Trunk Strut Removal
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    1. #1
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      Trunk Strut Removal

      The Scan Tech gas struts for the trunk lid on my 142 are mostly dead, in spite of the fact that they have only been in use for 5 years. They won't hold the trunk lid up on their own; but, they have enough pressure left in them to complicate removal. I can't compress them by hand to get them out of their mounts. I have thought of using wire or cable ties to try and compress them. Unfortunately the clevis on the body side is so large that there is no room between the clevis and the car body to slip a wire or cable tie around the end of the strut so that I can pull it tight.

      The struts are located in such a wonderful location making access a real treat. I have searched; but, have not been able to find a tool for compressing the struts to allow removal. Is anybody aware of a suitable compression tool? I am beginning to think that I may have to remove the trunk lid and then remove the trunk hinges from the body which would release the struts. I would really hate to do that because I would have to go through the panel alignment process again.

      Has anybody been through this or have any suggestions for a tool that can be used to compress the struts?

      Edit
      I should add that my struts look like (and I expect are) the struts used on the 240s which do not have an exposed center rod. When I did the work on my car, these were the only style replacement struts that I could find for the 140.

      https://classic-volvo.com/140-142-14...260-sedan.html
      Last edited by 142 Guy; 02-01-2020 at 07:20 PM.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

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    3. #2
      Junior Member mathue's Avatar
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      When one of mine was near failure I had to remove the rear seat back and used mechanics wire when the trunk was closed to hold it compressed. I then opened the trunk and the spring/strut tumbled out.

      Can you get similar access?

      I've only seen illustrations of tool svo-2739 which holds the strut compressed.

    4. #3
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      142g;

      In other words, if you were to just free one end of the strut, even when the Trunklid was open to its stop, you feel it still has enough force to be difficult to control? I was under the impression that when Trunklid is open to the max, the strut is also at the max and at it's mechanical stop, so if you had a helper do the work of the strut, and support the Trunklid, couldn't you release one end without jeopardy? ...just questions for thought... I like mathue's idea of mechanics wire, to hold it at a given length...I recall the KYB Gasajust dampers have a nylon string compression arrangement to keep them compressed during assembly...

      Work carefully...those things store lots of energy just looking for a finger to give a bloodblister to...

      Good Hunting!

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by mathue View Post
      When one of mine was near failure I had to remove the rear seat back and used mechanics wire when the trunk was closed to hold it compressed. I then opened the trunk and the spring/strut tumbled out.

      Can you get similar access?

      I've only seen illustrations of tool svo-2739 which holds the strut compressed.
      With the seat removed there is an X brace across the back of the seat opening with a web that is about 50 mm wide. I might be able to reach the struts; but, I think I would be working blind. I think access from in the trunk with the lid slightly closed will be easier. I have a collapsible extension handle (used with a roller for painting ceilings) that works well to prop up the lid at various heights to allow work.

      I saw the 2739 tool is the SM. I expect that with the trunk lid propped up just enough to allow me to reach in the strut would be compressed just enough to allow that tool to fit over the strut. Lift the lid up and the strut should then drop out. Unfortunately, that tool appears to be unobtanium! Absent a tool like that I think I am going to have to do something like the mechanics wire wrapped around each clevis, compress the strut by closing a bit and then wrap up the wire and hope id holds the strut compressed.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ron Kwas View Post
      142g;

      In other words, if you were to just free one end of the strut, even when the Trunklid was open to its stop, you feel it still has enough force to be difficult to control? I was under the impression that when Trunklid is open to the max, the strut is also at the max and at it's mechanical stop, so if you had a helper do the work of the strut, and support the Trunklid, couldn't you release one end without jeopardy? ...just questions for thought... I like mathue's idea of mechanics wire, to hold it at a given length...I recall the KYB Gasajust dampers have a nylon string compression arrangement to keep them compressed during assembly...

      Work carefully...those things store lots of energy just looking for a finger to give a bloodblister to...

      Good Hunting!
      Ron, if I were able to free one end of the strut I don't think I would have a problem. On all the other cars I have worked on, the mechanism seems to be designed such that there is an additional 25 - 50 mm of motion beyond the normal opening range of the strut. Push the lid that additional 50 mm and it completely releases the strut and you are free to unclip / unbolt / whatever the strut. Not on the 140. The service manual says that you have to close the trunk lid slightly to compress the strut, slip the 2739 tool over the strut (2739 is just a very long / shallow U shape) which holds the strut in the compressed position, open the trunk lid and the strut drop out - easy peasy!

      Putting the strut in originally was rather easy because it was retained by a nylon web which you just cut and presuming you had everything aligned it popped into place. I was not expecting to have to do an R&R so soon.

      With the trunk lid fully open the strut is still under some compression making removal difficult, even in its deteriorated state. If I were the Rock I might have hands and arms strong enough to pull the weakened strut into a compressed position to allow it to drop out - that was my original plan. Turns out I am the Wimp, not the Rock when it comes to forearm strength and working in awkward positions. If I could figure out some suitable dimensions I might be able to cobble up a substitute for 2739 from some 1/8 - 3/16" strap steel that I think I have around. Otherwise, it looks like its mechanics wire or big cable ties!
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    8. #6
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      A brief bought of pleasant temperatures provided the opportunity to take another run at removal of the trunk struts. The short story is that cable ties and then mechanics wire did not do the trick, although the mechanics wire definitely worked 'less badly' than the cable ties. With the mechanics wire I did manage to pop one end of the strut loose before the wire slipped trapping the strut under its mounting clevis. The 240 style struts just don't have enough of a shoulder on the one end of the body to grab the wire securely. In the photo below you can see that I tried to use a cable tie to keep the wire in place on the shoulder of the clevis; but, the wire kept sliding off.

      Trunk struts.jpg

      Getting the wire in place is just incredibly difficult given their location under the parcel shelf. If you are small and prepared to climb into the trunk and close the lid, then wiring up the strut in the closed position 'might' be easier. I wasn't prepared to go there. After about an hour of frustration with the wire and cable ties I gave up and with the assistance of my son I marked the location of the hinges on the trunk lid and body with a felt tip and then had the hinges off and struts out in about 10 minutes.

      I have contacted Strutwise to see if they can re-charge the struts. I am waiting to hear back and if that works out will report on the quality of their re-charge service.
      Last edited by 142 Guy; 02-23-2020 at 12:38 PM.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    9. #7
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      So I gave up on getting my struts regassed by Strutwise. They appear to have gone incommunicado after my initial contact with them about getting the struts re gassed and sending the struts to them. I ended up buying a set of these from CVI

      https://www.cvi-automotive.se/en/art...d-on-cars-1979

      I also ended up having to buy the associated fitting for the end of the strut which I chucked with the original struts about a decade ago. The new struts are now installed. This is definitely a two person job and just like the previous Scantech struts there is no over center action that releases pressure and allows easy installation. The hinges have to be off the car to get these puppies on, hence the one set of hands to hold the hinge with strut in place and a second set to run the mounting bolts in. If you are considering this, definitely mark your hinge location on the trunk lid mounting surface and the attachment point on the body. This saves a lot of work on panel alignment after.

      Very nice not to have the trunk lid dropping on your head all the time!
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    10. #8
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      I had a feeling you would have to remove the truck lid in the end. Typically, marking the lid and hinges like you did gets you 95% of the way there on reinstallation. Finally some closure on this! lol.
      Lesky
      '73 164E

    11. #9
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      Glad you didn't have to work from inside with the lid shut!

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