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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on installing my H&Rs this weekend (weather permitting) in anticipation for Tail of the Dragon. Any recommendations especially for the fronts. The strut mount design looks a little tricky to deal with and the lower mounting points are quite different than what Im used to on my XC70. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If you have lowered any other car with struts then the process is about the same. The only part that gave me difficulty is that the strut is so long that it's hard to get enough A-arm travel too disengage it from the knuckle. In the end, I ended up unbolting the control arms to get the strut out. With a long enough lever and a friend to stand on it you may be able to get the arm down for the clearance required.
 

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Make sure you have the strut sleeve separator tool, makes getting the struts out a lot easier, I didnt have it and regretted it. Also you will need a crows foot wrench for the top of the struts, but I had to get someone with an airgun to get the nut off since it was stuck on.
 

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I've seen those tools but have never bought one. I just put the clamp bolt in from the opposite side then put a heavy duty washer or piece of metal in the groove and use the bolt to spread the clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like I deleted my last post by accident so here's my synopsis:

Rears: Piece of Cake. Took 45 minutes MAX to do both. Just remove the bottom bolt on the control arm and bam, they're out.

Fronts: Dear Mother of God. I have never come across a suspension design so flummoxing (other than possibly some weird, curved Jag XJ6 front coils). They're is absolutely no margin of error when putting it all back together again. With all the right tools and 2 mechanically inclined people, it took us 2 DAYS (!!!) to change out just the drivers side. It was so bad I'm not even considering touching the passenger side. Whatever the local performance shop is gonna charge me, its worth it. I have done struts or springs on a multitude of cars, but only once before have I come across a design so stupid and unserviceable (Control arms on a 05 Highlander, if your not familiar, look it up). But never again am I gonna touch the front suspension myself in this car, and as an avid DIYer, its really kind of a blow to my ego. Oh well.
 

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It's a pain in the rear, as the strut is too long to come out without messing with the control arm. If you did it like I did, then you took the front of the controls arms loose to get the strut out. Then you have to get that bolt back in after putting the strut back on the knuckle. The problem I had was that the arm wants to move forward when you push it back up, to the point on my car it started walking the arm forward out of the rear bushing. In the end, I had to take my control arms off then use my press to reseat the rear bushing because it walked so far. When I put the arm back on I bolted the front on first then the rear bushing last. I spent a day on the first side and about 1/2 that on the second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We completely removed the control arm actually. Luckily my bushings didn't walk, but getting the front one to line up at all was the absolute worst! There was no way it was going to line up against without totally removing it and then bolting in that bushing first. Made it a pain to get the ball joint back in (This process involved 3 people) but at least it was actually possible. I'm dropping it off tomorrow to have someone deal with the other side. There's no way its worth it to me to do it myself.
 

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Even with access to all the tools and mechanical inclination for other things, I as well will not touch the suspension. It's just not worth my time, and I make enough money to pay someone else to do it. My local shop charged me $300 in labor for dropping out both front struts, rebuilding them with the new strut mount bearings, and reinstalling. $150 for each side is definitely worth my time and sanity.
 

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We completely removed the control arm actually. Luckily my bushings didn't walk, but getting the front one to line up at all was the absolute worst! There was no way it was going to line up against without totally removing it and then bolting in that bushing first. Made it a pain to get the ball joint back in (This process involved 3 people) but at least it was actually possible. I'm dropping it off tomorrow to have someone deal with the other side. There's no way its worth it to me to do it myself.
the easiest way is
-put the car on jack
-remove the wheel
-free the front arm (3 18mm bolt)
-free the shock absorber from the hub (bolt 13mm)
-unscrew the 10mm bolt (3) from the top (under hood)
It took me 30min to get it out

then, spring compressor, unscrew the 19mm bolt on top and get everything out
 

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This is the video I was pointed to. The steps are the same as in the Volvo repair manual. Link
Part of the manual - Link
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
the easiest way is
-put the car on jack
-remove the wheel
-free the front arm (3 18mm bolt)
-free the shock absorber from the hub (bolt 13mm)
-unscrew the 10mm bolt (3) from the top (under hood)
It took me 30min to get it out

then, spring compressor, unscrew the 19mm bolt on top and get everything out
It's simple to get it all out. It's just getting it all back together again without disconnecting the ball joint that drove us insane!
 

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It's simple to get it all out. It's just getting it all back together again without disconnecting the ball joint that drove us insane!
ohh did not get this issue. I was more afraid pulling out than getting everythign back together. If you r front arm is free as I described, there should be no issue
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmm. We tried doing it without disconnecting the balljoint and when it went all back together, there was no way to get the front bushing (the single bolt one) aligned in such a way that the bolt would slide through. We tried for hours thinking we were missing some step but in the end it was just easier to disconnect the ball joint and then re-install it (still a pain, required 3 people to complete...).
 

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Hmm. We tried doing it without disconnecting the balljoint and when it went all back together, there was no way to get the front bushing (the single bolt one) aligned in such a way that the bolt would slide through. We tried for hours thinking we were missing some step but in the end it was just easier to disconnect the ball joint and then re-install it (still a pain, required 3 people to complete...).
Did you use a long bar and clamp to hold the control arm down?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mechanic got them in today. Book time says 2 hours, took him 3.5. I don't feel so bad now lol.
 

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Sorry to hear it was such a pita. Now...pics of your lowered car!
 

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That's the exact same issue I fought with. Like I said though, I had to pull at least one complete arm off the car because it started to walk out of the rear bushing. It was so far forward that the front bolt would not align. In the end, I also took the ball joints lose. I hate doing that because I usually destroy the boot getting it apart (I did rip one of them). If I had to take it apart again, I would go directly that route and keep the arms attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's the exact same issue I fought with. Like I said though, I had to pull at least one complete arm off the car because it started to walk out of the rear bushing. It was so far forward that the front bolt would not align. In the end, I also took the ball joints lose. I hate doing that because I usually destroy the boot getting it apart (I did rip one of them). If I had to take it apart again, I would go directly that route and keep the arms attached.
Sure Thing. I threw my freshly re-powdercoated 20s on last night, but unfortunately I won't get to see my car again til tonight. I'll try to take some pics tomorrow to show off the low and purple wheels.
 

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Installed an Eibach ProKit today and YES, the fronts are world class pain !

With no suitable prying bar and not a lot of space around the car in the garage, I went the complete knuckle removal route.
I followed the KYB Land Rover Freelander II video (another Ford EUCD platform car) but I compared the process with the VIDA instructions and found the following differences:

1- Torque for the damper shaft is 50Nm instead of the Land Rover 80Nm. Volvo recommends to replace it since they are Nylock.
2- VIDA doesn't specify an 8 degree angle between the upper strut mount tabs, both mark are aligned with the bottom mounting bracket;
3- VIDA specifies 200Nm for the caliper bolts !!! Since I don't have a 10 ft prybar, I went with a German spec torque : Gutentight !
4- Drive shaft end bolt is to be replaced with a new one, they are stretch type. Torque is 35Nm + 90 deg.

I proceeded slowly as I have not quite a lot of experience with suspension work. Since my tie rod puller doesn't open wide enough I had to hammer a lot to get it free.
Ball joint bolt was surprisingly easy to remove, hope the other side goes as well. Drive shaft was easy to push in using the hammering technique shown in the KYB video.
I used a scrap piece of metal to spread open the part that 'clamps' the damper base. That bolt was difficult to remove since the center in exposed to the elements.
Reinstalling the tie rod and the ball joint was made easier with the technique shown in the video (jacking from under to prevent the shaft from turning while re-tightening).

Rears were really easy. Only one bolt to remove.

That's it, just wanted to share my install experience with you.
 
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