IPD sale XeMODeX - Experts in Volvo Electronics

Get email notification of topic replies. Log in or register (free). Amazon Link Buy anything with this and it helps MVS!

Report on dash mount repair Topic is solved

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

User avatar
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:29 pm
Year and Model: 1999 s70
Location: Pennsylvania
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 40 times

Volvo Repair Database Report on dash mount repair  Topic is solved

Post by amblerman »

Hi Folks,

Here's a report on how I repaired my dash. I acquired a 1999 s70 with 110K on it back in late 2016. This was my first Volvo and although the car was in generally good shape, the dash did rattle a bit. At that point I had no idea where that dash rattle would eventually lead. After two lout CRACK! sounds over the winter and spring, I decided it was time to fix the darn thing.

This report will cover how I repaired my dash. It will not cover disassembly as there are plenty of good guides for that.
For example, Robert's fantastic videos on youtube (search on "Volvo dash removal"). I used those extensively.
I also used this thread as a general overview.
http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/topic/68 ... l-writeup/

So, here's the info. I hope it's useful to someone.

Dash Removal
As mentioned I'm not going into details here. However, I do have a couple of tips.
I want to stress two things Robert covered in his videos.
1) Robert mentioned covering your shift knob to prevent damage. I didn't do this and I wish I had. I really took a divot out of my manual shifter knob. I don't even know how this happened but I have a chunk missing on the side that faces the dash.
2) Robert also mentioned taking off the clock spring unit on the steering column. I thought about leaving that on but then he warned that if left on , you'd probably hit it and crack the mounts. I believed him and in looking at it, it's really quite fragile. If you do this job, definitely take this off.
3) To access the two firewall to dash bolts closest to the driver's side, just take the whole windshield wiper assembly out. It's held in by two 10mm bolts and then just slides out (assuming you've removed the wipers of course.). This wiper assembly comes out easier than any other car I've had. the 2 mins it takes to come out is way easier than trying to work around it.

What I found
Once out, I discovered that all 4 of my mount points had failed completely. two had failed by breaking in half and two has also cracked at the dash itself.

Attached are the pictures of my failed mount points. I just realized none of my pictures show the square nuts. I didn't lose those. I just didn't put them in the pictures.

As you can see several parts of my mounts had broken into many pieces. From the factory the mount points are wrapped in an anti-squeak/fuzzy tape. That tape is the only reason I was able to recover so many pieces of my mounts. The pieces were still stuck to the tape. In fact, when I first removed the dash, I initially thought two of my mounts were ok because the tape was still holding them together. It was only after i removed the tape that I learned how intensive the damage was.

What is not shown in the pictures is that two of the mounts had cracked where they attached to the main dash tube as well.

In preparation for the repair, I cleaned everything with rubbing alcohol. That was the only cleaning solution I used. I also scuffed up the surrounding area with some 100 grit sandpaper. I don't think this was actually necessary for my repair method though.
4 broken points after cleaning up:
brokenpieces.png (971.66 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
broken4.png (583.89 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
broken3.png (460.96 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
broken2.png (280.82 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
broken1.png (389.45 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
I read a lot of different repair methods. The repair method I used however is slightly different variation on what other people have done. The first thing I noticed when I had my dash apart was that the part in question was marked ABS. My initial plan was to use some epoxy to repair the pieces and then use traditional fiberglass to add support. However, in my research there were a lot of people out there talking about how hard it is to get things to bond to ABS.

One thing people agreed on though is that regular plumbing ABS cement works great to repair it. Not the ABS/PVC/CPVC combo cement but the regular ABS only cement.
Like this stuff:
abs3.png (242.39 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
It actually took a bit to find this locally. Even dedicated plumbing supply houses didn't stock it. Why? Because PA plumbing code doesn't require any dedicated ABS pipes. Therefore they don't stock the ABS only cement. I was able to locate it in stock in a Lowes that was about 30 mins away. I could have ordered it but I needed it immediately.

I looked up the materials safety sheet on this and it's essentially ABC plastic dissolved in acetone. think of it as liquid ABS and it will melt and re-bond broken ABS plastic.

My first step was to use this cement to rebuild all the broken pieces. That went easy. All I had to do with touch each edge with some cement and hold the pieces together for about 15 seconds. I was now left with pieces I could bond back on the broken mounts.

Before I bonded back on the broken pieces, I fixed the cracked dash tube. The way I did that is to complete break the the mounts off so I could expose the entire crack. unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of this part. What I did was grab the loose mount and bend it backwards so it would tear off the dash tube itself. This left me with a nice clean, and gaping hole. But it also gave me great clean surface area for the cement. I dabbed on cement, pressed the pieces together and held in place for about 15 second.

Once I had the pieces cemented back together, they looked like this. The glossy tar looking stuff is the newly hardened ABS cement. This looks a bit messy but it it was only the first coat and was only meant to hold everything together.
fix2.png (721.57 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
After I let things set for about 30 mins, I was confident that the mounts were reattached. However, seeing how they were supported, it didn't surprise me that they failed in the first place. As people have discovered, the main dash mounts are attached to a thin hollow tube and have little reinforcement to begin with. Several people attached metal straps and used epoxy to provide reinforcement.

I started with some epoxy putty but I used it just to provide some internal strength. I packed the epoxy putty inside the mounts. I had to make sure the putty would not interfere with the bolts. I used the "All Crafts" brand epoxy putty I picked up from a plumbing supply house and I chose this one because it did claim to stick to ABS. If the guy at the plumbing supply house hadn't told me how useful he personally found the stuff, I probably would have used JB Weld or something similar.
putty.png (589.26 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
This seemed to provided some internal rigidity for the mounts.

Next on the agenda was to make the whole structure stronger.
For that I used fiberglass cloth. However I did not use the resin typically used with fiberglass. Instead I just used more PVC cement.
The PVC cement had no problems wetting/soaking into the fiberglass cloth. I started with thin strips to wrap the mount itself. I'd dab some cement on the mount and a little on the fiberglass cloth. I'd then put the cloth on the mount and then smooth it out with my fingers. It's top off the fiberglass with some more ABS Cement to cover any areas I had missed.

I wore medium medium weight (dark blue ones) nitrile gloves and I did not feel the acetone at all. This allowed me to smooth out the fiberglass and make sure there were no creases or bubbles.

Once the thin sheets had set, I started laying down larger pieces of fiberglass cloth.

Here are some pictures showing the mounts close up and the size of the area I covered in the glass cloth.
On the first day, I probably laid down about 2 layers of cloth as well as used several thin strips for strategic placement around the mount and on corners. I could have done the whole job in one day easily but I got a late start on the first day.

I thought I had taken more pictures but alas I didn't. And I'm not taking my dash out again to take more photos. :-)

fiberclose2.png (1.15 MiB) Viewed 1675 times
fiberclose.png (791.68 KiB) Viewed 1675 times
fiberfar.png (786.75 KiB) Viewed 1675 times

When I first started this process, I was a little worried that the ABS/fiberglass combo wouldn't work out. After letting it set for an hour it felt dry but still had flex in it as if it was still a bit soft. I believe this was due to there being some residual acetone still in the cement. I let it set outside over night and in the morning, I was pleased to find that it was now quite rigid. On the second day, I just repeated the process and laid down some larger sheets (6 inches wide) that spanned both sides of each mount. I wanted to create a wide base of strength for the mounts. In the end I think I went about 4 inches to the left and right of each mount. I also put fiberglass in the front and behind each mount. In fact , each mount ended up being encased in fiberglass. Only the bolt hole was exposed in the end.

The ABS cement performed like I had hoped and I seem to be left with fiberglass reinforced ABS.
The mounts are all much stronger now. They have no flex at all the the overall structure is a lot better.

So far I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

Assembly and conclusions.

When I went to put my dash in , I ran into an issue where the two outer most dash bolts wouldn't go back in. I feared that maybe I had put too many sheets of fiberglass on the mounts and the bolt holes weren't aligned. To test this. I clipped off the end of a q-tip and hot glued it to the end of one of the dash bolts. I dabbed the end of the q-tip in white out and slide the bolt in. I then took off the dash and had a look. Sure enough, the white paint showed that the mount was sitting too high due to my reinforcement job. Upon closer inspection, it was really only due to the end mounts having an extra support webbing built into it. I had covered that in fiberglass and it was creating a high point. I took a grinding attachment for a dremel and shaved down the high spots in about 30 seconds. After confirming fitment, I put some butyl tape on the mount points and some other points on the frame and put my dash in . The butyl tape was for cushioning and to prevent squeaks.

Re-assembly didn't take too long but of course I ended up with an extra T-25 screw. I have no idea where that goes.... I've checked every place I can think of and each hole already has a screw in it. So strange.

I took it for a test drive and I'm shocked at how quiet it is.
Time will tell if my repair will lasts but I'm pretty happy with the way it came out.

Since I had the dash out, I also fixed the following things:
1) the drivers side lower kick panel attaches with one screw and two tabs. It's common for the slots for those tabs to get torn. I fixed that and in fact, used the same method described above. I just smeared on some ABS cement and some fiber glass. I used 2-3 sheets. Once dry I just used an razor blade to cut the hole. Nice and strong repair.

2) one of my seat heater switches fell apart because the plastic locking tab holding it together failed. JBWeld.

3) all my instrument panel bulbs are replaced. So nice to see 1/2 my instrument panel again...

When I read a of the other threads on this subject, a number of people ask if this is a hard job. I didn't feel it was hard at all. In fact I was amazed at how easy it was to disassemble the dash. Yes there are a lot of screws to deal with but everything can be done with a t-25, t-15, 10mm , and 13mm sockets. The repair job (at least with my method) was pretty straight forward. Just some ABS cement and fiberglass sheets. I will admit though that I was blessed with one thing that made this job go easier: time.

This s70 is my family's third car and I could take my time with the job and not have to worry about needing the car for something urgent. If I had to let it sit for a day or two it was no big deal. I realize that not everyone has that luxury. However, now that I have this experience, I could do it easily in a weekend. For anyone thinking about doing this job, it does take time but I would no clssify this as difficult.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

User avatar
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:34 pm
Year and Model: 96 855 R + 94 855 T5
Location: Austria
Has thanked: 98 times
Been thanked: 57 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by Clemens »

Great writeup! Thanks for sharing.
Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V
User avatar
Posts: 7278
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:40 am
Year and Model: 850 T-5R Wagon
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 50 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by rspi »

I recently replaced another dash on an 850, the person before me destroyed it and half of the hardware was missing. Took me about 5 hours, a lot longer than I thought. I believe it's best not to leave these things unfinished for to long.

I also have a hard time getting the main mounting outer bolts in after installing the aluminum straps. Next time I'm going to use thinner steel straps, hopefully that will help.

Good job, hope it last at least 10 years.
'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
Volvo's of past: '87 740 GLE, '79 262C Bertone, '78 264, 960's, '98 S70 GLT, '95 850 T-5R YellowVolvo Repair Videos
User avatar
MVS Moderator
Posts: 22618
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:54 pm
Year and Model: 99T5 ,99S70,2005V70
Location: NYC, ALBANY NY
Has thanked: 379 times
Been thanked: 1186 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by abscate »

If I had to let it sit for a day or two it was no big deal. I realize that not everyone has that luxury.
With ride sharing coming to smaller cities, and even cheap weekend rentals from Enterprise et al, you can even work on a daily driver and use alternate transportation well under independent labor rates.
Empty Nester
A Captain in a Sea of Estrogen
1999-V70-T5M56 2005-V70-M56 1999-S70 VW T4 BMW
Link to Maintenance record thread
Link To Volvo Glossary
User avatar
Posts: 4343
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:45 am
Year and Model: 2K V70R M56
Location: Charlotte, NC
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 182 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by bmdubya1198 »

Nice job! I need to do this on my car soon. I need to get another lower dash though. I have a slice in mine next to my radio that was my own fault from trimming vinyl that I was trying to use to wrap my center stack trim. Believe it or not it was easier to put the wood trim in than wrap the gray stuff...
One more thing on my endless parts list.
'00 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 199k
'03 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 117k
'07 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 174k
'91 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 175k
'92 245 Base White/Beige 249k
'99 BMW 528i
'01 Mountaineer 5.0
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:44 pm
Year and Model: 98 C70 Coupe
Location: Huntington Beach

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by racer4200 »

Awesome write up. My 98 C70 needs this badly. Do you only need to remove the dash pad? Thanks!
Posts: 6297
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
Year and Model: 2000 V70 R
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 267 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by scot850 »

No, you have to remove the whole dash which includes the steering wheel.

2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold
User avatar
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:29 pm
Year and Model: 1999 s70
Location: Pennsylvania
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 40 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by amblerman »


The reason you have remove more than the dashpad is you can't get to the broken mounts unless you pull the main dash out. The rear part of the dash kinda disappears under the windshield which hides the mounts themselves.

Pulling the full dash is involved and time consuming. I wouldn't clarify it difficult. Just lots of fasteners to remove.

As an update. My repair has made my dash squeak and rattle free for a year now.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 10744
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:03 am
Year and Model: 850 T5, 1997
Location: Denver, Colorado, US
Has thanked: 653 times
Been thanked: 278 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by matthew1 »

Great writeup, amblerman. You're now an MVS Contributor.

This DIY added to the Volvo Repair Database.
Help keep MVS on the web -> click sponsors' links here on MVS when you buy from them.
Also -> Amazon link
. Click that when you go to buy something on Amazon and MVS gets a kickback.

1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

User avatar
MVS Moderator
Posts: 22618
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:54 pm
Year and Model: 99T5 ,99S70,2005V70
Location: NYC, ALBANY NY
Has thanked: 379 times
Been thanked: 1186 times

Re: Report on dash mount repair

Post by abscate »

It’s an ugly fix, but I recently added a piece of flat butyl tape across the front of my 99 dash and it is quiet as a mouse. It went in ugly, and if I can find round butyl tape I might try to make it look better, but it sure worked

I depressed the plastic with a spatula and pushed the tape in with a curettes I had lying around. Popsicle stick would work too.
Empty Nester
A Captain in a Sea of Estrogen
1999-V70-T5M56 2005-V70-M56 1999-S70 VW T4 BMW
Link to Maintenance record thread
Link To Volvo Glossary
Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post