Last post on Oct 12, 2013 at 11:13 PM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Suspension, Sedan
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#113 of 203 Re: 96 Avalon Suspension--rear struts and mounts [dreameral]
Jul 01, 2007 (6:11 pm)
The rear seat consists of the seat itself cushion and the rear back rest.
The seat portion is snapped-in place. Just pull up on one end near the front portion of it and it will come loose--do this again for the other side. There is a stronger snap-in for the mid-portion--again use steady force in the front rear and this will come out. Don't worry--you will not break anything (my same thoughts initially). The fasteners to the seat are very sturdy and I have taken it out several times now without difficulty.
After you get this out, the rear portion is bolted down by 4 bolts that secure a U-shaped metal hinge to the rear chassis. There are two in the lower center which are the larger ones and two on the lower aspect at the very ends. A hex wrench is useful for the 2 center ones and either that or just the right type of wrench is needed for the outer two.
Now be on the lookout that the seatbelt fasteners are attached to the two most-centered bolts and the seat-belts from the rear deck also cross over the rear cushion backrest but they are easily moved aside.
The rear back is held securely by three rear hinges that fit in a socket-like assembly but doesn't snap in place.
I found it best as it is awkard to remove it--I stand where the rear seat that was just removed--position myself centrally, squat down (thanks to the amble rear passenger seat and leg room) and put both hands underneath it and lift upards. Best to have two people do it from each side of course but if you don't have a helper, one can do it just barely!!
You can either slide it forward to get to the rear strut mount upper assembly or if you want to remove it entirely, then move the seatbelts out of the way and tweak it out (bit cumbersome but after a few times it gets to be old hat.
The putting back the two cushions is essentially the reverse--just be sure that the three rear fasteners go up and over and into the 3 slots so it fits flush with the rear. Also, when putting the seat portion back in, you have to thread the three seatbelt fasteners--one is a double through the appropriate holes in the cushion.
You cannot break anything or do any harm. Many car parts such as carpet fasteners in the trunk or headlamps or door panels have these plastic snap-like material that after a car gets some age on it, they may become brittle and caution and easy-going is the key. But the snaps for the seat are heavy-duty--it is only the seat cushion itself that snaps from three points and yes the first time you have to give a little heave-ho. The rear cushion just fastens into a holder and then bolts in from the front area.
And by the way, my spray of Great Stuff so far has solved my problem of the upper strut mount assembly having too much play and annoying noises over rough pavement. My $5 can fix (only used probably 50 cents worth) has done a much better job than the $700 I spent replacing the strut mounts, struts and anti-sway bar bushings. It took me some repairs, going to several places, etc. but I essentially finally figured it out myself and have a better knowledge of it than most mechanics who offered their recommendations.
Now granted the first one had replaced the strut mount and that was essentially the problem the whole time. Initially it really made a metal-to-metal noise over pot-holes, manholes, etc. But I don't know why it didn't fix it 100%. Unless the Toyota strut mounts are somehow different that other manufacturers. My car has 170,000 miles on it and I am sure the springs are soft and the rear doesn't sit up as high as it did when new (since my Mom has the same exact car and year but with 30,000 miles on it and hers sits up higher)--but all the mechanics noted that this shouldn't have anything to do with it--and normally springs do pretty good and rarely need replacing so unless it is broken or something, they will not recommend replacing it. Perhaps ideally I need to replace those too or perhaps get a new Avalon!!!
But it is running good and there is no noise now so things are good for now. I bought it new in 1996 with the hopes of getting 200,000 miles on it or more and so far still trying to achieve that goal.
#114 of 203 Re: 96 Avalon Suspension--rear struts and mounts [toyota12]
Jul 03, 2007 (10:18 am)
Great post. Don't sell it; the new ones are not the same.
#115 of 203 Re: 96 Avalon Suspension--rear struts and mounts [abfisch]
Jul 03, 2007 (5:53 pm)
"Don't sell it; the new ones are not the same"
That's right they are roomier, more powerful and get better fuel economy.
I loved my '03 XL but the '06 XLS I own now beats it in every way with the exception of the front seats. The '03s were a bit larger.
#116 of 203 Re: 96 Avalon Suspension--rear struts and mounts [tjc78]
Jul 18, 2007 (11:06 am)
You know I feel just the opposite. I guess that is why they changed it. I have an 02 with a bench seat. Like seating in a living room. I sat in the new one. Not only did the console hit my knees when my foot was on the gas with the seat all the way back, but I hit my head getting out of the car on the roof line. And then the trunk is much smaller, and then although the stats are greater, it cannot tow over 1000lbs. Soooo. I walked away from it, going, numbers can be deceiving, but this new one does not do it for me. And for the 30K, I found something that was alot more fun, from a fun standpoint. If that is what you mean by "beat it". The new one is a very nice, comfortable cruising car, people on this thread still complain time to time about the suspension. But suspension issues usually arise with the age and mileage of the vehicles, not with someone that is I guess lucky enough to change vehicles every three years.
#117 of 203 Recling rear seat trade-off
Jul 18, 2007 (8:56 pm)
"And then the trunk is much smaller"
I assume that was the trade off for the reclining rear seats - which I would never use. Sounds like a sales gimmick to me. They may work fine, but when I own a car, I drive it or ride in the front. If someone wants to ride along, they can damn well sit upright and suffer. There, I said it and I'm glad. Seriously, does anyone use this feature? How? For Grannie?
#118 of 203 Re: Recling rear seat trade-off 
Jul 19, 2007 (5:38 am)
So far, I've only taken a few longer trips with more than two people in the car. My daughter and much younger sister-in-law praised the comfort and room of the rear seat. So, if all your trips are by yourself, the back seat is useless -- use it the same way you do your trunk and carry golf clubs, suitcases, bags, etc. back there. But if you have friends and relatives that accompany you anywhere, they'll praise your car for its comfort and convenience.
#119 of 203 Re: Recling rear seat trade-off 
Jul 19, 2007 (6:02 am)
Never use the recline feature. The back seat is almost excessive.. Agree, the car needs a larger trunk as this one is smaller than the prior generation trunk.
The bottom line here is that no car has it all. Not even the "next generation" of the same car has it better than it was in every area. Another ex: The '07 Limited seats are truly inferior to the '03 XL seats in comfort. Yes, the 07's are heated and cooled, but the '03 was more comfortable as a daily driver.
Overall, if a better family sedan (for us) were out there, we would have it. For now, Avalon wins. Been that way since '98. This is our third one. Enjoy the Avy.....
#120 of 203 Re: Recling rear seat trade-off [fin]
Jul 20, 2007 (6:31 am)
Well said fin. It was a good car from the get go and continues to be. Unfortunately, they seem to want to push the electronic gizmos that some enjoy, and take away practical features that others enjoy.
My avalon did not come with a mist feature for the wipers. I know they make it and probably does now. The double unlock feature on the German cars, that roll down all the windows at the same time while the car is in the sun is priceless to me. I was wondering if the new Avalon has this feature.
#121 of 203 Re: Recling rear seat trade-off [abfisch]
Jul 21, 2007 (4:00 pm)
To abfisch: After reading the owner's manual and even trying the remote key fob in several random patterns, just for fun, it's apparent that there is no function to put down the windows or open the moonroof by remote on the '07 Avalons.
This feature is available on some Lexus models. And if you read the Edmunds.com Lexus forums you see reports of "openings" happening by themselves for no obvious reason. That's not good. Never heard anyone say this in person, but... maybe. It's wireless signal, so, as you say, more electric gizmos....
Enjoy your Avy... great cars..
#122 of 203 Re: Recling rear seat trade-off [fin]
Jul 22, 2007 (6:53 am)
The Avalon is close enough to a Lexus that I think they leave features out on purpose just to give Lexus that little "leg up". For example that window down function when unlocking the doors can't be more than just a relay or two and cost a few bucks. However, it is just a little extra touch the people who buy Lexus would expect. Same thing goes for the power tilt/telescopic wheel on the ES. They do the same thing with the Avalon and Camry. For example I love that both my Driver and Pass windows are Auto Up/Down on my Av and that my (seldom used) heated seats are variable temp. On the Camry the seats are one setting and the passenger window is manual.