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How hard should to be to turn a strut bearing (by hand)

I dropped the engine out of my vehicle to do a little work over X-mas about a year ago. 93’ transport drops out a subframe with motor/transmission/steering/
suspension as a package.

When I went to put it back in, the drivers side strut mount “turned” very hard, only with the help of a wrench (cheater bar). The passanger didn’t turn at all. Any rotation on that side was the spring twisting. I was told by non-professional shop staff that the strut bearings are shot and that’s whats killing my factory original (350K miles) Rack and Pinion.

Then a couple months ago, I did something really dumb, the impact of which, sheared ‘off’ my passenger Strut Tower (30% still connected). When the tower got reattached, I had ask to replace the Strut mount (includes the bearing) as that was the completely frozen one (IF needed). The didn’t replace it, as they said both strut bearings seemed to be just fine (These are Professionals that I do trust)

So my Question is, How rotationally stiff is a strut bearing.

The pro’s say mine are good a year after I couldn’t move them by hand.
Steering isn’t hard with the wheels off the ground, so the might be correct.

Now I’m set to replace the subframe (They are known to rot-out on this vehicle) which just failed, and the rack-and-Pinion. The question relates to, do I go through the time and labor and cost to put in new strut mounts.

Upper strut beings are pretty stiff.

There are times when I’ve installed struts, and after installing the three nuts that secure the strut to the strut tower, I’ve had to rotate the strut slightly to get it to align with the steering knuckle. And they don’t rotate too easily.


If the wheels are raised off the floor and the key in the ON position it shouldn’t be difficult to swing the wheel from full left to full right.

This is a “it depends” kind of question. Off the car, there are things that can provide great resistance to the strut bearing turning. Things that won’t BE in contact with the strut assembly in place and loaded with the car’s weight. If the design doesn’t have anything in contact with the strut assembly out, it should turn stiffly by hand.

The best way to determine a failed strut bearing is to disassemble the strut/spring/mount and actually feel the bearing. They move very easily by hand. Any grinding, binding or roughness would be apparent.

93 Pontiac transport? Do u live in Cuba? They do sell newer vans. I say working on van for 1 more minute is 1 minute wasted.