Weekend Warrior

mostly about cars, driving them, fixing them, rating them and occasionally fixing computers, phones and things around the house

Toyota Corolla 1.3 2001 2E - Front suspension revamp Part 1

This car, Silvaki to those who know her is probably solely responsible for all my grey hairs. There were a number of complaints I wanted to address with this car and all of the them were random sounds it makes when you get in, when it turns and when it's driving. My goal was to make it silent again.

For as long as I have know this car it has had a bit of a collapsed looking front suspension, which I thought was to do with it's really seen better days strut mounts, they literally looked like a desert. So the idea was to replace the mounts, the struts, the bottom rubber isolators, the ball joints and front wheel bearings.

The budget was tight so all these parts were supposed to come from Midas instead of Toyota. This was admittedly the source of most of my problems. I removed the 3 nuts that hold the strut mount to the strut tower. obviously I had already removed all the other parts like the knuckle, brakes and steering arm. I hadn't realised that the strut bolt would be such a mission to turn. I don't have a vice so all these was done on the ground. you try to turn it, the whole thing turns, it's awkward to hold. I ended up using vice grips to hold on to the plate below the mount and letting it dig into the ground when I turn the bolt. The second strut I loosened the bolt slightly while it was still on the car which made things a whole lot easier.

I only realised around this time that the struts I bought are not exactly the the same. specifically, the old struts have a bracket welded to them that the brake hose is bolted to. the bracket on the new ones was different and at a different location. So had I bought them from Toyota I suspect they would be the correct ones but at least they fit. turns out the is a small dust cork thingy between the mount and the plate. These small things like those cork and rubber isolators, no one carried them so I had to get from toyota. I had to wait 3 days between each parts because apparently they don't keep anything in stock.

putting the struts back together was hard because, the plates where a bit worn. they are supposed to hold the struts shaft and prevent it from spinning so you can tighten the nut. Because they were worn and the new ones were just too expensive, and the scrap yard wanted to sell me the whole strut assembly I had to patiently work on it until I got it on. To make matters more complex the pirate strut mounts that I got from Midas a bit small for the 22 mm socket that tightens the strut nut. The mission of assembling this strut made want to quit, but the lessons I learned from fiddling with this strut for a week came in handy when I put together the next one together in 2 hours.

This was just the struts....

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