RWD - Strut Tube Problems

Volvo RWD 900 Forum

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Strut Tube Problems 900

Dear Mr. Nabisco,

Hope you're well. The strut housing are very sturdy. Absent direct impact from collision or a road-hazard, a strut housing is unlikely to be "bent".

More likely: the strut mounts have failed. Replacing the strut housings, struts, or mounts requires using a spring compressor. That isn't hard, but is dangerous if one does not: (a) use a high-quality spring compressor and (b) follow instructions carefully.

During a highway project, the paving company left a three-inch-tall layer of new paving facing on-coming traffic. The leading edge of the new paving was not "feathered", i.e., tapered to provide a ramp up to the top of the new paving.

In the dark, I could not see this paving "cliff" and so hit this three-inch-tall "cliff" at 65 miles/hour. Happily, there was no tire blow-out. But a tire went flat in my garage. When the tire was removed from the wheel, it was obvious that impact energy had ruptured the tire's sidewall.

Fearing latent damage to front end components - which damage might become obvious years later - I insisted that the paving company's insurer cover the cost of new: (a) strut housings; (b) wheel hubs; (c) struts; (d) strut mounts and bearings; (e) ball joints); (f) tie rods and tie rod ends; (g) wheels; and (h) tires. In short, the entire front suspension was replaced.

When I inspected the hub bearings, I saw marks on the bearing balls, plainly the result of the collision energy that slammed the bearing balls against their retainers. It should be obvious that bearing balls and retainers are made of very hard steel, so enormous force was required to make those marks.

Even so, I doubt that the strut housings were bent. I had them replaced for prudential reasons, i.e., to avoid finding a problem years later and so too late to file a claim for replacement against the paving company's insurer.

One of the strut mounts was so badly damaged, that when the mechanic removed it from the car, strut mount bearing balls (nothing to do with hub bearing balls) fell to the ground. This showed me that the strut mounts had been compromised.

The bottom line: unless your car has been in a violent front-end collision or hit a road hazard (e.g., a paving "cliff" or a deep pothole), the strut housings are likely to be fine. I'd focus on the strut mounts. A front-end collision that bends the strut housings likely means the car is "totaled".

Hope this helps.

Yours faithfully,



New Strut Tube Problems [900]
posted by  MrNabisco  on Fri Mar 8 12:46 CST 2019 >

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