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  1. #1
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    Post Volvo S60/V70 FWD Driveshaft and Ball Joint Replacement

    I decided I would write this as a basic “How To” thread, as well as documenting what I actually did. I hope someone who is less mechanically or technically adept, like myself, may find it useful and it will save them some money on labour at least.

    So, on to the job which is changing the (front) Driveshafts and Lower Ball Joints. Now there is more than one option for changing the Driveshafts, but as I wanted to change the Ball Joints as well then the method I’ve chosen seems to be a good option. This is written as much as possible, in Layman’s terms, it’s not directed at those who are very experiences and very technically adept.

    First,

    The Tools (sorry if I miss any thing off this list):

    Socket sets (with wrenches) and Spanners in various sizes, chiefly 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 18mm, 17mm, 19mm, 21mm.

    Breaker Bar

    Adjustable Spanner (Mid-sized)

    Torx and Hex Set.

    Wheel Brace (or your Breaker Bar)

    Trolley Jack with Axle stands

    Long/Large Flat Bladed Screwdriver set

    Hammer/Mallet

    ‘Plus Gas’ Dismantling Lubricant

    CV Moly Lithium Grease

    The Parts:

    Driveshafts

    New Bolts (from Volvo)

    Now to The Job;

    First, you need to flip off the cap on the wheel (in the center), and using the 14mm wrench and socket, remove the bolt in the center of the wheel, this bolt holds the outer CV joint securely in to the stub axle. Using a piece of pipe, gently push the CV joint back slightly by inserting the pipe in the hole where the bolt originally was.

    The Driveshaft to Stub Axle Bolt


    Loosen the wheel nuts.

    Jack the car up and lower the car on the axle stands ensuring it is stable and secure. Now remove the wheel nuts completely and then remove the wheels.

    Remove the plastic guard (if fitted) from underneath the car (12mm and 13mm sockets).

    Using the Plus Gas (Dismantling Lubricant), spray generously;

    • The 3 Lower Ball Joint Bolts (located on the bottom of the stub axle and control arm end).

    • The nut and thread holding the Tie-rod end to the stub axle.



    Using a socket and wrench (you may need the Breaker Bar initially), loosen and remove the 3 bolts holding the Lower Ball joint to the Stub Axle and the lower control arm. You'll also need a Torx (30) for a counter turn on the Control Arm to Ball Joint nut. 14mm and 21mm Sockets and Spanners here IIRC.





    Loosen, but do not remove fully, the nut (18mm), holding the Tie-rod end to the Stub Axle. Note, the adjustable spanner on the taper-end of the thread is useful here and is essential later when removing the nut completely, later on.





    Using your flat headed screwdrivers, you need to knock out the ball joint from the Stub Axle (warning: this can take time so be patient). To do this, you need to find where the Ball Joint assembly meets the Stub Axle, carefully wedge the flat end of the screw driver in that gap and begin gently hammering until it the Ball Joint starts to pull away from the stub axle. Do a few knocks each side (alternating), you will see the splined edge of the Ball Joint appearing and then eventually it will pop out.





    My advice, if you want to make it easier, keep it closer to the Brake splash guard plate as it seems to come out a little quicker. Push down on the Control Arm and wiggle the Ball Joint out. One of mine was totally shot, the Gaitor having come away and old black grease coming out of it.


    Now remove completely, the nut from the Tie-rod end and then the thread will fall from the Stub-Axle.



    Now turn the hub assembly outward and whilst doing so, wiggle the outer CV joint completely out of the Stub Axle.

    The next stage will depend on whether you are removing the Offside or Nearside Driveshaft. I’ll describe the method for each individually because I changed both on my S60.

    Offside (right) Shaft Removal:

    This is actually the most fiddly of the two because you’ll need to remove half of a bracket that holds the carrier bearing in place. It’s located past the inner CV joint and slightly under the car, and is visible from the wheel arch. It’s a pain to get to but once you know where it is then it get’s a little easier.

    The bracket is divided in to two halves, there is a ‘C’ part and the main part which is, in turn, bolted to the car. Using a 12mm socket and wrench, remove the two bolts holding the ‘C’ bracket to the main bracket. Because space is restricted, I used a small ‘T’ piece and then used my trolley jack bar as an extension piece to crack the lock off the bolt.

    The lower of the two bolts on mine actually snapped, an unfortunate consequence of age, water, road salt and whatever else. Thankfully I had already purchased some new replacements from Volvo and as for the seized bolt, I cut my losses and removed the main part of the bracket from the car. I then took it down to a local Engineer who removed the thread for a reasonable 15.00. A new bracket from Volvo comes in at around 100 including VAT so it’s well worth using a professional to remove something like this if, like me, you aren’t that comfortable with doing it yourself.

    The main bracket that is bolted to the car and to which the 'C' part connects




    Assuming everything is ok, once the ‘C’ part of the Bracket is off, take the Driveshaft by the back of the inner CV joint and give it a gentle tug, it will then just unclip from the transmission. My Driveshaft was well past it, so it came off in two parts, leaving grease and ball bearings everywhere.





    Nearside (Left) Driveshaft Removal;

    The outer CV joint is the same for both sides of the car, obviously. The nearside Driveshaft has a bit of a reputation for being a pain in the backside to remove but I’ll give you some advice here to help.

    You need to get a large, long reach screwdriver, preferably the flat bladed version. Place it between the back of the inner CV joint and the gearbox casing. Pull back firmly, sometimes you may have to do this a few times, and you’ll hear (and see), the Driveshaft unclip from the transmission. Then just repeat the action and gently wiggle it free from the gearbox. Be patient and it will come out!

    Place the screwdriver like this to gently but firmly lever the Driveshaft out from the transmission


    Now that the Driveshafts are free, you can refit them in reverse order, ensure the carrier bearing on the offside sits squarely in the bracket. One tip though, when fitting the ball joints back in I found it useful to insert the thread in to the Control Arm first and then attempt to refit it to the Stub Axle, if you try it the other way around you‘ll make an already difficult job even harder. The later part is, as I stated, very hard work and you may find it better to have 2 people for that part. Failing that, just make sure you push down as hard as you can on the Control Arm and then wiggle the Stub Axle over the top of it until the Ball Joint meets the recess. It’s also helpful to place the Driveshaft to Stub Axle Bolt in place and give it a few turns, this stops the outer CV joint falling out when reinserting the Ball Joint, and also loosely connect the Tie-rod end to the Stub Axle for further stability at this point.



    When the Ball Joint is basically in position, use a small screw driver or similar (I used my ‘T’ piece end), to align the holes on the Ball Joint assembly to those on the Stub Axle. Then wind the new bolts in as far as possible by hand, if you find it pinches almost straight away then the holes aren’t lined up properly. In this instance, remove the bolt and line the holes up again with the screwdriver or ‘T’ piece and then try again, the Stub Axle is made of Aluminium and it would be very easy to strip the thread! Be careful not to damage the thread with the screwdriver etc.

    Finished installation


    One last tip, make sure you use some Moly Lithium CV grease on the splines on the end of the Driveshafts, I also smeared a little on the carrier bearing bracket (inside edge). Copper grease the nuts and bolts to deter rusting/ceasing.

    Hope you’ve found this useful any questions the PM me or reply below. Sorry if I’ve missed anything off.
    Last edited by JamesT5; Monday 18th August 2014 at 14:08. Reason: Typos

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to JamesT5 For This Useful Post:

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    I haven't read all this but whatever it is good on you and as long as the car is safe why worry.
    I think a lot of guy should just think how a garage would do a job like this.
    One of there favourite tools sometimes is a fore or ball hammer.
    I await peoples responses to your thread.
    Its a thumbs up from me.

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    Good writeup there James.

    I bet those ball joints were a hell of a lot easier to fit than the V70
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  7. #4
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    Still more fettling needed,
    will it never end?
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    I wouldn't have done it like that Just joking mate, like Jimmie, I didn't read the complete text, but looks like you did a great job, and not an angle grinder in sight.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-R-P View Post
    Good writeup there James.

    I bet those ball joints were a hell of a lot easier to fit than the V70
    Yes they were mate, although still bloody hard work to get that wishbone to bend down enough to line the ball joint up with the stub axle. It took a bit of trial and error and of course I won in the end.

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    I believe a Volvo Main Stealer would have charged something in the region of 700 for a job like this, given they'd only use the genuine Volvo Driveshafts (very expensive!), and at around 80 per hour for labour they'd have charged me at least 4 hours I reckon. Do the maths and you can see why I was keen to do this job myself not to mention the experience I have gained (that's priceless).

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-R-P View Post
    Good writeup there James.

    I bet those ball joints were a hell of a lot easier to fit than the V70
    By the way, I have to credit you here Martin. Our session on the V70 earlier this year gave me some massive tips on how to remove certain things and had I not been involved with that I'm not sure I would have been as confident at tackling this job myself. I learned a few things from you that day so thanks again!

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stribo View Post
    I wouldn't have done it like that Just joking mate, like Jimmie, I didn't read the complete text, but looks like you did a great job, and not an angle grinder in sight.
    It's ok Steve, I'm cleaning the old and broken one up with some Fairy Platinum and sticking it back together with some Chemical Metal. No one will know, honest.........


  14. #9
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    In all fairness, I suppose that some of the more experienced users sometimes forget that there are less experienced on the forum, I did the drop links, a wishbone, CV boot and rear brake shoes on my T-5R last Week, and didn't even think that some people might like to see how it's done, so for that, well done James, I have no problem with James posting things like this up as long as the job is done properly with no bad advice, this job seems to have been done well.
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    Blimey James!!! That looked like hard work. Good job though and good write up. Will be referring to this when I have the inevitable task of doing this.
    I remember doing the wishbones and it was the physical effort in getting everything apart and back together that did me in. Looking at it, it seemed to be fairly straightforward.................

    Anyway, nice one mate. That's another job learned and done!
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