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how to replace rear struts on 1998 toyota camry



Fig. A rubber cap covers the rear shock absorber tower nut

Fig. The upper shock absorber tower is retained by the center nut (circled) and three surrounding nuts

Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding.
Remove the rear seat cushion and any trim necessary to access the strut towers.
Loosen the lug nuts to the wheel on the side being serviced.
Raise and safely support the vehicle.
Support the axle beam with a jack.
Remove the wheel on the side being serviced.
On Supra, remove the brake caliper support bracket by removing the 2 bolts. Leave the brake line connected and position it aside.
If equipped with ABS, disconnect the sensor wire from the strut.
If equipped, disconnect the stabilizer bar from the strut.
On Camry, disconnect the Load Sensing Proportioning Valve (LSPV) from the lower control arm by removing the bolt.
Loosen the fasteners securing the strut to the axle carrier. Do not remove the bolts at this time.
Support the axle carrier with a jack.
Disconnect the strut from the strut tower by the nuts.

Do not loosen the center nut on the top of the strut piston.

Remove the strut from the vehicle.
To disassemble, proceed as follows:

This procedure requires the use of a spring compressor; it cannot be performed without one! If you do not have access to this special tool, do not attempt to disassemble the strut. The coil springs are retained under considerable pressure. They can exert enough force to cause serious injury! Exercise extreme caution when disassembling the strut.

Place the strut assembly in a pipe vise or strut vise.

Do not attempt to clamp the strut assembly in a flat jaw vise as this will result in damage to the strut tube.

Attach a spring compressor and compress the spring until the upper suspension support is free of any spring tension. Do not over-compress the spring.
Hold the upper support, then remove the nut on the end of the shock piston rod.
Remove the support, coil spring, insulator, and bumper.

Inspect the strut as follows:
Check the shock absorber by moving the piston shaft through its full range of travel. It should move smoothly and evenly throughout its entire travel without any trace of binding or notching.
Use a small straightedge to check the piston shaft for any bending or deformation.
Inspect the spring for any sign of deterioration or cracking. The waterproof coating on the coils should be intact to prevent rusting.

To install:

Never reuse a self-locking nut. Always replace self-locking nuts and cotter pins as applicable.

Assemble the strut as follows:
Loosely assemble all components onto the strut assembly. Be sure the spring end aligns with the hollow in the lower seat.
Align the upper suspension support with the piston rod and install the support.
Align the suspension support with the strut lower bracket. This assures the spring will be properly seated top and bottom.
Compress the spring to expose the strut piston rod threads.
Install a new strut piston nut and tighten to the following:
Camry and Avalon: 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm)
Remove the spring compressor. Be sure the paint mark on the upper support faces the outside of the strut.

Place the strut on the vehicle and install the nuts to hold the strut to the strut tower. Tighten the nuts to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
Connect the strut to the axle carrier and install the bolt and nut. Do not tighten at this time.
Connect the stabilizer link to the strut.
On Camry, connect the load sensing proportioning valve to the control arm. Tighten to 94 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
Install the wheel. Bounce the vehicle up and down to stabilize the suspension.
With the vehicle weight on the suspension, tighten the bolt holding the strut to the axle carrier on the Camry and Avalon to 188 ft. lbs. (255 Nm)
Install the rear seat cushion and any applicable trim.
Connect the negative battery cable to the battery.