Two points here. If I had needed a new strut I would have bought one, It was the top bearing that had seized, and, if I hadn't been involved in a spring related accident, nearly costing me three fingers, I would have just bought the bearing and cup assembly, and, would be none the wiser.Surely if a new after market strut was obtained it would be a bare strut, that then would need the spring and top mounting plate swapped over anyway.
The only reason you found out it was a changed part is because you changed to a part from a diffrent year.
If the strut top bearings are part of the top mounting those parts would show up in the listings as different as reguards the build year.
Also, you are missing my point, the change in the mounting plate achieves nothing, sure it keeps someone in a job somewhere, but is totally unnecessary in terms of vehicle "improvement"
The near tragic accident was the result of Citroen fitting curved springs to a straight strut, presumably to save threepence by re-using the same springs as the rear which operate in an arc and therefore need to be curved. The front springs don't need to be curved but are, as a consequence, when compressed, the squashed spring loses its curve, and it develops uneven tension (greater on one side due to the curve). As a result of this, the spring compressor decided to follow the line of least resistance and jump to the uncompressed side whilst trying to alternatively slacken them a little at a time. This was reminiscent of a bear trap going off, and I found my hand to be holding the wrong place (the spring) at the wrong time.
So, having learned the hard way not to piss about with curved springs under tension, I bought a complete strut with bearing, to make life easier, which it has, apart from having to bodge holes in the bodywork for no good reason that is.
For those of you with the luxury of unlimited cash flow I say, go on, by everything new, from Citroen, and have them fit it too, why don't you.
I don't have that luxury, I bought this car to "save" me money in fuel and road tax, and even with my best efforts in doing all my own maintenance (£65/hour) and buying scrap parts wherever possible (saving thousands!!), I have failed.