KYB Strut Plus Review

 
kyb strut plus

KYB Strut Plus

I’m going to give you the straight scoop with this KYB Strut Plus review.  First of all I don’t think you can go wrong with anything that KYB makes if you like a firm ride.  KYB is the original equipment supplier to many of the Japanese cars sold today.

If you’re looking for a Cadillac ride, don’t buy KYB’s. Get Monroes or Bilstiens.  The great thing about the KYB Strut Plus is you not only get a new strut, but you also get a new spring and strut mount bearing assembly and it’s fully assembled so all you have to do is swap out the whole unit. Unlike previously where you had to have a spring compressor to replace the strut only.

For High Mileage Vehicles

This is the perfect setup for a vehicle that has over 100k on the clock because I can pretty much guarantee you the springs are dead. While replacing the struts is a good thing, doing it with dead springs is only fixing it half way and the quality of the ride will reflect that.  If the springs are worn-out the vehicle will still bottom out even with new struts.

How do you know if you should buy the KYB Strut Plus or just install a strut cartridge? My rule of thumb is if the vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it I recommend to my customers to go with the Strut Plus. If the the car only has 50 to 70K I’m good with only installing strut cartridges.  Between 70 and 80K is a grey area for me and I recommend on a case by case basis.

I’ve been installing KYB’s for over 25 years and for the most part I think they’re worth every stinking penny.  They are one of the few things that after you install them on your vehicle that you actually feel like you got your moneys worth. I’ve been telling customers for years that I’ll buy them a steak dinner and give them their money back if they don’t like them after I install them on their vehicle. They’re that good.

My Own Personal Results

When the KYB Strut Plus first came out, I installed them on a 91 Dodge Caravan that was a taxi and had over 200K on it. My customer was ecstatic afterwords because he’d already replaced the struts before and while it rode better it just wasn’t “right”. After installing the strut/spring assembly he said it drove and rode better than it had in the last 100,000 miles.  You just can’t go wrong with a strut, spring and bearing plate assembly.

Buy or Don’t Buy?

Yes, buy them, they’re great!  And you can order the Kyb Strut Plus from Amazon and get FREE shipping!

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About Joe Trent

Joe started out as a tire buster in 1979. He is ASE Certified in suspension & brakes with over 35 years experience. Connect with Joe on Google +

Comments

  1. Bill Schneider says:

    I had a tire shop replace the front struts 2 years ago. They replaced the strut cartridge with monroes and the strut mount but not the springs. 1998 toyota camry now with 143,000 miles. The rear tires are now cupping and i want to replace them with the KYP strut plus or the monroes. Should I replace the front springs or just replace the whole unit with strut plus or quick struts when i do this? What do you think?

    My opinon is the ride height is lower than it should be even in the front. I was a little upset when I found out that they did not replace the springs the first time, but now I have the chance to correct it.

    Thanks for your feedback

  2. Joe Trent says:

    Hi Bill,

    Mileage wise, your front springs are done. I’d be inclined to replace front and rear with KYB strut plus and be done with it. I don’t think it’s worth it to just replace the front springs because in another 2 years you probably would have to replace the front struts again. So I think in the long run it would be cheaper to just change all four struts now and be done with it.

    The other problem with just changing the front springs and keeping the old front struts is the chance of the car sitting level is not very good from my experience. I went looked over Rockauto.com to see what is available for your car and there are lot of different springs available for your car, the chance of being screwed up height wise, after installation is excellent. The KYB Strut Plus and the Monroe Quick Struts are matched spring wise front and rear, that means when you install them the car is going to sit the way it’s supposed to. I learned the hard way years ago to install matching front and rear springs after a couple of cars I put springs in just the front looked like you could hunt squirrels at night with the headlights.

  3. They don’t make KYB strut plus for my car but I wish they did! This is also surprising since KYB is the OEM strut for my car.

    Isn’t Bilstein on the firm side as well? I thought they were even moreso than KYB.

  4. The Author says:

    Bilstein’s always feel mushy to me. But a lot of people like them. And you can’t buy them fully assembled like the strut plus.

  5. John Baughman says:

    Hello,

    On other websites I have read two/three recent posts from long-time KYB users who claim that the struts made in the USA (as opposed to Japan), are definitely of inferior quality. Would anyone who has used both please comment on this?

  6. The Author says:

    Hi John,
    You’ve peeked my curiosity too.

  7. Jon Laughlin says:

    Hello; Just had Excel -G struts installed on 2004 Saturn and the plastic piece that goes under the mount seems to be defective because both sides are making a loud noise. Mechanic says they are installed properly but he said the KYB struts used to come with metal ball bearing unit that spring sits up against.
    Any ideas what might be going on and did KYB change their lower part of the mount to plastic.

    thanks
    Jon

  8. The Author says:

    Hi Jon,

    This is the first I’ve heard of a problem with these. I’d call KYB tech support and see what they have to say. Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT

    Phone: (630) 282-5372

  9. I have a ’99 Toyota Camry LE with 80,075 miles on it. I cannot have any weight in the back, or the car bottoms out on the smallest bumps. It even takes bumps hard, empty. I am looking at quick struts in the hopes they will help. Would you recommend the Monroe or the KYB? I want to be able to carry passengers and not have to worry every time I drive. Thank you for your time.

    –Lisa

  10. The Author says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Usually I like to put KYB’s on Japanese cars because that’s what comes stock on a lot of them from the factory.

  11. I had the front struts replaced about a year ago, and Monroes’ were used. Now that I want to replace the rears, can I use the KYB’s for a little more firmness & stability, or should I match the front with Monroes’?

  12. The Author says:

    I don’t see a problem with that.

  13. Bill Sheridan says:

    I have a 2005 Lexus RX 330, the vechicle has 68 thousand miles on it. The problem is when you add two grown people in the back seat it will bottom out under small bumps. What name brand structs would you use for the front and back to give the RX330 a nice ride when loaded, and eleminate bottoming out when you have a full load?

  14. I would go with Monroe’s instead of KYB for a Lexus. I like KYB’s but I wouldn’t put them on my Lexus if I owned one. Just too stiff for a luxury car ride.

  15. Bill McBroom says:

    Hi Joe,
    i have a 2006 F-150 xlt with 118,000 miles. i want to replace the front struts and springs and also the back shocks. I like the KYB strut Plus. Do you know if they make it to fit my F-150? If not, what would you recommend ?
    thanks!!
    Bill

  16. Hi Bill,

    KYB doesn’t make the quick strut for your truck at this time. They only have the strut cartridge at this time. Monroe does have a complete quick strut for your truck comparable to what it came with ride wise.

  17. Hi Bill,
    I thought I replied, but can’t find it. Sorry. Better late than never. KYB doesn’t make the strut plus for your truck at this time. But Monroe does.

  18. Don White says:

    I bought KYB Strut plus for all four corners on my 2003 Toyota Camry V6 based on your review. One of the front ones had a bad bearing plate with noise. I called KYB tech support and they said it was typical and the noise would go away when they break in so i went ahead and got alighnment done. The noise did’nt go away and only got worse so I returned it to the parts store for another one. That cured the problem but I had to get another alighnment done at $110. I called KYB and they said they would not be responsible for any labor cost associated with their defectvive part. I think people should know what kind of company this is. I would never do buisness with them again. Please post this on your website. Don

  19. Joe Trent says:

    I got to raise my alignment price. I don’t know why they told you it would break in, there should never be any noises after installation. Welcome to my world, you just got real world experience. Most auto parts manufactures never offer to pay for labor to replace a defective part. I quit asking years ago.

    Overall they make a great product, but apparently their customer tech line needs some work. Feel free to send them a link to this post and maybe we can shame them into sending a check. :-)

  20. How do KYB Struts compare to Koni Sport Struts; I want a new set for a 2001 Toyota MR Spyder that has the 2 ZZ GE Engine and 6 spd Transmission so, I am looking for better handling.

    Are KYB Comparable to the Koni Yellows?

    Jay

  21. Joe Trent says:

    The Koni’s have multiple adjustment settings to fine tune your handling and ride to your liking. The KYB’s are not adjustable. KYB’s are an excellent OE replacement for the average driver.

  22. KYB makes a strut plus for the Toyota Camry V6 years 97-2000 but not the 1997 lexus es300. I see the parts are the same if you look at the Monroe quick struts. So could I safely install KYB strut plus units for the Camry V6 model on my Lexus es300? Both weighing roughly the same weight and being based on the same chassis you would think there shouldn’t be any issues?

  23. Joe Trent says:

    Sounds like it would work. If Monroe is showing the same numbers, I’d try it.

  24. I have a 2006 Lexus IS 250. I am in the process of replacing the struts and My mechanic suggested to replace them with KYB struts. The car has 133,000 on it. Would you recommend using KYB struts?

  25. Joe Trent says:

    Yes I would. I like your mechanic. :-)

  26. erik moore says:

    I have a PT crusier 2001 front end started bouncing more and ratting when i hit bumps..its also not stearing straigh on the freeway anymore. its running at 166000 miles do you recomend the monroe or kyb KYBSR4053 or the Monroe 171592.

  27. I’d install the Monroe’s for better ride quality.

  28. Neal Horimoto says:

    I have a 98 Toyota 4 runner 2wd. Wanted a smoother ride so changed it to Monroe’s sensatrac about 10 years ago. It helped a little but now is getting bumpier again. Was looking into KYB’s gas a just but read a lot of mixed reviews. also looked into Tokico’s trekmasters (low pressure, smoother ride?) or go back to Monroes. Thanks

  29. Hi Neal,

    I’d change out the whole strut and spring up front using a Quickstrut. I’d find new springs for the rear and install Sensa tracs on the rear.

  30. Neal Horimoto says:

    Hey, thanks for your recommendation. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it after the holidays. Will let you know next year. Thanks

  31. Tom Mason says:

    Hi Joe,
    Your generosity in sharing your valuable experience is wonderful.
    My 2003 Windstar SE, 83,000 mi., is so low that the front of the vehicle usually drags on the tire stops in parking lots. In addition, most Windstars of the same body style are lower in front than I think they should be (but higher than mine). My Windstar feels like it does not want to take turns at any speed other than slow. I have gained the impression that these vehicles have inadequate, weak front springs.
    Do you belive the springs are too weak and the front ends are too low?
    I have gathered that KYB struts for sports cars tend to be stiffer than Monroe, but that they may not be stiffer than factory struts for other, perhaps heavier vehicles.
    I am interested in comparing the KYB Strut Plus assembly to the Monroe Quick Strut Plus assembly, for the fronts, in the following respects: Damping, spring stiffness, spring sag, longevity, driving characteristics.
    I do like to run the P215/65/R16 tires at a few pounds over the recommended 35. I do not want to feel every bump in the road, but it would be nice to have a little more feel of stability on turns. Yet it would be nice if the rattles beneath the dash would not be accentuated. Our roads usually have been fairly smooth.
    Is there a way to install these struts, e.g. with spacers, to elevate the front end an inch or so higher than factory height?
    Thanks

  32. Joe Trent says:

    Hi Tom,

    I don’t believe the Windstar was too low when it was new. But I believe the front springs sag significantly by 80,000 miles.

    Just by installing struts with new springs, you will raise the front end probably around 3/4′s of an inch. I love KYB, but I wouldn’t use them on a Windstar. I’d go with Monroe’s Quickstrut for a better ride.

  33. What would you recommend for my 2008 Pontiac Montana SV6 with 163000 km on it ? Monroe, KYB, or OEM. I have KYB gas-A-just rear shocks.

  34. Joe Trent says:

    Any of the 3 are fine. I would probably put the Monroe’s on it if it was mine because they’re less $ than OE and they ride softer than KYB.

  35. David Bruce says:

    Hi Joe,
    I own a 2005 Toyota Camry V6 3.0L with 47,000 miles. The front upper strut mount bearings are going bad as I have a “clunking” sound when I make left turns or go over small bumps. My local Firestone shop quoted me $550 just to replace the upper mounts w/bearings. I would like to replace the fronts struts, complete assdembly, myself . I have been a backyard mechanic all my life and feel confident I can do this job. In your oponion, which product would be best for my “city driving” application. Monroe quick struts or the KYB strut plus. I just want to do this job, once, the right way and without regreats as to product choice. I would greatly appreciate your expert opinion and advice.
    Thank you for being there for all of us DIY’ers.

    David

  36. Matthew says:

    Hi Joe,

    I have a 2000 Maxima GLE with 98,000 miles. I’ve been going back and forth between Monroe quick struts and KYB. Which one do you feel would be the better choice?

  37. Mike Kleingartner says:

    Hi Joe. I have a 2005 Tahoe LT with 120,000. One front shock leaked oil and now its all over the road. Plan on replacing all 4. Haven’t seen many recommended setups for Tahoes without a lift kit added.Not my deal. Mine is stock. I just want to replace with a quality setup. It is used 95% highway and some light towing. Besides shocks, should what else for maintenance should be done with the suspension? Thanks in advance.

  38. Joe Trent says:

    Plush ride, Monroe. Better handling, KYB.

  39. Joe Trent says:

    KYB’s.

  40. Joe Trent says:

    I’d put a set of KYB’s on it.

  41. Hi! I drive a 2001 Toyota Corolla and the back end seems to go up when I take turns at greater speeds than 40k. She has around 90k on her and I believe the springs and rear struts to be the original ones. Would you recommend KYB or the Monroe’s for my car? Either way, I’d go with a spring/strut assembly.

    Thank you for your input!

    Martin

  42. Joe Trent says:

    Hi Martin,

    I’d pick Monroe for a softer ride if that was my preference.

  43. How would a softer ride affect the handling or road feel?

  44. Udaysi Solanki says:

    Hi Joe,
    I have a 2002 Toyota 4Runner 2WD SR5, 180,000miles. Need to replace all shocks and struts including springs. Looking at KYB’s. Mainly use vehicle in city and highway driving. Please recommend replacement KYB’s.

    Thanks/Udaysi

  45. Joe Trent says:

    Hi Udaysi,

    I could only find struts and shocks without springs in KYB. KYB KIT 4 FRONT & REAR Monomax shocks 1998-02 TOYOTA 4-Runner

    I even checked the KYB website and couldn’t find a strut plus for your year of 4Runner. You would then need to order springs from Toyota.

  46. JORY INCISI says:

    JOE ARE UNITY STUTS ANY COULD

    joe are unity loaded struts any good? the monroes are 3 time as much and are made in mexico.

  47. JORY INCISI says:

    these will be going on a 2003 cavalier. should I do the sway links to?

  48. I’ve never heard of Unity struts, so I can’t say.

  49. If they’re rotten, sure. If they look ok, I’d leave them alone.

  50. JORY INCISI says:

    was getting creacking in cold weather last year. dealer told me links. blew the strut mount. the unitys are 120.00 for 2. the company says all the right things. reviews on amazon are positive. the monroes are 209 a piece. that does sound high?

  51. You’re not comparing identical parts. The Unity is without a spring and top hat assembly at that price. The Monroe includes the spring and top hat at that price. I did a little checking on the Unity and couldn’t find the country of origin on their website. Probably Chinese is my guess. I wouldn’t buy them.

  52. JORY INCISI says:

    yeah Chinese. by top hat and spring do you mean coil and strut mount?

  53. JORY INCISI says:

    I think a1 auto parts sells the same unity part. although they say its there brand. video on youtube makes it look easy with just 5 bolts. thanks JOE.

  54. JORY INCISI says:

    PS if your on facebook we could share these parts so you would not have to track them down

  55. Yes, coil and strut mount are the same thing.

  56. No Facebook.

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