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Old 12-17-2019, 01:46 AM   #1
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Coil Bind/Pillow Ball/Spherical Bearing Tein Flex A

Ill try to be brief. Sound is starting to drive me nuts.

I hear a creaking noise whenever I turn the steering wheel. It only occurs when either going really slow or at a standstill. Dont hear anything at speed. Sounds like the video below but not nearly as bad.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3jLmpI-XAM"]Coilover Spring Binding - YouTube[/ame]


Shop told me the spherical bearing in my front right coilover is seizing. Best way to fix is replace. They sprayed some lubricant on the top of the coilover which seemed to help a bit but a week later its back.

Emailed Tein and they're refusing to send parts under warranty. Car has never been tracked, coilover usage is under 13k miles, and it's been 9 months since install. They're stating it MUST be sent to them because there is a "special tool" they use to remove the bearing from the mount. They're claiming I also have to pay for it because its wear and tear.

Anyone replace the spherical bearing on a Tein Flex A? I saw others mention the radial bearing from Fortune Auto but dont know if its the same for the Teins. Any suggestions?

PS, this is my first coilover but seems like bullshit to me that 9 months in its falling apart. I get wear and tear, but a coilover under 13k miles and under a year since install is ridiculous to me. I get they're not top of the line but I'm not tracking my car. Maybe you can tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

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Last edited by VOSS; 12-17-2019 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:18 AM   #2
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First try tighten top nut maybe. Imho this vid might be helpful. Though also possible that bearing is already too worn (untightened simply propagates wear due play in it) and yes, needing replacement.
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Old 12-17-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
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I'd ask the shop how they came to the conclusion that it is seizing.

I'd also jack the car up and grab the spring and see if it rattles. The preload collar on my flex Z's would work loose and the spring would come loose. This would make it pop.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:12 PM   #4
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Please let us know if you fixed it I was about to order a set but now.. I am not sure I want to fuck with the ride.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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I get they're not top of the line but I'm not tracking my car. Maybe you can tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

Thanks
It's 99% because of where you live, not necessarily the quality of the component, per se... You're in the snow belt, which means you're in the salt/sand/rust belt. Aftermarket stuff NEVER gets tested to the degree that OEM parts do for corrosion resistance, and this is the effect of using a brand that's on the lower end of the spectrum (TEIN can afford to be inexpensive not only because of the quality of components they use, but also their relative lack of service/support, which you're experiencing...repairs cost money), plus living in probably one of the worst locations on Earth for corrosion. I'm in New England, so I have the same problem; I've already had to replace my OEM strut bearings once and I'm only at ~65K miles. If you lived in SoCal or Arizona, you'd likely still be noise free...
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:38 PM   #6
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Spherical bearings can't be lubricated with a spray; they use solid dry lubricant.

If that spherical wasn't damaged before, your shop damaged it by spraying lubricant, and eliminated any possibility of warranty. It most likely wasnt damaged before, but is compromised now.

That spring bind can be fixed with a fresh teflon washer/spacer, similar to the one that came with your coilover kit. The teflon is wear and tear, and wears out much quicker in Canadian conditions. You could use bearing based thrust washers instead, but those would wear out much faster.

The washer is $6 each. Shipping it to you will cost more than the part. PM me if you want it.
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Old 12-19-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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Spherical bearings can't be lubricated with a spray; they use solid dry lubricant.

If that spherical wasn't damaged before, your shop damaged it by spraying lubricant, and eliminated any possibility of warranty. It most likely wasnt damaged before, but is compromised now.

That spring bind can be fixed with a fresh teflon washer/spacer, similar to the one that came with your coilover kit. The teflon is wear and tear, and wears out much quicker in Canadian conditions. You could use bearing based thrust washers instead, but those would wear out much faster.

The washer is $6 each. Shipping it to you will cost more than the part. PM me if you want it.
thread jacking a little here: how can this be prevented? i just got slightly used FA 500w/ swift springs. 5kmiles. is there anything easy i can do to "freshen up" before they go in? theyre in great shape, but i was thinking maybe dry lube the pillow ball in the camber plates maybe? there is a *touch* of surface rust, but the pillowballs are buttery smooth. link to the coils i got:http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138027 btw, ordered all my filters to freshen up the jrsc from csg last year
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:26 PM   #8
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Spherical bearings can't be lubricated with a spray; they use solid dry lubricant.

If that spherical wasn't damaged before, your shop damaged it by spraying lubricant, and eliminated any possibility of warranty. It most likely wasnt damaged before, but is compromised now.
.
Actually there are plenty of spherical bearing types that are greaseable, though all the ones I've seen have been either two or three piece metal-on-metal. If the OPs is a 3 piece with a PTFE race, then hitting it with generic spray lube will almost certainly cause accelerated degradation.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:43 PM   #9
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thread jacking a little here: how can this be prevented? i just got slightly used FA 500w/ swift springs. 5kmiles. is there anything easy i can do to "freshen up" before they go in? theyre in great shape, but i was thinking maybe dry lube the pillow ball in the camber plates maybe? there is a *touch* of surface rust, but the pillowballs are buttery smooth. link to the coils i got:http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138027 btw, ordered all my filters to freshen up the jrsc from csg last year
They're wear and tear items; nothing you can do to refresh sphericals really.

If the tops are articulating smooth without play, I'd say just run them as is and you'll be just fine.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:29 PM   #10
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I have been lubing my Flex Z's with spray white lithium grease for two years. No issues. That is not to say that in the future the lining won't be degraded, but so far so good.
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