Last post on Mar 03, 2010 at 4:35 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Avalon, Tires, Wheels, Sedan
#121 of 225 Re: Shimmying [steve326a]
Nov 30, 2006 (1:10 pm)
Thanks for the compliment. I am old, but have been improving cars for decades now. I take it, the KYB struts are the GR2's. You will notice an IMMEDIATE difference. IMMEDIATE. I have no experience with the KYB mounts but for a 1997 Avalon, replacing the mounts is an excellent idea if you are going to replace the struts at the same time. There is little shop time diffence and the OEM mounts usually are worn. I would use the KYB ones if I were in your situation.
As far as the bushings are concerned, if I had to do it over, which I have not intention, I would replace the sway bar bushing ONLY. My Avalon is not as old as yours, so it is difficult for me to say exactly, and everyones "feeling and tastes" in ride quality are a little different also. But changing the CAB(Control Arm Bushing) in the front and TAB(trailing or suspension arm bushing in the rear) made the car rock solid BUT started to transmit vibration into the cabin, that would be unacceptable to a larger percentage of Avalon owners, who are mostly older in age. Not in spirit. So....I guess none of this is bad, but the sway bar bushings made a Huge difference in keeping the car suspension geometry neutral which is the most significant thing you can do for neutral handling and emergency handling(like missing deer). These did not seem to transmit all that much vibration into the cabin. Note, that every once in a while(yearly), PU sway bar bushing may need relubrication. Not a big deal for me, but some may find this a great big hassle.
My 02 Avalon, handles maybe one grade below, my BMW 325ci with the sports suspension,below 50 MPH. After that speed, it is impossible for the Avalon to feel like the BMW. It plows much more secondary to its front driving and unequal weight distribution. It still gives a very comfortable ride and floats ever so slightly although the TokicoHP struts do have about 60K on them now, so they all wear after awhile. At 80 MPH, the car is rock solid down the freeway. It does transmit, as I said, vibration, that say over RR tracks, makes some of the CD's I have rattle together telling me I am feelin just a little too much, for me. For a younger person, they may not mind, but I am almost 50 now.
I use premium, but standard tire sizes 205/65 R 15 and inflate my tires to the standard Toyota recommneds for that size which is 31 PSI.
I hope this helps. I am running winter tires now as snow season is here.
Recently, the darn windshield wiper pump went. I have NEVER had a car in all my decades that a wiper pump went. Toyota wanted $60 for the pump, and an 1 hours worth of time. No way. Got it from NAPA for $25.33 and have it up on jack stands in the garage now. It is easy to access from the underbelly and taking the R side fascia/splash panel off. Taking off the R front tire helps as well.
Hope this helps all. Enjoy the car for what it is, which is a comfortable, sound, electrically superior car, not without its faults(Brakes/Suspension).
#122 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [fin]
Nov 30, 2006 (4:42 pm)
Abfish, I just had a reputable import mechanic drive my Avalon tonight. He says there is nothing wrong with my suspension. I also went to the Toyota dealer and they said to purchase some vacuum hose and silicone spray, then stuff it into the front strut mounts and he said the pounding would go away. It did not go away. I am at a loss with the way this Avalon rides. Very disappointed. Like I said before, it does ride nice if on a smooth road, but its horrible on a bumpy or heavily lined road. Its a loud thud or pounding noise. The mechanic that looked at it tonight says he would take it back to the tire place and tell them you are unhappy with the ride. I do have a 30 day satisfaction gaurantee. Any other ideas? Alan
#123 of 225 Re: Shimmying [abfisch]
Nov 30, 2006 (8:40 pm)
Thank you sir. I will definitely get the KYB's. Yes I got the GR2s. And as for getting old, I'm 48 1/2 so I'm not too far behind you. I plan to invest 1000-1500 in total repairs to make this car right. I just replaced the EGR position sensor. It had P1410 when I bought it and flunked emissions when I went for inspection After I replaced it, I cleared the code, ran it 3 drive cycles, code never returned. Went for reinspection Monday and passed. Will have timing belt & water pump done next week. It was replaced by prev owner at 90k and it now has 181k. Some say it's a non int eng some say it is. Since I don't know for sure, I'm not taking any chances. My retroactive benefits was used to buy this car so I can't afford to replace it so this car has to go the full distance. I'm gonna aim for 300k plus. Even in the condition it's in now, it still rides 5x better than my old car. This is by far the best car I've ever owned in my life so yes, I will definately enjoy my avalon.
#124 of 225 Re: Shimmying [steve326a]
Dec 01, 2006 (7:24 am)
Good. It is a NON interference engine, but 90K is a good time to replace the timing belt, other belt, thermostat and water pump, all at the same time. Do the other suspension items, one at a time, until you achieve what you want. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. I like those older Avalons, they were a very good buy. The new ones do not interest me at all.
#125 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [alanrmui]
Dec 01, 2006 (7:28 am)
Give me more. I need age of the Avalon, mileage and what has been done. I don't care what the dealership says. They are not really interested in you, this forum, or repairs, just routine maintenance. The ride quality is a function of tire, pressure, struts, springs, bushings in the control arms and shock mounts. That is it. Just that simple. Just because stuts/shocks are not leaking, does not mean they are functioning correctly or well matched to the vehicle in the first place.(Do you know that the same shock is used in the Camry, Avalon, and Solara. Same part #).
Give me more info.
#126 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [abfisch]
Dec 19, 2006 (5:32 pm)
As far as I know the struts are original. The tires are Bridgestone Turanza LS-H, brand new. Its a 2000, 65K on it. Bought it with 63K. The tires on it before rode the same way as the new ones, so really no change in ride with new tires. It wasnt a dealer who said he thought the suspension was ok, it was a old neighbor of mine, who owns a import car repair business, he is very knowledgable with Toyota, Mazda, and Honda. I do have a bad tie rod end on the passenger side front, just found out today, or so firestone says. Any other information you need? Brakes are brand new, rotors, etc. Alan
#127 of 225 Re: Goodyear Assurance Comfortred (Alan S and Abfisch) [abfisch]
Dec 28, 2006 (8:30 am)
thanks for the help with tires. Comfortreds are rated 92T (118mph) vs 92H(130mph) for Tripletreds. Would anyone recommend putting 92T's on an 99 Avalon? I'd like the 10 rating for comfort and noise. I'm 53 yrs old and never drive over 78mph highway.
Sam's current prices in St Louis
Comfortred $92 92T
Michelin Energy MSV4 S8 $116
Michelin Pilot XGT $85
Bridgestone Turanza LS-H $122
#128 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [alanrmui]
Dec 29, 2006 (5:53 am)
Tie rods have to do with the steering. Control arms have to do with the suspension, as far as my knowledge will take me. You have a good car, with good tires.
While I am not trying to despect you neighbor of yours, who owns an import repair business, I have been working on my own cars since a teen. I have owned an 02 Avalon XL since its inception. The car is a very good car, but it has its weak points, like any car. So does my BMW. The freakin interior trim came off on the driver's door interior. Not inspiring for a BMW. I fixed it so it will never come off unless it burns.
Look at CR(Consumer Reports). You will see a pattern. Suspension and brakes are the weak points. HVAC system is another weak point, especially on the XLS, exactly why I did not get it. The control arms and traiing suspension arms have rubber bushing in them. Rubber does not hold up good over time. It decays with time not matter what climate. Look at for instance your windshield wiper blades. Same concept.
OEM shocks at 65K are more than 50% decreased in their ability to dampen. They may not be leaking, but they are not the same, no matter what your neighbhor says. It is a hydraulic device period.
Hope this helps.
#129 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [abfisch]
Dec 30, 2006 (7:35 pm)
Thanks for the advice. I just had it in again for another wheel balance, and a mechanic found that a tie rod was bad on the passenger side. I had it replaced, the extended warranty paid for it. I got under the car and looked at the suspension, which i know nothing about. I talked to them about the control arm bushings, and most of them said they thought it would rediculous replacing them in a car this new. You know its funny, the car really only hits the bumps hard on certain roads. It really rides nice on smooth roads. Im about to give up on it and live with it. They told me the labor for the control arm bushings would be around 400, stating that they charge 1.5 hours per corner? Does that sound right. I think i remember you stating that is was easy to change? I know I cant do it. Thanks again. Where do you live, i'll drive it to you and have you do it. LOL. Happy New Year. Alan
#130 of 225 Re: 2000 Avalon Front End Problem [alanrmui]
Jan 03, 2007 (8:38 am)
Do not give up on a relatively good car. Not great, but good, acutally very good. Replacing rubber bushings that are bad and rotted, are a reasonable idea, ridiculous means they are either in decent shape or really don't want the work. Either way, the struts/shocks are usually the way to go first as they are more of a wearable item. The bushings are usually bad at about 100K and 6 years but it depends on the region of the country you live.
I had the bushings changed by a qualified mechanic and had the shocks changed some time ago by a spring and alignment shop. Theses are the guys that do this type of work best. I did the sway bar bushings myself. They are easy and you don't need a press or lift.
The labor charge seems fair. The parts are cheap, it is the labor that is expensive. Always. But the ride is where your "chief complaint" is, and I would start with the struts, since I beleive you said you got very good tires.
My car, 02 Avalon XL at 87K now, even with premium shocks and all the PU bushings they make, wallows just a hint, but allows corrects itself right away, on any road imperfection. Hallmark of good control and decent ride. Owed to a premium strut/shock. The PU help even more, although they transmit vibration into the cabin, sometimes more than I would like, they work effectively IMO, hold the suspension geometry, AND do NOT rot like rubber so do not have to be replaced again, ever, supposedly.
I really like the car and use it for an everyday beater. I don't beat it up, but it is a winter car, I use it for light towing. During the late spring and summer months I get out the BMW, use that and work on the Avalon to get it ready for the next fall/winter. With the bench seat, it is hard to beat the comfort of that car, Avalon I am talking about. Not as engaging as the bimmer but just a nice reliable capable car, without the need for a Big SUV, which I personally dislike.
Plan to get 300K on this Avalon. I live in way upstate N.Y. near the Canadian border. Any good wheel and axle, suspension and alignment type of shops near you, should have a handle on this stuff. KYB GR2's or TOkicoHP's are the premium stuts to get. Energy Suspension is the only company that makes PU bushings for the Avalon. I would do the struts/mounts(Toyota OEM)and see how that goes. Should be with an alignment around 1K, seems like alot, but not if you are going to keep the car another 100K, then it is small change. See how that works. Not that I want to spend anyones money, but the new cars are not worth it. And I guarantee the ride will change in your vehicle.
Let me know how things turn out. The Toyota seems to have aged nicely now although it has the advantage of a heated garage. As things wear, I will just replace/repair them.