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The Toyota Saga.

Many years ago I traveled to New Orleans to put struts on my sister's Toyota. It was a difficult job, and the spring compressor I brought with me wasn't up to the task.

Toyota struts are unlike most others. They make you line up a notch in the rod with the upper seat. This is difficult to get right even with the right compressor. It's not enough to compress the spring enough to get the threads of the nut on. One must compress it enough to get the whole shaft through, and line up the notches. what a bitch.

Back then, Antny and I paid a visit to the local Midas shop, who let me use their Branick strut compressor. I thought it all worked out fine. I was wrong.

The right strut has been nothing but trouble. I installed it around the turn of the century (sounds more dramatic), and a year or so ago it started making lots of noise. I had to retighten the cartridge (it's like a shock absorber that fits down into the strut body).

That helped, but it still made a clunk once in a while, mostly if you turned one direction hard, and then the other... clunk.

I had a hunch the spring seat wasn't lined up right. I was right, but I had to take it apart to find out, then put it back together until i got the parts.

It was my fault that the notches weren't lined up, years ago. I tried to line them up, but failed utterly.

Anyway, today, with Edith's help, and using my new spring compressor, I fixed it with a new spring seat from the dealer, and a new strut cartridge. The cartridge might have been under waranty, but with no receipt ...probably washed into the gulf... i paid for it. Now the receipt is in the glove box, where i hope it stays, maybe to be joined by other receipts and put in a folder... hint, hint.
edit: ~7/20 E&A paid me for the washed strut cartridge.
They're so awsome.

picture of old vs. new spring seat/notch

pic of new vs. old strut rod/notch