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89 Front Strut/Mount Noise


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I had a lot of clunking in the front end, so I assumed it was the original struts that were shot.  So, I bought Monroe front struts and Gabriel mounts, and supplied the parts to the shop for install and alignment.

When the mounts arrived in the mail, I looked at the bearings that came with them, and noticed that they were rather difficult to turn.  I assumed that’s just how they are?

Now, when I turn the wheel a lot, I hear a squeaky/rubbing sound.  Is that the mount bearings?

Does that sound go away?  Should I try to spray them with something?

The car drives nice, though….all the clunking is gone.

Thanks.

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My front strut mounts had collapsed and were clunking as you describe. I had them replaced back in May of this year and there hasn't been any squeaking or rubbing that I've noticed.  Dead quiet and as you say the car handled great afterwards. The bearings were stiff also as you describe. 

Edited by HuevosRanchero (see edit history)
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Thanks for the replies.

The noise definitely seems to be from the strut mounts, as it only happens when the steering wheel is turned.  And it never happened before I had the struts and mounts replaced.

Do you think it could hurt anything if I squirt a little thin spray oil around that area?....just to see if any seeps into the bearings?

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Knowing what I do about bearings, I would have to doubt the bearing itself is squeaking. There are other components moving with the strut though. I would not generally condone shooting oil in the general direction of the noise either. You say it squeaks with the wheel turned. Is the noise continuous as you turn the wheel, happen as you turn the wheel left to right, continuous once the wheel reaches a certain point, when does it make the noise? I have a very vocal power steering pump on one of my coupes that squeals quite a bit with the wheel turned to a certain point.

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It's definitely not the pump.  It has to be either the struts (not likely) or the mounts.  It only squeaks when the wheels turn (either left or right), and tends to squeak more, the more the wheels are turned.

Is it possible to install the bearings upside down?

The bearings had a white plastic ring exposed on one side, is this ring supposed to be installed UP or DOWN?

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Since the strut mounts are new I doubt them being defective or dry is causing the squeak. With the weight of the car on the struts, I would check inside the wheelwell to see if something is rubbing the metal at the top of the shock tower. Does it squeak of the front wheels are off the ground while turning the wheels?

 

Thanks to 89 Maui for the photo.

post-95476-0-22828400-1446564097_thumb.j

Edited by Ronnie (see edit history)
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this was posted by a member previously in 2013

 

Update:
Received an e-mail from Gabriel's Tech Support and was advised the coil spring insulator that comes in their kit mounts just below the strut mount, strut bearing fits in groove of coil spring cushion with the plastic race of the strut bearing facing up and the rubberized race portion of the strut bearing faces down towards the coil spring seat flange at the top of the coil spring.
Mystery solved. 

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I just got the below from Gabriel's customer support.  Does this make sense to anyone?

 

 

Good afternoon,

The black surface lays flat on the mount, you should be able to see the white part of the bearing.

       Regards,

GABRIEL RIDE CONTROL LLC

 

David J. DeMunnik

Senior Application Tech / Technical Advisor

 

Upate:

He just confirmed the below:

 

So, you're saying that the bearing (that's part of the GAB142298 mount) mounts directly underneath the metal mount (that has 3 studs) with the black rubber side facing UP (against the metal mount) and the side with the white plastic race facing toward the ground?

Edited by BrentS (see edit history)
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I don't know what is being said in your emails. Quick one liners never make sense to me.

 

Below is a photo of how my old mount came apart when I removed the old strut. I took it so I would know the correct way to reassemble it. My car is an '88 model but I think it should be similar. I don't have Gabriel parts in the Reatta Store because I've read that some people had problems with them. I prefer Monroe and Moog suspension parts.

post-95476-0-58622200-1446671708_thumb.j

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Thanks Ronnie, but that picture is puzzling, as it doesn't seem to show the "bearing" which comes with the mount.

The "bearing" is a rather large rubber encapsulated ball bearing assembly, which has a white plastic race on one side.  See attached picture.

 

Unless....the "bearing" isn't supposed to be installed at all???

I obviously don't know.  I'm hoping someone can clear things up, as the Gabriel tech support told me the opposite as the other post in 2013 for that other member.

post-94027-0-35823800-1446677394_thumb.j

 

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Sorry that I can't be more helpful. I didn't replace the mounts so I don't know exactly how the small part you show in your photo would fit in. Everything you saw in my previous photo is all the parts I installed on my new struts after I cleaned the parts up.

 

Here are photos showing how it all looked before I took it apart and after I put it back together with a new strut. If you notice in the first photo where the white dots are lined up, there isn't much clearance between the stationary part on top with the studs and the part that turns with the strut. If the parts aren't assembled properly it might rub there and squeak.

 

(Click to enlarge photos).

post-95476-0-38481300-1446683113_thumb.j

 

post-95476-0-33587000-1446683622_thumb.j

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Update:  I jacked-up the front wheels off the ground, and with the engine running I grabbed a front tire (wheel) and manually rotated it while watching the strut.  You can see & hear the coil spring and top spring seat flange skip & squeak as you turn the wheel.  This is definitely the mount's bearing.  That explains why after you make a sharp right turn, the car pulls to the right (and pulls left after left turns); the coil spring retains a torque because the bearing prevents complete/smooth return of the whole strut assembly.

So, I returned the car to the shop....they claimed that the bearing was installed correctly, and could not have been installed the wrong way.  They've disassembled the mount bearing, and found NO grease.  They wanted to grease it and see the results. 

 

FYI:  This is the response from Gabriel support:

"The bearing provided with 142298 mount kit should be installed with the bearing part facing downwards toward the spring seat.  (This is the white ring side)  The top part of the bearing assembly is covered with rubber and locks securely into the contour of the upper mount.  If it is installed upside down there will definitely be noises."

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So, I picked up the car from the shop, and it feels perfect.  They claim that the disassembled the bearings, greased them, and re-assembled them.

I wouldn't be surprised if they simply installed them upside down, the first time; and now just reversed them, and charged me for the labor to re-install them.

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So, I picked up the car from the shop, and it feels perfect.  They claim that the disassembled the bearings, greased them, and re-assembled them.

I wouldn't be surprised if they simply installed them upside down, the first time; and now just reversed them, and charged me for the labor to re-install them.

yeah they don't seem like something you would grease. Hopefully it should never again be an issue.

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