ST185 Rear Struts

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ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:24 am

The ST185 OEM rear struts are becoming hard to find. I have a slight weep on the rear driver strut. Per Toyota US, there are 2 passenger struts still available, but not driver rear struts. Questions:

Can a passenger rear strut be modified to become a driver side rear strut? I see that the only difference is the location of the sway bar link mounting tab on the strut - can this be cut off on the passenger strut and re-welded on the opposite side to make a driver rear strut?

Are the Celica ST, GT and/or GT-S rear struts dimensionally identical to the All-Trac rear struts? I think they may be, with the only difference being the valving for the fluid regarding resistance to motion. Has anyone put an ST184 set of rear struts onto an ST185? If so, what is the best aftermarket rear strut made? Monroe?

Just looking for a little help here. I see many use coil overs, but I prefer to stay with stock, and this All-Trac has few miles with good springs, so don't need everything.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby yyonline » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:38 am

ST/GT/GT-S all use the same rear struts. They are not the same size as the ST185 strut.

See this post: viewtopic.php?t=51665
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby Nitro_Alltrac » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:55 pm

All Trac struts are different due to the axle shafts. They're shorter.

You can modify the rears, using pieces of front strut housing, to make the rears able to take inserts.

I did this on mine to use Koni inserts.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:39 am

Is there a detailed, step-by-step instruction with pictures that is clear enough on what is needed and what needs to be done?
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby audiodjmp77 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:04 pm

I have seen rhdjapan.com doing kyb shocks for a 185

Sent from my phone. Sorry for any mistakes
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby fussellbug » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:07 pm

This is the post by Nitro_Alltrac from his strut conversion. It's not really step-by-step, but will provide a good overview of the process.
http://www.alltrac.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=28475&start=95
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby Nitro_Alltrac » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:47 pm

Thanks Fusselbug. You saved me some time rewriting it.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby Nitro_Alltrac » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:51 pm

Here's a little more concise explanation.


I got my Koni inserts from a member. Mine are the Koni race inserts. The part number on these are Koni 8610-1437RACE part number.

You should be able to cross reference regular Koni yellow inserts from that number. I used them because I got a great deal. I have standard Koni yellows on the front.

What you need to do is have a set of rear All Trac struts and a set of front struts. The stock rears don't allow for use of an insert. The fronts do. Measure down about 2.5-3 inches from the top of the strut body and use a pipe cutter to cut the this section from the strut body. Be careful as strut body has the oil in it and you don't want it going everywhere. Once the top is cut off, pull out the guts and carefully pour the oil out. Clean the inside of the strut body really well to make sure that you don't have a lot of oil residue inside the body for one of the following steps.

Next, take the donor front strut and remove the nut at the top. The front struts are setup to accept inserts and have a nut at the top. Once you have the nut off, remove the insert. This may take some effort as the insert may have rusted slightly against the strut body. Once you have the insert out, measure the same distance down on the front strut housing that you cut off on the rear housing. Mark the distance and use the pipe cutter again to cut this section off of the front house.

Next, clean the cuts up really well and make sure they are level. Once this is done and the joint between the two parts look good, weld the top piece from the front strut onto the body of the rear strut. Clean up the welds and paint the strut housing.

If everything went together correctly, you should now be able to insert the Koni insert into the modified housing and reinstall the top nut.

This is a slightly simplified explanation I know, but this gives you the general idea. It's not a real difficult process. If you can't weld yourself, you should be able to find a competent fab shop in your area show them what you want done. It shouldn't be a real expensive proposition.

How this helps some.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:26 pm

Update: My son found this post in this forum:

- viewtopic.php?t=51665

It talks about KYB rear struts available in the UK for the ST185. They are KYB 334-052 (rear right) and KYB 334-053 (rear left). Sure enough, these KYB strut numbers tie out to the ST185 Toyota rear strut part numbers. And they were available with the total delivered cost being a little under $250 (which is a little lower than getting the Toyota struts in the US if they were available). So my son ordered these, along with the US available KYB SB101 (Strut Boot w/Bumper Cushion) and KYB SM5087 (Strut Mount), two each. We'll save the old original ST185 rear struts, just incase he wants to try the Koni insert option later on his second ST185.

We'll get back on these struts after they are delivered and installed and let you know how the install goes. Won't be able to test these struts until late spring (after the car comes out of the body shop reconditioned with fresh paint and gets its new interior installed).

Will have to think about the front struts now. There is no evidence of leaks, but my son says this particular ST185 leans a bit more than the other he has that has only 80k miles on it, all original. Car height is spot on, so I'm thinking the springs are where they should be. Sway bars are intact and connected - not sure if worn front struts impact a car leaning through turns that much. Thoughts?
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby yyonline » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:36 pm

I linked to that post a few replies ago :-P I've had multiple sets of KYB brand mounts fall apart prematurely. I'd recommend getting Monroe or Toyota mounts. KYB struts are top notch, it's just the mounts that suck.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:15 pm

Yes, it was your link to that post that took us to the KYB struts from the UK - great alternative!

I put KYB rear mounts into a 91 ST (AT180) probably 5-8 years ago, they worked well in daily driving until this car was sold earlier this year. The mounts for the AT180 rear struts are the same part numbers needed for the ST185.

I put Monroe rear mounts into my 93 convertible (ST184), and one of the Monroe mounts was bad right out of the box.

Our exposures were different, but I sense neither KYB or Monroe make great mounts. Toyota doesn't have rear mounts available anymore, so we have to use what is available. Are there other aftermarket strut mounts available beyond KYB and Monroe to consider?
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby yyonline » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:06 pm

My KYB mounts were fine initially but basically disintegrated after about 20k miles. They ruined a set of tires when they went too. So far the Monroes have been okay on the 3 cars I have them installed are. Only about 30k on those so there's still time for them to fail, but so far so good.

What store in the U.K. Did you order the struts from? Were they easy to deal with? My st185 has new struts but I wouldn't mind having a spare set.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:56 pm

Regarding making the rear struts capable of insert replacements, it sound like there is oil in the tube, outside of the insert, on these strut assembles. What is the purpose of that oil? Does it need to be replaced when one keeps the tube but replaces the insert? Assuming yes. That means oil needs to be added in addition to the new insert. What is the specification on that oil?
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby Nitro_Alltrac » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:59 pm

No. With the insert you can put a little in the housing to make installation easier. The inserts are self contained & require no oil in the housing to work correctly.
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Re: ST185 Rear Struts

Postby 93celicaconv » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:37 pm

OK, so the original strut assemblies don't include inserts then, and to convert, you need to remove the original strut hydraulic guts from the strut tube, and in place, put in a strut insert? Do I have this right?

If so, is the gland nut holding the insert body so it doesn't move inside the strut tube? One doesn't want the gland nut tightened as far as it will go and the insert still moves a little in the strut tube, right? If so, I think I understand why dimensional accuracy is important (so the gland nut secures the insert before it bottoms out itself).
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