Rear strut removal 97 Camry LE 4cyl - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (1992–1996 & 1997–2001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 05-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rear strut removal 97 Camry LE 4cyl

I have a question on removing the rear struts on my 1997 Camry. I purchased quick struts to do this myself. Shop said it was very labor intensive and rear seat needs to be removed. I pushed forward the seats and noticed a bolt between the bottom of the seat and the panel where the seat belt is. Is that all I need to to to remove this panel with one bolt to get to the nuts holding the top of the strut? Hell they wanted 500.00. Thanks for help.

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Old 05-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I can΄t believe how much they are going to charge you It΄s only labor?

I did this work about a month and a half a go. Simple but requires patience. You have to remove the seat, the bottom . It has 2 clips , they come out if you pull it gently. In this way you will access the bolt to remove the panels.

See this thread: DIY - rear seats removal & speakers
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did this job (rear struts with Monroe Quick Struts) about 4 years ago on my 98 Camry. It's the same as your 97. I can offer a few tips.

First, get a manual. If you don't have one, you can download one for free at the top of the Camry forum over at AutomotiveForums.com. The manuals are stickied there at the top. These are Toyota factory service manauls and are free downloads. Download the generation 4 manual and refer to the suspension section for the complete procedure.

Second, after reading the manual, a couple of days before doing this job remove each rear wheel and spray down all the bolts/fasteners that are going to be removed with a good penetrating oil like PB Blaster. Then reinstall the rear wheels and drive the car like that. Do this a couple of times over a couple of days, reinstalling the rear wheels and driving the car each time. The driving of the car will cause some vibration that will help the penetrating oil works in to all the threads. I'm sure you have lot's of snow and salt in your area, so rust could be a problem on a 13 year old car. This procedure will hopefully avoid problems.

Third, you really don't have to remove the rear seat cushion. You can press down firmly on the ends of the cushion and will see the one bolt on the bottom of the side bolsters (can't remember if it's 12MM or 14MM) that has to be removed. Remove the bolt and then lift up on the side bolsters and they will come right off. This will expose the 3 nuts that hold down the top of the struts. It's a bit tight in there, but they can be removed. You will have to work with a box wrench, since you won't be able to fit a socket in there. Take your time removing and reinstalling those 3 nuts on each side.

Fourth, you will need an allen wrench when removing the sway bar end links. It's needed to hold the back side while you loosen the nut form the other side. This is an area you really need to spray down well, as you don't want to brake these end links. If you do, you will have to replace them. That will add about $50-$60 to each side.

This job really isn't difficult. I did both sides in about 2-1/2 hours and I was working slowly as it was pretty hot out when I did them. Again, I highly recommend reading the procedure in the Toyota service manual before starting this job.

Good luck.

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Old 05-11-2010, 08:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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$500 is a joke.

Just make sure you use the new self-locking nuts supplied and torque the nuts to spec. Otherwise the nuts can come loose and make things squeak. I always use Permatex Threadlocker Blue regardless of lock nuts.

Be careful of the rubber brake line.

Last edited by JohnGD; 05-11-2010 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here is a youtube video on how its done:

It helped me when I had to replace my struts.

Credit goes to N35QU1K
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For the 3rd brake light don't follow that video, you push the sides in and lift, no bolts necessary. Just unplug the brake light.
You can also put down a deposit at autozone to borrow their spring compressor ($54 and some change).
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You don't need a spring compressor if you're putting in a whole new assembly. If the rear of the car is in the air you don't need to compress them. Don't waste your money on a haines book if you can find the online manual. I downloaded the toyota shop manual for the 3rd gen camry online from **********s.com, it gives a really good step by step, I used it when doing my front and rear struts.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Any idea the size of Allen wrench I need for the sway bar end links? Thanks
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjpb View Post
Any idea the size of Allen wrench I need for the sway bar end links? Thanks
it is closed ended 14mm allen wrench plus 5mm hex key, make sure use wd40 or pb, and if it gets harder to loose, just rock the wrench back and forth until it become easier, it take maybe a few more minutes, but it is better than having a stripped or rounded bolt.
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