Stiff steering after new struts & mounts

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Feb 11, 2008
I replaced all 4 struts & strut mounts on my 97 Camry last week. I got it realligned. Everything feels and sounds great with the ride.

The steering does seem a little stiff. I mean a very little bit stiffer than before. There's a bit of steering memory too. The new bearings were hard to rotate before I installed them, I noticed. So I'm guessing it all will loosen up here shortly.

Any advice on this? Would you focus on retorquing the three strut mount nuts, the large strut shaft nut, or maybe even the sway bar link nut. Is there a chance that I'll ruin the bearing if anything is slightly over torqued?

Nope. I pretty well stayed to the instruction sheet.

Which raises the question I had but forgot to include in the post. The instruction sheet has a 20 lower torque spec for the three mounting bolts than the manual book I have. (60 vs. 40 , I think.) The mounts were all KYB, so I figure the sheet was correct. I did add a bit more torque though, up to about 45.
Did my struts and front strut mounts with KYB as well.

The steering is slightly stiffer, but be sure to double check all of your coil springs. I discovered during the alignment that one of my coil springs were not in this strut's spring seat and this caused a very slight ride height problem.

Also, did you mark the orientation of the strut, strut mount and insulator before disassembly? I usually just take white out and draw a line down from the mount down to the strut. It is important to do this because the mount, insulator and strut sits a certain way and you need to assemble the new components the same way. If not, you can cause some problems.
The springs are seated well.

I know what you mean about the alignment of the components. I eyeballed the rears, and had to reassemble the mounts a time or two in order to get things reinstalled.

I didn't have a problem with the fronts though. All the parts had alignment arrows, so it was easy. Since the struts rotate for steering to occur, there was no installation issues either.
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