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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm new to the forum and Toyotas. I reciently purchased a 2000 Sienna for the familily with 136000. I bought it knowing it needed maintenance and started out with the struts and brakes.

Since installing the struts, the alignment is off and the steering doesn't center itself like it should. Also when parked and turning the wheel, you can hear a thunk like something that was hung up, let go. Today I had my wife turn the wheel while I watch the strut. It was obvious that when turning the upper portion of the spring lagged behind the bottom portion of the strut on the strut. I think this points to the strut bearing binding. I changed the original strut mounts and bearings with MOOG kits. I don't see what I could have screwed up, but all signs point to me. :headbang: I did grease the bearing before assmbling the struts. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I don't think this is something that would need to wear-in?

I waited to fully tighten the strut mount nuts until the strut was in the vehicle, but wasn't able to get much more torque on the nut without the rubber inside the mount turning. Im not sure if this has anything to do with it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hello,

I'm new to the forum and Toyotas. I reciently purchased a 2000 Sienna for the familily with 136000. I bought it knowing it needed maintenance and started out with the struts and brakes.

Since installing the struts, the alignment is off and the steering doesn't center itself like it should. Also when parked and turning the wheel, you can hear a thunk like something that was hung up, let go. Today I had my wife turn the wheel while I watch the strut. It was obvious that when turning the upper portion of the spring lagged behind the bottom portion of the strut on the strut. I think this points to the strut bearing binding. I changed the original strut mounts and bearings with MOOG kits. I don't see what I could have screwed up, but all signs point to me. :headbang: I did grease the bearing before assmbling the struts. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I don't think this is something that would need to wear-in?

I waited to fully tighten the strut mount nuts until the strut was in the vehicle, but wasn't able to get much more torque on the nut without the rubber inside the mount turning. Im not sure if this has anything to do with it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The springs and upper strut mounts might not be aligned correctly. This could alter the camber and cause alignment/centering problems. The "thunk" sound could be the springs re-seating themselves because they're not in the correct position.
 

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Yikes, I replaced mine about twenty thousand miles ago. I used KYB stuff. I didn't messed with any bearings. I thought that there was only a plastic plate that it pivoted on. Maybe the top hat is installed in the wrong position. It's not universal.
When I did mine I couldn't get the springs compressed with my scary coil spring compressors. Due to the fear I took them to a shop and paid them forty bucks to compress them. I was right there and helped make sure everything was lined up correctly.
The mechanic clamped the top of the shaft with vise grips and tighten up the top bolt. I've done it that way before too. I doubt you can do that with it installed.
Did you have it aligned after you put it back together. The bottom bolts on the strut directly affect alignment. Have you checked all other components: tie rods and ball joints. If those are thunking you have a problem. Mine have no play at 200K miles. They aren't stiff when you move them by hand but they have no play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for all the replies. I found my stupid mistake. I took the struts back apart on Monday and found that I had put the bearing in upside down. The MOOG strut mount came with the bearing. I didnt relize that it is actualy a really thin roller bearing assembly with two halfs and balls inside. The original Toyota one was also two halves, but had a thrust washer inside. I had originally thought that the "bearing" was just a big thrust washer. I had packed the mount full of grease thinking it rotated against the upper mount. I dont think the bearing was rotating at all, and the rotation was between one of the bearing halfs and the dust cover. Luckly no parts seemed to be damaged from the screw up

The MOOG design was a little different so I wasnt able to reassemble following the old struts. I too had a hard time compressing the springs. The struts rotate well now and no more sounds. The front end should be all set with new struts, mounts, sway bar links and bushings.

Now on to a ABS & check engine light and rear brakes / shocks.
 

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Normally when you replace the struts, people do not line the notched portion of the strut rod up with the mount and assemble everything and the two halvessit on top of each other rather than locked into each other. easy way to tell if the shaft is seated in the mount is to look at the threaded portion of the strut rod (where the top nut goes) there should be about two threads showing past the nut!!! If not and the top of the strut rod is flush with the nut or recessed then it is not seated correctly.
 

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TwoTone,
What did it run you for the bushings and sway bar links? What brand did you use for those. I've been considering doing those as well. I need to do my balljoints and tierods soon too. They are all original still. I will use Toyota parts for the chassis but I will consider after market for the suspension.
Do you have a thread for the ABS problem? Have you fixed it yet? I've never had an ABS problem so I'm always interested. This way I might know what to do if I do have one. I've heard that usually it's just a wheel sensor.
 
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