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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought an '02 w/ 240k on it and it appears all the struts are beyond due - major clunking from the rear over slow bumps, bad vibration hop at high speed, etc. ( can't believe the prior owner lived with it this bad).

Has anyone had a comparison between the Monroe struts and the KYB GR-2? I'm in favor of comfort over sporty behavior.

Also, are the strut mounts themselves often shot with this much use? I want to make sure I order enough parts, but the mounts do add $200 to the bill. Struts are $71 /$91 front/rear at Rockauto.com
 

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イリジウム
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There are followers of both Monroe and KYB. But in general do get a new mount with the strut. These should both be good for about 50K miles, even if they degrade so gradually and should be good longer than that.

I dont' care for Monroe's grooved piston rod design. KYB is harsh with road irregularity, so I guess some call it "Keep Your Bilsteins.". Yes I do like Bilsteins and Boge/Sachs, but these are primarily European, with limited availability for Gen 3 and earlier only.

KYB, however, does not replace worn out struts. But I think Monroe does with lifetime warranty. You can also check out the Gabriel Ultra (at Autozone w/lifetime warranty). It's a good strut for daily driving, 2003 winner of Popular Mechanics Editor Choice award. I like to spec Gabriel Ultras for daily drivers, if you prefer better comfort than sporty.

Noticed the reference to the grooved rod design and it's disadvantage in the video:
http://www.gabriel.com/gforce1/eng/default.htm
 

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2GR FTW
2007 Toyota Camry SE
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Wow, 240k on stock suspension? Definitely overdue.

I'd say getting the KYB's are fine, most people use them as OEM replacement, so I doubt it'd be too bad, even on bumpy/harsh roads. Anything new will feel stiff/bumpy compared to what you have now of course. But it's all based on preference of course. Monroe's do work fine, but then if your more worried about comfort, you might as well go with OEM ones from Toyota.

You should need to get springs as well, namely OEM ones.

Definitely look into replacing the front and rear strut mounts, bearings, and maybe even the end links. Saves labor to do everything at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies so far.

Question on springs - why would they need to be replaced unless they were cracked or badly rusted? Do they sack out also?

I'm surprised there seems to be a concensus that the struts are only good for 50k miles - I put on lots of miles on GM vehicles and never touched the original struts unless one started to leak. These show no signs of leaking ( unless it was so long ago they are no longer 'wet'.)

I just bought the car so a just a tiny hesitant to throw the kitchen sink at it - I'd like to know that the rest of the mechanicals are decent so I don't get trapped in a money pit.
 

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イリジウム
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Toyota had a TSB about defective rear strut mounts. I wonder if yours were ever replaced under warranty. I don't think suspension is one of Toyota's strengths. So be preapred to get four struts and four mounts. Many places (such as Autozone) often offer buy-3-get-1-free specials. You can repack the front strut bearings if do your own work and save some money. But be prepared to replace rubber parts (spring seat insulators, dust boots, strut mounts, strut bumpers).

I think most people don't touch the struts if they don't leak. But if you do your own work and there is lifetime warranty for wear and tear then might as well. But if you use a shop then it's probably $30-50 a corner plus maybe an alignment. So I wouldn't be surprised if people don't change them, and that's maybe one of the reasons why strut manufacturers offer lifetime warranty without much worry.

However, for comparison, great struts of the likes of Bilsteins and Boge/Sachs should easily last 100K miles without too much degradation. But they don't last forever either.
http://www.bilsteinus.com/tech.php

The springs will sag with time. However, if the ride height is within spec then no need to replace them. The problem is, I don't know what the ride height spec is. :D I guess if they're even all around they're fine. With these relatively light sedans, I dont think there is a need to worry if you see no visible damage.

As others suggested, sway bar links and bushings. But those are easily done separately.




Question on springs - why would they need to be replaced unless they were cracked or badly rusted? Do they sack out also?

I'm surprised there seems to be a concensus that the struts are only good for 50k miles - I put on lots of miles on GM vehicles and never touched the original struts unless one started to leak. These show no signs of leaking ( unless it was so long ago they are no longer 'wet'.)

I just bought the car so a just a tiny hesitant to throw the kitchen sink at it - I'd like to know that the rest of the mechanicals are decent so I don't get trapped in a money pit.
 

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15 Camry XSE V6
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Struts

In my opinon i would replace the springs as well. Reason, if the spring does break soon after you have to do it all over again to replace them. This happened to me, tried to go cheap and a spring broke soon after. Also from the moment the car is in motion the springs are in motion. As far as not replacing struts until they leak, by that time there is usually tire wear as well. If i took 2 cars with the same mileage ie. say 100,000 miles and replaced suspension on one and had you drive both you would see a night and day difference, reason is suspension wear happens very slowly. alot of it is feel though and what your willing to spend and put up with.
 
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