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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Project goal is to get a Nice Family Car with a better look.

My first approach will be to change wheels, tires, springs and add 10 mm spacers just to the rear wheels.

I have started with the Wheels and Tires:

1) Stocks are 215/60-16 Changed to Michelin Primacy mxv4 V Rated (the quietest tire available) 225/55-17.

They are 0.58" larger in diameter and make the car 0.29" higher but gave me a much more aestetically balanced look and prepare the car to be lowered in such a way that the fender gap will be shortened enhancing the look but will not get the car's bottom too close to ground.

I am also expecting that the larger tire wall will make the ride much more comfortable without affecting the look.

2) The wheels are Lexus GS300 17" x 7.5 x 45 mm Offset.

I really like the sporty but classy look they give to the car.

I will get H+R 10 mm spacers, probably just for the rear wheels, it all depends upon the results after installing TRD Springs arriving next week.

3) I have also purchased the body side mouldings and reversed the front ones, making them match the slanted details of the body.

Here is the look of the car as today:

Side View:



Rear View:



Front Wheel View:



Rear Wheel View:





This is it by now, TRD Springs (Thank you Gabriel), Spring Cushions to avoid saggy look (Thank You Lammydi and Gene) and H+R Spacers (Thank You Paul) are coming soon.

I decided to go with the TRD Springs for all these reasons:

1) They are Toyota Branded and 100% guaranteed at the dealer.

I called TRD and had the chance to talk with one of the development engineers, he assured me that the Springs are manufactured by Eibach but the specs are absolutely different than the Eibach product by contract.

He also said that in the specific case of my car (V6 XLE) the engine is heavier and the expected drop should be about 1.3 - 1.5 for the front and 1.1 - 1.3 for the rear, avoiding completely the hated saggy look.

Well..............we'll see.

2) They are softer than H+R (at least that's what everybody in the site says, I would love to have the chance to compare but I have to take some risk)

I want a comfortable ride, so I prefer to go with the softest springs.

I bought the Michelin Primacy specifically thinking that they would help to reduce the ride harshness because they are the quietest tires available and had many other features regarding the ride quality. (Take a look at the specs at tirerack or any other wholeseller).

3) I have a friend of mine that got me the TRD Springs at $ 160.00 USD and the Installation at the Toyota dealer at $ 50.00

4) In case of saggy look after the springs rest properly (one week or so according TRD People) I will install the Urethane Spring Cushions and will not only get the look I want but also will soften the ride even more.

Any comments are more than appreciated.
 

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The car looks very good!

Isn't there any problem to increase the diameter of the wheels?

can't wait to see that car lowered!
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Problems with larger tire diameter

The car looks very good!

Isn't there any problem to increase the diameter of the wheels?

can't wait to see that car lowered!
Thank you for your kind words.

Regarding the Tire Size there's no problem at all.

I have dedicated some time to understand how to properly calculate the tire's dimensions, since they are a mix of English and Metric units.

I have even created a handy spreadsheet to do the math and most important, to determine if the mixture Wheels-Tires will fit in a lowered car (Using Eibach, TRD or H+R Springs).

It only requires you to enter the tire and wheel dimensions (including offset) and the model calculates the overall dimensions and the Diagonal from the pad center to the outmost higher part of the tire. (the closest point to the fender)

I have included examples of very well known friends like Lammydi that are already been sucessful as reference, and also a reference that has failed and rubbed.

So you can see what numbers to avoid in terms of overall tire diameter and width (the wheel width is almost meaningless), wheel offset and Diagonal Pad Center-Tire Shoulder.

I would love to share this excel model with you, but I do not know how to post it here, if you would like to give me your email I will gladly send it to you.

Regarding my tires.

I have decided to go with this tire size because I did not like the look of the stock tires, they seem to small for me.

To keep all the instruments working in sync it is required to keep equal the overall diameter of the stock tire with the overall diameter of the custom tire.

For example, the stock tires are 215/60-16, that have 26.16" overall diameter.

The most aproximate tires to that overall diameter in 17" would be:
215/55-17 that have 26.31" or
235/50-17 that have 26.25"

I made a test with my michelin tire dealer, trying all these tires sizes and I found they looked too small and unbalanced with the car, then I tried the 225/55-17 and immediately get the visual balance I was looking for.

My tires are just 0.58" larger in overall diameter than stock and that means they raised the car by half that or 0.29" but they made a huge difference in visual balance with the car's body.

Of course then I noticed that the overall height of the car looked unbalanced and that is why I am installing the TRD Lowering Spring Set to correct that.

That 0.29" tire raising combined with the 1.3" expected TRD drop means that at the end my car will be only about 1.0" down, filling the well much better, not getting the bottom of the car too close to the ground and mantaining the ride smoothness due to the larger tire sidewall and the fantastic tire softness.

Those are my expectations, and I will gladly share with you the final results.

I hope this would answer your question properly.

Rene.
 

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Here and there...
Camry 07
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5,838 Posts
I like how you keeping it clean with the OEM look. Can't wait for the TRD springs installed.
Keep us posted. :clap:
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like how you keeping it clean with the OEM look. Can't wait for the TRD springs installed.
Keep us posted. :clap:
Thank You My Friend

In fact the springs are already installed and I got to admit THEY HAD a saggy look (as you and Paul told me); Fortunately I found the spring cushion belts very close to me so I bought them and the car now looks truly fantastic, a lot wider from the back and a lot longer from the side (thank's for the advice).

Then another problem arised.

The car started to bounce like a pogo stick so I took it to the dealer and he told me that the problem were my shocks. He showed me that using the TRD springs caused the struts to be compressed all the time thus causing the "run" of the strut to be considerably shorter; that and the fact of 30k on the stock struts is causing the bounce.

Then I made some research and found that the SE struts are shorter and stiffer since they are designed to be used with lowering springs, so I have ordered them and tomorrow they will arrive (at least the rear ones) so I will install them and hopefully that will solve the bouncing problem.

BTW, May I kindly ask you what struts are you using in your increidibly beautiful project?

My project then will be almost completed, only the spacers for the rear wheels left to be added.

I will post some pictures as soon as I have installed the SE shocks and let you know about the results.

Any comment or advice will be as usual appreciated
 

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Could you please post a picture of the car (side view) so that I can see how it looks before the Se struts?

could be mobile phone quality, but I am very curious to see how it looks before and after the SE struts!

Thanks
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Could you please post a picture of the car (side view) so that I can see how it looks before the Se struts?

could be mobile phone quality, but I am very curious to see how it looks before and after the SE struts!

Thanks
I'll do it gladly, they will be the same quality of the first ones (my cel has 3 mp resolution) hope that might give you an idea of the look before the springs and before the SE struts.
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
By Popular Demand Here It Is After The Springs / Cushions And Before SE Struts

Well, Here it is as today.

- TRD Springs Installed (It had saggy look)
- Spring Cushions Installed (Terrific and Inexpensive Solution to improve the look and the ride)

BEFORE..............



AFTER...........





















The SE Struts should arrive today, I will post the results as soon as I have them installed
 

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2GR FTW
2007 Toyota Camry SE
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1,543 Posts
Looking very good.

Did you have to take out the springs to install the cushions? Or were you able to install them with the car jacked off the ground as to uncompress the springs.

Don't forget to get an alignment after you done with the suspension mods, crucial for new tires to prevent uneven tread wear.

What I'd definitely recommend in addition to your suspension upgrades, is possibly a rear sway bar, either the stock SE ones, which is a solid bar, or the Ultra Racing ones, which is 19mm hollow I believe. They also offer a front strut bar and lower four point chassis bar. The rear sway bar would definitely be a great upgrade in handling and body roll, even for a family car, especially on highway exit ramps and such.
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looking very good.

Did you have to take out the springs to install the cushions? Or were you able to install them with the car jacked off the ground as to uncompress the springs.

Don't forget to get an alignment after you done with the suspension mods, crucial for new tires to prevent uneven tread wear.

What I'd definitely recommend in addition to your suspension upgrades, is possibly a rear sway bar, either the stock SE ones, which is a solid bar, or the Ultra Racing ones, which is 19mm hollow I believe. They also offer a front strut bar and lower four point chassis bar. The rear sway bar would definitely be a great upgrade in handling and body roll, even for a family car, especially on highway exit ramps and such.
First of all thank you for your kind words.

I didn't require to remove the springs, just jacked the car and installed them. I must say that no without a huge effort since I noticed that the best option was the A type and that required push it hard in place but It fits precisely and don't move once installed.

The alignment is going to be done twice, once after installing the SE Struts today and once after a break-in period for all components (a week or so).

The sway bar is an excelent suggestion, Thank You.

I was thinking to install the rear lip spoiler, but in my opinion that would not be consistent with my project objectives "A Lowered Family Car".

I would love to hear opinions.

What do you think?
 

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Hi.

Where did you bought those cushions?

About the lip spoiler: I prefer it with (my opinon)
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I found an importer who had them in stock in all sizes; I also found that the best results are obtained using two cushions on each rear spring (sizes B and F).

The car looks now even better.

Yesterday the rear struts arrived and I did installed them and the very professional people at the dealer also installed the cushions having the springs and struts dismounted, that allowed us to make them stay at a very precise height that looks simply fantastic.

I also found that the struts DO AFFECT THE HEIGHT OF THE CAR, since the struts compress the springs at the moment they are installed, the spring gets the height that the strut allow it to have.

Of course when you hit a bump the spring takes care of how low the car will go, but in terms of the steady stance of the car the springs get the car lower by the same difference they have in length against the stock ones.

I supposed that the front struts will also get the front of the car lower so that will make the gap of the wheel to be totally even. (at this time I do have 12 mm rear and 18 mm front and even in that case it looks almost perfect)

The most important facts of the Toyota SE 3.5L V6 struts are as follows:

1) They are made by KYB but they are not sell by KYB.

2) They are 1 inch or so shorter than the stock struts, so they match perfectly the size of the TRD Springs. (KYB commercial OEM replacement is the same size as the stocks)

3) They feel increidibly smooth and at the same time absolutely responsive. (they are clearly firmer than stocks)

4) The car still bounces at the front, but now I am totally confident that once the front struts arrive that will also be solved and the ride will be fantastic.

I will post the photos of the replacement and the side by side comparison of the struts as soon as the front struts arrive.

Now only the 10 mm spacers for the rear left to be added and my project will be concluded.

I do appreciate your opinion regarding the lip spoiler.
 

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Do you have a website for the spring cushion? I'm curious to know what i looks like.

Btw.. I like you setup on the wheels and suspension. Looks good.
 

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MRLV
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unfortunately Not.

They are made in china but the box do not have any web or company reference.

The Importer receives them in bulk and then they pack them in their boxes without any reference.

It was a miracle that I found them.

They do not even know what cushion fits what car, I am doing the research for them and now I got a clue for the sizing, depending on the measures between the coils of the spring.

They say that the size between the coils is the measure to consider, but they forgot that once car is on the ground the cushion is compressed so heavily by the spring that it can be expeled out of the coil.

I have found the relation that should be used, and that requires the cushions to be installed with the spring compressed half the way down.

I will get some more to have them ready for the future and will post a picture of them so you can try to locate them.
 

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MRLV
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank You for your nice words, I also enjoyed your's.

It is great to share ideas and experiences here.
 
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