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Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

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.

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Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by smacknab » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:42 pm

Anyone know if this is normal? I didn't have the Volvo tool when I installed my sturts a couple weeks ago and I realized now this gap probably isn't normal. Can anyone confirm my suspicion (/suspension lol)?
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by abscate » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:37 pm

Looks like the cross nut isn’t down hard enough

See lots of discussion here

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=76848
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by smacknab » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:02 pm

abscate wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:37 pm
Looks like the cross nut isn’t down hard enough

See lots of discussion here

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=76848
Ah ok, interesting I figured it was just the top but. Thinking about the assembly.. do you think I have to put the car on jack stands and put the springs compressors on to get that nut down? Or can I just remove the top nut and washer with the car on the ground then just tighten from the top?
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by erikv11 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:48 pm

Totally OK to remove it with the car on the ground.

You don't want to mess with it with the car in the air. The spring will decompress and shoot the strut downward. With the car on the ground the weight of the car compresses the spring, top is held by the fender bottom is held by the strut plate, it goes nowhere.
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'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by smacknab » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:46 am

Thanks for the info!
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by abscate » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:35 am

I’m missing something here.

If the cross nut is loose, you have to pull the strut and remove the strut bearing to get to it, don’t you?

Or can you just remove the nut and washer and get to it down the strut bearing hole?
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:23 am

The cross nut is just under the rebound/unload bumper washer.
4-7 mm is normal on any I have replaced parts on. If you take wheels off straight ahead the gap grows on one side of the washer and decreases 180 degrees away as the strut moves eccentrically off center either direction.

Now for the tough part: you must counterhold the strut shaft while tightening or you have high risk of twisting the metal sleeve in the mount and possibly tearing it a little. That speeds failure. I often have wondered if the reports of using Lemforder or other brands with good track record and having short life span relates to this.

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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by smacknab » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:02 am

jimmy57 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:23 am
The cross nut is just under the rebound/unload bumper washer.
4-7 mm is normal on any I have replaced parts on. If you take wheels off straight ahead the gap grows on one side of the washer and decreases 180 degrees away as the strut moves eccentrically off center either direction.

Now for the tough part: you must counterhold the strut shaft while tightening or you have high risk of twisting the metal sleeve in the mount and possibly tearing it a little. That speeds failure. I often have wondered if the reports of using Lemforder or other brands with good track record and having short life span relates to this.
So if I'm understanding what you're saying, you're also confirming I should keep wheels on and the car on the ground to do this? Holding the top has definitely been the tough part, I have a huge pipe wrench with teeth I was gonna try.

Looking at the assembly photo, and from my memory, the cross but goes through the strut washer so yeah should be a problem of needing to disassemble
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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by erikv11 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:36 pm

abscate wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:35 am
I’m missing something here.

If the cross nut is loose, you have to pull the strut and remove the strut bearing to get to it, don’t you?

Or can you just remove the nut and washer and get to it down the strut bearing hole?
I've never done it but the last one.

The strut mount (bearing #3) just slips over the top it is not under tension. The cross nut (#8) tightens onto the sleeve in the spring seat (#7). When you remove a strut tower, the strut mount just lifts off the top, only fastener to be removed is the top nut (#1).
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
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'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
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'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: Quarter inch gap top strut bolt and washer

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:09 pm

Keep wheels on ground and the spring is compressed. But if all you is tighten there is no risk. If you unscrew the cross nut other things could occur if car ride height is changed.

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