Alfa 164 Rear strut info - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 12-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Alfisto Steve's Avatar
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Alfa 164 Rear strut info

My 91 164L Black Beauty developed a clunking noise in left rear strut.

Car came to me with new 8744 1149 Sport Konis in rear and new Boges in front.

I just got an new set of 32-984-A Boge rear struts from ebay so decided to remove Konis and install Boges on rear to match fronts and since I was needing to address L/R strut clunking noise anyway, I did the swap today.

When I removed and disassembled L/R strut I found a partially failed 60507954 upper mount. One side of the "welded" molded rubber/steel mount center had broken loose.

I also found Euro rear 60549765 black rubber boots and the used on all models 60540936 bump stops with tapered cone end down installed.

I replaced damaged upper mount and reused bump stops with tapered cone end down but used USA spec 60566423 rubber boot and hide bump stop inside it as it fits better than Black euro one did on Konis.

Many USA 164's I have taken apart have had the Lancia Thema cream colored 82387608 short rear boots installed and it is usually all distorted and not doing much to keep dirt off piston shaft.

Pictures show upper mount with one side of rubber insert broken free causing my clunking noise.

One pictures shows rear boot choices -top 60566423 NO cars, middle 60549765 Euro KO/K2 models and bottom short Lancia Thema 82387608 one. Bump stop is 60540936.

I am going to use to Konis on my white 164B 5-speed so keeping Black Beauty semi-bone stock in appearance and ride.
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Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 12-02-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:25 PM
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Hey, Steve, what are those spring clamps doing in the picture? I just did the struts on an "S" and no clamping was necessary (really nice of those 164 designers). And I'm curious about that little rubber insert that got broken on yours—unless I'm really spaced out, I think the "S" top cap uses a totally different rubber insert—I just don't remember it looked like yours. My biggest surprise from your post is to learn that you're a "cone-down" guy when is comes to the rears, but for the fronts, "cone-up". Hmm.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:42 PM
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My rear Konis had thick white nylons spacers under springs so needed to compress springs. Also left spring compressors on springs to reinstall back onto new Boge rears so I wouldn't have to push on top mounts to get nut on piston shafts as stock new looking springs not sagging so were in slight tension even on Boge struts without koni spacers.

As for top mount 164S and 164B/L use same mount I show in picture. It sets on top steel plate that has the three upper mounting threaded studs and that top spring rubber sets into. Two pieces sandwich welded rubber insert in between them when steel plate studs pushed through holes in upper 60507954 mount plate.

I put bump stops cones up in front struts because of coned washer on top but on rears either way will work but cone down seems a better fit inside the boot and also the upper 3-studded steel plate is flat underneath not cone shaped.
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Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor
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My Maintenance Sticky: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...ance-tips.html

Daily drivers: USA models - 91 164L w/AT "Black Beauty I" ALFA4ME; 91 164S Black Beauty II ALFALFA

SOLD MY91 "Bianco" 164B 5-speed [My Originale], ALFISTO Movin On!
Also gone are Old Blue 91 164L, Rosso1 93 164L, Rosso2 91 164S; QS2 164L

Daughter's current ride: Her Granddads 2002 Ford Taurus

Current Car hauler and Parts chaser : 2000 Dodge Ram PU 5.2L V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"

Last edited by Alfisto Steve; 12-02-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:45 AM
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I've yet to do any rear struts, I guess not having the strut bearings to replace gives one less reason to go in there.

But my blue 164 felt a bit wallowy when I was sitting in the back for that trip to the snow and the suspension bottomed out a few times (it probably has no bumpstops remaining).

Maybe I should keep an eye out for some new rear shocks, but then I'll want to replace the fronts too as a stiff rear end is not what I like for FWD. Pity that the cost of four shock absorbers will exceed the value of the car here. I've always thought 164 shocks seem to last fairly well anyway.

-Alex
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:34 AM
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Steve help me out

I think I read in this thread that the springs in the rear strut are not compressed when the strut is removed from the car, (or maybe they are very very lightly compressed?) -- bottom line is one does not need to compress the spring to R/R the top mounting plate (the one that was broken on your car) -- True or False?

If True, is the same True for the LS?

thanx bob
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74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump --speedo been around at least twice -- [B]needs new oil rings[/B]!
1995 LS Q runners Auto Green/tan [B]230K[/B] 100% LCD paint absolutely SHOT!
1995 LS 5 speed Green /tan 48K Q runners squadra chip 100 % LCD -- nice tight car
Misc parts laying around for 24V and 2Liter- always need more it seems
2004 Tacoma 4 door TRD (wifes car/kid hauler)- 172K
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexGS View Post
...But my blue 164 felt a bit wallowy when I was sitting in the back for that trip to the snow and the suspension bottomed out a few times (it probably has no bumpstops remaining)...

...Pity that the cost of four shock absorbers will exceed the value of the car here...

-Alex
I certainly agree about the cost considerations! Yet a bump stop renewal would be worthwhile, and easy on the pocketbook, keep in mind that the rear bump stops—much longer than the fronts—will reduce the travel of the strut by 40%, that's quite a lot. The job is relatively easy and doesn't even require a spring compressor. However, those two bolts holding the bottom of the strut can be a struggle to remove, that's the only downside of the project, but once they are out you can give them a coat of antiseize compound so any future work would be an extremely easy task.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goats View Post
I think I read in this thread that the springs in the rear strut are not compressed when the strut is removed from the car, (or maybe they are very very lightly compressed?) -- bottom line is one does not need to compress the spring to R/R the top mounting plate (the one that was broken on your car) -- True or False?

If True, is the same True for the LS?

thanx bob
True, True. (You are probably addressing Steve Alfisto but since I also respond to that name I'll answer)

"Dennism" wrote about this in this post:

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...-rr-shock.html

He has an LS and said no compressor was necessary; I have an "S" and no compressor was necessary. A "third" hand could come in handy to start the top nut.

Last edited by pinino; 12-03-2010 at 09:55 AM. Reason: quote first
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:51 PM
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I don't have three hands but do have spring compressors so I use them to help me out.

As the CW song says, "I'm not as good as I once was but I am good once as I ever was" [almost] so little help is a little help and I have extra tools so I use them.

Changing rear struts yesterday set off my right hip and knee talking to me again.
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Daily drivers: USA models - 91 164L w/AT "Black Beauty I" ALFA4ME; 91 164S Black Beauty II ALFALFA

SOLD MY91 "Bianco" 164B 5-speed [My Originale], ALFISTO Movin On!
Also gone are Old Blue 91 164L, Rosso1 93 164L, Rosso2 91 164S; QS2 164L

Daughter's current ride: Her Granddads 2002 Ford Taurus

Current Car hauler and Parts chaser : 2000 Dodge Ram PU 5.2L V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:49 PM
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I am just at the point of rebuilding my right rear shock. Remember Watkins Glen trip and that leaking shock?
Well, the shock is out and its still has fluid in it, but no gas. I put the shock out of it's misery with two drill holes on the top of the shock where the piston exits. One has to do this in order to throw it away, as per BOGE, so one can throw it in the metal recycle bin. Othewise the mineral oil is a hazard.
Well, back to the chore, Yes , HAD TO USE THE SPRING COMPRESSOR , on the LS.
Needed to use a air gun and hold the shaft of the shock with emery cloth and a large plyers, to get the nut off. Thank you Alfisto Steve.

What I found was a lot of rust at the botton of the spring. Rust was found inside the plastic liner. Tip- if that area of the lower coil looks swollen , that's rust . The liner is there to stop squeeking but for a rust belt car, it acts as a moisture trap and caused my shock to degrade, so much so, that I now need new springs for the rear.
The following images.
1. the thinned coil
2. The cone faces down, see where the rubber "shield" begins [the rest of the boot in seperated rings all the way down to]
3. lower ring holds the bottom of the rubber shield.
4. Top plate has a little rust but looks servicable.
5. Top pad looks pretty good.
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Last edited by multicam; 12-06-2010 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multicam View Post
I am just at the point of rebuilding my right rear shock. Remember Watkins Glen trip and that leaking shock?
Well, the shock is out and its still has fluid in it, but no gas. I put the shock out of it's misery with two drill holes on the top of the shock where the piston exits. One has to do this in order to throw it away, as per BOGE, so one can throw it in the metal recycle bin. Othewise the mineral oil is a hazard.
Well, back to the chore, Yes , HAD TO USE THE SPRING COMPRESSOR , on the LS.
Needed to use a air gun and hold the shaft of the shock with emery cloth and a large plyers, to get the nut off. Thank you Alfisto Steve.

What I found was a lot of rust at the botton of the spring. Rust was found inside the plastic liner. Tip- if that area of the lower coil looks swollen , that's rust . The liner is there to stop squeeking but for a rust belt car, it acts as a moisture trap and caused my shock to degrade, so much so, that I now need new springs for the rear.
The following images.
1. the thinned coil
2. The cone faces down, see where the rubber "shield" begins
3. lower ring hold the bottom of the rubber shield.
4. Top plate has a little rust but looks servicable.
5. Top pad looks pretty good.
1. Had to change both front springs on friend Jim's 164L for same spring bone density thinning rust trick and rubber shildoing was swollen like a pregnant snake who swallowed a rat.

2. The bump stop faces down but correct rubber boot should hid it and fit over top of strut to keep outsides elements away from piston shaft.

5. Hard to tell from your picture but is rubber four legged center still solidly "welded" into top mount plate?
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Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor
http://www.aroc-usa.org/
My Maintenance Sticky: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-...ance-tips.html

Daily drivers: USA models - 91 164L w/AT "Black Beauty I" ALFA4ME; 91 164S Black Beauty II ALFALFA

SOLD MY91 "Bianco" 164B 5-speed [My Originale], ALFISTO Movin On!
Also gone are Old Blue 91 164L, Rosso1 93 164L, Rosso2 91 164S; QS2 164L

Daughter's current ride: Her Granddads 2002 Ford Taurus

Current Car hauler and Parts chaser : 2000 Dodge Ram PU 5.2L V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:29 AM
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Steve

Yes, the rubber insert is solidly glued or welded ?? into the inside of the hat.
I cannot get it to move. The rubber is fully expanded and not cracked.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:51 AM
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As is typical of forums and threads there are divergent (and healthy) views on how to do this job. Those wishing to perform rear strut surgery just need to know that a "helper" clamp may be necessary but that in no way do the rear springs require the serious (and life threatening) compression that the fronts struts need. It also might be added that many do not recommend the use of an air impact wrench to remove or tighten the top nut (the manufacturers say it themselves in no uncertain terms). There are ways of "cracking" that nut loose and vise versa. One would have to be crazy—in my opinion—to use an impact wrench on a $800 Boge electronic strut. And on standard struts, that's why many manufacturers add a provision on the shaft to be able to secure it while tightening the nut.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:03 AM
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Pinno

I tried several other attempts even with a special deep 22mm socket that allowed a wrench to be applied to the outside of the socket and a 7mm hex socket fitting down the center. Still was unable to get it to budge.
Since the strut was non functional the air gun techinque was applied.

I plan to use above socket to torque the top bolt down on assembly.

Since I have to get the other side apart, what techniques have you used?
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multicam View Post
Pinno

I tried several other attempts even with a special deep 22mm socket that allowed a wrench to be applied to the outside of the socket and a 7mm hex socket fitting down the center. Still was unable to get it to budge.
Since the strut was non functional the air gun techinque was applied.

I plan to use above socket to torque the top bolt down on assembly.

Since I have to get the other side apart, what techniques have you used?
If you are planning to discard the strut the air wrench is not an issue. If you don't have an air wrench (or are working on a strut you don't plan to discard), then the technique I have found to work is to clamp the rod at the top (under the top cap) with a giant visegrip (basically what you did and what Steve recommended) but I use a piece of fibreglass reinforced clear tubing not to scar the shaft in any way, and, IN ADDITION, secure the top cap from turning with another iron of sorts, so basically you would have two securing points, the second one (holding the top cap) is actually more important. Then, with a socket and breaker bar mounted on the nut, take a deep breath, and whack the end of the breaker bar with a nice firm blow with a hammer. Two or three whacks and the nut is loose, sometimes one is enough. Reassemble the same way.

I wish there was an easy way to remove the troublesome bolts securing the lower part of the strut to the suspension. Like Steve my bones and muscles cry out after that amazing aerobic, not to mention all the perspiration, especially if you have to do it without a lift. Depending on the degree of corrosion an ornery bolt can take up to two hours of futzing to remove.

Too bad you don't have a "B", I have a pair of rear struts and springs (sans rust)—you are probably just over the border with NY state—but your LS uses different springs.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:58 PM
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R/R left rear strut yesterday

I had a reasonably OK strut to put in, so I removed the suspect one (there was clunking during a left hand turn going over bumps, sounded like coming from the top of the strut)

So bottom 2 bolts are easy to remove, the top 3 also, and **without thinking** I also removed the sway bar from the hub. Got the strut out easy enough but putting it back together was a bit trick, especially that sway bar attachment --

I am going to rebuild the strut -- I have a new boot, but for the life of me I can not figure out how the end is attached on the bottom! The ID of the plastic 'tray' thing is too small for the OD of the boot , by far. The old boot was completely disintegrated so I could not tell how it was installed! AND - the top part, where the bump stop goes into the boot, seems to be held in place by a removable inside 'collar' that is an interference fit to the cup in the top.

If anyone has a photo of how this assembles, I would love to see it. thanks!
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74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump --speedo been around at least twice -- [B]needs new oil rings[/B]!
1995 LS Q runners Auto Green/tan [B]230K[/B] 100% LCD paint absolutely SHOT!
1995 LS 5 speed Green /tan 48K Q runners squadra chip 100 % LCD -- nice tight car
Misc parts laying around for 24V and 2Liter- always need more it seems
2004 Tacoma 4 door TRD (wifes car/kid hauler)- 172K
Mission Vsi, Mission Mod 2, - 20+ years of hockey on these!
radio flyer- rusty from disuse!
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