View Full Version : Random observations from my suspension rebuild/ rear disk swap

08-14-2015, 02:46 AM
Just got done doing a not inconsiderable amount of work to the 'ol celicas suspension and brakes, and figured I'd relay some points of advice regarding some details that others might (hopefully) find helpful someday. These points are too small to warrant individual threads, and Iím too lazy to track down related threads, so thisíll have to do. In order of most helpful (maybe)

All this is regarding my 1990 GT

For a rear disk conversion to 90 GTS brakes, and most likely the 92-93 brakes as well, you do NOT need the knuckle (thing the gigantic bolt goes through). The backing plate that also serves to hold the caliper bracket on has an identical bolt pattern to the drum variant, and does come off with a bit of Ďloveí. Could help keep shipping costs down. You also can use the drum hubs as well for the same reason.

Donít forget to adjust your ebrake, and do so a bit on the tighter side. I adjusted mine to the point where the wheel spun pretty freely without it engaged but wouldnít spin at all with hand torque with it engaged. That isnít nearly enough, car rolls on inclines w/ ebrake now :(

Also, and this really goes for just about anything like this, make sure you get ALL the hardware from the junkyard/ seller. Banjo bolts can be surprisingly hard to track down! I ended up going to Toyota to get a perfect match for mine. Similarly, if you canít find copper washers the right size anywhere, ask at the local parts store about their back-stock as they seem to have a bunch back there for their rebuilds.

I canít really recommend Whiteline bushings for the front control arms. Theyíre OK, but watch this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z6OEohnPKw) video for a decent explanation on what separates good and bad bushings, and the whitelines are point for point in the Ďbadí category. I still used the ones I bought for the front control arms, both positions, but in order to prevent sticking on the poly, I shimmed the inner tubes with key rings. Yes, key rings. Very ghetto but they seem to be working out ok so far. Tube dimensions are 25mm outer diameter, 20mm inner, so if you plan on using whiteline bushings, be prepared to buy either washers, a tube that size and cut, key rings, or spend a SHIT LOAD of time filling the inside of the ďHĒ (Iíll explain more if requested).

FWIW, car does handle very nicely now, but so much changed at one go I canít speak to the bushings alone.

If you have an ST rear sway bar with the supplied poly bushings, check them. Mine were on there for about 9 or so years, and when pulling apart my suspension I noticed light shining between the bushing and the bar. Pulled Ďem off and they legitimately look like swiss cheese with large sections just gone.

On a related (but useless) note, 1990 RX7 front sway bar brackets and bushings fit the 1990 celica ST rear sway bar just fine.

For a 6th gen rear lateral link swap, the hardened 14mm bolt torque specs per online searches are ~130ftlbs. Donít do that. I didnít read the writeup enough, just use the thread recommended 83ftlbs. 130ftlbs is enough to bend the chassis and crush against the arm. Ask me how I know :hehe:

Also, the 6th gen arms do have an orientation not listed in the writeup. Shorter side out, outer side more frontward. You canít hardly miss the second point, though, as they canít be installed backwards to that.

Iíd also recommend getting a washer larger than the area the camber bolt resided in and grinding down to match. This gives you more room to spread the load out, think || versus |C , and doesnít take long if you have the right tools.

The best way I found to remove the front sway bar endlinks was to use the 14mm and spin the nut to start with so you know youíre only fighting the inner bolt thingy. Then use a 5mm allen wrench (not any imperial size, not 4.5mm, 5mm only) and the 14mm wrench to remove the nut. Doing this I didnít strip out any of the allen wrench points, despite being never removed, 180k mile parts.

As far as good parts for suspension rebuilds goes, the only ones that stand out worth saying anything about areÖ

Good - Monroe strut boots - cheaper side of things and the only aftermarkets I found at the price that are rubber, not plastic.

Good - KYB GR2/ Excel G Ė They reeked of quality straight out of the box, and they are a HELLUVA lot better than stock blown shocks :D Really cheap at rockauto too, <$150 for all four before shipping.

Bad - Mevotech lower control arm ball joints Ė Came locked in place. Mevotech was the one brand I bought that I was kinda gambling on and ended up having to return, just FYI.

Sorry for the more Ďstream of consciousnessí post here, but hopefully the information proves useful to some. Iíll update here if I remember anything else from my recent rebuild.

08-16-2015, 07:18 PM
Holy hell, the lurker made a post!

Glad that control arm worked out for ya, mate.

08-21-2015, 12:48 AM
Was hoping you has some insight on the T3 control arms. Stainless steel bushings vs rubber? Oh well.

08-21-2015, 03:27 AM
Was hoping you has some insight on the T3 control arms. Stainless steel bushings vs rubber? Oh well.

Oh wow, I had no idea that existed.

Now Chaos wants it.

08-21-2015, 09:30 PM
Was hoping you has some insight on the T3 control arms. Stainless steel bushings vs rubber? Oh well.

Sorry to disappoint :hehe:

I just looked 'em up. I would hazard a guess that if you're tracking your car, sure, spend the money on them, more adjustability can't be a bad thing. If they're going on a DD, again I'd say sure if you want the bling factor, but they're not going to be that useful for you. The forward stock lateral link already has a heim joint though, and is the reason I only went polyurethane in the front.