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3ES (97-01) Suspension Overhaul Guide

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Old 01-10-13, 06:00 PM   #16
chrispy
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Nice writeup! Wish I had something like this when I had my ES. Although for that price you can get a set of coilovers that would be much easier to install.
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Old 01-10-13, 08:20 PM   #17
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Nice writeup! Wish I had something like this when I had my ES. Although for that price you can get a set of coilovers that would be much easier to install.
I agree, the price is pretty steep for such a simple setup. Although I have to say that I could not find a good set of coilovers for the ES. It seems that they all have some sort of flaws. Whether it be poor construction or a very harsh ride. I liked the Tokico's for their OE feel - every nut and bolt fit without any issues. At the end of the day, I'm happy with the results, and that's all that matters
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Old 05-14-13, 12:57 PM   #18
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Added some long overdue Before and After shots. Enjoy!
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Old 05-15-13, 09:26 PM   #19
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so my main question would be , how does the car feel overall on the freeway and on the open road? does it glide over the road very "graciously" lol?
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Old 05-16-13, 12:35 AM   #20
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so my main question would be , how does the car feel overall on the freeway and on the open road? does it glide over the road very "graciously" lol?
It definitely doesn't glide as it did with the stock setup, I'm kind of bummed about that. If you want complete ride comfort, this isn't for you. It's very responsive to road imperfections, which was a bit annoying in the beginning, but after driving with this new setup for a while, I have gotten used to it. If you drive on bad roads, get something else, but for smooth highways and local roads, this setup is only slightly harsher than stock.

Keep in mind that I don't drive a lot of other cars, so my perspective of harshness is directly related to the original suspension. So what I consider rough, might be considered slightly harsher than normal on some other car.
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Old 05-18-13, 10:23 PM   #21
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Mr. B I'll have some additional input here coming soon but my experience is that the aftermarket shocks are not tuned the same way as the stock ones are, particularly the Tokico HPs, they are definitely a "sporty" shock. This is nice in the corners but you have to pay a price in the ride.

I'm sure the GR-2 or the lesser options are probably a softer ride, but the reality is Toyota spec'd a different shock tuning for each model, Camry, ES300, Solara, and Avalon...but any aftermarket option sells the same part for all. Anyone very happy with their ES300 ride should think about ponying up for the stock struts when replacement time comes.
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Old 05-18-13, 11:56 PM   #22
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Mr. B I'll have some additional input here coming soon but my experience is that the aftermarket shocks are not tuned the same way as the stock ones are, particularly the Tokico HPs, they are definitely a "sporty" shock. This is nice in the corners but you have to pay a price in the ride.

I'm sure the GR-2 or the lesser options are probably a softer ride, but the reality is Toyota spec'd a different shock tuning for each model, Camry, ES300, Solara, and Avalon...but any aftermarket option sells the same part for all. Anyone very happy with their ES300 ride should think about ponying up for the stock struts when replacement time comes.
I completely agree. This was my first ever experience with aftermarket suspension, as our family does not have a lot of high mileage cars. What I have learned from it is that the stock suspension is your best bet, at least with the ES. I know there are companies that make great aftermarket solutions, but they're not available for our cars. I'm thinking of KW, Bilstein, and Ohlin. I'm also not a suspension engineer, so I don't know what the real issue is with my ride comfort. It could be coming from the springs, the swaybars, the struts, or a combination of them.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:37 PM   #23
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Fantastic Detail with Pics. Love the post. Would love to know where you bought the parts from. How is the car driving now? Any issues you have seen?
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Old 04-17-14, 06:35 PM   #24
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Fantastic Detail with Pics. Love the post. Would love to know where you bought the parts from. How is the car driving now? Any issues you have seen?
All OE parts came from Sewell. No issue with the suspension, it's been very solid with no rattles of any kind. Only downside is the harsher ride, but that's about to be fixed.
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Old 06-05-14, 10:22 PM   #25
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I'm curious if the rear strut mounts have bearings too? I think that is what's making all the noise on my worn out front mounts. I was thinking of not replacing the rear mounts to save some money when I replace all four struts or would that not be a wise idea?
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Old 06-06-14, 07:38 AM   #26
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I'm curious if the rear strut mounts have bearings too? I think that is what's making all the noise on my worn out front mounts. I was thinking of not replacing the rear mounts to save some money when I replace all four struts or would that not be a wise idea?
The rear struts do not use bearings. The bearings are there to allow movement for the struts when you turn your steering wheel. I would highly recommend to replace all strut mounts, as a lot of rattles generate from worn out mounts and the rear struts the are the most time consuming to remove.

At the very least, purchase four struts, four strut mounts, and two front bearings. Everything else can be safely reused.
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Old 06-07-14, 11:19 PM   #27
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I am shopping for the best deal I can to replace my two front strut mounts and bearings. I don't think the ride is bad, but it certainly is noisy on a cold morning, and sometimes makes an occasional rattle on anything less than a hot day.

Should I avoid the KYB bearings? I read bad reviews about the KYB actual strut, but haven't seen anything about the strut mount bearings. I found a good deal on ebay for both OEM revised/updated front strut mounts, but they come with KYB bearings instead of OEM. It would cost a lot more for me to order it part by part. I was curious if anyone had any advice on this?
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Old 06-08-14, 04:47 AM   #28
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I am shopping for the best deal I can to replace my two front strut mounts and bearings. I don't think the ride is bad, but it certainly is noisy on a cold morning, and sometimes makes an occasional rattle on anything less than a hot day. Should I avoid the KYB bearings? I read bad reviews about the KYB actual strut, but haven't seen anything about the strut mount bearings. I found a good deal on ebay for both OEM revised/updated front strut mounts, but they come with KYB bearings instead of OEM. It would cost a lot more for me to order it part by part. I was curious if anyone had any advice on this?
Have you confirmed the source of the sound to be your strut mounts? Some people have had good luck fiddling with their sway bar links to fix a front end rattle.
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Old 06-08-14, 10:03 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lextacy01 View Post
I am shopping for the best deal I can to replace my two front strut mounts and bearings. I don't think the ride is bad, but it certainly is noisy on a cold morning, and sometimes makes an occasional rattle on anything less than a hot day.

Should I avoid the KYB bearings? I read bad reviews about the KYB actual strut, but haven't seen anything about the strut mount bearings. I found a good deal on ebay for both OEM revised/updated front strut mounts, but they come with KYB bearings instead of OEM. It would cost a lot more for me to order it part by part. I was curious if anyone had any advice on this?
Lextacy, your car seems to have very similar issues as mine. I had a local mechanic take my car for a test ride and he confirmed it's definitely the strut mounts making all that noise. They really get noisy on cold mornings. He also put the car up on a lift and confirmed it's not the sway bar links. I just ordered 4 new KYB struts and mounts from Rock Auto for right around $500. That was pretty much my budget. Hopefully the bearings don't give me any problems...
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Old 06-08-14, 10:38 AM   #30
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Have you confirmed the source of the sound to be your strut mounts? Some people have had good luck fiddling with their sway bar links to fix a front end rattle.
No I haven't confirmed this by checking for loose parts. I will have to crawl under there today and wiggle things around. I'm no expert with cars though so I'm not sure what all should and shouldn't be doing what. I DID read that these cars are prone to the rubber parts in the suspension hardening and becoming old with age. Considering the car has all original everything but oil and tires, I thought this was likely the cause. I live in Michigan and the roads up here are dreadful
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Old 06-08-14, 10:38 AM
 
 
 
 
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