Replace Upper Engine Mount w/ OEM Bushing

Upper Engine Mount Bushing Tutorial Overview

By Geevs

The 850’s upper engine mount is designed to hold the engine in place. Without it, the engine would thrash back and forth in the engine bay and damage nearly everything near it. There are two lower engine mounts that are responsible for the engine’s weight, but these are out of scope for this How To section. It’s easily spotted at the top of the engine a bit to the driver’s side (North American). When it decays, the results can vary from engine vibration felt in the cabin to violent shake and sounds from the engine bay. The upper engine mount, as it comes from the factory, is a molded rubber piece a little smaller than a baseball. This web page shows you how to replace this with an an OEM upper engine mount bushing. On the other hand, if you’re replacing the bushing with a replacement polyurethane mounts, you should use Replace your Upper Engine Mount w/ a Polyurethane Bushing.

Tools

  • 1 5″ threaded bolt and nut in 3/8 or 7/16 diameter
  • 2 pipe flanges for 1″ pipes
  • 2 1″ washers (get the thicker ones)
  • 1 3/8″ washer (get the thicker ones)
  • 1 2″ diameter ABS pipe coupling

Total cost for the above parts = approx CAD$10.00.

Procedure

Installing the Volvo OEM rubber bushing takes more work than the 2-piece poly-urethane bushing mainly because the OEM is a 1-piece bushing that requires a pressing tool to force the bushing into the mount. Attempting to mount the bushing by hand is extremely difficult if not nearly impossible. Fortunately, Some ingenious fellows on the ‘net have come up with a variety of home-made pressing tools that can be assembled with a few dollars.

bushing

The one I used is patterned from a pair of pipe flanges, a 5″ threaded nut & bolt and a couple of washers. I’ve also included an ABS pipe coupling commonly used for joining/coupling 2 ABS pipes together. This is to act as a spacer if you want to perfectly align the bushing within the mount. More on that later. Installing the OEM bushing usually requires the removal of the torque arm (the black “fork” that runs between the bushing and the firewall) in order to make room to accomodate the installation of the bushing and the pressing tool. This is the first thing you should remove. Locate the bolt that secures the torque arm to the firewall side – it is installed from under rather than from top – use a 14mm socket to loosen the bolt. This will require considerable amount of force because the bolt has been coated with a threadlocker (to prevent the bolt from loosening via vibration). Some recommend heating the bolt to breakdown the threadlocker. In my case, I soaked the nut and bolt with WD-40 and let sit for an hour and then made a go at it. With a 14mm socket on the bolt head and an open-ended wrench on the nut, give it a strong twist. *Note that the nut is welded to the torque arm – so do not attempt to loosen it with the wrench*. The wrench is to keep the nut steady while you apply the force on the bolt. When you’ve done the above, the next thing is to remove the nut and bolt that runs through the bushing to be replaced. YOu’ll need a 13mm socket on the bolt head and a 15mm on the nut. It should be easier to remove since no threadlocker was used. Once the bolt is removed, ease out the torque arm. Now you will have a lot more room to remove the old bushing and install the new one.

bushing

The ‘standard’ DIY way to remove the old bushing is to use a hack saw blade. Before sawing you might want to put something to catch the bits of rubber that’s being sawed off so it doesn’t get scattered all over your engine. Having done that, insert the hack saw blade through one of the “gaps” in the bushing and start sawing off from inside out. Initially, you will be sawing of rubber and the feeling is soft. As you progress to about 1/8″ you will likely beginning cutting through the hard plastic part of the bushing. YOu’ll know this when the feeling gets harder. This is the time slow down on aggressive sawing so that you don’t suddenly saw through the plastic and end up scratching the mount. When sawing, I suggest you use 2 hands to keep the hack saw blade level. Using 1 hand may cause you to saw at an angle and may scratch the mount. I guess no matter how you’re careful, you’ll invariably get the hack saw blade on the metal and make a tiny but insignificant scratch (I did). When you’ve sawed through the hard plastic, the bushing will collapse and it can be easily pulled off. Pull it off the mount from the driver’s side. Now the fun part. Insert the bushing into the mount from the driver side. Before inserting the new bushing, look for the arrows (alignment indicators) on the bushing. The bushing must be inserted so that the arrows are on the driver side and pointing up.

With the 2 pipe flanges, sandwich the mount and the bushing – you will instinctively know how to do this. Then run the 5″ bolt through the flanges/bushing coming from the driver side and put on the washers/nut on the other end (passenger side). Manually tighten the nut by hand until it is snug, then adjust & align the entire pressing tool. When everything looks ready to go, start tightening the nut to squeeze the bushing onto the mount. You’ll notice that on the first few turns the bushing may “slide out” on one side. If this happens, you may want to tighten the bolt slowly while centering the bushing with your other hand. When the bushing looks like it is evenly entering the mount, now is a good time to spray some WD-40 on the bushing. Then go ahead and keep tightening the bolt. In a matter of minutes, you should have most of the bushing already inside the mount.

If you are doing an S/V70, then you are probably done. However, if you are doing an 850 like me, you will notice that another 1/8″ of the bushing needs to be squeezed in – this is because the bushing is wider than the mount (in the S/V70 – the mount is larger than the bushing). This is where the ABS coupling comes in to act as a spacer. Disassemble the pressing tool. With the ABS coupling, use a hack saw to cut through the coupling (the faint line on top as shown in the picture). This will allow you to “expand” the coupling so it fits onto the mount from passenger side. Reassemble the pressing tool and do a few more turns on the nut to center the bushing on the mount. Take out everything and you’re done.

Reader Comments

When you fit the new mount rotate the top forward about 15 degrees as this takes some of the ‘shear’ out of the thrust and the mount will last much longer. I still have an OEM mount in and it is about 6 years old.

Hutchie

I just did this last weekend, and I have a LOT to say…

1) I’d rather not second-guess the Volvo engineers. As an engineer, I know how complex interactions become; we can’t reasonably re-create their analysis. Better to replace it every couple years than have something shake apart, or lose your feet in a fender-bender. If you want longevity, keep your engine tuned and accelerate reasonably.

2) Specifics: a 1″ pipe flange fits around the mount’s protruding metal bushing/insert — no need for the mentioned ABS spacer. I used a piece of 7/16 all-thread — the largest that would fit inside — with 2 big washers (1 3/4″ dia., for 5/8″ bolts) on each end.

3) I tried and tried to get this to work, and finally concluded that the author had not actually done the procedure. The problem was that as I drew the press tight, one side or the other of the plastic mount would pop out. After a few attempts, the mount looked slightly disfigured, and I worried I would ruin it if I persevered.

3a) My first idea was to wrap a nylon wire-tie around the plastic to help it hold its shape as the press drew it in (a huge wire-tie — 3/8″ wide.) I put the end of the wire-tie in a vise and used a screwdriver to tighten it unimaginably. This still didn’t work because (it appeared) there was a weakness at the wire-tie clamp — the mount usually popped out there, and I couldn’t keep it in.

3b) I suspected that the mount was too free to misalign (not draw straight in), allowing an edge to pop out. I placed 5/8″ nuts as spacers inside the pipe clamps (between the washers and the mount bushing.) To help center them, I wrapped those nuts in electrical tape to take up the space between the nuts and the pipe flange.

3c) The final point is that I wedged a wrench into the left side (by resting it on the firewall), which freed my left hand thumb and forefinger to feel the plastic as I drew the press tight with my right hand (using a breaker bar!) If I felt the plastic expanding at the front of the car, I’d pull the left side toward the front (with the remaining play in my rig) to get it back in control. That actually worked. Once the mount was snug, I cut the wire-tie off.

A quick calculation says that this press developed approximately 50,000 pounds of pressure. And I don’t think I was “out of the woods” until the mount was 1/4″ seated. Still, while I spent several frustrated hours developing this procedure, it only took a few minutes once I had a working method. In retrospect, the original author may have relied on method 3c alone, which may suffice for smarter folk 😉

Bill

25 Replies to “Replace Upper Engine Mount w/ OEM Bushing”

  1. Well, I followed the initial advice and it largely worked as written.

    I had trouble aligning the new mount squarely in the hole until I used a couple of C-clamps to help.

    The coupler I bought was much longer, so I had to cut it to accommodate the 5″ bolt. This didn’t buy me much (maybe a millimeter or two) as the spacer slipped off to one side or the other (and the c-clamps wouldn’t keep it aligned). Not sure if there is a 2.5″ or 2.25″ coupler, but that would have been better.

  2. Worked like a charm! (great write up!)
    I would add that if you decide to un-blot the back (firewall side) of the bracket use plastic ties to first lock the bracket into place so that you can make getting the bolt back in easier…

  3. I just completed this replacement on my 2001 S60 and wanted to share some comments.

    I used the OEM-style rubber (non urethane) mount. I got mine at autopartwarehouse for $23.

    Installing this was incredibly easy. I researched a lot and read several posts about threaded bolts and installation tools, etc.

    Removing Old Mount
    ———————–

    The two brackets are folded sheet metal there is a long bolt at either end. One bolts to the enginer mount and one to the stabilizer bar. You have to remove the one bolt and loosen the other so the brackets can be swung out of the way.

    The bolts and nuts are mis matched sizes (17 and 19 mm).

    Remove the worn bushing with a hacksaw blade. Cut one slit the chip it out wqith a flat-blade screwdriver and hammer. It comes out easily (if old and brittle it may chiip out a few pieces).

    Installing New Mount
    ————————

    I put mine in the freezer for a few hours. 60deg diff isnt much but it might have contracted a tiny bit and gotten a tiny bitter stiffer. Couldn’t hurt.

    Sprayed the inside of the mount with WD-40 and slipped the end of the bushing in (go in from passenger side).

    Tap the perimeter lightly to move it in. Then place a small piece of wood on the perimneter (say a 1/2inch square piece about 4 in long) simply tap with a light hammer around the perimeter.

    Thats all it took.

    About 5 minutes of gentle tapping and it was in. No fuss no muss no tools needed.

  4. Hey guys, love the site and use it for all my volvo s70 fixes but this fix is not as easy as you all think, i had to sand about 2 mm off of my mount to even think about getting in besides all the grease persuasion. You are warned.

  5. Thanks to fazool.
    Followed those directions except I inserted new bushing from drivers side.
    I also ordered bushing from autopartswarehouse.com and was disappointed in the amount of rubber on the nylon casement which had to be cleaned prior to installing the part. Bushing was made in India which needs to learn more from the Japs about manufacturing.
    I did remove the entire stabilizer bar as I did not want to mess with the rear bolts as they were very near some fragile electrical connector on the master cylinder.

  6. On the car I was working on (1998 S70, U.S.) it was clearly easier to bring the new mount in from the PASSENGER side — the hole for the bushing was actually tapered with its big end on the passenger side. As it sounds like some people found the drivers side easier, my recommendation is to inspect your mount and put the bushing in the big side. Maybe some mounts aren’t tapered at all, which would explain why this was a challenging job for some and a synch for others.

    For me, with the taper, this was a pretty straightforward job after taking in this write up and all the comments.

  7. Like others, I realized the plastic coupling wasn’t going to work on my ’96 850T. Too much pressure and it would just flex out.

    Like Fazool, I used some square pieces of wood, although I drilled out center for the bolt hole to fit into wood (now all clamping and tapping puts pressure on edge rather than the rubber). I used C-clamps to hold the wood in place and a hammer to lightly tap it in.

  8. Thanks for this – worked great on my ’97 850! I too found that I couldn’t get the bushing in from the driver’s side of the mount, the passenger side was clearly larger diameter and it worked fine. I had chamfered a bit off the leading edge of the bushing with a file from previous attempts, and that may have helped, too. Chamfered portion ends up outside the mount when done, anyway. Sprayed bushing and mount with WD-40, took it slow with tightening the nut – especially at the beginning, and until the bushing was well into the mount I periodically tapped the bushing to one side or the other with a mallet to keep it going in well-aligned. When in as far as it could go, removed the flange on the drivers side and put small washer and nut back on that side to hold passenger side flange in place and used a hammer on the passenger side flange to “tap” in (multiple pretty hard whacks) the remaining 1/8 inch or so in order to have it extend evenly outside both sided of the mount.

  9. Just tried it today – worked perfectly! Froze the bushing for a week first – can’t say whether or not it helped, but was a smooth operation. Ended up using 3/4″ flanges – still made contact with the outer edge of the bushing but left a little more room. 7/16″ threaded rod, ascending washer sizes and a couple chunks of scrap steel with holes drilled made it easy.

  10. I read all the post above and I have replaced the rubber bushing in the top mount of my car. The problem is we got it in the mount – but now there is about 1/8″ sticking out that will not budge. Does anybody have any suggestions on what to do?

  11. I used the poly-urethane replacement ($35.00) hoping to avoid the problem, or cost, of pressing the new part in. The problem being when the installation was complete I have about about a 2mm gap the entire circumference of the bushing. The part seems to be functioning properly and does not slide sideways as I feared. Is this normal or did the on-line parts wharehouse send me the wrong part? Thank you in advance, as this is a relitively old thread i hope someone is still researching this an could offer their opinion.

  12. Instead of buying the pipe coupling, I just used the old bushing collar as a spacer to get the new bushing centered in the mount on my 98 S70. I had to cut away the rubber inside with a utility knife, but once it was around the sleeve on the mount there was a good big gap (where I had cut it with the hacksaw) that I could easily look through to see when the new bushing was centered.

    This job was not easy, it probably took 15+ attempts to get it to go in straight, but definitely a money saver! The dealer charged $20 or $25 for the OEM bushing.

  13. This forum provides some excellent information. I bought a bushing made by Lemforder (ZF). I understand that they are the manufacturers of the OEM part. The box has a cute symbol on it in the shape of a stop sign inside which 2 figures are depicted. One is a ‘normal person’, the other is a mechanic holding a large spanner. The ‘normal person’ is crossed out. The message is that installing the bushing is a job for qualified mechanics only. Having now pressed the bushing into my 1998 Volvo V70 I can understand why. This was quite a difficult job. The key point to note (which is mentioned elsewhere in this forum) is that the metal mount into which the bushing needs to be pressed is tapered or flanged / flared on one side. This is the passenger side (if you are in North America) or the driver’s side (if, like me, you are in Australia or another right hand drive market). If you try to press the bushing in from the other (non tapered) side, you will find it virtually impossible. You have to respect engineers. They are perfectly happy with very difficult but they do not do impossible. If you look closely at the mount into which the bushing needs to be pressed, you will be able to see the tapering. I too froze the bushing. I am unsure as to how much difference that made. Though it’s pretty clear that oil is essential.

  14. Trust me, don’t use a 3/8″ bolt, it will strip and cause you lots of grief, I tried it twice. I used a Canadian Made (not Chinese crap) M12 bolt and it worked perfectly the first time. Make sure you lubricate the opening and it helps to lubricate the threads on the press.

  15. I agree with the others. Work the new bushing in from the passenger side. Didn’t file anything and used a little silicone spray. I went very slowly and, just using my hands to keep it square, worked the bushing (Lemfoerder) through the bracket until it contacted the right side pipe flange. Backed everything off and inserted the split ABS pipe coupling on the right side of the steel mount. I put a hose clamp around the split ABS where it wrapped around the mount to lend stability, put the press back together, and finished drawing it through. It’s a pity I could insert a couple pictures. Nice job GEEVS!!!

    1. I agree also. The opening in the torque rod bushing bracket was slightly flared on the passenger side (right hand side of car) of my ’98 V70. I used two 3/4 npt iron floor flanges which held the Lemforder bushing snugly.
      I started the install with this setup. As the bushing went askew, I continually adjusted two 3″ C clamps spanning the two iron flanges to keep them parallel (I had initially tried to start the install with just the C clamps, but that was a waste of a good chunk of time). The part went in dry. Had no problem using a 3/8″ drive screw.

  16. Hey guys, I need some advice on this I should have read this page before I got in to this mess but I just went to the junkyard and found a brand new one and I figured it was impossible to just change out the rubber . So I took the whole Volvo Torque Arm Bracket which holds the bushing off and then attempted to install on my 850. I was almost done but the last bolt broke off while I was tightening it only about half way in and broke off, only the end if the bolt seemed to be threaded if I remember correctly. But I drive it like that figured I was screwed . (Lol ) and then the very top bolt that screwed in to the top of the engine( with the flat side ) snapped and now it’s only held up by one bold the whole bracket …. now im just like to wow can’t even find the bolts to replace the two broken ones ,and there is not much room for drilling and or a crew extracting which I’ve never done, and the mechanic I took it to didn’t want to touch it. What do I do??? I’m nervous of even drilling neat the engine .

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