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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally took the plunge and decided to change the front struts on my wife's 2010 XC60 T6. I've replaced Volvo struts on a number of occasions in the past and did not anticipate any problems. The other Volvos that I have worked on attached the strut to the steering knuckle with two large bolts. While corrosion may make these a bit of a challenge, the design is straight forward. After I removed the wheels on the wife's ride I discovered that the design had changed. Now the strut is clamped to the steering knuckle with a single bolt, but the knuckle must be separated from the control arm in order to get the strut out of the knuckle. The ball joint design is unlike those that I have dealt with as well. The ball joint is riveted to the control arm and the stem is clamped to the steering knuckle with a single bolt. I have been unable to push the control arm down to free the ball joint from the knuckle. Volvo has two procedures that I am aware of, using a long rod to lever the control arm or using a ratcheting strap to pull it down. Neither method has worked for me. Any suggestions?
 

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I finally took the plunge and decided to change the front struts on my wife's 2010 XC60 T6. I've replaced Volvo struts on a number of occasions in the past and did not anticipate any problems. The other Volvos that I have worked on attached the strut to the steering knuckle with two large bolts. While corrosion may make these a bit of a challenge, the design is straight forward. After I removed the wheels on the wife's ride I discovered that the design had changed. Now the strut is clamped to the steering knuckle with a single bolt, but the knuckle must be separated from the control arm in order to get the strut out of the knuckle. The ball joint design is unlike those that I have dealt with as well. The ball joint is riveted to the control arm and the stem is clamped to the steering knuckle with a single bolt. I have been unable to push the control arm down to free the ball joint from the knuckle. Volvo has two procedures that I am aware of, using a long rod to lever the control arm or using a ratcheting strap to pull it down. Neither method has worked for me. Any suggestions?
Can you take some pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Russj and I both did this job recently...a bit of a nightmare. I ended up removing the lower control arm entirely...3 bolts there. See Russ' thread here which has my lengthy write-up too.
http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?228449-Koni-FSD-Eibach-Springs-on-D4-AWD-R-Design

Let me know if you have more questions.
Cab, great write up and pics! I guess you confirmed for me what I feared: the only reasonable way to get the strut out is remove EVERYTHING. I have a 3 foot bar attached to the lower control arm and placed my 250 lbs. on it and that ball joint didn't break free, nor did it with me prying on the joint with a 31 inch pry bar and my wife standing on the bar attached to the control arm. Now I'm beginning to understand why the dealerships charge $1700 for the strut change. Since I have ~$700 in new struts, bearings and spring mounts I HAVE to do this myself (plus I bought a new spring compressor).

Question: Did you free the ball joint shaft from the steering knuckle after releasing the control arm bolts, and if so, what did you use to break it free?

Thanks for the helpful advice, posts and pics!
 

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The other point to note is that its worth gently tapping a screwdriver or chisel into the split on the knuckle joint to expand it a little.
This helps free the taper on the ball joint.
Russ
 

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I remember the lower ball joint bolt came out easy enough, but I might have used the old air hammer on the top side of the ball joint to break it free. At that point I was able to pry it down, but not enough to get the dang shaft completely free from the knuckle so I remove the lower arm at that point. Ironically, when putting it back in in had the arm loose but in place...did manage to pry it back in...pain in the butt!
 

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If I hadn't had the air hammer, I might have tried to get a pickle fork in there even though they can often trash the boot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The ball joint shaft did move a couple of millimeters with me standing on the bar attached to the control arm and levering the steering knuckle with a pry bar. I think the geometry between the control arm and steering knuckle prevented it from coming all the way out. Detaching the control arm will answer that question. Thanks again for the detailed advice!
 

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So is this a "knowing what I know now, it would be faster if I had to do the job again" type thing, or is this just a royal PITA no matter which way you slice it?
 

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So is this a "knowing what I know now, it would be faster if I had to do the job again" type thing, or is this just a royal PITA no matter which way you slice it?
It's a bit of both. As is often the case, the second side was certainly much quicker to do as I just cut to the chase in terms of removing stuff. I also had my son come over and hep me finish it off...it was great to have the second set of hands (i.e. one of us could pry on something while the other maneuvered, etc. It still wasn't as straightforward as any other strut job...not even close. The worst part is that the design is totally unnecessary. It probably saves a dollar over a "normal" strut design.
 

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The ball joint shaft did move a couple of millimeters with me standing on the bar attached to the control arm and levering the steering knuckle with a pry bar. I think the geometry between the control arm and steering knuckle prevented it from coming all the way out. Detaching the control arm will answer that question. Thanks again for the detailed advice!
Have you bent that little silver clip out of the way as seen in my now permanently bent clip:


Man, if I didn't have an air hammer, I would totally have taken a pickle fork to that and tried to position it to save the boot.
 

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and it's seriously $1700 at the dealership for labor? I'm guessing they're not going to install parts I bought online either...

An indy swede shop would be likely to have the right tool for the job, yes? I think there are a couple in my area...may give them a ring tomorrow just to get a quote.

Rears are pretty simply 1hr per side, ya?
 

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The "special tool" Volvo recommends is really just a big pry bar from the looks of it. Obviously, since I and others did it, any decent shop should be able to do it.

The rears are easy - three bolts (two top, one bottom) on the shocks/shock mounts themselves. You then transfer the mounts to the new shock or buy new ones if the old ones have several miles. As an aside, when I got new Volvo shocks, they came with new mounts (unlike aftermarket ones)...see here:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The rear shocks are deceptively easy, deceptive, that is, in that I never expected so many problems with the front struts. That little silver clip is really annoying since it keeps getting in the way of prying the joint. I may try a pickle fork; nothing else has worked to separate the ball joint.
 

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The rear shocks are deceptively easy, deceptive, that is, in that I never expected so many problems with the front struts. That little silver clip is really annoying since it keeps getting in the way of prying the joint. I may try a pickle fork; nothing else has worked to separate the ball joint.
I assume the joint just hasn't broken free for you at all yet. When I used the air hammer, I was pounding in this area straight down. That joint is a little weird of course. You might be able to do something similar with a hammer and big screw driver while someone pries on the joint...maybe spray a little penetrating lubricant in there too.



Once it actually broke free, which only took about 15 seconds with the air hammer (sorry). There just wasn't enough clearance to get it out of the knuckle...so I reverted to removing the whole control arm, pushing out the axle...ugh, I still cringe a bit when I think about this job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I assume the joint just hasn't broken free for you at all yet. When I used the air hammer, I was pounding in this area straight down. That joint is a little weird of course. You might be able to do something similar with a hammer and big screw driver while someone pries on the joint...maybe spray a little penetrating lubricant in there too.



Once it actually broke free, which only took about 15 seconds with the air hammer (sorry). There just wasn't enough clearance to get it out of the knuckle...so I reverted to removing the whole control arm, pushing out the axle...ugh, I still cringe a bit when I think about this job.
Cab, I have a 20 gal. compressor and wouldn't mind adding an air hammer to my tool collection. And I have a pretty big tool budget considering the alternative is taking the car to a shop who will charge over $1000 to do this job. (I don't know anyone who will allow me to bring the parts). Is there any risk of damaging the control arm with the air hammer?

I might try RussJ's 4x2 and BFH first, though...

One last question before I get started today. Do you have the torque spec for the control arm to subframe bolts? I can't find that in the freebie online Volvo workshop manual. Thanks again, and I'll report back on my progress later.
 

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So i'm thinking of putting eibachs on my car soon as well and from what i've gathered, the hardest part about removing the front strut is removing the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle? and the reason for this is because it's difficult to get a hammer in that area because the axle is in the way? What about removing the knuckle from the strut? Also where can i find this "free" shop manual? Thanks
 

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I reached out to the local Volvo Indy shop here and they quoted me $360 to do both fronts on my 2014. That seems like a bargain based on what I'm hearing above.

Will likely do the rears myself and then drop off at the Indy to have them do the fronts.
 

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VolvoDad -

A few items

Torque Specs (I got a one year subscription to AlldataDIY - not that great, but I was able to glean some info):

1. Driveshaft to wheel hub - two stages
a. stage 1 - 25 ft lbs
a. stage 2 - additional 90 degree turn

2. Lower Ball Joint to Steering Knuckle - 75 ft lbs

3. Outer tie rod end to knuckle - 60 ft lbs

4. Steering Knuckle to Strut clamp - 80 ft lbs

5. Disc Brake Shield to Knuckle - 7 ft lbs

6. Brake Rotor to Knuckle Torx Bolt - 25 ft lbs

7. Brake Caliper Brackets to Steering Knuckle - 150 ft lbs

8. Lower Control Arm (3 bolts)
a. Single bolt (towards front of car) - 2 stages
i. stage 1 - 103 ft lbs
ii. stage 2 additional 45 degree turn
b. Two rear bolts - 130 ft lbs

9. Strut Mount to Strut Tower (body) 3 bolts - 22 ft lbs

10. Front Stabilizer bar Link to Strut - 45 ft lbs

Two more items:

1. I have the cheapie (like $15) air hammer from Harbor Freight (Pretty sure there is one close to you). It nicks up the surface a tiny but, but no biggie. you can stick a thick washer or something on top to protect it.

2. I'll PM you my # in case you actually need to chat

Good luck!
 
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