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After unsuccessfully trying to
find info regarding the process of changing the rear struts on a
corolla, I decided that I would share what I learned while working
on this project.
There are versions of the
Corolla that do not have a folding rear seat. This poses a problem
with gaining access to the rear upper strut mounts. The
pictures and details apply to a '98 Corolla, but I'm sure there are
similarities through the different model years.
If you are fortunate enough to
having a folding rear seat, all you will need to do is lower the
seat to gain access. There may be trim pieces in the way.
Someone please email me and verify these details.
First, you need to remove the
rear seat bottom. The rear seat held in place by two press
clips. All you need to do is use your hand to pry up on the
front two edges of the seat. The cushion will pop out and this
is what you'll have:
You still need to remove the seat back. There
are three small bolts holding it in place:
With the seat back out, you can get to the upper
strut mount nuts.
With the easiest part out of the way, you can get
to work on removing the strut.
First, remove the sway bar. You will need a
metric allen wrench and a box wrench to remove the nut.
Next, you will need the remove the brake line.
This is where it can be tricky. You will have to separate the
brake lines in order to remove the strut. This means that a
simple spring or shock replacement will require you to bleed the
brakes. Be careful as you may run into a frozen hardware.
Finally, remove the lower strut bolts along with
the upper shock mount nuts and you can remove the assembly from the
At this point, swapping the shocks or the spring
is as simple as using a spring compressor and dismantling the strut.
Be sure to keep an eye on all of the hardware that you remove and
reinstall them in the proper order.
Once you install all of the hardware, make sure
to bleed the rear brakes. It may be a good idea to bleed the
entire system since you've already started.
The front struts are very simple to replace.
As long as you have a spring compressor and some decent tools and a
torch, you shouldn't have any problems. The torch will
probably be necessary to remove the lower bolts. A simple,
inexpensive torch from your local hardware store is more than
enough. Make sure you use an old license plate or a piece of
sheet metal to act as a heat shield as you heat the bolts.