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Thread: Strut brace mod

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    Strut brace mod

    I know a few people on here are confused about whether you can get a strut brace conversion for a P2. I'm sure I saw a Japanese made brace advertised for these cars but haven't been able to find one on the web since.

    QBM do a conversion kit but these come in from the states and aren't widely available.

    There's also the Powerflex bush option.

    Finally, I found this very detailed DIY solution:
    http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/for...?p=65965#65965

    I have one concern about this - normally a strut brace doesn't also have to act as a top engine mount - will mounting the bar solidly then having a heaving lump stress it cause damage to the strut towers?

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    There is a strut brace from US but pricey as are the QBM converters.

    Loadsamiles did a write up on a home brew conversion of the existing mounts but I think it got lost in the forum crash. New link via T5D5:
    http://forums.t5d5.org/index.php?showtopic=3652

    Also: http://forums.t5d5.org/index.php?showtopic=4575 for info on the Powerflex add-on bushes.

    There's several people who now have done this conversion and, to my knowledge to date, no adverse comments.
    There is some discussion about the actual job or jobs the brace is designed to do, engine diverter in case of a smash, reduce engine movement during start up and acceleration, etc but I've not yet seen a defining answer nor advice not to do the conversion. Given that there are still bushings in the top engine mount to absorb any recoil from engine torque I can't see any issues (not techno speak but I hope you get the gist). On the bar acting to divert the engine in a collision my jury is out on that one but I can't see much in that.

    I've converted mine and the next job is a poly top mount as well.

    Co-operation between forums - nice one

    Cheers,
    Robbie
    Last edited by RobbieH; Wednesday 25th February 2009 at 13:29.

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    Cheers. Good info. I intend to fit solid poly bushes to the lower mount but use Volvo stock ones in the top as I believe that it is very noisy/harsh if the whole lot is done.

    It's a fine dividing line between a more responsive yet still comfortable car!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave stew View Post
    Cheers. Good info. I intend to fit solid poly bushes to the lower mount but use Volvo stock ones in the top as I believe that it is very noisy/harsh if the whole lot is done.

    It's a fine dividing line between a more responsive yet still comfortable car!

    solid poly bushes to the lower mount - do you mean the Powerflex ones?
    Volvo stock ones in the top - use a standard Volvo top mount?

    I've converted the two mounts on the suspension turrets that bolt to the cross bar. So far, and mines a D5, I've not noticed much more noise in the cabin. If anything, it's added a nice note to the oilburner and sounds quite pleasing to my ears, with that pleasant off beat 5-pot burble, especially when I plant the right foot. I'm also thinking of poly bushing a top mount but I'll get hold of an old one from a scrappy before chewing up my existing one (was replaced by the dealer under warranty just under 18 months ago so is still in good nick if I don't like the result with the poly).
    Still, converting the bar mounts seems to tighten up the front end which is the main reason for this mod. I'll get a chance this weekend to use the right foot a bit more forcefully without a passemger squealing at me and really see the effect .

    Don't let age define you. It's a number that's all.

    04 V70 D5 EUIII SE (MTE remap, IPD arb's, Eibach Pros, TWR custom FMIC, UR front strut brace)

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    I apologise in advance for my extreme ignorance. Can I ask some basic questions. What is a strut brace conversion? Also the poly bushes, what do they do? Are they the connection between the engine and the rest of the car? Lastly (related I think) what is the bar across the top of the engine at the back of the bay. Is that a strut brace?

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    Right area mate, the bar is an engine support bar (not much use really as it is one of about 5 things holding the engine steady, not least the gear box!).

    The bushes in question are at either end of the bar (in the steel brackets) and the top mount (big sod off bit at the top of the engine) is held by this.

    The idea is to eliminate the bushes at the ends by rendering them solid & then use the bar as a strut barace instead.

    5 for 4 square washers, or v lage round washers to go over the steel barcket after you shorten & level the bushes.

    Makes the bar solid & impossible to move by hand (as it will be now), so it would then act as a strut brace!

    Easy job!

    Hack saw, grinder or a file & about 2 hours & lots of paitence!

    You will need... a 14mm, 17mm & 18mm sockets

    or if you cannot be bothered to try & prise the large bolts out while dodging the PAS flluid resivoir... a 15mm socket for the top mount too!

    I took the bar out & worked it from there!

    Much easier!

    Do leave the large bolts with some play as trying to refit the whole bar without it is just impossible!

    The brackets need to be adjusted into place.

    Also with the square washer, the corners may foul the bolts for the brackets...

    HTH


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    Well done Badger, saved me from more typing . Does this mean you finally got the job done?????

    Extra note : "poly" bushes are any bushes that are made using polyurethane rather than "rubber". Both are technically "elastomers" but "polyurethane or poly or PU" (however you wish to refer to it) should have a longer lifetime than "rubber" (not sure if the bushes use natural or synthetic rubber). But that's not to say that poly has an infinite lifetime, it'll wear out out at some time but hopefully long after the Volvo ones have busted.

    On the ovloV there any many bushes that could and can be changed, brace bar, engine top and bottom mounts, suspension wishbones, rear bushes, etc. See Powerflex (google it) for more info. Use the search function of the various forums and you should find plenty of references and more info.

    For instance:
    http://www.vpcuk.org/forums/showthread.php?t=19727
    http://forums.t5d5.org/index.php?showtopic=4679
    http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showth...ight=Powerflex
    http://www.powerflex.co.uk/

    More cross forum information. Isn't this webby thing great
    Last edited by RobbieH; Wednesday 25th February 2009 at 17:38. Reason: added example linkies

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    Did my S60 about two years ago, but made new brackets from aluminium to the same dimensions as the original cast aluminium ones. Not really noticed any difference in engine noise being transmitted to the cabin, but really has helped to get the power down more easily. Will try and get out with the camera and post some pics at the weekend (weather permitting).
    My advice would be to convert it to a strut brace, I have left the original Volvo mounts in place to compensate for the increased rigidity of solid end mounts.
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    Yeah, got it done, but still feel I need to scrape more off one of the mounts!

    Usual!

    Oh well, back to it!


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    Talking

    Managed to get out and about yesterday and "make progression" as my advanced driving tutor expressed (i.e. use the right foot but probably more than he would have liked). Some main twisty A roads and smaller B-roads (playing with a Renault Clio Sport at the same time which was "interesting" for both parties).
    And no other mods to suspension, still as I bought (2004 V70 D5 SE).

    Seems to be better turn-in and seems more planted on fast cornering. Fast, off the line starts mean traction control isn't kicking in like it used to. Noise in the cabin doesn't seem to have increased at all but there is a bit more 5-pot thrum to the note and definitely sounds better at higher revs. I like it. A recommeded and simple mod for your P2 machine.
    Last edited by RobbieH; Sunday 1st March 2009 at 10:50.

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    04 V70 D5 EUIII SE (MTE remap, IPD arb's, Eibach Pros, TWR custom FMIC, UR front strut brace)

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    Just a quick note on polybushes....

    I had a landrover that was fully polybushed as it did a LOT of off roading and the standard bushes would last about 5 mins. However polybush are NOT fit and forget. Every now and again you will need to retighten the bolts. Easy to overlook, but eventually they will work loose then destroy the bush. The more load the bush is under the more attension it requires. Polybushes dont absorb as much vibration energy as rubber ones so they pass that energy down the bolt and nut that hold them in place gradually working it loose. If the bush is attached to something that requires specific torque settings you should re-torque them as part of your service.

    I had a radius arm fall off due to a polybush working the bolt loose.



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    Well, a quick update on this. I have decided to get a pair of the alloy triangular brackets that attach the brace bar to the strut mounts from a scrapper, and remove the old bushes and fit aluminium items in their place.

    Correction - a friend of mone with access to machine tools and the knowledge will be doing it!

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    Again, sorry for the thread revival but it saves starting a new thread on the same topic......soooooo

    Decided to order the Powerflex Strut Brace Tensioning Kit from eBay, 21 delivered including free keyring

    The kit contains two bushes and 2 washers - one for each side of the stabiliser bar, and a small packet of copper grease.



    Literally takes 2 minutes per side to fit, spanner on the nut at the bottom and a dirty great 'strong arm' and socket on the top bolt. The polybush simply pushes into the bracket with the supplied washer underneath and secured by tightening the nut & bolt. Job Done.



    The stabiliser bar is now much stiffer with far less movement.

    I've only driven locally today (to the shop for a sandwich) and the effects to be honest aren't immediate. The only thing that perhaps feels better is the change of gear through the auto seems 'quicker' and more precise (if that makes sense). Not been on the twisties as yet to see any benefit in handling.

    Perhaps there are no real benefits from fitting this bush and the positive effects are all in my mind, but for 21 - I thought it was worth doing.

    Cheers,

    Steve

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    i tried to fit them into the top of the rubber bush, & failed. Ended up cutting them up & trying to force them in. Might have to get another set now i know how they go & if they get your approval

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    Forgot to add that there's no added noise or vibration which on a D5 is probably a good thing !!

    I reckon they're worth fitting Pedro, stiffening up the stabiliser bar must be a good thing. I've read that some owners modify it so it becomes completely rigid.....not too sure about this as obviously it's designed to flex for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by p fandango View Post
    i tried to fit them into the top of the rubber bush, & failed. Ended up cutting them up & trying to force them in. Might have to get another set now i know how they go & if they get your approval
    PMSL - Wally

    Hmm, looks like a doddle of a job...

    I must resist the poly..... resiiiisssst....
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinrpeachey View Post
    PMSL - Wally

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    Hi All, the engine bar is part of Volvos advanced impact safety system, in a extreme frontal colision the engine on a Volvo can move to increase the capabilities of the front crumple zones in absorbing force. basically the engine can swing from this bar on a pivot action downward and back ward but limited by the top mount assembly. forcing this ridged may decrease the performance of this in an impact, although I will still be trying it out to see what performance gains may be.

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    Interesting first post...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangobus View Post
    Hi All, the engine bar is part of Volvos advanced impact safety system, in a extreme frontal colision the engine on a Volvo can move to increase the capabilities of the front crumple zones in absorbing force. basically the engine can swing from this bar on a pivot action downward and back ward but limited by the top mount assembly. forcing this ridged may decrease the performance of this in an impact, although I will still be trying it out to see what performance gains may be.
    I'm sorry but unless you can provide hard evidence of this, I think you're talking utter bolox!

    I'm not a collision expert but I can safely say if the impact was hard enough, then the piddly ar se Engine brace will do bugger all to avert the engine intrusion into the bulkhead. Over a certain speed, Full frontal impacts between two vehicles of same size will carry so much inertia that your body would not withstand the impact, suffering massive internal trauma that whether the engine compromised the bulkhead or not, wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.

    AFAIK, the Engine brace/support, whatever you wanna call it, incorporates many bushes, no doubt, due to extensive research that Volvo will have undoubtably done to isolate the 5 cylinder vibration from the cabin. This is evident when you fit a bush that is too stiff.

    Further more, the engine does not 'swing' from the support bar, as you say. It does not support ANY weight of the engine at all! The bar can be safely removed without any movement of the engine as the engine sits on it's own engine mounts in the Subframe assy.
    If the support bar was not present, the engine would tear itself of the engine mounts in a twisting action when you accelerate and that, afaik, is it's primary role.
    Last edited by LeeT5; Friday 9th June 2017 at 11:28.

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