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Old 02-14-2018, 12:39 PM   #1
4-cyl
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Default Bilstein HD Strut Spacers?

I’ve been searching, but the results don’t match what the shop is telling me. A little help?

Bullet pointing this out as not to waste anyone’s time:

’83 245 Turbo / m46
Purchased with clunking KYBs


- Shop is installing a set of Bilstein HDs for me (Yeah, I know, shame. Car is far away from me.)
- Tech says strut tubes are missing spacers, so the HDs are too short—creating clunk.
- He can’t locate spacers to purchase.

I read on TB that spacers are supposed to come out when installing HDs. Is this wrong?

Is it possible that the car has the wrong strut tubes?
Or, if I'm wrong, anyone have spacers available?


*Tech is also installing 15A strut plates as well.

Thanks for any help!
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Last edited by 4-cyl; 02-14-2018 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-cyl View Post
I’ve been searching, but the results don’t match what the shop is telling me. A little help?

Bullet pointing this out as not to waste anyone’s time:

’83 245 Turbo / m46
Purchased with clunking KYBs


- Shop is installing a set of Bilstein HDs for me (Yeah, I know, shame. Car is far away from me.)
- Tech says strut tubes are missing spacers, so the HDs are too short—creating clunk.
- He can’t locate spacers to purchase.

I read on TB that spacers are supposed to come out when installing HDs. Is this wrong?

Is it possible that the car has the wrong strut tubes?
Or, if I'm wrong, anyone have spacers available?


*Tech is also installing 15A strut plates as well.

Thanks for any help!
No spacers needed on HD struts. Sometimes you have to sand the paint off to get them to slide in... but it seems the tech is having the opposite problem.
Maybe they mean one of the washers for the spring plate?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:20 PM   #3
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You dont need spacers for bilsteins... if they dont fit. it means your strut tubes are bent.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:30 PM   #4
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You dont need spacers for bilsteins... if they dont fit. it means your strut tubes are bent.
That's just it. The tech is saying the Bilsteins go too far into the tube!

He says that since there are no spacers, the HDs are not long enough to take up all the space in the tube.

What am I missing here? Are there other Bilsteins that require spacers?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by culberro View Post
No spacers needed on HD struts. Sometimes you have to sand the paint off to get them to slide in... but it seems the tech is having the opposite problem.
Maybe they mean one of the washers for the spring plate?
The tech sent me a pic via text of the spacer he said he needs, and it looks to be the spacer at the bottom of the strut tube. That's why I started to wonder if the wrong strut tubes are somehow in the car? I dunno what they would be from though. So confused.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:50 PM   #6
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How is he is determining that they go into the strut tube "too far"? The gland nut will not tighten down against the strut?
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:55 PM   #7
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Is he using the gland nuts that came with the struts?
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by oldschoolvolvo View Post
How is he is determining that they go into the strut tube "too far"? The gland nut will not tighten down against the strut?
Good question. I will ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperfauto
Is he using the gland nuts that came with the struts?
He better be!! The HDs I received in the mail had nuts on them. I sent them as-is.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-cyl View Post
Is it possible that the car has the wrong strut tubes?





Thanks for any help!
The tubes are stuck into the spindle forging..Made literally by the millions...
Try and imagine how, out of 4,5 million Volvo 240 strut assemblies, your car got wrong tubes---suddenly.

The mechanic (call the fawkers mechanics...this "tech" thing is pretentious) said "what" it's too short..
More important is to get the answer WHY?

Year of car?
PN for the inserts?

More info is needed...as always.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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The early struts have a snap ring at the bottom of the tube and a spacer that sits on top of it. The technician knows what he's talking about. The spacer is required or else you will have at least an eighth of an inch of play when the gland but is tightened all the way down.

If the car in question is the 1983 in your signature, those struts had the snap ring and spacer set up. That would explain why your KYB struts were knocking.

Billstein HD struts may be longer than the OE strut inserts and not require that spacer. It has been too long since I installed a set and cannot remember for sure.

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Old 02-14-2018, 02:28 PM   #11
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I'd be more likely thinking wrong struts than wrong strut tubes.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMc View Post
I'd be more likely thinking wrong struts than wrong strut tubes.
But we'll not know that without PNs for the inserts. As Roy points out there was a spacer in the bottom of MOST of the 240s till late 1990whatever
Think variables and constants..The variable is the new inserts..
Need moar infoz.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:02 PM   #13
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My bet would be the wrong inserts or wrong gland nuts if they go too far into the tube.... Unless he managed to put 740 strut housings on a 240.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:03 PM   #14
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I have plenty of those spacers available. 20 shipped for a set.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John V, outside agitator View Post
The tubes are stuck into the spindle forging..Made literally by the millions...
Try and imagine how, out of 4,5 million Volvo 240 strut assemblies, your car got wrong tubes---suddenly.

The mechanic (call the fawkers mechanics...this "tech" thing is pretentious) said "what" it's too short..
More important is to get the answer WHY?

Year of car?
PN for the inserts?

More info is needed...as always.
Haha. I always love reading your responses, John! It makes me chuckle to see how you do your best to agitate first and foremost.

To answer your questions:

1. I wasn't saying that my car came from the factory with different strut tubes. I just don't know what crazy mistakes others may have made to the car in the past. Who knows what someone may have rigged up. As it is, I received the car with an accumulator that was glued together.

2. Year of car? As stated in OP, third line: "’83 245 Turbo / m46"

3. Noted. I'll have to wait until I get home to try to dig up the insert PN. Purchased from IPD a couple years back during the Black Friday sale.

4. Tech says the insert is too short for the strut tube, meaning that when he drops it in, the insert does not fill up the entire space of the tube. Thus, he assumes it requires the spacer. That's actually why I wrote the post in the first place. I had read here on TB that HD inserts should not need the spacer because they take up the entire length of the strut tube. If the PN for the insert is incorrect, maybe that's the ah-ha moment. I'll check on it.

And if they guy wants to be called a tech, hey, cool. I'm happy to call you a mechanic.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
The early struts have a snap ring at the bottom of the tube and a spacer that sits on top of it. The technician knows what he's talking about. The spacer is required or else you will have at least an eighth of an inch of play when the gland but is tightened all the way down.

If the car in question is the 1983 in your signature, those struts had the snap ring and spacer set up. That would explain why your KYB struts were knocking.

Billstein HD struts may be longer than the OE strut inserts and not require that spacer. It has been too long since I installed a set and cannot remember for sure.
Thanks for the info. You're helping me to get the layout of the parts in my head.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkaplan View Post
My bet would be the wrong inserts or wrong gland nuts if they go too far into the tube.... Unless he managed to put 740 strut housings on a 240.
Yeah, that's where I was going with the "wrong tube" thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blkaplan
I have plenty of those spacers available. 20 shipped for a set.
Awesome! We'll see what happens.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by John V, outside agitator View Post
But we'll not know that without PNs for the inserts. As Roy points out there was a spacer in the bottom of MOST of the 240s till late 1990whatever
Think variables and constants..The variable is the new inserts..
Need moar infoz.
My vague impression is that after 1990-ish the tubes just (effectively) had the spacers welded in. Or just part of the tube, whatever. Not removable.

I know the Bil HD's just *barely* fit in my '93's ABS strut tubes. The gland nut engages, you go around a couple of times, then it's tight on the strut. *Barely* on. A little bit iffy, but I put loctite on mine, snugged them down good, crossed my fingers, and they've been fine for 10 years so far.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:12 PM   #19
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Generally one needs to remove the spacers to fit billy HDs.
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Folks on here don't know a good deal when they see it.
how psi stock cna support?

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Old 02-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
The early struts have a snap ring at the bottom of the tube and a spacer that sits on top of it. The technician knows what he's talking about. The spacer is required or else you will have at least an eighth of an inch of play when the gland but is tightened all the way down.

If the car in question is the 1983 in your signature, those struts had the snap ring and spacer set up. That would explain why your KYB struts were knocking.

Billstein HD struts may be longer than the OE strut inserts and not require that spacer. It has been too long since I installed a set and cannot remember for sure.
The spacers were used for twin tube dampers. For fitting Bilsteins you need to remove the spacers.

I think the fitter has got the wrong end of the stick or does not have HD's there to go in but twin tubes.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:58 PM   #21
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My vague impression is that after 1990-ish the tubes just (effectively) had the spacers welded in. Or just part of the tube, whatever. Not removable.

I know the Bil HD's just *barely* fit in my '93's ABS strut tubes. The gland nut engages, you go around a couple of times, then it's tight on the strut. *Barely* on. A little bit iffy, but I put loctite on mine, snugged them down good, crossed my fingers, and they've been fine for 10 years so far.
Same here with my '93 struts, except I don't even use loctite anymore.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:42 PM   #22
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Amazingly found the years-old order sheet from IPD in my email. I purchased IPD item #100196 which definitely is their HD insert part number. Now to confirm with the Technical Mechanical Wrench Turner that he indeed does have that part in his hands. Something here is amiss.

Appreciate all the great replies thus far!
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:11 PM   #23
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Bilstein HD no spacer but can be crushed into place sometimes on the struts with the spacer. Better to remove it if you can.

Bilstein TC needs spacer and I thnk they also call these B4 unlike the HD which is a B6 type shock.

83 240 turbo comes stock with the Boge gas struts so there are no spacers. If someone put KYB in there they would/should have put the spacers in otherwise you know the clunking result. If the guy needs spacers and they weren't stuck to the bottom of the KYB that was in there. I' think you have been sent B4 Bilstein which need the spacers.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:15 PM   #24
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I’m a bit insane when it comes to paper trails, so I found the end of the Bilstein box that I snipped before sending the inserts out: part #34-181539, B6 monoshock.

This is going to be an interesting phone call to the tech tomorrow...
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:34 PM   #25
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So you got gyped from IPD?
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