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Discussion Starter #1
I torn down the front struts, put in some Konis and put it all back together and everything was great. Then about 1,000mi later I get this popping and binding in the front when I turn. I removed the driver’s side strut and everything looked fine. I could rotate the strut without a lot of effort and couldn't feel or hear anything unusual, so back on the car it went. Everything was great for a few days and now the popping and binding are back. On checking, I can see the wheel turn but the strut stays in place until it finally rotates in a snapping movement like a ratcheting effect. I checked the passenger side and the same thing occurs.
Rebuilding a strut is not rocket science, so I'm a little embarrassed that I'm having problems, but a couple of questions:
1. When I tried to rotate the new bearings before installation, they didn't rotate very easily and didn't seem very smooth at all. Is this typical or did I get some faulty bearings?
2. Does it make any difference which side of the lower bearing goes down? I installed mine with the gap between the two halves of yellow plastic seal facing up.
Other than that, any other suggestions?
 

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1. When I tried to rotate the new bearings before installation, they didn't rotate very easily and didn't seem very smooth at all. Is this typical or did I get some faulty bearings?
With new bearings, the struts should rotate easily and smooth.

2. Does it make any difference which side of the lower bearing goes down? I installed mine with the gap between the two halves of yellow plastic seal facing up.
Yes, I think so! The gap of the yellow plastic bearing should be facing down. The top of the bearing should fit the cone shape of the lower spring pan. The bottom of the bearing is flat and should sit on the strut.

I have a feeling you should get a couple new ones if you have installed it upside down.
 

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There is another bearing in the cap of the strut assembly. Is that one misbehaving? But it sounds like the lower strut bearing is your problem. Best wishes.
 

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I think the biggest problem is the bearing was installed upside down, but they should have rotated smoothly before installing them. Did you check the upper bearing in the upper strut mount as well?
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys. I'll check the bearings and verify that I installed them upside down, but I can't think of what else it would be. I did check the upper bearings and they rotated fine. That's what I hate about these bulletin boards. You have to air all your stupid mistakes to god and everybody, but at least you get the problem fixed.
 

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But you have a '69 Spider to make up for it. I only have a '74 and it doesn't even run now.
 

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Thanks for the input guys. I'll check the bearings and verify that I installed them upside down, but I can't think of what else it would be. I did check the upper bearings and they rotated fine. That's what I hate about these bulletin boards. You have to air all your stupid mistakes to god and everybody, but at least you get the problem fixed.
Upside down would make it not sit right and give major problems.

This is the upper mount with bearing (can go bad but sounds like lower bearings are in upside down):


Strut bearing should have sat like this on the strut. Only one way it can really fit.
The top part with the grooves are to grip the upper spring perch. You can see that the strut where the bearing fits is flat, same as the bottom of the bearing, the perch is curved like top of the bearing.


Make sure the cut you made on the struts are CLEAN and smooth, add a little grease to inner part of strut where the bearing sits as well.

Jason
 

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But remember that if you open it up, the little bitty balls may try to roll all over the floor. They don't always do this, but if you're pulling on he yellow housing to get it apart and it resists you, that means the little balls are gathering up their nerve to make a run for it.
 

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While you can open up these bearings to clean and regrease them with a good wheel bearing grease, they are inexpensive and it's worth buying new ones if you don't trust yourself to take these apart.

I found it is best to pop them apart in a big bucket or box to catch the balls. They are a lousy design, with NO seals. They fill up with road grit quickly, and seize after a while. The ones I rebuilt were packed solid with hardened grease and road dirt. I also found that the plastic they are made from is brittle, and the flanges crack easily.
 

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I agree

While you can open up these bearings to clean and regrease them with a good wheel bearing grease, they are inexpensive and it's worth buying new ones if you don't trust yourself to take these apart.

I found it is best to pop them apart in a big bucket or box to catch the balls. They are a lousy design, with NO seals. They fill up with road grit quickly, and seize after a while. The ones I rebuilt were packed solid with hardened grease and road dirt. I also found that the plastic they are made from is brittle, and the flanges crack easily.
It is a questionable design. These tend to be a consumable item in 164s, as they begin to make noise soon after replacement. Like many components in the front suspension, they are called upon to do alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the pics Jason and your thoughts on the strut cuts are something I will check when I take them apart. Hopefully its just the bearing positioning.
 
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