?Least expensive way to repair or replace struts in the rear of a 4cyl front wheel drive sedan (Portland OR)?

Asked by Aug 15, 2007 at 08:38 PM about the 1989 Toyota Camry DX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just bought this car with 90,000 miles for $1,400.  It spent 12 years in Connecticut so has some rust spots, and overall the finish looks pretty bad up close.  I am just looking for basic transportation and don't want to put a lot of money into it.  The rear struts need replaced, and perhaps the front too.  I'm just wondering what's the least expensive way to go and still get the job done right.

2 Answers

42,105

The least expensive way to do this would be to do it yourself; however, it requires a fair amount of knowledge and specialized tools. The 89 Camry upper strut mounts are located underneath the package shelf, requiring removal of the back seat. The brake lines for the rear run through a plate on the struts, requiring disconnection and bleeding the brakes. The struts themselves have springs which can be deadly if accidentally released, and a special tool for Macpherson strut disassembly is required. I did this job on a 1990 Camry that was badly rusted and it took at least two hours to do one side. You may find larger problems as fasteners break or round off because of age and rust, so budget extra time. Get a Haynes manual to help you. The alternative is to find a reasonably-priced garage to do it for you. I was quoted $300 plus parts to replace both rear struts on the 1990 Camry I worked on. I just didn't have the money at the time. Remember, though, that struts are your wheel supports -- as such, they are integral to the suspension and very important. If done wrong, they can allow a wheel to separate from the car at speed, causing a potentially deadly situation.

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Kyb gas works great and cheap for a gas strut Gas strut damper up and down

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