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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone.

I'm in the middle of replacing the rear struts on my Corolla with folding rear seats. I was removing the top mount nuts when one of them slipped from my fingers and fell into the space between the plastic and the metal chassis where the folding plastic cover is. It sounded like it fell quite a ways down.

Any ideas on where it could've fallen and how to remove that plastic to try to find it? Removing half the rear interior probably adds quite a bit of time to the job, and I'd like to avoid a trip to the junkyard in the cold to try to get a replacement nut.

Thanks.
 

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1995 T100 2WD & 1993 MR2
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Hey everyone.

I'm in the middle of replacing the rear struts on my Corolla with folding rear seats. I was removing the top mount nuts when one of them slipped from my fingers and fell into the space between the plastic and the metal chassis where the folding plastic cover is. It sounded like it fell quite a ways down.

Any ideas on where it could've fallen and how to remove that plastic to try to find it? Removing half the rear interior probably adds quite a bit of time to the job, and I'd like to avoid a trip to the junkyard in the cold to try to get a replacement nut.

Thanks.
$3.50 bucks from Toyota or take a sample to your local parts house, there not that special.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
$3.50 bucks from Toyota or take a sample to your local parts house, there not that special.
Somehow didn't even consider calling up Toyota! Gave them a call and I'd have to wait a week to have it shipped. Other places said they sell the mount and nuts but not the nuts on their own.

Is it something I can just find in a nuts & bolts bin in a hardware store? Only thing I worry about is some magical properties that the metal has to be strong enough. Don't want to get a weaker steel (or aluminum?) and have it break somehow.
 

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Lowes and Home Depot have a much better selection, of hardware suited to automotive, than one might think. ..at least they do in NJ.
My guess is it's a flange nut. If they don't have the flange nut, I would just add a washer.
If they are self locking and they don't have that, I would use a lock washer as well.
They may have what you need. You can check on line if you know the size. I also have a good hardware store nearby with great stock. Between them, I can match most anything I have needed.
You should be fine with an 8.8, 10.9 hardness, as most will be. Good luck.
 

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You may find it at the bottom of the plastic cover. You may be able to pry it a bit and get it with a magnet wand. I did the same this on my Camry...twice. I don't remember if I had to loosen anything but maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the ideas. I tried fishing it out with a couple magnet strips but I couldn't see where it was so I couldn't get it. Though I got lucky today. I was picking up a pair of stabiliser bar links at NAPA and asked if they had anything that I could replace this with. We managed to find these M8-1.25 flange nuts that seem to match. They're just not as tall as the original but they should hopefully work. I'll update on how well they work once I finish replacing the struts.
 

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I may be a little late with this advice but it may be a good idea to tighten the strut bolts with the suspension 'loaded'. That is, on the ground or with some jack pressure on the knuckle but be careful. It has been said at ride height.
On my Camry I did not and I had some creaking in the tower. I just loosened the 3 top bolts with the car on the ground and then re-tightened them. No more creak.
If you hear any creaking check that it is not coming from the sway bar bushings as well. I had to re-do mine. Cleaned up the bar well and added some grease that is OK with rubber contact. This may not apply to you but I thought I might add it as it seems you are doing other work to the suspension, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I may be a little late with this advice but it may be a good idea to tighten the strut bolts with the suspension 'loaded'. That is, on the ground or with some jack pressure on the knuckle but be careful. It has been said at ride height.
On my Camry I did not and I had some creaking in the tower. I just loosened the 3 top bolts with the car on the ground and then re-tightened them. No more creak.
If you hear any creaking check that it is not coming from the sway bar bushings as well. I had to re-do mine. Cleaned up the bar well and added some grease that is OK with rubber contact. This may not apply to you but I thought I might add it as it seems you are doing other work to the suspension, as well.
Thanks for the tips. I had the scissor jack that comes with the car pushing the suspension up slightly to make putting the nuts on easier so that could've helped.

I do actually hear creaking in the rear right when stopping but I think it's from the brake drum rather than the suspension. The wheel was badly rusted on and I had to give it quite a few kicks to get it off the car. That may have shaken things up inside the brake drum enough to get some dirt on the pads. It just creaks when going really slow, like the moment before stopping the car, which is why I suspect it's the brake.

Now that the rear struts are fixed I can hear that the front right strut is also worn and clunking. Not nearly as bad as the rear was but I'll have to queue up that strut job for the near future.
 

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Too late now but that panel's not that hard to remove. First I would try sending a magnet down there or another pick up tool. But anyway that panel comes off pretty simple if you have all your tools laid out. Maybe 20 minutes tops to get it out. Remove the seat bench, pull door jam gasket back a little, C-pillar off, headrests out, seat backs out, rear deck might have to come up I don't remember. Get all the fasteners on it and its off. You can cheat too and only take off the portions of what you need to easily bend it back a little and let it fall out. Maybe a coat hanger to poke it loose.
 
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