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Old 01-07-2023, 01:47 PM   #1
NaughtyLuvJungle
 
Drives: 2012 Yaris SE
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4
Front strut installation

Hi all, general question about installation of the front struts in my 2012 hatchback SE (130k miles). Last year the passenger side strut mount got flagged during annual state safety inspection. I decided it was probably best to just do both struts while I had everything apart anyway, so I put in loaded struts from AutoZone.

After putting everything back together & passing state inspection, there was a rattling noise from the passenger side that sounded like it was coming from the strut mount area. So I took everything apart again, inspected, put back together, no change. Thought maybe the new strut was faulty -- took everything apart again, warrantied out the new strut as defective for another new one at AutoZone, put everything back together -- noise still there. Replaced the sway bar link -- noise still there.

Took into reputable local shop, they checked everything (ball joint, tie rod, etc), can't find anything. I also browsed these forums and read about the control arm bolt issues.. i don't think it's that. I give up and drive it for a year.

Now last month, the other side on the front starts making a very similar rattle noise from the strut mount area. I take it to a different local shop and they "tighten up" the bonnet nut on top of the tophat-looking circular disc above the fender on both struts. (Not sure what the proper name is for that part -- the disc that floats advice the fender wall when the car's not on jacks). The passenger side noise goes away! But not the drivers side noise... It's driving me nuts

My question is, I am wondering if anyone can give pointers on how to properly install/ adjust the struts mounts. When I first installed these new struts I counted threads on the old OEM ones I'd taken out, and adjusted the bearing nut on the new strut's threaded rod. (To make sure everything was set exactly the same on new vs old struts). Then installed the strut and tightened the bonnet nut at the very top, to jam the circular tophat disc thing against the bearing nut.

But maybe instead i should have set the car down first, and loaded the springs, then tightened the bearing nut even more from above the fender? (Before installing the tophat disc thing?) Opinions would be greatly appreciated, I'd really like to not have rattling suspension. Thanks in advance
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Old 01-07-2023, 06:06 PM   #2
sh0rtlife
 
Drives: 2007 5dr canadian import
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: pacific north WET
Posts: 644
try and tighten it up and see what happens...years ago id seen times where struts would go in get tightened and then after being driven would "seat" the rest of the way requiring more tightening...not yaris specificaly but back when i worked at a shop in the 90s it wasnt all that uncommon to have happen...so its something to consider
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Old 01-08-2023, 03:05 PM   #3
NaughtyLuvJungle
 
Drives: 2012 Yaris SE
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4
Thanks. I have noticed that the right "tophat" part of the strut mount sits maybe 1/4" higher off the top of the fender on the side that is still rattling, when compared to the other. (Even through the same number of threads are showing up above the bonnet nut on both). So maybe the sound i hear is the tophat disc hitting against the top of the fender?

Anyway just trying to think through how I will actually tighten the bearing nut with the strut installed. It's gonna be down below the fender wall so not accessible with an offset wrench. And I'll need to put an allen wrench into the top of the threaded rod while I'm tightening... So I guess a go-thru socket set, with a go-thru socket extension, will be my only option? (The allen wrench will go down through the middle of the go-thru). Anyone ever attempted this before?
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Old 01-08-2023, 08:05 PM   #4
sh0rtlife
 
Drives: 2007 5dr canadian import
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: pacific north WET
Posts: 644
dont bother counting the threads, as deviations in torque as well as manufacturing will likely have the count off and its impossible to know if said count and rotational angle is the same..

correct position and torque is more important

theres really only 2 viable options for tightening..hex head socket or deep offset box end///i mean if you have a gothru set by all means thats the "fancy" way of doing it..and not typicaly something someone has in their toolbox
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