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Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
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Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 11 Jul 2010, 22:43

I have been an avid reader of this website for many years and it has provided great benefits in my repairs so thanks to all. Also, I have never posted anything so I apologize in advance if this is the wrong place for this.

I recently replaced the struts on my 1998 Volvo S70 NA. Along with the struts (Bilstein TC) I also replaced the mounts and the spring seats with this :Volvo 850/S70/V70 Front Strut Mounts & Spring Seats Kit from FCPgroton. THe job went quite well except for a groaning noise which occurs when turning the steering wheel. I have traced the noise to the springs themselves which are rubbing against the inner side of the fender well on both sides. I have removed the shocks and made certain the springs were not installed upside down (which they were not). No matter what I do the rubbing noise (which is like a loud groaning) is still there. I have also verified that the springs rubbing against the fender well are the source of the noise by having someone turn the steering wheel while my hand is on the spring - its literally skips and stops against the fender well as the steering wheel is turned. Any clue as to what I have done wrong and what I can do to remove this problem? Thank you
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby 850tech » 12 Jul 2010, 05:56

If the springs are indeed physically touching the inner fender, the upper mounts or springs themselves cannot be correctly installed/seated, or the parts are incorrect. If they are not actually touching then it could be anything from upper mounts to sway bar links not quite tight enough. Hard to say for sure, but I'd start with removing one of the struts and making sure you installed the mounts and seats exactly as the old ones came off, and the new parts are the same as the parts removed
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 12 Jul 2010, 06:27

Thanks for the response. After replacing the struts and noticing the noise I removed the driver's side strut assembly and even replaced the spring mount again with a new one. I checked and rechecked everything again and re-installed the strut assembly...same problem. If your theory is correct then the only other part that could be wrong is the mount itself. However, these were, as I had mentioned, from FCPgroton and they were for this car and I checked them against the ones that I originally removed from the car and they looked identical. I did notice that the front end was riding noticiably higher than before the strut replacement but I have read here that this is typical for Bilsteins. Any other ideas? THanks
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby cn90 » 12 Jul 2010, 13:33

I wrote a DIY here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=28455&p=130339

I may be wrong but The spring is reversible, which means you can install it either way (anyone wants to chime in).

At each end of the spring, the end of the spring must be lined up with the proper spot on the:
- Spring Seat
- Strut Perch

I use:
- Spring Seat from XC90
- OEM (or Sachs) Mount.
1998 S70 GLT 150K+
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 12 Jul 2010, 15:30

Thanks cn90 that write-up was one of the best ones I found and I indeed used it. After I noticed the rubbing and binding noise with the driver's side spring I took the strut assy out again and removed the spring and actually tried to reverse it. It didnt look like it wanted to play but I forced it anyway. This had no effect or actually made the problem worse. I have made doubly certain that the spring lines up with the proper spot on the spring seat and the strut perch. I am wondering if the whole problem is due to orientation of the spring seat or the strut perch and if reversing the struts (put the one on the passenger side on the drivers side etc) may solve the problem. On the other hand I do not think that would be possible with the strut mounts.
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby cn90 » 12 Jul 2010, 15:47

Take a few pictures and post them here so we can help.
- Neutral position
- When the Spring rubs against the liner etc.

PS: Did the wheel liner come off for some reasons and rub the spring?
1998 S70 GLT 150K+
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 12 Jul 2010, 16:37

Ok will do sometime later today. And no the wheel liner did not come off. The spring is clearly pressing against the fender well. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 13 Jul 2010, 03:37

Ok...so I am out to take pictures and I have my daughter turning the wheel while I snap away and I realize that there is NO RUBBING going on??!! On either side. Then I dig a bit deeper and find that the passenger side mount seems to be the source of the binding. As the steering wheel is turned the bearing binds and rotates causing the groaning noise. I have no idea what kind of brain anneurism produced what I wrote earlier. Bottom line is that the passenger side strut mount seems to be bad. Does this make more sense than before? Needless to say pictures are not really going to help since there is nothing to see now that I have really found the source of the noise. But if it werent for the request I would have never found it. Thanks again cn90.
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby cn90 » 13 Jul 2010, 04:05

I thought you install new Strut Mount (this is the part with the bearing in it)?
The problem with FCP Groton is they carry both quality parts (Bilstein) and craps (such as Hamburg Technic etc.).

Perhaps the Strut Mount you bought was made in China etc.

FYI, as in my write-up, I used:
- Bistein TC Struts
- XC90 Volvo OEM Spring Seat
- Strut Mount by Sachs-Boge (which is OEM).

This is a problem when doing strut work: it is alot of work, do your research ahead so you don't end up with issues like this.
Last edited by cn90 on 13 Jul 2010, 13:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby jblackburn » 13 Jul 2010, 04:19

For the most part, on these cars, where you think you are saving money with aftermarket parts, you will only end up costing yourself more in parts/work in the long run. Both I and many others that own these cars have found that out the hard way.
'98 S70 T5 218K miles
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby gdog » 13 Jul 2010, 06:03

Wow, this is incredible!!

I have exactly the same issue. A few weeks back i was putting on new Bilstein TCs on our '98 S70 GLT. Recently bought the car with less than 60K mls on the clock so figured it would not need stuff like spring seats and strut mounts.

But when I got it apart, the spring seats, while not broken, didn't look too great. Didn't want to put them back in, but being a weekend had to find someplace local that had the parts. Found a place for the spring seats, and while there, on a whim i asked if they had the strut mounts too. Well he had only one in stock, so i got and installed it on the passenger side, since that one had slightly more slop in it.

Got it all back together and now same exact symptoms as you described in this post, though it is intermittent, usually when hot out.

Got new OEM strut mounts ordered just this evening; sure hope that's it!!
1998 S70 GLT, 75K mls, Bilstein TCs and IPD sways
1996 855T, 120K mls, Bilstein TCs and IPD sways, 18T & more mods.. fun DD!
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby igel513 » 13 Jul 2010, 06:53

I replaced the struts on my 98 S70 w/ Autozone parts - Gabriel, and it's been over a year now and have no problems w/ them. It only cost a little over $60 a piece and they work fine. If u want to spend more money then go OEM
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby guidingcenter » 24 Jul 2010, 19:02

Just to close this out on a good note. I traded emails with Mike Rivera @ fcp groton and he immediately offered to send out a Boge replacement strut mount. I replaced the offending mount and ... noise gone. Mike was very responsive. Thank you all for the much needed help.
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Re: Replaced struts now have groaning noise

Postby skjmank » 24 Jul 2010, 19:46

Thanks for this post! I replaced my front struts over a year ago and I have heard that noise. My mechanic is pretty good and my parts are from fcp groton. I will print this out and give to my mechanic to review.
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