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Old 05-20-2007, 02:44 AM
groovinola groovinola is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 67
123 Wagon Spring Struts-2 Versions-Interchangeable?

Greetings From "The Big Easy" (which isn't so big anymore and sure isn't easy),

I recently picked up an '82 300TDt with a few major issues but in really nice shape on the outside, sort of like a Pretty Blonde. I have searched this forum and the DIY forum and gotten quite a bit of good information. The first issue I am tackling is the rear (SLS) suspension system. Somewhere along the line some idiot CUT OUT both the pressure line, about 3" from the front pressure hose fitting, and the return line, about 1' from the supply tank and fabricated some fitting out of the two cut out pieces so the pump is hooked directly to the supply tank and just makes a continuous loop. In the rear they just disconnected the lines from the accumulators to the struts and installed SensaTrac shocks.

What I am curious about is that in reading the 123 service manual I noticed that there are two versions of Struts. The first was produced up until August of '82 and the other began in September of '82. Since my car was manufactured in Nov '81 it must have been originally equipped with V#1 Struts (confirmed by shape of frame crossmember). Since I have read multiple times in my research that Struts seldom go bad I was going to try and pull some off another wagon as opposed to buying new ones. Has anyone out there encountered this situation? According to the manual I think I have to go with V#1 Struts; "Owing to the modification of the frame floor, a conversion from the 1st version to the second version is not possible," in which case I am limited in cars I can pull from. Has anyone found a way to adapt V#2 Struts to pre Sept '82 vehicles? Or should I go with new ones and if so, can I even find them?

If I do have to go with V#1 Struts I am confused by the installation procedure; "move rear end of vehicle into level specified for loaded vehicle. For this purpose, measure semi-trailing arm position of rear axle and load rear end accordingly by placing weights into passenger compartment." I am unclear as to what this is telling me. Can anyone clarify exactly what this means? It would be alot easier if I could go with V#2 as the manual says "for install of version 2 the level of the vehicle can be neglected."

Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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