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2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
vegasjetskier
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Volvo Repair Database 2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Post by vegasjetskier » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:21 pm

The stock "strut bar" on the S80 (and maybe some other models) is not really a strut bar at all, but part of a complicated engine mount system. It's very flexible in order to reduce the transmission of engine vibrations to the passenger area of the car. But it can be converted into a real strut bar which will reduce the movement of the tops of the McPherson strut towers in hard cornering, which should make your car's handling a little tighter.

Here's how to solidify your engine mount into an effective strut brace for almost no cash. Total cost $2.28.

What you'll need to do the job:

Tools:
17mm end wrench.
18mm end wrench.
14mm socket and ratchet.
Hammer.
Utility knife.
Vise (optional).

Hardware:
4 - 3/4" (I.D.) washers (Lowe's part #61702, $0.48 each).
2 - 1/2" (I.D.) washers (Lowe's part # 63309, $0.18 each).

Open the hood of the car.

Here's what you'll be working on (there's a mirror image of it on the other side of the car):

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Start by undoing the long bolt holding the bar to the rubber mount. You'll need a 17mm wrench for the bolt.

If the nut on the bottom starts spinning, use an 18mm wrench to hold it. Once the nut is loose, hold the nut and unscrew the bolt all the way, then withdraw it:

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Now use the 14mm socket to remove the first mount bolt:

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And then the second:

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Then remove the mount from the car:

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Now start to drive the center section out of the mount housing (this part is optional. You don't have to drive the center part out, but it makes it easier to remove the rubber coating on the center metal spacer, which you'll do later. If you don't have a vise, skip forward to the section with the utility knife). Place the mount upside down in the open jaws of the vice to give the center section somewhere to go and hit it with your hammer:

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. . . until the center is flush with the top:

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Now use a socket placed on top of the center section to drive it the rest of the way through:

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Now run the utility knife around the core of the center section, scoring the rubber down to the metal all the way around:

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Then cut the rubber lengthwise to the end in several places:

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Now scrape the rubber off the metal all the way around:

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You might have to scrape down vertically to help get the rubber off:

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You don't need to get all the rubber off, just try to remove most of it. When you get done it should look something like this:

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NOTE: If you don't have a vise, just cut the rubber away with the center section still in the mount.

Now take one of the 3/4" washers and hammer it down over the center section where you just removed the rubber. It will probably be an interference fit, so start it gently by tapping all the way around:

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Once you get the washer started on the center section, flip the mount over onto the open section of the vice and hit the back end of the center section to drive it into the washer all the way. NOTE: If you don't have a vise, you can use a large socket to drive the washer onto the center section.

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When you're done it should look like this:

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Now repeat the procedure so you have a second washer on top of the first:

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Now use a socket and the vise to drive the center section out of the washers:

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Drive the rubber mount back into the housing. Be sure to keep the plastic tabs on the rubber mount aligned with the slots in the metal housing:

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Now drive the washers back over the center section:

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When you get the second washer on, make sure that surface of the washer is above the top of the center section:

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The modification works by squeezing the mount housing between the washers above and below it. If necessary, add a third washer to bring them up above the center section.

Now bolt the mount back on the strut tower. Place the 1/2" washer between the strut bar and the top of the mount:

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Put a dab of Locktite on the end of the bolt and insert it through the strut bar, the 1/2" washer, and the mount:

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Make sure you have all the washers on the bottom of the mount, then install the nut and tighten it down. As you do so, the bolt will squeeze the strut mount between the washers on both sides, making a solid connection.

Repeat the above for the mount on the other side of the car.

Here's what mine looked like when I was done.

Passenger's side:

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Driver's side:

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My bar feels rock solid now. This may not be as strong as some of the aftermarket parts that are available, but it's way better than the stock mount. I don't think it looks too bad, but then nobody ever looks under my hood but me anyway. So far I haven't noticed any additional vibration in the interior of the car.

Feel free to post or PM me if you have any questions.
Last edited by matthew1 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Photos uploaded to MVS server, URLs now point to those.
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MadeInJapan
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Post by MadeInJapan » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:31 pm

Thanks for the write up, vegasjetskier. We have an '04 V70 with the same flimsy cross piece from strut to strut and use the QBM ( www.quickbrickmotorsports.com ) conversion kit to do basically the same thing. this however is much cheaper and achieves the same thing. We do however feel some vibration right at 3000rpm's but it's tolerable, figuring the tighter ride we feel when cornering with our car.

I'm pinning this in the repair database section.
MIJ 8)
'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
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Post by fs » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:10 pm

Nice write up, thank you for taking the time to illustrate this project with plenty of pictures and a good straight forward description of what to do.

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matthew1
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Post by matthew1 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:48 am

Sorry I'm late to the party here, but I have to echo what the others have said: superb write up, VJS. Outstanding.
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

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vegasjetskier
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Post by vegasjetskier » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:47 am

.

SOLD - 2001 Volvo S80 T6: Mobil 1 Oil & Synthetic ATF, Brake Performance drilled and slotted front rotors, Akebono Euro Ceramic pads and Yokohama Avid V4S tires, 91K miles.

Help this site: Amazon.com link, Tirerack.com link, Donate

MadeInJapan
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MadeInJapan

Post by MadeInJapan » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:51 pm

All in the database...thanks very much for your contributions!
'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
'07 S40 T5 AWD 6 speed manual! Silver/Black Stage1 Heico & Elevate
'07 S60 2.5T Blue/Taupe- my kid's Volvo

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Re: 2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Post by precopster » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:41 am

I'm going to give this excellent write-up a go on my XC70 project car. Will post results after it's on the road.
Current cars:2002 XC70, 2006 Ssangyong Rodius (Stavic), 2006 XC90 2.5T, VW Transporter 2.5TDI

www.precisioncarmodules.com.

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Re: 2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Post by benrk » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:39 am

Does anyone have experience on the vibration part with this modification in conjunction with installing a PU upper torque mount? By my understanding the PU conversion is with little to no loss in comfort because the rubber strut bar bushings are eliminating the vibrations transmitted by the PU mount.
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Re: 2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Post by jbalbo » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:42 am

Came across this, great write up, replacing my upper mount on an 07 S60 and was going to replace the strut bar mounts , but from what I read they usually are OK, thinking of doing your modification, just wondering if its delevoped any virbation in the car?

Thanks

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Re: 2001 S80 T6 Homebrew Strut Bar Modification

Post by jbkeene » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:40 am

my S80 vibrated worse than before doing the mod
too stiff for me
changed it back and replaced with new turrets

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