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#1 Old 05-20-2010, 09:56 PM
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how long do struts last ? and handling question

ehh, need advice i'm tired of searching. all i know is 50-60k miles is usually the general life span of struts. well ... roads quality in NYC/NJ area probably cut this in half or so haha! but generally rear ones last longer, right ? isn't 73k too much a little for rear oem struts ?

my '00 solara (think gen4 camry) is at 73k miles now and i still have original OEM struts in the rear.
not sure if i should replace them anytime soon or leave the original ones in still. no noises coming from there.

fronts were replaced ~3yrs/35k miles ago with Gabriel (Ultra i think) strut cartridges from autozone, done at a local shop. main reason was that FP strut was banging very hard (i bought this car with it).

now ~35k miles later i hear FP strut a little banging sometimes again, normal wear ?
it has a broken rubber lower insulator though, did it make it wear faster ?
it's not under warranty, so if i replace it i pick something else, but have a dillemma if i should do all 4 corners (and lowering spring maybe) or stick to oem height/springs and simply swap strut inserts in front only.

after recent installation of new tires and alignment i noticed car handles funny at 70-75mph, nothing serious, but it kind of a little "shakes" (hard to find a word for that minimal handling feeling) to sides, i can see and feel the steering wheel vibrating a tiny bit too at this speed range, though it disappears above 75mph and never happens below 70mph. nothing serious.

can it be that new tires are not broken in yet (few hundred miles on them) ?
also they are 205/65/R15 94V rated while stock ones (and former replacement) were 94H rated (same size).

can worn rear struts cause this ? or its rather the tires ? they were balanced on Hunter GSP9700 machine and from looking over mechanic's shoulder i know he balanced them well (all said green OK on screen).

and yes NY & Jersey drivers break the speed limits on all highways every day (unless we get stuck in rush hour traffic haha), that's how the traffic flows, so bug off

if rears are due to replacement i think next time i may simply go with Tokico + Eibach combo (all around of course) and replace all insulators and strut mounts. may get expensive, but i want some solid handling, and would appreciate a little drop too (stock 15'' alloy wheels though).

thanks for insights.


'02 Solara SLE V6 1MZ-FE/A541E@ 142k
'00 Solara SE 5S-FE/A140E @ 92k

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
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Last edited by fenixus; 05-20-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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#2 Old 05-20-2010, 10:43 PM
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This "waddle" problem only happens around 70-75 mph. It may be more the tire/wheel, like the resonance freq of other components (I don't know what).

That GSP9700 looks like a very advanced balancer. And I'm sure it would have caught any lateral runout of the tire (like checking for a warped rotor). But if there is waddle from tire defect (lateral runout or steel belt not straight, for example) I'd think you'll notice it at other speeds.

Struts: some people seem to think OEM struts are fine over 100K miles. But I think for the MacPherson design most aren't good after 40-50K miles. Short-long arm designs like those on Hondas, the shocks can go 100K miles without problems. These "shocks" don't support structural loads. The struts/shocks degrade very slowly it can be hard to notice until new ones are installed. The OEM manufactuer, KYB, suggests 50K mile strut replacement intervals, just like many other strut/shock manufacturers.

Sounds like the FP strut lost all its damping, or maybe it's missing a strut bumper. Whatever you do with the struts, make sure everything gets replaced. There's probably no need to touch the rears until you want to upgrade to Eibach/Tokico all around. Then do it all at once.



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Originally Posted by fenixus View Post
ehh, need advice i'm tired of searching. all i know is 50-60k miles is usually the general life span of struts. well ... roads quality in NYC/NJ area probably cut this in half or so haha! but generally rear ones last longer, right ? isn't 73k too much a little for rear oem struts ?

my '00 solara (think gen4 camry) is at 73k miles now and i still have original OEM struts in the rear.
not sure if i should replace them anytime soon or leave the original ones in still. no noises coming from there.

fronts were replaced ~3yrs/35k miles ago with Gabriel (Ultra i think) strut cartridges from autozone, done at a local shop. main reason was that FP strut was banging very hard (i bought this car with it).

now ~35k miles later i hear FP strut a little banging sometimes again, normal wear ?
it has a broken rubber lower insulator though, did it make it wear faster ? it's not under warranty, so if i replace it i pick something else, but have a dillemma if i should do all 4 corners (and lowering spring maybe) or stick to oem height/springs and simply swap strut inserts.

after recent installation of new tires and alignment i noticed car handles funny at 70-75mph, nothing serious, but it kind of a little "shakes" (hard to find a word for that handling feeling) to sides, i can see and feel the steering wheel vibrating a tiny bit too at this speed range, though it disappears above 75mph and never happens below 70mph. nothing serious. can it be that new tires are not broken in yet (few hundred miles on them) ?
also they are 205/65/R15 94V rated while stock ones (and former replacement) were 94H rated (same size).

can worn rear struts cause this ? or its rather the tires ? they were balanced on Hunter GSP9700 machine and from looking over mechanic's shoulder i know he balanced them well (all said green OK on screen).

and yes NY & Jersey drivers break the speed limits on all highways every day (unless we get stuck in rush hour traffic haha), so bug off

if rears are due to replacement i think next time i may simply go with Tokico + Eibach combo (all around of course) and replace all insulators and strut mounts. may get expensive, but i want some solid handling, and would appreciate a little drop too (stock 15'' alloy wheels though).

thanks for insights.

Last edited by JohnGD; 05-20-2010 at 10:49 PM.
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#3 Old 05-20-2010, 11:03 PM
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thanks John!

i will keep observing how car behaves in close future and base further decision on that and the info you posted (man, i trust you!).

it might be that new tires (higher speed rating) are harder/stiffer/heavier than stock and cause the waddle effect then ? i should know more after tires hit at least 1k miles.

i hope FP strut can do some more miles before it starts banging hard like the old OEM one did a few years ago. need more time to think over which way to go (replace 2 front with stock height vs do all 4 corners and lowering).
now i see why rear OEM struts would loose some solid handling properties they used to have better in past (73k on roads around here is A LOT).

One thing sure, I will replace all insulators and mounts together with struts, not sure if i could keep original springs if i decide not to lower the car.


'02 Solara SLE V6 1MZ-FE/A541E@ 142k
'00 Solara SE 5S-FE/A140E @ 92k

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
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#4 Old 05-21-2010, 10:46 AM
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I'll comment on the tires only;

If the 70mph vib persists, you might rotate the front to the rear and see if it changes anything. Also, take a peak and make sure the tape weights didn't fly off on one of the fronts. As John pointed out, oscillations and harmonics can play a role so you might change the pressure within the recommended range and see if that changes anything?

Generally speaking, true rims, with good tires which are properly balanced don't shake or transmit vibes back to the steering wheel.

Did the old tires vibrate?
Did you watch them torque the nuts?

You sound like me, wathcing over those guys. . . .


95 Cam, V6 1MZ, Auto A541E, LE >245,000 miles!
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#5 Old 05-21-2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73sport View Post
I'll comment on the tires only;

If the 70mph vib persists, you might rotate the front to the rear and see if it changes anything. Also, take a peak and make sure the tape weights didn't fly off on one of the fronts. As John pointed out, oscillations and harmonics can play a role so you might change the pressure within the recommended range and see if that changes anything?

Generally speaking, true rims, with good tires which are properly balanced don't shake or transmit vibes back to the steering wheel.

Did the old tires vibrate?
Did you watch them torque the nuts?

You sound like me, wathcing over those guys. . . .
thanks 73sport. i will keep observing it during summer. will rotate tires if it doesn't change over time. will check tape weights on wheels at first occasion (e.g. when checking brakes).

those new tires are running 33psi now vs 28-30psi with all former tires. might be that higher pressure (still in tire norm) is causing it, will try pumping it to 35psi and see what changes in handling at 70-75mph.
old tires (Bridgestone Potenza G009 94H) didn't do it, but I used to run them a little under-inflated for most of the time LOL

Shop balancing/mounting wheels used an air gun (grrrrrrr....) on lug nuts, but I went to Firestone for wheel alignement straight from them and they use torque wrenches i think (at least they had lug nuts torque specs printed on work order).
so it also might be that another stud somewhere is getting broken, I replaced 2 of them so far, but since all of them were overtightened in past, it's possible there is more of them to break up.


'02 Solara SLE V6 1MZ-FE/A541E@ 142k
'00 Solara SE 5S-FE/A140E @ 92k

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
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Last edited by fenixus; 05-21-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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#6 Old 05-21-2010, 02:52 PM
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another thing... where do you check Tokico part numbers needed for your ride ? ... and where do you buy them from ?

i've seen some tokico struts on amazon, but i am unable to find the one fitting my lara. i checked both US and Japanese Tokico website (i bow my head before Google Translator) and they are old sites with no part finders or nothing ... asking because i wanted to do some price calculations ... but am lost ...


'02 Solara SLE V6 1MZ-FE/A541E@ 142k
'00 Solara SE 5S-FE/A140E @ 92k

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#7 Old 05-21-2010, 07:01 PM
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Haux put on a Eibach/Tokico combo. I think he used ajusa.com, $103-107 each:

http://www.ajusa.com/details/Tokico-...rut&vq=SOLARA&

I do find this application chart on Tokico's site. I always like to verify using the manufacturer's catalog. Do verify by using the chassis code (is it SXV20L/SXV2?), not necessarily the model because some places call it "Camry Solara" and others just "Solara".

http://www.hitachi-hap-la.com/Tokico...pp/Toyota.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixus View Post
another thing... where do you check Tokico part numbers needed for your ride ? ... and where do you buy them from ?

i've seen some tokico struts on amazon, but i am unable to find the one fitting my lara. i checked both US and Japanese Tokico website (i bow my head before Google Translator) and they are old sites with no part finders or nothing ... asking because i wanted to do some price calculations ... but am lost ...
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#8 Old 05-21-2010, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGD View Post
Haux put on a Eibach/Tokico combo. I think he used ajusa.com, $103-107 each:

http://www.ajusa.com/details/Tokico-...rut&vq=SOLARA&

I do find this application chart on Tokico's site. I always like to verify using the manufacturer's catalog. Do verify by using the chassis code (is it SXV20L/SXV2?), not necessarily the model because some places call it "Camry Solara" and others just "Solara".

http://www.hitachi-hap-la.com/Tokico...pp/Toyota.html
thanks.

i found this store:
http://www.performancemarket.com/cat...o&make_code=TO

amazon has them at only $1 less each (same free shipping), so i guess the AJUSA.com you posted is the cheapest it can get (unless there are some discount coupons out there for some store).

I got my tokico hp part numbers from the first site i found, pricing was average $105 each (free shipping). i will go with AJUSA probably (also free shipping).

my chassis code is SXV20L (toyodiy full code is SXV20L-GCPNKA), however it seems there are same tokico hp struts for both i4 and v6 (MCV20) chassis based on both my above website and tokico listing you posted. kind of weird considered v6 has much heavier front ... still same parts for both.

I also found a set of 4 Eibach springs (1.6'' drop) for my ride at $237 cheapest (so far) from the tirerack.com:
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/s...140&perfCode=S

it all adds up to around ~$700 for parts only excluding new OEM insulators, bellows and mounts. i could handle the labor easily *cough cough* with a loaner strut spring compressor (autozone OEM27036). i will probably go for it in future once the passenger strut in front starts playing my nerves


'02 Solara SLE V6 1MZ-FE/A541E@ 142k
'00 Solara SE 5S-FE/A140E @ 92k

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
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Last edited by fenixus; 05-21-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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