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Tech Article

Tailgate Struts on my 1991 Volvo 245

Last Updated: 03/29/2016
Parts Group: Hatch strut
From the first day that I owned my 1991 Volvo 245 (240 wagon), the struts have been sagging, unable to keep the tailgate up. Until last night, I used a garden hoe handle to prop the tailgate open — not very elegant.

I figured that it makes sense to buy tailgate struts new, priced at less than $11 each. I ended up regretting that purchase, the main reason being explained here: Tailgate Strut Lifting Force Tested on a Volvo 245 a.k.a. Volvo 240 wagon. A more detailed analysis is here:Tailgate Strut Analysis of New vs. Used for a Volvo 245, a.k.a. 240 wagon) I do offer good, tested, guaranteed used Volvo 245 tailgate struts for sale:The replacement struts did not automatically come with the little hip joint on the car side, or the slide clip for attachment on the tailgate side. I do sell those too. Steps:
  • I opened and propped up the tailgate, using the stick I’ve been using all along to hold it open.
  • On the tailgate side of the strut, I used a flat screwdriver to remove the clips. It occurred to me that putting on safety glasses might be prudent.
  • Then, I pried the bottom part of the strut off the rod that’s part of the tailgate. It was tempting to pry or hit the body of strut; but that might have damaged it, so I applied the sideways force to just the bottom part of the strut, the part that slides onto the rod.
  • After that, I twisted the strut so that it threaded off the hip joint on the car side of the strut.
  • Even if the replacement part had come with its own hip joint, I might still have left my old one on the car, because removing the strut from the hip joint is much easier than removing the hip joint from the car.
  • It was as simple as that.

To reinstall, I threaded the replacement strut back into the hip joint, pushed the strut onto the rod on the tailgate, and pushed the clip back on.
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