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DaveLip

98 Corolla Getting New Struts & Springs

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I've had my 98 Corolla since it was brand new, having upgraded the brakes 2 years ago to KVR rotors & Pads (not THAT much difference, although they are holding up amazingly), as well us the 16" TRD rims (What a huge improvement that made in driving!)

 

Being that the car is now almost 10 years old and has around 118k miles, I've been thinking whether its time to move on and get a new car, or continue to keep this VERY reliable car and simply upgrade the struts & springs.

 

Not really wanting the new car payments, I've decided to go with new struts & springs. I've read about the difference the KYB GR2 struts make in handling, but what about springs? Ordered the H&R Sport Spring Set,are being installed along with the struts on Saturday.

 

Anybody else have experience with those springs/strut combination? Will the lowered profile effect the 16 rims (worried about them hitting the wheel well, although i don't thinkn that will happen...)

 

P.S. - Getting the new struts & springs along with installation for $720.00, which sounds like a very fair price.

Edited by DaveLip

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Wow, $720 for parts and labor - that is indeed a very good deal. Struts alone will run about $75 each, springs about $200 a set - so that means they are only going to charge you $220 for labor, I'd jump all over that deal.

 

H&R and KYB GR-2 should be a decent mix. The H&R are a little stiffer than some of others out there - but combined with a relatively soft/smooth GR-2, should be a fairly pleasant ride. Coupled with the 16" wheels and better rotors and pad - you should notice much improved braking and cornering compared to the OEM setup. I'll guarantee it will feel like a totally different car.

 

As for wheel and tire clearances - TRD wheels should be offset enough to clear the fender lip and strut/spring combination with even a moderate drop (1"-2"). But I found that some tires are just physically wider than others, even in the same size (205/45R16). In that case, you are pretty much left with rolling the fender lips to make more clearance. But this procedure is well documented and fairly easy to do.

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The 205/45R16 would probably be too much tire in that case. If you got a 5mm spacer to push the wheel away - then maybe you could run the wider tire - but then you have some other things to worry about (dynamic balance, excessive bearing loading, etc.)

 

But it also varys by manufacturer - I bought two sets of 205/45R16, two different brands of tire - and the one was a full 8mm narrower at the tread than the other - doesn't sound like much, but that was all I needed to keep from rubbing the fender (eventually rolled the fender anyway, so I could run other sets in the future).

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I am in exactly the same boat as you! I have an '02 and have just over 100k miles on mine. The suspension on mine definitely needs replacement. When I bounce one end of the car, it is clearly not damped enough. I rode in a co-workers '05 corolla, and boy was the ride like 100x better than in mine. It could be that the new generation is just smoother, period, but I believe my suspension also has something to do with it.

 

That said, I found the Tokico HP Strut/Spring kit (HPK359) for our cars at several sources online for around $530 or so. This is for all four struts and springs. I think the springs only lower by about 1.25", but I like the fact that they are a matched set, so hopefully will work well together.

 

Numerous online vendors.

 

http://www.racinglab.com/tok-hpp-hpk359.html

$478 at this place!

http://autosportstyle.com/shop/toyota-1993...ts-p-51653.html

 

 

What do you guys think about this?

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Tokico make some really nice stuff. They tend to be a bit firmer than some of the others out there - but it is nice to get them as a matched set. Didn't say if they are all separate or if they are preassembled (generally, most are not pre-assembled - even the ones sold as a matched set). If they are preassembled, I'd say go for it - no need for a spring compressor - but that should not shy you away from them, they are a great set.

 

Should be a pretty decent, firm ride - and from what I picked up from other forums, they also have good tech/warranty support. Several people have had them leak within 3-6 months after installation - had to wait a little while, but they got new replacements. Have to be careful - a lot of knock-off replica Tokico HP series (sometimes called Tokico Blues) are out there, as these are very popular - one giveaway is the warranty, should be lifetime from the manufacturer, the other is price - like they say, if it is too good to be true...

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Hi, I just bought a Skunk2 coilover kit for my 98 corolla and i was wondering if i had to upgrade anything when i put that on. I have 18'' rims on it wrapped in a 35 series tire. Oh and also some new swaybars and strut braces. Any opinion on what this might do?

Edited by Marcos

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what will it do? make the car feel great!

 

 

davelip - thats not bad but if your looking at paying that might you might want to investigate coilovers which are pre assembled and install yourself. Changing your shock assembly out is one of the easiest things to do and you will get far far better handling on coilovers which are designed and valved around the springs they come with. You can usually go with a far heavier spring and have a more comfortable ride than a regular spring/shock setup. You can get a set of ksport pros on ebay for 910 shipped.

 

as far as fender rolling the corolla dont expect much on this chassis. I own a fender roller and as much as I push it I sheared the bolt trying to do a pull and it barely made a difference. The way the sheetmetal is you would need to cut and weld which is a ton more work. I have a 240sx with massive tires and a huge pull in the back, but I couldnt even get a lip outta this car. My 205/55/15 bfg kdw 2's mounted on 15" rims with unknown fairly low offset rub on hard corners or if people ride in the back - stock springs.

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Picked up my car Saturday afternoon after the shop spent about 3 hours installing the new equpiment. The ride is much stiffer now, not as lowered as I expected, but still lower. It seems to handle great, doesn't pitch forward as much when breaking, and on tight corners and turns, I've noticed a HUGE difference in how little the body seems to roll. I needed to get 4 new tires last week as well (which is what prompted me to just go ahead with the new struts/springs already) so I decided to give Tire Rack a try.

 

It was my first time using that site, and picked out 4 Kumho Solus KH16 tires. Previously, I had 4 Toyo Proxy ZR16 tires on, which were a bit noisy but stuck to the road amazingly. The new tires are surprisingly much quieter and adds a softer ride to the car, even with the lowered profile and new struts.

 

Definetely looking forward now to driving my car and seeing what it can do!

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Sounds great! Might have to wait as see how far the car settles on the springs. Won't take too long, but I've found that you have to drive a bit to work the springs and struts in - then it will eventually sit at the new lowered stance. Those Solus look like a pretty decent all-season tire - but a little far from a performance tire even on the 16" wheel. I'd be careful not to push them too hard, especially with new tires (release agent on all new tires, make the tire kind of slick). But no worries - I doubt you'd be able to push the chassis too much with that setup - just feel like OEM but with firm, more controlled ride.

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Dave,

 

Your stock suspension was probably sagging about an 0.5", so it does not look as low. Did you have the alignment checked/adjusted? I was wondering if the Corolla needs a camber kit with a 1-2" drop.

 

I'm deciding between KYB and Tokico Struts; Tokico, H&R, or Tien springs. I'll probably do the strut mounts, boots, and sway bars at the same time.

Edited by Bluto

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Don't need a camber kit with a 1"-2" drop - unless you are running a massively wide tire or funky offset.

 

Both KYB and Tokico are good struts - IMO, the KYB tend to give a smoother ride - Tokico a little more bouncy. Also depends on which series - if looking at KYB GR-2 or Tokico Blues - they are about the same.

 

Looking at KYB AGX or Tokico Illumina - the KYB would be better, but you are also close to KONI yellows in that price range, KONIs would superior to either one of them.

 

The adjustable series KYB tends to do better with a lower drop and higher spring rates compared to the Tokicos, but don't go too low, even these will have a shortened life if you drop below 2.5"-3" in ride height. These would be a good match to firmer springs - like H&R or TEIN S.TECH. The regular performance springs - TEIN H.TECH or Eibach - would be well matched to a KYB GR-2 or Tokico Blue series struts.

 

Also keep in mind if you do not buy from an authorized reseller - many counterfeit variants are out there. Here is an example from the TEIN website.

http://www.tein.com/counterfeit/warning.html Like they say, if the price is too good to be true ...

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Both KYB and Tokico are good struts - IMO, the KYB tend to give a smoother ride - Tokico a little more bouncy. Also depends on which series - if looking at KYB GR-2 or Tokico Blues - they are about the same.

 

Looking at KYB AGX or Tokico Illumina - the KYB would be better, but you are also close to KONI yellows in that price range, KONIs would superior to either one of them.

 

The adjustable series KYB tends to do better with a lower drop and higher spring rates compared to the Tokicos, but don't go too low, even these will have a shortened life if you drop below 2.5"-3" in ride height. These would be a good match to firmer springs - like H&R or TEIN S.TECH. The regular performance springs - TEIN H.TECH or Eibach - would be well matched to a KYB GR-2 or Tokico Blue series struts.

 

How hard is it to installed shocks/coils? Is it something a semi-talented guy like me can do, or does it need to be left to professionals. I have a fair number of tools including a coil spring compressor.

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If you got a couple of hours to spare, a spring compressor, and some tools - you are ready to go with this install. Not very hard to do - even don't have to worry about the alignment (if you take some common sense precautions and the drop is not too extreme). Well within the reach of a DIY - and you will end up saving a pile of money doing this yourself. Depending on the area/state - labor rates run from $50/hr to $155/hr at the shops I've been to (usually post up the labor rates right on a wall). You can easily save as much as $1000 in labor charges.

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If you got a couple of hours to spare, a spring compressor, and some tools - you are ready to go with this install. Not very hard to do - even don't have to worry about the alignment (if you take some common sense precautions and the drop is not too extreme). Well within the reach of a DIY - and you will end up saving a pile of money doing this yourself. Depending on the area/state - labor rates run from $50/hr to $155/hr at the shops I've been to (usually post up the labor rates right on a wall). You can easily save as much as $1000 in labor charges.

 

 

My biggest concern was gaining access to the top of the rear coils without having to disassemble half of the back seat area. Can you fit a wrench in there to undo the nuts at the top of the coil without too much difficulty?

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