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Discussion Starter #41
Well, I knew the passenger side TIE ROD boot was blown, as it was dripping oil, so I ordered a pair. Now I see the driver's side boot is NOT attached to anything at the small end, so I'll have to check and see if maybe the clamp just fell off.

NO power steering fluid leaking out of the driver's side, so I guess the seals are still good.

No, the boot I was referring to is the BALL JOINT boot that's out at the end of the LCA; it's split in at least two places, and now with the strut out, the grease just glops out.

These ball joints do NOT have a zerk in them, and the new ball joints I have from AutoZone are likewise "zerkless".

Time to go back out, wipe my tools down, and call it a night!

Back here later....
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
Tools cleaned up and back where they belong.

But not before I pulled the spring!

The "OEM" brand spring compressor I bought at AutoZone worked a treat! Once I got it positioned, and figured out what the "locks" were, I used my Makita impact, and compressed the spring. Then I wedged a wrench between the top spring mount and the bench, and busted the nut on the shock rod loose. Decompressed the spring, took the bits and pieces off, and inspected them.

Rotating the bearing in the strut mount revealed it to be all gritty and very rough feeling. The cracks that were visible on the top have matching cracks on the bottom! These things were about 99.5% "used up"!

I've heard stories of them completely failing, and punching through the hood, but I don't think that's possible. I'm sure it would be a very UNpleasant experience, though.

Time for a burger, a shower, and then hit the hay....

Night all!

- Jim
 

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That spring compressor is the SAME one that I borrowed from O' Reilly's.
Worked fine.
I paid $110 for a pair of upper strut mounts off of Ebay,shipped.Monroe.#902912
Smooth. Comes with shiny nuts.
My old struts had the OEM guts inside! They were toast.
The replacement carts are excellent!I used the fine threaded BIG nuts for my '84 housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
What inserts did you use? The KYB's from Raptor?

Took the hub off, and replaced the wheel bearings with new ones. They I put the new StopTech disc on. I'll tackle the big nut in a few minutes. Had a huge "Honey Dew" list, so didn't get too much done today.

Besides, it was 90* and the humidity was 42%, so I got dogged out pretty quick!

The temp is going to be dropping over the next few days, so I should be able to get the left side finished, and then do the right.

My polyurethane front sway bar cushions arrived today, so now I'll have all new pieces on the front bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Got the first strut stripped and cleaned, and ready to go back together.

I even found my one-piece machined T3 gland nuts so I don't have to use the funky two-piece spot-welded ones that came with the KYB's.

First, I checked the existing shock/insert by seeing how much slop was in it. It had about half an inch of free travel in both directions before any resistance was felt. It also gurgled when you cycled it, and was verrrry sloooow to come back out after it was compressed. I'll have to dig out the shoe box full of receipts that came with the car and see if there's one in there for a strut replacement. The rear shocks are blue, which I think is also a Monroe color.

Second, since it had one of those funky two-piece nuts, I figured it might have replacement inserts in it, and it did.

The inserts were Monroe "Sensatrac" units, and were in there DRY. NO oil came out when I pulled the nut off. BTW, the nut wasn't very tight at all. I put my 24" adjustable wrench on it and prepared to give out a mighty grunt, and possibly fire up my new MAPP gas torch.

Nope, the nut just spun right off.

So, I'll get the strut all put back together tomorrow with all the new parts, and finish cleaning up the mess that the control arm/tension rod area is due to the ball joint seal being split, and letting the grease glop out all over the place.

The good thing is that the ball joint does have a zerk fitting in it, and the grease that came out all over the place looks clean, like whoever was taking care of the car made sure there was plenty of grease in it.

When I get the LCA out of the car I'll check it for free play, and if it's tight, I'm not going to replace it. It looks like the rubber boot on the cheep-o ball joints I got from AutoZone are the same size, so I'll sacrifice the ball joint and use the rubber boot on the joint that's currently in the LCA.

I have a bunch of threaded rod, washers, and nuts, so making a "press" to swap out the LCA bushing shouldn't be too hard. I've done it before, but it was eons ago, so at least I'm familiar with how to do it.

I know Dave is following this, so question:

What kind of oil should I use when I put the new strut insert in the tube. Is it critical, or will a light weight motor oil be OK?
 

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Light oil or tranny fluid. Only about 2 ounces.
My struts had the original guts inside!
I made a mess.
All of that stuff got recycled. The boxes,too.

Also,lube the LCA bushings B-4 install and do NOT tighten the LCA bolts until you get the car back down!!!!!
You will rip 'em out,otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Yeah, the pile of boxes in the garage has gone down noticeably already!

Thanks for the tips on what oil to use, and the warning about the LCA bolt. So I guess the nut in the frame is a "captive" nut? I'll put wrenches on BOTH sides when I pull it off.

The Energy bushings came with some packets of silicone grease to use, and I have some extra spacers ray85p mhad made to take all the slop out because the spacers/washers Ebergy includes with the kit aren't thick enough.

Off to the garage with the camera! Gotta post some pix here, or people will think I'm just blowing smoke about working on Ms. Swan.....
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
OK, here's what I've been doing.....

Here's the car up on jacks with the left front strut removed. She should be in the garage, BUT, my wife has started "staging" things to get rid of before we move to Colorado, and the garage has become loaded with "junque" again.




And here's the rest of the left front, with a bunch of worn out parts in evidence.





And to remove the BIG nuts on the struts, I bought a BIG wrench at Harbor Freight. My wife calls this my "Clown Wrench" because it's so big (to her) that it "doesn't look real".

When I removed the nut, I clamped the strut in the vise, got ready to give a mighty grunt, and the nut came loose with hardy any pull at all!

The wrench came in handy to tighten the new nut, though....





The top strut mount was toast, as seen by the bearing...





Don't know if you can see the cracks in the top, but when the car was sitting with the weight on the suspension, they were scary big.





Here's the junky old Monroe "Sensatrac" insert. When the spring was off, I grabbed the rod and gave it a pull. It had about a HALF INCH of free play both ways before you could feel anything, and it gurgled when you cycled it.





Here's the OEM front spring, along with the new Dobinsons #C59-070 that I bought from George at Raptor Racing. The wire diameter on the OEM spring is .550" / 14mm, and the free overall length is about 13.8" / 350mm.





Here's another view of the springs. The wire diameter on the new Dobinsons C59-070 spring is .603" / 15.3mm, and the free overall length is about 11" / 280mm.





And for those that might care (the American Iron guys go nuts for this type of information!), there was a violet paint stripe / color code on the OEM spring.





And here's the end result. A nice new shiny spring, new protective boot for the shock rod, and a new top strut mount.



Tomorrow is my day on the Iowa, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done, but Thursday I'll pull the lower control arm and track control rod (Toyota calls it a "Strut Bar", and T3 calls it a "Tension Control Rod") so I can replace the cracked and split bushings.

Hopefully Friday I can start putting this side back together, and then Saturday do a wash, rinse, and repeat on the passenger's side of the car.

Compared to doing the front, swapping out the springs and shocks in the rear looks easier, but I won't know until I start tearing in to it....

BTW.....you can tell you really need a shower when you come in the house, and the dog comes up to greet you, takes a sniff, and then takes two steps backwards!

- Jim
 

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OK,you are golden.
Without PIX,it didn't happen.
Sorry about the heat that you had to endure.

The silicone paste is for the bushings to reduce squeaks,but you can use it to install the bushings as well. The metal to metal parts.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #52
If I had a fan in the garage it wouldn't be so bad, BUT....the kids took the fan I was using with them when they moved out a couple of years ago,

The bad part is working out in the sun. I've looked at canopies, but the decent ones are like $300, and the Harbor Freight ones are a joke.....
 

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Look at whatever your local sporting goods chain is, the one here carries 10'x10' canopies that work a treat for about 50 bucks. They last maybe 2 years at most but for the money you can't complain. I use em working on cars, at the beach, camping, whatever. Texas heat is brutal, any amount of shade is awesome.
http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/academy-sports--outdoors-easy-shade-10-x-10-canopy#repChildCatid=1051979

The 12x12's are about double the price, seems like it would make more sense to just buy two 10x10's though i am generally happy with just one and haven't bothered. You sort of end up moving the awning around like a sundial of sorts so wherever you are working keeps shady, but it is well worth it. If i'm doing interior work i put a windshield shade up front, put the awning up so the shade covers as much as i can of the back/inside, pop the hatch, and have a fan blowing inside to help out a bit.
 

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I know one thing I'm envious of you escaping the hell of California. Hopefully I can repeat in the next few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Thanks for the tip, gamble.

I kept thinking I needed one big enough to cover the entire car, when you're 100% correct....just cover one end, the end I'm working under! And I'm definitely going to look for a fan today. Dripping wet with sweat getting in my eyes is no fun. At least having a fan will evaporate the sweat, and turn me into my own little swamp cooler.

@Silver....Yeah, it's just too expensive out here after you retire. My wife is pulling the plug next June at the end of the school year after 28 years. We'll walk away from here with enough cash to buy a nice place outright in Fort Collins. Gas is about a buck a gallon cheaper, food is cheaper, taxes are a lot less, it's not as crowded, and the pace of life is more relaxed. The winters there aren't nearly as bad as the Midwest where I grew up, and I'll finally get to have a shop of my own....NO FEMALE JUNK ALLOWED!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Got the strut rod nut loose, and the LCA is now out and on the bench. I'll start yammering away on it Friday.

Cleaned all the old grease and glop out of the hub today, and then drove out the races from the hub, drove new ones in, packed the new wheel bearings with Mobil 1 synthetic grease, and squirted some of that into the center of the hub. Put the inner bearing in place and installed the new oil seal, and then bolted on my new StopTech drilled rotor. I'll put the hub/rotor and caliper back on before I go to put the rebuilt strut back in, after I finish putting the new bushings in the LCA, and get that and the strut rod back in the car. Hopefully I'll have the driver's side wrapped up Saturday afternoon.

Then I get to do it all over again on the passenger side!

Should be easier and faster as I now have some of the tools I was missing, and the experience of going through this once.

Then on to the rear for new shocks and springs. From what I've read here, doing the shocks and springs at the rear of the car isn't too bad........

Yeah, I know...."Famous Last Words"....
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Didn't get too much done today, as I had some "Homeowner Stuff" to attend to,

New bearings are packed and installed in the front hub, and the rotor is mated to the hub. Installed my new brake pads, "Speed Bleeder" screw and stainless brake hose. FINALLY got the strut rod nut loose on the end so I could pull the strut rod and control arm out as one unit.

Tomorrow I'll clean the rest of the grease and glop off, and work on getting the control arm bushings replaced (Thanks ray85P for all the tips!), and replace the ball joint.

If all goes according to plan (and when does it ever....?) I can start putting this side back together again on Sunday afternoon.

I made a comment before about the top strut mounts being cracked "scary bad". This is what I meant:



I was NOT going to drive the car to Vegas with both top mounts looking like this!

And I'm crossing my fingers that the passenger side will go quicker, as I now have all the right sockets and wrenches needed to deal with the fasteners, The garage is getting cleaned up and organized every day after I finish working (my wife even noticed how much better it is), and I have the experience of doing it.

And I'm still crossing my fingers that the springs/cushions, and shocks swap on the back goes easier than this!
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Yeah, I think it's a testament to the design and quality control the Toyota Engineers put in to these things that they lasted 30 years and 167,000 miles and were still somewhat functional...

The pictured one is on the passenger side, but the driver's side was just as bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Posted my latest "progress" here:

http://www.celicasupra.com/forums/showthread.php?105562-Screwed-Up-The-Threads-On-My-Strut-Control-Rod&p=1152050#post1152050

Got the threads cleaned up as good as I can, and have a "spare" rod on the way from ray85p.

Learned a bunch from this mistake, and I will NOT repeat it on the other side of the car.

Tonight's festivities will include attempting to press out the OEM control arm bushing, and installing the Energy Suspension replacement.

Once I get that done, I can put the driver's side back together, and do the passenger side.

I'm ordering her new shoes tomorrow, and when they get here, I'll trundle the new XXR rims down to the tire place to have them mounted and balanced. I'll also get the business card of the place they recommend, and I've used, to the the front and rear ends aligned.

Then swap out the rear shocks and springs, get the new wheels/tires on her, and drive the 3 miles to the alignment shop.
 
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