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DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

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
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jreed
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Volvo Repair Database DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by jreed »

Our 1997 Volvo 855 GLT wagon was recently hit on the rear bumper. I took the rear bumper off and replaced the brackets, bolts and washers and I took some photos along the way to show what I did in case it might be of use to somebody else faced with a similar project. As others have noted, there was a great deal of corrosion on the passenger side bracket, which explained the large amount of downwards sagging after what was a relatively minor bump.

Before starting the work I searched MVS and found this helpful thread:
http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/forums ... =1&t=48292

Here is what the car looked like at the start of the project, with the rear bumper sagging downwards after having been hit:
Rear bumper after having been hit, showing sag.
Rear bumper after having been hit, showing sag.
1) Bumper after getting hit.jpg (83.46 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Here are the parts I used to make the repair:
Two new brackets (part #6816114):
Bumper brackets for 850
Bumper brackets for 850
0) New bumper bracket part number 6816114.jpg (88.75 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Two new long bracket-to-bumper bolts and washers (part numbers 973096 and 960143):
Long bolts and washers holding the bumper to the brackets
Long bolts and washers holding the bumper to the brackets
0) New bumper bracket, bracket-to-bumper bolts and washers.jpg (57.12 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Four new bracket to car frame bolts and washers (part numbers 985191 and 986527) (note: the yellow plastic washers are not needed):
Short bolts and washers for holding bracket to car frame.
Short bolts and washers for holding bracket to car frame.
0) Replacement bracket-to-frame bolts and washers.jpg (46.79 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Before starting the work, I also consulted the VADIS database, which had the part numbers for the brackets and bolts. I took some screenshots of the database. This one below shows the part numbers for the long bolts (973096) and washers (960143).
VADIS rear bumper parts diagram
VADIS rear bumper parts diagram
There was also an abbreviated set of instructions in VADIS for how to remove the bumper:
Abbreviated instructions from VADIS on rear bumper removal.
Abbreviated instructions from VADIS on rear bumper removal.
0) V-850-rear-bumper-VADIS2.gif (96.57 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Making the repair--
The first thing I did was to remove the tailpipe:
After loosening the 10mm nut to allow the tailpipe to be slid off of exhaust pipe.
After loosening the 10mm nut to allow the tailpipe to be slid off of exhaust pipe.
2) Removing the tailpipe.jpg (121.78 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Then, I went inside the car to remove the decking in the back on the driver's side of the car:
4) Remove decking.jpg
4) Remove decking.jpg (108.95 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Then (again on the driver's side) I lifted the flap in the sound-proofing to expose the 10mm bolt head:
5) Lift flap to expose 10mm bolt.jpg
5) Lift flap to expose 10mm bolt.jpg (83.74 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Next I loosened the bolt:
6) Loosen 10mm bolt.jpg
6) Loosen 10mm bolt.jpg (92.39 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Next on the passenger's side of the car I went underneath and found the 10mm bolt (note how difficult it is to see):
7) Camouflaged 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg
7) Camouflaged 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg (150.66 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
I cleaned it up:
7) Locate 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg
7) Locate 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg (89 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Blasted it with P'Blaster (my favorite bolt-freer):
8) P'Blast 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg
8) P'Blast 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg (88.34 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
And removed it with a ratchet:
9) Remove 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg
9) Remove 10mm bolt on passenger's side.jpg (103.09 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Next I turned to the rivets (three on each side) located on the wheel well:
10) Rivets in wheel well.jpg
10) Rivets in wheel well.jpg (71.65 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
I drilled the rivet heads to allow them to be cut with pliers later:
11) Drilling heads of rivets.jpg
11) Drilling heads of rivets.jpg (105.47 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Then I nibbled the heads with cutting pliers:
12) Nibbling heads of rivets with pliers.jpg
12) Nibbling heads of rivets with pliers.jpg (71.74 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
And more nibbling:
13) More nibbling on the heads of the rivets.jpg
13) More nibbling on the heads of the rivets.jpg (96.24 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
Contrary to my expectation, the rivets were made of aluminum with a black coating. I was expecting plastic rivets but I guess the plastic rivets are the new replacement style and the original rivets were aluminum.
Aluminum rivets with a black coating
Aluminum rivets with a black coating
14) The rivets are aluminum with black coating.jpg (134.16 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
At this point with the 10mm bolts loose and the rivets cut, the bumper wings will be free to be pulled away a little bit from the sides of the car body.
15) The bumper wings come loose from the body.jpg
15) The bumper wings come loose from the body.jpg (86.63 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
There are two (one on each side) metal slip bolts that are held in plastic slots inside the wings. I removed them for safekeeping at this point:
16) Catch or remove the slip-bolt inside the wing.jpg
16) Catch or remove the slip-bolt inside the wing.jpg (91.63 KiB) Viewed 6597 times
The next step is to remove the long vertical bolts that hold the bumper to the brackets. I'm going to write up that segment of the repair in a second post.
1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by jreed »

Next up is removal of the two long vertical bolts that hold the bracket to the bumper. The original bolts had 14mm heads but the new bolts had 13mm heads.
17)  Loosening bumper bracket bolt.jpg
17) Loosening bumper bracket bolt.jpg (136.22 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
On the passenger's side, when I loosened the bolt some water dripped out, so keep your face to one side when loosening that one:
17) Withdrawing wet bumper bracket bolt on passenger's side.jpg
17) Withdrawing wet bumper bracket bolt on passenger's side.jpg (112.61 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
There was a great deal of rust and pitting on the bolts and washers so I'm glad I replaced them with new:
18) Withdrawing pitted bumper bracket bolt on driver's side.jpg
18) Withdrawing pitted bumper bracket bolt on driver's side.jpg (114.03 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
The original bolts had an interesting cross-thread cut that I guess is to make it easier to extract when corroded:
19) Corrosion on bumper bracket bolt (note cross thread slotting).jpg
19) Corrosion on bumper bracket bolt (note cross thread slotting).jpg (101.25 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
The new bolts don't have this feature.

Once you have removed the two vertical bolts, the bumper is ready to slide out and off. Just pull it straight back from the car and set it on the ground. It is not heavy (maybe 20 lbs?).

Next, you have to remove the brackets. The passenger side bracket on my car was in a sorry state of corrosion -- almost completely rusted through:
20) Nearly complete corrosion on bumper bracket.jpg
20) Nearly complete corrosion on bumper bracket.jpg (150.43 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
On each bracket, loosen the two 13mm bolts holding the bracket to the frame of the car:
21) Loosen the two 13mm bumper bracket bolts .jpg
21) Loosen the two 13mm bumper bracket bolts .jpg (111.05 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
And remove the bracket to reveal the frame attachment point:
21) Remove the bumper bracket .jpg
21) Remove the bumper bracket .jpg (119.33 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
I had to straighten out one of the ears of the driver's side attachment point:
The "Commander" -- a pair of 16" slip-joint pliers, my favorite
The "Commander" -- a pair of 16" slip-joint pliers, my favorite
23) Straightening the bracket face with my ''commander''.jpg (123.83 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Next, since I had the bumper off, I decided it would be an opportune time to paint the black bumper plastic. I used some brake cleaner to remove oil and grease and a little 320 grit sandpaper to roughen the surface first. Here I've masked off the area to be painted:
22)  Preparing the bumper for black bumper paint .jpg
22) Preparing the bumper for black bumper paint .jpg (167.57 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
After the first coat of flexible black bumper paint (Duplicolor FB105):
22) First coat of black bumper paint .jpg
22) First coat of black bumper paint .jpg (148.15 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Back to the car, I installed the new bumper brackets. Given how corroded the originals had been, I slathered the news ones with some white lithium grease:
24) Attach new bumper bracket with bolts and washers.jpg
24) Attach new bumper bracket with bolts and washers.jpg (130.22 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
I adjusted them all the way up towards the top of their range and tightened up the bolts:
25) Position new bumper bracket towards top of adjustment range.jpg
25) Position new bumper bracket towards top of adjustment range.jpg (106.94 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
I measured 130mm from the car body to the bottom of the bracket on both sides:
26) I measured 130mm between body and bottom of bumper bracket.jpg
26) I measured 130mm between body and bottom of bumper bracket.jpg (115.63 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
After applying a couple of coats of paint to the bumper and letting it dry (~2 hrs on a very hot dry day), I lifted the bumper up and installed it on the new brackets:
27)  Lift rear bumper up and into brackets.jpg
27) Lift rear bumper up and into brackets.jpg (108.35 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
In the middle of the re-attachment process, the bumper looked like this, with an uneven gap:
27) Appearance of bumper gap during installation.jpg
27) Appearance of bumper gap during installation.jpg (61.49 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Next I installed the new long vertical bolts and washers:
28) Install long bolts and washers into bumper brackets.jpg
28) Install long bolts and washers into bumper brackets.jpg (123.93 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Then I reinstalled the slip-bolts into their plastic keepers in the bumper wings on each side of the car:
29) Re-install slip-bolts into position inside the wing.jpg
29) Re-install slip-bolts into position inside the wing.jpg (73.95 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Next I installed the 10mm bolt and washer inside the car on the driver's side. Some adjustment of the gap between the bumper and the car body can be made here if needed.
30) Install washer and 10mm bolt on driver's side (from inside car).jpg
30) Install washer and 10mm bolt on driver's side (from inside car).jpg (81.5 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
And the 10mm bolt underneath the car on the passenger's side:
31) Install 10mm bolt on passenger's side (from under car).jpg
31) Install 10mm bolt on passenger's side (from under car).jpg (108.74 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
To re-attach the bumper wings to the wheel wheel liners I opted for brass machine screws and copper washers instead of plastic or aluminum rivets because I couldn't find a good inexpensive rivet gun.
32) Brass machine screws with copper washers instead of rivets.jpg
32) Brass machine screws with copper washers instead of rivets.jpg (86.19 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Installing the screws was somewhat difficult (I had to use 12" long needle nose pliers to hold the nuts in place while turning the screws). I might opt for a rivet gun the next time I have to do this job.
33)  Screws installed to hold bumper wing to wheel well liner.jpg
33) Screws installed to hold bumper wing to wheel well liner.jpg (92.41 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
A view of one of the screws from under the car, after installation:
33) Screw in place.jpg
33) Screw in place.jpg (105.8 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Almost done! The final step is to re-attach the tailpipe:
34) Reinstall tailpipe.jpg
34) Reinstall tailpipe.jpg (58.15 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
At the end of it all, it looked pretty good. The paint worked well and the bumper sag was eliminated. The gap looks pretty even all the way around.
Back:
35) Completed installation.jpg
35) Completed installation.jpg (109.66 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
Side:
36) Completed installation.jpg
36) Completed installation.jpg (79.76 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by matthew1 »

JReed, beautiful writeup. This = going in the VRD.
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
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byeboy
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by byeboy »

Very nice writeup. You don't show any attention to curing the cause of the rust, especially when you experienced water running down that boy...Was there a way to dry it all out, the,block future water getting in there? I see you slathered that bracket in grease...but where did the water get in to start with?
Personal preference, but I simply drill rivet heads with a larger bit, which eats the heads right off, then allows me to just poke the rivet shafts through the hole. I also would have use stainless steel for the rivet replacement bolts..because it seems like the brass to copper to steel is just asking for galvanic corrosion. Not being at all critical, just kibitzing over your shoulder (which always drives me crazy! :D ).

Nice writeup. Thanks for taking the time to pass this along!
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by m491 »

Super timely port for me. My passenger side rear bumper is starting to sag a bit. I had a fair amount of rust on the exhaust hanger and fixed that this past winter. I did see a lot of rust on the passenger side and sure enough it must be starting to give.

The funny thing is the rust seems to only be on these replaceable brackets and no where else. All the body metal was is great shape. So I guess the source of this rust is 150-200,000 miles of use on these cars at this time in their life.

Thanks again for the great post.
1997 854 GLT - Last one standing for now
1996 855 Platinum (sold)
1994 854 GLT 5 speed (sold)
1995 854 (RIP saved my kid)
2005 V70R (sadly missed)
1998 V70 AWD (sold)
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jreed
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by jreed »

Thanks for the comments and questions!
I would agree that the rust appeared to be contained to the brackets themselves plus the pitting on the long vertical bolts. Maybe the brackets are made out of steel and painted black without a galvanized zinc coating. I think the car body itself is fully galvanized to prevent rust.
Regarding the rivets, I too gave some thought to the issue of galvanic corrosion. I decided that since the wheel well liner and the bumper wing are made out of plastic (no steel involved) that it would be OK to use brass and copper. I'm going to keep my eye on the screws to see if they hold up or need replacing with rivets as you suggest. I did actually buy six of the 'official' Volvo plastic/aluminum pop rivets that are supposed to be used in those holes, but for the time being I couldn't find a good cheap rivet gun to install them. (I bought the $4 cheap-o Harbor Freight rivet gun but it jammed on the first rivet and I couldn't unjam it, so I took it back and got a refund).
1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by erikv11 »

Here is a great alternative I recently learned about for fender liner rivets:
xmas_retainer.png
xmas_retainer.png (19.74 KiB) Viewed 6522 times
These "xmas tree retainers" are cheap, easy to use and bombproof, very common in the autobody business.

eBay is a good source or e.g. http://www.thecliplink.com/retainers/ch ... r-box.html
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by pkc303 »

Thank you so very much for your pictures. I was having trouble, as VADIS forgot to mention the 14mm bolts in the bumper. Finally got it off for repair, and repaint.
1995 Volvo 850 T-5R Yellow
1997 Volvo 850R (sold)
2003 Volvo V70 2.4T, K&N air filter, (sold)
1996 Volvo 940 (sold)
1992 Volvo 740 Turbo (sold)
1990 Volvo 240 Wagon (sold)
1987 Volvo 240 Wagon (sold)
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by jreed »

You're welcome. It was a fun job (in retrospect). Thanks for the feedback.
1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94
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Re: DIY Rear Bumper Bracket Repair: 1997 Volvo 855 GLT

Post by conorf725 »

what was the length of the long bolts that held the bumper to the brackets?
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