Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Front Strut Inserts

It's finally time to do the front strut inserts. The struts have basically NO damping whatsoever. I went with Bilstein inserts. Around $50 wholesale. I'm off to put them in this afternoon! You'll need a spring compressor to do the job.

HA! You might also need an oxy/acetylene torch, an air hammer, a chain wrench, a pipe wrench and a LOT of patience. The nut that holds in the strut insert(picture above at right) is a bear to get off. I had to heat up the nut and strut housing and then airhammer it loose while hot. The threads will need some attention before the new struts go in.

Day 2.... Well the strut nut on the other side was a piece of cake. Some items that may need attention are the rubber bump stops (Volvo p/n 1273849). Mine had completely disintigrated. Also make sure you have both plastic accordian shock bellows (picture, Volvo p/n 1387735). I was missing one. All these parts delays are starting to get annoying, but I should have checked these thigns beforehand :/ There is a strut bearing (allows the strut to pivot against the vehicle body) that should be cleaned and repacked with bearing grease. It has a plastic casing, half yellow/orange, half gray, that can be easily pried apart to get at the bearings. (picture at right)

Day 3... Finally complete! FYI, this job can be done on the car. Disconnect the sway bar and tie rod end from the strut and the strut will then drop out of the wheel well. BE CAREFUL NOT TO STRESS THE BRAKE HOSES. Once the strut is free of the wheel well, use the spring compressor.


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