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Checking Rubber-to-metal Components
Damage Diagnosis and Replacement Tips

Rubber-to-metal components are subject to high dynamic stress and often also harmful environmental influences, such as heat, de-icing salt and ozone. We therefore recommend a regular check of these components within the context of the inspection or during work on the brakes or tires.

Rubber-to-metal components are subject to high dynamic stress and often also harmful environmental influences, such as heat, de-icing salt and ozone. We therefore recommend a regular check of these components within the context of the inspection or during work on the brakes or tires.

Tasks assumed by rubber-to-metal components

Rubber-to-metal components in a car chassis dampen undesirable vibrations and noise. Depending on the rubber metal mount model and manufacturer, up to twelve different rubber-to-metal components may be installed. For instance in their function as suspension strut mounts, subframe bearings, link mounts, stabilizer mounts or axle beam mounts, they provide more comfort and better driving safety. In addition to the standard mounts, hydraulic rubber-to-metal components are also used in the form of axle housing mounts or link mounts. In these cases, additional liquid damping compensates the vibrations.

Tasks assumed by rubber-to-metal components

Rubber-to-metal components in a car chassis dampen undesirable vibrations and noise. Depending on the rubber metal mount model and manufacturer, up to twelve different rubber-to-metal components may be installed. For instance in their function as suspension strut mounts, subframe bearings, link mounts, stabilizer mounts or axle beam mounts, they provide more comfort and better driving safety. In addition to the standard mounts, hydraulic rubber-to-metal components are also used in the form of axle housing mounts or link mounts. In these cases, additional liquid damping compensates the vibrations.

When and how a check makes sense

ZF Aftermarket recommends regular checks. Rubber-to-metal components are ideally tested during inspections and technical monitoring tests as well as during brake repairs or tire changes.

A visual inspection for cracks, metal flaking or fluid leakage on hydraulic mounts helps to diagnose whether any rubber-to-metal components are defective and, if so, which ones.

In the case of suspension strut mounts, the workshop may also examine the "setting behavior" of the suspicious rubber-to-metal component after having removed it: The difference in height between an old and a new bearing should not exceed two to three millimeters. Furthermore, the rubber must not show any folds or cracks and must not have detached from the metal. In the case of hydraulic rubber-to-metal components, attention must also be paid when it comes to liquid leakage.

When and how a check makes sense

ZF Aftermarket recommends regular checks. Rubber-to-metal components are ideally tested during inspections and technical monitoring tests as well as during brake repairs or tire changes.

A visual inspection for cracks, metal flaking or fluid leakage on hydraulic mounts helps to diagnose whether any rubber-to-metal components are defective and, if so, which ones.

In the case of suspension strut mounts, the workshop may also examine the "setting behavior" of the suspicious rubber-to-metal component after having removed it: The difference in height between an old and a new bearing should not exceed two to three millimeters. Furthermore, the rubber must not show any folds or cracks and must not have detached from the metal. In the case of hydraulic rubber-to-metal components, attention must also be paid when it comes to liquid leakage.

Defective suspension strut mount with incipient cracks in the rubber surface

The impact of defects

Although rubber-to-metal components do not belong to the typical wear parts, they are subject to high dynamic stress and harmful environmental influences such as heat, de-icing salt and ozone, due to their complex tasks. This can lead to fatigue symptoms. If link mounts or axle bearings cease to work flawlessly, rattling, squeaking, and knocking may occur when driving over short road unevenness. Further indicators: wobbling of the steering wheel or "juddering" brakes. Damaged suspension strut mounts may increase the stopping distance, lead to spongy driving behavior or make the steering heavy.

Damaged rubber-to-metal components within the chassis not only affect safety and comfort; they can also have a negative impact on adjacent chassis components.

If a defect has been detected, the bearings should always be replaced immediately and in pairs if possible.

Defective suspension strut mount with incipient cracks in the rubber surface

The impact of defects

Although rubber-to-metal components do not belong to the typical wear parts, they are subject to high dynamic stress and harmful environmental influences such as heat, de-icing salt and ozone, due to their complex tasks. This can lead to fatigue symptoms. If link mounts or axle bearings cease to work flawlessly, rattling, squeaking, and knocking may occur when driving over short road unevenness. Further indicators: wobbling of the steering wheel or "juddering" brakes. Damaged suspension strut mounts may increase the stopping distance, lead to spongy driving behavior or make the steering heavy.

Damaged rubber-to-metal components within the chassis not only affect safety and comfort; they can also have a negative impact on adjacent chassis components.

If a defect has been detected, the bearings should always be replaced immediately and in pairs if possible.

How to change rubber-to-metal components

The installation and removal of these high-quality components require suitable tools and, in some cases, also special tools.

Caution: In some cases, the installation position must be strictly adhered to.

The installation position must be marked prior to removing the defective bearings. In some cases, the positioning marks are on the actual parts or they are on the installation location in order to permit the exact mounting of the new bearing. Oil may not be used as an assembly aid when dealing with rubber-to-metal components as it attacks the rubber and damages the part as a result. Experts recommend using a soap solution. When dealing with link mounts and suspension strut mounts, only securely tighten the clamping screws with the required torque once the vehicle is in its assembly position once again. This prevents distortions in the bearing that could lead to premature wear of the new parts.

How to change rubber-to-metal components

The installation and removal of these high-quality components require suitable tools and, in some cases, also special tools.

Caution: In some cases, the installation position must be strictly adhered to.

The installation position must be marked prior to removing the defective bearings. In some cases, the positioning marks are on the actual parts or they are on the installation location in order to permit the exact mounting of the new bearing. Oil may not be used as an assembly aid when dealing with rubber-to-metal components as it attacks the rubber and damages the part as a result. Experts recommend using a soap solution. When dealing with link mounts and suspension strut mounts, only securely tighten the clamping screws with the required torque once the vehicle is in its assembly position once again. This prevents distortions in the bearing that could lead to premature wear of the new parts.

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When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Technical Mandatory Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

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These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.