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[HOW TO] remove struts, AGX mr2, rear strut conversion

Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:29 am


Removal is fairly simple. Follow the 93 celica BGB. A few tips though.

1) DO NOT remove the ABS sensor at all. It is not necessary and it is really easy to damage if you do not to mention very expensive.
2) You do not have to drain the brakes to remove the line from the strut housings. The other option is to cut a small slot in the bracket so it can easily be removed both now and in the future.
3) PB blaster everything and degrease it later before reassembly.

The area

The overall order of business is

1) Untighten wheel nuts
2) Put car on jackstands
3) Remove wheels
4) PB blaster everything
5) Remove brake line clip with vice grips etc
6) Cut a slot to get the brake line out. I used a hack saw blade for one of the 4 cuts. It took ages but the other 3 I could get the whole hack saw in there which made it heaps easier.
7) Remove brake line and undo 10mm nut holding the ABS bracket on to the same part of the strut.
8 ) Before removing strut assembly make sure you undo the nut on top of the insert ie under bonnet a small amount. If it is stuck it is very hard to remove later on. Just a small crank with a breaker bar now will make it much easier.
9) Undo the 22mm nuts to the hub but leave the bolts in.
10) Put a towel or similar on the driveshaft and boot to ensure it is not damaged and remove the bolts.
11) Undo the 3x 14mm bolts holding the mount to the car under the bonnet.
12) Remove the strut with great difficulty, preferably wearing gloves. You can manipulate the hub to make it easier to remove. I have taken it out both towards the front and the rear of the car. Make sure the brake/ABS lines are on the correct side of the strut before starting.

The slot you can make instead of draining brake fluid

Dismantling the strut is very easy. Just put on a couple of spring compressors, compress the spring until you can rotate it on its perches, remove the 19mm nut on top and take everything off. Then carefully uncompress the springs.
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Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:30 am


You will need MR2 part number 765015. You can use this for all four corners of the car ie front and back. They are front inserts for the MR2. The back part number for the MR2 is 765016- DO NOT get these. They come with a new nut for the top and a new gland nut (the huge 2" one)

Unfortunately the inserts are not a straight fit and require removing the bottom mounts to fit in properly. This will instantly viod the warrantee! Here is what they will look like. I used a hack saw which took about 20 minutes for each one. I recommend power tools, but DO NOT heat them up too much.... because it says not to....

Here is a pic with the spring compressors I used and the piece I cut off each insert. The piece removed is 7mm thick. Factor in the width of the blade used for cutting.

The easiest way to remove this 2" nut is to clamp it in a bench vice and use a long rod through the 2 mounting holes (where the 22mm nuts and bolts hold the strut to the hub) They are done up very very tight. PB blaster them. Do them up in the same way. You can also use a monkey wrench but it tends to chew them up and make a mess.

Here are most of the parts except for the top mounts and (I hope) the correct way to have used spring comressors. The springs are "Jamex" which is apparently popular in europe and very cheap. You can see I used the stock bump stop which is sitting at the top of the insert shaft.

The finished product. I sanded the surface rust and gave it a crappy paint job which actually turned out alright. The overall combination installed is quite firm and much better than stock. I have yet to drive on them, but once I finish the back I will post a full review. I filled each housing with normal clean synthetic motor oil until just below where the inserts came up to. This supposedly helps heat transfer and hopefully will prevent any rust where the paint has chipped from the inserts.
Last edited by tw2 on Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:05 am, edited 4 times in total.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:30 am


The rears are just as easy to remove. PB blaster everything as usual. The large bolts are 19mm instead of 22 in the front. The only warning I can give is be VERY careful with the sway bar attachment bolts. They are very easy to strip or mess up. It is common to undo them slightly and make no progress past there. Soak them for at least 24 hours spraying more PB blaster or similar on them frequently before even touching them.

Get a stainless steel brush and degreaser and totally clean the threads before starting. Make sure you get as much rust off as possible. Now get a breaker bar and crank them until they are somewhat loose. Now get an allen key (hex key) (5mm). I would recommend using a 1/2 inch drive allen key instead of a crappy black bent one but that is all I had so you can use it but it is easier to screw it up.

Stick a 14mm spanner over the nut and put the allen key in. You can get the allen key to rest against the bottom of the strut so you don't need to hold it yourself. Back off the minute you see the allen key bending and destroying the stud. You can hold the stud with vice grips if you mess it up but they will need replacing.

One side just undid with no effort after all this but the other side was terrible. I warped the 5mm hex hole a little but it came undone. Run a M10x1.25 tap through the nut and a die over the stud before replacement. When doing it back up you need to do the same thing with the allen key and really crank the nut otherwise your torque wrench will just spin the whole lot.

Rears after replacement.

Cut a slot for the brake lines like with the fronts if you do not want to have to drain the brake every time you remove the struts.
Last edited by tw2 on Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:21 am, edited 5 times in total.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:30 am


Like the fronts use AGX part number 765015 NOT the mr2 rears which are 765016. Here is a pic of all the reusable stuff you will recover.

And here is a hilarious picture of stuff which you may want to/should anyway replace. The boots are looking pretty solid and yes that orange/red thing is the remains of a bump stop. One had totally disappeared. The other is a 5mm remnant which crumbles when you touch it.

Here is an example of a threaded tube to weld on. This is not mine. Thanks to SBCelicaGT who posted this picture a while ago. Make the tube at least 2" long to ensure you have enough material to cut it to size.

Here are the dimensions.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/ ... apter1.jpg

This is the shit you will find inside the front and rear housings. Mine did not resist compression at all and would not extend afterwards. There is way more oil than you think inside them.

Here is my struts after welding on the new threaded portion. Sorry i do not have pictures of the whole process. Make sure you cut the housings as close to the top as possible as the housing needs to be extended to accomodate the slightly longer agx insert.

It is a good idea to chop the end of the insert off like with the fronts. The insert is slightly longer than the stock one so especially if you are lowering at the same time, this will help keep everything aligned as best as possible.

The 2" gland nut which comes with the agx inserts is the same thread and pitch as the stock one. You can also weld the ends of a spare set of front housings on instead of custom making it.

New bump stops and boots. Ever so slightly better than the stuff I pulled off. ~NZ$60 for both stops and boots. ~US$40 Well worth it. The boot attaches to the bump stop unlike the toyota one which attaches to the mount. The only part of the shaft which needs protecting is the bit below the bump stop anyway so it is completely fine.

New Jamex vs old stock springs.

Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:53 am


I have not driven too much. The AGX inserts are awsome. They are very comfortable on setting 2 front and rear. I tried 3 front and rear on the way home. It made a big difference. It would probably be uncomfortable on a long journey but was heaps of fun around town.

The Jamex springs are about the same height front and rear which I was worried about. They are much much more progressive than the stock ones. The spring rate is about the same for the stock spring as it is for the first part of the jamex spring. But the spring rate goes up heaps once they are compressed. I am very happy with them despite being slightly worried after only doing the fronts.

I have only once, after going over a 6" speed bump too fast to see what happened had a front wheel lightly hit the plastic of the wheel well. So I take that to mean I should have absolutely no problem in daily driving on average roads.

Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:55 am

Could everyone who has done this conversion please post their settings front and rear. Thanks.

Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:44 am

nice work... 8)

i have intrax/agx combo on my red 165... i have the agxs set at 4 (full stiff)... its def not comfortable for daily at all... i found setting 1 or 2 was pretty good as far as comfort goes, but i dont drive the car very much and i mainly leave it on 4 for autox...

Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:57 pm

im sure Koni now sell rear inserts that have a locating nut in base so all you do is cut top off strut and drill hole in base to hold insert.

Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:08 pm

mine are set at 2 for street driving.

Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:14 pm

MrDB wrote:im sure Koni now sell rear inserts that have a locating nut in base so all you do is cut top off strut and drill hole in base to hold insert.

They do, however they are a lot more expensive. In my opinion agx are the best bang for buck insert out there which is why many people have and will keep doing this.

For anyone with a st165 I assume all the same principles apply, just be careful when cutting the appropriate lengths as the 185 and 165 housings are different lengths right? I think the 165 is slightly longer.

You can always use spacer washers under the gland nut if you get the lengths slightly wrong.

Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:58 pm

If you can weld yourself and are confident then yes this is the way to go if not i would recommend the bolt in the bottom type much easier and if you can use a drill and a grinder/saw its easy.

Nice write up though well done. We all get involved in doing the repairs / mods and never take pictures as we go along, so well done..

Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:57 pm

I wouldn't worry about the welding. I can't weld, I paid a fabricator I know to do it. Didn't cost much at all and he did an awsome job. You just need to be able to remove and dismantle/reassemble your suspension. I had never done it before so anyone should be able to given the right tools.

Having said that I would have definitely done the cut and drill method if I could afford the koni's.

Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:57 pm

Great write up. I had suggested 765015 to ST185 customers looking for options for years.

Additionally, if you are afraid to cut the actual strut (loses warranty), you could add the extra inch to the front strut housing. However, it has not been confirmed yet on what effect this would have on alignment procedures.

Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:13 am

That could work. it is about 1/4" but I think the cost of doing so, unless you can do it yourself, would be more than the cost of 1 insert if you did void the warrantee and something happened to go wrong.

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:42 pm

I've got a question, when you "adapt" your rear strut for the AGX one, where do you cut exactly on the OEM strut ? Someone have a picture ? Thanks
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