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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I really enjoy driving my 2004 V70, but one of the things I've noticed about the car that can be quite annoying at times is how terribly the car rides over potholes and uneven manhole covers. On normal stretches of the road, the ride is great. It's not too soft or stiff and is very compliant, however, the second I encounter a pothole, manhole cover, or any other uneven dip in the road, the car crashes over the bump. It really unsettles the car and can be quite a jolt. It sends the dreaded saggy glovebox door flopping about. I've driven several other S60's and they all seem to ride the same way as my V70. I would imagine the XC's ride better because of their higher ride heights and longer suspension travel. I realize that almost every car won't ride beautifully over potholes and manhole covers, but my Volvo seems to handle it worse than a lot of other cars I have driven in my days.

Is this normal behavior for P2 Volvos or am I just crazy? My suspension is seems like it is in good shape. The car has 155k on it, new front control arms, and new rear suspension that's less than a year old.
 

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Is it as simple as time for a set of new shocks?
 

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The subframe mountings also transfer noise, vibration, and harshness.
 

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You don't say what size wheels and tire you're running. That does make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You don't say what size wheels and tire you're running. That does make a difference.
I have the base model that basically has piano casters for wheels. 15" saurus wheels and 195/65r15 Aspen Touring A/S tires (I have never heard of this brand of tire), I didn't put them on but they still have good tread.
 

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How are your upper spring seats, and to a lesser degree, front struts? Those make a huge difference in bump handling. They are both ~100k maintenance items.

Get the HD spring seats from IPD if you replace them. Replacing my front spring seats made my 2006 V70 2.5T ride like a new car again - it was a huge difference in ride quality, especially over bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
How involved of a job is that? (Just kidding I found out that you basically have to take the strut off of the car to get to them, so it's fairly involved) To be honest though, replacing the upper spring seats wouldn't be a bad idea, they're not too expensive.

My front struts seem good. They rebound well and have no leaks. I can compress the front struts using my body weight and they come right back up.
 

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You have to buy one specialty tool if you don't have it, but it's cheap at least: http://www.ipdusa.com/products/5873/114448-front-strut-top-nut-wrench-and-socket-tool
An alternative is this tool, or make your own, but I prefer the first one above since it works with an impact driver + socket.

* You jack up the front end,
* remove the wheels,
* loosen the a-arm bolts (two big bolts),
* loosen the small (10mm?) bolt that holds the brake line and ABS wire in place so they move more freely,
* detach the ABS wire and the brake line from the strut so they move freely (does not require disconnecting them),
* remove the strut & spring assembly's lower attachment bolts (two big bolts),
* loosen the three nuts at the top of the strut tower,
* swing the strut/spring assembly out from behind the brake disc (requires a prybar to get it loose usually, but not difficult to do),
* hold the strut/spring assembly up while a helper removes the top three nuts,
* lower the strut/spring assembly out of the vehicle,
* compress the spring with good spring compressors, one on each side (sears/craftsman are fine or these) - it helps a lot to grease up the bolts and then use an impact driver to tighten them, a little bit on each side at a time, goes way faster that way.
* use an impact driver and socket (ideally) - or a wench + the skinny part of the above specialty tool - to loosen and remove the strut top nut,
* remove the strut bearing,
* use the specialty tool's socket (ideally with an impact driver so you don't have to use the skinny part to counterhold the strut) to loosen and remove the plus-nut,
* remove the old spring seat,
* install the new spring seat,
* installation is reverse of removal.
* make sure to torque everything to spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation! Seems like it could be a pretty good weekend job.
 

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I did it last winter, it took about 2-3 hours start to finish. If I didn't have impact tools it would have been all day.

There are some videos that will help a lot if you've never done P80 or P2 front suspension before. They helped me anyway.

Watch this video for a quick overview of the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRjEcMo3oWM (this uses a fancy hydraulic spring compressor but the process is the same)

Watch this video for a time lapse of replacing the seat once the suspension is out of the car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raJxEW4lr9E (this uses normal spring compressors)

Watch this video for a longer, deeper dive involving full front strut replacement (which is about the same amount of work, since you have to disassemble the strut/spring assembly anyway): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyL-EET9gWU

For what it's worth, my spring seats blew out at about 105k on my V70. I mean, blown out. The rubber was completely torn and the spring seat was separated into two pieces. The front end would make a horrible chattering noise and feel really sloppy over bumps. The IPD HD spring seats are much thicker rubber than the OEM ones. Should last a lot longer.

Here's a pic of one of my 105k-mile spring seats. These are NOT supposed to be separated, the metal bushing is supposed to be held firmly in the center of the rubber:



How it's supposed to look:

 

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I have the base model that basically has piano casters for wheels. 15" saurus wheels and 195/65r15 Aspen Touring A/S tires (I have never heard of this brand of tire), I didn't put them on but they still have good tread.
Piano casters is the wrong analogy. The diameter at the tread of the 195/65-15 tires is the same as the specified tires for 16", 17", and 18" wheels. If you want to disparage them you could call them "tundra tires". See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPSElw8qEsI.

What pressure do you use? Read the manual and set the pressure on the low side for city driving (say 32 psi) and for smooth highway use 38 psi, cold inflation pressure.
 

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Generally yes though. One of the complaints about this car you hear a lot is it "crashes" over bumps. I have one road I drive on that has splits in the pavement that run across the road, like a little canyon every so often. My FWD Volvos bang over those horribly, to the point where I hate taking that road. But most Denver roads suck anyway so at some point it's impossible to avoid.

Basically there will be "the best it can get" once you've replaced everything and what's left you'll have to live with or get a different car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good to know, It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who's noticed this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Piano casters is the wrong analogy. The diameter at the tread of the 195/65-15 tires is the same as the specified tires for 16", 17", and 18" wheels. If you want to disparage them you could call them "tundra tires". See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPSElw8qEsI.

What pressure do you use? Read the manual and set the pressure on the low side for city driving (say 32 psi) and for smooth highway use 38 psi, cold inflation pressure.
I was really making fun of the 15" wheels when I called them piano casters, not the tires. They're downright puny!
 

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You REALLY need to post the MILEAGE with a post like this but if you have over 100K miles it's time for a rebuild of your suspension, motor mounts and possible the subframe mounts (but not necessarily those at this point).
 

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You REALLY need to post the MILEAGE with a post like this but if you have over 100K miles it's time for a rebuild of your suspension, motor mounts and possible the subframe mounts (but not necessarily those at this point).
He wrote "The car has 155k on it" in the first post. :facepalm:
 

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I am also tracking these gremlins, which come mainly from the front suspension. Strut mounts replaced with HD fairly recently (and still pass the JRL test), sway bar end links replaced with latest Volvo OEM design, all 4 subframe bushings replaced (with the caveat that I did 3, then did the final one more recently, a year later). Just changed left front control arm for the second time. 160 K now, at 108 K I changed lower control arms with Volvo OEM, newer Volvo steering rack, both upper and lower rearward mounts replaced with Volvo OEM. Front lower "link" transmission mount seems ok.

Do the bar to frame bushings go bad in the front? What about the pivot points where the strut tower brace meet the strut towers?
 

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I experience a little bit different situation, and notice it in several other P2s now that I'm aware of it. There's a manhole cover I drive over fairly often, it's in a gentle left turn usually doibg about 60kph, a little bit recessed in the asfalt (like half an inch) and otherwise level. I noticed it after lowering the wagon, when the right rear wheel hit's it the whole back end steps oit violently to the right. I noticed it with my uncle's old XC70, and my dad's current XC90, as well as in a buddy's V70 FWD, albeit a little gentler since none of those are lowered. Thing is, my brother's P80 wagon, an E60 I drive on occasion, my work van and a few others I don't notice it at all in, only in P2s.

Crashes and rough riding over uneven bumps I don't worry too much about, lowering and stiffer shocks adjusted my expectations.
 

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My daughters V70 does the same thing with BRAND NEW STRUTS ASSEMBLIES. The previous owner had the ENTIRE front end rebuilt at 160K miles and then again at 200K miles. We are talking struts, springs, ties rods, controls arms, isolators, sway bars,etc. EVERYTHING REPLACED! $1800 and $1600! It still "thunks". I am willing to bet once my Indy Mechanic replaces the subframe mounts(I went ahead and bought new ones and am having the blue inserts installed as well), the "thunk" will disappear. I hope so!
 

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I experience a little bit different situation, and notice it in several other P2s now that I'm aware of it. There's a manhole cover I drive over fairly often, it's in a gentle left turn usually doibg about 60kph, a little bit recessed in the asfalt (like half an inch) and otherwise level. I noticed it after lowering the wagon, when the right rear wheel hit's it the whole back end steps oit violently to the right. I noticed it with my uncle's old XC70, and my dad's current XC90, as well as in a buddy's V70 FWD, albeit a little gentler since none of those are lowered. Thing is, my brother's P80 wagon, an E60 I drive on occasion, my work van and a few others I don't notice it at all in, only in P2s.

Crashes and rough riding over uneven bumps I don't worry too much about, lowering and stiffer shocks adjusted my expectations.
I have noticed the tendency of the rear end of my V70 to step out on bumpy sections as well, haven't really noticed it on the wife's xc70, but I think the extra suspension travel helps. It feels like driving an old live axle truck on a bumpy road. The P2's have a completely different rear suspension from the P80s.
 
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