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A vehicle’s subframe is critical to the driveline and suspension. The suspension, engine, and differential are all mounted to the subframe, while the subframe itself mounts to the chassis. Like all of the components that bolt to it, the subframe uses bushing to bolt to the chassis. Over time, after miles of use, these bushings wear and become soft. Because of the complexity of removal, changing the subframe bushings is a considerable project. Fortunately, companies like Powerflex provide subframe bushing inserts to help stiffen the bushings on the Volvo P80 and Volvo P2 platforms. 

Whether the bushing is worn or you want them stiffer for motorsport oriented purposes, bushing inserts are a cheap and easy fix. With a couple of tools and a couple of hours, you can install the bushings on your own.  


Volvo models and years applicable:

  • 1998-2007 Volvo V70
  • 1999-2006 Volvo S80
  • 2001-2009 Volvo S60
  • 1998-2002 Volvo C70
  • 1993-1997 Volvo 850

Symptoms of worn subframe bushings on a Volvo P80 or P2:

  • Clunking from the front or rear under acceleration
  • Vagueness or a feeling of wandering while cornering
  • Inability to correctly set the alignment

The subframe bushings need to be in a serviceable condition. The subframe itself houses the differential and is a mounting point for the suspension. Worn or torn bushings will cause excess play between the subframe and the chassis resulting in detrimental effects.

As the vehicle is under load in a corner, the subframe bushings are under load. If the bushings are worn too much, the subframe and the suspension will flex, causing changes in the suspensions alignment. The dynamic alignment change can cause the vehicle to behave unpredictably while turning, accelerating, and braking. 

It is still worth installing the inserts without worn bushings, however. Using the inserts with good bushings makes the bushings stiffer. The stiffer bushings give less deflection when they are under load leading to less dynamic alignment change while cornering. The side effect of the stiffer bushings is more vibration. More vibration does mean more feel, which could be an upside depending on why you need the bushings.


What will it cost to install subframe bushing inserts on a Volvo P80 or P2?

The Powerflex bushing inserts for this chassis will run you about $80. The bolts used to hold the subframe to the car are a torque to yield bolt, meaning they are one-time use. The bolt you will need will depend on the exact model you have. Expect the bolts to cost between $5 and $10 apiece. 


How long will it take to install subframe bushing inserts on a Volvo P80 or P2?

The length of time required to complete the job is dependent on where the car has spent its time. Vehicles with rust and corroded undersides have a greater chance of taking much longer due to the definite corrosion present. Vehicles in the south or ones free of rust and corrosion can expect the job to take around an hour at most. 

The subframe mounts to the chassis in four places. To do the job without the subframe falling out of the car, install the inserts one corner at a time.


Parts required to install subframe bushing inserts on a Volvo P80 or P2?


Tools required to install subframe bushing inserts on a Volvo P80 or P2?


Steps required to install subframe bushing inserts on a Volvo P80 or P2?

Step 1: Install the front bushing inserts

Jack the car up and place it on jack stands. Then, locate either one of the front corner subframe bolts. Use an 18mm socket on an impact wrench to remove the bolt. 


Then, open up the bushing insert packaging and apply some grease to one of the inserts. Then, line the inserts up with the slots in the bushings and drive them in with a mallet. 



If the insert refuses to be driven in with a mallet, there are other options. Place a block of wood onto the jack and raise it into the bushing insert. That should have enough force to push the insert into the bushing. 


Then, thread in the new subframe bolt by hand and finish driving them in with the torque wrench. Use an 18mm socket to torque the bolts to 105Nm, plus another 120° of rotation. 


Mark the bolt and the large washer with a marker to gauge how much you rotate the bolt to reach 120°.


Repeat this step for the other front corner. 


Step 2: Install the rear bushing inserts

The only difference between the front and rear is the plate between the bushing and the bolt. Start the removal using a 14mm socket to remove the two bolts on the plate’s inner part.


Then use the 18mm socket to remove the subframe bolt. 


Grease the insert with any remaining grease, or spray some silicone spray inside of the bushing to lubricate it for the insert. Then, press in the bushing with a mallet or the jack. 

When reinstalling the bolt with the plate, the subframe’s corner may be too far away from the chassis for the bolt to accurately engage the threads. Use a jack to lift the corner of the subframe against the chassis so that you can properly install the bolt. 


Ensure that the plate is aligned, and all three bolts have been partially threaded in by hand before tightening anything down. Use a 14mm socket to tighten and torque the smaller bolts to 50  Nm. Then use an 18mm socket to torque the subframe bolt to 105 N m, plus another 120° of rotation. 


Volvo P80 Subframe Bushing Torque Specs:

  • Volvo Subframe Bolts = 105 N m or 77 ft-lbs of torque, plus 120° of rotation
  • Volvo Subframe Plate Bolts = 50 N m or 37 ft-lbs of torque

If you’re interested in more DIYs for your Volvo, you can visit volvo.fcpeuro.com and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And as always, if you have any questions or comments about this DIY, leave them in the comments section below.

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Written by :
Christian Schaefer

Owner of a flat-six swapped 1998 Impreza 2.5RS and a 1973 Porsche 914. Horizontally opposed views, only.

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