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98 Camry 5SFE
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, simple questions. Need to replace front and rear strut mounts, they're rattling.


Should I buy the whole mount or just the bushing?


Also, if I choose to buy aftermarket, from RockAuto, I have several different brand choices:

- Sensen
- Gabriel
- ACDelco
- Westar
- Mevotech
- KYB
- Sachs
- Moog

Which one is the best for quality/price? I'm looking to spend as least as possible, without compromising safety and life of the part.


Last question:

When I change out my strut mounts, will I need to get an alignment at the same time?

TIA
 

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The strut themselves can also be bad. Are they original?

I've went with KYB strut mount on the front and rear in my 1998. They are good. I have a weird clunk on the driver front side which was there prior to the suspension - thinking it's motor mount related or the link.

Some here swear on OEM for the strut mount (front) and get OEM for the spring insulation (top) as it includes the strut sleeve + upper spring insulation versus a 3 piece kit with KYB.
 

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98 Camry 5SFE
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The strut themselves can also be bad. Are they original?

I've went with KYB strut mount on the front and rear in my 1998. They are good. I have a weird clunk on the driver front side which was there prior to the suspension - thinking it's motor mount related or the link.

Some here swear on OEM for the strut mount (front) and get OEM for the spring insulation (top) as it includes the strut sleeve + upper spring insulation versus a 3 piece kit with KYB.
I don't think it's the struts themselves. The previous owner said he replaced all four within a year of me buying the car, and that was about a year ago. If I give it the "bounce test" it passes perfectly.

I think you're onto something. I've heard links make noise before, and it definitely sounds related. Need to get a pry bar and move them around.

I wanted to go OEM as well, but after calling the dealer here in AB, Canada, they wanted nearly $800 JUST for the rear mounts and front strut bearings alone. I can't imagine the outrageous price they want for all 4 struts and mounts.

Aftermarket is the only choice I have.



Also, thank you Tony for a link to that thread. I've viewed it before, but it doesn't have much information on the parts other than Munroe quick strut, which I'll have to buy if the whole strut is bad, but I highly doubt it is.
 

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I don't think it's the struts themselves. The previous owner said he replaced all four within a year of me buying the car, and that was about a year ago. If I give it the "bounce test" it passes perfectly.

I think you're onto something. I've heard links make noise before, and it definitely sounds related. Need to get a pry bar and move them around.

I wanted to go OEM as well, but after calling the dealer here in AB, Canada, they wanted nearly $800 JUST for the rear mounts and front strut bearings alone. I can't imagine the outrageous price they want for all 4 struts and mounts.

Aftermarket is the only choice I have.



Also, thank you Tony for a link to that thread. I've viewed it before, but it doesn't have much information on the parts other than Munroe quick strut, which I'll have to buy if the whole strut is bad, but I highly doubt it is.
The bounce test tells you absolutely nothing, zero, nada about the condition of the struts. Bad mounts don't rattle but bad end links do.
 

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If you buy all the componentes to build a strut vs a complete unit confirm that someone in your area is willing to assemble everything for you. When I went through this analysis a couple of years back no one was willing or at what I felt was a fair price to assemble carry in parts. For me at least at that time I was money ahead to buy fully assemblies ready to be installed. And yes you will need an alignment after which ever option you choose (components or fully assembled).
 

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(4 yrs back info) When I did the corolla, I did the same and asked my old mechanic (who is normally bit on high side) about bringing in my own parts. For the car it was 35 per side and 50 per side on van. So I did the car and took in the van for 2 struts because the rental compressors were not right fit for the wide springs it had. I took in the strut, mounts, boots. I got the alignment done myself afterwards.

If you get the full assembly, it is usually about 30-45 mins per side in the driveway, with manual tools.
 
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I don't think it's the struts themselves. The previous owner said he replaced all four within a year of me buying the car, and that was about a year ago. If I give it the "bounce test" it passes perfectly.

I think you're onto something. I've heard links make noise before, and it definitely sounds related. Need to get a pry bar and move them around.

I wanted to go OEM as well, but after calling the dealer here in AB, Canada, they wanted nearly $800 JUST for the rear mounts and front strut bearings alone. I can't imagine the outrageous price they want for all 4 struts and mounts.

Aftermarket is the only choice I have.



Also, thank you Tony for a link to that thread. I've viewed it before, but it doesn't have much information on the parts other than Munroe quick strut, which I'll have to buy if the whole strut is bad, but I highly doubt it is.
Links are often time overlook on these cars. They can be a sign of the clunk. Another way is to open either your passenger or driver door and shake the car left to right (Rocking) and see if you hear a 'clunk'. this is often time the sway bar bushing or links.

In my situation, I went with

New KYB mounts (F/R)
New Spring insulation top and bottom (F/R)
New Strut boots (F/R)
New Sway bar bushings (F only, rear reused TRD ones)
New Sway bar links (F/R)
New KYB Struts (F/R)
New Eibach Springs (F/R)

Still got a weird clunk under moderate or hard hit. Thinking could be drive train or motor mount issue since everything suspension is new.
 

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2016 Rav4
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as artbuc sez, bounce test don't work on new struts cause they are internally spring loaded, so even if the strut is bad, it will still only bounce once. the only way to tell is remove the strut, take out the spring and then manually compress and also extend the shock by hand. if you can do it easily or if it retracts when you extend it, it's bad. if its hard to both extend and retract it, and i mean hard, and there are no signs of leaking, then it should be good. of course by this point, assuming the car has over 100k, might as well replace them anyways since you got the old ones off the car now.
tony
 

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イリジウム
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Get complete assemblies. KYB doesn't offer lifetime warranty (for normal wear and tear) but Monroe and Gabriel should.

Monroe's Safe & Sound covers worn out products OE Spectrum struts in the QuickStruts are what you should look at: http://www.monroe.com/en-US/resource-center/safe-sound-guarantee/

Gabriel Ultra Ready-Mount assemblies should have the same as well. Can't seem to find the link to warranty on their site except a PDF from Amazon.

Then you can read the reviews and feedbacks of each brand.
 

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98 Camry 5SFE
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've read each response and from what I gather I think I should leave the car alone. It's old, the alignment is perfect, car does not trail to either side and steering wheel is straight. If I dig into this "cluck" further, I may be into more money than it's worth. I cannot seem to find a straight answer when it comes to replacing ONLY strut mounts. If I had to buy new struts all around, I would go with the Monroe Quick-Strut. If I buy from RockAuto, I can get them for CAD$656.63 shipped. But that doesn't take into account an alignment, which - in my experience - costs at least $130.

I'm going to check into those end links, it doesn't hurt to investigate that one further. I've replaced many links before... it usually only costs about $25 each.


Here's an interesting read from another forum:

Camrys and Avalons may exhibit a rattling or popping noise from the front suspension at low speeds. In most cases these noises have been traced to the upper strut cushion attachment to the strut tower. The upper surface of the tower is covered with a seam sealer prior to painting and becomes compressed when the upper strut mounting nuts are tightened. When the sealer wears away, the upper strut mounting nuts can come loose.Remove the upper strut mounting nuts one at a time. Remove any built up seam sealer on the threads and tower, then reinstall and re-torque the nuts to 59 ft. lbs. or 80 Nm also the center nut should be cheaked also by lossening it a little then re-torque to factory spec 36 ft.lb w/electronic suspemion or 26 ft.lb without fix mine up good no more clunking at low speeds
I may try this out and post some results.
 

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Speedkar99 on YouTube
2003 Camry
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1,901 Posts
Bad mounts don't rattle but bad end links do.
I had a bad strut mount in my Solara. When going over small bumps, I would hear a clunking sound. When I went over steep bumps, it would make really loud popping sound. I replaced them with Monroe QuickStruts and the clunk/pop over bumps went away.

For an older vehicle with known bad strut mounts, the most cost effective solution is to replace the assembly.

And yes you will need an alignment after which ever option you choose (components or fully assembled).
An alignment is always a good idea but not mandatory when changing struts on a vehicle with McPherson suspension. The camber and caster are not adjustable, so even if the aftermarket replacement parts were off, there's nothing the alignment shop could do to to correct it.
 

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イリジウム
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Sure, try the re-tighten first. If all is quiet, then great. The front and rear mount designs are different. I kinda doubt all four went bad at the same time.

Given that rubber parts deteriorate, if mounts alone can solve the problem great. OP would still need an alignment if the fronts are replaced. The rear mounts OP can probably wing by without an alignment, but I'd still recommend a check. Some places do free alignment checks.

Mounts are 1/3-1/2 the cost of entire assemblies. At least price things out first.
 

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98 Camry 5SFE
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Finally had the chance to take a warm look at the car (it's -30C in Alberta right now).

What I noticed is the nut on the strut tower, moves all the way around, it doesn't actually tighten or loosen. I'm not sure if that's design or not, but both sides do the same thing. It has a hex at the top of the stud, what I'm guessing is you need a cresent wrench and a hex socket. But the opening is so small, there's no way that's going to happen unless you pull the whole strut assembly off. Which I'm not prepared to do right now.

At this point I'm thinking of leaving it be, looks like I'll have to separate the tie rod, ball joint and end link just to even have a look at it.
 

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I've had that above issue in my mom's car when I tried tightening it up. It would just spin. In my 1998, I just replaced everything new with KYB front mounts and it wouldn't do that where it just kept spinning.

Wonder how other people do it if they need to remove and replace the strut and mount but reuse the spring?
 

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The mount is essentially a chunk of rubber with a metal shell. Where the strut rod comes through there is a metal bushing with two raised edges at the bottom. The edges sits on two cutouts on the rod itself. When the center nut is tightened, the bushing is held tight against the rod.

If the nut is spinning loose, then either the rubber in the mount delaminated from the bushing (or metal shell) , the edges on the bush got damaged (from loose nut and rod moving around), or the center nut just came loose, allowing the rod to move freely.

You can inspect the coil springs to see if there are rust spots. Otherwise then can be reused unless the ride height is lower than spec. That's why on a high miles vehicle it really doesn't make sense to replace just the struts. However, if OP's struts were replaced by previous owner, then that's another story.
 

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98 Camry 5SFE
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The mount is essentially a chunk of rubber with a metal shell. Where the strut rod comes through there is a metal bushing with two raised edges at the bottom. The edges sits on two cutouts on the rod itself. When the center nut is tightened, the bushing is held tight against the rod.

If the nut is spinning loose, then either the rubber in the mount delaminated from the bushing (or metal shell) , the edges on the bush got damaged (from loose nut and rod moving around), or the center nut just came loose, allowing the rod to move freely.

You can inspect the coil springs to see if there are rust spots. Otherwise then can be reused unless the ride height is lower than spec. That's why on a high miles vehicle it really doesn't make sense to replace just the struts. However, if OP's struts were replaced by previous owner, then that's another story.
This is good information. Honestly, these struts/springs look nearly new. There is no paint missing or corrosion. My boss was with me taking a look, he's in his late 50's. With his wisdom, he theorized that it's probably the fluid that's thickening up in this dreadfully cold temperature, causing it to make the clunking sound. I kind of agree with that logic, considering I don't hear this noise when it's above 0 celsius.

I checked the front end. Links and ball joints are all good, and there's very minimal movement in the control arm bushings.
 
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