View Full Version : Lets discuss Superstrut Suspension Upgrades (ST205)

04-21-2010, 10:07 PM
So I need to redo the suspension on my ST205. I've just past 100,000 km's, the figure 8's are shot, struts are worn, and I'm sure the (many) bushings are toast too.

I've done a bit of checking around at pricing. To start, I wanted to see what Toyota charges. Here are the *at cost* prices for the list. These do not include any markup, which you would have to pay to Toyota or whoever you bought them from.

These are in CAD$, but you get the picture. I guaruntee you won't find prices this cheap anywhere either from Toyota. Basically, it's *expensive*!

48510-29285 Off Side Front Strut/Shock Absorber (R/H) $563.39
48520-29125 Near Side Front Strut/Shock Absorber (L/H) $563.39
48530-29335 Offside Rear Strut/Shock Absorber (R/H) $212.84
48540-29065 Nearside Rear Strut/Shock Absorber (L/H) $212.84
48341-20250 Rear Strut/Shock Absorber Bump Stop (x2) $11.89
48331-20110 Front Strut/Shock Absorber Bump Stop (x2) $10.64
48066-20061 Arm-sub-assy, front suspension camber control RH (fig.8's) (x2) $86.39
90389-21003 Banana bar bush (x2) Bushing included in "Banana Bar" below $0.00
48606-29025 Front Lower Suspension Arm No. 1 L/H Camber Control Arm $398.13
48605-29025 Front Lower Suspension Arm No. 1 R/H Camber Control Arm $398.13
90389-21003 Metal Crush Tube For front suspension tie rods (x2) ?? $0.00
48069-29195 Arm sub-assy front suspension, lower No.2 LH: "Banana Bar" $237.88
48068-29195 Arm sub-assy front suspension, lower No.2 RH: "Banana Bar" $237.88
90389-21003 Banana bar bush (x2): $8.26 each


[Celica Gen6] 17.07 http://www.jap-spec-performance.co.uk/store/product_info.php?products_id=92

Do I dare add everything up? :eek4:

Basically, a tad over $3000. Unless you need things shipped to you. Then you best add a bit more. With the Toyota markup, expect another $1000.

So, while chatting with a friend and fellow ST205 owner, we had an idea!

Summed up in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT1LXhgXPWs

To be continued...

04-21-2010, 10:07 PM

One thing that caught my eye, is that is $1552.46 *just* for struts. Why. Why. Why.

KYB has replacements reportedly at +20% uprated damping: http://www.camskill.co.uk/products.php?plid=m42b0s3762p50171 (does not ship overseas)

So what are the options for strut replacements other than Toyota?

Option #2: Coilovers

BC Coilovers makes a set that have to be welded to our existing strut frame:

Cost: 625.00 / $965 CAD/USD

Plus the cost of welding, and shipping. There is a great thread on gt4dc on these coilovers: http://gt4dc.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2764&highlight=coilover


TEIN offers coilovers too. RHD Japan has them: http://www.rhdjapan.com/tein-super-street-coilover-st202-st205-24225

Cost was: $ 3,108.05 Sale: $ 2,952.65

Plus shipping, but are bolt on.

KSport has some too. I have not seen many, if any, reviews on these so I can't comment if they require welding or not.

HorsePowerFreaks has them: http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/partdetails/K_Sport/Suspension/Coilovers/Kontrol_Pro/11526

(94-99) Toyota Celica (ST205 4WD INCL. FRONT & REAR PILLOW BALL MOUNT Regular: $1,400.00 Sale: $1,110.90

KYB offers a "Super Special" strut replacement. These are harder to find, however rumored to cost up to $3000, possibly more new.

SST9002R (Front Right)
SST90002L (Front Left)
SST5123R (Rear Right)
SST5123L (Rear Left)


JSpeed has coilovers too: http://www.rhdjapan.com/j-speed-type-h-coilover-suspension-st202-st205-celica-super-strut-56463

$ 3,368.00


Option #3: Convert to Inserts

This is where I got interested. To date, I have not seen a single person attempt to install inserts in their super struts. I have to question why? The UK guys have had these for years. Has no one even tried? The best I can come up with, is that it never has occurred to anyone.

It seems to me that a great deal of the cost originates from the casting of the lower strut, which yes is not easy to build. And, I realize that there aren't any companies out there that make insert style struts for the ST205.


We have been doing insert conversions on the ST165 for years. For example, here: http://www.celicatech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6031

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/4/strut001.jpg http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/4/strut003.jpg http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/4/strut005.jpg

So...it has to be possible, maybe?

So I google'd, and found Richard Doig's old site, showing a pic of the ST205 front strut.


What's this? Already set up to accept inserts? Seriously? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a good sign. From what I can see, you would have to get inserts valved for the correct car weight (*cough* ST185 *cough*), and verify that they will fit in the upper strut mount. Shouldn't be that tough?

This is where I want to take this thread. I want to come up with new ideas to save us from being forced to bend over for suspension parts.

I'm going to log a few threads that I find that may help with this. It seems maybe there are a few experts on the gt4oc that may be able to help. datajon being one.

Banana arm bushing removal: http://www.gt4oc.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=81424
ST185 / ST205 strut comparison: http://www.gt4oc.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=81343&hilit=superstrut
--interesting to note that they can technically fit in, however ST205 are slightly shorter due to SS design. Wondering if having it pre-compressed would post an issue? To investigate...
SS modification for KYB insert by datajon (vague but some detail): http://www.gt4oc.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=77402&p=756703&hilit=st205+agx#p756703

Option #4: Convert to Macphersons

More info to come...

The next post will deal with the suspension arms and bushings.

04-21-2010, 10:07 PM
Suspension arms and bushings

OK, so it occurs to me that the suspension arms are very expensive also. Most replace the entire arm, but could one not just replace the bushing and save on the cost of the casting? Here are the costs of the various arms. (dealer cost $ shown)

48066-20061 Arm-sub-assy, front suspension camber control RH (fig.8's) (x2) $86.39
48606-29025 Front Lower Suspension Arm No. 1 L/H Camber Control Arm $398.13
48605-29025 Front Lower Suspension Arm No. 1 R/H Camber Control Arm $398.13
48069-29195 Arm sub-assy front suspension, lower No.2 LH: "Banana Bar" $237.88
48068-29195 Arm sub-assy front suspension, lower No.2 RH: "Banana Bar" $237.88

A whopping $1444.80! I am sure there is a better way.

04-21-2010, 10:07 PM
Here are some options as outlined in a Japanese magazine. I can't read it, but you can see some of the brands they have listed.

Lots of spring options, coilover options, but why no inserts?


04-21-2010, 10:19 PM

04-22-2010, 08:06 AM
If I remember correctly TTE didn't even want to deal with the super strut suspension and ended up converting their ST205s to standard McPhersons.

04-22-2010, 05:57 PM
True, but I believe that the SS design seems to shine on tarmac and not loose surfaces like most rally's. Also, they are extremely difficult to install and remove (compared to macphersons), not a good thing when they have to do multiple events in a day. For the average daily driving joe, I think it would be fine. But, an option. Will try searching out the UK forums to see how they've done this in the past.

I have a full spare set of ST185 struts/shocks to do comparisons, and have access to a set of ST205 stuff as well. I may also be able to peek at the KYB Super Specials if WALKER wants to let me see. :D

09-24-2010, 05:58 PM
When I was looking into options for Tara's car, I found a thread on 6gc about the BC coilovers. They are weld-in, so you need to cut off the tube of the strut housing, grind or machine the top nice and flat, then weld in the new tube with shock and spring seat etc. http://www.6gc.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=65082
The k-sport coilovers are installed the same way - here is a pic of them http://www.prolex-uk.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1377

It seemed like the most cost effective option to me, since you can change out the upper ball joint in the bottom part of the strut assembly for a new one.

As far as the figure 8 and lower arms go, the joints are integral to the arms, so it all needs to be changed out as a unit. However, the joints on the rear 'banana' arm are usually the last to go, so you could probably get away with not changing that arm out.

Also, you can drill out the back of any of the ball joints to accept a grease fitting - the reason the joints fail is because the grease will slowly leak out (even if the boot is 100% intact), leading to wear, noise and failure. By installing a grease fitting and regreasing them every 20K kms or so, you can greatly extend the life of the joint. This can also be done to an old joint that is just starting to get noisy, to keep it from wearing any further.

If you want to overhaul everything, get the BCs or Ksports (they are both avaliable in a range of spring rates), the figure 8 and both lower control arms along with a new upper ball joint. Install everything and put grease fittings in all the new ball joints.

For the rear, use the rear coilovers, and replace all the bushings with polygraphite (or polyurethane if you like squeaking). Doing the diff mount and putting in some poly engine mounts wouldn't be a bad idea at this point either.

09-24-2010, 06:32 PM
As far as coilovers go, I think I'd lean towards the BC units. However I'm still a bit undecided if that is really what I'd like. But at ~$1k it's relatively economical I suppose.

09-24-2010, 07:14 PM
SS 3 seconds faster on Tarmac, 8 seconds slower on gravel. Reliability was the main issue.

07-15-2015, 05:38 AM

I'm going to attempt to install gas filled McPherson shocks into suoerstrut housing. I'll have to shave off bottom nipple from McPherson cartridge and then heat up super strut housing and hammer a metal piping to open up dimples on housing.

07-17-2015, 12:05 AM
Which shock are you planning on using? If the unit you're looking at requires some modification, why not take measurements and find one that fits properly? No rule says it has to be for a Celica. I used Koni yellows designed for a Subaru on my ST165. :D

With that said I think retrofitting a cartridge / insert to the superstrut design is a good solution for people looking to replace their shocks but don't want to spend on coilovers. But you do have to be a bit careful, I went down that path on my 165 with inserts, GC coilover sleeves, adjustable top hats, etc., and could have easily bought a set of coilovers for the money. But I'm happy with my setup so that's all that really matters. :)

07-17-2015, 11:56 PM
kyb excel gr2(since the current bilstein twin tube i have went up in price about 100% since i bought them 5 years ago). i plan on getting a bc coilover(the one you weld) base model in the future. so just trying to get my car riding smooth again since its my daily. i looked on rockauto at all types of car manufactures from A- Z. i spent probably 3-4 hours looking at different generations of the same vehicle. companies that did offer mcpherson suspension for the chassis sometimes didn't have the cartridge replacement like most Japanese companies. the mcpherson Celica 6th gen was the closest to spec for the superstrut cartridge.

http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr197/BonzaiCelica/1999%20Celica%20GT/IMAG1365_zpsrdxbjce7.jpg (http://s483.photobucket.com/user/BonzaiCelica/media/1999%20Celica%20GT/IMAG1365_zpsrdxbjce7.jpg.html)

10-11-2015, 09:52 PM
Well removing the dimples on the superstrut housing is out of the question. The best way to tackle this is weld the top half of a 6th generation Celica shock onto super strut housing. Also according to this thread, removing the bottom mounting tab on cartridge is 7cm = .25 inches. While this still comes up should .25" I believe it should be sufficient. The reason I say this is because if you look at this picture on the thread I linked below on 7-14-15 you can see the super strut cartridge has a seated area inside the super strut housing. So the cartridge doesn't actually go all the way down in order to allow the oil to flow properly into cartridge. I'll measure inside depth of super strut housing in a few weeks


However I'm not going down this route. A shop quoted me $50 welding per shock plus new ball joints $90 plus two KYB cartridges $84= $275. But new Toyota shocks for ST202 model are $275 shipped from England and they do come with new ball joints.

06-07-2016, 05:18 PM
Fortune Auto makes a st205 setup. A hair more expensive than BC, but better shocks and come with the dyno sheet.

06-07-2016, 05:58 PM
A friend installed some of the Fortune Auto coilovers. Was very impressed with them. Install is the same as BC's, weld on the legs. BC's have been very good for me, I've put them through a very harsh life. And I still do just fine in autocross with them.