How To: Swap Rear Suspension

This is a quick write up describing the rear suspension update I did for my 2003 Spyder.  Basically, some years back when I owned a 2001 Spyder, I purchased a set of struts and springs on the cheap from another owner who swapped out to a Sportivo setup when his 2002 car only had 15k miles on it.  Those parts resided in boxes on the shelves in my garage until a few days ago.  These are their stories…
Obligatory before shot of my rear suspension:
Another before from above:
Actually doing something – remove two of the three above nuts (14mm) and leave one threaded just enough to hold the strut assembly in place after it is disconnected from below:
Remove the retaining nut for the rear sway bar endlink (12mm):
Might need some vice grips to help out:
Remove the retaining bolt that secures the soft brake line (12mm):
Remove the retaining bolt that holds the ABS sensor wire in place (10mm):
Remove the ABS sensor bolt (10mm):
Remove the two bolts that secure the strut to the hub (19mm):
Separate the strut from the hub:
Support the strut assembly with one hand and remove the last of the three upper nuts with the other, from here the entire assembly should slide down and out:
At this point, your goals may be different than mine.  My goals were to use another low mileage OEM strut and spring to create a better assembly than what was on my car (160k miles old).  So while you may immediately be installing an aftermarket strut assembly or coilovers, I am cannabalizing my old assemblies to allow the use of the lower mileage struts and springs that I had in my shop.
This is me disassembling a rear strut assembly (19mm):
After it pops apart:
Low mileage spring, cup, nut and strut sitting next to reused bumper stop and strut bushing (directly right of strut):
Newish strut with janky ass bump stop, strut bushing and newish spring in place:
The above with the newish cup set in place:
Improvising a means (old wheel and tire) of compressing the spring enough to thread the nut on a bit:
Side shot of improv:
Not entirely visible because I was busy holding everything together while I took the pic but that’s me with my stomach holding one side of the tire, my left hand holding the other side, and pressing down enough to use the 19mm socket to thread the nut onto the strut a few threads:
Tire removed, nut threaded the rest of the way, assembly complete:
Not sure if it’s worth noting but I made a point of aligning the upper cup studs with the lower strut as it would need to be in the car.
From here the assembly goes back in the car in the reverse of how it came out.  Rinse and repeat for the other side.

This documentation in no way replaces the Toyota MR2 Repair Manuals. The purpose of this content is only to provide supplementary information to fellow MR2 enthusiasts. Midship Runabout and its contributing authors will not be held responsible for any injury or damages that may occur as the result of practicing any of the methods or procedures described within this website. Article and photo submissions are property of the contributing author.

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