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> New Struts & Bushings - Lots Of Knocks, knocks while driving
breadmeister2
post May 8 2007, 03:47 PM
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I have a '85 240 DL Wagon, 330K miles and replaced both struts, bushings and also replaced the inner tie rods. It would knock whenever we drove it anywhere (city/highway). After replacing everything, it knocks with regular city driving, but on the highway it is quieter. It is frustrating, I was expecting it to ride much quieter afterwards, but it seems to be even noisier now.

I suspect it might be the top of the tower, as that is the only thing I didn't replace that is part of the struts.

Any thoughts/ideas?

Thanks for the help.
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240on280
post May 8 2007, 04:13 PM
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Have you jacked up each wheel and tried to isolated where the knocking is coming from? It could be the worn lower Ball Joints. Also are the wheel bearings correctly adjusted?
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breadmeister2
post May 8 2007, 11:02 PM
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I packed the bearings about 2 months ago, I'll re-check them. Although I had heard more knocking from the front driver side strut, it was also much more apparent on the right after I had finished everything.

As far as jacking up the car and checking each wheel individually, yesterday, after road testing twice, I lifted the front end and pulled/pushed each tire and didn't find any play. My frustration stems from not being able to recreate the knocking when the front end is up. It seems I would need to have a machine to place enough force to re-create the knocking.

Could the culprit be the upper strut mount? I didn't really look at it closely when I removed the old struts. Everything below seemed fine, my fear is that once the spring is uncompressed, you can't check it because of the tension. I also cranked down on the strut nut (top) until the strut turned (electric impact wrench).

Thanks for the help.
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IceBrick
post May 10 2007, 10:57 AM
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Hello Breadmeister,
I did the same work to my 240 last summer and have the same symptoms.
I posted on this and the turbo brick forum but haven't had a solution.
My guess is that the bolts through the bushings will not hold firm enough to keep the control arm bushing from rotating on the cross member. The bushings are preloaded by torqueing them down while the car is on it's wheels. Every time I go back to that setting they have no preload. My 240 makes a kind of crack sound when the suspension dips.
It's making me nuts.

I am not driving my car presently...more upgrades. Before I get back on the road I will install some (of those "star") lock washers on the head and nut sides of the control arm bushing bolt to see if that will lock it tight.

That 's just a guess for my problem.

Please post when you sort yours out.
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breadmeister2
post May 16 2007, 11:11 PM
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I lifted the front end and pushed-pulled-kicked each tire to try to determine any movement. I did find that the right-front wheel had a small amount of play in it. I followed 240on280's recommendation and found the spindle nut did need a minor amount of tightening (I was able to tighten it by two segments), which did eliminate one of the sounds, but not all.

A guy who used to run Volvo's Only in Houston (Bellaire) suggested I check to see that the struts are the correct length. He told me to grasp the top of the strut and pull/push vertically (while it is outside of the fender well), to see if there is any play. He said that if the strut isn't the correct size, there may be vertical play, hence causing the knocking. I've yet to do this, as it is my wife's and my only vehicle and I have to plan maintenance outside of our schedule. But this will be my next project, and I'll check the top mount as well. The rubber appears to have cracked significantly since I replaced the struts, causing me to believe that this could be a contributor. I've also noticed the caps over the tops of the struts appears to be getting pushed up a little. Maybe I've tightened the top strut nut too much?

Anyway, I hope to tackle this job Sunday if the wife hasn't made other plans for me.

Thanks for the help. I'll post what I learn, and hopefully correct the problem.

Note to anyone planning to work on struts: IPD no longer sells the "strut nut tool". My original mechanic (Volvo's Only) and the guys at IPD both mentioned "impact wrench". Fearing an expensive tool setup, I purchased an electric impact wrench at a pawn shop ($35.) and found a useful deep impact socket set at Wal Mart ($17.) It made a world of difference on the job, as well as made it useful for the other loosening and tightening of nuts/bolts. Now, if I can solve the irritating knocking, I'll be able to tackle the other areas that need attention.
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IceBrick
post May 21 2007, 07:37 AM
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I finally bought an electric impact last year. I can't believe how well it works, or how much work I put myself through without it.

I got around the lack of a strut nut tool this way...I used a long socket wrapped in 120 grit paper, (for bite), and a plumbers pipe wrench to turn the socket. I held the shaft of the strut with a T handle allan key. Not pretty, but it worked for me.
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breadmeister2
post Jun 25 2007, 07:37 PM
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Okay all, I finally had enough time to correct my problems and post the solution. I have a restaurant that consumes a lot of my time, and leaves little to tweak the volvo between the wife and kids.

I replaced the bushings at the top of the towers and that made all the difference in the world. Anyone who is replacing their struts should spend the extra few dollars and replace the bushings at the top at the same time. It doesn't add much to the effort, although in my opinion, the extra dollars are worth alleviating the headache.

To solve the problem of the control arm bushings being loaded prior to tightening, I used my floor jack (good investment) to push up on the base of the strut (place carefully) and lifted on it until the car just came off the jack stands. (I loosened the nuts/bolts prior). This would put the car in the same circumstance it would be when on the ground. It seems that this procedure and the replacement of the upper strut bushings took care of my problem. After reading Chilton's procedure to tighten the control arm bushings after lowering the car (with tires on) and rolling back and forth, pushing down on each tire before tightening was not practical. At least to one without access to a garage well, where you can leave the car on it's wheels and still go under to access underneath. My only challenge was the passenger side where the rear lower control arm bolt access is limited by the exhaust pipe coming off the manifold. It was late and I decided not to remove this section of the muffler because I was tired and was willing to risk a redress if it didn't work. Fortunately, as far is it seems, I don't have to go back to this again.

Anyone wanting to eliminate the knocks from loose struts and bushings, would be wise to replace all related bushings when replacing the struts. By the time you compress the springs (a pain until I bought some GreatWrench flex wrenches - fortunately, Napa had a tool sale and was selling them at their cost), it's worth replacing everything you can replace when the springs are compressed.

My next job is to replace the rear springs with some I bought through IPD, which are designed for heavy loads. I think I wore out the rear suspension hauling heavy loads of materials for my restaurant 8 years ago. The car always looks like the rear is sagging, with a light or heavy load. This time, I'll have all the bushings needed, and invest in the bushing tool. Fortunately, I had the knowledge and tools to replace the control arm bushings, but I spent at least 1 1/2 hours on each set trying to knock out the old and press in the new.

Good Luck and thanks to all who contributed to my query. A happy ending after a lot of work.

Breadman
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IceBrick
post Jun 26 2007, 12:59 PM
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Breadmeister,
you may consider poly bushings for the rear trailing arm to make the project so much simpler. You leave the shell intact and burn or cut (hole saw) out the rubber part.
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breadmeister2
post Jun 27 2007, 06:54 AM
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IceBrick,

Well, I've already ordered the rubber ones and also rented the tool to remove them. After replacing the control arm bushings on the front, I didn't want to have to work that much. Although what you're saying makes a lot of sense. I looked at the polys and noticed they would come in parts instead of whole pieces to be pressed in.

Any other advice regarding the rear bushings is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Breadman.
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