Posted by David on June 08, 1999 at 07:19:35:
In Reply to: Suspension? posted by JJ on June 07, 1999 at 08:32:06:
I read one reasonable reply to your question. Your question is relevant to the general conversation for this BBS.
With highway speed limits commonly at 70mph diving anything at 75-80 mph is not unreasonable, least a mini-van with the popularity and number of these types of vehicles on the road. I spend a great deal of time traveling throughout the southeastern United States and dare say 75 - 80 mph is the average not the exception. Any vehicle manufacturer who builds a vehicle not capable of confident control from their vehicles at these speeds is at a disadvantage in the market. Toyota usually does not fall in this catagory.
Can I guess that your previous vehicle was some type of "traditional" sedan?
There are several ways to address this with your Siena. First, you actually can try tire pressure, increase the Veh. Manf. recomended by 3-4psi per tire. That will eliminate some of the sidewall "flex" which or "sway" and wondering you may be expiriencing. Next, take your vehicle to the dealer, have all your suspension components inspected. It is not likely but also not uncommon that something could be loose or missing. It has been known to happen! Shocks/struts, bushing's, linkage, etc., etc.. Solutions after that will be where you will start spending money. The least expensive is probably springs. If you don't mind lowering the vehicle about an inch ( cosmeticly enhancing the appearance) try a set of Eibach springs, probably about $400 +/- installed. This will stiffen the suspension and lower the center of gravity at the same time. Next or alternatively, address the tires and possibly wheels. If I'm not mistaken the OE tires are "S" performance rated. Move up to a "T" or "H". Do not worry about the speed rating indicated in mph associated with this. What happens when you increase the performance rating is generaly a tire with less flex and built with additional components enabling the tire to handle better. A noticable improvement would be a plus application. Going from OE wheel diameter 14" to 15" or 15" to 16" etc., etc.. This will again reduce the amount of "sway" and lateral movement from the tires. Do Not change the offset of the wheel, in turn the track width of the tires. First it is not necessary, increasing the wheel diameter and maintianing the correct wheel off set will accomplish your goal, and as stated - changing the geometry of the vehicle in this way causes un-due stress on other parts of the vehicle setting you up for more costly repairs ( usually pre-mature) down the road.
Other comments addressing sway bars, bushing materials and shocks/struts are also reasonable considerations, but typically fall in steps 3, 4, 5, etc. Tires, springs & wheels are considered better first line attacks for your conditions.
You can not turn your mini-van into a Porsche, but drastic improvements are achievable through sensible and appropriate aftermarket conversions.
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