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Re: Upper strut plate?

James Fawcett wrote:
> I just got back from the shop where I was having my steering looked at.
> My 86 5ktq was pulling to the left, and I jus had the alignment done,
> and the tires are new.  The guy told me that it was pulling because I
> had some play in my upper strut plates, causing the caster angle to be
> off (or was it camber, I think it was, I always get them mixed up).  He
> said that the strut plates wold have to be replaced and the camber (or
> caster) could be set then, about $175 to $200.  Does this sound right to
> you all?  I don't want these guys screwing me around.  Thanks.
> --
> James Fawcett
> 1986 Audi 5k TQ
> jfawcett@mail.win.org
> Saint Charles, MO  U.S.A.

I am not sure what your mechanic calls the "upper strut plates"" There is a 
strut mounting plate that holds the upper nut of the shock absorber . This mounting 
plate is secured to the "car body" through the bearing mounting plate, which is not 
adjustable. The strut mounting plate is adjustable for " camber setting " and when done 
is tightened by three nuts and it does not move after that (not normally).
The strut " tower " pivots with steering action by rotating on a bearing at the top 
(strut bearing) whose purpose is to allow rotation without lateral or forward/backward 
movement. This bearing wears specially in cases where heavy steering work (city 
driving)is involved. I have not seen bearing mounting plates worn. Everything is 
possible (murphy's law).
Typically the "play" you describe is first caused by " strut bearings" wearing.
I have not heard of worn plates... if true, have the bearings checked as well as ball 
joints both sides (right & left wheel). Then reset camber. 
So, the condition you report is not only possible but " very possible ". It may be that 
the remedy is the bearings and not the plates. Numbers look reasonable for parts labor 
and alignment.
Good luck