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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know about the rest of the people on the forum, but it pisses me off that I've replaced all of my sway bar endlinks, all four shocks/struts, front control arm bushings, ball joints (only because I was replacing the control arms) and the upper engine mount within the last 6k miles (I'm at 78k now).

That's pretty poor longevity and maybe $2.5k in parts and labor (I did the shocks/struts, shock mounts, endlinks and upper engine mount myself). I guess I'm good until 160k now, hopefully. I went to XC90 upper strut mounts for hopefully better longevity.

The next big expense is to do the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, cam seals, valve cover gasket and accessory drive belt. I'll probably flush the trans fluid using the ipd kit and another case of 3309.

This is without doing really any mods- I've added the ipd sway bar conversion (which has helped front end stiffness and steering feel, but added vibration with the addition of the poly upper engine mount). I still want to add a larger intercooler, downpipe and exhaust.

It's not worth selling the car because it's not worth a lot, so I'm going to keep on driving it.
 

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Your right I mean parts should never wear out on a car I mean come on its ridiculous to think that after 70 something thousand miles of abuse the suspension might need a refresh.
 

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I hear your frustration, but look, it's still a car... which means that some things will go wrong with it from age, and some from mileage.

Plastics / rubber breaks down over time, and mounts and the like are that way.

The Ford Taurus that shares the yard with the Volvo eats through brake rotors at a horrendous rate (not too thin, just warpage... it's a Taurus thing) and it's on it's 3rd set of upper strut mounts (last replaced at 220,000, now has 235,000) and had even broken a right front spring (and took the tire out with it, eek) at 70,000 (do you think Ford would do anything about it? NOPE.) Replaced with complete strut assemblies each time I redo the front on this car... have replaced more sway bar links than you can shake a stick at (even the "performance" ones wear quickly on the old Ford).

This is just one example. If you go back in time, the 240 Volvos were notorious for breaking motor mounts... especially the turbo cars and especially on the passenger side (you guessed it, UNDER the turbo) they also liked to eat rear suspension bushings with a lot of regularity... (and lets not even start talking about exhaust manifold studs on the B21, B23 and B230 cars... )

It comes with driving the car. if you let it be a garage queen, then time causes the elastomers to ooze out, and you end up with dry rotted ones anyway...

I am not trying to be a "Debbie Downer"... I am just trying to point out that all makes and models have their foibles, and being aware of it is half the battle. If you know that your car needs this every xx,xxx miles, then plan for it, budget it in, and enjoy the ride to the next maints.

FWIW, they replaced the upper strut mounts on the front of my car just before I bought it last month... not the struts, just the mounts... weird but true that it didn't need them just yet. My car had 59,xxx on it when they did this. So apparently, it's a 60k interval...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your right I mean parts should never wear out on a car I mean come on its ridiculous to think that after 70 something thousand miles of abuse the suspension might need a refresh.
Maybe it's because the car is so heavy, but even notoriously bad BMW control arms last longer- my M Coupe has 98k and the bushings are fine. My old Audi 200 quattro didn't need control arms at 120k, but I did them as part of a front end refresh at around 135k. I've never seen torn bushings like the Volvo, either- the rubber usually hardens to the point where you want to replace them because they don't work well, but they don't usually tear apart.

The exhaust system is a POS as well- double-walled construction, but water gets in the seams and it rusts apart from the inside. Fortunately, the inner wall hasn't failed yet- the rear box looks like an Alien from the movie lived inside it and burst out.

At least Volvo has an opening in the cam cover to check the timing belt, which is nice- my belt looks fine, no cracks or funny wear, good tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hear your frustration, but look, it's still a car... which means that some things will go wrong with it from age, and some from mileage.

Plastics / rubber breaks down over time, and mounts and the like are that way.

The Ford Taurus that shares the yard with the Volvo eats through brake rotors at a horrendous rate (not too thin, just warpage... it's a Taurus thing) and it's on it's 3rd set of upper strut mounts (last replaced at 220,000, now has 235,000) and had even broken a right front spring (and took the tire out with it, eek) at 70,000 (do you think Ford would do anything about it? NOPE.) Replaced with complete strut assemblies each time I redo the front on this car... have replaced more sway bar links than you can shake a stick at (even the "performance" ones wear quickly on the old Ford).

This is just one example. If you go back in time, the 240 Volvos were notorious for breaking motor mounts... especially the turbo cars and especially on the passenger side (you guessed it, UNDER the turbo) they also liked to eat rear suspension bushings with a lot of regularity... (and lets not even start talking about exhaust manifold studs on the B21, B23 and B230 cars... )

It comes with driving the car. if you let it be a garage queen, then time causes the elastomers to ooze out, and you end up with dry rotted ones anyway...

I am not trying to be a "Debbie Downer"... I am just trying to point out that all makes and models have their foibles, and being aware of it is half the battle. If you know that your car needs this every xx,xxx miles, then plan for it, budget it in, and enjoy the ride to the next maints.

FWIW, they replaced the upper strut mounts on the front of my car just before I bought it last month... not the struts, just the mounts... weird but true that it didn't need them just yet. My car had 59,xxx on it when they did this. So apparently, it's a 60k interval...
Yeah, I replaced the upper strut mounts at 53k the first time and they didn't look so hot at around 72k. I hope the XC90 ones will last longer.

It's just frustrating to lay out that much cash on what I consider to be simple maintenance and wear-and-tear- I think I would be a lot happier if the shocks didn't cost $1200.
 

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What year is your Volvo? And was it necessary to replace the rear shocks?

I'm really liking PaisleyPirate's posts; there's some awesome insight right there. :)

Depending on where one lives can also be taken into account as to how long the suspension lasts such as road conditions, climate etc. Some members have 100k+ miles on their original front shocks with no problems. I do admit the LCA's and mounts in particular are a weak point of the later model volvos. You should see what happened to my father's 2001 S80 mounts after 180k miles and never being replaced: http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?167681-It-was-definitely-time-for-new-engine-mounts! The trans mount actually snapped! and the top rubber mount had completely disintegrated.

On the bright side, yes you will likely not need to replace the parts again unless you plan on keeping the car for a reallyyy long time. And I'm sure it drives beautifully now with the new parts. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have an '04.

It was definitely necessary to change the rear shocks- the ride improved tremendously after changing just the rears. When I removed them, there was evidence that they were blown- a film of oil down one side on both of the shocks. I'm in the northeast, so lots of potholes and bad roads. I think I killed them by topping them out- there is a spot near my house where there is a big drop-off- if you don't slow down enough, you can completely unload the suspension to full droop and if you go faster than that, you'll catch some serious air. I'm more careful at that spot.

The front shocks didn't necessarily need changing out, but I figured if the rears were shot, the fronts (bearing a lot more of the total weight of the car) were probably due soon enough. Then it seemed like the "weakest link" effect- change the shocks, then find out your endlinks are bad; then change the endlinks, find a control arm bushing is torn (one was almost completely separated- failed inspection, which is why I didn't do the control arms myself). The clunking over bumps also led me to check the top engine mount, which was torn all the way around, I'll post pics once I download them from my phone.

Yes, other than a squeaking which I haven't found yet, the car drives great now that nearly everything in the front end is new.

Because my car ('04 VR GT with 78k) is probably worth no more than $10-11k retail, $8k wholesale, I think I'll probably keep the car for a good long time- it's lost so much value over time that it's not really worth it to switch cars (bought new at around $44k). I don't think I'd feel that way if I bought it used, but the depreciation makes me want to keep the car and run it into the ground. I saw an SR GT at auction with 240k on it, still drove and ended up sold eventually (I think around $4.5k). That makes me think that I could probably drive it to 200k as long as I kept up with the maintenance. I also maintain my cars like aircraft in general- fix stuff immediately, do some proactive maintenance when it calls for it and only use OE quality or better parts. I needed a wheel bearing in my C6, changed it to the ZR1 SKF bearing rather than the OE bearing ($375 vs. $140) because it won't really ever go bad again with the ZR1 part. That's my philosophy.

I'm just a bit annoyed that the car needed all of that stuff with less than 100k on the car and all in short order.
 

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Also have 04 SR MT, 120k miles, doing a lot of repairs now that I neglected a while (unemployment). Yes it's expensive, even doing 80% of the labor, the parts add up too. Over $6k since November, and still haven't replaced flywheel (its a knocking), clutch (never replaced!), slave cylinder. Struts are still fine (thank you Florida for the roads), and only now doing a suspension refresh because I'm having to replace CV Axle.

Definitely empathize with you.
 

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I paid a pretty serious premium for my 04 SR GT with 59k when I bought it, last month... (almost 2 months ago now) BUT, I also got a car that was a 1 owner AND it came from a Volvo Dealer who had fine tooth combed it. I had looked at several other cars that were just beaters (comparatively) including making a trip to Dallas one Friday afternoon to look at a C70 that was supposed to be a cream puff... more like cow pie... if your car is more cream puff than cow pie, you can command an additional amount for it. Especially if you can back it up with receipts and a log book of dates (if you are doing work yourself).

The $1000+ strut thing is what it is ... they are Monroes... and Monroe runs specials 2 or 3 times a year... keep an eye open and if you think yours are getting weak, do it when they go on sale (4 for 3 is a good deal... that gets them down to nearly reasonable range, in my book.. and they are the OEM)

I've got some little issues on mine that still need to be addressed, even though it is a cream puff... but that's part of what owning a truly awesome road machine is about... you think these are bad... I wouldn't trade back to my old 84 245Ti MT car for anything... those cars were a mess to get straightened out... but man when you got there... holy cow the payoff was amazing. The R cars are just as amazing, and I'm not having to do 1/10th the work to get there...

You want EXPENSIVE?? Go get a Porsche or a Ferrari or a Lambo or a Jag... holy cow... you think what we pay is bad... you ain't seen nothin'...

and Jexx, shucks, man, you made me blush... I'm just an old pragmatist enthusiast who's had to string together his love of Volvo's on a dime for too many years...
 

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I'm sorry. Did you say cam seals? Dude, the car has 70K miles. My S40 has 173,000 miles and it has never had ANY engine seals replaced, and it's still leak free. Also, the water pump should never be changed unless it's not functioning properly, or leaking. It's just not necessary. If you think my s40 runs like crap, it doesn't. It runs extremely well, and has compression of 180 psi across the board... I've also been boosting the crap out of it, and pretty much WOT and 3K+ rpms out of almost all of its running hours. Just take car of your car and it will take care of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
With all of the stuff off of the side of the engine, that's usually when you change those things, because if it does start to leak or fail, you need to remove all of that stuff to get to it. I've always changed water pumps when doing the timing belt.
 

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The S60 chassis was origonally designed for about 200 hp. The R puts 300hp, AWD, has a stiff active chassis and 18" wheels and a host of other stresses on the chassis.

Volvo front ends always eat parts. Volvos are simply heavy cars for crash purposes. They have always gone through front end components- but never at an alarming rate.

I agree with some other members here... Volvo of old ate parts too- but they were good cars. 700's ate brakes and bushings.

This is a high performance car, with precise tolerances. Parts will wear, and it doesnt appear to me that any real crimes of relaibility have been committed. Most production cars eat about 4 Cents per km in thier 4th year and beyond.

The only crime here really is the price of 4c struts, but thats a different matter...
 
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