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Axle Assembly Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Axle Assembly Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100 to $500

Talent:

*****

Tools:

13mm socket, 15mm wrench, 21mm wrench, 5mm hex socket, ball joint separator, torque wrench, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Axle assembly

Hot Tip:

Drain transmission fluid before hand

Performance Gain:

Smooth running, no noise from drivetrain

Complementary Modification:

Replace transmission fluid

The wear points in the axle assemblies are the constant velocity (CV) joints that transmit power from the transmission to the wheels. These bearings are packed in grease, but tend to wear out after about 100,000 miles. One of the clear signs that the joints need replacing is a distinct "clunk, clunk, clunk" sound coming from the front wheels when turning.

In some cases, the boots that cover and protect the CV joints will be torn. This is usually a good indication that the CV joints are wearing out as the boots keep the lubricating grease inside the joint.

At this time, Volvo only sells complete, replaceable axles for the C30. The new axle contains both the inner and outer CV joints, as well as the boots that cover and protect them. Although the CV joints can be rebuilt, I recommend installing the complete axle. It simply bolts up to the car, and you don't have to mess with disassembly or CV joint grease.

Replacing the axle assemblies requires you to jack up the front of the car and secure it on jack stands. I also suggest draining the transmission fluid, as it will pour out once you pop the axles out of the transmission.

See our articles on Jacking up your C30 and Transmission Fluid Change for more information.

Left and Right Sides of Car: The axle assemblies are held in place by a single 13mm bolt and washer.
Figure 1

Left and Right Sides of Car: The axle assemblies are held in place by a single 13mm bolt and washer. Loosen and remove the bolt on each axle. You may need to have a friend hold down the brake pedal when loosening the bolt. When installing the new axles, use new hardware and torque the bolt to 47 Nm (35 ft/lbs.) plus an additional 90-degree turn.

Left and Right Sides of Car: Shown here is the axle assembly inside the wheel hub once the securing bolt has been removed.
Figure 2

Left and Right Sides of Car: Shown here is the axle assembly inside the wheel hub once the securing bolt has been removed. Volvo specifies the use of a special tool to press the axle out of the hub, although I found pressing it by hand easily removed the axle stub. You'll need to remove the lower control arm and steering tie rod to allow the wheel hub to be turned. This will allow enough space to pull the axle out.

Left and Right Sides: Begin by loosening the 15mm nut (green arrow) that secures the tie rod ball joint to the front wheel carrier.
Figure 3

Left and Right Sides: Begin by loosening the 15mm nut (green arrow) that secures the tie rod ball joint to the front wheel carrier. I recommend spraying the nut with a good penetrant spray beforehand. You'll need to hold the ball joint stationary with a 5mm hex driver (yellow arrow). When installing the tie rod, torque to 50 Nm (37 ft/lbs.).

Left and Right Sides: You'll need to use a ball joint separator to pop the tie rod end from the wheel hub.
Figure 4

Left and Right Sides: You'll need to use a ball joint separator to pop the tie rod end from the wheel hub. Unscrew the nut (green arrow) until it is just flush with the top of the threads. This will provide a surface to press on without distorting the threads.

Left and Right sides: Loosen the 21mm nut (green arrow) holding the ball joint to the wheel hub.
Figure 5

Left and Right sides: Loosen the 21mm nut (green arrow) holding the ball joint to the wheel hub. You'll also want to hit the part of the wheel hub (yellow arrow) that holds the ball joint. The threaded part of the ball joint is a taper fit. Hitting it will help to free up the joint. If you still can't get it out, you'll need to use a ball joint separator tool. In my case, they popped out rather easily. When installing the new control arm, snug up the nut and torque the nut to 70Nm ( 52ft/lbs.) with the wheels on the ground.

Shown here is the axle assembly (green arrow) pulled free of the wheel hub on the driver's side of the car.
Figure 6

Shown here is the axle assembly (green arrow) pulled free of the wheel hub on the driver's side of the car.

Removing the driver's side axle can be a chore.
Figure 7

Removing the driver's side axle can be a chore. Volvo sells a special tool for this, but it is also possible to use a small chisel in-between the subframe and the transmission housing (purple arrow). You need to get the tool behind the metal flange of the axle (green arrow) and pop it out. It takes a bit of effort to get it started. Once the shaft releases, pull the whole axle out and install the new one. Follow the removal instructions in reverse order.

Shown here is the axle assembly on the passenger side of the car (green arrow) removed from the wheel hub.
Figure 8

Shown here is the axle assembly on the passenger side of the car (green arrow) removed from the wheel hub. This is much easier to remove from the transmission.

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the retaining clamp (purple arrow) in place.
Figure 9

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the retaining clamp (purple arrow) in place. Pull the retaining clamp off and you will be able to slide the axle assembly out of the transmission. You can now install the new axle. Follow the removal instructions in the reverse order.

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