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Front strut problems

 
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ZeNiTh-PbArM
Alfa 33


Joined: 14 Mar 2003
Posts: 405
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Front strut problems Reply with quote

Hi

I've had this annoying "clunk" noise for some time in my front left suspension for some months and it had been growing worse so I removed the strut to check.
1st problem : I had fitted yellow Konis a few years back. It seems the Koni insert can move within the original strut tube. Not by much but enough to generate annoying noises. I replaced the whole strut and will sort this out later. Has anyone encountered such an issue?
2nd problem : I replaced the usual strut pan bearing. While doing so, I replaced the bump stop and the bellows as the original parts were torn. I have bought a Sachs kit (P/N 900004) supposedly correct for a 33 but I can't figure how to install the boot and bump stop. The boot is shorter than the original one, and I suppose the stop has to be installed between the boot and either end of the strut to bridge the gap. Unfortunately diameters are such that the stop slides into the boot and can't be made to stay outside of it. Any advice is appreciated

On top of that, I may add that since I replaced wishbone AV mounts with powerflex ones (short of correct quality OEM replacements), refitting of the front strut requires much more leverage and makes the whole job a royal pain for tiny guys (such as I, needless to say)

Cheers,
zp
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RFlower
Gold Cloverleaf


Joined: 17 Feb 2004
Posts: 506
Location: S of France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ZP,

Our 1.7 ie and Sprint 1.5 have different front struts from the Imola and Trofeo (both 1.4 ie). The 1.7 is UK, RHD, Sprint is Spanish, LHD, and the other 2 are French, LHD.

They are all in our remise about 5 km away, so I can't look at them right now, but the front struts on the later car are completely different from the earlier ones.

Earlier models have a yellow plastic housed bearing between the lower spring pan and the rotating part of the strut, so that only the lower part of the strut rotates when the steering is turned, whereas later models have a bearing at the top of the strut, so the whole strut rotates.

The earlier struts have four fixing studs at the top and the later ones have three, so are easy to identify.

Is it possible that the kit you have is for the wrong type or model of strut?

I rebuilt one or more struts on the 1.7, using new and used parts from Just Suds, and remember some differences in boots and bump stops, even though all the struts looked similar, and had the same type of bearings - under the lower spring pans. This was in 2004, so I can't remember the exact details. I think I still have quite a few strut parts in the remise, but they will be a mixture of 4-stud and 3-stud strut parts, as I also got some spare struts from a local casse.

I also rebuilt the struts on the Sprint, and think that these were different again, probably shorter than those on the 1.7, although some parts were interchangeable.
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Dick Flower, Nr. Carcassonne. '94 Trofeo 1.4 ie (F), '93 Imola 1.3/1.4 ie (now for breaking) (F), '91 1.7 ie (GB)(spare car), '86 Sprint 1.5 QV (F). '87 VW Syncro camper (F), '96 Audi Avant 1.8T
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ZeNiTh-PbArM
Alfa 33


Joined: 14 Mar 2003
Posts: 405
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Thanks for your reply - my struts are the typical 33 ones with 4 nuts and the yellow bearing. There can't be no mistake between mine and the latest (93-94) type as parts are quite different.
I'll dismantle the old strut to investigate where the radial clearance between the Koni insert and the strut originates from. Probably next weekend as I am awfully busy this week.

Cheers
ZP
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BigAl
P4


Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 3062
Location: U.K Surrey

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ZP,
When you cut the original strut, you need to make sure you leave as much as you can, the top of the koni insert has protruding ridges on it and when tightened from the bolt from the bottom, it grips to the strut. If you cut the strut below the top of the ridged part of the koni, it will be loose.

RE; the bump stop, the order is, strut pan bearing, strut pan, bump stop, metal disk that goes on top of the bump stop, with the concave part marrying with the shape of the bump stop, spring then the fully assembled top parts.

RE; the boot, have you compared them side by side and measured them, it has a large lip that goes up top to cover the bottom of the 4 spot welded studs and is pushed over from the inside.

RE; re-fitment, I have powerflex bushes all round and donít have a problem, I actually did mine on Saturday.
Even though you are only working on one side, jack up the front of the car and put it on axle stands, to unload all the suspension.

Tips, Clean the thread on the 4 strut bolts thoroughly as they are a fine thread and will cross thread easily, do not force, same goes for the hub threads.
If you donít want to crack the track rod end in the future, remove the steering arm from the steering rack.
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ZeNiTh-PbArM
Alfa 33


Joined: 14 Mar 2003
Posts: 405
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Did take some time to take the clunking noise sorted. It turned out the strut was cracked and I ended up replacing it. Ordered new springs as well as they were rusted ad well.

Now is reassembly time.
The replacement bellows boot differs from the OEM setup and is too short to cover the whole length. I guess the upper end of the boot goes onto the lower end of the bump stop (maybe using a tyrap) but am not 100% sure.
Here's a pic of the parts I have


and a sample pic of a similar assembly for a different make/model though


Regards,
zp
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Bobkelso
Alfa Sprint


Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 196
Location: Milan - Italy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhm..ideally the boot would be attached
- at the upper metal washes
- and the lower spring plates
to have an almost total protection from water and powders.
(I just veriified it on the photos on the guide:
https://www.alfa-restoration.co.uk/manuals/Suspension_steering_trans/Front_suspension.pdf )

But as you say you have boots a bit different,
you can try if used as in your photo or reversed
you can arrive to attache both ends or not.

And if at the upper end they will be not attached
to the upper washer they will be still a bit better
than not having them?
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