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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Soooo my 01 es300 needs new tires finally, which brings me around to addressing the front end. A little history, 250k miles, struts have been shot for 50K, but otherwise it tracks fairly straight and tires wear evenly. There has been a little wobble here of late, and a slight pull, initial thought is the old tires and driver's ball joint had sprung a leak.. My plan is to get the new set of Mastercraft LSR Grand Touring mounted at my tire guy's place and have him do a thorough check of the front end.

Maybe the end of this month, I'm ordering 4 KYB struts to take advantage of their rebates. Since there are no noises, steering seems fine, think I'll just reuse the oem springs and hardware. Since this will need an alignment right after, I'm going to change both ball joints, and tie rod ends, control arm and stabilizer bushings, new bellows and stops will be ordered too. and stabilizer links. and whatever else anyone might suggest. Parts are going to be Moog, I started checking oem prices and initially found that I'd be coughing up double the Moog Problem Solver part or more price wise, and the budget is already stretched.

Any suggestions to this plan?
 

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2010 Camry SE V6
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Spend the extra money and get quick strut assemblies. With 250k it’s likely that those springs have sagged to some sort of degree. Piston dust shields are likely designated, isolators worn, and the strut mount/bearing is likely worn to some degree


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Discussion Starter #3
From the research in this forum I've done, most quick strut assemblies are junk. Forgot to mention new bellows and stops will be ordered too. and stabilizer links.
 

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Definitely order Toyota top supports, rubber isolators and springs (and assemble them yourself, or have a shop assemble them for you, takes them only a few minutes with their spring compressor). Many reports of the pre-assembled aftermarket ones causing troubles, usually due to poor quality top supports, and rubber isolators that quickly tore/wore out.

In my experience, Toyota struts are worth the money for optimal ride quality and durability, but some folks find cheap, "random" tune aftermarket struts are good enough. However, many find them too soft or too harsh, but once you find that out its too late/money spent.

If your car sits at the original ride height at all 4 corners, and if your springs are not rusty, you can probably reuse them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aren't KYB struts OEM? From the many threads I've read, that seemed to be the case. Also have read many have reused the mounts and insulators. Ride height is fine, the car has been in the south all it's life, so there doesn't seem to be any rust issues. Price of all new Toyota mounts and insulators is another 300. I'm not seeing doing that.
 

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2010 Camry SE V6
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From the research in this forum I've done, most quick strut assemblies are junk. Forgot to mention new bellows and stops will be ordered too. and stabilizer links.
KYB makes a quick strut assembly. Monroe also makes a quality quick strut


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even if KYB was a supplier at some point, the odds of them using the special valving that Toyota had them develop for that model, for a low cost aftermarket version, is low

Toyota's stock strut maker is Tokico, they make the vast majority of them. Special models do uses other makers (Sachs, Bilstein, Kayaba (KYB)), but to get the valving they'd developed for Toyota, one would have to order the Toyota part number. They are lower volume, so the price is higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess what I'm after is a well made strut that will last me another 100K-ish on a budget. If the consensus is there are a few decent to good quick struts around, I'd be happy to use them. There should be a sticky where members could chime in with I used xxx quick struts and 75K later they still fine. Or something to that effect.

So I'm looking at KYB quick struts for 01 ES300, no listing. They do have a listing for an 01 XLE with 3.0 V6. I guess more research is needed, might check the Lexus forums to see if they bolt up.
 

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"There should be a sticky where members could chime in with I used xxx quick struts and 75K later they still fine. Or something to that effect."

That might help, but then the next challenge would be that the aftermarket suppliers are inconsistent in naming their product lines / they sell through various outlets using different names / part numbers, so the odds of getting the same part as someone who had a good experience, 3 years ago, goes down.

The other challenge is "apples to oranges", one person will try an aftermarket strut on their V6-AT (very heavy) and it will be great, the next person with an I4-MT (very light) will find it too harsh, or vice-versa, the V6 customer finds it too soft and wallowy. Another example would be trim options, or sunroof, different springs used on XLE vs. LE/CE, and so on. Those things could be enough to make an OK strut perform badly on the next Camry with different options.

These are all reasons why the aftermarket ones are so cheap (one valve chosen, random, possibly "middle of the road", but most likely whatever they had that was close), and why the reports people make here about them are all over the map.
 

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I've had Rock Autos KYB quick struts on my Echo (did them myself) along with the regular tube shocks on the back. No where near 75k miles but a few thousand. I'm happy with them, but my originals where not worn out at 160k miles, so I kept them just in case. I bought a parts car so most everything I already have, but the $60 rebate was enough to tip me towards replacement. If the car had come to my shop and I tested the struts for a customer, I would have told them it was not necessary to replace them, knowing what I know now.

Growing up in the old school when nothing on a car lasted 150k miles, it;s hard to believe the longevity of parts these days, but I fear these days are numbered with global manufacturing.

The bounce test still applies.

If they are leaking you have no choice if you have state inspections, that is the rejection criteria.
 

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'00 4 Cyl. Auto Camry LE
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FWIW - the Monroe Quick strut assemblies put on back in Nov. '18 have settled down nicely after 10 months / 10k of driving - the ride is "medium firm", but still compliant enough on harsh road surfaces: a good mix, for the 4 cyl. '00 Camry LE here. Build quality of all 4 struts was excellent (as received) and all are still looking the same / just checked this week, no issues.

re: Moog - the "problem solver" parts line are the -only- parts I would consider these days: they are the OE-equivalent "parts of old" from Moog. Haven't had a great experience with any of their 'standard' grade parts.. fitment was ok, but they wear -> and degrade quickly (12-24 mos), sigh. ... I had better luck w/ Dorman-branded parts - if that says anything about the "longevity" of their standard grade.

Good luck w/ the suspension refresh!
 
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