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V70 Strut Installation

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
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V70 Strut Installation

Post by drzeaus42 » Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:32 pm

I recently installed Bielstein Touring Struts on my V70 FWD. This was my first attempt and was satisfied they were properly installed. I replaced all the parts , bump stop, associated washers, nuts, including the strut mount with the bearing. However a chirping sound developed and I discovered the strut mount I purchased did not match the original Volvo part. (The bearing on the Volvo part was angled in relation to the metal plate whereas the replacement part was not) So I removed the strut assemblies and reinstalled the original Volvo Strut mounts. The chirping noise dissapeared. After several months I seem to be getting a thumping sound from the front passenger side strut when I go over a bump in the road.

My questions are ? Atop the strut is a rubber bump stop, then the rubber spring mount , followed by the strut mount, then a cross shaped nut (how does one torque this one, I don't feel I did this properly), then a large washer with a rubber coating, then the final nut to secure the assembly. There is a 1/3 inch gap between the bottom edge of this washer and the top of the strut mount bearing. Is this normal? It seems to me that this 'rubberized washer should be in contact atop the bearing! When I open the hood, bounce the front of the car and observe the top of the strut assembly there is some movement but no noise.

Is it possible that the replacement 'cross shaped' nut which is in contact with the strut bearing mount is not the right size (thicker) and will not allow the washer to come into contact with the bearing?

Hope I'm making some sense here

Last ? Is it necessary to remove the entire strut assembly from the car, apply the spring compressor etc, to replace the cross shaped nut or tighten it, or can I remove the large strut nut, washer and cross nut while the weight of the car is on the strut assembly. I realize this may be risky but is it possible without causing any damage to me or the car?

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Post by MadeInJapan » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:46 pm

The weight of the car will hold the strut in and not change the alignment of the car even if you take the cross shaped nut off of the top, but to be honest, I have the gap too and was told by my indy that this was normal, at least if we're talking about the same gap. I also have the Bilst. TC's and love them.
The bump you're hearing may be the old spring seats that have finally torn. I've heard of this happening on other forums and the sound made by the torn seats is the "bump" you describe.

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Post by pfeener » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:46 pm

The gap is normal. If you don't have a gap it usually indicates a broken spring seat. Yes, you can take the top nut and rubber washer/bumper off with no problem as long as the car is sitting in it's normal position (not jacked up), but the cross nut is not your problem. Lastly, I don't know if the noise you're hearing is related to the noise that I have, but I also have Bilstein TCs all around and the rear shocks are noisy. They clunk and bump at low speeds, especially when cold. They are only about 18 months old. I contacted Bilstein to see if they would replace them under the warranty. They basically said I could buy another pair and mail the old ones into them and they would test them and if they determined the shocks were out of spec they would refund my money. Not what I call a customer oriented approach. I will never buy Bilsteins again.

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Post by drzeaus42 » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:17 pm

Thanks for your response to my ? regarding strut installation. I did install new rubber spring mounts with the new struts. I'm glad to hear that the gap between the large rubberized washer and the strut mount bearing is normal. I've still got to figure where the bump noise in front is coming from. I have no noises coming from the rear shocks as reported by pfeener. I replaced the mounts and bump stop with the new touring shocks.

This is a reply for pfeener regarding the rear shock noise. I found this message on the Volvo Forum several months ago. When I changed my rear shocks I replaced the shock mount and the bump stop either of which may cause noise. The plastic bump stop retaining clip is an inexpensive part that keeps the bump stop in place. You would have to remove the rear shock to replace it. I bought new ones but still used the old ones and no noise.


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Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:48 pm


Shock and strut rattle can be corrected with new mounts for the shock or strut if it is worn. Most likely the upper spring mount has lost rubber adhesion from the inner sleeve either due to a worn shock/strut/spring. To fix this you may have to replace the struts and mounts. From what you have described it is the upper shock mounts (could also be the bump stop retaining clip) that is making a thumping noise. The upper shock mount needs to be inspected for cracks and torn rubber - replace if worn. For the Bump Stops - there are plastic clips that hold the bump stops inside the rear coil springs. When thay become loose the bump stop will rattle in the bottom of the rear coil spring. With 60K miles you are a candidate for new struts and mounts - you may want to consider new springs as well. If you replace the struts it is a good idea to get a 4 wheel alignment (required if you replace the springs).

I have 95K miles on my 850 and they are starting to go. I will probably replace the struts/shocks/springs/mounts in the next 10-20K. If the car has been driven hard or on poor road sufaces it could wear faster. My 850 is driven fairly easily and on good roads. Whith the T5 you should have the larger wheel with the low profile tire - there is less clearance in the wheel well and rubbing is normal.

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