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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year, my friend replaced the original left rear strut and changed to Monroe OESpectrum, but reused original spring. Also replaced mount. Ever since, it (most of the time, but not always) will make a single pop sound when coming to a stop, and also a single pop when accelerating from stopped position. Always just a single pop sound. No other noises, no noise when turning. I have searched a lot online for this, but seems most people have different noises or only when turning. Any ideas what could be causing this? Thanks.
 

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1991 Corolla DLX 4AFE, 1994 Camry LE 5SFE, 1995 Avalon XLS 1MZFE, 2004 Sienna XLE/LTD, 2011 Camry LE
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Most likely did not have the alignment notch lined properly when installing new struts. Try going back and tightening the top nut of the strut. You'll have to remove the rear seatback and dash to access the nut, you'll most likely find it is loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would I need to have it taken off again to have the alignment notch lined up properly, or should just tightening the nut work? Thanks
 

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1991 Corolla DLX 4AFE, 1994 Camry LE 5SFE, 1995 Avalon XLS 1MZFE, 2004 Sienna XLE/LTD, 2011 Camry LE
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Would I need to have it taken off again to have the alignment notch lined up properly, or should just tightening the nut work? Thanks
Usually, just by driving it, the alignment notch falls into place with the strut, which then makes the banging noise because the top nut is no longer tight. Simply tightening the nut should fix your problem. do not go crazy on the tightening - Torque: 49 Nm (500 kgf*cm, 36 ft*lb).
333155
333157
 

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It's another reason I recommend complete assemblies. Not that they're 100% (depending on the worker who assembled it in Arkansas), but it cuts down on these uncertainties.

Is the noise on one side from the top area of the wheel well? The noise could also be something loose other than the strut mount notch problem. Maybe some nuts and bolts were loose? Worn ball joints maybe? Sway bar link not torqued to spec? etc. etc.

Did this happen right after the replacement? If so recheck everything touched during the replacement. Do the rubber coil spring insulators have holes worn into them? The lower ones tend to be problematic.

What Strega315 described the mount notches, look at picture #3 in the link below. you'll see notches on the center bushing. There are two cutouts on the strut rod that seat against these. While tightening the rod nut down, it's very easy for the rod to unseat, and then the rod and mount will wear against each other (the notches will lose against the chrome plated hardened rod). The problem is the poor mount design and it has caused plenty of noise complaints whoever makes the mount.

Mount pictures (see #3):

See if the procedure below helps solve your problem without removing the strut to inspect. What it does is to try to seat the strut rod into the notches. However, the notches can get ground down if the parts are left loose for too long, then hopefully your mount carries lifetime warranty (Moog's does, Monroe's doesn't) as the Monroe OES strut carries lifetime warranty against normal wear.

"With wheels on ground, loosen the strut rod (center) nut by 3-4 full turns.
Then use a 10mm hex socket to rotate the rod by around quarter turn (his instruction doesn't say which direction) until it locks into place (!). Then tighten the rod nut again to OEM specs (36ft-lbs). Drive the car to confirm issue is gone (or not)."


 

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...this is the reason why I prefer to do things myself (even if I bought a pre-made assembly I'd take it apart to make sure it was done right).
 

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Had the same issue with the same nut. Keep in mind - you want to do this sooner rather than later, as the strut will wear out the hat in time grinding off the mounting tabs and then it'll never tighten.
If I remember right, all you need to remove are C pillar trim and then the top of the nut will be accessible.
Also, call your buddy and tell them they're a worthless, incompetent mechanic. Unless your buddy is the same one fixing this mess, in which case wait till afterwards. Ok, I might have taken it too far here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for late reply. I must not have the right tools to reach, because there ain't enough space to get wrench on to turn. But, it is not loose, at least not finger loose because I can't turn the nut bare handed. Maybe it is tight, but not torqued? I ended up taking it to a shop and they put it up on rack and swear there is nothing loose. They also said they didn't have room to get their tools in to check torque either (makes no sense to me) and said only way would be to remove strut completely to know. Thanks everyone for your help! I think I will just have to live with it and hear if it gets any worse over time. Maybe it was my mistake using old original spring with new Monroe strut. I should've got OEM strut since the original lasted over 200,000 miles.
 

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If it was a new strut, sometimes they come with lock nuts - that may be why you could not turn it by hand. Otherwise, it was likely wedged in there, no way you could turn it by hand.
Wrench won't do, you need a ratchet with a socket. Maybe a deeper socket or tiny extension depending on what ratchet you got.
If the shop were not able to do it, I would not waste my time with that shop again. They obviously got way more important cars to work on other than yours and could not waste time on your junk.

Also, it could be that the noise is coming from somewhere else. Stabilizer bar link is a very, very common noise, followed by stabilizer bar bushings. The links have to come off to get the strut out and could've been damaged in the process. This is where asking for help on internet forum has it's limits as far as identifying noises go.

Hope this helps!
 
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