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Struts

I need to replace the struts on an '05 Camry with the 2.4L L4. Not looking to upgrade to any kind of performance…just want a nice smooth comfortable ride. I could not locate the Monroe Sensatrac Quick-Strut for this model. I’d prefer to go the quick strut route for ease of installation but if I can get a better strut, then changing the springs is not a problem.

How are the Monroe vs. KYB vs. Gabriel vs. Sensen vs. Sachs etc…?? Should I go ahead and replace the springs also since everything will be all apart? Would it be wise to replace the rears at the same time with the matching brand? Of course I will get an alignment after the installation.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Monroe renamed the Sensatrac to the OE for imports , I don’t see a listing for quick struts

far as brand goes other then Sensen they are all very good i just don’t know anything about Sensen

You only need to replace the springs if they are causing the car to sag. Otherwise, they are doing their job. I still have original springs on my '88 Toyota.

As far as struts, I usually get the best sale price, which turns out to be Monroes or Gabriels, both are fine for OEM replacements.

I’ve had some bad luck with Monroes. They wore out very quickly (30K) and I don’t do hard driving.
The Sensens are pretty cheap, aren’t they?
Do any of these struts have a “lifetime” warranty?

http://www.jcwhitney.com/1997-2005-toyota-camry/quick-strut-loaded-strut-assembly/p3059258d2168y1997-2005j1.jcwx

Tester

For far less than the additional cost of the preassembled strut/spring assemblies, you can buy a nice clamshell spring compressor from harbor freight tools. I’d go with the KYB.

@Tester… I have the LE model and those won’t work. These are exactly what I’m looking for. Do you think the rears should be replaced at the same time? I figure if all four corners are done at the same time, it should ride like a champ

How many miles do you have?
Is your ride that bouncy already?

The original strut in your car is probably KYB, some come with Gabriels. Some have mismatching struts from factory-go figure. If you were happy with the original ride, then KYB should be fine. The ride now might be softer due to age, so you will notice a change. There are no quick struts for your car yet. I am also not sure if you are better off with new mounts or not. They are pricey, but so is re-doing the job.

I have the same car with 86K miles on it and so far it is okay, not great, but okay. I think it was okay from the beginning by design. My Honda CRV has a tighter ride/handling.

I've had some bad luck with Monroes. They wore out very quickly (30K) and I don't do hard driving.

I too have had bad luck with Monroe shocks/struts. They never failed, but the ride got much worse after about 60k miles.

Never had this problem with kyb or Koni.

Here is one more option, take your strut assemblies out of the car yourself and take them to a shop that will use their strut compressor to swap the springs for you. That should run about $25 per strut or less. Then go put them back in.

I am not trying to be funny, but I wonder what is the sign of failed struts. I have replaced struts on a few cars including an 85 Corolla, but my 91 Camry (and my 99 Sienna) both have about 160,000 miles, and I’m not aware of anything that suggests the struts have failed.

A strut that has totally failed will usually cause one end of the car to bounce like a tennis ball. Most strut failures do not quite meet that standard and instead, become weaker. Even a bounce test of the car may not reveal a problem.
Sometimes the car may seem to have a certain amount of sway in after hitting a bump and that can be a sign of a failed strut.
In some cases there really is no way of determining for sure unless the strut is disassembled and checked by hand with the spring out of the equation. Of course that brings up the scenario of a high miles strut being disassembled and the folly of putting it back together with an aged strut.

If you disassemble the struts and go that route instead of Quick Struts I would advise replacing the strut mounts also. Failure to do so usually means the old mounts will fail shortly after the job is done and you will be back to square one.