Changing Sturts/shocks -- Is it Do it your self type ??

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Old 23 Jan 2006, 06:01 pm   #1 (permalink)
Ramakrishna Devisetti
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Default Changing Sturts/shocks -- Is it Do it your self type ??

Hi,

This is regarding 1994 Camry LE - 4cyl, 4dr...

Thanks alot for all your suggestions, guidelines and steps to do it.
So far, I could do starter replacement, and also Fixing new window regulator
(2 windows)

Now I am thinking of working suspension system and would like to install new
Shocks/struts.

Appreciate if you could let me know whether it is Do it your self type or
need to take Auto shop.


Regards,
Rama


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Old 23 Jan 2006, 08:55 pm   #2 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Changing Sturts/shocks -- Is it Do it your self type ??

Yup - not a difficult job if you have a spring compressor. Can rent or buy
one ($20 for cheap one). When done you'll need to get a 4 wheel alignment.
Your dust boots/spring mounts are probably gone so don't for get to get new
OEM ones.

"Ramakrishna Devisetti" <ramak@cisco.com> wrote in message
news:1138061358.742700@sj-nntpcache-3...
> Hi,
>
> This is regarding 1994 Camry LE - 4cyl, 4dr...
>
> Thanks alot for all your suggestions, guidelines and steps to do it.
> So far, I could do starter replacement, and also Fixing new window
> regulator
> (2 windows)
>
> Now I am thinking of working suspension system and would like to install
> new
> Shocks/struts.
>
> Appreciate if you could let me know whether it is Do it your self type or
> need to take Auto shop.
>
>
> Regards,
> Rama
>
>



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Old 24 Jan 2006, 05:52 am   #3 (permalink)
qslim
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Default Re: Changing Sturts/shocks -- Is it Do it your self type ??

You can do it yourself with the aid of a spring compressor, but for Christs
sake be careful. I've seen a few people get REALLY hurt while performing
this operation. There is a huge amount of energy stored in the spring
while it is compressed, and if it comes undone unexpectedly it will do a
lot of damage.

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Old 24 Jan 2006, 11:21 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Changing Sturts/shocks -- Is it Do it your self type ??

Harbor Freight (.com for online) has a scissors type spring compressor
for around $50 that looks a lot more secure than the cheaper threaded
rod with little eye hooks type.
They also have an air gun for around $80 with 650 ft. lbs. peak torque.
I found a 5 gal. air compressor at Kragen for $99.
Air tools make suspension work a _lot_ easier.
Kragen also had the 30mm impact socket for the axle nut.
I bought these tools as needed, most recently for changing the RH axle.
Probably spent as much as if I'd paid someone else to do the repair,
but now I have the tools for the other side, plus I really prefer doing
my own work.
Seems like every time I get into things where a prior mechanic has been
involved (and I use the Factory service manuals) I find some item that
was not done correctly.
Found this when I changed the timing belt, water pump and seals, found
this when I changed the passenger side axle.
Personally, I trust the car a lot more when I know I've been through it
myself.
You can take the time to clean parts as you go, and replace
questionable items before they fail.
Changing the strut should not be difficult if you have the right tools
and go carefully.
There are really only two bolts that hold it to the steering knuckle
and one bolt at the top - plus you need the alignment when done.
If you want parts that fit and function as original - factory parts are
the way to go.
I also highly recommend the factory service manual set. Check on eBay.
Also I find it very helpful to read all the instructions and visualize
the repair before you begin, that way you have all the necessary tools
and parts - cotter pins, snap rings, gaskets etc.

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