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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I must be <I>really</I> bored these days (not a lot of commercial development lately). Here is what boredom and too much free time does to my brain...<p>I've been considering the recently introduced QBM Strut Bar Conversion Kit and decided I would "mock one up" for myself to verify that it works before taking the $110 plunge ($109 at Viva <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0">). I can't take credit for the idea, since someone else on the board already did something similar. Not finding the original thread in the search, here's what I came up with on my own:<p><IMG SRC="http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/3544/strutbarconversioninstaqp0.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>Parts required:<p>(4) 3/4" large fender washers - two per mount (underside) - at $0.29/each.<br>(2) 7/16" flat washers - one per mount (topside) - at $0.14/each.<br>(2) 7/16" black neoprene rubber washers - one per mount (topside) - at $0.69 for a bulk package.<p>Grand total: A whopping $2.13 at Home Depot.<p>Please keep in mind this was intended to be a temporary installation. For this reason, I went ahead and used rust-prone zinc washers since they are 1.) extremely cheap and 2.) very easy to source at the hardware megastore. I think I will attempt to poly the zinc parts and stick with my creation for the time being.<p>Here is a picture of the original assembly before I tinkered with it:<p><IMG SRC="http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/6706/strutbarconversionasitwzg3.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><U><B>NOW FOR THE TINKERING PART</B></U><p>On the OEM mount, the "floating" metal sleeve for the through bolt extends about 3/16" beyond the rim of the bracket (for lack of a better term) that bolts to the tower. I used the two large fender washers to fill this gap and provide a solid connection between the head of the through bolt and the nut, as well as between the sleeve and the bracket. To seat the washers flatly against the rim, I stripped the rubber back on the sleeve and pressed the washers on using my bench vice. Here's a shot of the mount with the large fender washers attached:<p><IMG SRC="http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/1962/undersidestrutbarconverlm0.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>Each large fender washer is about 1/8" thick, so by seating both until flush with the sleeve a 1/16" depression is created on the topside of the mount (see picture below). I inserted a 7/16" neoprene washer followed by a 7/16" flat washer to fill this depression. Again, the washers are there to eliminate play both vertically and laterally. The flat washer I found just happens to be the exact diameter of the opening in the bracket, so there is absolutely no possibility of lateral movement once everything is wrenched down. The neoprene washer is there to eliminate any potential slop should the mount somehow flex. Here is a shot of the mount showing the 1/16" depression without the washers installed:<p><IMG SRC="http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4118/topsidestrutbarconversieb8.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><U><B>IMPRESSIONS</B></U><p><I>The good news...</I> Take notice naysayers! This thing really does work. My bar is now solid as a rock and, effectively, a very sturdy strut bar (just like the one in the QBM video). I have now driven about forty miles since completing the conversion, looking for every sweeping curve possible. The car feels much more planted and understeer is greatly reduced. During the first few lane changes at freeway speeds (legal, I swear!), and while cornering, I was caught offguard at how quickly the car changes direction. Lastly, there is much more road feel though the steering wheel and there is no increased vibration at idle. Also, my clutch feels like a clutch again, rather than an on/off switch. Lastly, the death rattle is further reduced.<p><I>The bad news...</I> When I initially attempted to seat the fender washers using my bench vice, I only seated the washers until they just met the rim of the bracket (wasn't thinking). During my first test drive, foot planted firmly into the gas pedal, the car seated the washers for me. Clank!!! Clank!!! The noise scared the #%@! out of me and now the fender washers are permanently attached to the sleeve. There's no turning back now. Also, while there is no additional vibration felt at idle there must be more under hard acceleration as the glovebox rattles more than it did before. Other than the glovebox rattle, there is no noticable increase in cabin vibration. Oh, you can hear the engine more now, but I like it and it's not much louder than after I installed the black Evolve bushing.<p>Overall, this mod is a good one if you are not in search of a completely serene driving experience. Considering that the R is in no way a serene machine, I say go for it! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> Admittedly, with all of the work I put into making my mockup, I should have just bought the damned QBM kit. <p>- Tryg<br>
 

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Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (RainyS60R)

wow, good thinkin. wish i had seen this before i spent $30+ on the cool blue inserts from viva.....
 

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Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (RainyS60R)

$2.13 -VS- $115 plus shipping, thinking of the idea yourself, and sharing the knowledge.........Priceless !!!!!!!!!!! Great job !!!! Wish I could of thought of that. I like your idea even better cause the two Volvo OEM mounts are made out of aluminum instead of steel, like the QBM. Awsome idea, thanks for sharring. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (bouncer)

Lew LeBahn posted similar info months ago IIRC
 

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this looks to be a somewhat decent solution, especially for the '06 models which have an extremely loose (as JRL and I verified) top mount.<p>does anyone see a flaw in this design?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (JimLill)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>JimLill</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Lew LeBahn posted similar info months ago IIRC</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I tried to give credit where it was due, but was unable to find Lew's original post via the search function.<p>- Tryg<br>
 

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Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (RainyS60R)

Does your conversion take into consideration the fore and aft movement of the engine during acceleration and deceleration?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (steamboatsig)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>steamboatsig</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Does your conversion take into consideration the fore and aft movement of the engine during acceleration and deceleration?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Well, yes, in that it minimizes the fore and aft rocking of the engine, much like the QBM transmission/torque mount does. I don't know if there are any real drawbacks to limiting this movement, but the car feels much more responsive to throttle input. I am a bit concerned about the impact this will have on the other engine mounts (i.e. does it make them do more work and will they fail prematurely). For this reason, I will be ordering the QBM tranny mount to better distribute the loads.<p>The big problem is that I now have rust-prone, zinc-coated parts that I cannot remove, at least I wasn't able to last night using hand tools (I haven't tried the bench vice yet). I need to resolve this ASAP. Otherwise, I will probably just bite the $109 bullet and order the QBM kit. I'm a bit bummed that I no longer have the option of going back to stock when I sell the car, but I see no reason to do so at this point. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>- Tryg<br>
 

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Re: (phuz)

i can get all these parts at home depot?<p>I have gone over your install and I'm confused as to what part of the job makes this permanent. i get the impression that you can't undo it...why?<p>those flat fender washers look like they would come off..are you saying that once it's all bolted down, they are on so firmly that they won't budge off?<p>i'm curious...what is the part number for these two brackests? suppose one of us were to TRY this "home brew" method...and decide we don't like it.... IF it really is a ONE WAY mod..and you can't undo it...you'dn eed to buy two new brackets from volvo... how much do the stock brackets cost?<p>if they are 5-10 bucks each..then it's easily worth spending $2 at home depot to try this out...and if for some reason it's not to my liking...i can spend another $20 or so at the dealer to get NEW brackets to put it back to stock.<p>if however, each bracket costs $100...then it'll cost me $200 just to "undo" it....and then i'm just better of buiying the QBM ones....<p>1) thanks for doing this! you gave us a cheap alternative.<p>2) how much are the stock parts to repalce if this is truly a mod that is permanent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: (23109VC)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>23109VC</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">..are you saying that once it's all bolted down, they are on so firmly that they won't budge off?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Exactly. They should be removable with the right amount of force. In my case, they were seated "fully" using a 300 horsepower, gasoline-powered press. Not sure what these go for at the dealer, but I will ask when I pick up my XC90 bolts this week. <p><B>Bob Vila would have done this if he owned an R!</B> (Norm would, of course, use a combination of hard rock maple, wood dowels and some glue)<p>- Tryg<br>
 

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Re: "DIY" Strut Bar Conversion - $2.13 out of pocket and guess what... it works! (RainyS60R)

I posted a similar idea on the S60 forum a while back. I used similar washers and brass bushings in addition. All sourced from Home Depot. I have since removed the parts since I did not like the sound and slight vibration after a while. The washers were stuck, but a good blow with a hammer loosened them up. After I fixed the control arm bushings, the additional support from the bar was alright for me, but not worth the vibration. R is a different car and it may be more worth of this mod.
 

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Re: (RainyS60R)

I am nominating you for Volvo Superhero. If you do one more thing like crack a cylinder or have a wheel bearing failure I will adjust that to Volvo<br>God status<p>This year I have only called the following Volvo Gods. (In case you do not know I have been for at least 10 years in charge of Volvo God awards)<p>A $2.13 mod is pretty god like <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Blot <br>Johann (he is a permanent God, wins at least every two years)<br>Xenophobic<br>Art Vandelay (because he has no fear whatsoever)<br>JARMO (he is a massive drunk from Antwerpen and a nice guy)<p>If you blow a rod or crack a cylinder or have an axle fall off please let me <br>know because when I do my 2006 awards I will call you VG if you do something before January 1st
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: (Helmut Ranff)

<IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0"><p>Wow. I'm flattered. I'll do my best to break something major during the next few weeks, so I can make your list. Assuming my car survives unscathed, I'll just have to accept the lesser title.<p>- Tryg<br><BR><BR>
<i>Modified by RainyS60R at 3:00 PM 12-8-2006</i>
 

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Re: (RainyS60R)

I am glad you are happy and you have done well. I did a little research<br>and it appears you have enough to push the decision to the edge. From your web pages I have found this<p><A HREF="http://imageshack.us" TARGET="_blank"><IMG SRC="http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/6088/12404044750qx7.jpg" BORDER="0"></A><p>Clearly you could have run this child over but did not, you made a quick judgement. The wheel is pointed at him but you did not run over him and <br>also you did not scratch the front bumper<p>You are a Volvo god for sparing the child <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthup.gif" BORDER="0"> Many such as myself who do not like the loud noises of children may not have done this <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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each part is $36.... so if you do the "one way" home made mod and DON'T like it..it will cost you $72 to "undo" it... <p>almost what it costs to do the QBM mod..but not quite.<p>assuming you never want to undo it..it would be the best $2.13 spent on the car
 

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What's with all the hero-worship. Where was he when I dropped what I did on the QBM mounts? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Maybe not Volvo-God status, but Tryg gets my vote for a Swedey Award. <p><I>"...And in the Suspension Category... The Best New DIY Mod Under $10 Swedey goes to..."<p>Tryg.</I> <p><FONT SIZE="small">And there was much rejoicing. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> </FONT>
 

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Re: (23109VC)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>23109VC</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">each part is $36.... so if you do the "one way" home made mod and DON'T like it..it will cost you $72 to "undo" it... <p>almost what it costs to do the QBM mod..but not quite.<p>assuming you never want to undo it..it would be the best $2.13 spent on the car</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I'll sell my OEM mounts for $36 for the pair. I'll never go back! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/cool.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: (23109VC)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>23109VC</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">each part is $36.... so if you do the "one way" home made mod and DON'T like it..it will cost you $72 to "undo" it... <p>almost what it costs to do the QBM mod..but not quite.<p>assuming you never want to undo it..it would be the best $2.13 spent on the car</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I just did the washer mod and I love it! I would never go back to the stock setup.<br>But I don't understand all this talk about "can't go back to stock". The washers I used are stainless, they fit perfectly, the bar is rigid as hell, and all you do is remove the bolt and take off the washers and you are back to stock. Nothing is jammed.<p>Oh, and I went to 1/2" grade 8 bolts to replace the stock 11mm bolts to remove the slop where the bolt passes through the bar. I don't know why the stock bolts are so undersized. <p>
 
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