Suspension life expectancy - Scion xB Forum
Scion xB Suspension, Chassis & Brakes Questions and answers about Scion xB suspension, chassis, & brake upgrades! You have to admit the box looks mighty fine when dropped. This is where you get the details for Scion xB suspension, chassis, & brake alterations.

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post #1 of 7 Old 05-09-2016, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension life expectancy

A local NTB dropped a $1400 estimate on my wife to replace shocks/struts, align wheels, adjust brakes. I haven't noticed any ride problems, but it's possibly OEM original parts and we're near 190k miles.

Should I even worry about replacement? If so, what sort of price range should I expect?

---------- Post added 05-09-2016 at 05:47 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
A local NTB dropped a $1400 estimate on my wife to replace shocks/struts, align wheels, adjust brakes. I haven't noticed any ride problems, but it's possibly OEM original parts and we're near 190k miles.

Should I even worry about replacement? If so, what sort of price range should I expect?
Oh, 2006 XB, manual
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-09-2016, 04:11 PM
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

My sons 05 has 230 k miles on her and still running OEM !! Last oil che dealer told him that everything is still within specs !!!

Get another opinion is what I would do !!!!
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-09-2016, 04:45 PM
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

I replaced the shocks & struts at about 140k.

$1400 is insane for that work, unless you have a non-stock setup, like coilovers. Then I have no clue about cost - I'm running stocks springs & cheap aftermarket shocks & struts.

I call absolute BS on "adjust brakes." Unless your rear drum brakes are malfunctioning or someone did a crappy job of replacing the shoes, all the brakes self-adjust. Replacing shocks & struts all the way around and a one-time alignment should be about half that, maybe a bit more.

I don't know how much you're able or inclined to DIY, but the rear are stupid simple to replace - 1 nut at the top, 1 bolt at the bottom, remove, put old bump stop etc. on the new one, install the new one, repeat on the other side. Fronts are a little more involved, but can go much easier if you use the KYB Strut Plus for the Echo (strut, spring, and strut mount, all pre-assembled). To have a shop do it would probably run $500-800, depending on labor. A one-time alignment around here runs about $80.

Call around and get quotes. Ask friends & co-workers to recommend a good independent mechanic.

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-10-2016, 10:59 PM
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

Shock manufacturers recommend replacing struts/shocks every 30-60K. Most repair shops and dealerships will recommend them at 100k. $1400 sounds like a dealer estimate with OEM parts. If it still rides good and not bouncy, I say just keep driving it.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-11-2016, 12:25 AM
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

One of my rear shocks was leaking at around 90k. Replaced with KYB GR-2 (similar to OEM) for about $100 for the pair.

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-12-2016, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

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Originally Posted by yesthatsteve View Post
I don't know how much you're able or inclined to DIY, but the rear are stupid simple to replace - 1 nut at the top, 1 bolt at the bottom, remove, put old bump stop etc. on the new one, install the new one, repeat on the other side. Fronts are a little more involved, but can go much easier if you use the KYB Strut Plus for the Echo (strut, spring, and strut mount, all pre-assembled). To have a shop do it would probably run $500-800, depending on labor. A one-time alignment around here runs about $80.

Call around and get quotes. Ask friends & co-workers to recommend a good independent mechanic.
I definitely need an indy mechanic, eventually. I'm in an apartment, and will only have it and the car for another 15 months or so, not really worth tooling up and trying to find a place to do my own work.

For now, NTB has inspected the brakes and rotated the tires twice. So far they haven't tried to hard-sell me on upgrading or replacing either. But the suspension seems to be fine. No squeaking, groaning, excessive bounce, jarring thumps. I suspect the front pads/rotors might be worn unevenly, but need to test that out soon.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-18-2016, 07:00 PM
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Re: Suspension life expectancy

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Originally Posted by yesthatsteve View Post
....I call absolute BS on "adjust brakes." Unless your rear drum brakes are malfunctioning or someone did a crappy job of replacing the shoes, all the brakes self-adjust....
When I was serving my apprenticeship in motor vehicle engineering, back in the early eighties, my first boss in the trade used to tell us that the reason those things are known as "self adjusters" is that you have to adjust them yourself! He wasn't wrong either, the self adjusters on the bB's shoes are slightly less ineffective than the paxolin lined friction washer type used on, for example, small Fiats but nevertheless, those on both the bB and my Corolla Liftback do, in common with every other type in existence, need to be set up by hand to get the last wee bit of adjustment on them. Some folk never notice any decay in the effectiveness of their brakes as the disc-braked front end does most of the work, but that manual adjustment makes the difference - in the case of the bB - between being able to lift my foot high enough to get onto the parking brake to apply it and having to forget the parking brake and rely on the park pawl in the transmission instead, yet at the service brake, the travel is only increased by quarter of an inch at most because of the relatively short pedal relative to the point where its pushrod enters the servo.

Even when all parts are split new and the drums haven't become worn, self adjusters basically either don't or only do up to a point, but each and every Toyota service schedule for vehicles whose rear brakes are drums specifies that the adjustment should be made manually during servicing.

OK, so most disc systems are self adjusting as the pads run in constant light contact with the discs, but even that's not a universal rule. Saabs, Subarus and most other cars whose parking brakes operate on front discs are set with a tool that winds the pistons' free position inwards to a point just out of contact, which allows for some free movement at the parking brake levers rather than take the risk of binding.

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