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Re: Strut mount merry-go-round

At 17:40 07/23/96 +0000, you wrote:
>While trying to diagnose some front-end shimmy a couple of
>weeks ago, I wound up at an independent Audi/VW specialist...
>With the car up on the lift, the mechanic showed me that there
>was free play in the front suspension. The front wheels could
>be shifted between 1/8" - 1/4" fore and aft by grabbing and
>tugging. The shop proclaimed worn strut mounts.
>Since I'm still under warantee, I took the car to my local
>dealer and asked them to check it out and replace the mounts
>if there was any sign of wear. The dealer pronounced the
>strut mounts in good condition and not worn. They said that
>this free play was normal for Audi/VW front ends when on 
>a lift (i.e. not loaded).
>So, who's fooling who here?
>The car is a 1993 90CS; it has strut *mounts* (rubber
>doohickies, I think) not strut *bearings*, like 1980s

Chris, this a common error made intensionally or not, by many mechanics.
If you take almost any motorcycle, lift it by the middle so that the rear
tire is still on the ground with the front wheel in the air, the front forks
will show some play.  If this play was there when the bike is on its wheels,
yes, you replace the fork bushings.  But with the forks fully extended, the
leverage and engagement of the tubes is minimal.  So it is with the front
struts on your car.  Don't believe the specialist for one minute that your
struts are worn out.  Probably, your dealer has a way of checking them while
the front wheels are loaded, thus giving you a true picture of the problem.

Hope this helps,
'91 200TQ20V Avant