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Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby Ozark Lee » 14 May 2008, 22:52

When I purchased the '96 Platinum Edition Turbo I noticed that the passenger's side of the dashboard was flopping all over the place. When I bought the car I thought I needed to replace the evaporator anyway so I didn't let the loose dashboard get in the way of the purchase. It was very noisy and very distracting. The good news is when I got the car home it still had refrigerant pressure so the air conditioner leak is very slow and a couple of cans of R-134A fixed it right up. The bad news is that I still had a dashboard that was flopping around.

In the process of tracing down an electrical problem I wound up just removing the dash anyway.

Chuckcintron has the definitive dash removal guide here as a part of his evaporator replacement guide:

http://www.woodjoiner.com/volvo/VolvoEvapReplace.pdf

If you need a new evaporator now is the time to deal with it - if you are doing the evaporator as the primary focus of the job it would be a good time to deal with your dashboard mounts. Apparently mount failures are common and fall into the inevitable category.

The only difference in my procedure and Chuck's was that I didn't remove the ignition switch key cylinder. It didn't seem to hamper my ability to get the dashboard out of the car.

After getting the dashboard out of the car the problems were obvious. Here are pictures of the broken mounts.

DSC02369.JPG



DSC02370.JPG



Fortunately all of the pieces were there so I set off to the local Lowes to pick up some epoxy and some fiberglass and resin thinking that the joints would need more than just the epoxy glue job. The epoxy I used was a Loctite 5 minute epoxy that said it worked with plastics. After 24 hours it felt very strong but I still wasn't convinced it would hold up.

Here is a mount after it was glued back on.


DSC02374.JPG



MIJ gave me some links to the subject from VSP and my repair is largely what they have done.

I picked up a strip of 0.025 thick aluminum sheet metal at the Lowes store as well as some self tapping screws. In my case the aluminum came in a 6" x 18" panel. I measured the factory mounts and found that they were right at 1 1/8" wide so I cut out 4 strips of aluminum 6" (15.2 cm) long by 1 1/8" (2.85 cm) wide. I then stacked all 4 of them together in a vice and drilled a 3/8" (9.5 mm) hole, centered 2" (5 cm) from the end, through all of them at once. Drilling though sheet metal is tricky since it was to catch at the end and wrap around the drill bit. By clamping them all together they get more rigidity.

Here is a picture of the straps.

DSC02375.JPG


From here it is a matter of lining the factory mount hole up with the hole in the strap. The will wind up being to long but I mounted them from the front first. The short side of the metal from the hole should go toward the front of the dash. I then shot in two self drilling screws through the aluminum and into the plastic. Be careful here not to strip out the hole. I then folded the strip over the mounts and trimmed the metal to fit. The center mounts are different from the end mounts so they use a slightly different length of the strip on the back side.

Here are a couple of pictures that show the strips in place.


DSC02376.JPG



DSC02378.JPG



The guys on VSP used some thin foam tape to cover the metal straps but I couldn't find an equivalent product. Having three 850's I long ago bought some 3M squeak reduction tape. It is a self adhesive Teflon tape that goes between squeaky joints. I found it through NAPA auto parts. Here is a picture of the box.


DSC02380.JPG



I used the tape to cover the aluminum strips and so far so good, no more dashboard noise at all.


DSC02379.JPG



With the drying time on the epoxy and further just to keep your sanity this is a 2 day job. If you are doing the evaporator anyway it will only add an hour or so. Only two of my mounts were broken but I reinforced all four of them as a preventative measure.

Here is the finished product.

DSC02381.JPG


...Lee
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Last edited by Ozark Lee on 22 Oct 2008, 18:43, edited 4 times in total.
'94 850 N/A
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Postby akitawagon » 15 May 2008, 01:33

Thanks for another excellent writeup!

Do you have any ideas for repairing/retrofitting the part of the dash at the corner next to the right middle air vent (to the left of the passenger airbag cover), where a clip mounts into a plastic slot?

On one of my 850s the plastic slot is broken so the corner of the dash kind of bends outwards and it looks like you might have the same issue. I've been thinking of mounting a small metal band to replace the plastic one, but was wondering if you were working on any other ideas for this.

I guess I could always just ignore it and leave it alone. :D
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Postby Ozark Lee » 15 May 2008, 02:30

I guess I could always just ignore it and leave it alone.


You are very observant. I was trying to think of some sort of screw to bring it back together and still look good. At the end of the day, if it doesn't squeak, I'm thinking either:

a: I don't care.

or

b: "I could always just ignore it and leave it alone."

or-not likely:

c: It might fix itself if I hit a big enough bump in the road. God knows we have enough of them.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
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1986 740 GLT
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Postby billofdurham » 15 May 2008, 18:25

Nice one, Lee.

It is now in the Repair Database for future reference.

Bill.
Work was good - retirement is better.

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Postby akitawagon » 16 May 2008, 00:26

Ozark Lee wrote:I was trying to think of some sort of screw to bring it back together and still look good. At the end of the day, if it doesn't squeak, I'm thinking either:

a: I don't care.

or

b: "I could always just ignore it and leave it alone."

or-not likely:

c: It might fix itself if I hit a big enough bump in the road. God knows we have enough of them.

...Lee



I was thinking of using some sort of locking pin and retainer combination, but it would most likely have to be replaced the every time the dash is removed - I pretty much chose option "b" since there are always more important issues to take care of.

As a sidenote to anyone doing this repair, while you have your dash off, it's also a good time to add any sound deadening/muffling materials (felt, peel n' seal, foam, etc.) to the underside of your dash to help make it more quiet.
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Postby MadeInJapan » 16 May 2008, 01:37

Great write-up!

Recently, I've been thinking about a "re-location" idea for the evaporator. Why, if you ever have to replace it twice should you have to take the dash apart twice. Any ideas?
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby code-man850 » 15 Jan 2009, 21:39

Hey guys I've really found an easy fix. Takes probable an hour (and not two days) In reguards to akitawagon's quote [quote="akitawagon"][quote="Ozark Lee"]
"I was trying to think of some sort of screw to bring it back together and still look good."

I made an L shaped bracket that mounts to the right side of the dash and screws in twice to the front of the door jamb. There is a very small amount of trimming the dash. I'm having trouble getting pics on my computer but will ASAP. It worked wonderfully for me and I'm sure it will for your dash too. I'm thinkin $25 should cover the cost of materials, labor, and shipping. I'm really not trying to make money, just HATED the squeek and would like to relieve some of you of your sqeek. Drop me an e-mail at Cody@anderson-burton.com
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby MadeInJapan » 15 Jan 2009, 23:56

Send the pictures to me (badger36-at-knology.net) and I'll post them up for you.
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby code-man850 » 16 Jan 2009, 21:28

So here's a couple pics of my first dash fix thingy. Any others I make will look better (firsts in fabrication never look too pretty and I'll spray it black to prevent rust.
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby MNCO1 » 01 Mar 2009, 21:55

I appreciate all the posts on this, especially the instructions in removing the dash. Haynes doesn't cover everything. I was encouraged enough to remove the instrument panel and get a good look at my mounts on my 850 T-5 97. I confirmed that all four mounts are in a hundred pieces. I can't see a way to reconstruct the proper placement of the firewall bolt holding hardware so I think I need to see about ordering a replacement panel.
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby Ozark Lee » 01 Mar 2009, 22:38

Welcome to MVS,

That is too bad. Mine at least broke into 2 or at the most three pieces so they would glue back together to form the base of the repair. If you strike out at a local salvage yard for a replacement there is always www.Erievovo.com or another place that was suggested this week by one of our members,

www.voluparts.com/index.asp

There is also an outfit called Toms that is all over eBay with motors and transmissions, I'm sure they could help as well. I don't have their URL off the top of my head but if you search Volvo 850 motor on eBay I'm sure they will come up.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby MNCO1 » 03 Mar 2009, 01:12

I called around on instrument panel replacements. My local volvo dealer went for the jugular with a quote of $3300. I went to myswedishparts.com and found a new instrument panel for $650 with a shipping charge of $40. They claim it is the original part from the dealer. The store itself is actually located within a volvo dealership in Texas. They charge less because of less overhead. I haven't seen it yet but I'm hoping for the best. One thing though is I have the burled wood in my dash and instead of $650. the price would have jumped to $2200. I can miss the wood for that difference. Perhaps the original dealer quote (using my VIN number) was based on the burled wood as well. I didn't ask.
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby C@lvin » 13 Aug 2009, 19:42

Hey Lee,

I have my dash out and am mulling over my options.....

It would seem that the placement of the square nuts needs to be pretty exact, but I am not sure my plastic tabs can be sufficiently recreated. When your tabs were rebuilt, did it allow for the nut to "float" a little bit inside of the tab so that the bolt could "find" the hole?

My tabs have some metal clips that kind of hold the nut, but one tab allows it to move in both the X and Y axis. The others prevent movement up and down but allow it from side to side.

Also, there are three picures in your post that I can't see. It just says "X Image". If I click on it, it says "image not available". I can't see the picture of the straps, the one after the box of tape, or the last one. Could you re-post those or maybe send them to me?

Thanks,
Calvin
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Re: Volvo 850 Dashboard Mount Repair

Postby Ozark Lee » 13 Aug 2009, 21:27

The attachment function seems to be having some issues - I let Matt know about know about it and he is working on it. Once that gets fixed I will upload the pictures directly to the site rather than through Imageshack where they seem to die. PM me with an email address and I can email you the pictures that are missing.

The captive nuts float enough to get everything lined up even after the reinforcing. As I recall I had to use a small Phillips screwdriver to move one of them to get the bolt started.

I intentionally drilled the holes in the aluminum strips a bit large so that it wouldn't limit the travel of the nut.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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