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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again. During this morning's major service appointment, the tech discovered both rear shocks are leaking and recommended replacing them. I suspected they were pooched by the ride quality and noise. I know there was a TSB out on this issue but they it only covered leaky shocks under the 3 year/60,000 km. comprehensive warranty and I'm past that time window and mileage.

I've searched on and read through the shock absorber threads. I do have a hitch receiver and tow occasionally ... carrying approximately 300 lbs. on the tongue. I would like a little firmer handling (stiffer ride) than we now have but not looking for sports car handling or anything too firm or harsh ... I know new tires (planned) will also help here.

I do not like Monroe products. I do not want or need serious lift or off-road capabilities. By what I've read, it looks like the KYB's or Bilsteins are the preferred alternatives to going OEM again (I don't want the same issues occurring with OEM's in another few years again).

I had good luck with the Bilsteins I had installed on our 1996 Camry wagon. What product number do people use for your 2011 V6 RAV's (there seems to be so many listed for the RAV4 on their website).

Any other recommendations based on other brands you've tried and are happy with?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a sport sap v6 and went with kyb....very pleased with them...
Thanks. Which model(s) did you go with? I understand there are some choices i.e. adjustable rears etc.
 

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We had the same issues with the OEM shocks, the left one barfed out all of it's oil allowing bottoming on even small but sharp bumps.

Not too impressed with the OEMs so went with the direct Bilstien replacements and they were cheaper anyway. Ride was not much different to the OEMs before they blew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Essex Distributors - Bilstein Shock Absorbers

Main distributor, in BC Canada / great pricing & German Engineering, they will ship across country.
- let them look up the correct part #

^^ I used them last year, on my 1998 Chev. Silverado 4x4...I'm sold on Bilstein here.
- sure beats Made in China brands
Thanks Beau and you're right about the Chinese crap shoot ... you just never know about the quality you're getting. A small anecdote ... I used to work at Ford's St. Thomas Assembly plant in Talbotville.
 

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I wrote a review of Sachs vs. OEM struts and shocks. I also compared Sachs prices with Toyota OEM prices. I don't recall what category the review was under, perhaps "4.3 Mechanical." If you search I'm sure you'll find it.

I love the Sachs set up. Sachs is a German OEM (BMW, VW, Mercedes) supplier. Unlike with Bilstein you can also get struts; Bilstein only sells shocks. Sachs give a wonderfully firm, yet compliant, ride. The handling if first rate. Body roll is noticeably reduced. I bought them from RockAuto which I also recommend.

PS I also have a 2011 Blue Limited V6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
... snipped ... PS I also have a 2011 Blue Limited V6.
Yes like you ... we also wanted the fastest color which is why we held out until we found a good deal our 2011 ... but then now I'm preaching to the choir aren't I. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think the only way you can get adjustable rears is to go with coil-overs. Big bucks :frown
Thanks. I stuck my head under the vehicle to see what might be involved in a D-I-Y installation. I see what others are saying about limited room to work etc. Having said that, not sure that coil-overs would fit ... and definitely not worth the $$$ to us.

mmmmm ... decisions, decisions, decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Essex Distributors - Bilstein Shock Absorbers

Main distributor, in BC Canada / great pricing & German Engineering, they will ship across country. - let them look up the correct part #
Good link ... thanks B. Essex is asking CDN $90 per shock plus tax with free shipping. My local NAPA guy said CDN $180 per shock plus shipping ... that is "if" he can get them.

Amazon.com ... about CDN $80 each all in with free shipping to my buddy's house in Raleigh, NC. He's coming to my town in a few weeks. I guess that's how I will go.

BTW - the Toyota dealer said they couldn't get the Bilsteins but if I bring them in, they'll install them for $221 plus tax. I was even surprised they would do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Essex Distributors - Bilstein Shock Absorbers

Main distributor, in BC Canada / great pricing & German Engineering, they will ship across country.
Beaumont67, I just ordered two rear Bilsteins (19-164687) for CDN $180 delivered. I found them for CDN$160 in the US but then I'd have to ship them to my friend's US address and wait about 1 month until he came up to Canada again.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction ... thanks left.
 
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