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How To: Strut mount bushing replacement

Old 01-31-2010, 08:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 63
Default How To: Strut mount bushing replacement

Sorry folks, no video this time, but I've seen a few posts asking about how to remove strut mount bushings (or spring seats). These steps are for a 2001 S80, but I'll guess other years and models are similar.

Here you go...


A slight rattling sound apparently coming from underneath the hood. The clicking sound, sounds as if the struts or suspension components have come loose. The sound generally only happens when rolling over something thing that bounces the car up and down such as pot holes, speed bumps, even cornering.

Probable cause
Damaged or warn strut mount bushings (commonly called spring seats). This is a very common issue found on many European cars.

Repair. Pay Volvo several hundred, or DIY at around $35 each + a front end alignment.

Tools needed
a. 2 good quality spring compressors (I bought some craftsman for about $40)
b. Good quality torx bits
c. Jack stands—don’t try this with a floor jack as you will be cranking hard on some of the bolts.
d. Large crescent wrench or special wrench to remove 4-sided star nuts (I used a large crescent wrench)
e. Ideal is a bench mounted vice
f. General wrenches to remove, nuts, bolts and such
g. Two strut mount bushings—might as well do both. (mine were about $35 each)

The steps

1. Jack up the front car and use jack stands, and remove the tires. Block the rear tires or use the emergency brake. Tip, while the tires are on the ground, slightly loosen the lug bolts.
2. Install the spring compressors and make sure the compressor is installed securely. I used 2 per side. Tighten them down until the springs can move freely
3. using a screwdriver pry off the plastic caps on top of the strut mounts (visible from under the hood and on top of the strut
4. Loosen the top 3 nuts on the strut fender wall (don’t remove the bolts—you will see why later in step 8)
5. remove the bracket that holds the brake line, don’t worry about removing the brake line—that’s not needed
6. Loosen and remove the 2 large strut mounting bolts that connect the strut to the wheel spindle mount and pull the strut away from the mount. Watch the brake line! Note: you may see a small amount of preload on the strut as it will want to extend slightly. Don’t worry getting the strut to “compress” back in is not that difficult.
7. The wheel spindle mount will want to drop to the ground so you should have something to keep it from hanging and damaging any bushings.
8. Carefully slip the brake line under the now free strut (leaving the 3 bolts at the top make this step much easier, otherwise you will have to hold the strut and slip the brake line which is tough to do.
9. Now remove the 3 nuts at the top of the strut tower so that the strut is free to drop out
10. At this point, you should be able to completely remove the strut from the car
11. Now comes the hard part—removal of the top bushings on the strut assembly
12. The top bushings are secured with 2 nuts a standard 6-sided nut followed by some rubber bushings and then the 4-sided star nut. The strut shaft must remain secure while removing the 2 nuts and has a torx socket in the end for securing it.
13. To remove the 4 sided star nut, I placed the torx bit in a bench vice pointing up, so the strut assembly would sit on top—the vice holds the torx bit making it easier to remove the nuts. If you don’t have a vice, you can probably use a wrench to hold the torx bit while using a second wrench to loosen the mounting bolts on the top of the strut assembly.
14. With the vice approach, turn the strut upside down and place it on the torx bit, then using a wrench loosen the fist 6-sided nut. I can’t remember the exact sequence of stuff that is removed after the first nut, but it should be straight forward.
15. Then you will come to the 4-sided star nut. Again using a wrench (I used a large crescent wrench) remove this nut. I simply placed my crescent wrench across the points of the star nut and it worked fine.
16. If you made it this far and removed both nuts, you are home free.
17. The strut mounting bushing (black hardend rubber cap) is just under that last nut. You will probably see some hair line cracks around the mounting region of the bushing.
18. Install the new mounting bushings an install the nuts and bushings in the reverse order from removal.
19. This completes the strut mount bushing replacement, now install the shock assembly back into the car. First feed the top into the shock tower and install the 3 mounting nuts (fasten loosely)
20. Carefully slip the brake line under the strut in reverse of removal
21. Set the strut back into the mount and install the 2 large mounting bolts and nuts that secure the strut to wheel spindle mount. Make sure the bolt is inserted through the correct end. Note from step 6: you may have seen a small amount of preload on the strut where it extend slightly. Mine did and I was able to easily pry it back in.
22. Crank these 2 nuts and bolts down very securely. I didn’t torque mine, but I used an extension on the socket wrench to crank them very tight.
23. Tighten the top 3 nuts at the shock towers
24. re-install the brake line mounting bracket
25. re-install the small plastic cap at the top of the strut
26. Check the following before you move on to the other side
h. The 2 large mounting bolts
i. The 3 top mounting nuts
j. The brake line
27. Install the tire and repeat the steps for the other side
28. Lower the car and have the front end re-aligned—a must!

End of steps.
Old 08-12-2012, 07:03 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 194


Thanks for very informative post. I have all the tools except spring compressor and bench mounted....can I do my job without these tools or any other alternate of this?

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