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Old 01-12-2020, 11:12 PM   #1
mannycheckers
 
Drives: 2009 Yaris 2dr Liftback
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TRD Strut Install

Greetings,

I recently received some goodies from Toyota: a spoiler, bumper protector, mudguards, and TRD struts and springs. I was excited to start customizing the car, and planned to do all of the installation myself.

The spoiler was a somewhat difficult install due to the precision needed with drilling. If I had to do it over I would have drilled the two center holes first, and then marked the two outer holes. The template that Toyota included seems off by about by just a hair. It turned out good, but the spoiler has a small gap on both edges and not in the middle. I'll have to upload pics soon.

The rear shocks and springs was a simple install. I had trouble trying to fit the TRD springs in the mount, but was able to get the leverage by shoving a breaker bar into the lower axle and pushing down with my foot.

My biggest issue was the front struts. I was able to fit my wrench and a 6mm hex key into the upper strut mount without removing the wiper cowl, but the nut was just frozen. I tried adding bars onto the hex key for leverage, but I started to worry that the hex key would break. So I decided to remove the wiper cowl anyway to get some more room to work, and I ended up stripping and splitting the hex insert on the upper strut. Damn.

I waved the white flag of surrender and reinstalled the wiper cowl and reattched the lower bolts to the current strut. I plan on taking it to a shop so they can install the two front strut assemblies and perform an alignment. In the meantime, I will be driving a raked yaris because the back now sits lower in the front. That's life I guess.

Last edited by mannycheckers; 01-12-2020 at 11:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:13 AM   #2
toyotavios_11
 
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i use impact gun to break loose the nut.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:59 AM   #3
myfirstyota
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If you're discarding the old struts you can clamp a vise grip on the shock piston to keep it from spinning as well. The impact gun is the easiest approach though. If you wrench regularly, invest in one. Doesnt have to be pneumatic. A decent electric unit will get most jobs done.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:07 AM   #4
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What the two posts above said is good advice. And I also used an impact to save myself the headache. Before that I put a penetrating oil on the bolt and let it sit and get into the threads - 50/50 atf and acetone is my go to
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:16 AM   #5
mannycheckers
 
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Thanks for the tips yall. Now that I had a day away from the car and I'm not as frustrated, I'll give it another go with some vise grips. Also after talking with my buddy, he said to jack up the lower control arm to compress the spring slightly before trying to loosen the nut.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:40 AM   #6
myfirstyota
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Just leave the car on the ground when you undo the nuts.

I never liked jacking up control arms and axles when the car is already up in the air. Always seems unstable after
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannycheckers View Post
Thanks for the tips yall. Now that I had a day away from the car and I'm not as frustrated, I'll give it another go with some vise grips. Also after talking with my buddy, he said to jack up the lower control arm to compress the spring slightly before trying to loosen the nut.
that is not a bad idea just be careful. I have done this a lot when torquing down suspension bushings where the car needs to be at normal ride height to do. I just use a jack under the ball joint to do this.

Keep in mind you generally will slightly bend your heat shield when doing this and if you don't bend it back you will get a terrible scrape noise upon your first test drive that will scare the crap out of you.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:05 PM   #8
mannycheckers
 
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The deed is done. I finally got the front struts installed! I ended up picking up a Bauer 1/2 inch impact wrench from Harbor Freight because I already have the batteries, and it worked like a charm! I appreciate all of the advice from you guys, and couldn't have done it without your help. The car handles beautifully--stiffer but not bone rattling. These are excellent. Attached are the pics of the spoiler, the split bolt on the strut, and the car as it sits now.

Next up, I'm going to get new wheels and tires (thinking some Enkei RPF1s with 205/50R15 Continental Extreme Contacts). Also on my ever expanding to do list is power mirrors, foglights, DC exhaust header, Tanabe Medallion exhaust, TRD intake filter, vinyl wrap roof, sound deadening, auto dim rearview mirror, and a new head unit with backup camera. I'll try to keep you guys updated as I progress.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:35 PM   #9
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Every time I had to remove the front suspension on a Yaris (a few times now), I've always removed the front cowl, and just used an hex wrench and a box wrench with a pipe over it to undue that top nut.

Nice plans for the car, btw. I would probably look at some other wheels since it seems like RPF1s are on everything. I know I considered them for my FR-S when I was looking to get wheels for it. haha. They're hard to beat for an affordable, light-weight wheel that's also durable.
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