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Replacing Struts - 2009 LE

Old 12-28-2012, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Replacing Struts - 2009 LE

I just bought a used 2009 LE with 70k miles yesterday. When the mechanic looked at it he said the front struts are "pouring oil," and gave me an initial price of near $500 to replace them.

I'm thinking about doing it myself to save myself a few hundred bucks, but I've never done it before. I'm a pretty handy guy, so I'm confident I could do it correctly...I'll just have to take the assembly to a mechanic to swap out the struts since I don't have a spring compressor.

Here are my questions:
1. Are the tutorials I see online just making it APPEAR simple and there's actually a lot more to it? I've read two picture tutorials and watched one video, and they all seem pretty straightforward...I just don't want to take it apart and realize I'm in over my head.

2. Is there a specific brand strut y'all would recommend?

3. Is there anything else about all this I'm forgetting?
Old 12-28-2012, 07:54 PM
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Might get a second opinion. Toyota struts can leak oil, the dealer has a chart with drawings showing leakage ranging from acceptable to replacement needed.

Is the price for all 4 struts?

You may be able to rent a strut compressor, call auto parts stores the rent tools, rental outlets, etc. They are not expensive to purchase.

Suggest getting some kind of Camry shop manual, Haynes is OK and around $20. Your local library may have auto repair info either model specific or something like Motor which covers many makes in one large book.

A torque wrench is advisable.

If your going with stock struts list various brands. Have used KYB GR-2 / Excel-G, Monroe should also be OK. Price $50-$80 each. Performance struts will cost more.

Monroe might make something called a Quick-Strut that comes complete with suspension spring making the job remove and replace.

Struts are sold as front or rear, left or right, LE, XLE, SE model, etc. Assume the model differences are stiffness, SE is the performance Camry, XLE has more options, etc.

You will need a specific strut for each location, front L & R, etc.

Before you take the suspension apart inspect the struts for damaged boots (protect the strut rod) and other issues that would need to be replaced when the strut is taken apart.

If rear struts the rear upper deck need to come out to access the upper strut mount.

The L and R side suspension components mirror each other. You can use one side as a reference for the other. Don't damage the ABS wires going to the wheel sensor.

Before taking the strut off the strut take note of how the upper strut mount is oriented in the strut tower hole. There should be a mark to indicate which side of the upper mount faces the fender.

In theory the alignment should be checked but have never found this to be required.
Old 12-29-2012, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3

Good info. Thanks. It's only the front struts that are in question.

I think I'll look for the shop manual, as I'm sure I'll be using it for other things as well. I've always found the owner's manual to be extremely deficient.

I was already planning on getting a second opinion. It seems odd to me that a Camry with 70k miles already has struts in such disrepair.
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