Coil Spring/Shoch Absorber

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Hello all (excluding vwhobo........just kidding)

Since toyota.ca is of no assistance ive come here. Could someone please explain to me the difference between a shock absorber and a coil spring if there is a difference.

One more question, how much would coil springs be for a 1994 Toyota Corolla?

posted by  triggerman

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COIL SPRING
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http://www.kyclassiccougars.com/images/coil_spring.jpg
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SHOCK ABSORBER
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http://www.mgclub.co.uk/mgccmga/technic/shock3.jpg
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posted by  BavarianWheels

You're telling us that Toyota couldn't answer that question? it seems a staff review is in order!

Putting it simply a Shock absorber (damper) absorbs shocks that the road offers them and without Dampers your car would jump all over the road deeming it impossible to steer and handle..Are you sure Toyota couldn't answer that question or didn't want to answer that question because they thought you were on a wind up lol

posted by  Cliffy

Besides the obvious physical and visual differences Bav has already shared with us... A coil spring (or any type spring used on cars for that matter) and shock absorber (which is also part if the function of a Macpherson or Chapman strut) perform very different jobs.

A spring very simply holds the car up. Remove the springs and the car will drop down onto its suspension stops. They also allow for up and down motion of the suspension and in some cases locate suspension components such as when leaf springs hold a rear axle housing in place (look under most any pick-up for an example).

Shock absorbers are more correctly called shock dampers. A spring, once set into movement, will continue to oscillate for a long time. Without shocks, everytime you hit a bump your car would continue down the road bouncing up and down for good while. Essentially all the shock does is slow the movement and stops the oscillation after two or three cycles. And just to clarify my statement in the first paragraph, a Macpherson or Chapman strut does the same thing but is also a structural component of the suspension and/or steering.

Now for the disclaimers. Keep in mind this is a very basic explanation and certain people will come along and say I'm wrong because I forgot so and so. They will be wrong and can only add details beyond the basics. Also let it be known now that contrary to popular belief, shock absorbers do not affect ride height except air adjustable shocks. Ride height is one of the functions of springs.

Oops, almost forgot. Coil springs for your car shold be in the neighborhood of $200 all the way around.

posted by  vwhobo

As you probably recall i had new rear struts put on about 1 month ago or so. However the car slants downward towards the back. I didnt go to Toyota to tell me the difference between them..... i went there for a price on coil springs. However to my surprise they only sell basic stuff. Oil filters, air filters. I don't think they sell spark plugs. I had uhh Munroe struts put on the Toyota i think? Well Thanks for your help.....$50/spring isn't that bad thank god. Compared to around $120/strut.

posted by  triggerman

Although you didn't ask any questions, let me make some points that might help clear things up for you.

1. If your car is now sagging in the rear or high in front and wasn't before, you might have the wrong struts installed or improperly installed. Simply changing the struts, and doing it correctly, will not change the ride height. Just because the stuts can be installed doesn't mean they're the right struts.
2. I'm fully aware that prices vary throughout the country but... I could have sold you the most expensive struts Monroe makes for well under $100 apiece. That also makes me think you might have the wrong parts installed.
3. From your description I don't think replacing the springs will correct your problem. I feel you have the wrong struts or impropr installation.

posted by  vwhobo

Ok......well now I'm going to ask a question. What could make the car sag if they're the wrong struts or improperly installed? I look under into the wheel well and the coils are pretty compressed.

posted by  triggerman

The wrong strut could be too short end to end at the mounting points or the spring cups could be positioned to far apart. Improper installation would have to be the top spring cup unstalled upside down or the shims/spacers/bushings incorrectly stacked or some form of binding not allowing the front to compress or the rear to extend.

Another remote possibility is if all the assemblies were torn down at the same time maybe, and granted this is a big maybe, the front springs were installed on the back and visa-versa.

I have seen all of these things happen in the past, so they're all possible. Now someone just has to figure out which it is.

When you had it aligned, didn't the alignment tech notice anything funny? They should check the ride height before an alignment as it can throw off their measurments.

If you have a reciept for the struts, please look at it and give me the part numbers. I can do a quick check and see if you got the right stuff, although they still could have been boxed wrong.

posted by  vwhobo

Well............we never had an alignment done afterwards. I cannot find the receipt although its here somewhere. All i can remember is Monroe Sensi-Track struts I believe they were.

posted by  triggerman

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH i found the receipt. Theres 2 numbers on it

1X22-4261-2
1X22-4261-0

posted by  triggerman

I see said the blind man. Notice in your first thread concerning this issue I mentioned the need for an alignment. Very important for tire life and handling. http://www.car-forums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=1309

If you in fact have Sensa-Tracs your part numbers will be 71952/left front, 71951/right front, 71954/left rear and 71953/right rear. If they're regular Monroe gas struts, substitute 8's for the 7's.

posted by  vwhobo

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I'm glad I was able to help with the visuals... :laughing:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

Yes i remember you saying that. Those are the only numbers on the receipt.
If those are the part numbers for the rear then how do you know if they will fit the Corolla?

posted by  triggerman

I ran every cross reference I have and these numbers mean nothing. They might be a store specific stocking number. Where did you buy them?

posted by  vwhobo

I don't understand your question. The part numbers I gave you will fit your car.

posted by  vwhobo

I bought them @ good ol' Canadian Tire.

Nevermind my question you just answered it.

posted by  triggerman

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