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    1. #1

      Front Strut Stuck

      Hi Everyone,

      I'm replacing my front struts and the strut is stuck in the hub assembly (not sure the actual name, but it's where the bottom of the strut is attached). The bolt was easy enough to loosen, and I think I was able to pry the strut up maybe 1/16-inch, but I can't get it any further. It's soaking in penetrant fluid as I type, so hopefully that will work some magic overnight. If not, any tips on how to get this to come out?
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

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    3. #2
      Blinding flash of the obvious...

      Does the bolt that secures the bottom of the strut have to come all the way out?
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    4. #3
      Member GRat9717's Avatar
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      I like to keep the strut attached at the top so I can whack on the knuckle with a 2 ton hammer

      Quote Originally Posted by LittleRedRidingHood View Post
      Blinding flash of the obvious...

      Does the bolt that secures the bottom of the strut have to come all the way out?
      Might as well back it all the way out.
      Garage Queen - 2010 C30 R-Design Vrooooooom
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    6. #4
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      Like GRat said, just whack the sh*t out the knuckle with a heavy hammer. Mine took a good bit of force to remove. And an air hammer made it so much easier to install- especially since I did mine on jackstands and couldn't get a full hammer swing while laying on the ground.
      2007 S40 T5 AWD

    7. #5
      Member AutoGeek's Avatar
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      Try to spread the top of the knuckle where the strut slides in with a pry bar. If that doesn't work, start whacking. Actually, on the strut there should be a hole in the tab that slides into the gap in the hub. You can stick a screwdriver or something in there to pry the strut up... then start whacking.
      2005 V50 T5 FWD M66 Passion Red (Radio Flyer)

      1998 V70 NA - Sold, 2002 S40 1.9T - R.I.P., 2005 V50 T5 - RIP

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    8. #6
      Member GRat9717's Avatar
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      Garage Queen - 2010 C30 R-Design Vrooooooom
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    9. #7
      Junior Member thefisch33's Avatar
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      Make sure all the tension is off. Did you disconnect the control arm? I used a block of wood to hammer on but be careful not to damage the abs sensor in the hub. Use pb blaster or other lube. It should hammer out 1mm at a time. Rubber Mallot worked for me.


      That stage 2/3 black&yellow m66
      2010 s40 T5 AWD M66 D/S Rotors, EBC Red Stuff Ceramic Pads-custom Cat-back, muffler delete

    10. #8
      Member GRat9717's Avatar
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      Should be able to do it with the control arm attached at the ball joint. I think removing that would make it harder because you don't have something to support the knuckle while you whack.
      Garage Queen - 2010 C30 R-Design Vrooooooom
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    11. #9
      Finally got it off (without detaching the control arm). I think it was more difficult because of the spacer on the AWD struts. Lots of whacking - what a pain!

      One of the bolts sheared off in the spacer, so I'm wondering if it's possible to not use them when I put the struts back on. Should only be 1/2 inch difference at most. Lowering springs would probably have much more of an effect. Any reason not to remove them?
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    12. #10
      Member GRat9717's Avatar
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      I actually added them to my C30 on my previous setup because it was too low in the front. It doesn't hurt to remove them.
      Garage Queen - 2010 C30 R-Design Vrooooooom
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    13. #11
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Yes, the spacer is why it was harder. More downward tension against the control arm. Broken spacer bolt is very common, no problem to to remove for a lower ride.
      Note that you will need to rotate the upper spring perch tabs 180 with no spacer. The tabs should now line up with the metal tab at bottom of the strut. You can follow the How To as written now that you are effectively FWD suspension.

      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

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    14. #12
      Quote Originally Posted by pczeilon View Post
      Yes, the spacer is why it was harder. More downward tension against the control arm. Broken spacer bolt is very common, no problem to to remove for a lower ride.
      Note that you will need to rotate the upper spring perch tabs 180 with no spacer. The tabs should now line up with the metal tab at bottom of the strut. You can follow the How To as written now that you are effectively FWD suspension.
      Thanks for the info, PC. Yes, those are the instructions I was following. "7. Use a screwdriver and slowly pry the strut away from the knuckle. It will come off without much effort." is the step that made me question what was going on. Took me well over an hour to get the strut out of the knuckle...

      I think I'll go with removed spacers. I'm envisioning a mean looking stance with a lowered front! 50% off alignments at a shop nearby, so I will be taking advantage of that.
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    15. #13
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by LittleRedRidingHood View Post
      "7. Use a screwdriver and slowly pry the strut away from the knuckle. It will come off without much effort."
      Written by a Southern Gentleman.
      If you want to help the alignment shop & yourself get the tie rods & locking nuts free right now while you have good access. Clean & grease the threads. It will make their day & ultimately get you a better result as they don't need to waste time freeing frozen parts.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    16. #14
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      Just did this job on my AWD. Next time do this to help facilitate the removal: Take a 10-12" cut 2X4 and place one end at the middle of the knuckle. Angle the other end out away from the assembly. Now take a 5lbs sledge and smack it hard. You'll see the knuckle slowly break away. Installation is tougher than removal. Make sure you put never-seize on the inside of the knuckle prior to assembly and then use a jack to force the knuckle up into the strut assembly. You will have to jiggle the strut assembly fairly vigorously to get it to slip. You may have to slowly increase jack pressure until it slips on. At some point, however, you will bind the knuckle on the strut and then you'll have to release jack pressure and start over. DO this until the strut is completely into the knuckle.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    17. #15
      Quote Originally Posted by pczeilon View Post
      If you want to help the alignment shop & yourself get the tie rods & locking nuts free right now while you have good access. Clean & grease the threads. It will make their day & ultimately get you a better result as they don't need to waste time freeing frozen parts.
      Great tip. I've read that only the toe is adjustable - is that right, or can camber be adjusted as well?
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    18. #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mercdude View Post
      Just did this job on my AWD. Next time do this to help facilitate the removal: Take a 10-12" cut 2X4 and place one end at the middle of the knuckle. Angle the other end out away from the assembly. Now take a 5lbs sledge and smack it hard. You'll see the knuckle slowly break away. Installation is tougher than removal. Make sure you put never-seize on the inside of the knuckle prior to assembly and then use a jack to force the knuckle up into the strut assembly. You will have to jiggle the strut assembly fairly vigorously to get it to slip. You may have to slowly increase jack pressure until it slips on. At some point, however, you will bind the knuckle on the strut and then you'll have to release jack pressure and start over. DO this until the strut is completely into the knuckle.
      Thanks for the info - I still have one more strut to do so I will try using this method.
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    19. #17
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      Yeah it's not fun, but doable. Another tip, make sure you install the top strut bolts first. That way, the strut assembly isn't flopping around on you and you jack the knuckle onto the strut. If you can, make sure the bottom strut tab (that goes between the knuckle pinch points) is facing the right way before you try to re-assemble the knuckle and strut.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    20. #18
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Yes, only toe is adjustable. If you clean & grease the knuckle your strut will slide in fairly easily. Some new struts may have excess weld or paint. This can hang them up also. Definitely bolt the top up as Merc suggested, much easier to wrangle.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    21. #19
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      ^ You're back!!!
      2005 V50 T5 AWD M66

    22. #20
      Well, that job's done. I had to use the spring compressors to get the strut back in even without the AWD spacer on the strut mount.

      As a note, my front right LCA had a sensor attached to it - seems like a ride height sensor, with a servo attached to the body and a miniature end link connecting it to the LCA. My knuckle had dropped so far that when lifting it back up, the arm on the servo spun around to the wrong side. Even after bolting everything back up, I was able to rectify it by disconnecting a bracket that connects the LCA to the 'end link' and move it to the correct (left) side, where the 'end link' is more vertical. This could easily have gone unnoticed by me, so I'm glad I took a good look around before putting the wheel back on. Seems like not all cars have these from photos I've found online.

      I forgot to take a photo but will see if I can snap a picture sometime soon. I can't find the part in any parts diagrams.
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

    23. #21
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      That's the sensor for your Xenon headlamps. HERE
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

    24. #22
      Ah, yes - that's the one.
      2007 Volvo S40 T5 AWD Geartronic - Passion Red

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