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moenorman

Coil spring confusion?

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Hello everyone, new here and new to Toyota's. I just bought a 2004 Avalon Xl with 86,000 miles and really like it but it needs some work. The car swayed a lot, not just in turns but stopping and going too. I pulled the old oem struts(which surprisingly were Sachs and made in the US, go figure). Replaced them with KYB's and that helped a little but still swayed more than an old Buick. The bushings looked ok so figured it had to be the springs. I ordered some Moog's that listed a front spring rate of 166 lbs. I have a homemade scale that I checked them on and got close to 150. I pulled my originals and the best I could get on the scale was 120. I did look up springs for a 2003 and they're listed at 141 lbs. So I guess Toyota got enough complaints to stiffen them a little the following year. Same for the backs - Moog's are 150 and OEM's are 110. I did the backs first and they fit fine, no problem. Took a test drive around the block and huge difference yet still a smooth ride. Took the fronts off and can't believe what I found. The Moog's we're about an inch smaller in outer diameter and didn't fit the rubber isolator it sits in, especially the end of the last coil which wasn't curved enough. But the biggest problem was that smaller outer diameter. The coils weren't out to the edge of the strut seat so I could get a spring compressor on them. They we're inside enough where that was impossible. But like the rears the top mount fit fine. I thought maybe my car was one of those strange ones that's listed as a 2004 but has the suspension from 2003. The dimensions on the 2003's look closer to mine but then I looked at the rubber isolator and it's a whole different shape. And the end of the last coil seems different in the direction it points. I'm lost. How could my car, my struts and my mounts be from 2004 but aftermarket springs for 2004 don't fit? And, by the way, AC Delco, Duralast and a few others have dimensions similar to the Moog's. So a different brand won't help. Anybody run across this before?

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On 6/27/2020 at 9:56 AM, moenorman said:

Hello everyone, new here and new to Toyota's. I just bought a 2004 Avalon Xl with 86,000 miles and really like it but it needs some work. The car swayed a lot, not just in turns but stopping and going too. I pulled the old oem struts(which surprisingly were Sachs and made in the US, go figure). Replaced them with KYB's and that helped a little but still swayed more than an old Buick. The bushings looked ok so figured it had to be the springs. I ordered some Moog's that listed a front spring rate of 166 lbs. I have a homemade scale that I checked them on and got close to 150. I pulled my originals and the best I could get on the scale was 120. I did look up springs for a 2003 and they're listed at 141 lbs. So I guess Toyota got enough complaints to stiffen them a little the following year. Same for the backs - Moog's are 150 and OEM's are 110. I did the backs first and they fit fine, no problem. Took a test drive around the block and huge difference yet still a smooth ride. Took the fronts off and can't believe what I found. The Moog's we're about an inch smaller in outer diameter and didn't fit the rubber isolator it sits in, especially the end of the last coil which wasn't curved enough. But the biggest problem was that smaller outer diameter. The coils weren't out to the edge of the strut seat so I could get a spring compressor on them. They we're inside enough where that was impossible. But like the rears the top mount fit fine. I thought maybe my car was one of those strange ones that's listed as a 2004 but has the suspension from 2003. The dimensions on the 2003's look closer to mine but then I looked at the rubber isolator and it's a whole different shape. And the end of the last coil seems different in the direction it points. I'm lost. How could my car, my struts and my mounts be from 2004 but aftermarket springs for 2004 don't fit? And, by the way, AC Delco, Duralast and a few others have dimensions similar to the Moog's. So a different brand won't help. Anybody run across this before?

I ran across this once but it was an aftermarket parts I was dealing with on my Camry , someone had replaced the OEM with an aftermarket strut/spring combo and it was a different diameter spring.   I ended up buying the bullet and replaced it all with the original equipment new.

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