The Toyota Camry is one of the most reliable sedans in the world. Yet, it needs regular maintenance like any other vehicle. Here is guide on how to replace the shock and struts on it.
Before starting this project, it is important to find an appropriate area to do the work. Ideally, this will be in a garage with protection from weather and with ample lighting. Also, make sure you have a collection of automotive tools and the knowledge on the proper way to use them.
Front Shocks and Struts Replacement
- First, park the Camry on level ground and engage the parking brake. Then, jack the front end into the air and support it with jack stands. Loosen and remove all front wheels. The front assemblies are under the front of the car, locate them by looking for springs with hardware that runs through them and connects to the end of the suspension and frame.
- Find the wheel hubs and the brake hose that is connected to the strut. Disconnect the anti-lock brake sense and mounting bracket. Then, remove the nut for the stabilizer link which is about midway down the strut assembly. After pulling the bolts of the lower side of the strut out, find the nuts connecting it to the upper frame. Remove them and pull the strut out. Repeat this process for the other side.
- Looking at the strut assembly, remove the dust cover and compress the spring. You will then lay out all the pieces of the strut in the order they come off by removing the strut nut. These pieces should be: mounting bracket, dust seal, upper spring seat, upper insulator, coil spring, spring bumper and lower insulator. All that’s left is the shock. Looking over the pieces, you will replace any worn out parts and then reassemble the strut. Next, torque the strut nut to 35 foot lb. Lastly, decompress the spring.
- Now onto re-installing it. You will start by replacing the dust cover and attaching the upper bolts on the strut to the body. These bolts should be torqued to 29 foot lb. Next, do the same with the lower bolts and torque them to 113 foot lb. Then, re-install the mounting bracket for the brake hose and anti-lock brake sensor, torque them to 21 foot lb. The stabilizer link nut is next and needs to be torqued to 55 foot lb. Repeat these procedures for the other side.
Replace the Rear Struts
- In order to replace the rear struts, you will first need to disconnect the negative battery cable and rear seat cushions. You will also need to raise the rear of the Camry with support from jack stands. Also, remove the rear wheels.
- Next, disconnect brackets and sensors from the strut and stabilizer bar link nut. Locate the arm supporting the lower end of the strut and support it with a jack stand. Loosen and remove the lower strut bolts and remove the upper strut mounting nuts. Repeat for the other side.
- Looking at the strut after pulling it out, you will need to compress the spring using a tool from an auto parts store. Next, remove the center nut and lay out all the pieces in the order they come off. Replace the worn out parts and put the pieces back together in the reverse order they came off. Make sure to torque the center nut to 36 foot lb.
- It is time to re-install the strut and you will start to do this by putting the strut to the frame. Install the upper mounting nuts and torque them to 29 foot lbs. Next, hand tighten the strut to the arm. Connect the link nut to the strut and replace any brackets or sensors. Complete these procedures for the other side.
- Replace the rear wheels and lower the car. Next, bounce the rear of the car to stabilize the suspension. After this is done, torque the strut-to-arm bolt to 188 foot lb. Lastly, finish up by replacing the rear seat cushions and the negative battery cable.
Congrats! You have successfully replaced the shocks and struts on your Toyota Camry.