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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a 2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD that I've been hearing dreaded clicking/lawnmower noises from the engine bay. After a bit of prodding/diagnosing I came to thinking it was an exhaust leak.

I first took the car to an exhaust shop that would take a look at it for free, and they confirmed noise, but being late in the day they could not get to it without an appointment.

I then took it to a better reviewed, recommended, performance muffler shop that also confirmed the leak, and told me they found 2 missing bolts/studs from the Turbo to the Catalytic Converter. They then told me to find a full service place, as they did not work with turbos, should things go awry.

I finally took it into my full service shop, kept it overnight and checked out multiple other things free of charge since I had been coming there for a while. What I didn't expect was the pricetag of over $1,400 (more details in pic).

The way it was explained to me, is that two studs had broken from the Turbo to the Cat Converter, and drilling would need to happen to get them out, and replace leaky gaskets, as well as replace any other bolts that may (or may not) break during the fix.

Is this something that I can tackle myself/with help over a weekend? Not to pull the sob story, but my savings was drained from cancer treatment this year, of which I am now in full remission as of March 8th, and cannot really afford this, currently.

I have a fairly broad set of tools (Torx bits, torque wrench, socket set, screwdrivers, calipers, wrench set, 2.25 ton jack lift with stands, etc) and can borrow a coworker's garage for the weekend if need be.

OR... should I just bite the bullet and pay ?

Thanks for any and all info!

PS- Located in the Portland, OR area, in case anyone has a mechanic/specialist who knows how to deal with this at a lower cost, or can lend some advice to tackle on my own.

PIC OF MECHANIC STATEMENT
 

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The shops explanation isn't that clear. What I think they mean is, 2/3 bolts that secure the downpipe(the exhaust pipe that connects to the turbo with the cat) are broken off. It's in an incredibly tight spot and to do it right, you should take the exhaust manifold and the turbo out. This involves unbolting the exhaust manifold from the engine and disconnecting everything from the turbo and pull the entire assembly out. Easily $1400 in labor.
 

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On an AWD? Yeah, those bolts are ridiculous to get to and remove even if they are brand new. Forget repairing a broken bolt in place. Not going to happen.

The problem here is also that you can't get the turbo/manifold off the head because it interferes with the AWD transfer case. So you either have to pull the transfer case, the cylinder head, or drop the entire engine/transmission out of the car to do this.

Lucky for you, you already need work on the right front axle. That is the first step of pulling the transfer case right there. So that would be my plan of attack on this one.

- Pull the axle
- Pull the t-case
- Pull the turbo
- Renew absolutely all gaskets and hardware.
- Every manifold stud. Every nut. Everything.
- Some of the studs will break when you touch them. Weld nuts to them to extract.
- Machine the manifold flange flat if it's warped.
- $1500 is not unreasonable for this job.

Now I'm not under my car looking at this right now, but maybe there is some cheat method if you really just need to get good access to the downpipe bolts. Maybe, just maybe, after you get the t-case off, you'll have enough room to pull off a miracle. So I think the above method is really the only way to go. Short of that you'd just need actual magic.
 

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EDIT: Here's a photo of the downpipe area with the Transfer Case (Angle Gear) assembly removed from my T5 AWD:

(note the axle is temporarily reinstalled here for FWD mode)



So, depending on what kind of damage you have, I guess it's possible that just removing the axle/angle gear will give you enough room to fix some things. In that case, I would think a $500 repair might be possible.
 

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I would say it depends on which two of the three bolts are broken. The top two are not that difficult to access once you remove the heat shield. One is readily visible and accessible while the other is tucked out of sight toward the engine side. I used a 3/8 drive flex head ratchet from Harbor Freight to break both loose. The third, bottom bolt, is very difficult to access without removing the angle gear.

It also depends on whether the broken bolt remnants are seized in the manifold. Several people report here that after breaking one of the bolts in an attempt to install a downpipe the remnants were removable by hand. Unfortunately the bolts don't extend all the way through the manifold so there is nothing to grip on the backside to try to spin out the remnants.

I would start by removing the heat shield to get a look and assess the situation.
 

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My recommendation is muffler putty and muffler tape. His estimate is just the tip of the iceberg once you start taking a 12 year old car apart costs will be added.

I just sold my 2007 for $2000 with a noisy DM fly wheel. New owner /mechanic was fine with the risk . Unfortunately value of old cars drops rapidly when not in A1 conditon.
 

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In retrospect do you think it would have saved time to remove the angle gear and have a go at the bolt from below?
I have no idea, not sure what that all entails. But if it's faster than a few hours every night for a whole week then probably lol

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have no idea, not sure what that all entails. But if it's faster than a few hours every night for a whole week then probably lol
When you grinded it off, what did you use? I have a pretty nice dremel, but no angle grinder.

I read your post, and what did you replace your bolts with? Studs? Which ones?

How was disassembly? Did you go from the bottom, removing the Passenger Side Wheel, and getting to the area from there?
 

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When you grinded it off, what did you use? I have a pretty nice dremel, but no angle grinder.

I read your post, and what did you replace your bolts with? Studs? Which ones?

How was disassembly? Did you go from the bottom, removing the Passenger Side Wheel, and getting to the area from there?
I used a dremel with diamond tools.

The downpipe I got came with a stud nut combo.

I think tried everything. Battery removed, left hand side wheel removed, underneath.

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If the car has evidence of road salt exposure, like rust on rear suspension components / subframe, etc - the angle gear is probably rusty as well. In that case, I think it would be beneficial to pull the angle gear for the exhaust work and probably replace the angle gear collar while you are there. Even if it isn't fully failed yet, replacing the collar early could possibly save you having to find a whole new angle gear like I did. And since you're already pulling that axle, I think it kind of makes sense to take that approach.

This is the part that kind of sucks about these cars. You of course want (need?) the Turbo *and* the AWD (and 6MT! and Wagon! they cry), but when combined they become a handful to fix. And unfortunately there are pattern failures on both the turbo manifold and the AWD. But once you fix both of them, you've kind of covered the big stuff. Just don't overheat the thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If the car has evidence of road salt exposure, like rust on rear suspension components / subframe, etc - the angle gear is probably rusty as well. In that case, I think it would be beneficial to pull the angle gear for the exhaust work and probably replace the angle gear collar while you are there. Even if it isn't fully failed yet, replacing the collar early could possibly save you having to find a whole new angle gear like I did. And since you're already pulling that axle, I think it kind of makes sense to take that approach.
Would you mind shooting a link to what part you mean? If its preventative, I'm ALL about it.

When I first got the car, I did my due diligence and made sure that the common issues (sunroof leaking, PCV, electrical, etc) were all taken care of, and I managed to get all records from previous owners (2). They had gotten all of that done, and all I needed to do was get some new tires and oil change.

I was already coming up with a spreadsheet of what to get for the future as this is going to be a car that I keep forever, even as a project. Air intake, intercooler and intake manifold were all on that list, so if this saves me a ton of hassle later on, I'm all for it!
 

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2007 Volvo V50 T5 AWD M66
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Laughs in M66 T5 AWD wagon... Jokes crying... Need to do my downpipe soon the flex pipe is on its way out, Should buy a second car before I try to get it swapped.
 
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