Quick Struts end up with for these dimensions, especially in the rear.

If I had to do it again I might be tempted to spend the extra $150 and do four of the Monroe's to get a little cushier ride - but I haven't experienced both so I can't really judge. I will say that I really like the Quick Strut / Pro Strut concept - these were very easy to change out with just a floor jack, a couple of jackstands and a handful of tools + torque wrench. The biggest headache of the whole job was removing the back seat and rear parcel shelf to get access to the top nuts of the rear struts. Total job took about 5-6 hours for four struts for a first timer with no air tools. Note that this is an AZ car with no rusty bolts to deal with.

I had quotes from four shops ranging from $1300-$2000 and I did it for $450 (plus an alignment charge at some point soon) - gotta love that.

Last edited by top_down; 11-19-2010 at 12:20 AM.
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#12 Old 11-19-2010, 08:33 AM
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Maybe I just got used to the old saggy look and most Camry's I've been comparing to since also need struts! I can say for sure that the old rears were not enough many times when I had two good size adults in the back seat!
Quote:
Well my struts are original and the height is 27" in the front, 26" in the rear. The tires are the same as your. Looks like I got a saggy rear end.

Maybe time to change the shocks, eh......
Sagging rear and riding low or "bottoming out" with passengers in back would be weak springs not shocks. The springs support the weight, the shocks control the speed of the springs compression and rebound, dampening the up and down movement of the car body.
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#13 Old 11-19-2010, 08:40 AM
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The biggest headache of the whole job was removing the back seat and rear parcel shelf to get access to the top nuts of the rear struts.
I tried to do it without removing the package shelf. I could only get an open end wrench in there. I have a little rattle over larger bumps so I have to go back in and re-tighten the top mounts in the rear. So much for taking the lazy way out. This time out with the shelf and doing it right, damnit.
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#14 Old 11-19-2010, 09:00 AM
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Somewhere I thought I read that there was a change in Camry rear springs because of bottoming with people in the back seat - I wonder if my May 2000 car had the earlier versions. I will say when I pulled them out I was shocked how little spring there was from the factory but felt like the replacement springs maybe were a bit overkill. My muffler will thank me...

You probably already know this, but to get the rear parcel shelf out in addition to the third brake light I had to remove the two plastic panels (I think they're called sail panels) that are above each end of the parcel shelf. There are a number of clips holding those in, a couple of which are real buggers. The key for the sail panels and the rear parcel shelf is to pull out and towards the front of the car at the same time. I broke one post that has a metal clip on it on one side, and a plastic rivet on the other side. I also removed both the left and right seat belt retractor. Even then, I had to use a socket with a universal on one nut on the drivers side.

So can I talk you into measuring the distance from the ground to your front and rear fender lip with those Monroes? If they are closer to 27" in the rear with the Monroes and ride a little smoother I would say the extra $150 might be worth it to others. If they're 27.75" and feel a bit harsh to you over the railroad tracks then I'd say these are pretty similar (if not identical) struts.
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#15 Old 11-19-2010, 09:05 AM
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I'll measure it in a little while when I can get into the garage where the floor is level. But I have a 4 cyl. not a 6.
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