ideas on struts

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 10:32 am   #1 (permalink)
rogv24@yahoo.com
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Default ideas on struts

My mechanic said that I need to but struts and strut plates for my 1999
camry.
There is a rattle in the right front of my car. Can I change the right
front strut or its best
that I change the 2 front struts or all four struts. My car has 95,000
miles and I don't want to spend a fortune on parts any recommendation
on brands? I am also getting confused
on the terminology, if I do order struts which ones do I need a car
shop didn't even know
what are strut plates? Can I buy them all together the struts and
plates or I have to buy them seperartely? any info is helpful. thank
you Roger Vaede

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 11:07 am   #2 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: ideas on struts

Try searching this group for "strut mount" - this topic is raised
regularly.
What the mechanic is calling strut plate is more commonly referred to
as strut mount. It is the part at the top of the strut that bolts to
the inner fender (unibody frame) and carries the weight of the car plus
contains a bearing to allow the strut to turn with the wheel. If the
bearing has excessive clearance, you'll hear the rattle. Toyota
designed a revised part improve longevity for this component.
Others will differ, but if you want to preserve original ride quality,
use the Toyota part - they'll fit and function like the original.
Replace struts in pairs - like tires or brakes, although you could
probably get rid of the rattle just by changing the strut mount.
Before you do that, check to make sure the sway bar bushings are good -
that's another potential source of rattling noise and they cost a lot
less to change.
Regarding finding the right part, Toyota will have a specific part
number for that strut for your vehicle. Aftermarket manufacturers will
tell you their part will fit, and it probably will, but they generally
manufacture fewer parts to cover a wider range of applications. For
example, they may have the same strut for 4 and 6 cylinder engines.

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 12:04 pm   #3 (permalink)
rogv24@yahoo.com
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Default Re: ideas on struts

hello Daniel,
I was looking at struts online and I saw strut assembly and strut
bearing
what is the difference between the two. I needed struts?
also there was a struts with bearing and without bearing what does that
mean.
thanks Roger

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 01:44 pm   #4 (permalink)
Alex
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Default Re: ideas on struts

I understand budgets. Your 99 with 95k miles has another 100k of reasonably
touble free driving. Struts, brakes, radiator, waterpump and a few more is
routine maintenance. I live where there is an 8% sales tax. The license
and tax on a new car is about twice what you'd spend on front and rear
struts. So do the 2 front now and the 2 rear in 6 months.

<rogv24@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1140539537.360427.24580@f14g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
> My mechanic said that I need to but struts and strut plates for my 1999
> camry.
> There is a rattle in the right front of my car. Can I change the right
> front strut or its best



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Old 21 Feb 2006, 02:23 pm   #5 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: ideas on struts

Replace all 4 you will notice a major difference.

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 06:19 pm   #6 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: ideas on struts

Sometimes companies like Monroe sell the strut with the strut mount
already attached - that could be what you're seeing. If you post the
link we'd know.
When I purchased my Camry with recently installed Monroe SenSaTrac I
paid to have them removed and the Toyota struts installed. There was a
real jolt that traveled all the way up through the steering wheel at a
certain bridge each morning, and I couldn't believe the car was
designed to ride that way.
Perhaps it's just me, but I am very impressed with the engineering and
design effort in the Camry. Every little detail has been fussed over. I
can look inside the back of the rear fender, where most people will
never see, and the wiring is immaculate. The design of the filter
media, and the valving, viscosity of the shock fluid, the nitrogen gas
pressure, etc, has all been carefully designed.
Strut mounts are simply the part the big bolt on the top of the strut
attaches to. If you open the hood, you'll see the top of the strut
mounts, one on each side.
The struts are an integral part of the suspension and they also provide
damping force just like a shock absorber.
I've had people at tire stores look me straight in the eye and tell me
very forcefully I needed new struts, when I knew they were fine. Those
were Bilsteins on a Mercedes, and I can guarantee the item the tire
store would have installed would have been inferior. Now I also have a
1977 Toyota pick up truck where the whole truck would jump sideways
over freeway expansion joints on a curve. After I replaced all four
shocks, the improvement in ride quality was dramatic. By the way, I
used Toyota shocks - they carry a lifetime warranty like your struts
would, and to get the right part I had to specify long bed, and count
the number of leaf springs. I suspect with aftermarket they're not that
specific.
Your mechanic is probably recommending struts because they have to be
removed from the car anyway to replace the strut mounts.
Here's my take on struts:
Most common form of tire wear indicating worn struts is "cupping" - you
may not see it, but can feel irregularities in the tread by running
your hand over it. (try this with a glove first, to insure you don't
get cut by bits of metal or glass that may be stuck in the tread)
Would be created by struts losing damping effectiveness and thereby
allowing excessive tire movement in response to road irregularities.
Edge wear or center tread wear would be indicative of alignment
problems or incorrect inflation pressure.
My own idea, is that I do not replace struts solely based on mileage.
As long as they perform well and are not leaking, I leave them in.
A lot can depend on the type of road surface and your driving style.
With easy going smooth driving, struts can last a long, long time.
---------------------------------------------------------
copied from someone else:
Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.
==================================
The "test rig" that Jason refers to is known as a shock absorber
dynamometer.....and I own one.

Basically, it gives you a graph of the pressures produced as compared
to
the shaft velocities at which they are produced when the shock is moved
at
different speeds - ranging from a shaft velocity of one-inch-per-second
to
20 i.p.s.

Basically, a shock that creates 200 pounds of resistance pressure while

moving at a shaft velocity of five i.p.s will *better control a car
than a
shock that only produces 100 pounds of resistance pressure at the same
shaft velocity.

We use these graphs a bit differently in racing applications to
"fine-tune"
the suspension with shocks, but the above information is pretty much
all
you need to know for standard passenger automobiles....more shock
pressure
at a given shaft *velocity controls better than less pressure at the
same
velocity.

When internal valves and springs weaken and wear out (imagine how many
cycles a shock valve control spring experiences in 50,000 miles of
compressing to open and close the valving each time the shaft moves in
or
out) , they allow fluid to pass more easily at lower pressures -
usually
with no external leakage to suggest that any sort of problem exists.

The so-called "bounce test" only tells you if a shock will control a
car
while negotiating "Mickey D" parking lot speed bumps at less than five
mph
with a carload of rug rats and Happy Meals.

"Hand-testing" a shock off the car moves the shaft at a velocity of
approximately one-half i.p.s.

A shock can "feel" good at slow "bounce-test" or "hand-test" speeds of
one
i.p.s. or less because it is only passing fluid through its designed,
low-speed, bleed orifices and/or bypassing the seals, but be a complete

failure at higher shaft velocities once it gets up onto the
valving....sometimes, actually providing less resistance at five i.p.s.

then at "bounce-test" velocities once the valves open up.

On a smooth road, the shocks will likely be working in the 2-6 i.p.s.
shaft
velocity range....which simply cannot be duplicated by bouncing on the
bumper of the car.

Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.

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Old 21 Feb 2006, 06:46 pm   #7 (permalink)
Art
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Default Re: ideas on struts

Actually if you look at most brand car assemblies these days the wiring
looks terrific. That is because the poor suppliers have to sell components
instead of parts so the car manufacturer has less work to do in assembling
the car. Bottom line is that a lot more design goes into every brand car
and if you look behind the curtain, most cars are very impressive these
days. Unfortunately, when it comes to repairs, the consumer often has to
buy assemblies too which can be very expensive.



"Daniel" <nospampls2002@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1140567544.463270.283130@g47g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
Sometimes companies like Monroe sell the strut with the strut mount
already attached - that could be what you're seeing. If you post the
link we'd know.
When I purchased my Camry with recently installed Monroe SenSaTrac I
paid to have them removed and the Toyota struts installed. There was a
real jolt that traveled all the way up through the steering wheel at a
certain bridge each morning, and I couldn't believe the car was
designed to ride that way.
Perhaps it's just me, but I am very impressed with the engineering and
design effort in the Camry. Every little detail has been fussed over. I
can look inside the back of the rear fender, where most people will
never see, and the wiring is immaculate. The design of the filter
media, and the valving, viscosity of the shock fluid, the nitrogen gas
pressure, etc, has all been carefully designed.
Strut mounts are simply the part the big bolt on the top of the strut
attaches to. If you open the hood, you'll see the top of the strut
mounts, one on each side.
The struts are an integral part of the suspension and they also provide
damping force just like a shock absorber.
I've had people at tire stores look me straight in the eye and tell me
very forcefully I needed new struts, when I knew they were fine. Those
were Bilsteins on a Mercedes, and I can guarantee the item the tire
store would have installed would have been inferior. Now I also have a
1977 Toyota pick up truck where the whole truck would jump sideways
over freeway expansion joints on a curve. After I replaced all four
shocks, the improvement in ride quality was dramatic. By the way, I
used Toyota shocks - they carry a lifetime warranty like your struts
would, and to get the right part I had to specify long bed, and count
the number of leaf springs. I suspect with aftermarket they're not that
specific.
Your mechanic is probably recommending struts because they have to be
removed from the car anyway to replace the strut mounts.
Here's my take on struts:
Most common form of tire wear indicating worn struts is "cupping" - you
may not see it, but can feel irregularities in the tread by running
your hand over it. (try this with a glove first, to insure you don't
get cut by bits of metal or glass that may be stuck in the tread)
Would be created by struts losing damping effectiveness and thereby
allowing excessive tire movement in response to road irregularities.
Edge wear or center tread wear would be indicative of alignment
problems or incorrect inflation pressure.
My own idea, is that I do not replace struts solely based on mileage.
As long as they perform well and are not leaking, I leave them in.
A lot can depend on the type of road surface and your driving style.
With easy going smooth driving, struts can last a long, long time.
---------------------------------------------------------
copied from someone else:
Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.
==================================
The "test rig" that Jason refers to is known as a shock absorber
dynamometer.....and I own one.

Basically, it gives you a graph of the pressures produced as compared
to
the shaft velocities at which they are produced when the shock is moved
at
different speeds - ranging from a shaft velocity of one-inch-per-second
to
20 i.p.s.

Basically, a shock that creates 200 pounds of resistance pressure while

moving at a shaft velocity of five i.p.s will better control a car
than a
shock that only produces 100 pounds of resistance pressure at the same
shaft velocity.

We use these graphs a bit differently in racing applications to
"fine-tune"
the suspension with shocks, but the above information is pretty much
all
you need to know for standard passenger automobiles....more shock
pressure
at a given shaft velocity controls better than less pressure at the
same
velocity.

When internal valves and springs weaken and wear out (imagine how many
cycles a shock valve control spring experiences in 50,000 miles of
compressing to open and close the valving each time the shaft moves in
or
out) , they allow fluid to pass more easily at lower pressures -
usually
with no external leakage to suggest that any sort of problem exists.

The so-called "bounce test" only tells you if a shock will control a
car
while negotiating "Mickey D" parking lot speed bumps at less than five
mph
with a carload of rug rats and Happy Meals.

"Hand-testing" a shock off the car moves the shaft at a velocity of
approximately one-half i.p.s.

A shock can "feel" good at slow "bounce-test" or "hand-test" speeds of
one
i.p.s. or less because it is only passing fluid through its designed,
low-speed, bleed orifices and/or bypassing the seals, but be a complete

failure at higher shaft velocities once it gets up onto the
valving....sometimes, actually providing less resistance at five i.p.s.

then at "bounce-test" velocities once the valves open up.

On a smooth road, the shocks will likely be working in the 2-6 i.p.s.
shaft
velocity range....which simply cannot be duplicated by bouncing on the
bumper of the car.

Best test for a shock (short of dyno-testing) is to drive it fairly
aggressively - but carefully - over rough road. If the car remains
under
control, then the shocks are, likely, okay.

If one end or the other tends to "wash out", then new shocks (or
struts)
are indicated.


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Old 21 Feb 2006, 09:33 pm   #8 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: ideas on struts

Yeah - do all 4 at same time - you have to get a 4 wheel alignment after
they are installed why do it 2 times.

"Alex" <someone@microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:B4KKf.11044$rL5.6437@newssvr27.news.prodigy.n et...
>I understand budgets. Your 99 with 95k miles has another 100k of
>reasonably touble free driving. Struts, brakes, radiator, waterpump and a
>few more is routine maintenance. I live where there is an 8% sales tax.
>The license and tax on a new car is about twice what you'd spend on front
>and rear struts. So do the 2 front now and the 2 rear in 6 months.
>
> <rogv24@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1140539537.360427.24580@f14g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
>> My mechanic said that I need to but struts and strut plates for my 1999
>> camry.
>> There is a rattle in the right front of my car. Can I change the right
>> front strut or its best

>
>



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Old 22 Feb 2006, 01:00 am   #9 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: ideas on struts

You should consider replacing all four struts (~$69-89 each) and their
mounts (bolts to the chassis) ~$45-95 each. Plus alignment afterwards.

That generation of Camrys has problem with the strut mounts. And that's
probably where the rattle is coming from. I'd go with Monroe mounts
instead of Toyota or KYB.

Underneath the front strut mounts are bearings, which allow the strut
assemblies to turn. Below the strut mount and the bearing is the
bearing plate (or upper spring seat) and then the coil spring and the
lower spring seat (welded to the strut body).

You should check the struts with them removed and see if it compresses
and extends smoothly. They should not be leaking. But this is often not
cost effective when a mechanic does it (you might as well replace
them). The struts may still be good, but after 50,000 miles most of the
damping is gone.

The new Monroe Reflex should run about $69 each at NAPA. The impact
sensor should get rid of the jolt Daniel was talking about. But I've
not test driven these. Look for the occasional buy-3-get-1-free offer,
lifetime warranty, and satisfaction guarantee (including up to $50
labor each to change it out). The older Sensatracs are somewhat on the
softer side and don't have the impact sensor. See their website on how
to check struts.
www.monroe.com

For slightly stiffer struts try the Gabriel Ultra. Like the Reflex,
this is a new generation of struts with multiple stages of valving that
adjusts to different road conditions automatically. Four corners should
cost around $250 with their buy-3-get-1-free offer, with lifetime
warranty. Look on their web site and the "G-Force story".
www.gabriel.com

KYB ("Keep Your Bilsteins") GR-2 still uses primitive valving. I don't
care much for these. Their AGX is better, but still not very modern.
Most Toyota struts these days I believe have become re-badged KYBs
(cost reasons). I wouldn't pay $200-250 for each of these, but
tirerack.com and others will sell you GR-2s for about $69 or inserts
for $45 each.

Bilstein I think only goes up to 1996 for the Camry. Excellent
performance struts with varying degrees of damping (Touring -> Heavy
Duty -> Sport).
FYI only: www.bilstein.com



rogv24@yahoo.com wrote:
> My mechanic said that I need to but struts and strut plates for my 1999
> camry.
> There is a rattle in the right front of my car. Can I change the right
> front strut or its best
> that I change the 2 front struts or all four struts. My car has 95,000
> miles and I don't want to spend a fortune on parts any recommendation
> on brands? I am also getting confused
> on the terminology, if I do order struts which ones do I need a car
> shop didn't even know
> what are strut plates? Can I buy them all together the struts and
> plates or I have to buy them seperartely? any info is helpful. thank
> you Roger Vaede


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Old 22 Feb 2006, 11:29 pm   #10 (permalink)
david
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Default Re: ideas on struts

I had the same problem with my 99 Camry. Since I have a friend at a local
junkyard, he found 4 McPhearson original struts from a 2000 Camry which fits
the 99. I had them installed by a mechanic totaling with struts, under
$500. Alignment extra. Since then, no rattles and smooth riding.

Good Luck!



"Alex" <someone@microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:B4KKf.11044$rL5.6437@newssvr27.news.prodigy.n et...
>I understand budgets. Your 99 with 95k miles has another 100k of
>reasonably touble free driving. Struts, brakes, radiator, waterpump and a
>few more is routine maintenance. I live where there is an 8% sales tax.
>The license and tax on a new car is about twice what you'd spend on front
>and rear struts. So do the 2 front now and the 2 rear in 6 months.
>
> <rogv24@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1140539537.360427.24580@f14g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
>> My mechanic said that I need to but struts and strut plates for my 1999
>> camry.
>> There is a rattle in the right front of my car. Can I change the right
>> front strut or its best

>
>



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