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Hello all!

It's time for me to replace both F/R bouncy bits on my trusty 2002 FWD and I'm gravitating towards Bilstein touring. However, after wearing out the search function on this forum and other RAV-related groups, it appears that there isn't a lot of recent user feedback on shock/strut replacement, specifically when it comes to the 2nd-gens that we know and love - most of the Bilstein love is either 3rd or 1st-gen. Anyone out there have any experience with these?

(also open to other brands, if you'd rather convince me that KYBs or whatever are the answer)

Thanks!
 

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Nice color choice BTW


One of the reasons I bought the RAV over a Highlander is that I like the sports car like feel the RAV had compared to the Highlander. The stiffer suspension is not a drawback, it's a plus, my other vehicle is a Corvette. No really.


When I needed to replace mine I went with Monroe simply because mine has 248,000 miles on the clock and I don't see worrying about which MFGR is best. I went with the least expensive. I am pleasantly surprised, everything is beefier than OEM. Even the strut tower bolts are bigger, yet still fit. I don't know if bigger diameter rod and strut is necessarily better, but I like that it isn't smaller. The coil spring is made with larger diameter wire too. It just looks of higher quality. It would be interesting to see them all side by side.


When it's time to replace on the Vette, I'll go with Bilstein, lol

 

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...

One of the reasons I bought the RAV over a Highlander is that I like the sports car like feel the RAV had compared to the Highlander. The stiffer suspension is not a drawback, it's a plus, my other vehicle is a Corvette. No really.
...

I recently bought my 2002 RAV4L 4wd AT because I needed a car quickly. It was available, reliable, well maintained, low mileage (60k), cheap compare to my alternatives and good for a new driver (gets his learners permit in September).

I was amazed to find how fun it was to drive! I agree, the handling is great for an SUV (it's those 60 series tires) and it's even pretty peppy off the line. I just had to learn to turn off the overdrive when trying to accelerate on the highway to get the most out of it. Great car! The driving experience way exceeded my expectations.
 

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I just changed my front struts/springs and rear shocks with KYB's kit from rockauto, along with front and rear moog sway bar endlinks . The ride s definitely better but I feel the alignment might be off even after having 2 different people adjust it. I may have to replace other suspension/steering components because im still getting the dreaded VSC SKID warning and automatic braking once in a while. The alignment shop only adjusted front toe and not camber. The steering wheel tends to spend most of its time between center and 30 degrees clockwise most of the time.
 

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I just changed my front struts/springs and rear shocks with KYB's kit from rockauto, along with front and rear moog sway bar endlinks . The ride s definitely better but I feel the alignment might be off even after having 2 different people adjust it. I may have to replace other suspension/steering components because im still getting the dreaded VSC SKID warning and automatic braking once in a while. The alignment shop only adjusted front toe and not camber. The steering wheel tends to spend most of its time between center and 30 degrees clockwise most of the time.
Bumping this thread because you mentioned it...I'm in need of an alignment too. When requesting an alignment, how can I be sure of what they are aligning? I assumed everything would be re-aligned, or is it only what they see as "out of alignment?" Just curious.
 

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getting an alignment is one of the biggest wastes of money you can spend on a car because there are so many places that won't bother to give you a good job. The techs are rushed and don't have the time to do it right. If it is in spec they won't adjust that particular part of the alignment. And you don't want factory spec.
But there is a solution, find out where your local racers get the job done, in particular autocrossers. There will no doubt be a guy in your area everyone goes to and likely does it as cheap, if not cheaper then the local chains. he does it because he knows he's good, he likes his job and is proud of his talent and will not give a second rate job. He probably has his own shop and that's pretty much all he does because he's so good at it he doesn't need to do anything else.
Avoid the engine builders or car builders, they will want an arm and a leg and probably not be as good as the mom and pop shop that does only alignments (although hey may do a little front end work and tire mounting also).
 
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