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Replacing front struts without being in a rush

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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Re: Replacing front struts without being in a rush

Post by oragex » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:23 am

abscate wrote:Ride height is a good diagnostic of sagging springs. Remember to move the bodies out of the trunk (NJ residents) before comparing
:shock: been once in NJ but next time I'll keep driving at speed! :lol:

I have spring compressors, they are Made in China in some obscure shop, to date not yet broken to pieces, but just to give an idea I have been used them a couple of times without problems. I'd however strongly suggest to get some better quality but you still won't need to fork a lot of money out. $30-$40 will get reasonable (read safe) quality. This is not a toy, needs to be used properly and then it will work well. Never use an impact gun on a spring compressor. I've see some compressors with welded hooks, not sure I'd trust those. if one breaks in some point.. .
In opposition, these have cast hooks: http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUTO-14-COIL-SP ... 82&vxp=mtr

What spring seats and strut mounts have you got?

I would not go with springs form a junk yard. Either keep yours - give them a nice cleaning and spray some 'rust reformer' or get new springs.

Haven't watch yet rspi video, but main points are the upper sway bar end link nut - solidly seized and takes a good quality torx socket to try removing it. Notice I said 'try', reason why most people have a grinder handy and perhaps a new end link nearby as well. The bottom bolts on the strut itself are heavy guys, needs a 1/2" ratchet with an extension bar. I always loosen the axle shaft center bolt/nut to have the shaft moving free so as not to stretch the CV joint, and also hung the axle with a wire. If the spring is to be removed from the strut, I prefer to break loose the top nut with the strut in the car - just break it loose not remove it, of course. Not a bad job but some bolts are tight.
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Re: Replacing front struts without being in a rush

Post by erikv11 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:38 am

Great advice on spring compressors, those springs are to be respected.

Here's a tip on the sway bar endlinks: most have a collar behind the top nut that you can put a wrench on, to hold the threaded stud while you use a socket on the nut itself. Put the wrench in just in front of the rubber boot. At any rate, I've not had much trouble with the end link nuts, top or bottom, usually just take them off. Better yet, if you have an impact wrench use it here - they will just zip right off. Also I've done a couple dozen strut jobs now and I wouldn't mess with the axle nut. Unless you tap the CV out to break it loose from the hub, too, you're not doing anything by just loosening the nut anyway. And then you're just creating extra work, in my opinion.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 285k
'06 S60 R, 165k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: Replacing front struts without being in a rush

Post by famfeld » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:44 am

I do all my own volvo work for the last 10 years and I hate working with a spring compressor. Yes it is satisfying and more economical, but I think it might be a good use of like $90 and possibly save time.

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