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alternative shocks/struts

10380 Views 54 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  williamb82
What shocks/struts from other cars will work on the mk2.
Do the shocks on a mk1 work on these cars?
Any from other cars?

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Do the shocks on a mk1 work on these cars?
Will need to check my 1998 Tokico application listing to see if the rear shocks parts#'s are the same. Can't remember. Online application listing at the Tokico website does not even list the 78 - 81 Celica anymore :whutthef:

Front struts cartridges will not work that well. The front strut carts dampening rate on the Celica is softer than that of the Supra. Supra front end is much heavier than the Celica.
The ae86 front tokicos will fit. From my comparisons, setting 5 is about the same as a gab non-adjustable.

Racefiend said:
The ae86 front tokicos will fit. From my comparisons, setting 5 is about the same as a gab non-adjustable.

Are the AE86 shocks close in length to the Mk2 struts? Some of these ones people are pulling out that are 3" shorter don't sound like a good idea.
I did a bunch of research on this subject several months ago, and here's what I came up with:

The celica (ae86, right???) struts are about 0.05" longer than the Supra.

While there's a bunch of other struts that will fit in our Soups, the whole problem is weight distribution, damping rate and rebound rate will not be quite matched to our soups. This shouldn't be a problem for the majority of folks on this forum, as most don't autocross or roadrace their vehicles, and would never push their car to the limit where these areas become critical, but folks like Billy and myself (and several others I can't remember right now, you know who you are!) do happen to race these cars.
Even with TRD adjustables on the rear of my car, and GR2's on the front (that are specifically made for the MKII), the car is incredibly unbalanced on the track at high speed cornering! Coming into turn 8 at Willow Springs Race track, at around 75mph, the suspension is under so much force that the car starts cavitating front to rear because of the mismatch in damping from front to rear. Now, add in another vehicle's strut that's valved for a different weight, you'll find an even worse imbalance!
I'm not trying to discourage anyone who's thinking of using other vehicle-specific struts/shocks, but I do want y'all to know that it really is tricky to get a setup that really works well!
From what I know, there's a certain rate of pressure introduced to the strut at any given time, and this is compensated for by the valving of the strut. The amount of damping is based on the weight of the vehicle, and as you corner/brake, this pressure is increased, which the damping is to compensate for, thus keeping the suspension from compressing/rebounding too much (which upsets the balance of the vehicle, as well as the camber as it lifts/compresses).
Even with just a 100lb. difference between 2 separate vehicles will produce a different characteristic in handling! And, we haven't even added into the calculation the front to rear weight distribution! for example, a 50/50 distribution while braking will add (theoretically) 700 lbs. of EXTRA force to the front struts, change the distribution to 45/65, and you can add another 300 lbs. to that number, even if the weight of both vehicles are exactly the same!!!
So, the big question we should all be asking is, will another vehicle's struts/shocks work better than the best available strut/shock made for our vehicle???

Dammit! I'm always posting way too much! Sorry folks...
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AE86 is 85-88 or so Corollas.
85 to 87

rear mr2 (aw11) shocks might be stiff enough. Very good points Hawaiian, thats why when you take shocks from other cars you use adjustable ones for them so you can tweak it to get what you need, its pretty rare that an out of the box non adjustable shock for another car will just work for you.
Are the AE86 shocks close in length to the Mk2 struts? Some of these ones people are pulling out that are 3" shorter don't sound like a good idea.

ae86 84-7 corolla rwd.
Dammit! I'm always posting way too much! Sorry folks...
I think it's very informative about a very complicated and extremely important area. i'm sure you've watched multi-class races where cars
run at vastly different speeds on straightaways but all classes go thru turns at about the same speed. SUSPENSION. u could always adopt fit which seems to be the last thing someone should consider when setting up a suspension. keep the info coming.
Flyin, you make it sound very scary to bring a strut from another vehicle. Where in fact it is not. Its honestly no different than using, like you said, stiff's in rear and suck in front. Even though the gr2's are for the same car, its just as dangerous as using a suck strut from another car, or a good strut, from a lighter car.

What I personally would do is try and find struts from a heavier vehicle. Someone mentioned the celica alltrac being a cantidate. This interests me in that that vehicle weighs a good bit more in the front end than our cars. If you get an adjustable for that vehicle, you can be sure that you will find a good balance.

Btw, I know what you mean about the high-speed imbalance. I went out to a pretty large autox in Nashville a few months back that had a fast slalom (45mph exit) and then a good straight away that absolutely FLEW, then turned into a long 180deg decreasing radius turn. Man... coming in at 65mph, even with my brand new HP's up front and gas-a-justs in back, I was getting a very bad *struts too soft* vibe, where my nose was actually starting to "float"... Scary crap.

I would kill for a set of double-adjustable struts.... The tuning possibilities make me... giddy...

Btw, HP's will be a nice jump for you until us racers can figure some sorta option. Not bad price either, talk to Aaron, he sells them now. Tell him billy sent you. =)

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Back to finishing my original answer.

MKI rear shocks & "regular" strut carts & shocks from a 78 - 85 RA Celica ST & GT are not compatible, due to the softer dampening rates.

Rear shocks from a 83 - 85 Celica GTS (w/ a IRS rear) are the same as our MA Supra's. Just the front struts are different, due to the dampening rate.
Okay,... Can anyone tell me what the compressed and extended length of our rear shocks is/are????

I have access to some info and want to do some research that hopefully will benefit us all.


I still have my old rear Tokico HP's sitting @ home in a storage box. Will see if I can mess w/ them when I get home.

Do you just want the lengths of the housings, or including the attachment locations on each ends (ie overall length from end to end?).
From the cup washer seat on the top to the center of the hole in the lower grommet. Extended and compressed.
Thanks Chris,
i already did a search like that. i believe the closest matches were ~94 mustang and 80"s cammaro for rear shocks. i dont know if the lower bushing is the right size but shouldnt be too hard to press the bushing out of an mkii shock and into the new one. plus the mustang is heavier so it would prolly be a better shock.
I have a friend running 3rd gen FBody shocks in his AE86 in the rear. They just bolted on I belive and are very stiff. But I think someone also said they are significantly shorter then the mk2 one
Okay folks, I did a little research today and have found a strut insert that I think will work well.

It is a KONI sport adjustable. Externally adjustable with a knob on top.

The body length is 1-5/8" (1.625") shorter though, so it would require a spacer.
Extended length is 1-3/4" (1.75") shorter so it may not be the best for stock height cars but 1" or more lowered should be fine.
Travel is only 1/8" less so we're in good shape there.

The part# is 8641-1414 and it is engineered for the Porsche 944 turbo (1988) which should be close to our weight and weight bias. has them for $308.96 per pair.

I am going off of tech info from a couple of catalogs though, so if anyone can pick one or a pair up from someplace and verify the dimensions given that would be great. I would also like to see one next to ours before proceeding with making spacers. I would get a pair and check it out but ca$h is just tooo tight right now.

I hope this helps!
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Keep us informed. If you are in good with your local autozone people, you might be able to run a spare strut tube down there and test fit something they have in stock or could get in stock temporarially.

Well, since I believe Jamie works @ the local Shuck's/Kragen's (did I get that right??), she may have access to a "few" things... :D

Will try & get those specs on my rear Tokico's tomorrow (wrote myself a note)... :p
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