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Hey team, Newbie here.

The Mrs has a ZC31S and it seems to be chewing through strut top mounts...

We got the car maybe 4-5 months ago. Noticed a knocking noise coming form the front suspension about a month ago, turns out it was the strut top mounts so had them replaced and was fine. Just noticed the other day it sounds like the knocking noise is coming back and I refuse to believe its chewed through another pair of top mounts so soon.

Is this a common issue? I can't find much on the interballs at all so makes me think it's not so common.

Don't really want to be replacing top mounts every month or two.

Any ideas?

Will be getting the car up on jack stands to give it a proper look at some point.

Cheers
 

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Hey! It's been a while, but did you ever get this resolved?

I own a rs413 2007 and mine keeps going through top mounts on the right side only.

I've already replaced it twice and and now it's starting to get loose again. The first mount lasted about seven years with MANY MANY miles then any replacement lasted about 2 years with not nearly enough miles.

But what trips me up is it's always the right mount, but when replaced the left and right don't seem that different in wear.

I'm considering replacing the top cap to check if it's warped (as the top cap and the top mount sandwich the chassis between them) but I'm not sure it will tell me much.

However: mine makes no noise whatsoever while driving. I only notice it during routine maintenance by jiggling the wheel and strut up and down. It's not noticeable when the car is on the ground.
 

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I'd be questioning the quality of the replacement parts. Most Suzuki strut mounts are nothing more than a chunk of rubber in a metal frame with a metal bush through the center - nothing to really fail other that the rubber of the "bond" between the rubber and the metal fittings.
 

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I'd be questioning the quality of the replacement parts. Most Suzuki strut mounts are nothing more than a chunk of rubber in a metal frame with a metal bush through the center - nothing to really fail other that the rubber of the "bond" between the rubber and the metal fittings.
I can't say about OPs case obviously, but for my case:
Always used the genuine suzuki part, always replaced them as a pair. And still, only the passenger side goes. Parts don't come out visibly damaged or abused, just normally worn.

I've never replaced strut bearings as they've always been perfect, not even tracks or scratches in them.

However I've also not replaced the top cap and I'm thinking i might have a warped one on the passenger side, making the top mount not able to preload correctly. It's just a theory at the moment though.
 

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I think I need to ask this question - what does "normal wear" on a strut mount look like? Even though I'm tempted, I'll refrain from describing a second time, how strut mounts are constructed - some have a bearing, some don't, if I recall correctly, the Swift mounts don't - the strut bearing is separate and external to the mount - which would mean there are no moving parts to wear - so it's pretty much either the rubber is torn, the metal has separated - in other words, visible damage - or the mount is good.

I'll just point out here that I have a thirty year old 1992 Swift with the original mounts still in it - I have changed the bearings, but not the mounts, I also own a couple of other twenty plus year old vehicles with macpherson strut front suspension, and the only one that has needed new strut mounts is the one with the bearing integrated into the mount - the bearing is what was worn, not the mounts themselves.
 

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One more thing - it's not unusual for passenger side suspension & steering components to deteriorate faster than their driver's side companion - they get damaged when drivers "kerb" the tire, park on the sidewalk, or simply due to the fact that pot holes and other road defects are more common closer to the edge of the road than the center.

I remember "blowing" out a passenger side strut on the Swift I mentioned earlier, I hit a collapsed culvert "sink hole" - the strut blew the seal out, but the mount survived.
 

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I think I need to ask this question - what does "normal wear" on a strut mount look like? Even though I'm tempted, I'll refrain from describing a second time, how strut mounts are constructed - some have a bearing, some don't, if I recall correctly, the Swift mounts don't - the strut bearing is separate and external to the mount - which would mean there are no moving parts to wear - so it's pretty much either the rubber is torn, the metal has separated - in other words, visible damage - or the mount is good.

I'll just point out here that I have a thirty year old 1992 Swift with the original mounts still in it - I have changed the bearings, but not the mounts, I also own a couple of other twenty plus year old vehicles with macpherson strut front suspension, and the only one that has needed new strut mounts is the one with the bearing integrated into the mount - the bearing is what was worn, not the mounts themselves.

Normal wear as in not broken, not bend, not coming apart (rubber from metal) not frayed (as in evidence of movement, rotation or tearing of the rubber), not scratched.

Just, simply, worn. rubber reduced in "volume", ridges shallower, and overall harder (as in the rubber has become more compacted).

This isn't hard to fathom: Think of a tire. It has no moving parts, yet one can clearly tell when it's been abused or just simply done it's miles.


My issue (again, can't speak for OP) isn't solely that the right always goes,

It's that it goes in about 2 years, even though the stock one (same exact part) lasted yell over 7 years and well over 100.000 Ks (over 60k miles)

So basically: Left side NEVER worn, right side needs replacing every two years.

(I also never park on sidewalks and have almost never curbed the front passenger wheel)

This is just weird.
 

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This isn't hard to fathom: Think of a tire. It has no moving parts, yet one can clearly tell when it's been abused or just simply done it's miles.
Unlike the strut mount, the tire is being abraded against the road surface, that's probably the worst comparison you could have made - I'm still of the opinion that you're replacing strut mounts unnecessarily, but hey, it's not my money you're spending.
 

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Unlike the strut mount, the tire is being abraded against the road surface, that's probably the worst comparison you could have made - I'm still of the opinion that you're replacing strut mounts unnecessarily, but hey, it's not my money you're spending.
I feel you are being argumentative and I can't see why.

I gave you a thorough discription of what I consider a worn mount and what I consider a damaged mount, you ignore it and proceed to comment on why my example is bad.

You claim one cannot tell if a mount is abused because its just a piece of rubber with no moving parts and I am giving you an example of how a piece of rubber can either be or not be abused, that's it.

And a strut mount can abrade against it's seat if it hasn't been bolted down properly -"which is what would happen if the top cap is warped" the mount moves slightly, that's it's job. No it's not exactly like a tire but that wasn't my point.

All that aside, getting back to the actual matter:

You say I'm unnecessarily replacing mounts. I hear that. Let's discuss this.

My struts when the mounts are fresh don't move, at all. Neither sideways or up and down. After a while, when the car is jacked off the ground you can slightly move the right strut up and down, it has a gap. The left is still rock solid. The gap will increase with time and miles. I don't consider that normal. Do you disagree?
 

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First - the strut mount bolts metal-to-metal, so if it's loose there will be no abrasion of the rubber - unless the rubber has torn loose from the metal, which would be visible damage. Each example you provide "strays" deeper into the realm of the ridiculous.

Now what you're saying is that with an old mount you can feeling the strutmove, and with a new mount you can't - so you replace the mount and the movement stops - for that to happen and be caused by a defective strut mount, either the steel sleeve in the mount will have torn free from the rubber block, the rubber block will have torn away from the steel shell that is bolted to the strut tower, or the rubber may have deteriorated and become soft, which is only likely it it's been exposed to oil or chemical contamination.

You might need to look a little closer to determine exactly where the movement is occurring, I'm still not convinced the strut mount has failed - where exactly is this gap? If you can see a gap in the mount where one should not be, that would count as visible damage.
 

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First - the strut mount bolts metal-to-metal, so if it's loose there will be no abrasion of the rubber - unless the rubber has torn loose from the metal, which would be visible damage. Each example you provide "strays" deeper into the realm of the ridiculous.

Now what you're saying is that with an old mount you can feeling the strutmove, and with a new mount you can't - so you replace the mount and the movement stops - for that to happen and be caused by a defective strut mount, either the steel sleeve in the mount will have torn free from the rubber block, the rubber block will have torn away from the steel shell that is bolted to the strut tower, or the rubber may have deteriorated and become soft, which is only likely it it's been exposed to oil or chemical contamination.

You might need to look a little closer to determine exactly where the movement is occurring, I'm still not convinced the strut mount has failed - where exactly is this gap? If you can see a gap in the mount where one should not be, that would count as visible damage.
You are still being argumentative and It's getting rather stressful. You may not realize this but calling my points ridiculous just because you don't agree is rude. For a moment, let go of the idea that you know 100% of everything there is to know about my struts, and if you are so inclined, try to explain what you don't understand or don't agree with instead of calling it ridiculous and all that.
Up to this point, your argument is that a part YOU haven't had to replace, and is too simple to fail can't have possibly failed on a car you have never laid eyes upon on a the other side of the globe. That is presumptuous.

If you are going to volunteer (or even waste) your time on this, at least let's be friendly and civil instead of trying to one up each other. Please, let's just be cool, I really want there to be a discussion and not an argument. Agreed?

Let's go then:

The rs413 strut mount is comprised of the top mount and the top cap.

Each is a steel cup with a rubber lining.

The two are separated by a nut. When the top nut is cranked down it bolts the two caps to each other, NOT TO THE CHASSIS. The two cups sandwich the chassis sheet metal between them and ,since they are rubber and supposedly soft, act as a rubber bushing. Again: no bolt whatsoever goes into the chassis itself. The chassis is just wedged between two rubber surfaces.

If either cap is warped then the rubber will not compress properly and can slide around slightly as the strut moves around. It shouldn't, it should be fixed in place, unable to slide, and any motion should be the result of the rubber flexing, not sliding. If it slides around then it will wear faster.

101391



On your points:

"You might need to look a little closer to determine exactly where the movement is occurring, I'm still not convinced the strut mount has failed - where exactly is this gap? If you can see a gap in the mount where one should not be, that would count as visible damage."

the gap seems to be exactly on the top mount. The whole assembly seems to move slightly up and down in the pocket of the chassis. Since the pocket is steeply conical a very small clearance can translate to a larger linear motion. So If the motion is let's say 5mm up and down that can be due to a less than 1mm clearance between the pocket and the mount. Which can easily explain why you can't feel it move laterally but can feel it move up and down. And again: if for any reason the top cap is warped it will not properly wedge the chassis, it will not preload. Which can either mean the mount will start to wobble way before it is actually worn down, or that it wears faster because it moves more than it should.

I don't know, perhaps changing the top cap will awnser that, perhaps not.

When the car is on the ground the mount if forced into the pocket by the weight of the car obviously.


It also might be a possibility that my right shock absorber is worn and it allows more vibration to reach the mount and wear it down.... but I find that unlikely as a: the absorbers passed MOT easily and b: they are very uniformly worn.

But it's not impossible
 

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I'm going to start by suggesting to you that you consider what I'm saying with an open mind.

Do you agree that the strut mount has a metal shell on the bottom where it meets the strut, and a metal shell at the top where it meets the chassis? Yes or no? It is a chunk of rubber bonded to two steel shells - agree or disagree?

Is there any way that the mount itself can be loose without a) the upper steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or b) the lower steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or c) the rubber itself separating? If any of these three situations occurs, these should be considered as a damaged mount - and the damage will be clearly visible once the mount is removed from the vehicle - agree or disagree?

If the strut mount is loose at any point other than where it bolts to the strut - what is it that is going to be abraded - can it be abraded at any point other than where the upper steel shell meets the underside of the chassis - yes or nor? Do you understand now that the rubber of the mount is not being abraded as would be the case if this were a tire? Do you understand that the wear is going to occur at the point where the abrasion is occurring? Do you agree that the wear point is steel-to-steel?

If you can take the mount and find movement between the upper steel shell and the lower steel shell - then you have a defective mount that needs to be replaced - but at that point we are back to options a, b or c mentioned in paragraph 3 above - it's not worn, it's broken.

What I suspect is happening to you is that you have movement occurring not internal to the mount itself, but either between the mount and the chassis or between the top cap and the chassis - and that replacing the mount temporarily solves the problem until the new mount fully seats - the chassis may be distorted, the top cap may be distorted, the nut in between the mount and the cap may be thicker than it should so there is less pressure clamping the chassis between the upper shell of the mount and the underside side of the cap, bur I don't see a worn strut mount as being the cause of that problem.
 

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I'm going to start by suggesting to you that you consider what I'm saying with an open mind.

Do you agree that the strut mount has a metal shell on the bottom where it meets the strut, and a metal shell at the top where it meets the chassis? Yes or no? It is a chunk of rubber bonded to two steel shells - agree or disagree?

Is there any way that the mount itself can be loose without a) the upper steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or b) the lower steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or c) the rubber itself separating? If any of these three situations occurs, these should be considered as a damaged mount - and the damage will be clearly visible once the mount is removed from the vehicle - agree or disagree?

If the strut mount is loose at any point other than where it bolts to the strut - what is it that is going to be abraded - can it be abraded at any point other than where the upper steel shell meets the underside of the chassis - yes or nor? Do you understand now that the rubber of the mount is not being abraded as would be the case if this were a tire? Do you understand that the wear is going to occur at the point where the abrasion is occurring? Do you agree that the wear point is steel-to-steel?

If you can take the mount and find movement between the upper steel shell and the lower steel shell - then you have a defective mount that needs to be replaced - but at that point we are back to options a, b or c mentioned in paragraph 3 above - it's not worn, it's broken.

What I suspect is happening to you is that you have movement occurring not internal to the mount itself, but either between the mount and the chassis or between the top cap and the chassis - and that replacing the mount temporarily solves the problem until the new mount fully seats - the chassis may be distorted, the top cap may be distorted, the nut in between the mount and the cap may be thicker than it should so there is less pressure clamping the chassis between the upper shell of the mount and the underside side of the cap, bur I don't see a worn strut mount as being the cause of that problem.
I'm going to start by suggesting to you that you consider what I'm saying with an open mind.

Do you agree that the strut mount has a metal shell on the bottom where it meets the strut, and a metal shell at the top where it meets the chassis? Yes or no? It is a chunk of rubber bonded to two steel shells - agree or disagree?

Is there any way that the mount itself can be loose without a) the upper steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or b) the lower steel shell coming loose from the rubber; or c) the rubber itself separating? If any of these three situations occurs, these should be considered as a damaged mount - and the damage will be clearly visible once the mount is removed from the vehicle - agree or disagree?

If the strut mount is loose at any point other than where it bolts to the strut - what is it that is going to be abraded - can it be abraded at any point other than where the upper steel shell meets the underside of the chassis - yes or nor? Do you understand now that the rubber of the mount is not being abraded as would be the case if this were a tire? Do you understand that the wear is going to occur at the point where the abrasion is occurring? Do you agree that the wear point is steel-to-steel?

If you can take the mount and find movement between the upper steel shell and the lower steel shell - then you have a defective mount that needs to be replaced - but at that point we are back to options a, b or c mentioned in paragraph 3 above - it's not worn, it's broken.

What I suspect is happening to you is that you have movement occurring not internal to the mount itself, but either between the mount and the chassis or between the top cap and the chassis - and that replacing the mount temporarily solves the problem until the new mount fully seats - the chassis may be distorted, the top cap may be distorted, the nut in between the mount and the cap may be thicker than it should so there is less pressure clamping the chassis between the upper shell of the mount and the underside side of the cap, bur I don't see a worn strut mount as being the cause of that problem.
Now this is the discussion i was looking for. Thank you for taking the time. Just to explain my side : I always keep an open mind and I'm listening carefully to what you are saying about the problem. What I took exception to is when I feel you dismissed my points as ridiculous because maybe I'm not putting them down in a way that makes sense to you.

I disagree on one point:

No, the mount doesn't have a metal shell touching the strut and a metal shell touching the chassis

The strut mounting system as a whole has at no point any metal to metal contact between chassis and suspension. In fact, no metal part of the suspension assembly touches any metal part of the chassis directly.

Both the strut mount touches the chassis pocket rubber to metal from below and the top cap touches the chassis rubber to metal from the top. There is no solid bolted connection between the chassis and the mount.


For example this is in contrast to a suspension bushing where you have two metal shells, inner and outer, both bonded to the same rubber piece. Then one shell bolts to the swing arm metal to metal, the other to the chassis metal to metal and the rubber keeps them together.

This is not the case here. The mount keeps to the chassis via friction between the two rubber surfaces and the chassis. That's it. The rubber in either case is only bonded to the suspension side, and then grips to the chassis directly. Not bonded to it or bonded to any metal part that itself bolts to the chassis.
So there are two metal shells touching the strut, one below and one above the chassis. Both then grip the chassis rubber to metal via friction. They're not bonded to it.

( I may have repeated myself here, sorry I'm on my phone and it's hard to overview the entire text)

It is different to any other strut mount I ever saw.


As the rubber is not bonded to both sides that it touches it can in fact rub against the non bonded side. I'm not saying it does defacto, but it can. That's what I'm looking at.


You make a good point however, when you say that it may stop temporarily when the mount is new not because it's thicker but because it's not fully seated. This is useful advice. However I'm not convinced this is the issue as the strut would probably start having this gap after a few hundred miles at most. Not stay solid for thousands of miles and then develop a gap. I will keen it in mind though thanks.

It's also possible that there is an issue with the nut. I may try to switch sides of the spacer nuts next time.

Obviously I agree a warped cap can be an issue, i mentioned already that i plan to change it to see if it helps
 

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Are there not two cone shaped steel shell as I have shown in this sketch?

Double line below the lower strut nut should be a steel shell which is attached to the stud at the top of the strut. There should then be a ring shaped chunk of rubber, and then above that there is a double line which should be a second steel shell.

Are you asking me to believe that once the top cap has been removed, the rubber mount can be lifted off of the strut? leaving a circular steel section still bolted to the strut???

Mount shell.png
 

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Are there not two cone shaped steel shell as I have shown in this sketch?

Double line below the lower strut nut should be a steel shell which is attached to the stud at the top of the strut. There should then be a ring shaped chunk of rubber, and then above that there is a double line which should be a second steel shell.

Are you asking me to believe that once the top cap has been removed, the rubber mount can be lifted off of the strut? leaving a circular steel section still bolted to the strut???

View attachment 101392
No, the two parts you are pointing two are not steel shells.

The "lower shell" Is in fact the lower steel shell

The "upper shell" AND the "rubber mount" you are pointing to are both one part and are the rubber part of the mount. None of that assembly is directly bolted to the chassis! (there may well be a steel crown embedded in the rubber, I would have to cut it open to be sure, but it's not exposed and not bolted to the chassis)

-yes- if you undo --only the upper nut in the diagram-- and remove the "top cap" the entire strut assembly can be lowered out of the vehicle. (ok sorry scratch that, that's not what you asked. I make it clear in my next comment, NO the mount does NOT in fact come apart, it's a unit bolted to the strut. That's not the rubber part I claim rubs and abrades, only the rubber surface that directly contacts the chassis on the very top of the mount)

The play is not between the two "shells" as you are pointing them out, it's between the whole bushing assembly and the chassis. (sorry for editing so much it's late and I'm tired)
 

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Sorry for the double comment but I wanted to be perfectly clear:


To be exact:

If you undo the upper nut and remove the top cap, the strut, together with the whole mount assembly (lower shell and rubber mount-upper "rubber" shell) as a unit come of the vehicle.

The play is between this entire assembly (what you point to as "upper shell, that would be the contact surface but it's actually rubber as well) and the metal chassis.

(again, sorry this is put in so many words. I'm a visual person and dyslexic and sometimes putting into text is hard for me)

as you can see below, the lower part of the mount where the bearing goes is steel, the upper part is just a rubber surface. There is possible a top steel crown in there to reinforce the contact area but I can't be sure. However this mount just sits on the chassis rubber to metal. It doesn't directly bolt to it. It only bolts to the strut with a single nut. Then the assembly is lifted into place, the top cap rests against the nut an another nut goes in top to tighten the stack. The top cap itself has a rubber lower surface that rests on the metal chassis from the top of the vehicle. And that way the two sandwich the chassis.

What I'm claiming "can rub" is this upper rubber surface to the metal chassis (if it's not correctly preloaded)

Again, sorry for this messed up format in my last two comments. Either my browser is giving me lip OR I really need to sleep.

101393
101394
 

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BTW, we got carried away with whether or not it can rub and missed another point to be made:

This doesn't even really need to rub around to develop a gap.

The way this is tightened down, if the rubber of the mount simply compresses with age and looses some volume it will develop play. Think of it this way, If the "rubber mount" compresses with age then it's upper surface will move away from the top cap, increasing the clearance between the two. That will cause a gap and play in the assembly.

If the mount was properly bolted to the chassis metal to metal that would be impossible obviously.
 
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