Maybe your handling has been a little soft recently, or it’s taken longer to stop than before. Perhaps you’re experiencing a bit of a “nose dive” when you come to a complete stop. While there are other possible reasons for these experiences, the most likely is that you are experiencing a failing hydraulic suspension on your LX 470.
Chances are, if you’ve put more than 100,000 miles on that Lexus, one or more of the suspension components is starting to wear out.
Why does this happen?
The hydraulic suspension on your Lexus LX 470 is made up of moving parts. Like all moving parts, they will wear down over their lifetime, lose efficiency and eventually stop functioning properly.
Like the legs on an athlete, there is a limited amount of stress that any suspension can take. Active suspensions, like the hydraulic suspension in your Lexus, are made of complex systems of moving parts. More moving parts means more chances for something to wear out.
Can I just repair my suspension?
Sure you can! The hydraulic suspension in the LX 470 is certainly well-engineered and comfortable. Your Lexus dealership or mechanic can repair or replace your busted suspension components no problem. For a price, anyway.
The big downside to these complex suspensions is that once one part starts to go, the rest of the (already weakened) components will have to pick up the extra slack. This will cause them to wear down even more quickly. What this means is that once one component goes, you can be sure that more of them are soon to follow.
Active suspensions are also very expensive. Replacing just one of the bad struts on your LX 470 will run you into the thousands of dollars.
What are my alternatives?
You could look for salvage parts, but chances are anything you find will have just as much, if not more, wear and tear than your current suspension.
An increasingly popular option is to do away with that troublesome suspension and convert to good old coilover struts. It’s a simple, inexpensive solution that’s been time-tested for decades and preferred by people who need absolute performance.
What’s the difference?
Other than a few thousand dollars, you mean?
The original hydraulic suspension in your Lexus LX 470 is made up of a series of components that all depend on a series of sensors to operate properly. You have a series of sensors, pumps, and valves in addition to the struts themselves that all need to be in sync. If one part fails it affects the rest of the suspension.
Coilover struts, however, use simple but effective springs over high-quality struts to do the same job. No sensors, no computers, just mechanical resistance. It’s a system that’s worked for race car drivers and highway warriors for decades.
Should I convert?
Before you click “buy” on a Strutmasters conversion kit, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I want to repair it all at once, without having to keep going back to the dealership?
Do I want to be able to replace and repair it myself?
Do I want like-new handling?
Do I want to save a few thousand dollars?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, go ahead and place your order. You’ll have your Lexus LX 470 riding like new in no time.