Strut Failure
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Thread: Strut Failure

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    Strut Failure

    Fellow Frogs,

    Someime ago I was aked by my sister in law to recommend a used vehicle. I suggested that she might look at buying a SEAT as the family have a bias towards VW's but didn't want to fork out megabucks.

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    Anyway, as is always the way, this has come back to bite me on the bum. Over Christmas I was invited to inspect the vehicle she purchased, after it started making noises in the front end....when I checked it out it looks like the top of the strut insert has popped up into the engine bay, complete with the bushes and retaining nut still in tact and is now attached to nothing,- makes a very impressive noise when driven not to mention exciting handling....is this failure common with McPherson strut based suspensions?...is the tower itself or the strut assembly more likely to be the cause....it's hard to tell without pulling the thing apart because of the large rubber bushings...will this cost a motza to fix?..in which I will have to lay low on the in law front for a while.

    I didn't inspect the car before she bought it, told her get it checked by a mechanic. She went for a higher km better optioned and (against advice) an automatic model...but none the less I'm sure that some merde will stick on my suggestion and myself for making it. mallet

    Just in case you are wondering why I would ever have pointed her in this direction, I did originally suggest that she look around for a good 12 or Virage...but to no avail.
    cheers!
    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Boggy, you should have know better mallet mallet but unfortunately it would appear that these European Mc Pherson struts do have a bit of a thing about suddenly appearing through the bonnet. If you check out the Citroen forum, I think earlier this year, our old mate from the Netherlands (Peter??) had a similar problem and either he or greenblood posted a couple of pics showing the results of a couple of XMs that had done it. BXs also have been known to do it. The rubber at top of the strut just splits or the vulcanising lets go and I understand in Malaysia with their rough roads & high humidity it's a very common problem; so much so that I have had it claimed that they almost make replacing the mounts at certain intervals, part of routine service. It could be that the cars shockies are stuffed or the car was driven on them when they were or that the car spent its early life in rough territory.
    There is apparently no forewarning and the top mounts should be regularly visually checked. With Cits, I think a mod was brought out for them...with a Seat, well with a name like that I suppose you could always say it was "sat on" dance dance

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  3. #3
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Owen Wuillemin tells a tale of a workmate (or someone...) who drove his early Camira home in the rain, hitting a huge pothole in the bleak conditions. Parking in the garage, he went inside and dried off.

    Next day he came out and noted that the car seemed to be sitting a little low... and the the bonnet was kind of ajar...

    Unless the car has busted its bodywork in some way, I doubt that it will be an expensive fix.

    Never happened with a Pug, has it?

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    Thanks Alan,

    You are right, there isn't a lot to be said for making that recommendation. I must have been under the influence of "Ambar" the Spanish beer that tastes like cat's piss on the night I made it. a_drink

    Thanks to you I have been able to speak to sis in law and deliver a more definitive diagnosis, not that I think she understood a great deal.

    And Ray, you are right. I had a 404 for a long time, tough as old boots in all conditions.

    Thanks fellas

    cheers!

    <small>[ 27 December 2002, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: BogMaster ]</small>
    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

  5. #5
    Banned renaulturbo's Avatar
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    One thing i learnt from the few years i worked in a garage in Europe is that you cant judge a vehicle manufacturer on one particular car that was made out of many thousands. The production line WILL inflict a variable degree of quality despite quality control. No two cars will be the exactly identical.

    One day a customer came in complaining about a particular Ford car he had for 2 years. I understood why he bagged Ford's, he had to change his engine 3 times under warranty and it still wasnt right... The next week another customer would come in praising the same model car, "Never given me a problem..."

    Point made. There was a Seat made called the 600 which was compared in toughness and longevity to the Volkswagen Beetle eek!

    By all means bag a Lada Samara but by people bagging a brand like Seat is pure ignorance...same attribute as 90% of the people i know that would describe a recommendation on buying a renault, a citroen or a peugeot as a mistake.....

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by renaulturbo
    <strong>.....By all means bag a Lada Samara but by people bagging a brand like Seat is pure ignorance...same attribute as 90% of the people i know that would describe a recommendation on buying a renault, a citroen or a peugeot as a mistake.....
    No problems...

    I worked on a Lada once, there's no way any Samara could have been that poorly built if this one was anything to go by.

    The guy who supplied the replacement clutch made a comment that implied the same too...

  7. #7
    Banned renaulturbo's Avatar
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    Ray Bell:
    Originally posted by renaulturbo
    <strong>.....By all means bag a Lada Samara but by people bagging a brand like Seat is pure ignorance...same attribute as 90% of the people i know that would describe a recommendation on buying a renault, a citroen or a peugeot as a mistake.....
    No problems...

    I worked on a Lada once, there's no way any Samara could have been that poorly built if this one was anything to go by.

    The guy who supplied the replacement clutch made a comment that implied the same too...
    Hmmm...thats what you'd call a genuine four-leaved clover , a Samara that dosent fall apart after 3 years??? eek! eek!

    Maybe we should hear from the owner, could be his 10th clutch

  8. #8
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    It was about the swarf that came out as I removed the bellhousing bolts...

    The holes didn't line up!

    It was the first clutch, I think... this was about eight or nine years ago.

  9. #9
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    Guys
    I traded in a '83 1300 Citroen GSA a few years ago on a brand spanking SEAT Ibiza.
    In spite of being of Spanish origin these things are built like the proverbial brick out-house. Real solid coachwork and fittings,hard seats and heavy doors in the German tradition but definitely better than than it's German equivalent the Golf/Polo.
    The only weak point I could say is that they were weak in the front strut setup. Quite a solid in the spring rates but under-damped to buggery, especially noticable on country roads at speed when the front end would start wallowing.
    It was quite easy to bottom out the front stuts with vigorous driving too. Not noticable at all in city driving though.
    Maybe the one you have has seen some hard country running over some rough roads and has caused the strut to finally fail...
    Had mine for about two years. A stalwart machine it was too but deadly dull and underpowered. The words "Teutonic Forward Motion Apparatus" come to mind.
    I traded it on a Xsara after 30,000k......just had to go back to frogs, you forget just how good they are until you go over to something else for a while and then realise your mistake.

    Cheers
    Ken

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    "No problems...

    I worked on a Lada once, there's no way any Samara could have been that poorly built if this one was anything to go by.

    The guy who supplied the replacement clutch made a comment that implied the same too..."

    One of the BogBrats has an incredibly powerful high performance exclusive Brock Samara variant....there are things about it that are great. You can fix most bits easily..the parts are cheap (some would say they'd wanna be)and when you are on your back under the thing it all looks really well thought out.

    The cosmetics especially the interior are awful, mainly the quality of the plastic. I put a brand new made in Ukraine dash into it eighteen months ago and it's already giving up the ghost in the sun.

    It drives nicely enough, but the Bogbrat has had troubles which Bog senior invariably ends up paying for, notably the bent valves...when the Bogfather thoughtfully adjusted the cam belt...oops..and then when the Bogbrat decided that running the thing without water was good for it. This was followed shortly by a clutch malfunction...which tends to come about when one uses the clutch instead of the handbrake....funny that.

    Anyway I once ate breakfast at a Sydney hotel with a Lada dealer from Bega who had come up for the motor show. He claimed that the Samara was a mighty car , the the ones he sold didn't have many mechanical problems and quoted engine mileages in excess of 360,000km without the need for much work at all.....he reckoned that a lot of the adverse Lada publicity came about because of lousy predelivery and the tendency of the interior plasttics to turn to dust....something like a Russian version of bakelite.

    As for the sis in law's SEAT, it is a nice enough car and does feel rock solid as mentioned previously...I'm just not happy that I made the recommendation..not that she bought one.

    cheers!
    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

  11. #11
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    Now, I'm sketchy on the exact details of this, but I once read that the Samara and Niva had a phenomenal amount of pre-delivery work on them, to get them up to the quality level in which they reached the customer. I remember they had to replace mudflaps, bits of interior trim, wheels radios and other things that just weren't up to scratch for our market, which resulted in a huge amount of work for the dealers, plus significant additional cost. Some panels needed respraying, from memory. I was astounded at just how much they did - just shows how cheap they must have been getting them for, for them to bother.

    Stuey


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  12. #12
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    There used to be a Lada predelivery centre in the UK to fix those issues - there was a liftout in a What Car magazine a few years back. Because the old models no longer meet emissions standards, they are no longer imported into the UK.

    About the only noteworthy thing about the Ladas is that they have very thick sheetmetal compared to most other cars.

    Cars such as the Niva seem fairly durable from a basic perspective - they are basic to start off with, you can spray the interior out (anyway, the electrics would probably be probably dead, so who cares .

    Their rally team certainly had an interesting way to access the floorpan - simply roll the car onto its back, using the spare wheel as a support.

    The Russian Army had a base outside a Lada factory, apparently to stop the mafia from stealing Ladas. 'tis a funny country, eh!

    Cheers,

    Justin

    <small>[ 29 December 2002, 01:09 AM: Message edited by: Pug307 ]</small>

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  13. #13
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    There's no question that some Lada Samaras had a severe clutch problem. The clutch service told me this and the car hadn't been abused. Whether it was fixed in later models I don't know...

  14. #14
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    I have heard that the Niva is an extremely capable offroad machine, poor quality notwithstanding. Permanent 4wd, wide track and short wheelbase leaves the nissans/toyotas/subarus scrabbling in it's wake.
    I guess the Ruskies probably know a thing or two about harsh road and weather conditions and to hell with the luxuries.
    Ken

  15. #15
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I guess they do... the team Nivas entered in the
    Repco round Australia trial in 1979 had wheels with braces welded on them to prevent cracking... and all the mods and preparation work had been done by the drivers and co-drivers... an incentive to look after them?

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! billtran's Avatar
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    Avatar:
    I have heard that the Niva is an extremely capable offroad machine, poor quality notwithstanding. Permanent 4wd, wide track and short wheelbase leaves the nissans/toyotas/subarus scrabbling in it's wake.
    I guess the Ruskies probably know a thing or two about harsh road and weather conditions and to hell with the luxuries.
    Ken
    Funny that. I just came back from a holiday in Vietnam. As some of you will know, it is now a communist country so there is heaps of Russian junk going about. Of course, once the hard core communist rule died down, everybody deserted the Soviet garbage including cars, motorcycles, aeroplanes (thank god!) and bought stuff from Japan, Korea, China and even Taiwan.

    However, one relic remaining is a motorcycle called the Minsk. It is often called the VW Beetle of motorcycles. It is ancient but simple, robust, can go anywhere and take any abuse. Like Avatar commented, it has no luxury and is probably an embarrassment in a status obsessed country, but hell, it will go anywhere!
    You're not paranoid if everyone hates you.

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