Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?

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Old 22 Oct 2006, 01:17 pm   #1 (permalink)
bauz
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Default Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?

I have no doubt that it's time to replace my struts and mounts, but my
concern is that my mechanic's honesty is questionable: I complained about
a noise from the drive shaft he installed few months ago, but he claimed
that the noise is due to bad struts. To prove his claim, he lifted the car
up and down and pointed to the fact that when the wheel touches the ground
there is some movement in the centers of both motor mounts when being
observed from the top (under the hood). According to him, there should be
no movement at all.
Shouldn't the tip of the strut have some freedom within the mount? should
I start looking for a new mechanic?

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.

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Old 22 Oct 2006, 06:37 pm   #2 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:e84b00a69fbafbe19a8ef9f248b40f9e@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> I have no doubt that it's time to replace my struts and mounts, but my
> concern is that my mechanic's honesty is questionable: I complained about
> a noise from the drive shaft he installed few months ago, but he claimed
> that the noise is due to bad struts. To prove his claim, he lifted the car
> up and down and pointed to the fact that when the wheel touches the ground
> there is some movement in the centers of both motor mounts when being
> observed from the top (under the hood). According to him, there should be
> no movement at all.
> Shouldn't the tip of the strut have some freedom within the mount? should
> I start looking for a new mechanic?
>
> Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.


You say "engine mounts"? Did you mean struts? If so, the mechanic is right,
the upper mount should hold the strut ball-bearing very firmly. Over years
of driving, the upper mount which is essentially a neoprene or rubber-like
donut shaped thing, no longer holds the bearing which allows the strut to
rotate as the steering wheel is turned, firmly. This causes the strut to
move sideways causing increased negative camber and if really badly worn, it
causes changes in camber of the road-wheel a the car travels around a bend.
I've experienced this in a Volkswagon Passat. Also, its likely, as the car
goes over more severe mounds in the road-surface, that noise will come from
the upper mount as the bearing slaps around in the worn rubber support. The
mechanic simply demonstrated the vertical wear, by jacking up the car so the
wheels were off the ground,..this would cause the strut to rest at the
bottom of the play in the mount, then as weight is re-applied to the strut
as the wheels touch the ground, the strut moves upward within the play or
slop in the upper mount.

Jason



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Old 22 Oct 2006, 09:10 pm   #3 (permalink)
bauz
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?

Thank You Jason for the detailed and clear explanation.

PS - You are right - by mistake I wrote "motor mounts" (I don't know why)
but I meant the strut mounts.


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Old 25 Oct 2006, 12:11 pm   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:d512a6e1e6f71e6047042ca72f831489@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> Thank You Jason for the detailed and clear explanation.
>
> PS - You are right - by mistake I wrote "motor mounts" (I don't know why)
> but I meant the strut mounts.


The difficulty with worn suspension and some steering components, is
demonstrating that wear, 'cause the weight on the component often masks any
out of tolerance wear. So they use tire-levers or in your case, a jack, to
remove load off the mount, them re-apply it.

best o luck

Jason


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Old 27 Oct 2006, 12:42 pm   #5 (permalink)
Doctor J
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?


If the bearing separates from strut mount, the whole strut assembly will
fall off, if the ball joint to steering knuckle bolts are removed.
Usually the rubber cracks between the molded in bearing and the outer
flange with three mounting studs. This problem is common on all
Cressidas and even on 96 Mazda Protege, I haven't see this problem on
late 80th Camrys.
The mounts are rubber and some movement is normal. If they are worn the
noise will be most heard as suspension buttoms. The most common causes
for negative camber are the worn lower control arm bushings. Poor
installation methods such as hammering on the axleshaft for removal may
damage bearings in the hub/ differential causing hum/growl which is
speed related. I personally do not think that the upper strut mounts
are bad.


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View this thread: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=161666

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Old 28 Oct 2006, 03:51 am   #6 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?


"Doctor J" <Doctor.J.2gcl0z@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au> wrote in message
newsoctor.J.2gcl0z@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au...
>
> If the bearing separates from strut mount, the whole strut assembly will
> fall off, if the ball joint to steering knuckle bolts are removed.
> Usually the rubber cracks between the molded in bearing and the outer
> flange with three mounting studs. This problem is common on all
> Cressidas and even on 96 Mazda Protege, I haven't see this problem on
> late 80th Camrys.
> The mounts are rubber and some movement is normal. If they are worn the
> noise will be most heard as suspension buttoms. The most common causes
> for negative camber are the worn lower control arm bushings. Poor
> installation methods such as hammering on the axleshaft for removal may
> damage bearings in the hub/ differential causing hum/growl which is
> speed related. I personally do not think that the upper strut mounts
> are bad.


I agree that badly worn upper strut mounts are not a common fault, however
once the car's weight is applied to the struts, there should be little
discernable vertical movement observed at the upper support, and that is
what the mechanic was pointing out.
With such wear, the road-wheels camber will change as side loading is
applied during cornering. The lower ball-joint can producing camber changes,
sure, but keep in mind the lower BJ is a locating component, not load
bearing in Strut front-ends.

Jason

Jason


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Old 28 Oct 2006, 11:28 am   #7 (permalink)
RACEGUY
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?

"I have no doubt that it's time to replace my struts and mounts"

I guess you're questioning the methodology of your mechanic's static
demonstration or test, but to cut to the chase, if you're convinced it's
time to replace your struts, it's not even a question that you replace the
bearings or mounts. That's one of those "since we're in there anyway"
situations.

Just to back up what others have said, this is not an assembly you want
"slop" in (yes, "limited flex" may be natural in bonded rubber/metal
assemblies). You didn't actually describe your noise or the circumstances
involved when the noise presented itself, but I'm not questioning "your guy"
just yet.

CHEERS!

Again, if you're replacing struts, consider new mounts part of the job
"Jason James" <home@work.1.0> wrote in message
news:45431a2a@news.comindico.com.au...
>
> "Doctor J" <Doctor.J.2gcl0z@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au> wrote in

message
> newsoctor.J.2gcl0z@no-mx.forums.yourdomain.com.au...
> >
> > If the bearing separates from strut mount, the whole strut assembly will
> > fall off, if the ball joint to steering knuckle bolts are removed.
> > Usually the rubber cracks between the molded in bearing and the outer
> > flange with three mounting studs. This problem is common on all
> > Cressidas and even on 96 Mazda Protege, I haven't see this problem on
> > late 80th Camrys.
> > The mounts are rubber and some movement is normal. If they are worn the
> > noise will be most heard as suspension buttoms. The most common causes
> > for negative camber are the worn lower control arm bushings. Poor
> > installation methods such as hammering on the axleshaft for removal may
> > damage bearings in the hub/ differential causing hum/growl which is
> > speed related. I personally do not think that the upper strut mounts
> > are bad.

>
> I agree that badly worn upper strut mounts are not a common fault, however
> once the car's weight is applied to the struts, there should be little
> discernable vertical movement observed at the upper support, and that is
> what the mechanic was pointing out.
> With such wear, the road-wheels camber will change as side loading is
> applied during cornering. The lower ball-joint can producing camber

changes,
> sure, but keep in mind the lower BJ is a locating component, not load
> bearing in Strut front-ends.
>
> Jason
>
> Jason
>
>



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Old 28 Oct 2006, 01:24 pm   #8 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: Strut Mounts - Is my mechanic honest with me?


"RACEGUY" <xspamxraceguy@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
news:0zL0h.11573$cz.182893@ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
> "I have no doubt that it's time to replace my struts and mounts"
>
> I guess you're questioning the methodology of your mechanic's static
> demonstration or test, but to cut to the chase, if you're convinced it's
> time to replace your struts, it's not even a question that you replace the
> bearings or mounts. That's one of those "since we're in there anyway"
> situations.
>
> Just to back up what others have said, this is not an assembly you want
> "slop" in (yes, "limited flex" may be natural in bonded rubber/metal
> assemblies). You didn't actually describe your noise or the circumstances
> involved when the noise presented itself, but I'm not questioning "your

guy"
> just yet.
>
> CHEERS!


You'd be surprised how many folks just get the strut-guts replaced, ignoring
the upper mount, plus equally, how many mechanics just do what the customer
wants.

Jason



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