Front Strut Replacement Quandary

How-to's and repair secrets for your 4WD can be found here. Have a question? Ask it in here!
Post Reply
User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Goldie Forever
Posts: 6369
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Front Strut Replacement Quandary

Post by ARCHINSTL » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:26 pm

Please bear with my ignorance about struts - never replaced them before.
My question is not about how - plenty of info about the procedure.
What Gabriel tech says is necessary seems incorrect - odd, I know. Its part numbers are G44800 for a cartridge that looks like a regular telescopic shock at about $25. a cushion for $20 and the cap with 3 bolts for $85, for a total of about $130/per side @ Autozone pricing.
Advance has a Monroe which is the whole strut at about $42; this has a boot on it which is a different part at Gabriel. I presume one also needs the cushion and 3-bolt mount?
Adding springs would be another about $62/pair. Is there a measurement to determine if the springs are needed if everything else is replaced? For example, "New spring is 12" long and old should be a minimum of __" long"? I know several people certainly endorse replacement of the springs at the same time.
Again, I apologize for the naivete of the questions, but I am certainly confused about what I need - but not about the installation process.
Thanks,
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

takza
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 4414
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:28 am
Location: Tibetan plateau

Post by takza » Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:47 am

For one thing...nobody can seem to find new rear springs...and you can't replace the fronts without doing something to the back ones.

I apparently can't repeat this often enough....the word on the street is....torroidally shaped rubber boosters...1 or 2 per spring. No you can't brag about them...but they do the job and last. Makes a big difference in braking and cornering without redoing the struts/shocks..

A longer throw to the rear shock helps offroad...the MA700s work OK...if you don't get real serious offroad.

Front struts? Best bet is to be able to take the old one in when you pickup the new part? Seems to be much confusion here....
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

Image

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Goldie Forever
Posts: 6369
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Post by ARCHINSTL » Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:02 pm

Thanks for the quick answer, takza -
I know you are a strong proponent of the spring boosters - what is a/the source for them? Neither AZ nor Advance nor NAPA list anything on their sites and I draw a blank look at their local parts counters. I seem to remember these from long-ago Hot Rod Magazines, but can't seem to come up with them now.
They make sense to me and certainly must be cheaper than springs. The pix of your's is no longer in the section.
I don't go off-road with the car, and don't intend to unless I really screw up sometime. Oh, maybe some bucolic pastures sometime, but nothing like some of you guys!
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

takza
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 4414
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:28 am
Location: Tibetan plateau

Post by takza » Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:31 am

Hey...what can I say? I own a lot of stock in a rubber doughnut factory.

Around here you can find them in maybe 2/3s of the parts stores. JCWhitney has them...though you won't find then in a search online....catalog.

I didn't have any problem with the MA700 shocks...worked just fine to boost the back...until I got off onto some serious trails...then I even bought...guess what...2 new doughnuts at a parts store in western Nebraska....cause they weren't going to be fixable on the trail....sort of a problem with a 600 lb load of crap in the boonies.

Here you go....

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/manufac ... 20Boosters

I've tried ALL of these on this page...the only one's worth spending the $ on are the two to the far right...the famous rubber doughnut at the top...endorsed by 70% of cops and used as chew toys at major police academys....AND the steel saddle type booster below it.

I can buy them locally for $8 each....$14 is a little high.

I'm not really a proponent of the rubber boosters...they just seem to work...wish I'd have had the sense to use them long ago.

They can be sort of a joke at the parts stores...but they WILL sell them...profit you know.

You won't find them in the RICER section....yet...but just wait till I'm done spreading the word!

Now lets talk about using ss flexpipe for the exhaust.....
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

Image

Finder349
Advanced Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:30 am
Location: Forest Grove, OR

Post by Finder349 » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:46 am

I got my spring booster coil things at G.I. Joes of all places. Under $8 each. It is your sports and auto store you know.

Calvin
86 SR5 238k miles, 6sp. GONE :(
85 SR5 232k miles, 6sp. GONE :(
87 Toyota LE 4wd Van 184k :)
87 Toyota 4wd Van 236k :)
Yes I run with scissors.

Fingers
Top Notch Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:08 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by Fingers » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:08 pm

Hey Arch.

You can measure ride height, which will tell you if your springs are bad. I don't happen to have the specs in front of me, I will see if I can find em or if I can measure my car and remember them.

The cushion is a good buy, mine was shot when I took the assembly apart. The top plate was fine, make sure the rubber is good and the bearing spins freely and you may not need to replace it.

And to all, I was able to find rear springs through Advance, you just had to find a good salesman who will look up the part number in the book, then he can check and see if they have anymore. There were 6, -my 2, there may still be 4. Also, if you have the specs (in another post), you can have a pair made. There is a place here, I think it is St Louis Spring, and they can make them to any spec you want. Kinda pricey, but if you have the cash....any spec....hmm....

I'll try to get the ride height specs, I will give you a estimate, and double check them when I see my buddy (he has this awesome suspension handbook).

Anyway....buzz buzz....

Fingers
86 Tercel Wagon 4WD, 4AC, 3sp Auto. (2) 89 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE. 87 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE, SOLD! 68 Mustang Fastback, 351c.i.=>429c.i., 3 Speed Manual, 10 Year Plan. 66 Mustang GT350, 289c.i., 4 Speed Manual, SOLD!

Helliphino.com

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Goldie Forever
Posts: 6369
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Post by ARCHINSTL » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:36 pm

Fingers -
Thanks for the info.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

Fingers
Top Notch Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:08 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by Fingers » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:53 pm

Hey Arch,

Sorry it took so long, but here are the actual specs on ride height:

Front:9 1/4" - measure from center of control arm mount (the bolt to frame/body) to ground.

Rear:10 3/4" - measure from forward center of rear link to ground (pretty much just like on the front)

These measurements are for an unloaded vehicle, and they had an acceptable variance of 9/16" (I think it was around there, Toyota had not provided an actual spec, that was their generic variance). Just keep in mind that this was a book for suspension repair, so Toyota, or individuals, may not feel that it need be this close to be alright. I think mine had somewhere close to 2" of drop under specs, so I had a perfect excuse to drop the cash.

Hope this answers any question you may have had!

Fingers
86 Tercel Wagon 4WD, 4AC, 3sp Auto. (2) 89 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE. 87 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE, SOLD! 68 Mustang Fastback, 351c.i.=>429c.i., 3 Speed Manual, 10 Year Plan. 66 Mustang GT350, 289c.i., 4 Speed Manual, SOLD!

Helliphino.com

Marty
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:56 pm
Location: Port Angeles, WA

rubber donuts

Post by Marty » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:38 pm

Anybody put a donut above and below the spring? this would give 2" lift. Seems simple enough so please exuse the ignorance.. just a newbie.

I would like to have a bit more ground clearance and larger tires in my upgrade process.

Fingers
Top Notch Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:08 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by Fingers » Tue May 02, 2006 1:50 pm

Takza has done extensive testing of adding things to the springs. I'm sure someone will lead you to the thread.

Fingers
86 Tercel Wagon 4WD, 4AC, 3sp Auto. (2) 89 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE. 87 Corolla GT-S, 4AGE, SOLD! 68 Mustang Fastback, 351c.i.=>429c.i., 3 Speed Manual, 10 Year Plan. 66 Mustang GT350, 289c.i., 4 Speed Manual, SOLD!

Helliphino.com

Marty
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:56 pm
Location: Port Angeles, WA

Post by Marty » Wed May 03, 2006 2:41 am

Thanks I was thinking from what I have found on the site from searching

two donuts per spring up front then use that bracket in the back on both springs? with no donuts?

Forgive my ignorance I just bought the car last week.. still clueless :) but trying. I want to put the more aggressive tires on in 14's from the other mud tire thread.

takza
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 4414
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:28 am
Location: Tibetan plateau

Post by takza » Wed May 03, 2006 3:27 am

Info here:

viewtopic.php?t=70

...easiest thing is to start with 1 donut per spring all around.

Fronts are easy to do...in the back you might want to remove the lower shock bolt to drop the spring some. Use soapy water.

....there is also a writeup on finding larger wheels and tires.
Give a boy a gun-give a biatch a cell phone-and pretty soon you almost got yourself a police state.

Orwell said: War is peace! Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength...

Image

User avatar
SinusoidalTendencies
Top Notch Member
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:06 pm
My tercel:: 87 4wd wagon

Re: Front Strut Replacement Quandary

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Sun May 12, 2019 3:52 pm

the link for spring boosters will no longer load.

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/manufac ... 20Boosters
I don't always learn my lesson.
But when i do, it's the hard way.

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Goldie Forever
Posts: 6369
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: Front Strut Replacement Quandary

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sun May 12, 2019 10:40 pm

SinusoidalTendencies wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 3:52 pm
the link for spring boosters will no longer load.

http://www.midwayautosupply.com/manufac ... 20Boosters
See answer at your other post.
T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

Post Reply