strut bearing lube

Discussion in 'X1/20 Forum' started by RobM, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. RobM

    RobM Daily Driver

    Location:
    northern NJ, USA
    Any thoughts on how to grease the original front strut bearings? I didn't see a non-destructive way to disassemble them, but I was in a hurry, so maybe there is? Thanks in advance, Rob
     
  2. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Rob, do you mean the strut bearings or the wheel bearings?
    To me "strut bearings" are the fiber 'pivot' discs in the front struts for steering. The ones that can be replaced with thrust bearings (e.g. Plaia's). They can be greased but there may be some debate if that attracts more road grime.
    The "wheel bearings" are in the hubs where the brake rotors attach. Those are sealed and not serviceable.
     
  3. RobM

    RobM Daily Driver

    Location:
    northern NJ, USA
    Hi Jeff, thx for reply. The flat discs at the top of the strut that allows for L/R steering. What I have in my late production, factory original struts are these multi-piece units, nearly flat discs. I'm guessing there are needle bearings within, with a large, grooved O ring to keep out grime. I don't see that these can come apart for repacking with grease. Just wondering if I should attempt to force in grease, or no, just re-install them as is.
     
  4. ng_randolph

    ng_randolph Bjorn H

    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Edit: As pointed out by RX1900, this is the X1/20 forum. My comments relate to the X1/9; I do not know the setup on the Scorpion.

    From the factory there were no needle bearings, but many owners have installed after-market upgrades like these from Fiatplus.

    With the strut out of the car, once you remove the top nut (use a spring compressor), the whole assembly comes apart easily for cleaning / repacking. Take notes as you disassemble, as the orientation and location of the various bits and pieces are not entirely obvious.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  5. rx1900

    rx1900 1981 X1/9

    NO...Jeff and Bjorn. Rob has a Scorpion !!!! And unlike an X1/9, the Scorpions did indeed come from the factory with some type of real bearing up there instead of the X1/9's fiber disc.

    I've never actually seen one myself, but apparently it is a sort of sealed version of the "Plaia Pivot"......

    But sorry Rob.....I dont know how/if you can clean and/or lube it......
     
  6. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Got it Rob, wasn't certain which ones you were referring to before.
    I believe they are identical to the ones on the X1/9. Those look like this (stock):
    001 - Copy.JPG

    #4 is the plastic/phenolic disc that slides against #3 - a cast aluminum cone and the large metal plate that the top of the spring sits against. There is a rubber dust ring that goes around them, seen just to the right of #4 (pic above). This one is missing another component, a large flat metal plate ("washer") that goes in there as well (sorry, I don't have it in any of these pics). Basically the surfaces just slide against one another with no bearings per se. Grease can be added between the layers that slide, and hopefully the dust seal (rubber ring) will keep road debris out. But grease does attract all manor of grime so it creates a mess. Everyone will have to decide which is better; with or without grease.

    Here are some close up shots...
    003.JPG 002.JPG 009.JPG 010.JPG


    I found another picture from someone else that shows the large flat plate that mine are missing. It is #3 in the following picture:
    upload_2018-4-5_13-57-52.png

    This is all assuming you have stock components. As has been mentioned, there are aftermarket kits available that replace the plastic disc with a actual bearing. It looks like this:
    4369881.JPG s-l1600 (4) - Copy.jpg Steeringinstructionmaster.jpg
     
  7. Ics19

    Ics19 belle macchine!

    Location:
    UK
    Just to clarify the above roller pivot instructions, you do need to keep using the "large steel washer" (#3 in Dr.Jeff's pic), so the roller doesn't eat into the soft alloy. The later picture should really be:

    thrust_bearing.jpg

    But this is sorta off topic - keen to see a picture of a Scorpion pivot though...

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Me to.

    Thanks for adding the bit about the large washer needed. Those last several pis were not mine, just some I found to illustrate what's available.
     
  9. fiatfactory

    fiatfactory Steve Cecchele

    Location:
    Western Australia
    I've never had the front struts of a scopion/ montecarlo apart, so I've never seen the part mentioned, but Lancia Beta coupe / sedan / hpe etc have a thrust bearing up front which is a very thin sealed up unit (as does a late model Fiat 131) so something like this from the factory sounds very probable, Lancia's tend to be over engineered.

    To clean a sealed bearing I recall in tech college immersing bearings in a bath of hot oil (to expand for fitment in some cases and also for cleaning) and immersing bearings in a bath of liquified / warmed grease and it was really messy! The theory was that solvents etc would drive any debris / foreign particles deeper into the bearing, but the hot oil and a little agitation of the parts had debris/ old grease floating out of the bearings insides.

    If it spins freely and there doesn't "feel" like any grit or crap is in the bearing, you might be best just leaving it alone.

    SteveC
     
  10. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Agreed, especially when you consider they don't rotate very far, nor very quickly, nor very precisely (compared to other applications), etc.
     
  11. RobM

    RobM Daily Driver

    Location:
    northern NJ, USA
    Wow, guys, thanks for all the pix! There is a real bearing from the factory installed up there under the soft alloy cone, similar to the aftermarket solution. I have to attack the passenger side this weekend, so I'll take pictures and post them here. Rod Shipley from TMH said they last forever, so no need to grease them. I bought a small needle attachment for my grease gun, so I'm tempted to try to inject some grease into it. On the other hand, I don't want to be my own worst enemy and shift dirt where it doesn't belong, so maybe I'll take Rod's advice. Stay tuned.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  12. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Cool, I always had the impression the Scorpion's struts were the same as the X's. Now I'm wondering if those steering bearings are available for fitting onto the X. Looking forward to seeing pictures of how Lancia did it, thanks.
     

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