Well It Wasn’t Vin’s But It Was A Diesel’s

Suspension has been on my list for the Camry for a while now.  Of course there aren’t many off the shelf options options for the Camry in this country, and certainly not for the first generation of the platform.

I have been talking with T3 about the coil over side, but one of the hold ups has been spring rates.  I’ve been reluctant to make a decision on the rear because of the sway bar issue.

Looking through the Japanese diagrams during the engine swap I noticed there was an option for the rear bar.  All of the SV10 diagrams for the US didn’t show it as being available. Well then I figured out somehow the CV10 made it to this country with the rear bar intact! Last weekend I finally tracked down a Diesel Camry and hit the pick n pull to grab the sway bar.

While I was there I grabbed a spare set of struts from another car.  I could have cut up the ones I have, but since it’s easy enough to find these, a spare set will allow me to work on those in parallel with some of the cars other projects.

You’ll notice the blank notch and threaded hole next to the rear toe adjustment.  The sway bar from the diesel will bolt right on to the chassis of the car.

Unfortunately the same could not be said about the control arm.  Two different angles, but you get the idea.  No where to bolt the end link.


I got to fabricating some new mounts.  I started by removing the controls arms which was surprisingly easy for a 30+ year old car.  The add on mounts were made by taking a 1.5″ long piece of 1.25″ square tubing, and cutting it diagonally.  I haven’t gone on a test drive yet since the arms still need to come off to be coated, but they certainly look like they will work well with their new Super Pro bushings installed.

With the sway bar attached, I needed to take a look at the struts to try and figure out the next steps on building the coil overs.  The front strut is pretty simple.  The Camry uses a shock insert McPherson Strut like most other Toyota’s of the era.  It will be very similar to the Hachi’s build.  The rear on the other hand is a whole different ball game. The strut is a sealed unit, and is smaller in diameter than the front.  Where the front measures out at 2″ OD and uses a 1.75″ OD insert the rear is only 1.9″ OD with a 1.7″ ID. I have a set of AW11 inserts left over from Whitey that I was test fitting.  The front AW11 insert is narrow enough to fit in the Camry rear, but it is about 2″ longer which is not our goal here.

So to sum things up the rear is going to require some more research or more work.  I will need to either keep my current KYB replacement struts and spring perch and work off of that, find a narrow diameter insert, and threaded top, maybe start with another strut housing all together, or maybe even build one from scratch.

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