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MazdaSpeed 3/6 - Suspension & Brakes Discussion for suspension items like coilovers, springs, sway bars, mounts,chassis bracing and brakes.


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 Old 05-23-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
 
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Default Another strut bearing blown

At 13K I;ve managed to bust 2 of the strut bearings. It's not a warranty issue with me since I have Koni struts and a dented fender on the same side. Not even going to try and claim it.

But why would they make such a critical part out of plastic composite filled with steel bearings?

Ya, I'm just whining, but for those of you who are planning to pull your struts and break them apart for any reason, I would seriously consider just adding new upper strut bearings (Mazda calls them bushings) while you have it apart. They're only about $30/each. Me, I gotta go buy the part then pay a local shop at least $100 to put them in. Kind of a pisser.
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 Old 05-24-2010, 12:11 AM   #2
 
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How did you manage this? Got pictures?
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 Old 05-24-2010, 12:24 AM   #3
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I wonder if you can fit MS6 bearings, they are all metal. It might be a long shot, but they might work.
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 Old 05-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by felt View Post
How did you manage this? Got pictures?
Bumpy roads.

Originally Posted by MATT DAMOND View Post
I wonder if you can fit MS6 bearings, they are all metal. It might be a long shot, but they might work.
Different platforms, not much is interchangeable between them.
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 Old 05-26-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
 
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That sucks.

I always recommend replacing them whenever the front strut/spring assemblies come apart.

After coming from 2 lowered Ford Focuses (that use a similar, seemingly failure-prone design for their uper strut mount bearings), I learned the hard way...
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 Old 05-26-2010, 10:37 AM   #6
 
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I am going to order a pair even if the old ones seem fine. Best to do this just ONCE than have to take the entire assembly apart again. What a pain.
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 Old 06-03-2010, 02:09 AM   #7
 
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I seem to have the same problem:


The flange seems to be moving around while the strut attached to it looks good and tight. I hear some noise only when I have someone on the passenger seat, when I'm driving alone I can barely hear it from time to time.
Can I continue to use my car or I risk blowing the strut as well? I already contacted the dealer for a replacement.
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 Old 06-04-2010, 09:03 PM   #8
 
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I can't tell anything from that video except it looks like someone is doing some serious humping in your car.

The sure fire test is to start the car, put your hand on the top of the strut shaft, and have someone turn the wheel from lock to lock.

If there's anything other than minor flex, it's worn. If it moves around and makes noises, it's blown. If so, there's a top plate that needs to be replaced at the same time, according to the dealer techs I talked to.

If you're stock and in warranty, you won't have any problems they'll hook you up.

In my case - Koni struts, crumpled fender, tires that show obvious track use - they said I was on my own and I'm not gonna fight it. It probably started months ago in my "off" and I just made it worse over time to the point of cracking it.

Anyway, you're safe to drive it, IMO, just take it easy over bumps until it's fixed.
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 Old 06-04-2010, 09:46 PM   #9
 
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yes, when I turn the wheel it moves a bit and makes a funny noise, like a squeak/crack noise but on a lower tone.
The funny thing is that it started when I turned left to enter a gas station, that after driving on a very nice road. It doesn't or it barely squeaks when I'm alone in the car, but if I have a passenger I can hear it when passing over any small imperfections on the road sometimes.

...And I can't hear it in the morning when the car is still cold. So probably it's not that serious yet, which is good.
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 Old 06-04-2010, 11:43 PM   #10
 
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I've got a call out to a Volvo dealer to see if their strut bearing (Mazda calls it a bushing) is made from actual metal instead of that plasticy shit. No word yet so it's probably the same.

The sucky thing is that it's all the labor cost of doing a full strut change without any of the upgrade goodness.

I don't understand why they would use such an obviously weak part in such a highly stressed area. But according to the dealer techs, at one of the biggest Mazda dealers in the US, they replace 1-3 pairs every single day. Usually on older 3's, but seriously. Pure fail. I've been searching the aftermarket but can't find an uprated part.

BTW, the "bushing" itself (it's really a bearing assembly) only costs about $30/ea, so it's a very good idea to just put new ones in when doing a strut upgrade, like Design and others mentioned. But from I've been told, once the bearing goes bad, it tends to warp the next part above it, which is basically just a rubber coated steel stamping. That actually costs more than the bearing does...

Sorry for the whine (would you like some paired cheese too?), and thank you for your empathy.
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 Old 06-05-2010, 02:29 AM   #11
 
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apparently I'll get mine warranty replaced, which is kind of surprising considering that I have aftermarket coils. But probably they know something and I'm now wondering if I should replace the one in the left as well.
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 Old 06-17-2010, 08:36 PM   #12
 
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What happens over bumps with a worn strut bearing? Does the car behave erratic like when you accelerate around a bend with bad tie rods?
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 Old 06-18-2010, 01:45 AM   #13
 
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No, it just clunks and pops in parking situations, and this time it rattles a bit over low speed choppy roads. IOW, it just makes annoying noises but doesn't seem to affect the way the car drives. But it won't fix itself, and could lead to larger problems. But no, it's not as critical a bad tie rod.
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 Old 06-18-2010, 04:20 PM   #14
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KW.

It seems odd that you have had this problem twice....

Are you sure they are installing it correctly?

The reason I ask is this, there are two alignment "tabs", one on the bearing and one on the top mount. Those tabs MUST be lined up with part of the strut (the narrow part that slides into the knuckle gap IIRC).
If that alignment is not done properly, the bearing will not seat correctly on the spring which would cause a side load on the bearing and damage it over time.

Just something to check, so you dont have to pay for the job a third time.

EDIT: Plus I would check on MOCC, there is a guy in SoCal does a bunch of installing for guys, for CHEAP, comes recommended by MOCC members. I want to say he is called "Gramps", and has a sig or something that says "Gramps Garage"...... might be worth looking into to save some $$
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 Old 06-18-2010, 11:59 PM   #15
 
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Well the first time it happened was after I had the FSD's installed, buy garage mechanic who owns an MS3 and has done strut changes for dozens of people. He knows about the tabs and everything, I watched him line them up.

So when the first one failed a few weeks later, I bought the parts and had him do the work again. That one lasted a year, but it still shouldn't have failed. I mean it's a shitty design but still, 1 year?

Anyway, I don't think he did anything wrong, but just to be sure I'm having the work done at a long established shop near me that specializes in Japanese cars.

If it fails again, the only thing left is a some kind of defect in the strut, so I'll take it up with Koni if it happens again any time soon. Maybe there's an alignment issue between the strut body and strut shaft that's putting too much stress on the top mount? I dunno, but the whole thing is annoying.

I'm tempted to wait until the MZ5 FSD's are back in stock, but I'm afraid that if the bearing crumbles it might bind up the steering and cause an accident. Besides, the noise makes me feel like I'm driving a 15 year-old beater car, so I just want it to go away!
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 Old 07-10-2010, 01:30 PM   #16
 
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this must be the same thing I am hearing,, Its a popping noise right? I just replaced my struts and shocks with KONIs and it didnt start doing it until after I replaced the struts. Where can I order said bushings??/I]
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 Old 07-10-2010, 05:44 PM   #17
 
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It starts as a popping noise then turns into a rattle.

This part is essential: Finish Line / Rosenthal Mazda Parts & Accessories—::—Mazda3—::—Suspension—::—Strut Bushing

This part is recommended: Finish Line / Rosenthal Mazda Parts & Accessories—::—Mazda3—::—Suspension—::—Strut Upper Mount
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 Old 07-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #18
 
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How does it happen tho, whats the cause.?
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 Old 07-12-2010, 07:45 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by spdjnke View Post
How does it happen tho, whats the cause.?

Its a plastic encased bearing, I'm surprised we don't see more exploded from just normal wear and tear.

Nothing specific other then roads that are worse then others, or people that just cant seem to avoid pot holes

Makes me appreciate some others I've seen that I thought were cheaply made.
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 Old 07-13-2010, 01:03 AM   #20
 
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What he said. Some of us drive quickly on bad roads that the bushing and top plate are not engineered for. Even when correctly installed during an upgrade, which is easy to screw up, will destroy the bushing super fast. Common mistake.

But my first failure was correctly installed yet failed in about a week. The replacement lasted about a year.

It is odd that there aren't more reports of this on the forum. But here in LA, the biggest and best Mazda dealer replaces 1-2 pairs per day on Mazda3's, according to the service manager. Probably because most of the streets here are pretty much 3rd world quality, these days.

Anyway, the sure fire test is to start the engine, put your fingers around the upper strut shaft bolt, and have someone turn the steering wheel lock to lock. If it flexes a little without any noise, you should be OK for a while. If it moves around and pops or shifts a lot, the bearing needs to be replaced. There's a rubber coated top plate that it mounts to, and caps off the strut, but like I said before, the dealer techs say to replace both if the bushing is shot - apparently, the broken "bushing" deforms or damages the top plate, and that plate has to come off anyway, so there's no extra cost involved.

And as I said, the dealer denied my warranty claim, so I bought the parts online for about half the price, and had a local shop do the work. So far, so good.
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 Old 04-01-2013, 08:31 PM   #21
 
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is there a better replacement part we can insert?
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 Old 04-02-2013, 10:56 AM   #22
 
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Fucking brownies being brown. This thread is almost 3 years old!

The part you are looking for is the MOOG #K160228 that can be had on RockAuto.com for $33.79 each.

I do have to thank you though, this thread confirms my thought that my bushings are bad. The more recent threads aren't as helpful as this one.
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