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Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
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Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby kevins s70 » 29 Jul 2011, 13:45

I have a 98 S70 that makes a loud clunk typically when i hit bumps at slow speed. A mechanic looked at it and says it is the sway bar bushings that need to be replaced. On a hoist the car will clunk when lowered and if you hold on to the sway bar you can feel it resonate. I would prefer to just replace the sway bar bushings and not the sway bar itself. Probably a good time to replace the end links also. Is this a DIY job? The sway bar bushings appear to be held only by 2 bolts that screw into the cross frame. Thanks
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby erikv11 » 29 Jul 2011, 14:15

If you go to the IPD web page, you can find instructions for replacing the sway bar. It is a little complicated, you have to lower the subframe a little to get clearance.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby kevins s70 » 29 Jul 2011, 15:14

I am not looking to replace the sway bar itself but only the bushings. Would think the replacment of the bushings is far less complex. There is benefits to replacing the sway bar itself but that isn't in the budget.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby erikv11 » 29 Jul 2011, 18:57

Haha, in theory you would think that, yes, but in actuality replacement of the bushing is actually even *more* complex than removing the sway bar.

The rubber bushings are vulcanized to the sway bar, and not intended by Volvo to be replaceable. The only way to replace them is to remove the sway bar, then scrape/burn them off, then put on some kid of aftermarket substitution, then re-install the bar.

I wasn't suggesting you replace the bar, just directing you to instructions for getting it out. Sounded like you were intending to just do the bushings. However, the standard solution to problems with the bushings is to replace the sway bar. To be fair, the bushings rarely fail, so I would be very sure that is the problem before going down that road. How sure is the mechanic? Maybe he actually meant the end links?
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby kevins s70 » 29 Jul 2011, 20:06

Thanks - that explains a lot !!! I didn't know the bushings were vulcanized to the bar. That said, the shop i took it to is not a Volvo shop. Visually i looked at the bushings and they look ok but the mechanic insists it is the sway bar bushings and not the end links. Is it possible to determine which is at fault ?? The end links on this model i know are fragile.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby valvster » 30 Jul 2011, 02:18

Here's a link to the bushes at a UK volvo shop, bit expensive, should be available cheaper in the USA I would think.
http://www.partsforvolvosonline.com/def ... 46_385_387
Unless the bushes are totally shot I would try and fabricate some sort of packing to force in around the bar or bush to reduce the slop.
Even replacing with a new bar looks like a job not to be attempted on a couple of jack stands.

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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby peacock » 30 Jul 2011, 02:35

it really sounds as though it is the sway bar links making the noise. The spring seat is also a pretty common clunk spot on the 70 series cars.

If the bushing are indeed bad it would be the first time in 2 years of using this website i have ever seen it come up.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby kevins s70 » 30 Jul 2011, 23:41

Thanks for the input. From the info i have gotten it sounds like i should just replace the end links first. There doesn't seem to be a conclusive way to determine if it is the sway bar bushings and they seldom go anyways.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby erikv11 » 31 Jul 2011, 00:01

Might as well check the spring seat, at least you can tell if those are totally shot. Take a wrench to that nut on top of the strut tower, under the hood. Does the nut spin freely (bad), or do you get resistance when you try to turn it (good)?
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby matthew1 » 31 Jul 2011, 01:38

Can you take a video via phone of the sound while someone else drives? I did spring seats on my V70 6 months ago (admittedly a 2004 model, but the concept is identical), and I would know the sound of a failed spring seat in my sleep. Lived with it for a month or two.

If you upload to YouTube, you can embed the video directly into this topic (search for instructions), or simply link to it.
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby 98V70T5 » 31 Jul 2011, 05:39

I have a 98 V70T5 with the same noise coming from the right front. My friend ASE Tech for 20 yrs got under the car and held the endlink while I bounced the car up and down. He instantly knew it was the endlinks and not the bushings. He said you can feel the free play in the endlink. I would suggest, you try the same test. I would say, however, the odds of it being the endlinks on your car are very high!
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby cn90 » 31 Jul 2011, 18:02

I am not a big fan of ScanTech, but this person replaced the bushing using Scan Tech.
But you have to remove the vulcanized bushing first.

http://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-v70- ... ings-39763

Also:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=29384
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby cn90 » 31 Jul 2011, 18:03

98V70T5 wrote:I have a 98 V70T5 with the same noise coming from the right front. My friend ASE Tech for 20 yrs got under the car and held the endlink while I bounced the car up and down. He instantly knew it was the endlinks and not the bushings. He said you can feel the free play in the endlink. I would suggest, you try the same test. I would say, however, the odds of it being the endlinks on your car are very high!


1+++,

It is always the enlink, so by all means, check the endlinks first!
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Re: Replacing Sway Bar Bushings - S70 front end clunks

Postby kcodyjr » 31 Jul 2011, 18:34

For, what is it, $11, even the Scan Tech endlinks aren't an immediate no-no. This is a part with a very low mean time between failures, intended to be replaced often, and it only takes a few minutes. It's also meant to be the weakest link.

For no more than $30 shipped, I'd slap a set of endlinks into it and see what happens.
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