Removing & Replacing Volvo x40 rear suspension rods is not rocket science, but there are some things that are good to know. So here is a small tutorial how to do it.
First unbolt the longer (upper) suspension rod, that should be fairly easy and straight forward job to do.
After that you can start working with the shorter (lower) suspension rod. It looks to be as easy as the upper rod, but usually it is far from being easy… Mostly because the bolt that connects the rod to the chassis rusts and gets stuck inside the rod unbelievably tightly. Only way to get the bolt out is to grind it to pieces, or at least I haven’t invented any better alternative.
Structure of the rod is a bit like an onion. There are three metal layers that you need to peel away layer by layer. First remove the ellipse spacer which has been under the nut and then rotate the rod with 18mm wrench so that it points downwards. Using the grinder, this is how the first layer should look like until it surrenders:
Needless to say, but you need to be careful not to cut the brake line, the hand brake cable and the ABS sensor wire. Also you probably don’t want to cut accidental notches to nearby structures. So there are not too much space where to play. It might be a really good idea to take the ABS sensor cable loose from its holders and also take the brake line fastener away so you can move that as well slightly further. Here is how’s the second layer should look like until you can knock it out:
Second layer is when the things go smelly since there is a rubber layer under it. Depending at how good/bad condition your rods were there could be some rubber still left on the top of the last remaining metal layer. If the rod is really at the very end of its lifespan all the rubber usually peels off with the second metal layer and grinding the last layer is not that smelly business. Here is how the last metal layer will look like until you can try to bend it open a bit and then knock the bolt out:
I was using very strong screwdriver and large hammer to bend it open. I have never succeeded to knock the bolt out without first bending the last layer open a little bit.
When putting it back together I always start with the longer (upper) rod. First bolt at least one of the small bolts to car chassis (very loosely) and then put the outer bolt to its place. After you have managed the outer bolt, tighten the small bolt at the chassis side almost as tight as you normally tighten the bolts. Then you can use large screwdriver or some other suitable tool to make the second small bolt holes to match. After that just tighten the bolts.
Next bolt very loosely the shorter rod outer mount. After you have done so it is fairly easy to get the chassis side bolt in, at least from the first end. Don’t forget to add grease to the bolt so it will not get stuck anymore… But after the bolt is halfway there you can use a jack to level the other end so that it will go though easily:
Yes, I have already knocked the bolt through… Here is a close up view:
After this it will be very easy and straight forward thing to finish. Just tighten all the shorter rod bolts and you’re done! Of course remember to mount ABS sensor cable and brake hose back to their holders if you have removed them. And make sure you have not forgot the ellipse spacer under the nut of the shorter rod. 🙂
Here is the end result:
And also passenger side:
Please remember that after this operation you need to readjust the wheel angles. Usually you don’t have this kind of tools available, but it is not that expensive operation to do at your local tire shop.