'88 5kcstq suspension binding, bent strut conclusion

Ken auditude at get.net
Mon May 13 13:20:09 EDT 2002

Hi Eyvind,

That's really strange.  I could pretty easily see a difference between the two axles from the front of my 5kt donor car.  After pulling the right side axle from the 5kcstq, it was the same length as one of the two 5kt axles.

I guess I can't explain that, I could have made a mistake "measuring" (eyeballing, really).  Perhaps the auto tranny equipped cars are different, and I should not have used those axles for a basis for comparison.  I never took a measuring tape to the axles on the car.  I did look at the cv joint boots and the passenger side seemed to be compressed, and the driver side seemed stretched out.

After swapping the axles on Thursday night, the suspension binding problem remained.  On Friday morning, I swapping in the struts from the donor car, and it fixed it.  Both struts seemed to exhibit the same problem, which was that they would "stick" and not extend unless the wheels were unloaded.  Then their extension was accompanies by what sounded like little rusty fragments of metal inside cracking and moving around.

The struts I took out of the 5kcstq (170k) had only Audi rings on them.  The replacements from the donor car said BOGE on them.  So, that might mean the "new" ones have less miles on them than the old ones, and that the old ones might have been the original ones from the factory.  The ride is better than it was, and it did solve the binding problem.

I drove the car 240 miles to Laughlin, and then back.  It was a fairly uneventful trip, and I was certainly glad to be driving the 5kcstq such a distance instead of the Saturn that would have been the backup.

Since the problem didn't go away after I swapped the axles, and the problem affected both sides and not just the side with the alleged "longer" axle, then I think the problem with the sruts was just that they had sat for so long fully-extended.  Maybe inside they weren't even kept lubricated, since the piston was being pulled out of the cartridge by the spring.

Anyhow, thanks for the help, and for following along as I almost screw up my car, again.

Btw, the rack seems fine, I haven't had to add any fluid yet.  So, perhaps reversing the pressure/return lines didn't destroy it.  Should I expect a catastrophe ahead?



Eyvind Spangen eyvind.spangen at c2i.net wrote:
> On Fri, 10 May 2002 00:27:05 -0700, you wrote:
> >Regarding my '88 5kcstq that has a binding front suspension after reassemb=
> ly after clutch and rack.
> >Well, I looked at the car to see if the axles were switched and sure enoug=
> h the longer of the two was on
> >the right side.  Since the engine is canted towards that side at the botto=
> m, I would say that's probably the
> >side for the shorter axle.
> According to the Bentley, both the front & rear drive axles on manual
> transmission type 44 cars have the same length, so they can be swapped
> between left/right. Not front/rear though..

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