CREDITS: Written by nacy333. If you used this article and it helped, shoot him an email or a PM and thank him! Big credit goes out to Randy West. As well as being a big time **** star back in the 80s, he also really knows his stuff when it comes to this. He's done 32 sets of springs now and continues to provide a big service to So Cal Scion owners...remember, he does it for free for TSW members. Also thanks to Ernesto for providing the testing vehicle. And to Kristal (Randy's wife) for keeping the beer cold and making fun of us while we worked out stuff. Again, if you don't feel confident in changing your springs and are in the SoCal area, just PM Randy (he's gonna set a world record ya know).
DISCLAIMER: Scionlife.com does not take any responsibility in what you do to your car. This FAQ could be filled with incorrect information. You could be voiding your warranty if not installed by a certified mechanic or dealership. It is quite possible that you can totally mess up your car by using this as a guide to install your springs. This can result in serious bodily injury, death, dismemberment, sexually transmitted diseases and so forth to you and anybody else in case of an accident resulting from failure to take safety precautions and/or following the instructions in this write-up.
Nut Sizes: 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm
Tools: Floor Jack, Jack Stands, Sockets and Wrenches in above sizes, Flathead Screwdriver
Optional: Latex Gloves, Impact Wrench, Corona Extra, Tylenol, Toyota Mechanic
Buddies Required (Not including yourself): One (you can have more but they will only make fun of you, drink your beer and eat your snacks)
1. Once you get the rear of the car jacked up, it is not necessary to take off the rear wheels, you can do it without doing so but it makes it alot easier, especially if you don't know what you're doing (as evidenced in the following pictures).
2. Once you have one side of the rear up take off the Shock nut (17mm) that attaches the Rear shock and Suspension.
3. Once you've taken off the nut, proceed to 'jiggle' the shock loose of the bolt that it is attached to until it is completely off.
4. If you have the whole rear of the car lifted, just pump the jack a few more times and the springs should pop right out, if not push down on the rear brake drum brake body and have your buddy (see requirements) pull out the spring.
5. Remember to take care full note of which way the rubber grommets fit back in the assembly before you remove the springs completely. The top grommet should have the indented holes section facing upwards.
6. When placing the new springs into the assembly be sure that it aligns with the top rubber grommet to fit in place with the stop on the grommet.
You can now put the rear suspsension back together. See how easy that was?! Just take note that as with the front, springs will not settle into the proper drop right away. In most cases, it takes about 2 weeks to properly settle to the proper height, though most of the rear will settle while you're working on the front springs.
First things first. Do you have an air gun to undo the big nut (god I love that term!) in the front strut? If you don't, or hell, even if you do, I would recommend loosening the strut nut that compresses the spring down before you remove the front strut assembly - you'll see why later in this FAQ and I'll point it out before you have to.
As usual, we are not going to go into detail on how to jack up the car and remove the wheels, but you better do it now before you go to the removal steps. Put the car on jack stands so it doesn't fall on your face.
1. Under the hood: Remove the rubber dust cap that covers the top of each strut tower.
2. If you are using hand tools then you should start by loosening the large 17mm nut a bit to make it easier in the long run. If you don't do it now then its a real pain in the ___ later. Just loosen it a little, don't remove it!
3. Remove the nuts (12mm) at the top of the struts. The one hiding in the rear is a real pain in the ___ though and cannot be removed with a normal socket wrench. Manual labor time.
4. Disconnect the front brake line housing that attaches it to the front strut by removing the bolt (14mm) in this picture.
5. Use a flathead screwdriver to undo the clip that holds in place the ABS sensor line.
6. Use a 19mm socket to remove the 2 lower bolts that attaches the strut to the lower arm.
7. Disassemble the strut and lower arm assembly and remove the strut from the car.
8. The front strut is now off the car and randy goes for a little finger dip action where its nice and lubricated (not neccessary and completely optional). You'll need to remove some of this lubricant when you remove that big nut(!).
9. While holding down the front strut firmly in place go ahead and remove the big nut from the front strut. *When the nut comes off, part of the assembly will spring out, do not be surprised and take precaution as to where both ends of the strut are pointed.*
10. Be sure to take note of the order of the front strut assembly. It's the strut rubber housing, the metal plate, a paper-like thick bushing, and the top plastic housing.
11. When putting the new spring in, make sure that end meets up with the lower stop on the strut.
12. The arrow on the rubber housing should be point outward of the car - in this case, facing in the same direction as those 2 forks on the lower part of the strut (the ones that hold the lower part of the strut to the lower arm).
13. When you place the top metal portion of the strut assembly on, make sure that the side labeled 'OUT' is facing the outside of the car (same as with the rubber boot cover housing).
14. When you're done with that, place on the paper-like bushing and then the top of the strut assembly housing on the strut and have someone push down on the assembly while another places the big nut back in the strut.
15. Go ahead and tighten up the big nut, you do not need to do this all the way as you should tighten it more after you've placed the strut back in the car.
16. Put the strut back in. It helps while someone holds it down in place on the bottom while someone helps to guid the top strut into place.
17. Place and tighten up the screws that hold the top of the strut into place.
18. Replace the bolts that attach the shock assembly to the suspension. They should be inserted in the front and the nuts secured to it from the rear like the top not in this photo. (from the front passenger side)
Anyways, after you put into place the two lower bolts that hold the strut to the lower arm, remember to put the ABS sensor line back on the clip and to bolt on the front brake line housing to the strut. Once you've done that you're all done and you can continue to the other side!