Ensuring vehicle safety
An important part of checking a vehicle’s suspension is the condition of the strut mounts when replacing shock absorber struts.
Strut mounts are subjected to heavy vibration during their lifespan and as like any rubber to metal bonded parts, they are susceptible to wear over time.
Worn strut mounts or bearing plates can adversely affect vehicle handling and safety as they are an important component of the suspension system. They also can cause noise, steering binding or even be the cause of steering pull.
In the worst cases, worn strut mounts can allow the upper end of the strut to change position which directly affects wheel alignment angles. If such wear is not detected properly at the time of replacing shock absorber struts, it almost always results in customer returns, premature tyre wear and suspension component fatigue.
To increase the lifespan of any vehicle strut, replacing a worn strut mount and bearing plate is essential, says Monroe. It states these integral suspension components work together with the strut to isolate road vibrations and to provide smooth and safe steering response.
To best service Australian automotive repairers, Monroe says it provides complete Strut-Mate Mounting Kits which are easy to install.
In most cases with strut suspensions, the upper strut mount replaces the upper control arm and bushings, upper ball joint and control arm pivot shaft, making this component the pivot point of a vehicle’s suspension.
Once replaced, the flexibility of the mount allows the strut angle to change to follow the travel of the lower ball joint. The rubber portion of the mount is designed to reduce vibrations and transmitted road noises.
Monroe explains the bearing plate built into these mounts serves as the upper pivot point and forms the steering axis, so when the front wheels are steered, the entire strut is able to pivot from the lower ball joint to the upper strut mount. The upper strut mount may also carry the load and transfer that load to the spring and strut housing.
To check for worn or defective strut mounts, automotive technicians should first do a road test, checking for unusual noise, pulling or steering binding. Then with the car parked in the workshop and on the ground, rotate the steering from stop to stop while listening for noise or the effects of binding, which are indicative of a defective bearing.
The rubber portions of the strut mount also need to be checked for cracks or separation from the steel before raising the vehicle. Also before activating the hoist, the technician needs to take note of the position of the strut piston rod. Then once the vehicle is raised note any change in the position of the strut mount assembly. A slight downward movement is normal, but any side to side movement more than likely indicates a worn strut mount.
The next step once the vehicle is raised is to grip the coil spring as close to the upper strut mount as possible, then push in and out on the strut while watching for movement of the upper end of the piston rod. There should be no free movement, if there is movement, the strut mount needs to be replaced. The inspection is completed by checking the steering pivot to ensure smooth and free rotation, while also checking all rubber components for breaking away from the metal, visual signs of cracking and general wear.
Monroe says its Strut-Mate Mounting Kits feature original equipment style bearings, SAE grade nuts and bolts, superior rubber to steel bonding and plated steel for longer wear. All Monroe Strut-Mate Mounting Kits also include spring isolators, spring seats, boots and bumpers.
These premium quality replacement strut mounting kits have been manufactured to meet or exceed original equipment specifications, says Monroe.
For application and general information about the range of Monroe Strut-Mate Mounting Kits available, contact Monroe Australia by calling 1800 088 205.