DIY Gen 6 and 6.5 Rear Clunk fix and Strut Assembly Replacement - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 46 Old 07-08-2013, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Gen 6 and 6.5 Rear Clunk fix and Strut Assembly Replacement

Well my 2009 Camry with 110K miles got a nasty clunk in the rear about a week or so ago as if the strut was about to fall out. The noise only happened at neighborhood speeds of up to around 45 mph. Before buying a new set of struts, springs, and mounts I decided to check google for similiar issues and found a guy who fixed his by insulating the strut. I ended up doing the same thing and for approximately 50 cents and my time she is all fixed. Let us begin.

Disclaimer: Myself or Toyotanation are not responsible for any damage or injury that may result from use of the DIY. Automotive maintenance and repair should be performed by qualified technicians. This DIY is for informational purposes, use it at your own risk.

Tools and Parts needed: Could do with less if you are more creative

1/2 inch or 3/8 inch drive 10mm socket
1/2 inch or 3/8 inch drive 12mm socket
1/2 inch or 3/8 inch drive 14mm socket
14mm wrench (if not using air compressor)
1/2 inch or 3/8 inch drive ratchet
1/2 inch or 3/8 inch drive 3 and 9 inch extensions
Impact gun (if you have an air compressor)
1/2 inch drive breaker bar (if not using air compressor)
1/2 inch drive 21mm impact socket
1/2 drive 19mm or 3/4 inch impact socket
19mm wrench (if not using impact gun)
Torque wrench (at least up to 100 ft lbs)
5mm allen wrench (if your car is rusty or not using an impact gun)
Rubber Mallet
Pry Bar
Floor Jack
Jack Stands (2)
2 pieces of 9" x 12" craft felt or any material of your choosing
Scissors or cutting device to cut the material to shape



Note: Most of this was done on the RH (passenger) side of the car but is identical for the drivers side. The felt insulator fit both struts exactly the same. While I did this by myself, having a helper is highly recommended.

Let's begin!

1. Park car on a level surface and set the parking brake. If you have no air compressor this would be a good time to loosen the lug nuts for the rear wheels using your 21mm socket and breaker bar.



2. Jack up the rear of the car using the center jack porting between the exhaust and sub frame and lower the vehicle onto jack stands (I place them under the pinch welds).



3. Remove the lug nuts and rear wheels using your impact gun and 21mm socket and set them aside.



4. Remove the sway bar end link from the strut assembly. If you are using an impact gun this is cake. Simply blast it off with a 14mm socket on the end of an impact gun. If not using an air compressor you will need to use the 5mm allen wrench to hold the allen center of the sway bar end link stud and using the 14mm wrench remove the nut securing the end link to the strut assembly.



5. Remove the brake hose and speed sensor wire from the strut assembly. Remove the one 12mm bolt and 1 10mm bolt using your socket and ratchet and remove the hose and wire from the strut. Reinstall the bolt into the strut or set them aside for safe keeping.



6. Remove the rear seat bottom. Open the rear door and pry up at the seat bottom near the floor at around center level of the outside passengers. This will release the seat from it's holder and you can set it aside. It may be tight so don't be afraid to tug a bit. Don't mind the mess it is the wifes car.



7. Remove the rear side rest. Locate the 12mm bolt on the bottom of the side rest. Using your 12mm socket, extension, and ratchet remove the bolt and set it aside. Lift up and pull out to remove the side rest.



8. Remove the 2 nuts and bolts securing the strut assembly to the rear knuckle assembly. Using either your 19mm socket and impact gun or 19mm socket and 19mm wrench loosen the nuts securing the strut to the knuckle. Remove both bolts from the knuckle and set them aside. You may have to pry, hammer, or wiggle to get the bolts out.



9. Remove the strut assembly from the car. Locate the 3 12mm strut mount nuts on the sides where you removed the side rest. They are located on each side of the rear package tray. Remove 2 nuts completely using your 12mm socket and ratchet (I recommend the rear 2 nuts first) and then remove the 3rd nut. After the last nut is removed the strut will fall out of the car (it's ok as it will only move a few inches and hit the knuckle).



10. Remove the rear strut assembly from the car by manuevering it around the knuckle, wire, and brake hose (I found removing it from the rear side of the car was easiest).



11. Install your new insulator over the strut mount. Measure the holes and opening and cut out the pattern in your new insulator material. Install the new material over the existing mount (I used 2 layers of craft felt per strut).



12. Reinstall the strut into the car. First line up the 3 studs from the strut mount with the holes in the body. This is where it helps to have a partner. What I did was install the strut in the holes and then place a hammer underneath it to keep it elevated enough to install the nuts. Having a helper install the nuts of using another method works too. Install all 3 nuts hand tight.

13. Reinstall the bolts and nuts that secure the strut to the knuckle. Install the bottom bolt first ensuring the to head of the bolt is facing the rear of the car and the threads of the bolt face the front of the car. This can be tricky and will require wiggling and pushing simulatenously to install. Line up the bottom hole, push the bolt in, push the knuckle in towards the top, line up the hole, push the bolt in.

14. Reinstall the brake hose and speed sensor wire onto the strut assembly using your ratchet and sockets.

15. Reinstall the sway bar end link into the strut. This is just like removal and if you have an impact hit it on quickly and if not using the 5mm allen and 14mm wrench to install. Tighen to spec.

16. Tighten the strut mount nuts inside the car. No torque spec I just used my hand torque. Try not to break the studs.

17. Tighten the strut to knuckle bolts and nuts. These have to be very tight. I blasted them on with my impact like I normally do. You can also use your 19mm wrench and socket.

18. Recheck all your bolts are properly tightened.

19. Reinstall the rear side rest. This can be tricky especially on the driver side but just ensure that the guide on the side rest is outside the center guide of the trunk opening. Push the side rest in and lock the hook of the side rest into the slot of the car body by going from top to down. Install the one 12mm bolt securing the side rest.



20. Reinstall the rear seat bottom. Line up the seat bottom ensuring the seat belts are not caught underneath it. Line the seat bottom holder into the slot and push down until you hear a click that it is installed. Pull up slightly to verify it is installed correctly. Before installing it wouldn't be a bad idea to vacuum any left over food items.



21. Reinstall the rear wheel. Install the wheel and tighten the lug nuts hand tight.



22. Lower the vehicle off of jack stands. Raise up the vehicle from the jack point listed earlier and remove the jack stands. Then lower the car off the jack.

23. Torque the rear wheels to 76 lb ft using your torque wrench and 21mm socket.



24. Go for a test drive and verify your fix worked. Mine works like a charm.

25. Be proud of yourself for your accomplishment. I paid 23 cents for each piece of felt and since this requires two this job cost me about 50 cents.

Hope this helps.

My Toyota List:

1982 Corolla SR-5 (Shell Right Now)
2005 Corolla CE 1ZZFE M/T
2005 Sequoia Limited 2UZFE A/T
2008 LS460 SWB RWD 1URFSE A/T

If I helped out in any way please hit the Thanks button under my post.

Last edited by hardtopte72; 12-13-2015 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Update, Cleanup, Error Corrections
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post #2 of 46 Old 07-10-2013, 04:25 PM
Gen 6 LE w/roof and BBS
 
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Nice DIY! Gonna save a lot of people money and angst for years to come.
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post #3 of 46 Old 07-13-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

I'm sure as these get older we will hear more about this cheap but annoying issue.

My Toyota List:

1982 Corolla SR-5 (Shell Right Now)
2005 Corolla CE 1ZZFE M/T
2005 Sequoia Limited 2UZFE A/T
2008 LS460 SWB RWD 1URFSE A/T

If I helped out in any way please hit the Thanks button under my post.
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post #4 of 46 Old 07-13-2013, 08:47 PM
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Really nice job with the descriptions and pictures!
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post #5 of 46 Old 07-14-2013, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

My Toyota List:

1982 Corolla SR-5 (Shell Right Now)
2005 Corolla CE 1ZZFE M/T
2005 Sequoia Limited 2UZFE A/T
2008 LS460 SWB RWD 1URFSE A/T

If I helped out in any way please hit the Thanks button under my post.
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post #6 of 46 Old 08-21-2013, 11:34 PM
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My Camry has never been so silent over bumps after I performed this DIY. Many thanks!!
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post #7 of 46 Old 08-21-2013, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11LE View Post
My Camry has never been so silent over bumps after I performed this DIY. Many thanks!!
Glad it helped.

My Toyota List:

1982 Corolla SR-5 (Shell Right Now)
2005 Corolla CE 1ZZFE M/T
2005 Sequoia Limited 2UZFE A/T
2008 LS460 SWB RWD 1URFSE A/T

If I helped out in any way please hit the Thanks button under my post.
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post #8 of 46 Old 11-02-2013, 05:31 PM
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Nicely done. I just used this tutorial to replace my rear struts on my '06 Camry.

For those without compressors and big boy toys (like me), a breaker bar is a must.

The only thing I would add is to use a floor jack to support, raise, and loser the lower knuckle. This helped in a couple of ways.

First, I was able to raise the jack to take pressure of the sway bar end link for very easy removal and re-install.

Second, I was able to install the strut solo using the floor jack to hold the strut in position while installing the three upper nuts.

Wasn't sure how to upload a photo so added a link.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Thanks again.

Last edited by Eaglefan; 11-02-2013 at 05:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #9 of 46 Old 12-13-2013, 12:08 PM
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Fantastic thread. Cheap, awesome work around. And pictures. I like pictures.

Now my dilemma. Working on a friends 2010 XLE. (yeah, sorry, i said it - XLE)

Doesn't seem to be any way to gain access to the top strut mounting bolts below the back deck because the seat backs have a thin strip connecting them to the rear deck.

I'm kicking my own arse here and would really appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction.

P.S. I'm a really good reader... of picture books. So pictures are more than welcomed.
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post #10 of 46 Old 01-05-2014, 05:18 PM
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Great DIY, thank you.

I am going to be installing new QuickStruts in my 2004 LE, and will add some felt as well for good measure.

Was this post helpful? Please click the "THANKS" button.

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Tony and Suzanne

2004 Camry LE
2005 BMW K1200LT (Light Truck)
2014 Sonata
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post #11 of 46 Old 04-19-2014, 08:58 PM
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Anyway we can get the pictures to stay permanently? Hope it's not too much trouble, but that would definitely help out newbies like me. Thanks
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post #12 of 46 Old 04-20-2014, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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The pictures will be back in a few days. I have no clue how I went over again considering I moved newer write ups to their own photobicket.

My Toyota List:

1982 Corolla SR-5 (Shell Right Now)
2005 Corolla CE 1ZZFE M/T
2005 Sequoia Limited 2UZFE A/T
2008 LS460 SWB RWD 1URFSE A/T

If I helped out in any way please hit the Thanks button under my post.
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post #13 of 46 Old 05-01-2014, 11:57 PM
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Nice and detailed. Btw I heard the rear seats are different on the SE models. Would it be much more difficult on those?
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post #14 of 46 Old 11-12-2014, 10:24 AM
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Going to be installing new struts (and now felt) on my ES350 this weekend. Best DIY I've seen so far. Thanks.

I saw that going differently in my mind.
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post #15 of 46 Old 11-17-2014, 02:33 PM
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I installed new (KYB Excel-G) struts this past weekend. I also put in felt, but just one layer so hope it is enough. That tape/foam is a joke. I had almost none left on the mount; then again 178k on the ODO...

Putting in the first strut, by myself....ugh. I screwed up at first as I had a shop compress and re-assemble my OEM spring/mount/etc to the strut assembly I bought, and they tightened the shock nut. I was not sure if they torqued it so I tried to torque it and wound up moving the alignment off (mount), so that the mount bolts were not lined up with the strut/knuckle bolt orientation. DOH! Had to tap the bolts on the top mount a bit to ease them over to the proper line up. Anyway, holding that heavy strut up was a chore. I also used a hammer plus a ratchet handle to balance up the strut.

I found I had to jack up the knuckle to further compress the new strut as the sway bar connector hole was way too low. This is making me wonder about the force being placed on that bolt coming off the sway bar; does this even out once it is all mounted and operating?

I also had to push the knuckle inwards to line up the bottom hole for the strut bolt. Took some muscle. Installing the driver side was so easy it was goody, after the passenger side 30 minute effort. First shot the strut went up and stayed by itself enough to get the three nuts on the mount to hold it, etc.

Despite the lousy throttle body I took it for a spin ans did not notice any of the clunking I was having, so thinking the new struts are good to go. Now for the front.
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