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The spring seat failed on my car while driving in rural Montana last week.  I ended having to pay someone to pull the entire strut tower/spring assembly from a junkyard vehicle to get it back on the road (after an expensive tow job!), but now I'm kind of worried about the other side.  The car itself doesn't have much rust otherwise, and this failure was in an undetectable/uninspectable part of the vehicle. 

 

1)  Can you buy just the seat and install it?  What's the part number and where would I get one?

 

2)  Any way of inspecting it?  Anyone else run into this problem?  Car doesn't have many miles on it (~150k), and they don't use that much salt here.

 

Kind of frightening.  Glad it happened on a highway that I could pull over relatively easily, in the morning, without damaging the tire too badly. 

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What I see is a failed strut assembly--not the strut tower.  Am I missing something?

 

Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology?   The fractured piece is definitely not part of the front strut cartridge -- its the spring seat.  Basically the bottom line is, can I replace just that part on the other side (which is probably corroded as well)? 

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Err, you got me doing more searching.  Turns out the part is SM5383 / SM5384 for KYB, ie: spring seats.   Not that it would have changed the outcome, but I never knew such parts existed till now. 

 

Bleh, a whole ton of work I guess.  But at least I can do everything without a junkyard visit. 

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f

 

Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology?   The fractured piece is definitely not part of the front strut cartridge -- its the spring seat.  Basically the bottom line is, can I replace just that part on the other side (which is probably corroded as well)? 

I have a pair of those seats from KYB and they also come with the spring seat bushing which you will need as well as the strut bearings which sits just under the tower mount IIRC. I can get you the KYB P/N for the bearings when I get to my shop. (Un)fortunately everything has to come out to do the job right but then the job is done right and there shouldn't be an issue there for a long time.

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The spring perches are easy to get.  You will have to disassemble the entire strut.  It's no picnic.  I just did them yesterday.  I have an NOS perch stashed away.  The shape of the perch makes it difficult to line up the spring compressor.  But it's doable.  It's really not that bad to do.  Parts are pretty affordable for it too.

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Oh drat, just realized that is the bottom of the spring perch and not the strut mount (top) & the broken part is sitting on the tire.

 

Yes, that is a bolt in replacement but I also always change the strut mount (bearing at the top of the strut) any time out. When worn it can squeak randomly and drive you bonkers.

Edited by Padgett

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Oh drat, just realized that is the bottom of the spring perch and not the strut mount (top) & the broken part is sitting on the tire.

 

Yes, that is a bolt in replacement but I also always change the strut mount (bearing at the top of the strut) any time out. When worn it can squeak randomly and drive you bonkers.

These cars don't have a bearing.  Just a bushing.  And it's very easily changed out from under the hood.

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OK now I am confused It looks like (4) rubs on (2) and the three ball bearings on my E-bodies have gone away. Further what broke is (7) and (8). Correct ? Is (33) the replaceable bushing ?

 

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These cars don't have a bearing.  Just a bushing.  And it's very easily changed out from under the hood.

hmmmm,

 

you sure about that Dan?

 

the bearing is in the center of the spring seat pressed into the seat, when one replaces the seat a new bearing will be in there. the rubber isolator sits around the bearing assembly and hides the bearing from view.

 

On this design the spring is always stationary, the lower end of the strut swivels.

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hmmmm,

 

you sure about that Dan?

 

the bearing is in the center of the spring seat pressed into the seat, when one replaces the seat a new bearing will be in there. the rubber isolator sits around the bearing assembly and hides the bearing from view.

 

On this design the spring is always stationary, the lower end of the strut swivels.

There's no bearing in the seat.  Just a rubber isolator.  I have an NOS seat brand new in my hands.  It doesn't even have an isolator on it  Just a stamped steel seat with a rubber spring isolator.  I just had them all apart on Galen's car.  No bearing. It seems that it just slides on the spring seat.

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Sounds just like GM to sell the perch without the bearing.  I guess I'll need to track down a bearing for it somewhere.  It wasn't making sense to me that there'd be nothing there to isolate the movement.  But there wasn't anything there when I opened the box.

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I really want to look now, for the life of me I cannot picture a bearing under the springs, just a rubber thing that is molded to hold the spring. Not saying it's not there, perhaps I never looked under the rubber thingy?

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The bearing sits between parts #8 and #9 on Padgett's diagram.

I managed to get smooth motion out of a bearing by squirting some oil into it using an oil can.  I guess they're not sealed that well.

It's not a bad job, but you definitely need to compress and remove the spring, so if you have any interest in replacement lowering springs, now would be the time to install them.

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