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Discussion Starter #1
Who here has replaced their OEM struts and at what mileage?

Im contemplating whether mine should be swapped with 60k miles on the odometer. Curious to see if anybody else has already replaced theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I鈥檓 taking apart my front struts to install my Northwoods Performance springs and at 50k miles I figure they鈥檒l be due soon anyway, so I have new KYBs and new mounts sitting here waiting to be installed on a nice day. Since I鈥檓 going to do it myself I don鈥檛 want to do it twice!
 

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I鈥檓 taking apart my front struts to install my Northwoods Performance springs and at 50k miles I figure they鈥檒l be due soon anyway, so I have new KYBs and new mounts sitting here waiting to be installed on a nice day. Since I鈥檓 going to do it myself I don鈥檛 want to do it twice!
I would install the KYB's and springs together. I'm not sure how much the northwood springs lower the car (if at all? sorry still new to this platform), but often times if the springs change the ride height you will be outside of the original struts' operating range.

Plus if you have to rent a spring compressor to get them apart, it would be easier to get it done all at once IMHO. It'll also save you from doing two alignments.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am going to install the Northwoods springs on the new struts and mounts once spring arrives and then slap everything on the car. It will be easy to do all at once - I have spring compressors so not too worried. The springs are heavier duty than stock, definitely not lowering haha, I鈥檓 pairing them with my 1.5*inch lift spacers.

I think the firmer springs and new struts should make for better performance offroad as opposed to the stock stuff I have on there now.
 

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...so I have new KYBs and new mounts sitting here waiting to be installed on a nice day.
When you got your hands on the new struts, how fast would the inner shaft extend when you pushed it down into the strut?

I've got my original struts apart and the inner shaft takes about 35 seconds to extend once I push it all the way in. That seems slow to me as if the pressure is too low inside the strut. I only have experience with one other set of struts so I'm not sure how fast new ones with proper pressure for the Rav4 should extend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The new ones were much quicker than that, I don鈥檛 remember the exact time but it wasn鈥檛 35 seconds.

How many miles are you at?
 

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132,000. It's time. New ones are on the way. I was just curious to see if the original ones has held up well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I noticed the difference with new struts right away. I fitted them with Northwoods coils and the ride is a lot better than what it was with my worn out stock struts. You鈥檒l be happy you swapped 鈥榚m out!
 

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When you got your hands on the new struts, how fast would the inner shaft extend when you pushed it down into the strut?

I've got my original struts apart and the inner shaft takes about 35 seconds to extend once I push it all the way in. That seems slow to me as if the pressure is too low inside the strut. I only have experience with one other set of struts so I'm not sure how fast new ones with proper pressure for the Rav4 should extend.
For archive's sake, a new Monroe OESpectrum 73013, 73014 strut inner shaft extends in about 6 seconds.
 

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@arf Did you have to remove the rear lower swing arm to get the stupid shock mount bolt out? On mine, the bolt contacts the swing arm long before it clears the shock mount. It's that way on both sides. Wouldn't be a problem if the idiot designers had simply inserted the bolt from the other direction.

Also, it the top mount bolt as cramped to get out as it appears?
20191010_173035-1.jpg
 

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Ohh...sneaky. The shock mount has two hidden bolts on the other end where the mount attaches to the hub. Remove those bolts and the shock and shock mount comes out as a single piece.


I think I'm going to switch the bolt around anyway. Fewer things to remove in the future. Anyone see any reason that would be a bad thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I 100% agree with switching that bolt around - it's a poor design. You could drop the swing arm from the point you mentionned but it's hard to re-align that bolt with the welded threaded nut once everything is back together (ask me how I know)

I haven't replaced rear shocks yet - they will be done soon.
 

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Here are some tips:
  • Spray the nuts a little ahead of time.
  • Remove the lower shock mount bracket first by removing its 2 mounting bolts where it attaches to the hub. This takes pressure off of the upper shock mount bolt.
  • 17mm open ended wrench for the top mounting bolt/nut. It's tight quarters. Upper bolt will fully clear for removal.
  • Remove the lower shock mount bolt.
  • Reattach the lower shock mount bracket.
  • Install the new shock and upper shock mount bolt loosely.
  • Reverse and install the lower shock mount bolt. Voila. No need to remove the lower shock mount bracket in the future.
  • Tighten the upper shock mount bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the tips!

Glad to see somebody else who's doing some DIY on here

Hopefully as these cars get a little older we'll get a lot more information up for the DIYers
 

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Ohh...sneaky. The shock mount has two hidden bolts on the other end where the mount attaches to the hub. Remove those bolts and the shock and shock mount comes out as a single piece.


I think I'm going to switch the bolt around anyway. Fewer things to remove in the future. Anyone see any reason that would be a bad thing?
According to a toyota mechanic its designed that way so even if it unscrews the shock will stay in place. Safety feature.
I changed my rear shocks just 2 weeks ago. KYB excel G. It was a pain in the arse to get the top bolt off. 24h soaking with rust remover finally did it. my -14 is at 90'000km.
 

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According to a toyota mechanic its designed that way so even if it unscrews the shock will stay in place. Safety feature.
I changed my rear shocks just 2 weeks ago. KYB excel G. It was a pain in the arse to get the top bolt off. 24h soaking with rust remover finally did it. my -14 is at 90'000km.
I suppose that's plausible, although captive bolts aren't really a concern anywhere else on the vehicle, especially on large bolts with 50-100 lb-ft of torque on them.

How do you like the KYBs? Everything I read said the KYBs tend to run stiffer/sharper than OEM or Monroe OESpectrum shocks.
 
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