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Changing the suspension struts

This is a 'How to' on changing the complete suspension struts. Basically I already had some late suspension struts from my old SC on my new car. The problem was that the later cars struts are slightly different from that of the earlier cars. The fronts are the same but the rears have a 19mm bolt on the later cars compared to the earlier car which has a 17mm bolt where the strut bolts to the hub, so really it wasn't ideal to have late rear struts on the earlier car due to having a 17mm bolt in a 19mm bolt hole. Toni Gladding had a set of early struts with Koni adjustables and Pi springs. So I swapped these with her. 

To start with its a good idea to spray some WD40 over the various components that need to be removed. These are the bottom strut bolts and the anti-roll bar (ARB) drop links:


This is a close up of the strut bolts that bolt the strut to the hub and the ARB to drop link


The brake pipe passes through a bracket on the strut. There is a retaining clip that needs to removed first, then it is simply a case of hacksawing through the outer part of the bracket and bending it up with a pair of pliers and easing out the brake line. This save the added hassle of undoing the brake line.


Undoing the ARB drop link. You need an appropriate size allen key (5mm IIRC) and a 14mm spanner. Its a good idea to clean out where the allen key goes into the bolt to ensure that you have a good purchase.


ARB drop link disconnected from ARB and also to the left the brake line has been eased out of the strut bracket.


Undoing the strut bottom bolts. On early cars these are 17mm all round. On later cars they are 19mm on the rear. A 2ft breaker bar is the only option really as these are torqued up very tight. The top bolt has a camber adjustment cam within it.


Both strut bottom bolts removed and the hub assembly pulled clear of the strut. The camber adjustment cam can be seen as the topmost mount.


After removing both of the bottom strut bolts, it is then simply a case of undoing the top mount bolts, using a 12mm socket (rear) 14mm (front). It is easiest to remove 2 bolts completely then support the strut from underneath whilst you undo the last one. The strut will simply drop out when you have removed all the bolts.


Old strut removed. Clearly to be seen are the linear Fensport springs. 


The drop links are a different length on the early cars due to the different mounting of the ARB. The struts I received were without the drop links so I had to swop over my original spares, so I had to undo them at both ends! With the correct tools its no problem.


My new struts to go on. It can be clearly seen that the springs are progressive. Dampers are adjustable Koni.


Hacksawing the brake line mount on the strut. It is a lot easier to cut through this mount then bend it out of the way so as to allow the brake line to be slipped into the mount. Then its simply a case of bending it straight and then tap in the mounting clip which holds it perfectly adequately. The metal is very soft and 20seconds with a junior hacksaw is all it takes to saw through it.


Bracket bent out of the way to allow brake line to go into bracket.


New strut in place. Easiest way is to offer it up and bolt up the top mounts first then with a bit of pushing and shoving get the lower mounting bolt in then stand the hub up to get the top bolt in. Copperslip is applied at during re-assembly to ease any future work. The camber adjustment cam on the top bolt needs to be set at this stage. I opted to simply max out the negative camber which requires that camber 'lug' is in the 12 o'clock position.


Close up of the original Toyota writing on the strut! For 19 years old it has survived remarkably well!


Full picture of the other rear strut about to go on.


Close up of the front hub carrier with the strut removed. Camber adjustment cam is on the top and can be clearly seen.


Not the clearest pic but I wanted to get a close up of the camber bolt so that it can be seen how the adjustment works. Obviously the closer the bolt is to the strut the more negative camber you will get. Having said that there isn't loads of adjustment there.


Another fuzzy pic. But here is the front strut brake line bracket with the retaining clip in place. I took this to demonstrate that even though I have hacksawed through the bracket the brake line is perfectly well retained.

 

 

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