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rx450h top mount removal, air suspension

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9 hours ago, Branc said:

has anyone here removed one?

It's looking like the answer might be no. Have you tried YouTube to see it there are any tutorials?  I'm not familiar with the RX suspension but if you've got air then you wouldn't have to compress the spring at least.

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If you look on eBay a company fits a new quality bearing to air suspension strut £85 plus £10 postage, you send just the top mount, company called Orchard Engineering, I have replaced an air suspension top bearing myself but it involves grinding the metal off that holds the bearing in place and making a new large washer type of thing and welding it in place I found it not too difficult (the bearing is rolled into position during manufacture designed not to be replaced) I do not know why Lexus do not supply the top bearing separate as it is easy to swap over, the actual bearing is about £5 for a good quality one from any bearing supplier the part number is on the bearing when removed.

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  • 2 months later...

I replaced the bearing in one of the top mounts with Brian from Orchard Engineering two years ago, and it has been running fine since then.

The top mount can be removed from the strut (it has a cash cowing element to it, when Lexus suggests that it must be replaced with the whole strut assembly).

The removal procedure is not any different from other cars: remove the plastic cover, remove rubber cover, unwind the air pipe (make sure the car is supported by a stand, so that it does not drop down when you remove the air pipe, also ensure that the wheel is supported in lower position, so that it does not drop when you unwind the top mount nuts), then undo the 3 nuts holding the top mount. To remove the central nut, which holds the bearing on the strut axle, you'll need an impact driver with long bit.

Sometimes when the top mount is easy to detach from the strut axle, you can just push the strut down (it has no air pressure by that time, so you just need to overcome the internal gas resistance), and remove the top mount without removing the shock absorber itself. While removing the top mount without removing the strut, make sure you don't push the strut too low, because it can strain the wishbone rubber bushes too much with a risk of the rubber cracking (particularly for 8+ years old car).

If the top mount has ceased on the shock's axle, it is better to remove the whole strut by unwinding the stabiliser link and two 22mm bolts at the bottom.

This is a standard procedure any qualified mechanic can do having proper tools on hands.

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I came across a top mount for Toyota Avensis T23, which might be used as a temporary substitute for the RX450h top mount: see photos below comparing the original top mount with the alternative.

It appears to have the same position of bolts, the same bearing and enough space for the air hose connector. It has smaller diameter and slightly shorter bolts.

Note that installing Avensis top mount on RX would be a material change in the construction of the car, which might invalidate warranty, so it will be all at your own risk. Still, in my view it would still be safer than running on the original top mount with disintegrated bearing, until you get a proper replacement.

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