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Old 12-01-2017, 05:02 PM   #1
colgate41
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Post Can you recommend a mechanic? NY L.I.

I live on Long Island New York, in Nassau county. I recently started doing some work on my old 91' 744 T and although I take pride and enjoy (for the most part when things don't turn into a complete sh*t show) working on my own cars I've learned when to stop before I end up costing myself more time and more money and much frustration. So, I'm looking for any local-ish recommendations for a good, knowledgeable mechanic or shop that's familiar with the older Volvos.

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:42 AM   #2
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No, but if you want to get into what's going on we may be able to give you enough knowledge to know if a mechanic is pulling your leg?
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:36 AM   #3
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No, but if you want to get into what's going on we may be able to give you enough knowledge to know if a mechanic is pulling your leg?
Sure thing. This was my daily up until about 8 years ago. Mechanically sound car and was well taken care of. Then I came into a newer car (Mazda 3) and my Volvo was less and less of a daily and it ended up sitting for the past 7-8 years. I would start and run it and take it around the block so it wasn't just a brick in a garage.

Fast forward to now. It's 25 years old and classic car insurance is calling my name and wallet so I've being going through it to get it back into shape. Mostly the brakes, which lead me to posting.

The car, even when it was my daily, always had a soft-ish brake pedal. The car would stop fine and was never really a cause for any concern. Brakes were bled a few times when changing pad/rotors/calipers etc. but the softness remained.

So this past week I changed all the rotors/pads/calipers. I also bought new rubber brake hoses for the job. The hoses on the car are pretty old and rough looking. The real passenger actually has a chunk taken out of it and is showing the nylon (guessing) beneath the rubber. Anyway, although this should have been addressed years ago, I'm thinking the old hoses are "ballooning" a bit when I use the brakes.

Soooo...

I used a ton of PB-Blastor, got my crescent wrenches and took my time but I could not get the hose free (from the line). I did some research and over time the hose fitting can rust onto the copper brake line and at that point I knew that if I kept going I was going to mess something up, namely the flaring on the line or bend the line and then I can't drive the car at all and would have to get it towed (lots of money here in NY but probably everywhere) and probably need new lines since flaring a brake line is out of my skill set and comfort zone.

So that's the problem I'm having. Brake hoses. I should also mention that I live on Long Island, near the ocean so salt air is a bitch.

So, if you guys have any tips or insight, maybe I'll give it another shot. I was also thinking that a shop would be able to take care of this easier then me and the cost wouldn't be to bad but I'd rather go to an independent shop who is familiar with these Volvos just because.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Molina and Rudden in Bayshore. Volvo specialist. 631-968-2840. Not sure if Bayshore is close to you but ask for Lou.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:03 PM   #5
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After the PB Blaster soak you can use heat to help bust free those fittings. A heat gun or use a small torch usually gets them. Tight fitting flare nut wrenches are a must. If they are totally gone you are in the 'replace the brake line' zone which usually means you buy a line from Volvo if it's available or you find a shop that can make you one to length. Get a brake line bending tool and make it fit your car using the old one as a guide. Try to get the same copper nickel hard brake line if you have to replace any. Use a Motive pressure bleeder to help you bleed the brakes. These cars use DOT4 brake fluid as well. Something the average shop may not even realize or care. DOT3 makes your brakes fail in due time.

I wish you well with the good shop search. But this is the zone where it is really going to cost you to have a shop do a lot of hydraulic work. Doing all the brake work yourself will save you a ton of money and make you feel good about that. You are posting on a site full of DIY enthusiasts so as mentioned above we can help.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
A heat gun or use a small torch usually gets them. Tight fitting flare nut wrenches are a must.
And crescent wrenches (assuming the OP is referring to an "adjustable wrench" when he says a crescent wrench) should be left to plumbers and not used on an automobile.
Especially small fittings. You just can't apply the proper torque on them with an adjustable wrench.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:11 PM   #7
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You need 2 wrenches to undo the brake lines. One of them absolutely has to be a flare nut wrench and the other can be a normal wrench. The larger wrench is used as a counter hold while you use the flare nut wrench too loosen brake line. Not doing so will cause the brake line to get mangled.

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Old 12-03-2017, 02:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alschnertz View Post
And crescent wrenches (assuming the OP is referring to an "adjustable wrench" when he says a crescent wrench) should be left to plumbers and not used on an automobile.
Especially small fittings. You just can't apply the proper torque on them with an adjustable wrench.
Doh! When I wrote that I was using crescent wrenches, I meant flairnut wrenches. I have a husky set from Home Depot. Maybe a different brand would fit snugger?

Iím going to soak the hell out of them, add heat like was suggested and give it another go next week hopefully. I just donít want to mangle the line.
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:11 PM   #9
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They make clamp on flarenut wrenches. Maybe that would help? Not cheap but if you want to try and save the fittings there you go. https://www.snaponindustrialbrands.c...t-wrenches.htm
Probably other brands make that tool as well.
I usually only have the most difficult time with the 11mm fittings on the hard lines. So that would be the size to get. I would also suggest try using Kroil as your penetrant on really uncooperative lines.

I have also squeezed the flare nut wrench in a vise just a little bit in order to tighten up the fit on the fitting nut. Some I ruined, other wrenches it worked well. lol.

Last edited by dl242gt; 12-03-2017 at 04:16 PM.. Reason: add comment
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dl242gt View Post
They make clamp on flarenut wrenches. Maybe that would help? Not cheap but if you want to try and save the fittings there you go. https://www.snaponindustrialbrands.c...t-wrenches.htm
Probably other brands make that tool as well.
I usually only have the most difficult time with the 11mm fittings on the hard lines. So that would be the size to get. I would also suggest try using Kroil as your penetrant on really uncooperative lines.

I have also squeezed the flare nut wrench in a vise just a little bit in order to tighten up the fit on the fitting nut. Some I ruined, other wrenches it worked well. lol.
I was looking at some used snap-on wrenches on eBay. I figure when dealing with stubborn bolts, you'd want to tightest fit and most contact, so that's why I'm considering it.

Plan this week is to soak and heat and see where I get. Thanks for all the tips and phone numbers!
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dl242gt View Post
After the PB Blaster soak you can use heat to help bust free those fittings. A heat gun or use a small torch usually gets them. Tight fitting flare nut wrenches are a must. If they are totally gone you are in the 'replace the brake line' zone which usually means you buy a line from Volvo if it's available or you find a shop that can make you one to length. Get a brake line bending tool and make it fit your car using the old one as a guide. Try to get the same copper nickel hard brake line if you have to replace any. Use a Motive pressure bleeder to help you bleed the brakes. These cars use DOT4 brake fluid as well. Something the average shop may not even realize or care. DOT3 makes your brakes fail in due time.

I wish you well with the good shop search. But this is the zone where it is really going to cost you to have a shop do a lot of hydraulic work. Doing all the brake work yourself will save you a ton of money and make you feel good about that. You are posting on a site full of DIY enthusiasts so as mentioned above we can help.
Intersting note about the DOT 3 thanks
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:25 PM   #12
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DOT3 might not work as effectively as DOT4 in a system that's designed for the latter, but it won't make your brakes fail. They're based on the same chemicals, DOT4 just has some additives to raise the boiling points.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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DOT3 might not work as effectively as DOT4 in a system that's designed for the latter, but it won't make your brakes fail. They're based on the same chemicals, DOT4 just has some additives to raise the boiling points.
DOT 4 also has a higher viscosity so your pedal will feel lower with DOT3 and since DOT3 doesn't handle the heat as well if you leave it in there for a long time. Your brakes will fail in due time. Usually the master cylinder fails in my experience.

This isn't as serious as using the wrong kind of brake fluid in a British sports car. They used DOT3 but if you used the wrong type of brake fluid it would make the seals fail in the braking system.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #14
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All the advice you're getting for this job here is top shelf. My 81 245 is not my daily driver so I try to do most of the repairs myself but I do use a trusted shop for the heavy lifting. I did "twist-off" one rear brake line but in hindsight I might have saved it. Had one duplicated at a local brake specialist in the original "Ni-copp" line.

I'm in Suffolk and the shop I use is in Huntington. If Glen Cove is close enough for you I can highly recommend Rusty's Repair. He's been a Volvo specialist since the Eighties when he took over the business from "Volvoman" who remains a legend. They work on all the newer Volvos now but haven't forgotten the RWD models that brought them to the dance.

There are a couple of shops I've stopped in on Long Beach Road in the Rockville Centre area but I have no knowledge of their work.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:00 PM   #15
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If you live where they salt the roads and drive your car in the winter then do what I've been doing for the longest time. I keep some PB Blaster on hand at all times. Any and every time I need to work on my cars, brakes or suspension even oil changes, I always spray all the nuts and bolts under the car with PB. Maybe it helps maybe it doesn't but I never had a rusty bolt/ nut issue.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:08 PM   #16
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Word to the wise about flare nut wrenches - I've got SO, Mac and Matco. The tolerances are roughly the same on each, but the Mac is the only one that hasn't failed me - if you feel the flare nut wrench SLIP, you NEED to heat that union. 11mm is the size they say it is, but it still feels a little loose to me.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:45 AM   #17
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Brake parts become corroded quickly here.
I've rounded some brake fittings with inexpensive flare nut wrenches. Plenty of shared stories online of similar things happening. No problems since I switched to these:

These SK are cited as being not junk for flare nut wrenches
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:49 AM   #18
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I'm on long island and recently did a whole suspension set up on my 242. Wow I feel your pain.
Bleeding it was killer....
I did it all myself. Don't know anyone on the island.....or anywhere for that matter! lol
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Man View Post
All the advice you're getting for this job here is top shelf. My 81 245 is not my daily driver so I try to do most of the repairs myself but I do use a trusted shop for the heavy lifting. I did "twist-off" one rear brake line but in hindsight I might have saved it. Had one duplicated at a local brake specialist in the original "Ni-copp" line.

I'm in Suffolk and the shop I use is in Huntington. If Glen Cove is close enough for you I can highly recommend Rusty's Repair. He's been a Volvo specialist since the Eighties when he took over the business from "Volvoman" who remains a legend. They work on all the newer Volvos now but haven't forgotten the RWD models that brought them to the dance.

There are a couple of shops I've stopped in on Long Beach Road in the Rockville Centre area but I have no knowledge of their work.
-Dan
Thanks Dan. I'm in Long Beach so Glen Cove is close enough. Gonna give it another try with more PB and a better (i think) wrench and some tips from you guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotdoggin View Post
Word to the wise about flare nut wrenches - I've got SO, Mac and Matco. The tolerances are roughly the same on each, but the Mac is the only one that hasn't failed me - if you feel the flare nut wrench SLIP, you NEED to heat that union. 11mm is the size they say it is, but it still feels a little loose to me.

Thanks. I actually ordered a used Snap-On 11mm off eBay for $10. Figured it was worth a shot at a wrench having a better fit.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:23 PM   #20
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The Motive pressure bleeder setup makes it much easier to get a good bleed. Or build your own little setup to do it. That usually does the trick. Don't forget about lightly tapping on the junctions and calipers with a very small hammer to disturb those little bastard air bubbles out.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
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The Motive pressure bleeder setup makes it much easier to get a good bleed. Or build your own little setup to do it. That usually does the trick. Don't forget about lightly tapping on the junctions and calipers with a very small hammer to disturb those little bastard air bubbles out.
I actually bought the power bleeder for this job. I don't know why I was so cheap about a $50 tool before! It's amazing! I still had a soft pedal but I think I bled them out of order.

Never thought to lightly tap the caliper to escort air bubbles out. Nice tip!
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:29 PM   #22
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Great! Sometimes when the whole system has been worked on it takes a bit of driving to get it sorted. If you are pretty comfortable you got the air. You can drive a bit then bleed in a few days or a week to get any remaining stubborn air out.

Don't forget all the new pads and such will cause a soft pedal till they bed in after about 200 miles.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:26 AM   #23
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My 245 has 6 bleeder valves with a specific pattern. I followed the order and got a nice pedal feel on the first round. You start on one of the rear brakes. I'm guessing the 740 is similar. I'm pretty sure I found the info here on TB.
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