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Discussion Starter #1
For a 2003 Avalon anyway. Anyone have an opinion about this. The Gabriel's are more expensive though.

Gabriel P/N

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G56933

Monroe P/N

271679
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I just installed the Monroe's on my daughters '01 Avalon XLS and I'm very happy with the ride quality. I purchased the kit from Rockauto and Monroe was running a $100 cash back rebate last month, so I got the four Quick Stuts for around $340 after the rebate.
 

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They are both junk .
They don't last very long .
We don't even recommend them to our customers no more

Get some KYB or Tokico and just get new tops for them
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just installed the Monroe's on my daughters '01 Avalon XLS and I'm very happy with the ride quality. I purchased the kit from Rockauto and Monroe was running a $100 cash back rebate last month, so I got the four Quick Stuts for around $340 after the rebate.
Thanks, I still have your procedure in my maintenance log. It looks like Professor Sir did a great write up about this procedure also. He also used Monroe Quick Struts.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/155-avalon-2nd-generation-2000-2004/1271473-worth-replace-struts-2004-avalon-xls.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They are both junk .
They don't last very long .
We don't even recommend them to our customers no more

Get some KYB or Tokico and just get new tops for them
Thanks for the info, but I would have to pay somebody to do that. I couldn't do that myself, and I don't have $1400 to spend on this.
 

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They are both junk .
They don't last very long .
We don't even recommend them to our customers no more

Get some KYB or Tokico and just get new tops for them

I'm interested to see how much life I get out of them. That being said, my daughter will only put around 10k a year on the car, if that. She'll use it over the summer, drive it 350 miles out to school come fall and then it will sit in a student parking lot for weeks on end.

Before I tossed the old struts, I did removed and keep the OE springs, in the event the Quick Struts don't last....then I'll go with KYB's and the OE springs.

I will say that I'm not a fan of compressing springs. I have a set of professional grade Macpherson strut spring compressors (made by OTC, I believe) that I’ve had for years and I’m always very uncomfortable when it comse to compressing springs. I even run a heavy chain through the spring in the event that one of the spring compressors fails. I also take great care to insure that the spring compressor does not start to walk around the spring when compressing it. There’s a boat load of energy in a compressed spring.

I cringe when I watch some of the videos out on youtube of DIY’ers removing strut springs and front coil springs. The strut springs on the Avalon look like thread compared to the Hotchkis front coil springs on my Camaro, but both will kill you the same way if they were to release due to spring compressor failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm interested to see how much life I get out of them. That being said, my daughter will only put around 10k a year on the car, if that. She'll use it over the summer, drive it 350 miles out to school come fall and then it will sit in a student parking lot for weeks on end.

Before I tossed the old struts, I did removed and keep the OE springs, in the event the Quick Struts don't last....then I'll go with KYB's and the OE springs.

I will say that I'm not a fan of compressing springs. I have a set of professional grade Macpherson strut spring compressors (made by OTC, I believe) that I’ve had for years and I’m always very uncomfortable when it comse to compressing springs. I even run a heavy chain through the spring in the event that one of the spring compressors fails. I also take great care to insure that the spring compressor does not start to walk around the spring when compressing it. There’s a boat load of energy in a compressed spring.

I cringe when I watch some of the videos out on youtube of DIY’ers removing strut springs and front coil springs. The strut springs on the Avalon look like thread compared to the Hotchkis front coil springs on my Camaro, but both will kill you the same way if they were to release due to spring compressor failure.
I only drive about 10 to 12K miles/year myself. If the quick struts would just last 5 years, I think I would be happy with them I think. I have to work on my car out here in the apartment parking lot, and I'm just not going to try to compress springs without a garage to work in. I know I could replace the quick struts because of so many people saying it isn't that difficult of a job. I just go slow and take my time. I've also thought about replacing the front and rear sway bar rods as well as preventative maintenance.
 

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There's no sense going with spring compressors (aka death sticks), because the rubber components like the spring seats and mounts should also be replaced if the struts are done for. So IMO the assemblies make the most sense. If you buy them locally say at Autozone, next time is free warranty replacement. Can't beat the deal.

KYB (aka Keep Your Bilsteins) IMO are too harsh. The damping profile is still too progressive. You'll feel every road irregularities. This is a sign of a poorly designed strut. However, in recent years they join forces with Gabriel (I think around 2008), so they might have improved if they use the Gabriel G-Force patented system. The Gabriel Ultra (not their cheaper value line) seems more digressive, will give you more of a Detroit ride. The older Ultras were a tad firmer, which I thought was nicer has more of the Euro feel.

The new Monroe with the OESpectrum struts supposedly are in between the two. People say it's firm but not as firm as KYB. BTW, KYB doesn't warranty against normal wear and tear.

If you like really firm try KYB. If you like a little less firm ride, try the Monroes. Otherwise Gabriels. Monroes have 90-day Safe and Sound money back guarantee if you don't like them.

See also, a quick search one review for each:
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-camry-3rd-4th-gen-1992-1996-1997-2001-1st-gen-solara-1999-2003/416442-gabriel-ultra-struts-review.html
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/104-camry-5th-6th-gen-2002-2006-2007-2011-2nd-gen-solara-2004-2008/509793-monroe-oespectrum-struts-anone-using-these.html#post4815970
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-camry-3rd-4th-gen-1992-1996-1997-2001-1st-gen-solara-1999-2003/352471-oem-struts-kyb-monroe.html#post3276074

http://tech.dvosuspension.com/digressive-vs-progressive-damping/
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't realize how cheap the KYB cartridges are. I could get all 4 (GR-2) for $300. My Toyota mechanic who does jobs on the side said he would install all 4 for $420. That brings the total cost to about $700. So, it kind of seems like it would be better to go the KYB way. I like a firmer ride anyway. If I bought the Gabriel quick struts, it would cost me $600 plus tax, and I would have to install them myself. So, if I pay $100 more, I get KYB struts and I have someone else who knows what they are doing do the job. But, I could run into problems like needing new rubber pieces (mounts) and the bearing thingie--right? Any comments? Thanks

https://www.amazon.com/KYB-334245-Excel-G-Gas-Strut/dp/B000GZCLOM/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_263_tr_t_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=H1HPBJJ016671PN6PDM7
 

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Rockauto shows them for $246.16 + shipping Use the 5% discount code (6394358913454596). About $19 shipping to Ft Worth zip codes. Comes out to $252.83. I usually replace the mounts, dust boot, and spring seats. You can reuse the springs and strut bumpers.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-camry-3rd-4th-gen-1992-1996-1997-2001-1st-gen-solara-1999-2003/360084-rockauto-discount-code-18.html

2003 TOYOTA AVALON 3.0L V6 Suspension : Strut

KYB 334246 GR-2 / Excel-G Info
Front Left
$69.79

KYB 334245 GR-2 / Excel-G Info
Front Right
$69.79

KYB 334133 {#235708} GR-2 / Excel-G Info
Rear Right
$52.79

KYB 334134 GR-2 / Excel-G Info
Rear Left
$53.79

Subtotal $246.16


http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-camry-3rd-4th-gen-1992-1996-1997-2001-1st-gen-solara-1999-2003/360084-rockauto-discount-code-18.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all that info fellows. I won't do this job myself, but I want to have all my ducks in a row before I get started. I just didn't realize how inexpensive the KYB's are.
 

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There's no sense going with spring compressors (aka death sticks), because the rubber components like the spring seats and mounts should also be replaced if the struts are done for. So IMO the assemblies make the most sense.
Easy enuff until you get to the '04 Avalon. No complete assemblies for this year (unless one goes with some no-name brand).

Like racerex said, "I'm not a fan of compressing springs." I've been doing it, however, since 1992. I've always used the "death sticks," used hand tools, and went slow and easy. Nevertheless, my fanny puckers each and every time I do one. I do believe that next time, I'm going to remove the assembly and take it to the shop for them to remove/replace the strut. Sure, it will cost me more, but I'm getting too old for that kind of excitement. LOL
 

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I replaced the struts on my 2k Avalon with KYBs and I couldnt be happier. It doesnt have that Buick boat feel to it anymore and still to me at least rides as nice as it ever did.

I wouldnt hesitate to use KYBs at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I replaced the struts on my 2k Avalon with KYBs and I couldnt be happier. It doesnt have that Buick boat feel to it anymore and still to me at least rides as nice as it ever did.

I wouldnt hesitate to use KYBs at all.
Thanks, I plan to order them this weekend. Cost should be around $250 for all 4. Then my mechanic (Toyota tech) will install for $420. So, total cost $670 for all 4 isn't too bad IMHO. So you don't think they ride too stiff as others have said? Did your car need an alignment?
 

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^ sounds like iResident likes a firmer ride for more control. I think the likes of Camry SE suspension would be up his alley.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
$248.83 including shipping for all 4 struts. I think that's pretty good as long as they get here in one piece. I ordered from Rock Auto.

 

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So you're not replacing the front and rear upper strut mounts? The fronts are a wear item, as they have a bearing. Per RA, KYB sells the fronts for $54 each and the rubber rears for $43 each. I'm just making the recommendation to replace them......as I've always replaced them when doing struts on other cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So you're not replacing the front and rear upper strut mounts? The fronts are a wear item, as they have a bearing. Per RA, KYB sells the fronts for $54 each and the rubber rears for $43 each. I'm just making the recommendation to replace them......as I've always replaced them when doing struts on other cars.
Thanks for the advice Racerex. I guess it's more about a money thing than anything. If I had unlimited funds, I'd replace all the mounts and the spring seats. I may regret it, but I'm going to leave it up to my mechanic to check if anything needs to be replaced. I'll still be limited as to what I can do money wise. My car still hasn't crossed the 100K mileage line yet, but I guess that isn't so important when this car is almost 14 years old. The struts arrived today, so I'll see how it all turns out. My mechanic is the type of guy who doesn't replace anything unless it's necessary at the time. Just got an email from my mechanic. He says to drop it off tomorrow, and he will have it ready by Sunday...







 
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