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Replace Trunk Struts Tutorial

Volvo Trunk Struts

Changing lift gate trunk struts on a wagon is a little more involved but still fairly easy. These instructions are for an 850 but should work on a 98 wagon.

1. Remove the courtesy light in the center of the rear roof trim by prying it out with a small screwdriver.
2. Disconnect the wiring and set aside the light.
3. Remove the roof trim by prying out the two plastic caps and removing the two screws under them with a #25 torx driver.
4. Remove the rear pillar & roof trim by prying out the trim caps and removing the screws. Gently release these panels by pulling them free of their retaining clips.
5. Support the tailgate with a prop. Change one side at a time.
6. Disconnect the strut to body bracket. The strut ball-joints will pop out using a suitable pry bar.
7. Installation is the reverse.

MVS member leighdkirby

After a few close calls with nearly decapitating myself, I have purchased replacement trunk lifts. I am planning to install them myself, and am curious to know if anyone has any tips to make this a quick and easy procedure?
Leigh Ann

MVS member GrowinKids asks:

I’m interested in the same issue but with my 1997 850 wagon. The cold has sapped the little bit of staying power my lifts had left. Is it worth replacing them? My local Volvo repair shop quoted “around $300”. Is that reasonable? Ideas?

Thanks, GrowinKids

Replace Trunk Struts: A How To


rugbygrrl_15 says:

I recently replaced my trunk shocks with aftermarket parts and ran into the problem that the shocks were too long. After a quick internet search I found a solution for the problem on a German BWM blog: unscrew the plastic connector that fits into the ball joint on the trunk door. Then grind down the screw until the shock fits. If the shock is still too long, feel free to grind down the plastic on plastic connector too. After doing that step too, I shaved off the last bit to make the shock fit.

Bob Mitchiner says:

I replaced my Volvo S70 T5 trunk shocks this morning here’s how to do it. Remove the bolster on the side of the rear seats by pulling out on the upper part of the bolster and then lifting the it out. Lowering the seat backs helps but most of the work is done from the trunk. The front of the shock can be removed from its mount by grasping the shock rod with a pair of vice grips and rotating it. This will disconnect the front mount from the rod. Then slip a small screwdriver blade under the spring clip that secures the rear ball mount. Lift the spring and the shock slips off of the ball easily. To replace the shock position the front of the shock over the mounting rod and hold the shock body close to its final position. Place a large screwdriver blade on top of the mount and hit the screwdriver with your trusty hammer. Its tight but doable. Make sure the front mount is over the rod by using a mirror from the front side and then snap the rear mount over the ball.

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