Need suspension work, but know nothing about this.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by bmparent, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. bmparent

    bmparent Member

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    So I've rebuilt by battery, will replace my dashboard display next week, but know zero about suspension. I do know that my 2007 is one heck of a rough ride, and I can't take it anymore. The car is at 188,000 miles and in otherwise decent shape. I've kept a close eye on things and maintained it very well as much as I'm able. While having my oil changed I asked the guys at Meineke what I can do for the suspension. One pointed out that my front struts are "gone" was the word he used. So, I'll get those replaced. Also, 2 lower control arms (and maybe the bushings too?) (are there only 2 LCA's in the car, or 2 in front 2 in back?) I believe he also said a wheel bearing. I'm not going to have meineke do this, I'll take it to my local guy. I like to diy a lot of stuff, but this is above my capacity and tool-vocabulary for sure. Can anyone come up with a ballpark estimate for this stuff? I'm thinking I can spend 1,000.00, more that than I'm not sure. I know the LCA's will be an inspection issue here in Mass. so I'll have to do that anyway. I've put a lot of care into this car, most preventative stuff, and I feel that it's got another 50,000 left in it at least so I'm not ready to toss it yet.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Hard to estimate prices in Ma but I would certainly get a couple of quotes and only use oem struts for a good ride.
     
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  3. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Senior Member

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    Please let us know the price ranges you encounter for these repairs. Good luck!
     
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  4. Samuel Williams Jr

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    LOL, well I have to say thank you! :)

    You asked about "Lower Control Arm's," in the rear?? And I did not think so, but I had to go outside and check? And yet pretty much typical for a FWD Toyota (most not likely not true for the AWD's or Rav4 's. But the FWD Prius is par for the course "Beam Axle," in the rear. No lower control arm's in the rear.

    And you did not mention it but if the front's struts or shot?? Then most likely so is the "upper front strut mount?" And if you don't change it, you'll start to hear a clunk sound when going around corner's in short order. And to change it after the fact, they'd have to drop the struts again!

    With the lower control's, if the lower bushing's are shot? I would suspect the lower ball joints my be as well?? And once again if they have to pull the lower controls to change the bushing's (because short of hitting something it should be just a bushing swap??)

    But it is a "Prius," and I don't know if lower bushing's are available separately, but they should be? You'll need to check on that and let us know. :)

    Part's wise I'd go with KYB and E-Bay for shocks. :
    KYB Struts Shocks for Toyota Suspension kit Prius 2003 to 2009 | eBay

    Or you could go here:
    2005 TOYOTA PRIUS 1.5L L4 ELECTRIC/GAS Suspension Parts | RockAuto

    And actually it look's like replacing the Control Arms would be cheaper than replacing the
    bushing's (Labor Cost.)

    And I like the KYB's myself but they are at least 10% stiffer than stock. So slightly rougher ride but better handling. :)

    But a lot of the "Chain's," won't let you bring in a box of part's and say "Install this stuff," and the Small Shop's (some will install them) but they won't guarantee the part's. I have used Moog and KYB on lot's of car's for decades and never have a failure and I do tend to drive uh hard. :)

    Anyway for the work you need and the part's involved? I would think a Grand would be more that enough?
     
  5. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Go oem struts or your rough ride will get rougher.
     
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  6. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    So I just replaced the struts in my 2006, so I can help there. I used the $314 set (all 4 pre-assembled struts and stabilizer links) from A1 auto because they were fast, cheap and decently reviewed by non-brand-snobs.

    In my driveway, using real basic tools. It took about 3 hours to do all 4. I’m almost 60 and have a terrible back and haven’t turned a wrench in years. It was easy, but I’m going to pay $300 to have priusoffroad install the lift* next week because doing it one time every 50 miles is enough for me (I just found the lift kit one week...50 miles...after I installed the struts...d’oh!)

    You’re going to have to get an alignment after installing whatever gets installed no matter what. I knew this going in and planned it so after I installed the struts I drove a couple of miles to a shop who torqued everything down and did the alignment for about $150.

    A 3rd shop quoted me $375 to r/r all the struts to install the lift blocks (it’s the same labor as you’re asking about) yesterday.

    So in SoCal, it seems like cost is parts + about $300-$375 labor to replace the struts. And it’s easy to do yourself w a jack/stands and a ratchet w about 4 sockets after watching a couple of YouTube videos.

    *if you’re going to install the lift kit, it doesn’t cost any more to install new struts at the same time, other than the cost of parts.
     
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  7. bmparent

    bmparent Member

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    Thanks, that's a really helpful response, thanks for not writing with all question marks and sarcasm? I appreciate your encouragement to do it myself, but I don't have a very level or paved driveway for this kind of work. I will check out the utube videos though to get a look at what's going on in there. I like the prices your quoting, that's less that what I'm imagining.
     
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  8. bmparent

    bmparent Member

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    I will indeed check in after the repairs, I've got an appointment next week with my local to have it looked at. I'm really glad a smoother ride is in sight.
     
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  9. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    You are very welcome. The parts cost can be all over the place. Here are some more data points to consider:

    Most often a mechanic will remove the strut and replace the shock absorber that's part of the strut assembly, then reinstall the same strut assembly (spring, etc.). The shock is pretty cheap, but the labor (time/special tools needed) drives the cost up to about what these new (off-brand but very popular) new strut assemblies cost delivered to my door, probably more.

    Either is fine, but with older Prii (and most cars in general historically) the springs tend to sag over time and mine is 15+ years old and I've carried some weight around...so new assemblies with springs made sense (and a BIG difference!).

    Generally, they say struts should be good for at least 100k miles. Practically, people can tell the difference when new ones go in way sooner than that.

    I may have mentioned this already, but this is the time to order a lift kit from priusoffroad to get the car up just high enough to keep it from scraping every dirveway/curb it ever sees. If you decided to do this later, everything has to come out and get reinstalled, and another alignment done afterward...$300-$375+$100 alignment It's about $350 for the lift kit and I doubt anybody would kick themselves 6 months afterward and wish they had never done it...like I always do after I'm too cheap to buy that thing I saw when I was in Guatemala that was $20 more than I wanted to pay.

    Good luck, and remember this only takes care of the struts, not bushings/A-arms (in that case it's most likely cheaper to buy A-arms and replace them...like the shock/strut labor thing). - James
     
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  10. bmparent

    bmparent Member

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    I had never heard of a lift kit, but I check it out at the site you mentioned, it sure does look cool. I seem to remember something on the site about needing a certain brand of struts in order to be compatible. I don't know if this was just some sort of disclaimer or what your experience was. I've read other replies that say I should be OEM struts if I want to get the smoothest ride, so that's important to me.
     
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  11. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Just to clarify, they are not tied to any specific brand or type of shocks/struts. They just recommend looking at/replacing struts/shocks at the same time because they have to come out for the lift install anyhow. I am a prime example of worst case scenario...I literally just replaced my struts less than 50 miles ago, did the labor and the alignment afterward, and now have to do the exact same labor/alignment all over again to install the lift. Worst timing ever.

    As far as OEM vs aftermarket struts, it's pretty well accepted that OEM shocks suck and aftermarket shocks are better quality...depending on the brand/model installed. I chose the TRQ brand because of availability/price and overall good reviews. The KYB brand are pretty universally accepted as better than OEM and quality control is high...that's usually the "go to" shock/strut. Nobody really install more OEM's if they're not in a jam or unless they only have dealer service their car (and even dealers will usually offer the KYB's AFAIK). Monroe is another well-known quality brand. Honestly, after 100k *any* new shocks/struts are going to be a major improvement!
     
    #11 Priusjames, May 1, 2021
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  12. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    Hi James, This has been very informative and thank you for sharing your experience! MY 07' shock/strut are only 7 years old(The dealer did that under warrenty..) so I am replacing them yet but eventually need to go. I talked to my local tire place about that, they want $1200 plus for a whole thing! I will probably end up doing that by my self but need to do more research! I would love to see your pic once "Lift Kit" are installed. Priusoffroad web site's pic is a kind of hard to see.
     
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  13. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    Shop around, call several shops and look for Groupons maybe. Nobody can really screw up installing struts (heh). You *always* have to get an alignment after strut replacement, so figure that cost into the mix too!
     
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  14. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    BTW, I am assuming you are still using orginal coils/springs? You did not replace them, right?! Also, which shop gave you $375 labor fees? I am near by you(Lake Forest) so maybe that can be good option for me just in case my back starts hurting again. Getting old sucks....lol
     
    #14 Sanchan, May 1, 2021
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  15. Priusjames

    Priusjames Member

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    I replaced the entire strut assemblies, coil springs and all. BTW, the new struts lifted the car probably an inch or so...turns out the old ones were sagging, as tends to happen.

    the price was just for labor, though...the struts were another $315
     
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  16. bmparent

    bmparent Member

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    Updating after the repairs:
    2 front strut assemblies, front sway bar w/bushings and links, two front tires and one new sensor valve stem: 1,263.00. I'm wishing I'd done the read struts too, I can still feel a bit of rumble in the back, but maybe later. Overall I do feel a difference especially with handling due to the new sway bar, but it's not a dramatically smoother ride.
     
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