Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

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vehiclefreak409
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Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by vehiclefreak409 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:55 am

Hello all!

I recently started putting together the Abra-Cadaver lift, but I ran into a problem. It seems that at some point in this car's life, someone swapped out the front driver side strut tube with one that's about an inch shorter, which prevents me from dropping in the new strut (KYB #363045). It sticks up about an inch out of the tube, which prevents the cap from being screwed down. I have had a hell of a time finding one of these cars at a PnP, so I was hoping to either get a used strut tube from a fellow member on here, or have some help in identifying a new one that I can purchase. I need it for a 1986 4WD wagon. If the part is new, I want to make sure it's the correct part and not the one for a 2WD model. From the research I've done, it seems the 2WD strut tubes are about an inch shorter, but correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!

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Petros
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by Petros » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:16 am

yes, you got a 2wd strut. I suspect it is actually about 25 mm shorter (1"=25.4mm).

I do not think I have any extra struts in my pile of parts, but I will check. if I have an extra one you are welcome to to. I may have a pair of the shorter struts, I got a 2wd wagon parts car for free and stripped it of useful parts. that is when I learned the struts were shorter, interesting is that the springs out of it were a higher rate spring than in the 4wd strut. no explanation for it, seems the 2wd wagon would be lighter, but for some reason they may have been after market replacement springs. those springs are now on my daily driver.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

vehiclefreak409
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My tercel:: 1986 Toyota Tercel 4WD
Location: California

Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by vehiclefreak409 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:30 am

Please let me know if you happen to have one, we're pretty stuck right now. I'm worried using the preassembled 2WD struts that are everywhere online won't help me achieve the same lift as if I used the KYB #363045 and the stock strut tube, assuming I use the aftermarket springs. Am I correct?

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Petros
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by Petros » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:44 pm

you can get the same lift by putting a one inch spacer on top of the strut. you will need to install longer bolts, and you might lose a little bit of travel, but you can make it work okay.

do me a favor, measure the distance from the spring seat to the bottom of the strut tube for both struts. I will use that to compare it to the extra struts I have in my pile of parts. I have several struts from different cars in the pile, but I will need to find you the correct one and that measurement will make it easier to identify the correct one.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

vehiclefreak409
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by vehiclefreak409 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:37 pm

Ok I'll do that tonight! If nothing else, this will be helpful for other who run into this issue in the future. I'll measure from the underside of the spring seat to the bottom of the strut tube on both the 4WD one and the 2WD one and post what I get here.

jimcrazy
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by jimcrazy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:57 pm

if you get real stuck and cant find a strut you can cut the weld on the spring seat and move it up and reweld and have a local machine shop make you up a extension for the top and weld it on to the strut tube,i made these up for my rav as the struts were sealed no nut and the cartidges were only 10 bucks at rockauto so was a cheap fix
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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:46 am

Hey guys, Similar problem here. The strut tubes on my 83 4WD are so rusted that I need to replace them. (Nest on tube where spring attaches is going.) Finding these tubes new sounds virtually impossible, plus I am in Upstate NY, with no t4s to be found anywhere. Fortunately I have located a friend on this list with an 83 parts car about 4 hours away. We have arranged to swap the tubes this weekend.

A few technical questions I could use some help with:
1) I may have to heat the nuts on the bottom to remove them. If I reuse those bolts and nuts, do I need to be concerned with changing the temper on the nuts? ( My local Toyota dealer does not have the bolts and nuts, but maybe I could get the nuts at an auto parts store, if I knew what I'm looking for, hardness rating?)
2) When replacing the struts, I am aware that there is a cam adjuster on the bottom that should be marked to maintain the current adjustment. My assumption is that I should reuse the cam adjuster from my original car and use the adjustment setting on that car rather than the adjustment on the parts car?

Thanks for any advice on this. Much appreciated, Dan

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Petros
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by Petros » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:30 pm

soak the bolts in ATF, for several days if possible, it makes the best penetrating oil. It should allow you to remove it. I can not imagine you not being able to get them off, if you use heat, concentrate it on the nut (it will get slightly larger than the bolt), reusing it should be fine. but if you do have to cut them off, you can use mid-grade bolts (3 or 5 point). High strength bolts would be unnecessary, but the low grade stuff might not be a good idea either. As I recall they also use self locking nuts, if you can not find them than use thread locker on them.

Using the same alignment settings from your car is a good place to start, if it drives straight you are likely okay. but do not be surprised if it has to be aligned since you are changing a major component in the system. There is a thread in the archives of this forum on DIY alignment with simple tools, you can try that and save yourself the cost of an alignment.

Good luck.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:36 am

Thanks for the help with this, Petros. I was able to remove one of the nuts last night by heating for about 5 minutes with MAP gas. Will do the rest when we swap struts on Monday. Good to know that the way I am proceeding should work. Much appreciated, Dan

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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:24 pm

I have pulled my front struts off today and I'm now ready to put the parts car struts I recently procured onto my car. Both cars are 83 SR5 4WD wagons. I wanted to get a second opinion to make sure that I'm putting the correct strut tubes on the correct sides of my vehicle. (See attached pictures from the factory service manual diagram and my picture of the four struts with labels.)

The reason I ask is that I believe the struts were on the correct sides on my vehicle, but may have been reversed on the parts car. Would be great if someone could confirm how to identify the right and left strut?
Thanks, Dan
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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:18 pm

Sorry guys, but I'm stuck once again. I started putting on the strut tube for the driver's side, but without assistance, I don't see a way to get these bolts in. Attached is a photo of what I'm looking at. Also attached are the instructions from the factory service manual.

Working alone, (at150 pounds), there is no way that I can lower that stabilizer bar with my foot far enough to get that shock absorber lower bracket attached, as shown in the manual. Not even close. Way too far apart. And even if I could recruit a HUGE friend to push the stabilizer bar down ( Chris is about 270), I would be terrified about tearing that boot if it slips during installation. (But willing to try this if it is the only way forward?)

Have I made the situation worse by blocking the car and taking both struts off at the same time? Would it help to jack the stabilizer bar up on the other side to lower it on this side?

From what I can tell, the easiest way forward would be to get a pair of spring compressors to shorten that strut length. Then with the springs compressed, maybe just bolt the shortened strut into place and then remove the spring compressors?

I have seen a spring compressor tool at AutoZone that I can get tomorrow as a loaner tool. It consists of two threaded rods, with hooks for the springs, and a hex nut that turns at the end of each threaded rod to compress the spring. This unit does not add much width to the spring assembly, with one threaded rod on each side, so I think there would be enough room to insert the assembly, and then take the spring compressors off after bolting in the strut.

I am looking for advice on how to best proceed?

Thanks,
Dan
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NWMO
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by NWMO » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:03 am

Dan,

I believe I've pretty much approached it the way the manual shows. I am assuming you have blocked the car on the sub frame somewhere so the front axle and hub are free? I do think I've had a second set of hands sometimes to start a drift or punch when the holes line up while I hold down. Then you can use the punch to align the second hole and get the bolt in easily.

Chris
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Petros
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by Petros » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:44 pm

jack up both sides of the car so the anti-sway bars is not holding it up from the other side. put a long bar or a 2x4 through the suspension, over the sway bar and under the lower arm and have a friend push down on it, it will swing into place. just make sure the bar or 2x4 is wedged in place good so it does not slip wile you are aligning the strut end and the steering knuckle mount or you might hurt yourself. once the first bolt is in place the other is easy to use a big rubber mallet to line up.

I have done this solo many times, I push down on a long pry bar with my foot and that leaves my hands free to get the bolt in place. better with a helper, but I do not have one available most of the time.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:25 am

Petros, Thank you so much for this post! That pry bar / 2x4 suggestion I think is going to work. I was starting to get very concerned.

My friend Chris came over today to step on the stabilizer bar. Even at 270, with an 80 pound backpack, Chris could not gain the 1 3/8 inches needed to line up the bolts.

Apparently my stabilizer bar is unusually tight. ( I put all new bushings in a while back.)

I completely disassembled all four struts today. It turns out that the bearings are bad on the parts car struts ( ball bearings feel like they are made out of cubes instead of spheres). I strongly suspect those struts were reversed on that parts car. I wonder if an altered angle for the bearings at the top of the strut might have contributed to the problem? Otherwise perhaps the nut at the top was over torqued.

The bearings are in good condition from my old struts, so I'm gonna swap those over. I ordered new KYB 363037 strut cartridges which should be in tomorrow. (None of the 4 shocks/ strut cartridges were any good. I think all of them are 35 year old OEM.)

My parts car strut tubes were filled with oil. See attached picture. Is that the oil that leaked out of the OEM cartridge, or is the OEM cartridge suppose to be bathed in oil? Should I drop the new KYB tubes into that oily bath, or maybe just put a tablespoon of oil at the bottom like Robert Walker suggested in his video ?

Thank you once again for all of the help on this list! I could not keep this car running without all of the support on this list

Appreciation,
Dan
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DanT
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Re: Looking for a 4WD front driver side strut tube

Post by DanT » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:43 am

Hey, just one quick question about how to assemble the new KYB strut cartridges within the strut tubes, so that I can get my daily driver back on the road. My strut tubes are currently full of oil from the OEM cartridges. Should I dump that oil out, or leave it in there when I put the new KYB cartridges in?

Thanks,
Dan

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