Subframe Bushing installation with pictures

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive P2 platform cars sold as model years 2001-2007 (North American market year designations).

2001 - 2007 V70
2001 - 2004 V70 XC (Cross Country)
2004 - 2007 XC70 (Cross Country)
2001 - 2009 S60
2003 - 2007 S60 R
2004 - 2007 V70 R

Post Reply
Blacklab467
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:25 pm
Year and Model: 2003 xc 70
Location: Calgary, AB
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 21 times

Subframe Bushing installation with pictures

Post by Blacklab467 »

Just completed installing 4 subframe bushings and new spring seats with genuine Volvo parts. Its a pretty straightforward job for those contemplating it. I didn't document the spring seat install as it is a simple process. Subframe bushings should take 3 or 4 hours with hand tools, nothing special required in the way of tools. I thought as I did the first one that I was in over my head and would need a press or something to get the new one in before coming up with a simple solution.
Removing bushing.jpg
Removing bushing.jpg (38.64 KiB) Viewed 294 times
Drilled bushings.jpg
Drilled bushings.jpg (32.37 KiB) Viewed 294 times
Bushing removal was very easy, I drilled out the white plastic on the bushing with a 1/4 inch drill bit and then simply pried it out with a flathead and hammer. You must drill out the plastic in at least one spot to "collapse" it and get it loose. There's no need to remove the centre part with a hole saw as some people have done.
Starting bushing.jpg
Starting bushing.jpg (35.21 KiB) Viewed 294 times
I then cleaned the bushing bore with some emery cloth, a couple of mine were rusty and scaly. I then put a small amount of wheel bearing grease on the outside plastic body of the bushing to help it get started. I used the floor jack and a piece of wood to start the bushing. You'll probably only get the bushing in about a half inch with the floor jack, just not enough force to get it fully seated
Special bushing press.jpg
Special bushing press.jpg (35.98 KiB) Viewed 294 times
I used the washer from the first bushing and turned it upside down and glued some top strut nuts on it to make an installation tool and a bushing bolt to fully seat the bushing. This was necessary so that the force is distributed on the plastic frame of the bushing, not the rubber tabs which will crush. You will also need to put a spacer between the subframe and the frame so that the bushing seats in its bore and doesn't push up on the car frame. For this I used a Large Allen key as seen in the picture. You'll know when the bushing is fully seated, it's pretty obvious. I probably only had to use about 50 foot pounds pressure on the bolt to suck the bushings in. I would discourage using an impact wrench for this step.
bushing install.jpg
bushing install.jpg (37.07 KiB) Viewed 294 times
Install.jpg
Install.jpg (38.3 KiB) Viewed 293 times
That's about it. The job took about 3-4 hours and made a world of difference on the handling and road noise/ feel of the car. You will want to use new bolts and torque them to 105 Nm plus 120 degrees. Also important to take note of the orientation of the bushing when you take it out and ensure that the new ones go in the same, this apparently is very important!
Used Parts.jpg
Used Parts.jpg (33.74 KiB) Viewed 293 times
2003 XC 70, 2007 Duramax LBZ.

User avatar
oragex
Posts: 5248
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 6:20 am
Year and Model: S60 2003
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 102 times
Been thanked: 324 times
Contact:

Post by oragex »

Good job. Good point about not pushing directly on the rubber tabs. When pushing directly on the plastic with the 4 nuts, did the plastic lip feel solid enough ? I may add, the two smaller 14mm bolts on the rear bracket are 37 ft-lb torque

Since other people will watch this thread in the future, I would like to also warn about potential issues with the large subframe bolts, same may rust badly which will cause them to get thinner (so less solid) and also stuck. There were a few unlucky people who had such bolts break during removal (not fun). If one feels the bolt is stuck or starts to 'twist', better stop removing it. I recommend not using excessive force on the breaker bar while trying to remove a bolt. Here's a picture of a badly rusted subframe bolt.

Notice the bolts have a black paint coat, once this coat is scratched, rust starts having a party. I've found the same issue with the two horizontal control arm bolts
.
5.jpg
5.jpg (54.56 KiB) Viewed 277 times
Last edited by oragex on Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Blacklab467
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:25 pm
Year and Model: 2003 xc 70
Location: Calgary, AB
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 21 times

Post by Blacklab467 »

Thanks, I didn't have that torque for the bracket! I'll have to go out and double check it.
With the 4 nuts it seemed to be pretty gentle on the plastic bushing body, as mentioned it didn't take too much torque on the big bolt to seat them. My bolts weren't rusty like that fortunately. I had them out before when I rebuilt my valve body and had meant to replace them sooner. It would be a very bad day if you broke one of those bolts and had to then get the remains out!
2003 XC 70, 2007 Duramax LBZ.

User avatar
darrylrobert
Posts: 472
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:25 am
Year and Model: 2001 v70xc M58
Location: australia
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Post by darrylrobert »

How did you know they needed replacing? did you see damage/torn rubber or heard/felt noises?
1981 260 GLE converted to 240 M46 after auto box failure
1987 740t auto converted to M47
1997 V70t5 auto converted to M56
1998 V70 factory M56 (parts car)
2001 XC70 factory M58
2002 XC70 auto (parts car)

Blacklab467
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:25 pm
Year and Model: 2003 xc 70
Location: Calgary, AB
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 21 times

Post by Blacklab467 »

The steering was vague and loose and I was getting a lot of engine vibration at idle and road noise. Everything else was new except the strut spring seats which I did at the same time. Also inspection revealed that the rubber was pretty soft on at least the rear ones. I jacked the car up and pried under the tire with a long prybar, revealing for certain that the spring seats were done and that the subframe bushings were extremely soft and moving excessively. Didn't want to take a chance and just install the inserts. Parts were cheap and piece of mind with the new bolts was worth it. It is a noticeable improvement! Car had 280000kms on the original parts.
2003 XC 70, 2007 Duramax LBZ.

User avatar
oragex
Posts: 5248
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 6:20 am
Year and Model: S60 2003
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 102 times
Been thanked: 324 times
Contact:

Post by oragex »

I think mileage it's a good indicator - 280000kms is 170k miles. Mine has 140k miles and same as above, when you remove a subframe bolt (support the subframe) and insert the handle of a ratchet into the bushing hole, the rubber twists very easily. New bushings are very stiff. Also, my front ones leak some fluid. That doesn't mean the rubber will fail, these rubbers never fail completely like spring seats do And same thing about engine vibration, I don't have much, but you can feel it at idle - I actually like having a bit of engine vibration, makes for more 'feeling' on a car. I don't think I really need to replace mines, I already bought them genuine - don't buy $10 ones - will see the next summer. I rather have to replace the sway bar because it makes creaking noises at the bushings.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post