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#1 Old 10-02-2005, 09:05 AM
JerseyMike
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struts for '99 Camry

my '99 Camry has about 156k miles on it and i just has the brakes serviced
and the mechanic told me that i needed struts. there is no bounce in the
car when driving, the cars never wanders fromits lane and the alignment it
perfect even under heavy braking. the car still feels like it did when it
wa s new. the mechanic said that on a scale of 1-10 the struts are about a
5-6. how do i know whenthe struts should be replaced. about 98% of these
miles are highway mile on good roads and minimal abuse from potholes and
such, it's a commuter car.

thanks...

mike..........


 
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#2 Old 10-02-2005, 07:49 PM
Wolfgang
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

They wear gradually so you probably haven't noticed the decline. At that
mileage theyn are long gone - I'd replace them and you'll notice a
difference.

"JerseyMike" <clamdigger724@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ROR%e.101232$qY1.98389@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...[color=blue]
> my '99 Camry has about 156k miles on it and i just has the brakes serviced
> and the mechanic told me that i needed struts. there is no bounce in the
> car when driving, the cars never wanders fromits lane and the alignment it
> perfect even under heavy braking. the car still feels like it did when it
> wa s new. the mechanic said that on a scale of 1-10 the struts are about
> a
> 5-6. how do i know whenthe struts should be replaced. about 98% of these
> miles are highway mile on good roads and minimal abuse from potholes and
> such, it's a commuter car.
>
> thanks...
>
> mike..........
>
>[/color]


 
#3 Old 10-03-2005, 03:01 AM
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

Yes, the struts wear very gradually you will hardly notice from day to
day.

The stock KYB (Keep Your Bilsteins) are up for replacement at around
50K miles, but they can be acceptable for longer than that. I've seen
leaks usually starting around 60-70K. Some years of Camrys are lucky
enough to have Bilsteins available if you can get them.

I think the KYB Gas Adjust are OK struts, but their coverage is far and
few in between. The GR2(?) is the bargain basement strut at fire sale
prices. I personally don't care much for KYB struts but often there is
little choice for Japanese cars.

It's a good idea to change out the mounts and the sway bar bushings at
the same time.

 
#4 Old 10-03-2005, 05:34 AM
JerseyMike
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Re: struts for '99 Camry


<johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1128326508.438139.104500@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...[color=blue]
> Yes, the struts wear very gradually you will hardly notice from day to
> day.
>
> The stock KYB (Keep Your Bilsteins) are up for replacement at around
> 50K miles, but they can be acceptable for longer than that. I've seen
> leaks usually starting around 60-70K. Some years of Camrys are lucky
> enough to have Bilsteins available if you can get them.
>
> I think the KYB Gas Adjust are OK struts, but their coverage is far and
> few in between. The GR2(?) is the bargain basement strut at fire sale
> prices. I personally don't care much for KYB struts but often there is
> little choice for Japanese cars.
>
> It's a good idea to change out the mounts and the sway bar bushings at
> the same time.
>[/color]

the mechanic that worked on the car wants to put in Monroes top of the line
struts, i can't recall the model, but said they come w/ a life time
warrentee.....any thoughts...advice??


mike.........


 
#5 Old 10-03-2005, 11:25 AM
Daniel
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

the mechanic that worked on the car wants to put in Monroes top of the
line
struts, i can't recall the model, but said they come w/ a life time
warrentee.....any thoughts...advice??
~~~~~~~~
I am immediately suspicious when the brake mechanic recommends other
replacement parts unless they can show me or demonstrate why the part
is defective or worn.
I do not subscribe to the theory that one can predict wear in shocks or
struts by mileage alone, and also personally do not like the harsher
ride quality of Monroe.
Regarding lifetime warrantee, you should be aware that the genuine
Toyota replacement struts also carry a lifetime warranty for materials
and labor if done by the Toyota mechanic.
You say the car feels like new, no bounce, no adverse dive under heavy
braking. Presumably there is no evidence of fluid leakage or physical
damage such as bent components.
Presumably there is no evidence of adverse tire wear when running your
hand over the tread blocks in both directions. If they are smooth, and
no other evidence presents itself, I would definitely leave the struts
alone.
The original equipment struts are gas charged and designed to work well
with your specific vehicle.
I do not believe Monroe makes the variety of struts for Toyota that
Toyota does.
For example when buying shocks for my Toyota truck, I had to count the
number of leaf springs in the rear to get the correct part.
I suspect Monroe lists the same strut for four and six cylinder, ie.,
fits "Camry"
When I bought my Camry it had Monroe Sensatrac struts - installed by
the tire shop that sold the older lady three new tires (she didn't know
the difference until I pointed out the bald right front. (only charged
for three though - but they were really cheap third world country tires
- no longer in current manufacture)
Had a tire shop swear I needed new shocks to replace the perfectly fine
Bilsteins on my Mercedes once.
Seems these guys are expected to "up sell" as part of their job,
whether you really need the parts or not.
I changed the Monroe on the Camry back to genuine Toyota because I
didn't like the jolt at a particular bridge transition every morning
and couldn't believe Toyota designed the suspension that way.
A tire shop once persuaded me to change the shocks on a Cadillac, and I
was never pleased with the ride quality after that. Obviously just my
opinion, but I don't thing a harsher ride is "better." I think a
progressive well damped strut, balanced to the suspension is best.
Today, with the tools and experience of working on the Camry, I would
change my own struts if needed having recently installed a (Toyota)
remanufactured axle.
Seems like every time I work on the car where a mechanic has touched it
previously, I find something that wasn't done quite right.
Unless the struts were demonstrably bad I would not replace them, and
if replacing I would use genuine factory parts.
Obviously just my opinion.

 
#6 Old 10-03-2005, 06:21 PM
Wolfgang
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

I've never seen KYB as OEM -- in US even on Japanese cars it is always
Tokico. I put the Monroe Sensor-matic on wife's Camry (they had rebates of
about one free on them). It was tad stiffer than what I remember as OEM but
not sporty by any means - if I were driving the car I would have prefered
KYB ones which are apparently stiffer. Just about all the aftermarket
struts have a lifetime (to that owner) warrantee. I did have Monroe
Gas-matic on 4Rnr and 2 leaked within 30k miles - mI did get new ones under
the lifetime warrantee.

They don't have to leak to be bad!

"JerseyMike" <clamdigger724@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:cP70f.361560$5N3.82108@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...[color=blue]
>
> <johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1128326508.438139.104500@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...[color=green]
>> Yes, the struts wear very gradually you will hardly notice from day to
>> day.
>>
>> The stock KYB (Keep Your Bilsteins) are up for replacement at around
>> 50K miles, but they can be acceptable for longer than that. I've seen
>> leaks usually starting around 60-70K. Some years of Camrys are lucky
>> enough to have Bilsteins available if you can get them.
>>
>> I think the KYB Gas Adjust are OK struts, but their coverage is far and
>> few in between. The GR2(?) is the bargain basement strut at fire sale
>> prices. I personally don't care much for KYB struts but often there is
>> little choice for Japanese cars.
>>
>> It's a good idea to change out the mounts and the sway bar bushings at
>> the same time.
>>[/color]
>
> the mechanic that worked on the car wants to put in Monroes top of the
> line
> struts, i can't recall the model, but said they come w/ a life time
> warrentee.....any thoughts...advice??
>
>
> mike.........
>
>[/color]


 
#7 Old 10-04-2005, 02:04 AM
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

The Monroes sounds like the Fram for oil filters. Their Sensatrac using
the "grooved rod" is not a good design. They've since moved to an
"impact sensor" which is more inline with today's technology.

Sure, be aware of mechanics pushing struts and shocks. But they do wear
out. Besides the well known rules of thumbs for checking them
(published in manufactueres' web sites), your ride experience over the
years will serve as a better guide.

Tokicos are better struts than KYB. KYB I consider in the same class as
Monroe if even there, if Monroe didn't use grooved piston rods then it
will be similar to the GR2s. It's in no way worth $250+initial install
each the dealer charges.

KYB is a Toyota group company, a sample list of suppliers:

Brake calipers Ambrake
Catalytic converter TABC (Toyota subsidiary)
Seats Johnson Controls (JCI)
Starter Denso
Suspension (struts) Kayaba

Yes, just about all struts today come with lifetime replacement
warranty. But most don't include labor, which is $50 per strut usually.

 
#8 Old 10-04-2005, 05:28 AM
JerseyMike
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Re: struts for '99 Camry


<johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1128409489.355833.38040@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...[color=blue]
> The Monroes sounds like the Fram for oil filters. Their Sensatrac using
> the "grooved rod" is not a good design. They've since moved to an
> "impact sensor" which is more inline with today's technology.
>
> Sure, be aware of mechanics pushing struts and shocks. But they do wear
> out. Besides the well known rules of thumbs for checking them
> (published in manufactueres' web sites), your ride experience over the
> years will serve as a better guide.
>
> Tokicos are better struts than KYB. KYB I consider in the same class as
> Monroe if even there, if Monroe didn't use grooved piston rods then it
> will be similar to the GR2s. It's in no way worth $250+initial install
> each the dealer charges.
>
> KYB is a Toyota group company, a sample list of suppliers:
>
> Brake calipers Ambrake
> Catalytic converter TABC (Toyota subsidiary)
> Seats Johnson Controls (JCI)
> Starter Denso
> Suspension (struts) Kayaba
>
> Yes, just about all struts today come with lifetime replacement
> warranty. But most don't include labor, which is $50 per strut usually.
>[/color]

so stock (Tokico) struts are best, KYB's are ok??? and Monroes are not that
great over the long run. i stilll have to say i'm not even sure my struts
are bad, if i push down on the car's fender and get it to move up and down,
it comes to a fast stop and like i said the ride on the highway and around
town is great. the mechanic/shop owner who did the brakes has done other
work for me in the past so i feel comfortable that he's not just selling me
on struts annd his price on the Monroes was $391 on the fronts and $342 ont
he rears for a total of $733.00 plus there was a $100.00 rebate so the total
would have been $633.00. is this ball park for most all struts and would
this be in line for the stock struts?


thanks..

mike..............


 
#9 Old 10-04-2005, 09:59 AM
Daniel
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

You should check pricing elsewhere for comparison if you decide to go
ahead, even if you do trust this mechanic.
~~~~~
Copied the following from another group (I did not write this) some
time ago, but made sense to me:

The "test rig" that Jason refers to is known as a shock absorber
dynamometer.....and I own one.

Basically, it gives you a graph of the pressures produced as compared
to
the shaft velocities at which they are produced when the shock is moved
at
different speeds - ranging from a shaft velocity of one-inch-per-second
to
20 i.p.s.

Basically, a shock that creates 200 pounds of resistance pressure while

moving at a shaft velocity of five i.p.s will *better control a car
than a
shock that only produces 100 pounds of resistance pressure at the same
shaft velocity.

We use these graphs a bit differently in racing applications to
"fine-tune"
the suspension with shocks, but the above information is pretty much
all
you need to know for standard passenger automobiles....more shock
pressure
at a given shaft *velocity controls better than less pressure at the
same
velocity.

When internal valves and springs weaken and wear out (imagine how many
cycles a shock valve control spring experiences in 50,000 miles of
compressing to open and close the valving each time the shaft moves in
or
out) , they allow fluid to pass more easily at lower pressures -
usually
with no external leakage to suggest that any sort of problem exists.

The so-called "bounce test" only tells you if a shock will control a
car
while negotiating "Mickey D" parking lot speed bumps at less than five
mph
with a carload of rug rats and Happy Meals.

"Hand-testing" a shock off the car moves the shaft at a velocity of
approximately one-half i.p.s.

A shock can "feel" good at slow "bounce-test" or "hand-test" speeds of
one
i.p.s. or less because it is only passing fluid through its designed,
low-speed, bleed orifices and/or bypassing the seals, but be a complete

failure at higher shaft velocities once it gets up onto the
valving....sometimes, actually providing less resistance at five i.p.s.

then at "bounce-test" velocities once the valves open up.

On a smooth road, the shocks will likely be working in the 2-6 i.p.s.
shaft
velocity range....which simply cannot be duplicated by bouncing on the
bumper of the car.

Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.

 
#10 Old 10-05-2005, 01:03 AM
SPEEDY57S@EXCITE.COM
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

My struts wore out my front tires prematurely when I neglected the
struts. That's the bad part about worn struts; they wear out the tires
in a cupping pattern. Since I rotated my tires regularly the rear tires
weren't nearly as worn as the fronts. After I installed new struts I
had vibrations from the tires that weren't as worn. This drove me crazy
until I finally wore out that set of tires. Now I have 4 new struts and
4 new tires.

Lessons that I learned:
1. Change all the struts before the tires wear out. Cupped tires are
annoying!
2. Change the strut mounts when changing the struts to prevent creaking
sounds when turning the wheels.
3. Struts don't always leak when worn.

 
#11 Old 10-05-2005, 10:47 AM
Daniel
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Re: struts for '99 Camry


10. SPEEDY...@EXCITE.COM * Oct 4, 11:03*pm * *wrote:

Lessons that I learned:
1. Change all the struts before the tires wear out.

Yes, but . . .
The struts have two functions:
1) mechanically holding the alignment settings - the top of the strut
is fastened to the frame (unibody) through the strut mount, and the
lower portion of the strut is bolted to the steering knuckle, so the
strut is the central part that keeps the car on course.
2) provide damping by forcing hydraulic fluid through internal
orofices to control vertical wheel movement. That's why I posted the
"second best to shock absorber dynamometer testing" above. If the strut
is worn you replace it. No need to wait. If it is still functioning
properly, then you don't need to pay for an unnecessary replacement.
You change them when required, not when some brake mechanic recommends
the work.
~
The original poster said he drives good, smooth roads, and the car
rides like new.
~
On a smooth road, the shocks will likely be working in the 2-6 i.p.s.
shaft
velocity range....which simply cannot be duplicated by bouncing on the
bumper of the car.

Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.

 
#12 Old 10-07-2005, 06:20 AM
Rob
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

the car still feels like it did when it was new.

Doubtful..I had mine replaced with OEM shocks at 140,000 miles and the
difference was amazing in ride quality. You just get used to the shocks
wear over time and dont notice the ride
getting worse. truly feels like a new car once done. Dont know about
aftermarket you could drastically alter the ride to too soft or too
hard.

 
#13 Old 10-07-2005, 04:07 PM
JerseyMike
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Re: struts for '99 Camry


"Rob" <robmurr@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1128684029.577723.297980@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...[color=blue]
> the car still feels like it did when it was new.
>
> Doubtful..I had mine replaced with OEM shocks at 140,000 miles and the
> difference was amazing in ride quality. You just get used to the shocks
> wear over time and dont notice the ride
> getting worse. truly feels like a new car once done. Dont know about
> aftermarket you could drastically alter the ride to too soft or too
> hard.
>[/color]

did you have the dealer di the work? if so what was the price?

mike........


 
#14 Old 10-17-2005, 10:22 AM
Rob
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Re: struts for '99 Camry

No I have an ex Toyota master tech who owns his own shop and he ordered
the correct parts. I dont have the receipt anymore so I cant recall the
price. Huge difference in ride and the rattle I had from the front
strut tower(new parts installed) finally fixed it.

 
#15 Old 10-18-2005, 09:00 AM
m Ransley
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Re: struts for '99 Camry Monroe sensatrac Junk?

Struts can go hard or soft over time. I put in Monroes Sensatrac their
best. Mine are defective junk, getting harder as it gets colder. At 80f
the ride is soft, at 10f there is No suspension. I did not catch this
till over one month went by and since labor on my 91 is 400$ US I have
put off replacing even though the struts themselves have a lifetime
warranty, my mechanic gave me a 30 day labor warranty. This winter I
must change them as there is truely no suspension cold. Even just taking
the car into an oil change place when cold out they warm up enough to
give a soft ride till they cool down again in 15 minutes. Be sure to
check yours, a good idea is change them when cold, incase this defect is
ongoing, 30 days is a normal labor warranty, after that the cost is
outragous for a 91

 
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