Lancia Beta Forum

Technical stuff => Suspension => Topic started by: Gromit on October 16, 2017, 10:03:39 AM

Title: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 16, 2017, 10:03:39 AM
I was hoping to source a pair of front strut mount bearings for a 1979 Series 2 Beta Coupe. I have seen it referred to as a front thrust plate elsewhere in this old thread and in the Haynes workshop manual: (

I gather that it is a needle roller bearing, identified as part #17 in the workshop manual exploded diagram which I found in another thread here (reply#5): (

I have been advised in Australia that there were two different sized front strut mount bearings used in Lancia Betas.

So I have some questions requiring assistance:

1) Can anyone confirm that there were indeed two different sized front strut bearings in use on Lancia Betas?

2) Can anyone advise me of the correct sized strut bearing for a 1979 S2 Lancia Beta Coupe RHD sold new into Australia?

3) Is there an accessible factory part number for this bearing? If yes can anyone provide it or point me in the right direction to locate the right part number?

4) Assuming answers can be found for 1 to 3, can anyone direct me to where I might be able to procure a pair of these elusive strut mount bearings?

I had thought that the UK custom manufactured Compbrake aftermarket "Lancia Beta front strut mount" with bearing might have been a replacement option if needed but apparently they do not fit and do not last in any case based on advice in previous threads on the subject.

Any information or advice would be much appreciated.


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: peteracs on October 16, 2017, 10:45:08 AM

Hmm...  This is one of those which I struggled with to find a source. I ended up buying one from a guy in the US who just happened to have one, when it came it was the correct needle roller bearing, but incorrect seal and I was lucky enough to have a spare seal in a box of bits and my other bearing was ok to reuse, you also may need the plate it rolls against as that has also been reported that it can deform. Eric W's suggestion to use waterproof grease is also a good suggestion.

I think these were used on the early Delta, but I have no proof or refs, there was at least two different styles of bearing (I have one of each) but both fit the same strut. I thought the struts were the same, but later IE/VX may be different in this respect.

Sorry that I cannot help with a source, hopefully someone can come along with words of wisdom!


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: HFStuart on October 16, 2017, 07:08:02 PM
I've encountered two different types on Beta front struts. They are similar but not interchangeable. The good news is I think the different top mount types are overall identical - even if the components aren't

Mark W used to do refurbished top mounts - it might be worth dropping him a line.

I'm not sure which version suits the later models or if it was available separately but I'll have a look in the parts book when I get home tomorrow.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: rossocorsa on October 16, 2017, 07:10:53 PM
They are difficult to find, you really need to get the struts/mount apart and check the bearings they might just need a good clean up  and lubrication, if you are lucky. Not sure that Delta are the same they look similar but might not be the same size.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: mangocrazy on October 16, 2017, 07:39:50 PM
To me these look suspiciously like needle roller thrust bearings (rather than the more common radial bearings). I found this PDF on the web that goes into way more detail than you will probably need, but may help you to identify a non-OE part that will do the job satisfactorily. (

And Nadella bearings of this type (Italian, I believe) are readily available in the UK. Not so sure about oil seals, although they should be as well. (

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 18, 2017, 01:19:33 AM

Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated. Any parts number info would be appreciated Stuart. Who is Mark W by the way?

It seems that the early Delta strut bearing compatibility with Betas is a bit of an unknown quantity and would need to be checked first dimension wise with the ones on the car, assuming that Delta thrust bearings are more readily available than Beta ones.

Those two links could be very useful mangocrazy to match an equivalent aftermarket bearing. I am amazed that there is such an extensive range dimensions and specifications wise of needle roller thrust bearings available. I know my father did contact a few local bearing suppliers in Australia a while a go and was told he needed a part number or accurate dimensions or a sample bearing to match something. Of course none of that is possible until the struts are stripped down and old bearings inspected which he did not want to do unless he had the replacement bearings on hand. A bit of a vicious circle in that regard.

I guess we will just have to do the strip down and inspection and be prepared for the car to be laid up at a workshop for a while if new bearings need to be matched and sourced. It is surprising that some aftermarket equivalent has not been identified on the forum or elsewhere previously given how hard it is to locate good or new examples of the original bearings. If we do remove the strut bearings in the coupe I shall definitely post precise dimensions and details of any equivalent replacement bearing to help out other Beta owners.

I know my father had to replace the strut bearings in his `84 S3 HPE many years ago. It would make a groaning sound on one side when he reversed out of his garage over the 6 to 8cm drop down from the garage floor to the driveway level. He never heard it on the open road with all of the engine and wind noise and of course the power steering masked any heavy steering symptoms. Anyway after insisting that his mechanic strip down the suspect strut, (Tony was never too keen on doing the heavier duty jobs(!), although he was a great Fiat factory trained mechanic who was brought out to Adelaide from Italy by the local dealer), they discovered that it was completely disintegrated - just a mashed up mess. They managed to source second hand ones on that occasion from a local Fiat wrecker (TAIF - long since gone out of business in Adelaide) as they could not get a new one at the time.

I am not sure just how bad the strut bearings really are in the Coupe, there are no groaning sounds evident but the steering is heavy at low speeds. Traversing a suburban roundabout is a bit of an effort. We did fit new tyres to the front which helped a bit and keep the front tyre pressures high (36psi cold) but it still requires a fair degree of effort to steer it in parking situations. On the open road it is fine until you get to very tight low speed corners. It is a long time since I have owned my 81 Beta so I don`t have a good idea as to what is normal steering load for a Beta without power assistance and with strut bearings in good condition.

Anyway, thanks once again for your inputs and let me know if anyone else has any bright suggestions re sources of supply for strut mount bearings or aftermarket alternatives.


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on October 18, 2017, 07:04:19 AM
Heavy steering can also be down to failure of the bearing where the steering column enters the rack.

Mark W = Betaboyz Parts (

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: peteracs on October 18, 2017, 10:28:04 AM

Here is the parts page with the part nos and exploded diagram.

I do have an old one which is currently at my parents in store, so if you are struggling to find the dimensions, I can hunt it out the next time I am over there.

The diagram shows the bearing as a thrust bearing and as a single piece item, but in reality it is a three part item, the main 'wafer' with the needle rollers and a 'plate' it rests on which has a seal all around the edge. There is also a 'plate' which fits against the other side of the bearing. The two 'plates' locate in the holes in items 16 and 25.


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 18, 2017, 10:03:38 PM
Many thanks Peter for the clarification about the three part thrust bearing assembly. Looking at your supplied Parts diagram and numbers page, the official Lancia part number for a S2 Beta front strut thrust bearing assembly is #82303013.

It would be great if you could also accurately measure and post the dimensions of the thrust bearing assembly that you have in storage when you get the chance. We would need the inner diameter, outer diameter and width (ie height or depth) in mm to match an aftermarket bearing equivalent. If the thrust bearings in the Coupe are badly damaged, it may not be possible to get accurate measurements from them.

Thanks also to Neil for pointing out another potential cause of heavy steering via wear in the bearing at the base of the steering column.


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 21, 2017, 12:32:40 AM
Looking at some of the other topics in the "Technical stuff - Steering" section, it would seem that a seized steering rack damper could also be a possible cause of heavy steering. (

I gather from droptop`s experience that the steering damper can be dispensed with entirely if it is seized and a replacement too difficult or expensive to source.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: HFStuart on October 21, 2017, 10:28:29 AM
I've run mine both with and without with no noticeable difference. Certainly worth taking off to see if its the culprit.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: fred2660 on October 21, 2017, 04:48:57 PM (

no cheap

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 22, 2017, 02:23:19 AM
Thanks for the link Fred. You have to select English on the Bielstein website first (default is German) for that hyperlink to work (otherwise it takes you to the website German language home page).

That looks promising. The detailed description in the listing is as follows:

Roller bearing strut front top
Lancia Beta all except Montecarlo

corresponds OE-number: 82301195
(OE-numbers are only for comparison purposes)

So I assume that it is an aftermarket bearing. The OE number quoted in the Bielstein website listing is NOT the same as the part number 82303013 in the parts diagram and accompanying strut parts list kindly supplied by Peter as an attachment in reply #7 above. Is this significant? Does it refer to an earlier Beta series bearing part number perhaps? Also the inner bore of the Bielstein bearing listing appears to have a raised lip which is not evident in the bearing in the Lancia Beta workshop manual strut exploded diagram. Is that significant or is the workshop manual drawing not an accurate likeness of the actual bearing? Presumably the raised lip might help to locate the bearing in the strut top mount?

Can anyone who has replaced their strut bearings clarify whether this Bielstein one is likely to be the correct one fitting wise for a 1979 S2 Beta Coupe? Has anyone sourced the Bielstein ones and can confirm they fit? Any thoughts on the apparent difference in quoted OE part numbers? I shall send an email to Bielstein seeking some clarification of these questions but thought I would post here first.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: megaera on October 22, 2017, 04:56:09 PM
Having read the OPís comment on the Compbreak bearing, I did a search for threads on the subject - particulary any mention of the bearings not fitting or lasting very well. Unfortunately, I cannot find them.

Please could someone either point me in the right direction - or share any experiences of these bearings? I was considering buying a pair....but in light of Gromitís comments, I am now hesitating!


Sorry - too hasty in posting ::)   Found the various comments....I shall pass on the Compbrake :o

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: swedgamma on October 23, 2017, 06:44:52 AM
Good morning!

 Bearings 8238210 1 are in my survival kit, if someone is in need I can send you a couple.
 NOS still in original package!


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: peteracs on October 23, 2017, 07:42:00 AM
Hi Gromit

Yes, the bearing should have a raised portion to locate the bearing plate in the strut top. The one I think I remember has a solid portion on one side and a few locating lugs on the other plate.


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: swedgamma on October 23, 2017, 08:07:39 AM
Hello again!

.......which may be the one you dont want!!!! I got two kinds of thrust washers,the one with the number 82382210 1, the washer ( with a flange inside) size outside is 63 mm,
the bearing itself is 52,7 outside, 35,3 inside, while the other one ,which has no number and comes with a rubber seal, the flat washer is 58,5 outside, the bearing is 60 mm outside and 37,0 mm inside. All measurements give or take a couple of tenths and in mm.

Sorry for the confusion!

BR /swedgamma

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: mangocrazy on October 23, 2017, 07:49:19 PM
Hi Swedgamma,

Would it be possible for you to take some photos of the two types of thrust washer you have and post them up? That would be very, very helpful. Trying to visualise from a description is never as good as seeing an image. Unfortunately Photobucket have made posting pictures more difficult than before, so I apologise in advance for asking.



Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: swedgamma on October 23, 2017, 09:52:35 PM
Good Evening!

Hmm, have to try tomorrow, if I understand this right the picture has to be taken down to 1500 kB!

Greetings Urban (swedgamma)

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 24, 2017, 01:04:25 AM
Thanks for posting Urban (aka Swedgamma). That is very good of you to offer to supply a couple of bearings ex your "survival kit" (a very apt description!), assuming they are the correct fitting ones. 8)

I thnk Mangocrazy`s suggestion of posting a couple of photos of the two different sized bearings is a great one. I know I was going a little crazy trying to visualise each one from your description.  Could you also post the bearing width (ie depth or thickness) in case that is also needed for matching purposes?

The variation in part numbers certainly also confuses the situation. I contacted UK based Simply Bearings with the original Lancia thrust bearing Series 2 OE part number 82303013 (see reply #8). They could not use it to cross reference an aftermarket alternative. We would need full bearing dimension specs to try to do that. Those bearing photos could also be very helpful in that regard.

I have also contacted Bielstein in Germany seeking clarification of the differing part numbers, full dimension specs and compatibility of the thrust bearing they list. They have not yet responded but will post again if and when they do reply.

There is a link to an expired Italian ebay listing on this thread, (,) which identifies the original Lancia thrust bearing part number as #82301195, the same number referred to in the Bielstein listing: (

Even if I can score some correct fitting bearings off Urban (Swedgamma), or the ones from Bielstein, I would still like to identify a correctly sized, decent quality aftermarket bearing alternative to help out other Beta owners in the future.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: swedgamma on October 24, 2017, 01:27:55 PM
Hello again!

So far Iīve verified that the previous "no number" bearing is the 82303013.I have taken a strut from a 1978 Beta Coupe 2000 and disassembled it and this car was equipped
with this  bearing.Even if you look in an earlier parts catalog this seems to be the same (1976). Whether this is applicable on an Austalian 1979 version I cant tell.I have never had any problems with these bearings on my cars.
The other one(823822101) seems to be used  on Fiat Ritmo/Lancia Delta acc to some info I`ve found here. May be they are used on some newer Betas,no Betas after 1979 were sold new here in Sweden.
  So,if you need a couple of these I can send them to you. Note:In the parts book ,item no 17 looks like one part,in reality its three parts,one bearing, one washer and one rubber sealing ring.

Greetings Urban(swedgamma)   PS Yes I quite easily took a photo of these parts, but upload them...........yes,I`m getting older.....!

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on October 24, 2017, 07:23:20 PM
Ok thanks Urban, I`ll PM you re sending a couple of the 82303013 bearings.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: john930 on November 04, 2017, 07:14:14 PM
I fitted the ones from Bielstein to my series 2 spider without a problem. 

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: peteracs on November 04, 2017, 11:11:04 PM

What p/n did you use?


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on November 08, 2017, 09:51:54 AM
The bearing part number referred to in the Bielstein listing is 82301195 Peter. Is that what you were seeking confirmation of in your question to John930 in NZ? (

The bearings from Swedegamma (Urban) have just arrived (received 8 days after posting - great service from Swede and Australia Post!). Thanks Urban! :) I shall try to post some pictures of them for future reference to assist forum users. I am amazed at how small the many needle rollers actually are in the bearing cage. I guess they are there mainly to eliminate steering friction when the strut turns and not load bearing but you wonder whether they could have been a bit beefier for longevity wear wise.

How would a solid thrust washer machined out of teflon rod work as an alternative substitute I wonder?

We are planning to do a few more maintenance jobs on the Beta Coupe at the same time as replacing the strut bearings:

- The TRW steering rack boot, (or gaiter as it seems to be referred to more commonly on this forum), is split so that needs replacing. Not sure about rack bushes or what else might be needed re steering rack overhaul? I guess we will see on closer inspection. Dad has spare TRW tie rod ends so might as well fit them at same time.

- Will check whether steering damper has seized and probably remove it altogether based on experiences of Stuart et al with seized dampers which were removed or replaced. They do now seem to be very hard to find replacement wise.

- probably replace outer CV joint boots.

- I am not sure about condition of ball joints and control arm bushes but if they look worn and parts available I guess they should be done too.

- Neil made reference to possible failed steering column lower bearing as another cause of heavy steering so that needs to be checked too. Is that tricky to replace I wonder?

Beta maintenance ...a never ending cycle  ::)

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on November 09, 2017, 07:31:52 AM
I think that the rack needs to come out to replace the bearing.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on November 24, 2017, 01:58:49 PM
The Coupe had its strut mount bearings replaced this week with new bearings smeared with moly grease. The bearings supplied by swedgamma as per this thread were the exact same type as on the car. The old bearings were still intact but worn and dry with no visible lubricating grease remaining. Tie rod ends and lower ball joints were also replaced as Dad had them in his parts box; existing lower wishbone bushes were ok. The steering rack was removed to fit a new gaiter and generously lubricated with moly grease. Apparently the rack was in good condition and did not require new bushes or adjustment. The steering damper (all metal type) was in reasonable condition and apparently still operating ok ie had not seized so was reinstalled. Steering column bearings were in good condition. The car needs a wheel alignment which will be done on Monday next week.

I have only driven the Coupe a few km home from the workshop today. The steering is definitely lighter, not miraculously so but it does require less turning effort during cornering. Small tight roundabouts are still a bit of a chore though steering input wise. I think we have improved the steering as much as is possible on a non PAS Beta,  back to original ex factory performance level. The contemporary Beta reviews I have read commented on the heavy steering of non PAS models so it will never be feather-light. My father was hoping for a 50% improvement or reduction in steering effort (based on his assumption that the pivot bearings were completely stuffed). I think we have achieved something more like a 25% improvement although it is very difficult to quantify the magnitude of the improvement. I am looking forward to a longer test drive after the wheel alignment is done. 8)

I have not had a close look at the old removed bearings yet (they need a good clean) but I have attached a couple of pictures of the old and new replacement bearings.

Thank you once again to all forum members who have assisted me and especially Urban (swedgamma) for supplying those replacement bearings. :)

PS An interesting day`s test cricket (England v Australia) of fluctuating fortunes today in Brisbane. :-\ The game seems very evenly poised at the moment. :o

PPS Apparently there were many admiring comments when the Coupe was in the workshop ;)

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: mangocrazy on November 24, 2017, 11:46:08 PM
Completely off-topic, but I think the current Ashes series could be really interesting and closer than most people thought, as (despite all the hype) the two sides seem quite evenly matched. I think that Nathan Lyon's control, allowing him to hold up an end while the quicks rotate at the other end, may prove the difference. Should be an absorbing contest.

And well done with the steering refurb!

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on December 04, 2017, 04:12:47 AM
Thanks Mangocrazy :)

Unfortunately when the car was up on the hoist having the wheel alignment done, we noticed that one of the transverse links was damaged (bent) and that there were two stress cracks (about an inch long) on the rear chassis rails adjacent to the two front mounting points of the fuel tank. The tank does not appear to be sagging but it is a bit of a worry that the chassis rail is cracked near the mounting points. The damage appears to be old. So the rear wheel alignment has not been done pending getting the bent transverse link repaired or replaced.

I am amazed that the mechanic doing the work of fitting the priming electric fuel pump above the rear cross member, (who also did the front suspension and steering rack work a few weeks later), did not notice the transverse link damage and chassis rail cracks and report them to us. There are also a couple of dings on the front driver side corner of the fuel tank with what appears to be fresh exposed bare metal to me which made me wonder whether the damage was caused when the car was worked on recently by same said mechanic. My brother had a look under the car and reckons the chassis rail cracks and transverse link damage is old though so presumably not ???

Anyway the car is going back to the mechanic tomorrow for a hoist inspection of the problem by him.

I came across this old thread re a damaged transverse link and have contacted betaveloce by PM in case he still has a spare NOS transverse link and it is the right one for the car. (Post update - betaveloce`s spare link is no longer available). (

It might be an easier fix than repairing the damaged one. Perhaps we should also replace all of the link bushes at the same time? They are probably still the original ones on the car. Any thoughts re the poly ones available from LBP? I assume that the transverse links on the car are the "pressed metal" type? They are a C (or U) section channel configuration. Are they all the same length and interchangeable?  

The toe adjustment on the rear suspension appears to be via an adjusting nut adjacent to the bush of the rearmost of the pair of transverse links at the point of attachment to each hub on our series 2 Coupe. The wheel aligner assured me that there was no adjustment possible...I had to assure him back that indeed there was and we eventually found it! ;)


Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: HFStuart on December 04, 2017, 08:36:54 AM
Yes those are the pressed steel ones. No stronger than they need be so they are very commonly bent.

I think the brakes are all the same.

NB it's one thing finding the adjuster, sometimes not so simple to make it adjust!

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on December 08, 2017, 09:37:25 AM
Here is an update post the hoist inspection of the rear chassis rail cracks near fuel tank front mounting points and bent transverse link at mechanic`s workshop today:

1) Bent transverse link is relatively minor and easily repaired - no need for replacement transverse link after all.

2) One of the rear chassis rail cracks near fuel tank front mount point (driver`s side) has open up alarmingly since last being inspected during the wheel alignment only a week or so ago. The car has only been driven back from the tyre retailer to home and back to the mechanic`s workshop (20 Km max) and the chassis rail crack on one side is now three times longer with fuel tank starting to sag on that side! :o

A temporary fix was achieved by wedging a short length of thick walled rubber hose between the front of the fuel tank and the centre of rear cross member to help support it and stop any tendency for the tank to sag further.

The fuel tank will have to be removed and a new piece of metal welded to rear chassis rails on either side to strengthen the rails where the fuel tank is bolted to rails. Some of the body deadener is peeling off the tank exterior so it will need a wire brush and recoating with body deadener. It would be good to replace the tank sender unit gasket and the flexible rubber fuel tank inlet filler hose (between inlet filler and the side of the tank) as it feels quite spongy, if both parts can be sourced.

There does not appear to be much in the way of rust in the chassis rails. Then again I guess it does not take much to weaken the rails especially if there are stress cracks from a previous impact or years of road surface thumps transmitted through the chassis. Our local roads are pretty bad patched, cracked and pot holed surface wise! I think South Australian roads are some of the worst in the country. Road surface maintenance expenditure has fallen well behind in recent years as a form of covert cost cutting. Very annoying >:(

Hopefully the tank interior is in reasonable shape. I guess we will see when it is removed and inspected. :-\

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Neil-yaj396 on December 09, 2017, 09:27:09 AM
What exactly do you mean by 'chassis rails'? (obviously there isn't a chassis....). A picture of the crack would be interesting, I've never seen a crack down there bad enough to affect the alignment of the tank.

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: rossocorsa on December 09, 2017, 10:51:06 AM
I'm guessing he means the box section that extends backwards from the sills, rather prone to corrosion there I would suspect some corrosion causing the weakness I can't say I've seen cracked sections on Betas here

Title: Re: Front Strut Mount Bearing Replacement
Post by: Gromit on December 09, 2017, 11:40:56 AM
Neil, you are right, poor terminology on my part - there are no chassis rails on a monocoque bodied car.

I think Rossocorsa has a better idea of what I mean than I do. ??? :-[

I think I was referring to the box section strengthened part of the underbody floor pan behind the rear cross member to which the fuel tank supporting lugs are bolted. The two cracks are adjacent to where the front of the fuel tank bolts to each parallel box section profiled channel. The crack is now much worse on the drivers side box section.  

I`ll have a look under the car again tomorrow to be sure (the car is garaged at my mother`s house). I`ll also try to get a few pics when it is on a hoist at the chassis repairer workshop.