shocks/struts, door trim & door checks, alignment,

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Old 22 Oct 2006, 10:15 am   #1 (permalink)
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Default shocks/struts, door trim & door checks, alignment,

Hi everyone:

Now that I've purchased 1995 OEM wheels and tires for my 1999 Camry -
it used to have UGLY aftermarket alloys, I'm much happier with the ride
and the look of the vehicle. Now I can concentrate on smaller things:

(this is long. Thank you for any bit of advice you can offer to any of
these things!)

1. Alignment. Not that small of a thing, I've noticed the car pulls
to the right when the steering wheel is perfectly straight on a
straight highway, not a FLAT highway. (They're ever-so-slightly banked
to let the rain run. That being said, I'm in San Diego, CA). I can't
decide whehter I have bad alignment or not:
- Hit a pothole, that's why I HAD TO replace my alloy rims. One of
them cracked.
- The situation has improved since I've purchased new tires & rims,
but has not completely corrected.
- My OLD front tires had ~25% remaininig life on them after 17K and
1.5 yrs of driving, tires that were rated for 45K. Rears have ~70%
life. That being said, I seldom rotated them; even so, I believe they
should not wear that fast.
- I've been having this problem since Evans Tires mounted and
installed the new tires (the ones with 17K & 1.5 years) and threw in
the alignment free of charge. I blame them. Yesterday, 1.5 years
after initial purchase, I tried to weasel my way into a free alignment
again due to my dissatisfaction. He told me an alignment every 6
months is standard. I call bullsh*t. Opinions?

2. Shock coils & Struts: I've looked into this for a long time, and I
know I kill myself by attempting to compress the coil with a $30 coil
compressor from Sears. Price to pay at the shop: $700. Ouch. I know
they make EZ-Strut mount kits with the coil and the strut. Can I do an
analogous thing and pull the coil, strut, and strut mounts from a Camry
at a junkyard?

3. My doors don't stay open in 1/2 and full positions. I've had the
most horrible time trying to pull off the door trim trying to inspect
the door-side of the door checks. Can someone provide any hints on how
to do this?
- Are there two bolts or three bolts? One on the handle, one on the
armrest, and one near the door locking mechanism?
- I can't seem to get the clips on the inside of the door undone.
- Is there an order that they need to come off in? Lower door trim,
then handle/upper door trim?

Thank you so much, in advance!

Too many car problems, in
San Diego, CA

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