Back to the Volvo

Last weekend Ewan and I dived back into working on his Volvo.  The goal was to replace all the bushing and the strut insert on the front right corner.  After hours of trying I realized those old bushings weren’t coming out without resorting to extreme measures.  The ball joint press kit was not going to do it.  And I guess those bushings didn’t look that bad after all…

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So we changed plans.  We decided to replace the strut inserts on both front corners.  Even this wasn’t too easy.  Turns out there is a special volvo tool for removing the top strut nut.  It is basically a 24mm socket with a hole on top through which out put another tool to hold the shaft from turning.  There was no way to get this tool over the weekend.  So we disassembled both sides and called Saturday a day.  On the way home we bought a 24mm deep socket to use with an impact gun.  I figured short bursts would work that nut off.  Lara took us home and we left the slow swede at Tedd’s.

Sunday morning  Lara dropped us off on her way to church.  Ewan and I spent our day at the Church of Grease Stains and Bloody Knuckles.  The impact gun worked!  Yay.  Then getting the strut gland nut off was tough.

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This gland nut is at the top of the strut tube, it is as big around as the strut tube and it has about an inch of fine threads.  After trying a variety of things and wishing I had a huge pipe wrench, I applied some heat to it until the penetrating oil (applied earlier) was bubbling back out of the threads.  Then a chisel and hammer did the trick.  After that it was just a matter of putting it all back together, getting the alignment very roughly correct, and bleeding the brakes.  That last step took a long time, there was a lot of air in the system and it took a quart of brake fluid to finish.  After it sits a few days we’ll see if it worked or needs to be bled again.

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