2007 Volvo C70 - where'd the strut tower brace go?

rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
edited March 2014 in Volvo
The 2006 C70 has a strut tower brace bar (metal stiffening bar connected between the tops of the two strut towers in the front suspension). But my 2007 (received in late January) doesn't have this bar. I'm trying to figure out when it was designed out - was it for the full run of model year 2007, or did it happen "midyear"? Most of the pictures of engine compartments in on-line reviews show the brace, but most of the reviews were of 2006 cars. Does anyone know what the rationale was for taking it out? (I know that it's in the way if you need to remove the battery cover, and perhaps it isn't all that necessary, but I thought it was a pretty nice design feature, for improved chassis rigidity.)

Also, has anyone looked into mounting the 2006 brace into their 2007?


  • erisamanerisaman Member Posts: 99
    I've got a 2007 model made in October 2006 and it has the bracing bar connecting the two struts in place. I assume you have the T5 engine (standard in the USA but optional in Europe) as it is only the T5 and D5 which had this strut.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    Interesting, erisaman. Yes, my car is a US-version T5. I picked it up from the dealer in late January, but I believe that it was manufactured in December 2006 (from one of the stickers on the car), so a little bit after yours.

    I was intitially wondering if the part had just been inadvertantly left off my car. But I've seen photos of another 2007 engine compartment, from a 2007 US car for sale on e-bay, that also has no strut brace.

    I sent an e-mail to Volvo customer care (US or North America branch, I guess), and received a reply that "no one in Volve customer care has technical expertise to answer your questions", and advising me to talk to my dealer service dept. That is my next step. But if it is/was a design change, at least some of my questions seemed to be more for corporate, than for a dealer service dept. Oh well.

    BTW, the serial number portion of my VIN number ends in 018xxx. I'm still interested in what other 2007 owners have in their cars.

    How is your brace mounted? In the earliest 2006 model reviews, the pictures show the brace, along with a couple of black plastic covers over the tops of the strut towers, and also over the ends of the brace. But I've also seen a picture that still shows the brace, but without the little plastic covers. In this picture, the brace appears to be bolted to just one stud on either side (with the "double-sided" threaded stud replacing one of the three bolts at each strut tower - specifically the outer-rear bolt location). In my car, the driver side already has a stud at this location, apparently ready to accept the brace. But the passenger side has three regular bolts, and so I'd need to replace one of the bolts with a stud. (Note that most aftermarket braces attach to either two or even three of the strut tower bolt positions at each side. It might be that the need for removing the brace to access the battery cover called for a design that was easier/quicker to remove.

    The brace probably doesn't do that much, but I am suffering from strut tower brace envy!
  • erisamanerisaman Member Posts: 99
    Forgive me taking so much space but the following may help decipher your vin code. This was originally posted by fellow member lemenn, but I can't find the post # to direct you, so, apologies to lemenn for highjacking his thread.

    My strut is covered at both ends by a plastic and foam cover although I've not looked at it now, I'm going from memory.

    Following your humorous vein - you may need to brace yourself as the rest of us strut our stuff! (ouch!!)

    Volvo VIN Code1 2006 Model Year - United States & Canada

    Example: YV1 M S 38 2 6 5 2 049843

    Pos 1-3 Manufacturer Code:

    YV1 Volvo Passenger Car [not XC70 and XC90]
    YV4 Volvo Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) [XC70 and XC90]
    Pos 4 Vehicle Series:

    C = XC90
    M = S40, V50, All-New C70
    R = S60
    S = V70, XC70
    T = S80
    Pos 5 Body Style:

    C = All-New C70
    H = S40 AWD, S60 AWD, S80 AWD
    J = V50 AWD
    M = XC90 5-Seater AWD
    N = XC90 5-Seater FWD
    S = S40 FWD, S60 FWD, S80 FWD
    W = V50 FWD, V70 FWD
    Y = XC90 7-Seater FWD
    Z = XC70 AWD, XC90 7-Seater AWD
    Pos 6-7 Engine Version:

    38 = B5244S4 S40/V50 2.4i FWD - Automatic in all States except CA, NY, MA, VT, ME, RI, NH / Manual in all States
    39 = B5244S7 S40/V50 2.4i FWD - Automatic only in the States of CA, NY, MA, VT, ME, RI, NH and Contiguous States
    52 = B5254T4 S60/V70 R AWD - Automatic / Manual
    54 = B5244T5 S60 T5 FWD - Automatic / Manual
    59 = B5254T2 S80/S60/XC90 2.5T FWD/AWD, V70 2.5T FWD, XC70 AWD - Automatic Only
    61 = B5244S S60/V70 2.4 FWD - Automatic in all States except CA, NY, MA, VT, ME, RI, NH / Manual in all States
    64 = B5244S6 S60/V70 2.4 FWD - Automatic only in the States of CA, NY, MA, VT, ME, RI, NH and Contiguous States
    68 = B5254T3 S40/V50 T5 FWD/AWD - Automatic/Manual, All-New C70 - Automatic Only
    85 = B8444S XC90 V8 AWD - Automatic Only
    Pos 8 Emissions:

    0 = SULEV+ (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) / Engine Codes 39 and 64
    2 = ULEV2 (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) / Engine Codes 38, 59, 61, 68, 85
    7 = LEV2 (Low Emissions Vehicle) / Engine Codes 52, 54
    Pos. 9 Check Digit:

    0 - 9 and X
    Pos 10 Model Year Code:

    6 = 2006 year models
    Pos 11 Factory Code:

    1 Torslanda Plant Sweden (S80, V70, XC70, XC90)
    2 Gent Plant Belgium (S60, V70, S40, V50)
    J Uddevalla Plant Sweden (All New C70)
    Pos. 12-17 Serial (Chassis) Number:

    6 digit number
    1 Note: Volvo Cars of North America, LLC Vehicle Identification Code (VIN) Decoder, 2006 Model Year. All engine versions are 50 state vehicles except for engine versions 39 and 64, (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles.)

    All-New C70 is a late model year introduction
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    Thanks erisaman for the VIN decoding info, although I already knew how to decode the VIN. My only reason for mentioning the serial number part of my VIN (digits 12-17, in my case 018xxx) was that it bears a relation to the approximate date of manufacture. So, for example, if the strut tower brace was designed out sometime during the 2007 model year run, it would be good to know at what approximate serial number the design change occurred. Anyway, sorry for any confusion caused.
  • erisamanerisaman Member Posts: 99
    Right - got it! This won't help much other than as a base figure to work from, but my vin ends with 0171xx, in other words, something like 1000 cars before yours, assuming every car follows in chronological order.

    I was given the week number in which the car was produced and from memory, that was mid to late October 2006.

    There ya go! More confusion for you! Good luck.
  • redbuzzredbuzz Member Posts: 57
    Mine is 0189xx. It is still at Port Newark awaiting customs clearance (it's been a week now and I'm going crazy with anticipation). I remember looking under the hood at the factory delivery center but I don't remember if the brace was there. I'll let you know when I finally get the car.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79

    Thanks, I'm interested to know whether your car has it, and good luck with getting your car!

    Some other data points, from cars for sale on ebay:

    1. 2007 C70 (US) VIN ending in 010240, manufacture date of June 2006 (one of the first 2007's) - has brace

    2. 2007 C70 (US) VIN ending in 013950 - no brace

    My car (2007 C70 - US) has VIN ending in 0184xx, with a manufacture date of December 2006 - no brace.

    So you might guess from the above that the brace got removed from the 2007's, sometime between 010240 and 013950. However, erisaman's UK-version 2007 C70 HAS the brace, with a VIN ending in 0171xx, and a manufacture date in October 2006. (Perhaps the change was done at different times for different country versions. That's assuming it was an actual design change, and not simply a case of the brace being left off of some cars, by mistake.)
  • lemennlemenn Member Posts: 89
    For your information, if you are talking about this horizontal bar...

    My car is VIN ending by 12591 but it is a Diesel Engine and I am located in France.">

    D5 Engine

    D5 engine
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    There was a design change to the bulkhead.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79

    Can you say more on the design change to the bulkhead?

    Was it a stiffening of the bulkhead that took away the need/benefit of a brace bar?

    Do you know more about the introduction date of the change?

    Also, is it possible to still mount the "2006-style" (and early 2007) bar, onto a later 2007 car? I'd be interested in your feedback on whether you think there would be any perceived benefit in terms of chassis stiffness (my car without the bar seems plenty rigid and stiff as is, so my guess would be that the only reason for adding a bar would be for appearances sake). Even if adding the bar would be just for looks, I think I might want to do it anyway!

    Thanks for your input!
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    The bulkhead was strengthened.

    The cars built in Jan incorporated the change.

    It should still be possible to install the strut brace if you want to.
  • redbuzzredbuzz Member Posts: 57
    My baby has finally arrived - no brace.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79

    Thanks for checking, and congrats on your new arrival!

    Thanks to the feedback from VolvoMax, it appears that the brace has been designed out, coincident with a stiffening of the main bulkhead.

    (Although, I think the design-out date may be a little earlier than in VolvoMax's e-mail, since my December 2006-built car has no brace.)

    I am at some point going to look into adding a bar as a retrofit, either the 2006-style factory brace, or else an aftermarket one. My preference will be for the factory brace, unless the cost is ridiculous.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Check w/ Heico and IPD for aftermarket braces.
  • redbuzzredbuzz Member Posts: 57
    The manufacturer sticker on my car says it was built in December '06.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    Another little bit of info related to the removal of the strut tower brace during the 2007 model year run:

    My dealer's service manager put a query into his technical contact at the factory, who confirmed that the bulkhead area was basically reinforced more, removing the need for the external strut tower brace (as was used in the 2006 cars, as well as the earlier 2007 cars).

    The reinforcing is not totally obvious, but is at least partly visible. On the passenger side, the strut tower is basically tied to the bulkhead via the sheet metal design. It is not clear to me how different this is from the 2006 cars, but the implication is that it is sufficiently rigid/robust. (Either it was already, or it has been beefed up in some way.)

    On the driver side, the beefing-up is somewhat more visible. There is actually a short brace bar/rod that attaches to the back side of the driver-side strut tower, and is barely visible behind the battery (tucked partly out of sight under the sheet metal that lays over the back edge of the engine compartment, in front of the windshield). The other end of this short brace bar attaches to some reinforced area of the bulkhead, roughly in the middle of the car.

    Anyway, this is probably more than anyone wanted to know, but since I brought the subject up in the first place, I thought I'd follow-up with what I found out.
  • rschleicherrschleicher Member Posts: 79
    Another clarification to the previous post:

    In contrast to how I described it above, I am now convinced that the new-design "integrated" strut tower brace actually extends basically the full width of the engine compartment, and also attaches underneath the sheet metal that is behind the passenger side strut tower. It's just that the only portion that is visible is the portion that attaches to the driver-side strut, and then runs behind the battery.

    You can get a sense of what it looks like by looking at the new C30 interactive web page, on www.volvocars.com (I viewed it on the US site, but presumably it is similar for other country sites). The new C30 uses the same platform as the C70, in turn based on the S40/V50 platform. From the C30 interactive page, click on the Safety tab, and then on the "Unique Front Structure" blow-up box. In the exposed, see-through view of the chassis construction, the new "integrated" strut tower brace can be plainly seen. I don't know for certain that the C70 implementation is exactly the same, but the portion that you can actually see on a C70 looks exactly like the see-through-view of the C30.
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