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Old 05-30-2012, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default strut mount bearings

I recently tried to have a front end alignment done and it turns out I need struts. The piston is loose in it's bore on both sides.I visually verified this. The 95 tracker has 116k on it with the original struts so no surprise there. I ordered struts from rock auto and mounts from autozone but can't find bearings. Does anyone have a part number for these? And what is the chance they are reusable? One more thing,autozone's website shows them as coming with bearings but they don't. so be warned. Thanks in advance. Dennis
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bearings? Or bushings? Bushings are the rubbers that prevent metal to metal contact.

If the old ones are in good condition they can be reused but then you run the risk of having to remove the shocks before their time so you can replace the bushings.

I just threw some non-descript new ones of a different size on mine the other day. They were what I could get and they work. If I drove on a highway or at higher speeds then I'd make sure that everything suspension was the right thing.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you sure it takes a bearing?

I don't have access to the Tracker parts catalogues, but the equivalent Suzuki Sidekick does not use a bearing at the top of the strut.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure if it's bearings or bushings.Both rock and autozone mention bearings. Rock says their mounts don't come with bearings and as I mentioned autozone says they do but they don't.I have only done a couple of strut replacements on various cars and have never replaced bearings. The new mounts have a rubber bushing in the center,as they should, with a steel center.The diagram that comes with them shows what appears to be a bearing that goes on just below the mount.I guess I'll find out next week! I'll post the results.Thanks guys for the tips.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's what I'll tell you ...

I've worked on cars where there is a separate bearing between the top of the strut and the strut mount, I've worked on cars where the strut mount incorporates a bearing - in these designs the entire strut rotates as you steer.

I've also worked on cars where there was no bearing and the piston rod bolts directly to the strut mount, and in this design the piston rod stays stationary and the strut body rotates around it as you steer.

My Grand Vitara, which use the exact same strut as the Sidekick, is this last design - there was no bearing there when I disassembled it, and there is no bearing shown in the parts manual.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My strut turns with the wheel.

The lower body portion rotates. I don't have anyone to help confirm if the top rod rotates but it doesn't appear so.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's a MacPherson strut front end - the strut will turn with the wheel, that's how it's designed - the question really is how much of the strut turns with the wheel.

I had assumed that all MacPherson strut front ends had bearings, either separately or as a part of the mount, because that's what I was accustomed to seeing, and then I changed out the front struts on my Grand Vitara, and discovered that it had no bearings.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My 99 Tracker has a bearing plate bolted to the strut tower and the strut is centered/bolted to the bearing plate.. I flushed the bearing out with a cleaner and injected high pressure grease.... Philip
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I just finished putting new swaybar links and bushings on and had a good look at the struts. It appears that the strut piston passes through the mount and there is no bearing between them, just the gaitor. New cam bolts to make the aligment guys life easier and best of all,no spring to compress Considering the age of all the hardware I'm totally surprised by how easy all the bolts loosened.Thank god for blaster. If I knew how to post pics I would for the archives. Dennis
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