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Discussion Starter #1
The suspension on my 85.5 is pretty much stock (with newer tie rods). Recently the ride has become unbearable... What is the best way to go about restoring the ride to it's previous glory?
 

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I would start with new shocks and if you have a vibration then get the tires balanced. I don't know what exactly your car is doing but you may need new bushings if something is worn out. Also don't forget to check your tire pressure. Sometimes if you get your oil changed or some routine service done at a shop some jackass will overinflate your tires. Good luck with the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I figured I would try new shocks and bushings to start with.. I guess 18 years is a long time for those bushings anyhow...

someone suggested to me that it might be the (wheel?) bearings? I'm not sure what he was talking about, but my car does have 220k miles on it...
 

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simple test for wheel bearings:
jack up car so one tire is off the ground completely. Grab the tire at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions and try to jiggle it to see if there's any play. if you get a slight clunking sound when doing this, chances are bearings may be shot, or you may get lucky and just need to tighten the castle nut(behind the center cap of your rim, and the round cap behing that).
You can check all four tires this way...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Flyin' Hawaiian said:
simple test for wheel bearings:
jack up car so one tire is off the ground completely. Grab the tire at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions and try to jiggle it to see if there's any play. if you get a slight clunking sound when doing this, chances are bearings may be shot, or you may get lucky and just need to tighten the castle nut(behind the center cap of your rim, and the round cap behing that).
You can check all four tires this way...
do you mean to jiggle it up and down, or "horizontally"?
 

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Jiggle it up and down, if you get play, the chances are pretty good that it's just the nut being loose. One of my teachers at college has raced various cars for many years and says he has never seen a stock toyota wheel bearing go bad. Apparently they are some of the most durable out there, aftermarket included. My car has 276,000 miles on the original bearings, as far as I know, and other than needing tightening and the seals replaced they are still running strong.
 

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update:

i jiggled the two front wheels around so far.. i don't really get any play vertically, but i am able to jiggle the top in and out.. dunno what that means...
 

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huh? how can you get no play vertically but have the top move in and out? Sorry, that doesn't make sense, if you have play then you can take off the dust cover and tighten up the nut holding the hub on the spindle. The dust cover is the little hemispherical chunk of metal right in the middle of the rotor and you'll have to use a screwdriver and a hammer to get it off, just tap the screwdriver in around the edge until you can wiggle the cap off. Then you'll have to get a pair of sidecutters and take out the cotter pin, then pull off the lock and you should be left with a big fat nut that will probably be hand tight. Get a pair of channel locks and tighten it up until you feel the hub drag when you try to spin it, then back it off about a eighth of a turn, just so the dragging goes away. Put the lock back on a put the cotter pin back in just how it was before and then tap the dust cover back on, make sure to just tap around the edges as if you tap in the middle and bend it in you may make it touch the spindle and all kinds of bad things can happen. Once the cover is back on you're all done, put the wheel back on and make sure you have no more play.

This is the quick and clean way to do it, if you want to get really dirty and do it correctly you'll need to pull everything apart, regrease everything, repack the bearings and put new seals on. If you want me to explain the whole process just let me know. Good luck with it whatever you do.
 
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