Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
172K on the Rav4 and decided it was time to replace the struts. Ride quality was diminishing, running through Southern California potholes would almost knock my teeth loose, and ball joints were beginning to fail one by one. Going through my options:

OEM Toyota : Too expensive for a 12 year old car that I'm not sure how much longer I'll still be driving.
FCS / Sensen : Inexpensive, all 4 shocks/struts can be had for under $200... but haven't heard many positive reviews
KYB: Seems to be the accepted aftermarket replacement brand.
Monroe: Mixed opinions..some praise it's heavy duty appearance while others feel the ride quality degrades too quickly?
Gabriel: Haven't heard much, priced a tad cheaper than KYB, been in business for years...

Took a shot in the dark, picked up a set of Gabriel Ultra Struts. Part #'s 56581 and 56582. Made in China stamped on the body...:serious. Installation was straightforward until it was time to bolt down the strut mount. It appears as if the shaft is shorter than the original factory set that came with the car. Had to compress the spring additionally and push down on the mount to allow the nut to catch a couple threads...used an impact gun the rest of the way.

Time to go for a drive. Everything feels a lot nicer, definitely better than worn out OEM struts, but I'm hitting the bump stops a lot more often than I remember. That's really my only complaint. Considered taking maybe half an inch off the bump stop itself to give me a little more travel before hitting it but not sure if it'll affect anything negatively.

If you find a good deal on these struts, it might be worth dealing with. At the price they retail for, I'd probably consider KYB. I was lucky to get a set for dirt cheap but would've been a bit more unhappy if I paid the $150+ they're being sold for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
When it came time to change my suspension components I went with KYB quick shock/struts all around. The OEM fronts I took off were stamped KYB. OEM rear shocks were Tokico. I also changed all sway bar end links at the same time. The car feels better planted now although ride quality is about the same, maybe a tad stiffer. I wonder if changing rear springs is a must at my mileage; 212,000
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The OEM fronts I took off were stamped KYB.
Really? Where did you find that?

Just over 1200 miles on the struts and no complaints so far. Only concern is the strut mount. I did not replace them since they physically looked good and because I wasn't sure which brand to replace the original ones with. OEM mounts were quoted to me at $76 each, which is about the price I paid for both front struts so that was quickly ruled out. Just need to find more opinions on aftermarket strut mounts other than KYB's to help make my decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
FWIW, I went with Monroe, they are made in US which lead me to buy them over Gabriel, I avoid buying Chineze whenever possible.
Hard to judge the ride quality since one of the old ones had broke and the resulting ride was like a wagon on the Oregon Trail.
If you value performance over ride quality I'd go KYB, other way around save a few bucks and get Monroe.
especially if like me your vehicle has many miles on it
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top