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#4774011 - 06/01/18 02:30 AM Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle
The Critic Online   crying


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19812
Loc: CA
Vehicle: 2004 Lexus RX330 FWD with 149k.

The driver front strut was replaced 10k ago due to an accident. Surprisingly, the insurance company (Geico) authorized a Genuine Lexus Strut.

The remaining 3 struts are very worn out and need to be replaced. A new passenger front strut from Lexus is $235 (wholesale) my cost. Since the owner is on a budget (car also needs tires and front lower control arm bushings), I am thinking about using a KYB strut at the passenger front location due to the significant cost savings ($95 vs $235).

I know KYB struts tend to ride a bit stiffer than OE (usually) so I am curious how the mismatched combo would behave. Does anyone have experience with this type of unorthodox work?


Edited by The Critic (06/01/18 02:30 AM)
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#4774031 - 06/01/18 04:00 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10029
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Having owned an RX for 15 years, here's my take on Lexus'.
The owner won't be happy with many aftermarket on a Lexus. Not struts, not exhaust parts nor suspension parts. Not for anything that has to do with longevity.

KYB may be OK in this case but, not for long. Past members/previous Lexus owners have done nothing but complain about aftermarket part on their Lexus.

SEWELL Lexus in Texas(yes, I know it rhymes) is where I would get some of Lexus parts using my Club Lexus code(CharBaby) name but, I don't think SEWELL does this anymore with CL members, nor am I even sure if they have an online parts site any longer but, it's worth a try.

Lexus parts are very expensive but, in many cases(not brakes for example) they're worth the extra money if they owner is keeping the vehicle for any length of time. If not, get the KYB.
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'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
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#4774037 - 06/01/18 04:52 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10063
Loc: Indiana
Do it, but explain your concern and any potential issues to the customer before proceeding.
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#4774059 - 06/01/18 06:06 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18911
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I would do another OE on the same axle, shocks/struts not only effect ride but braking and body roll also. On the rear go with Sachs they are also $91 from Rock and a much better strut/shock than KYB.
Use OE bushings only and do both LCA, do not use aftermarket LCA. Using the Altimax RT 43 or P7 all season plus will give the good ride and save quite a bit over the overrated and over priced Michelins if that's what your customers is considering for tires.
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#4774064 - 06/01/18 06:17 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11218
Loc: PA
I'd almost rather put cheap dampers on both sides than have a mismatch. I can't imagine the ride characteristics with a mismatched pair would be pleasant (think roll moment on EVERY bump), and I wouldn't be surprised if there were some weird handling issues as well. It strikes me as the kind of thing that could feel completely tolerable on a 5-minute test drive, but turn out to be tiring with extended use or rear its ugly head in a threshold situation (e.g. hitting a bump on a wet offramp at just the right speed).

If nothing else, one side might even sit slightly higher than the other, and that might cause alignment problems as well.

I'm not even sure I'd do mismatched dampers on a car I was about to sell, honestly. It'd have to be a sale where I knew the buyer just needed it to limp home and then get a suspension overhaul.

The owner should go OE. Big bills suck; bad choices suck more.
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#4774098 - 06/01/18 07:13 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: d00df00d]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5266
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
I gotta think mismatched front dampers would result in uneven nose diving upon hard braking.

That ALONE is worth avoiding.

Imagine when you get to court and the plaintiff, sitting in a wheelchair, says, "The Lexus just came in on me sideways and forced me into a tree".

"Well Mr. Hoofenschnauser, your front struts are from two different manufacturers. Who installed them for you?" Bad.

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#4774128 - 06/01/18 07:51 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
229 Offline


Registered: 06/23/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Mid Atlantic
At least make the axle pairs match. Buying two front a/m will cost the same as getting one OEM.

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#4774133 - 06/01/18 07:54 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: d00df00d]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10029
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted By: d00df00d


The owner should go OE. Big bills suck; bad choices suck more.



I agree with the "BIG bill such; BAD choices suck more".
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'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'06 Mazda 3i 2.0L
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV

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#4774138 - 06/01/18 07:56 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9093
Loc: Ontario, Canada
So right now it has mismatched front struts, but can you even notice? I've read some where that most OE dampers have very little compression damping anyways?
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#4774168 - 06/01/18 08:26 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: IndyIan]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11218
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
So right now it has mismatched front struts, but can you even notice?

Maybe, maybe not. The thing probably rides and handles poorly overall, given that it needs 3 new dampers AND tires AND bushings. But either way, as I'm sure you know, what people "notice" isn't the same as what makes a difference.

Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I've read some where that most OE dampers have very little compression damping anyways?

If that were true for this application, it'd still leave plenty of room for mismatches that could cause undesirable behavior. Differences in gas support, rebound damping, and internal friction can have big effects.
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#4774355 - 06/01/18 11:24 AM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: The Critic]
slacktide_bitog Offline


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6185
Loc: USA
The Highlander uses the same struts as the RX330, so they may be cheaper from the Toyota dealer than from a Lexus dealer.

I found the Toyota OEM front struts for the Highlander for $150 each on eBay. Left and Right

Monroe does make quick struts for the Highlander/RX330, so if you can wait until September to replace them, you can get a good deal on them with the fall rebate they always have smile

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#4774399 - 06/01/18 12:26 PM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: Char Baby]
nthach Online   content


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3910
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Char Baby


SEWELL Lexus in Texas(yes, I know it rhymes) is where I would get some of Lexus parts using my Club Lexus code(CharBaby) name but, I don't think SEWELL does this anymore with CL members, nor am I even sure if they have an online parts site any longer but, it's worth a try.

Sewell was the bombdiggity for Lexus parts. Lexus corporate put the kibosh on Sewell selling parts online after a few dealerships complained about them.

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#4774456 - 06/01/18 01:06 PM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: d00df00d]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9093
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
So right now it has mismatched front struts, but can you even notice?

Maybe, maybe not. The thing probably rides and handles poorly overall, given that it needs 3 new dampers AND tires AND bushings. But either way, as I'm sure you know, what people "notice" isn't the same as what makes a difference.

Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I've read some where that most OE dampers have very little compression damping anyways?

If that were true for this application, it'd still leave plenty of room for mismatches that could cause undesirable behavior. Differences in gas support, rebound damping, and internal friction can have big effects.

We aren't talking an F1 car here. While I do agree that its a good general practice to replace shocks in pairs, I think having slightly different damping rates isn't going to show up except on the track, and maybe not there. Atleast at my local level autocross, the fast guys seem to do well with almost any condition of shocks, as long as the spring rates/sway bars allow the car to rotate. 200k mile struts do let a car float around abit, but it still isn't holding back the driver all that much. The exception would be if the car bottoms out the suspension mid corner, then time is usually lost correcting for that.
I think legally the KYB strut is advertised as the OE equivalent, so the differences between it and a new OE shouldn't be huge. I would prefer the slight mismatch in damping to having a huge difference with no damping on a blown strut and having that tire behave like a basket ball on broken pavement...
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07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 206km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 5km FF

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#4774729 - 06/01/18 05:54 PM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: IndyIan]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 11218
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
We aren't talking an F1 car here. While I do agree that its a good general practice to replace shocks in pairs, I think having slightly different damping rates isn't going to show up except on the track, and maybe not there. Atleast at my local level autocross, the fast guys seem to do well with almost any condition of shocks, as long as the spring rates/sway bars allow the car to rotate. 200k mile struts do let a car float around abit, but it still isn't holding back the driver all that much. The exception would be if the car bottoms out the suspension mid corner, then time is usually lost correcting for that.
I think legally the KYB strut is advertised as the OE equivalent, so the differences between it and a new OE shouldn't be huge. I would prefer the slight mismatch in damping to having a huge difference with no damping on a blown strut and having that tire behave like a basket ball on broken pavement...

All well and good to say that on an Internet forum, but do you want to be the guy responsible for doing a repair on that basis?
_________________________
2011 Mazda RX-8 R3
Mobil Super 5w-20

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#4774812 - 06/01/18 07:18 PM Re: Mismatched Struts on the Same Axle [Re: d00df00d]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9093
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
We aren't talking an F1 car here. While I do agree that its a good general practice to replace shocks in pairs, I think having slightly different damping rates isn't going to show up except on the track, and maybe not there. Atleast at my local level autocross, the fast guys seem to do well with almost any condition of shocks, as long as the spring rates/sway bars allow the car to rotate. 200k mile struts do let a car float around abit, but it still isn't holding back the driver all that much. The exception would be if the car bottoms out the suspension mid corner, then time is usually lost correcting for that.
I think legally the KYB strut is advertised as the OE equivalent, so the differences between it and a new OE shouldn't be huge. I would prefer the slight mismatch in damping to having a huge difference with no damping on a blown strut and having that tire behave like a basket ball on broken pavement...

All well and good to say that on an Internet forum, but do you want to be the guy responsible for doing a repair on that basis?

I would, its sending the vehicle out far safer than when it came in. Would a mechanic be liable for letting the owner drive away with a blown strut when the owner balks at either buying a new OEM strut or replacing the new OEM strut with a kyb as well? KYB says they are their OE equivalent, not a race damper, so its designed to work in the same range as the OE strut.
It's not ideal, but people drive cars with far less than perfect shocks and tires all the time. If the KYB is marginally stiffer, it would promote more understeer anyways.




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