Struts shot ... replacement suggestions? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 03:09 PM
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Struts shot ... replacement suggestions?

Hi All,

I've got a base 2008 Rav4 with 4wd, a v6 and a 3rd row of seats. I just turned 56k miles and the last winter finally beat the front struts into submission. I've been searching around for a while and I have not had much luck finding a vibrant aftermarket for the Rav4.3, there seems to be more of a market for modifying the 4.1 and 4.2 variants.

I had great luck with Eibach springs and Bilstein shocks on other cars, but the only thing I've seen for the Rav4.3 is from H&R. Those springs lower the car between 1.3 and 2 inches which may be too low for what I was looking for. I will say, however that the Rav has always swayed around when pulling around traffic on a two lane road and I'd be willing to give up ground clearance to get rid of that behavior. The engine pulls fine, but it is not the most stable of beasts when under full throttle at high speed.

So the questions I have are

1) what have your experiences been with lowering the Rav4.3?
2) what shocks did you go with?
and
3) does lowering improve the stability over stock in the 4.3 platform?

Thanks in advance for any advice, experience and (hopefully) pictures of your lowered Rav...

Cheers,
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 05:59 PM
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I would suggest for you to buy the replacement parts for a Sport and use those, they are very nice and stiff!
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 07:16 PM
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I'm not into lowering my RAV4, so I went with these Monroes... Thinking about new shocks/struts



To The BlackMobile!!!
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 08:12 PM
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A tower strut brace and a larger anti roll bar in the rear squares away the handling. I have them as do others here and they work exceptionally well. Of course none of that will matter if the struts are shot and possibly the rear shocks as well.

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2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
2008 Limited V-6 front wheel drive
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Last edited by RTexasF; 05-23-2011 at 05:43 PM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 03:02 AM
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H&R springs have not been available for a year or more. The H&R distributor is headquartered here in Washington State, and they continue to state they have no ability to influence what springs are made by the factory, and that they only know when they get the shipping manifest. They also say they know there is a shortage and demand for the 4.3 Rav springs, but repeat they have no ability to influence the factory.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:51 AM
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Many thanks for the helpful replies.

Too bad about the springs. Lowering an inch or less with stiffer springs would be where I would like to go with the Rav, but if there is no demand, there won't be any supply. I did find some TRD springs from Japan that would fit, but $800 seems a bit steep after translating from yen to $.

I've used Monroe shocks in the past and had good luck with them, they are usually really well built and they last. Looks like that will be the way to go. Thanks Serious!

The rear roll bar is something to consider. It might clean up the wiggle under power as you're passing. Less weight transfer would do something similar, though. Time to search to see if anyone has those H&R's in stock...

Cheers...

Last edited by nhrav; 05-23-2011 at 05:59 AM. Reason: roll bar
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 01:20 PM
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nhrav, good luck on finding H&R springs. When I looked late last year, I called up about a dozen different places, many of which claimed they were "in stock". These places all drop shipped from the distributor, which of course had no stock. I even tried ebay but struck out there too.

There is some demand and the US importer knows it. Maybe the level of demand isn't high enough, but I see springs in stock for other vehicles that I wouldn't expect to be any more likely than a Rav to be lowered.

If you find some, please let us all know. There are quite a few interested people here from the last discussions we had.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 01:48 PM
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No problem -- if I find them I'll post here. I strongly suspect that you are correct, that many web based companies are simply store fronts and drop ship from H&R directly. It is cheaper that way, for them at least.

Got to get the struts and shocks soon, though. The car is pretty bad!
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2011, 05:52 PM
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Please let us know what you get and how you like them. I'll be in the same boat sometime with a 2009 baseline V-6. To be honest, I felt like swapping the OEM shocks and struts the day I bought the car...I'm unimpressed!
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 10:56 AM
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No joy at all on the H&R's. Inventory has been cleaned out at every place I called. Supposedly in two months there will be more, however holding your breath is not recommended.

Instead, I ordered a set of KYB shocks and struts which should be here before the weekend. I can throw some pictures of a DIY up on how to replace them. I just did control arms on my '99 Passat last weekend, barely threw out the old control arms before it is time to fill up the bin with fubar'd shock absorbers.

I can't really complain too much, the winter was long up here and the roads were really terrible. When the shock oil is nice and viscous because of the cold and you bang off those potholes, the suspension takes a beating.

I'll post up after I get the shocks done.

Cheers...
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