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new struts worth it?

  1. #1
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    new struts worth it?

    Starting this because I am tired of reading about Trumpledorff! Trying to decide whether to sink some cash into my wife's car or go ahead and replace it. She has a 2010 Lexus IS 250 with 70K on it. We've never had any mechanical issues, and the body is nearly perfect (we had the front end clear wrapped when it was new). She drives about 20 miles round trip into Boston daily.

    These are pretty tough miles and it rides harsh. We figure she has about 3 years to retirement. Do we go ahead and drop $1500 for struts and some other little things, or go ahead and get something new. When she retires we're probably heading west, so that has to be considered because we'd ship a new car but sell the Lexus if we still have it.

    It's blue book is only about $9K, so dropping a bunch of cash may not make sense. I'm inclined to keep this thing on the road until she's no longer driving into the city but haven't made my mind up yet. Looking at the Kia Stinger GT has a replacement, plus about half a dozen others.

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    Starting this because I am tired of reading about Trumpledorff! Trying to decide whether to sink some cash into my wife's car or go ahead and replace it. She has a 2010 Lexus IS 250 with 70K on it. We've never had any mechanical issues, and the body is nearly perfect (we had the front end clear wrapped when it was new). She drives about 20 miles round trip into Boston daily.

    These are pretty tough miles and it rides harsh. We figure she has about 3 years to retirement. Do we go ahead and drop $1500 for struts and some other little things, or go ahead and get something new. When she retires we're probably heading west, so that has to be considered because we'd ship a new car but sell the Lexus if we still have it.

    It's blue book is only about $9K, so dropping a bunch of cash may not make sense. I'm inclined to keep this thing on the road until she's no longer driving into the city but haven't made my mind up yet. Looking at the Kia Stinger GT has a replacement, plus about half a dozen others.
    Dump some Monroe quick struts or similar in it if you really want to do struts. Probably a few hundred in parts on that car and an hour and a half of your time.

    Interesting you find it harsher with miles, they usually get floatier as struts wear.

    My Camry is at the same mileage and it's basically like a Boston taxi at this point. It's definitely taking longer to damp after bumps but it's not harsh. Maybe she's just getting a little tired of a sporty riding car?

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  3. #3
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Check bushings. They may be toast

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Just replaced the OEM struts with KYB’s on our 2014 Outback 3.6R. It transformed the ride and handling, which had gotten a little vague.

    At 50-70K you can usually plan on replacing OEM tires, brakes, battery, struts, etc, but generally have few problems until past 100K. As black suggests, bushings on the sway bars or elsewhere may also be worn out. Living in Boston, we usually have them replaced with longer-lasting aftermarket urethane bushings.

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    I picked up an older IS as a run around car a couple of weeks ago. I pulled the front apart to fluid film it this past weekend, changing the struts wouldn't be too bad a project if everything comes apart. 70k on that car is nothing, and you'd be surprised at what you could get for it as long as it is AWD. Personally, I'd keep it until you are done in the city, why get something new and put it through that? Wait until you are done with the harsh conditions and start fresh at that point.

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  6. #6

    Re: new struts worth it?

    How’s the process of spraying fluid film? Did you get rid of existing surface rust? How does that look when you’re done, wet and shiny or black?
    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    I picked up an older IS as a run around car a couple of weeks ago. I pulled the front apart to fluid film it this past weekend, changing the struts wouldn't be too bad a project if everything comes apart. 70k on that car is nothing, and you'd be surprised at what you could get for it as long as it is AWD. Personally, I'd keep it until you are done in the city, why get something new and put it through that? Wait until you are done with the harsh conditions and start fresh at that point.

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Not to de-rail but...
    Spraying the fluid film isn't bad. I did the 'lil-lex and the Tundra. The IS already had some undercoating so I didn't have to do a lot. I did the suspension components, braking components (not the pad or rotor), and any raw metal under the car. I pulled each tire to get a thorough coating. I also had the 36" spray tube to do inside the frame.
    I wire brushed any existing rust, but didn't fully remove it. This stuff is supposed to slow the process of rusting. I'd typically clean it well and POR-15 the area, but didn't have time.

    The truck was easier to do because I can slide under it, no need for jacks. I hit the frame well and it is only 2yo so there wasn't much of any rust yet. I really coated it, especially under the bed and connection points.

    I thought the FF would dry a bit drier, but it stays like a thick liquid. It is shiny black, looks wet, cause it is. I can see it being non-existent by the time late spring comes in areas where wash from the tires hits. I'll keep an eye on it and re-coat if necessary.

    If you ever plan to do it, let me know, I'll give you some pointers that I learned quickly. I am by no means an expert but figured a couple things to make life easier. I will say the internal spray wand and direct spray wand are a must.

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  8. #8
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    It's a lexus. toss the 1500 into it and keep it. then if you decide to offload it you always can, as it has only 70k

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Iíve got a bad back and a healing dislocated shoulder so I ainít crawling around the underside of a car! As for the clear coat, itís similar to the 3M film and we have it professionally installed on every car we buy.

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Has it always been a harsh ride, or recent development? I agree with whoever said that usually they go all bouncy-floaty, not harsh. At least for the first hit or two. A washboard might be a different story. New tires and/or accidentally overinflated as the fall weather rolled in? Does the car have other hallmarks of bad shocks, like excessive nose dive/rise during braking transitions?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    Iíve got a bad back
    Staying firmly seated in the computer chair/couch ought to do it good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    and a healing dislocated shoulder
    Well, that's a littttttlllle better of an excuse but it won't rehab itself

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    Senior Member OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Still on original struts in my cheapie 97 Mustang GT. I'll get around to replacing them eventually but it still handles fine IMO (well, for a 21yo car that is).

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  12. #12

    Re: new struts worth it?

    My 270k civic “needs struts all around by mileage” standards... but hey, it’s a 2005 Civic, if it rides more floaty I can just pretend it’s a Cadillac?!

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Has it always been a harsh ride, or recent development? I agree with whoever said that usually they go all bouncy-floaty, not harsh. At least for the first hit or two. A washboard might be a different story. New tires and/or accidentally overinflated as the fall weather rolled in? Does the car have other hallmarks of bad shocks, like excessive nose dive/rise during braking transitions?

    Staying firmly seated in the computer chair/couch ought to do it good.

    Well, that's a littttttlllle better of an excuse but it won't rehab itself
    It's always been on the sportier side for a sedan, but not BMW-like. So I'd say within the last year it has gotten a lot rougher. No other symptoms or complaints on the ride according to my wife. Tires are always properly inflated, and only have 10K on them.

    As for the busted up wing, I see an ortho on Tuesday to see if I need surgery. WAY to painful to start rehab yet.

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    I just had bilstein shocks and struts put on my Fj cruiser. What a difference. It leveled out my truck and the ride quality is fantastic. Bumps don't upset the truck any more

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    At only 70K there should be nothing wrong with it at all

    Some have rubber timing belts which should be changed at 70K though

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by theducman View Post
    I just had bilstein shocks and struts put on my Fj cruiser. What a difference. It leveled out my truck and the ride quality is fantastic. Bumps don't upset the truck any more
    Which Bilsteins did you use, 4600 or 5100?

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    I did 5100's in the trusty old Taco back when it had it's frame done.

    Sure did help the ride, even though it had the factory TRD Bilsteins in it stock.

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    The Armada needs new struts. I was going to go with the 4600's as it isn't an offroader, but wanted something to smooth the ride a bit. The rear has air leveling so I'm stuck with factory there.

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromper View Post
    At only 70K there should be nothing wrong with it at all
    Boston area roads are brutal on suspensions. Theres seriously dirt roads in the country that are in better shape than a lot of the "pavement" around Boston metro.

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    . Tires are always properly inflated, and only have 10K on them.
    Did the noticeably rougher ride start before or after the tire swap?

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Before - she was due for news ones and I thought that might be the solution.

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  22. #22
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    It's always been on the sportier side for a sedan, but not BMW-like.
    A big part of that is the run-flat tires they spec for their cars. It's not neccarisly that it's supposed to be 'sporty', it's just a consequence of ultra-stiff sidewalls. But I have no doubt their marketing department points out it happens to enhances steering response and 'road feel'.

    The tires on the car now aren't runflats, are they?

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    I got the 5100s. So far I like them. Makes the truck look great

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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    The Armada needs new struts. I was going to go with the 4600's as it isn't an offroader, but wanted something to smooth the ride a bit. The rear has air leveling so I'm stuck with factory there.
    Using KYB’s on the Outback, well controlled and smooth ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    Boston area roads are brutal on suspensions. Theres seriously dirt roads in the country that are in better shape than a lot of the "pavement" around Boston metro.
    No lie. There is a lot of container truck traffic in the Seaport and it’s that weight that kills roads.

    We replace OEM anti sway bar bushings with aftermarket urethane bushings. OEM only lasts a year or two. They’r3 a cheap and easy swap.

    My WRX is atthe tuner and I asked him to check the rear Komi shocks as the car felt different on left and right turns. Turns out the bonehead owner had adjusted them differently.....

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    Last edited by Garandman; 12-11-18 at 01:05 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Re: new struts worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post

    We replace OEM anti sway bar bushings with aftermarket urethane bushings. OEM only lasts a year or two. They’r3 a cheap and easy swap.
    OEM Toyota sway bar links: 25k.
    Moog Problem Solver links: 50K and counting....

    If I keep the car I should look into the main bushings as well. It's probably getting traded shortly though.

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