Replace Upper Engine Mount w/ Polyurethane Bushing

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

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Replace your upper engine mount bushings with polyurethane

The 850’s upper mount is designed to hold the engine in place. Without it, the engine would thrash back and forth in the bay and damage everything near it. Overtime, these bushings hold on to that engine every single day. It’s a tough job. Eventually, they wear out and crack, requiring replacement. Thankfully, it’s an easy DIY job you can do in an hour.

Today we’re giving an overview of how to replace these upper engine mount bushings.

The bushings are 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 vibration felt in the cabin to violent shake and sounds from the bay. The upper mount, as it comes from the factory, is a molded rubber piece a little smaller than a baseball. Replacement polyurethane mounts (about $20-40) are two half-donut pieces that come together from either side of the metal torque arm (you don’t replace this, though you will remove it temporarily).

Replacement polyurethane upper engine mount bushing.

Polyurethane bushings have a lot of benefits over their rubber OEM counterparts. They allow your engine to provide more immediate power to the transmission, as polyurethane is a bit stiffer than rubber, which doesn’t allow the engine to physically roll as much. They’re also much more durable than their rubber counterparts, lasting much longer. The downside to polyurethane components, however, is the stiffness itself, which allows vibrations to move through bushings into the frame a bit more easily.

On the Volvo 850, polyurethane bushings have another serious benefit. Replacing the bushings with original OEM rubber bushings creates some serious headaches during the replacement, as the bushing is a single piece that must be forced onto the mount. This sounds easy enough, but it’s virtually impossible to do by hand and you need some special tools to force it in. (If you’re interested in OEM rubber replacement, check out our OEM Bushing Replacement How-To.)

Polyurethane bushings though come in 2 pieces, so all you need to do is remove the old bushing and slide the two pieces in on each side to meet in the middle. Removing the old bushing and installing the new one is pretty simple. The how-to guide above offers more in-depth directions that you can tweak for poly bushings, but in essence you simply:

  1. Remove the torque arm connecting the bushing to the firewall (remember, these mounts aren’t actually holding the engine up, so it’s okay to remove them).
  2. Slide the bolt out of the torque arm and bushing (you can see the bolt and part of the torque arm in the picture above).
  3. Cut out the old bushing with a hacksaw.
  4. Slide in the 2 pieces of the new bushing.
  5. Put it all back together.
  6. Open beer.

If you’re looking to replace the actual engine mount as well, consider going with an OEM piece. It turns out the OEM piece has a certain engineered design that limits engine rock to two directions, and conversely dampens engine movement in other directions. Apparently the 850’s engineers built a certain degree of movement into the design of the car.

If you’re interested in replacing the two lower mounts that are responsible for the engine’s weight, check out our post on How to Replace Volvo Lower Motor Mount.

13 Replies to “Replace Upper Engine Mount w/ Polyurethane Bushing”

  1. Instead of either the hacksaw or the chisel, use a large rubber mallet to smack the old bushing out. I took one look at it, grabbed my trusty rubber mallet, gave it a good whack and the whole thing popped out just like that.

  2. This procedure worked for me.
    1. Remove the bolt that holds the old bushing.
    2. The torque arm that the bolt passes through gets in the way, but it is attached to a flexible mount. Lift it up, swing it toward the center of the car and park it on top of the bracket that holds the old bushing. Now you can work.
    3. Get the old bushing out of the metal sleeve. I cut through it with a hack saw blade (holding the blade with my hands), and then it pushed out easily.
    4. Clean the sleeve, and then smear some grease on it. Butter or margarine will do if you don’t have any grease lying around. Grease the poly bushings also.
    5. The hole through the new bushing is off center, and it has to be aligned with the holes in the torque arm. The poly bushing should have arrows or some other index mark to help with alignment. The yellow MTC bushing I installed had arrows, and the correct orientation had the arrows pointing towards the rear of the car. It is easier to slip a bushing half into the side of the sleeve that is closest to the center of the car. Push it in with the index mark toward the rear of the car. Lower the torque arm. Are the holes aligned? Rotate the bushing if needed until the holes are aligned and note the orientation of the index mark. Return the torque arm to its parked position.
    6. There’s a metal tube that passes through the bushing halves. Insert the tube through the half that is already installed. Now with the index mark of the second bushing half oriented the same way, slip it onto the tube and align it with the sleeve. It’s hard to push into the sleeve. I used a dead blow hammer.
    7. Slip the torgue arm over the bushing. It’s a very tight fit, and the dead blow hammer is useful for tapping it down until the holes are aligned.
    8. Install the bolt. Per the Haynes manual, tighten to 26 ft. lbs (35Nm)then tighten an additional 90 degrees. You’re done.

  3. Good procedure for replacing the upper engine mount bushing. I replaced my wife’s S60 mount last fall. I must admit I am very unhappy with the polyurethane bushing. It transmits WAY to much idle noise/vibration into the car. I tried re-adjusting it, no better. Finally, I replaced it with another rubber bushing. Ahh, much better. Think twice about the Poly.

  4. I use an air-powered hacksaw…………..I agree that the author of this column is a VERY intelligent individual

    I own a Mercury Cougar and i rebuilt my lower rear control arms in the same fashion……………use a hacksaw.

  5. 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.

  6. I think this will also work on the 2006 Ford 500…anyone hear about the inter-changeability? Please send me a note to [email protected]…if this works, where would you suggest I get the replacement bushing/poly version…

    Thanks

    Jess
    Florida

  7. There is some excellent advice on this blog. However, I wouldn’t recommend using any kind of lubricant, whether oil or solvent (like W-D 40) on a polyurethane bushing. I’m no mechanic or chemist, but I thought most forms of plastic break down and degrade when they come into contact with oils and solvents. In my case, on my ’96 Volvo 850, I had to scrape out pieces of the old yellow bushing from the sleeve. For some reason, my car already had yellow replacement bushings in it, after only 150k mileage on the car. Anyway, I scraped the sleeve out until it shined, and the new bushing went in with a few taps of the end of my crescent wrench handle. I was then able to press the bushings in the rest of the way with the flat part of the handle. However, I don’t understand mounting the bushings at a 15-60 degree angle. Where is the zero point you measure from? Anyway, the old bushings had the arrows pointing to the front, instead of the rear, which makes me wonder if they were mounted correctly. I mounted the new bushings with the arrows pointing to the front, and I was able to push the shaft the bushings were mounted on through with my fingers. No pounding with a rubber mallet was needed. Now I wonder if I needed more tension on the bushings and if the arrow are pointing in the right direction. Any comments?

  8. I changed out my upper engine mount with the poly one but my question is how many mounts are there left in a 1996 850 turbo wagon? I’ve bought 3 more and before I get involved in the job I want to make sure I’ve got the correct amount of the right products. Is this it or are there more needed or different ones needed? /Users/user/Desktop/thumbnail_2233.jpg
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  9. I changed out my upper engine mount with the poly one but my question is how many mounts are there left after that? I have a 1996 850 turbo wagon and I’ve bought 3 more mounts but before I get involved in the job I want to make sure I’ve got the correct amount of the right products. Is this it or are there more needed or different ones needed? I got them from ipdusa the right(108177), rear(105891) and front(105890) engine mounts.

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